The Democratic Party and Karl Marx


karl_marxNew York Senator Chuck Schumer thinks that it is a good thing, an affirmation of “family values” and “freedom,” that nearly 3 million people are expected to stop working in order to be able to qualify for Obamacare subsidies.

While on “Meet the Press” this past weekend, Schumer was blunt: The “bottom line,” he said, “is very simple.  What [the] CBO [Congressional Budget Office] said is that many American workers would have freedom.  Now that’s a good word,” Schumer continued, for it means that Americans would now have the “freedom to do things that they couldn’t [previously] do.”

That Obamacare promises to discourage people from looking for work is also a boost for “family values.” Schumer explained: “The single mom who’s raising three kids [and] has to keep a job because of healthcare, can now spend some time raising those kids. That’s a family value.”

Schumer’s fellow partisans, both in Washington and the media, are seconding his sentiments.

And make no mistakes about it: Schumer, Barack Obama, and all leftists who have been aching for national healthcare for a century truly believe, to the very marrow of their bones, that work or labor is something from which most people need liberation.

This is but another way of saying that some of the more salient concepts of the philosophy of Karl Marx, if not his entire philosophy, live on in the contemporary Democratic Party.

This is not hyperbole.  That Schumer and Obama may not subscribe to Marx’s “dialectical materialism,” say, is neither here nor there.  The fact is that, like Marx, leftist Democrats are convinced that “capitalism,” i.e. the private sector, “alienates” workers from their “labor.”

Marx contrasted “the human world” with “the world of things.”  He writes: “The devaluation of the human world increases in direct relation with the increase in value of the world of things” (emphases original).  A worker’s labor reduces the worker to “a commodity [.]”

That is, workers are related to their work “as to an alien object” (emphasis original). What this means is that the laborer “becomes a slave of the object,” the “thing” or the “commodity,” that he produces.  “The life which he has given to the object sets itself against him as an alien and hostile force,” “an autonomous power” that now “exists independently” of its author.

Marx’s idea seems to be something like this: Human beings produce goods in exchange for the wages of their labor.  This, though, results in the human becoming dependent upon the fruits of his labor, for his need for “subsistence” demands that he continue producing.  The creature now stands over and above the creator.  But it isn’t just the product of his labor to which the laborer is now enslaved: he is enslaved as well to his labor itself.

Since a person who works is related to “his own activity as something alien and not belonging to him,” his “activity” becomes “suffering (passivity),” his “strength” is rendered “powerlessness,” and his “creation” is his “emasculation [.]”   In other words, “the personal physical and mental energy of the worker, his personal life,” is “an activity which is directed against himself, independent of him and not belonging to him.”

And because of the human being’s “alienation” from both his labor and that which it produces, each worker is now “alienated” from other human beings: “man becomes alienated from other men.”

Schumer, Obama, and all leftist Democrats who claim to think that Americans’ emancipation from work is some kind of historical achievement believe what they say.  This is what their opponents must understand.  We must also understand that this belief of Schumer’s, Obama’s, and Marx’s is inseparable from another: Private property is both cause and effect of the misery, the “alienation,” brought about by work.

Of course, no contemporary Democrat will think to say this aloud, but their actions speak loudly enough, revealing for all who will but listen that they are of one mind with Marx when the latter laments how private property, being both “the product of alienate labor” and “the means by which labor is alienated,” “has made us so stupid and partial [.]”

Doubtless, there are legions of Democrats—and, for that matter, Republicans—who will genuinely regard this analysis as over the top.  They are mistaken.  Both the policies for which we argue, as well as the arguments that we offer on their behalf, possess their own logic.

And the logic of leftist Democrats like Schumer and Obama is the logic of Marx.

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  • Steeloak

    It’s not surprising Marx wrote about the exploitation of working people. He was intimately familiar with exploitation of working people, since he personally exploited everyone around him his entire life. He was a broke loser who sponged off everyone around him, borrowed money and never paid it back, and believed it was the obligation of his family and friends to support him in his “great work” so that he wouldn’t have to earn a living. Stephan Molyneux paints a chilling portrait of the monster that Marx was in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA2lCBJu2Gg
    That the ideas of Marx would be popular among other people who share his belief that the world owes them something is not surprising.

    • visitor

      You guys are so funny. Marx sent a copy of Capital to Darwin (there’s no proof that Darwin ever read it) because he liked to think that he had done for political economy what Darwin had done for natural science. This must prove that Darwin’s theory of the origin of species is wrong. Moreover, Marx appears to have believed the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around, proof that we must repudiate Copernicus. And he read Shakespeare to his daughters, so we should refrain from reading the Bard of Avon. This is really laughable.

      • Liberty_Clinger

        Karl Marx was wrong about human nature first and foremost, and wrong about economics as a corollary. Where did you come by the irrational and somewhat funny notion that anyone approved by Marx was also wrong as a result of his approval?

    • plsilverman

      who is “exploiting” the “working man” today? the most Obstructionist House in history. they want to keep unemployment as high as possible into NOvember, 2016.

  • CowboyUp

    Schumer contradicts his own stated ideals. It’s interesting that the dp version of the Marxist “worker’s paradise,” is a bum’s paradise.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The Dhimmicrat Party is really a Marxist Party today and the Republican Party is really a Progressive Liberal Party today, and it’s been that way since the end of Ronald Reagan’s final term. It’s time for the majority of people in this country to wake up to that reality. Our country had been hijacked by the Marxist left and they are destroying it as they also destroy traditional American values, as traditional American values in essence is what constitutes conservatism. Thus, we must rush to eradicate religion in the public sphere and to implement gay marriage as rapidly as possible according to these Marxist flakes to destroy conservatism, i.e., the opposition.

    • ben t

      Excellent exposition of Marxist ideology. From one (me) who labored long, hard, and foolishly in that pit of depravity and barbarity!

  • Hawkeye3939

    Schumer brings new meaning to the term “bloviate.”

  • T-Rex

    It sounds to me as though the Dem/marxist/progs have redefined the act of earning a living as slavery. There is no doubt most of us who participate in the capitalist system are, to a degree, bound to the processes of production in order to enjoy the resulting prosperity that benefits the producer and consumer. The difference between engaging in capitalism and suffering slavery is that capitalism affords you the means to become wealthy or acquire enough wealth to eventually retire from the act of “work”, whereas, slavery lasts as long as you are productive and then you are discarded.

    What is extremely disheartening is how many American citizens are oblivious to the intentions of the Dem/progs. Even when fools like Schumer tell them to their face working in a capitalist economy is just another form of slavery they cheer and put out their hands for the next government freebie. When will these useful idiots and their “honorable” elected leaders realize production is necessary to maintain societies and it is far better to allow society itself to organize and manage the means of production than it is to turn over the process to central planners who base their expertise on “fairness” and “equality”? Human nature has proven, over and over, people will act first to sustain themselves and the subjugation of this characteristic always fails. Those who have grown accustomed to living off the prosperity of others will suffer the most when it is no longer personally gratifying to produce anything.

  • mtnhikerdude

    Freedom ,Duh ! Today’s kids can’t get for themselves with a college education what their parents got with a high school education or less .

  • Habbgun

    I’m sure Schumer would be less alienated from me if he gave up his millions. He is a slave to money….a slave to power. As a true struggling Proletariat my hard won wisdom from the toils of membership in this forsaken class. I can help him. He can stop working also. He can buddy, buddy with someone who wants to be his friend. I’m sure he’d like to stop struggling on behalf of the working man and see a movie. The working man knows he has done enough. He can step back and maybe even resign…if he wants to pay for the movie tickets I’d like to go.

    I also want to go sailing but can’t afford it. Obamacare will not help me achieve that dream….to take the proletariat man away from the sea..the home to life…what can be more alienating. Please Mr. Schumer. Lay down your burdens. Stop working. Buy me the boat and I will gratefully sail you to Florida…..after you finishing paying me to learn to sail. I am alienated from nature Mr. Schumer. Please. Only you can help.

  • Liberty_Clinger

    It is a good and natural thing to be “enslaved” to your own labor, otherwise one must subsist on another’s labor and thus engage in the enslavement of others.

    “In the early days of the world, the Almighty said to the first of our race “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”; and since then, if we except the light and the air of heaven, no good thing has been, or can be enjoyed by us, without having first cost labour. And, inasmuch as most good things are produced by labour, it follows that all such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To secure to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government.” Abraham Lincoln

    http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=1&subjectID=1

  • wileyvet

    So if nobody works, who pays for the welfare state, including the salaries of the Elite Statists like Schmucky Schumer?

    • plsilverman

      welfare state? ya mean the Corporate welfare recipients? the top 1% with all their tax relief that even Romney & Ryan said they would end? by the way, you may have noticed the implementation of WELFARE REFORM, the vision of Reagan: no job search, no check…aw U knew that. but the corporate level “recipients” have no such accountability.

  • curmudgeon

    Is not the basis for organized labor unions Marxist?

  • gawxxx

    fools leading fools over the cliff “marxism in a nutshell “

  • frodo

    You’re misreading Marx on labor. Nowhere does he say that people will not work–that’s silliness–what he says is that in his ideal world, work will not be tied to subsistence.

    As here:
    “For as soon as the distribution of
    labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of
    activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He
    is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must
    remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in
    communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity
    but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society
    regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do
    one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in
    the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I
    have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or
    critic. This fixation of social activity, this consolidation of what we ourselves
    produce into an objective power above us, growing out of our control,
    thwarting our expectations, bringing to naught our calculations, is one of
    the chief factors in historical development up till now.” *The German Ideology*

    What he wanted people emancipated from is NOT work, but the alienation of labor (which is not the same thing at all).

    Whether he was right about this, or if this is a good thing to wish for is one thing, but at least it’s worth getting the thing criticized right.

    For
    as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a
    particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and
    from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or
    a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his
    means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one
    exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any
    branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus
    makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to
    hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the
    evening,criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever
    becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
    Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/m/marx_karl.html#z5x0fBLuhJpVToqB.99
    or
    as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a
    particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and
    from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or
    a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his
    means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one
    exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any
    branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus
    makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to
    hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the
    evening,criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever
    becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
    Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/m/marx_karl.html#z5x0fBLuhJpVToqB.99
    or
    as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a
    particular exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and
    from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or
    a critical critic and must remain so if he does not wish to lose his
    means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one
    exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any
    branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus
    makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to
    hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the
    evening,criticize after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever
    becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
    Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/m/marx_karl.html#z5x0fBLuhJpVToqB.99

  • Locke_V_Hobbs

    I find all of the work the radical right spends on labeling Obama/liberals to be both sickening and amazing. Is it revenge for the same sickening and amazing labeling of the Junior Bush? What you seem to not take in is that the founding fathers were not pure Laissez Faire Capitalists. Nor do I know anyone who wants to live in a pure Laissez Faire Capitalist system: the state would make no laws directing or affecting the “means of production”. If you are in favor of zoning laws, product liability laws, the FDA, truth in advertising, anti-monopoly laws, anti-trust laws, or any other law that tells people what they can or can’t do with their property or businesses.
    Laissez Faire Capitalism is a buyer beware, rich take all system. Anything else is not pure capitalism. The commerce clause is not a capitalist law (socialism at least). The Post Office is communism or fascism. The national park system is the same, and public schools, libraries, etc…
    Marx is known for starting the quantification of business cycles and their effect on the bottom of the economic ladder, which can be pretty devastating in a Laissez Faire Capitalist system. The fact is, when a few people control all the money, and the crops fail, then a revolution is just around the corner.
    Besides, by definition, conservatives are supposed to conserve – what are you conserving.

    • Liberty_Clinger

      Our Founding Fathers established a limited Federal Government, which means limited collectivization – limited Socialism – empowering limited governing functions. They authorized certain Federal powers – functions – in our Constitution, and under our 10th amendment (part of our Bill of Rights) all other government power devolves automatically to State government or to individual action. Zoning laws, product liability, drug regulation, advertising regulation, public schools, libraries etc. are not Federal powers under our Constitution, so those laws fall to the States. Federal research and recommendations in those areas would be Constitutional under the umbrella of scientific research, but not regulatory law. I’m in favor of amending our Constitution to give our Federal Government authorization and funding for NASA and the National Parks.

      The Post Office, Federal highways, military powers are already authorized in the Constitution as Federal power – limited Federal power via limited Federal collectivization – limited Federal Socialism. Notice also how the Founders authorized just those Federal powers which benefit the people equally – no unequal class struggle, via unequal Federal government benefits, was authorized.

      Federal anti-monopoly laws are not necessary under true Free Enterprise since the force of competition naturally limits the formation of monopolies. Monopolies only occur under Fascist Crony Capitalism where Federal laws and regulations favor certain businesses (usually those which Federal officials have an interest), thus stifling the competition which defines true Free Enterprise.

      Karl Marx was exactly wrong regarding Free Enterprise, which empowers individuals, the system where each man may do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor. It is the Marxist system which ensures that the majority of people end up at the bottom of the economic ladder because the Marxist government officials forcefully collect too much of the fruit of the people’s labor, where a few people (the Marxists) control all the money and crops, the tyrannical system where some men self-servingly do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor. The people don’t revolt against Free Enterprise, they revolt against the self-serving Marxists.

      Our Founding Fathers did establish a system of true Free Enterprise, excepting those limited Federal powers mentioned above, and those powers which then fall to the States (which should also be limited by State constitutions). Unfortunately what we now have in the United States is a corrupt hybrid of both Fascist Crony Capitalism and Marxism, the two parasites propping each other up like sheaves of rotten corn.

      “With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself and the product of his labor [Free Enterprise]; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor [the tyranny of Marxism and Fascist Crony Capitalism].” Abraham Lincoln

  • PhillipGaley

    What about some $ ?

    All of this freedom to be unemployed and do things, . . . sometimes, doing things requires some gasoline, maybe some warm clothes, and maybe some electricity, and whatnot, . . .

  • http://newworldisland.blogspot.com/ Arnoldr

    We are already there. They have education under control, the welfare state is expanding, private property can be taken for any tax ncrease project or the EPA can declare it unsafe for life, the police state is expanding locally following the leads of local nannies, business has sent it’s work to China, the borders are welcome mats and anything Christian is separated from reality. Sure, we’re pursuing our happiness; they let us buy any car we want, in any color we want, and we can go shopping anywhere we want, support our favorite team, even attend church as long as we don’t politicize it, and wear whatever clothing we like to wherever, but we can’t speak freely as our opinions might offend and let’s not forget our light bulbs will burn out saving energy as the climate changes overnight.

    • leehardy

      Our education system is a nightmare in America..mediocre teachers, lots of child predators and the Teacher’s Union who has spent about 50 years destroying the educational system in America causing us to drop to the bottom list of quality education…All this bull crap being dumped on innocent minds and of course, 10 commandments, God and the foundation of our country excised by Atheists and Democrats….Chaos in our schools and little learning but keep God out! But suppose they will soon drag in Muslim Moolas with their mad babbling and hate philosophies….

  • antisharia

    No matter what they choose to call themselves every elected Democrat is, at heart, a Marxist. That’s why the Democratic party is such a threat it is an existential menace that wants to end America’s constitutional liberties and replace it with the gentle justice of the gulag.

    • plsilverman

      nice recitation of RNC clichés…some going back to JOhn Birch, circa. 1962. When Dems continue GOP programs are they just toying with us? Is it is evil to fight for Civil and Voting Rights? (and, no, it was the DEms who got thru the ’60s legislation, if U factor out the Conservative DINOS, the Dixiecrats.

  • Daniel

    This was funny to read. You do not understand the work of Marx apparently and you are misrepresenting his work on the concept of alienation of labor. To truly believe that the Democrats follow the ideology of Marx is foolish, at best. Protecting labor is vital. Capitalism is the exploitation of labor to create excess wealth, profits. With these profits reinvested economic growth can happen. We need to strike a balance between those who use their labor and the capitalist class. We have never been a truly free market economy, although we are very free generally speaking. This article was foolish though. This was a radical idea to put forth from a radical. The Democrats want more freedom than the Republicans. How is that Republicans are spouting that they want us to be free yet are trying to dictate our sexual choices. The are the ones trying to force their views on us while the Democrats are simply trying to allow us to make our own choices. They are not forcing people to be homosexual, but instead saying that we should not force homosexuals to be in hiding. I am sure many people will not like this post, but facts, as they say, are stubborn things. Democrats want economic regulation to a certain degree to protect the worker, while socially want to allow us to make our own decisions. Republicans want zero protection for the working man so the rich can expand their wealth while at the same time want to peek into the bedroom to make sure we are not doing anything they dislike. The Republicans, long ago, did stand for freedom in every sphere, but this is no longer the case. The religious right transformed the party from the party of freedom in all aspects of life into the party that lets the rich whip us all while watching every single thing we do. Communism is the far left and fascism is on the far right. I dislike fascism much more than communism…

    • Liberty_Clinger

      Wrong, Fascist Crony Capitalism is an exploitation of labor, as is the case with Marxism, the former using law to thrust up a hyper-wealthy business class at the expense of the ordinary worker and business owner by suppressing business competition, while the latter uses law to thrust up a hyper-wealthy governing class at the expense of the ordinary worker and business owner via excessive and self-serving government collectivization of the product of their labor.

      Marxists use law to re-define the meaning of the word marriage in violation of the law of nature and nature’s God. Heterosexual Americans don’t care what homosexuals do in private, but they don’t want a neo-Marxist government forcing them to do business with homosexuals when it violates their heterosexual religious principles, like forcing a heterosexually religious photographer to take pictures at a homosexual wedding against his will. Heterosexual Americans will accept the natural equal right of homosexuals to associate in a legal union with property and visitation rights etc., which are equivalent to heterosexual marriage, but not an unnatural re-definition of marriage.

      Since both Fascism (Crony Capitalism) and Marxism use government power excessively in the interest of a few (themselves), both are “Left” on the scale of government power over the individual – Marxist Left and Fascist Left.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7M-7LkvcVw

      “Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property – so long as the state reserves to its self the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property. If “ownership” means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership. What the individual retained was merely a formal deed… which conferred no rights on its holder. Under Communism, there is collective ownership of property de jure. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership de facto.” Leonard Peikoff

      http://www.peikoff.com/lr/chapter1.htm

    • leehardy

      To be short and to the point, you are full of crap! Not a rat’s rear clue about anything and anyone that wastes so many words stating the republicans the source of problems is causing the misery of gays, and abortion mongers who advocate killing babies in the womb..You speak like a lying Marxist filled with fascist ranting and blaming Republicans for all things wrong in America. The religious right transforming the party???? Really stupid!~ And all bimbos like you need to do is go on line and look at the wealth of the Democratic and Republican politicians sitting in Congress…big problem today is a Geriatric congress, both Dems and Republicans, bunch of shriveled brained old men and women, many of great wealth from both sides…stop your stupid distortions….your ignorance is scary!

  • BenZacharia

    Based on the comments, you have flushed out some ‘true believers’.

  • SDLakeshore

    Kind of hypocritical of Marx to write so much about working people when he worked so little himself and died sitting on his duff and in abject poverty. But then, this seems to be what the democrat libs really want for the rest of us.

  • joshuasweet

    try this one out:
    Democratic Socialists of America and is the largest socialist
    organization in the United States and principle U.S. affiliate of the
    Socialist International. All are Democrats.
    Notable Past Member: Barack Hussein Obama
    look up the list of their current and past members in government

  • Lanna

    Millions of people die under Marxism and Communism…they lie to gain control, and then destroy free nations, as well as peace and prosperity!

    • frodo

      And no one dies under other models? By that standard, there are no viable systems at all.

  • lalalandish

    Nice rebuttal. Five stars.

    • Roy_Cam

      Grazie!

  • Bamaguje

    “…many American workers would have freedom” – Chuck Schumer.

    In other words working to earn a living is slavery. Who then should generate the wealth required to fund welfare programs on which the idle parasites depend?
    Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats who glorify parasitic idleness would do well to listen to Henry Ford and Voltaire:

    “…work is the salvation of the race, morally, physically, socially [and economically]. Work does more than get us our living; it gets us our life” – Henry Ford I.

    “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need” – Voltaire.

  • Karl

    Most of these comments are dumb and so is the article. You people should read the communist manifesto before you speak rubbish. Marx has no links with the democrats. He mocked people like Obama and called them petty bourgeois socialists. Read the section in the communist manifesto about the petty bourgeois socialists and see if you can’t identify Obama. Marx never believed in welfare he only challenged the evils associated with private property. He saw the good capitalism could do but also the bad. Marx never believed in idleness. Please read before you come and judge and speculate. Marx has nothing to do with Obama. Don’t be fooled Obama believes in capitalism or he would not sanction the bail out of the auto companies.

  • Karl

    This is what marx had to say about politicians like Obama. Read before you criticise. This is the section on petty bourgeois socialism in the communist manifesto.

    “The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined by the bourgeoisie, not the only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society. The medieval burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of the modern bourgeoisie. In those countries which are but little developed, industrially and commercially, these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie.

    In countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed, fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. The individual members of this class, however, are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition, and, as modern industry develops, they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society, to be replaced in manufactures, agriculture and commerce, by overlookers, bailiffs and shopmen.

    In countries like France, where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population, it was natural that writers who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie should use, in their criticism of the bourgeois régime, the standard of the peasant and petty bourgeois, and from the standpoint of these intermediate classes, should take up the cudgels for the working class. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism. Sismondi was the head of this school, not only in France but also in England.

    This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities.

    In its positive aims, however, this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, and the old society, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange within the framework of the old property relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded by those means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian.

    Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture; patriarchal relations in agriculture.

    Ultimately, when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception, this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit of the blues.”

  • Karl

    Here is what Marx had to say bout bourgeois socialism as well. The person who wrote the article should read it as well and comment. Marx never supported this form of socialism either.

    “A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.

    To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.

    We may cite Proudhon’s Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form.

    The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing state of society, minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.

    A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government.

    Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.

    Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois socialism.

    It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois — for the benefit of the working class.”

  • leehardy

    Marx was a spoiled guy wanting to live the rich life without exerting effort..Unfortunately his father did not leave him the inherit the huge amount of money he mistakenly thought his father had. Marx self serving and full of himself and a proper diagnoses could easily be assigned to this narcissistic sycophant who was a mediocre little dweeb and why anyone would give credence to his writings seems unbelievable…like keeping Mein Kamp near by for reference! A pompous lazy eternal student who thought himself of superior intellect! Not!!

  • plsilverman

    what a seriously retro piece of writing…Karl Marx? the Dems today are Gloalists which is Capitalism on steroids. all garbage: we have commeez in RUssia and China and very few other places. superficial scanning of second rate history books makes us think that if the DEms are pro-working class they must be totally envious and even want insurrection against the “rich”. they are pro-Union, pro-minimum wage hikes, pro Labor laws. If any group is Marxist today, it is the TP Caucus, stultifying the poor and middle by blocking job creation bills, as part of their 01-20-09 meeting to plan unprece4dented obstruction > note the record # of filibusters and clotures on Obama’s jobs bills > note all the REd states returning job stimulus $$$$.