The America I was raised in had classes. Every culture does. The America I was raised in allowed people to move up or down the class structure depending on hard work and chance. It is true that some people work hard all there life and never seem to get ahead and others do little and experience success, but for the most part effort is the key ingredient. There were many classes. When I tried to figure out where I fit in I would say I was raised either upper lower class or lower middle class. In reality it didn’t make any difference to me because I was also raised, in my America, that everyone put their pants on the same way. When I got older and less agile I learned that wasn’t totally true but you get the idea.
Marx divided society into two camps.
“Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.” Kindle Location 27-28We are all familiar with the terms but I can never keep them straight. Notice the idea of progress in Marx’ statement. That would imply that the division was not finalized but Marx would have said it was foreordained.
So who are these two groups?
The Bourgeoisie in Marx’ mind were the wealthy property owners. They owned the factories and the tenements that the workers lived in. Their only concern was profit.
The Proletariat were the working people who could never get ahead. They worked for wages and lived at subsistence level. They were simply the cattle that provide the labor for the profits of the owners.
It will be a simple world if it ever appears. The problem was that Marx had never worked a real job in his life and had no real understanding of the capitalism he was so critical of. He did not foresee that many business owners would do the best they could for their workers. Some would do it out of a moral commitment. These would donate large sums to take care of those who could not work. Others understood that a happy worker is a productive worker. One of the great capitalists, Henry Ford, realized that if the workers could not make enough to buy his cars he would not sell many cars. That is a principle of successful business. It is real capitalism.
Marx, and modern day socialists, live in a world of zero sum economy. They believe that the only way to get rich is to steal from those weaker. There is only so much to go around in their world. He did not understand what a free economy can do to make people go out and find shortcuts to production. The yoke is a good example. This simple invention allowed a farmer to produce much more food with the same amount of work. If he didn’t have the knights riding through his wheat he could increase his wealth at the expense of no one. In fact you could sell his wheat at a lower price and still make more money.
The key factor for us to understand the modern day progressives is the word “hostile” in the quote from the Communist Manifesto. In order for their dream world to come true it is necessary for all of us to hate those in the other class. That is what is at the core of things like Critical Race Theory and the divisiveness of Black Lives Matter. That is why they force violence in the streets. That is why the Biden administration is arresting people on trumped up charges and throwing them in jail. They want division and revolution.
Let’s do our best not to give it to them. Remember the pledge of allegiance, “One nation, under God.”
Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto, 1848, Project Gutenberg download
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