Have You Read Marx, Engels Or Lenin?

I think it's pretty stupid for people to throw around words that they basically don't understand.  People misuse names like Marx, Engels, Lenin and words like socialism, marxism and communism as buzz words without understanding what they're about.

On the other hand, I've read Capital and Communist Manifesto, The State and Revolution and various essays by these guys (all translated in English).  I've also read critiques and historical and contemporary articles realted to them and the movements stemming from their philosophy.  I'd say I have a pretty good idea what these masters of socialist economics and marxist/communist political theory were saying and trying to accomplish.  It's as much what they wanted to accomplish and what they asserted would inevitably occur by various means that's important to understand. 

That being said, the American President is as close to a marxist-socialist as any American leader yet.  What's happening in America under Pres. Obama is as close to a marxist transition as there ever has been without a bloody revolution.  Lenin would be sadly disappointed that no blood was shed and would criticize the administration as pretending to marxism.  Nevertheless, we're living a new wonder: socialism overthrows capitalism as the free people become enslaved by class warfare without a shot being fired.

shibaricouple shibaricouple
36-40, M
7 Responses Mar 5, 2009

@Gabriel144 <br />
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Well said. For peope who claim to have read communist writings there are some folks here who obviously did not understand what they read or took it with a very warped slant like neo liberals. Obama could barely be said to lean towards social democrat tendencies nevermind communism. If they think Obama has communist leanings then they must think Canada and Western Europe are Soviet Republics because we have public healthcare and Government run companies. Being aware that a massive wealth disperity like a feudal state is a bad thing for a country does not make Obama a socialist it makes him aware of history.

I'm astounded that people participating in this thread don't seem to have any idea the difference between Leninist Marxism, social democracy and social liberalism!!! 'Marx' is thrown around for shock value under the assumption his name alone will engender fear or irrational hostility, and that readers aren't informed or motivated enough to find out for themselves what the man really stood for. <br />
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Let's be clear. To begin: for most of the second half of the 20th Century Social Democratic governments in Western and Northern Europe faced off the USSR and Eastern Bloc. These people - allies of the United States - by and large comprised mixed economies and advanced welfare states. They were also liberal democracies. Many of them were even influenced by Marx and Marxism - but radically different interpretations than prevailed in the USSR and Eastern Bloc.<br />
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The United States supported these governments for decades: and said it was on the basis of *defending liberty and democracy*. And yet now right-wing commentators and movements are trying to compare Obama effectively to Stalinism - when in fact his attempts at Health and welfare reform were modest and minimal compared to most other developed economies and those European countries the US once supported!!! <br />
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For the Amercian Right - neo-cons, Tea Party etc: Get this straight - Most other advanced economies and liberal democracies look upon you as EXTREME. The United States has over 10% unemployment - But these peoples' response is to attack welfare - an approach which if implemented which cause immense human suffering - but also SOCIAL DISINTEGRATION.<br />
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And trying to evoke a sense of instrinsic connection between Christianity and this right-wing movement - is appalling at so many levels - So appalling to suppose Christ would support a policy effectively of oppressing or at the very least of turning our backs upon the poor and vulnerable.<br />
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The extreme economic Right in the United States is in some senses the flipside of Stalinism. In the USSR government was everything to the point where liberty and innovation were stifled. In the United States the public sector is so weak and the welfare state so undeveloped - to the point where there exists extreme poverty and extreme inequality. Both political extremes have in common the creation of human suffering and oppression, and harm to the economy.<br />
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The public sector is neither 'essentially good' or 'essentially bad'. But as many European liberal democracies show - It's possible to have a mix without pursuing either extreme; and the result can be a fairer, more stable and more compassionate society - and a stronger economy to boot.<br />
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Sub-prime occurred because there wasn't enough regulation or oversight. If policy-makers and opinion-makers don't learn these lessons the next economic collapse will be so much worse...

Well Said.

And both are rife with enormous governmental controls that have nothing to do with our Constitution and freedom. I agree that Pres. Bush began it but it is clearly in the playbook of Pres. Obama and aligns with his extreme government growth ideals. It doesn't bode well for Americans the next four years.

Blank channel, I'm comparing the writings of classical socialism and the policies and statements of the current president. I haven't begun criticizing the failures of past presidents, mostly the media has been doing that ad nausium, so no need to continue that. Besides, it changes nothing in my point.<br />
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You said, "That's the only tool left the government has available to them." You assume that government needs to use a tool. It may be that some failing businesses should be allowed to fail, some poor home economists should be foreclosed and some errors need to be allowed to be corrected. <br />
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Dubiousone, isn't it true that a capitalist economy has both positive and negative growth phases? And, don't they work each other out in their way? <br />
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It's a natural process. Government growth encroaches on citizens in many ways and gets the government involved in the lives of Americans in ways we really don't need and ways the founders never planned. Gov managed business (cap and trade, salary caps, gov share ownership), gov managed health care, gov managed pensions, it's not the place of government to intrude into our lives like that. Socialism requires gov involvement to manage the system and regulate all of it's interests. Gov needs to get back down under the people where it's meant to be by the constitution.<br />
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BTW, my degree is in philosophy and classical studies also from a real university.

In principle I agree with your summary of Socialism and Communism. What I mean when I suggest that Pres. Obama is turning the country socialist is that his policies flesh out an unstated philosophy that bends toward Marxism. You see how his policies related to working people, the role of the state, the services provided by the state, state control of industries (based on state vested interest), state overbearing regulations, extreme pro union policies and the "spreading the wealth" comment he made to Joe the Plumber reveal a Marxist philosophy. Not purely Marxist though because there's that J.S. Mills' Utilitarianism "the greatest good for the greatest number" that blends to form what will become know as uniquely American Liberalism.

In principle I agree with your summary of Socialism and Communism. What I mean when I suggest that Pres. Obama is turning the country socialist is that his policies flesh out an unstated philosophy that bends toward Marxism. You see how his policies related to working people, the role of the state, the services provided by the state, state control of industries (based on state vested interest), state overbearing regulations, extreme pro union policies and the "spreading the wealth" comment he made to Joe the Plumber reveal a Marxist philosophy. Not purely Marxist though because there's that J.S. Mills' Utilitarianism "the greatest good for the greatest number" that blends to form what will become know as uniquely American Liberalism.