It has been less than two centuries when the birth of a very popular flavor of communism happened in 19th century Europe. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. Communism started spreading like wild fire in late 19th century, in Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland and in many others the Proletariats started running with the torch of Marxist revolution. Although they always met with strong Bourgeoise resistance however their struggle & violent revolution continued. Two centuries down the line we are looking at only China as the only major country protecting the ailing ideology as all other experiments failed. Communist, as it seems to me is reduced to an alien in our 21st century earth. An alien who does not know this new world order & is very confused whether to stay or leave. However I want to set up expectation right for the readers of this article. Please do not think it as an opinion article since in the following 5 points what I will reveal is point by point analysis of why I think communism is losing its relevance with each passing decade. Marx theory of class struggle which found it’s expression in Bourgeois vs Proletariat fight with communist batting for the proletariats of 19th century now finds half of it’s body in quick sand with no ropes to hang on to as the conditions of 21st century proletariats is fast changing in the information era, the proletariats are being asked to do creative jobs and into AI & machine learning while machines do the trivial mundane work unlike 19th century which was annoying Karl Marx.
1. Communism preached violence – In the very first chapter of the communist manifesto named “ Bourgeois and Proletarians “ the line is clearly written & word is clearly articulated, I quote, “ Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat “
We saw practical application of this everywhere in Europe & later on Mao Zedong took this to a whole new level. The man who shamed both Hitler & Stalin to record the biggest genocide in world history killing over 45 million people while implementing his “ Great Leap Forward” policy.
The question to all living breathing humans of 21st century is whether an ideology which calls for violent revolution against a governing system, to be welcomed or trashed. There was a time during 19th century & even in 20th century when landlords & then factory owners or ruling class used to exploit working class, not only unfair wages but the bourgeoise treated the proletariats & even their women as their properties. The reaction was civil wars, formation of workers union & we all have read about strikes called in factories & industries in 20th century. Time has changed, world has denounced fascism & autocracy. It is a time when democracy surpassed all lab experiments everywhere. Workers Union disappeared, in today’s world if your boss mistreats you can resign and go for another since you have so many options unlike 19th century, you can sue him, you can follow an ombuds process to file a complaint. When you have transparency & laws & democratic processes available to choose your leader of state, do we need violence ? Karl Marx turned out to be myopic, I am sure if he was alive today he would have thrown his manifesto in the dustbin or at least would have revised it.
2. Billionaire Communist – Marx spoke about property rights & acquisition of properties by state to benefit the masses & even wealth distribution. Theoretically it makes all the right sounds but lack of practical application has made this an utopian dream. Let us look at the communist world of China – Jack Ma, Colin Huang, Lei Jun, Chen Dongshen, Zhang Yiming are some of the names of billionaires od China. How did they become billionaires under communist regime? It is said that it is good to be rich in China but not too rich. Chinese President Xi Jinping talks about shared properties & to be fair we do see Chinese government trying to crackdown on billionaire wealth. Colin Huang, the founder of Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc, has lost more wealth this year than anyone else in the world. Huang’s fortune has dropped by more than $27 billion, after the company’s stock plunged as China cracked down on its internet giants. But fact remains that they are still billionaires, they still have private properties & what the Government crackdown has done is to motivate the billionaires to do more charity proactively. So first of all there is a 100% application problem & secondly most importantly there is a fear factor & coercion at play in 21st century. If you look at non-communist nations & capitalists there, the tradition of voluntary charity & philanthropies exist anyways but there is no coercion from government. Capitalism has it’s own dark side & I am not in favor of Bourgeoisie getting too powerful but it is true that Capitalism has contributed to wealth creation in society, job creation in society & has reformed themselves over last 100 years & is flowing along a democratic 21st century seamlessly. The rise of Japan, USA & interestingly even China is credited to capitalist wealth creation & rapid industrialization. So if you coerce the bourgeois people now sooner or later the violent revolution will be against communist rulers in form of civil war since now the oppressor becomes the Government & the oppressed becomes the bourgeois. It is another thing that in communist ruled China even the proletariats have no say, everything is controlled by the government by force. The right to private & personal property is a legitimate human right if wealth creation is legal & snatching away that right by force is demotivating for wealth creators without whom your economy will fail & without economy there will be no communism, there will be no property to acquire or wealth to distribute. A 19th century anger & solution cannot solve a 21st century problem.
3. Theory Of No Nation – Chapter 2 of the communist manifesto namely “ Proletarians and Communists “ says & I quote “ In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality….. … The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. The working men have no country. “
Are we okay with this in 21st century ? Are we okay to forget that we are neither an Indian or American or Chinese or Japanese or French or Australian or Russian but we are either a working class or ruling class ?
The hybrid bastard child of communist & capitalist who are called the leftist around the world tries this experiment everyday before us. We see a nexus between leftist of USA or France or Italy & leftist in India, when a leftist gets into trouble in India leftist from USA like Twitter comes for it’s rescue & vice versa like Biden gets celebrated here in India. The leftist are not communist so they keep some private property and donate some, but they are close to communists being capitalist themselves. They are wannabe Robinhoods of the world without a manifesto & irony is Robinhood was not a leftist or communist. Coming back to the topic, so a theory of one Marx cannot replace an eternal truth, the relation that every man has with their soil cannot be washed away by one manifesto of Marx & Engels, forget it. Recently in the state of West Bengal in India the Communist party (They say that they are Marxist ) hoisted Indian National Flag on 15th August Independence Day Celebration. In this world we have concept of nations & regions, not from today but from thousands of years. I am sure the other world from where communist comes from does not have this concept & that is why their presence in 21st century earth is resembling an alien stuck in our society, they just do not know what to do, what to follow & what to refute. They also get angry when their own countrymen call them anti-national, they should not be angry atleast since Marx never believed in nation theory.
4. Theory Of Religion – According to Marx and I quote “ Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of men, is a demand for their real happiness “ – Communist does not believe in religion, this is very clear. What is not clear is how come a Hindu or a Christian or a muslim can call themselves a communist & also follow their rituals & offers prayers to god ? Once again communist is trapped in it’s own ideals. Communists have shamed Karl Marx since Marx himself urged all communist to openly state their agenda in chapter 4 of communist manifesto and I quote “ The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims “. So you are either a Muslim or Hindu or Christian or Jew, or you can be a communist, you cannot be both if you believe in religion and god. If you are both, then your position will be same as a bastard child of communism & capitalism called the leftists. Religion has survived the test of time, communism is on ventilator in less than 200 years.
5. By Hook or by Crook – Chapter 4 of communist manifesto emphasizes the communist agenda. It states very clearly communist to fight to attain power and in order to attain power you have to use violence if needed, you can use deception like how In 19th century France Communist allied with social democrats against radical bourgeoisie but in Switzerland they supported the radicals and in Poland they support the party who preaches for agrarian revolution but in Germany they fight with the bourgeoisie directly. Anywhere if there is a revolutionary movement the presence of communist was Marx’s dream. Whether it is Black lives matter movement in USA or Riots in India, the aliens are present. Just couple of days back in India, a prominent communist who was tried for sedition case in courts Kanhaiya Kumar joined Congress party so the deception continues. In order to attain power so that they can build the utopian world the communist behaves like a rabid animal everywhere in every country & when you as a normal sane human look at this animal from your point of view he looks like an alien stuck in our changing democratic society. He does not have a time machine to go back to 19th century to be relevant. We all have to think what to do with this alien for world peace ?