The revolution to free the proletariat (the class of wage earner who are dependent upon employment; the working class) from the bourgeois (the property owners and the upper classes) is based on 10 measures, or planks, that are laid out in the Communist Manifesto written in 1848. While reading these measures of movement, I began to see that our current society has long emulated many of the communist tendencies that they so vehemently opposed during the Cold War (1947-1991). The American government so opposed communism that they initiated the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to restrict Russia’s communist influences on Turkey and Greece.
It is worth noting that the Russian implementation of communism is not communism in its purest form as written by Karl Marx as shown below.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. While not completely imposed in force, the federal government can retain eminent domain (stated in the Fifth Amendment in 1791 and established by Boom Co. v. Patterson, 98 U.S. 403, 406 in 1879) and take your property at any time while paying you what they deem “just” compensation. So your property is never truly yours, and you are renting the property you own by paying your annual property tax (first began in 1798).
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. This is currently imposed in a graduated tax bracket (established 1913) that ranges from 10-39.6%.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. This is partially imposed through the United State’s estate tax (established in 1916) that can be upwards of 40%.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. This is currently not enforced (although an argument can be made about the taxation of expatriates that practically becomes a fee to maintain U.S. citizenship without retaining any of the citizenship benefits that come from taxes.)
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 to prevent banking panics and to provide more supervision into the banking of America.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. Subsidized communications (think net neutrality) and transport (federal subsidies that impose federal regulations) have existed since the Transcontinental railroad crossed America in 1869.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. Agricultural improvement of less-than-desirable lands have been in place since the Mayans slashed and burned their fields. This is not currently federally enforced but it is highly encouraged in the agricultural arena.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. This is not applicable for America as not everyone is not forced to work so it is possible for there to be “leeches.”
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country. This is possibly indirectly imposed through the rapid gentrification of our cities, which pushes lower incomes out of the populated areas and into the countryside.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c. Education is imposed on a state level versus federal level with Massachusetts leading the way in 1852 with their compulsory school laws. Child labor was eradicated in 1938 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
So most of Karl Marx’s points on Communism (minus the EXTREMELY important #8) have been in place in America for dozens, sometimes hundreds, of years, with the majority of our communist laws in place even before we began dissenting Communism during the Cold War. American has been caught in a half-assed communist democracy for so many years that we don’t seem to see the hypocrisy that we have shown the World since 1947.
It is also worth noting that the current administration is striving to remove or lessen #2, #3, #6, and partially #10.
So what do we do? Do we continue as we have for years (but perhaps humanely enforce #8) or do we strip these laws and allow the Bourgeoise to return?