I notice a bunch of folks claiming to know the difference between socialism, communism, and fascism – and some of the explanations suggest they never read the manifesto. So ride along with me for a condensed version of the manifesto.
First of all, Karl Marx studied capitalism – and saw that more and more capital wound up owned by very few people. Glance online, and see the cheerful pictures of Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, etc. It’s hard to argue with that observation. For sociologists, Marx came up with the basis of social conflict theory – he based it on economic class.
The ten points of the manifesto are:
- Abolish private ownership of land and apply all land rent to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolish all rights of inheritance.
- Confiscate the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralize credit with a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralize State controlled means of communication and transport.
- Extend factories and means of production (State owned); bring wastelands into cultivation, and improve the soil in accord with a common plan.
- Equal liability of all to work. Establish industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Combine agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradually abolish the distinction between town and country by a more equitable distribution of the population.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolish child factory labor.
It’s important to remember that Karl Marx studied early capitalism and examined its flaws. He theorized that communism would eliminate those flaws. The contemporary socialism of the time was French Utopian Socialism – far different than today’s versions of socialism, and, with the relatively recent French Revolution, recognizing the concept of social conflict.
We could go farther – graduate seminars go into a lot more detail – but this is a condensed version, just to provide enough background to be able to call BS on the ignorant ideologues.