May 2, 2001
In 1847 the Communist League commissioned Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, to
write a detailed theoretical and practical program for the Communist League. The
resulting publication was the Manifesto of the Communist party, commonly called
In the manifesto, Marx and Engels lay out a series of steps to be followed to
institute socialism in individual countries. The prefacing remarks include,
"Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of
despotic inroads on the right of property..." It continues, "These
measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the
most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally
1.. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to
Can there be any doubt that the drive to lock up public and private property
as "wilderness" preserves is a part of this step. While allowing
individuals to retain "title" to property, the government is denying
its use to the owners.
b.. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Accomplished in 1913.
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
They are not quite there on this one, but the "death tax" currently
being contested in Congress was the first step toward accomplishing this goal.
1.. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
The first large instance of this was the confiscation of the property of
American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. Current drug
confiscation rules allow the government to take property without due process of
anyone "suspected" of drug involvement. Also, under the RICO statute,
property can be confiscated if the accused cannot prove it was not acquired with
funds derived from illegal activity (a virtual impossibility).
b.. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a
national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Accomplished in 1913 with the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank.
c.. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands
of the State.
This may be the most vexing problem for the would be "managers" in
the government. Certainly the establishment has de facto control of the major
media. However, the proliferation of cable TV and especially the Internet, has
them scrambling. But they're working on it.
d.. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the
State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the
soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
The United States government is the single largest employer in the country.
It controls another large segment of industry through government contracts and
the rest of industry is heavily regulated. The Army Corps of Engineers is
heavily involved in "wasteland" management. The Department of
Agriculture has virtual control of farming through subsidies and land use
a.. Equal liability of all to labor (work). Establishment of industrial
armies, especially for agriculture.
We do not currently have forced labor except in the prisons. However,
executive orders in place provide for the federal government to establish
"work camps" to direct the use of workers in the event of a
"national emergency" (including financial or economic emergencies).
b.. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual
abolition of the distinction between town and country, by more equitable
distribution of the population over the country.
Industrial giants like Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) have a virtual
stranglehold over segments of agriculture. The family farm has all but
disappeared as large corporations have taken over (and gotten the lion's share
of the subsidies). The distinction between cities and country is being attacked
on a regional basis under the mantra of "smart growth."
c.. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of
children's factory labor in it present form. Combination of education with
The movement for compulsory public education went into high gear shortly
after the publication of the manifesto. The dumbing down of the public and
indoctrination favoring government activism and anti-traditional values has been
in full sway for nearly two generations. Alternative government schools are
offered as a false alternative to alarmed parents. The home school movement is
the only current alternative not completely controlled by the government.
Child labor (regardless of whether or not it improves their situation) has
been forbidden for decades now in the U.S. There is now a movement to boycott
any goods produced (in whole or in part) by child labor in foreign countries
ignoring that children working in some countries is the only method of survival.
As for combining education with industrial production, does "School to
Work" come to mind? This is a program where industrial managers and
"educators" determine for which occupation children will be educated
(trained). This was adopted virtually intact from the former Soviet Union except
the industrial managers were called "commissars."
The reader is left to make his or her own assessment as to how far down the
road this country has gone in adopting socialism as envisioned by Marx and
Engels. We're a lot closer than most people realize or want to admit.
Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its entirety. The
author is a free lance writer based in Romulus, Michigan. He is a former
newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired customs administrator and
accountant, and a student of history and the U.S. Constitution.
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