The Communist Manifesto: Philosophic and Economic Ideas/Historic Consequences

Karl Marx claimed that economics determines history and that one’s economic class determines one’s ideas. Ironically, he proved himself wrong, in a deadly way. The twelve-thousand-word propaganda tract written by Marx in 1848 and known as The Communist Manifesto was a concise summary of many ideas that Marx himself created. These ideas proceeded to shape the history of the twentieth century, including its political and economic history, as well as the ideas of most twentieth-century intellectuals. This history included approximately one hundred million innocent citizens slaughtered by Marxist governments, millions more enslaved by Marxist governments, international conflicts on an unprecedented scale, and an intellectual tradition that, at present, is thoroughly entrenched in the humanities and is in the process of destroying the ideas and ideals of the West. There have probably never been fewer words that have caused more misery and destruction than those written by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto.

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Pity vs. Productivity

The Times article about the visual obstruction caused by Donald Trump’s new Riverside South apartment complex, “A Lament by the Hudson, as Trump Eclipses the Moon,” speaks volumes about the intellectual state of the political Left today, as represented by the author and the people he interviewed.

Years ago, it was claimed by the Left that Capitalist entrepreneurs had caused the impoverishment, and would soon cause the “literal starvation,” of the so-called “workers” by means of “exploitation.” A century later, after the Capitalist elements of the world’s economy have created more human prosperity than had ever been dreamed of in any previous age (and after more than a hundred million corpses have been manufactured and buried under Socialist regimes), it seems that all that remains for the Left to whine about is the fact that the creation of new physical wealth, in this case new apartment buildings, physically obstructs one’s view of whatever is behind it.

Such unimaginable human suffering! Let’s ignore, as does the Times, the obvious fact that every building in Manhattan obstructs somebody’s view of the island’s surroundings. Let’s further ignore, as does the Times, that these new apartments represent a massive addition to the wealth and prosperity of the city, that thousands of new people are being given the opportunity to live in New York, that more rental property means lower rents, or even that as many, or even more, people will be able to enjoy a view of the Hudson River as before! None of this, according to the Times, is real, or at least real enough to bear mentioning. What is real, according to the Times, is the front-page “news” that an evil Capitalist, motivated by “greed and power,” can be allowed to “take away your beauty for money.”

When pity, rather than productivity, is one’s guiding virtue (as it is for the Left), then “suffering” must be manufactured when it can’t be found, and success and happiness must either be ignored, or better yet, eliminated.