To the Communists class struggle is the focus on correcting all that is wrong with the world. The major problem here is that they want to correct this societal failure by putting themselves and their theories in charge. In other words, they want a class struggle, but they want to be in charge of it.
Fallacy 9 – Marx and Engels claimed they had discovered the secret of human progress. They identified this secret as “class struggle”. When society became aware that slavery was a satisfactory mode of production, they built a society designed to protect the rights of the slave owner. But Marx and Engels found that the economic order passed from slavery to feudalism and then from feudalism to capitalism. This they believed was caused by class struggle. A society was developed from slavery to feudalism when slaves overthrew their masters. This worked until serfs overthrew their lords and set up a mode of production characterized by free-enterprise capitalism. Modern society, they said, is set up to protect capitalism. Marx and Engels though apparently ignored some of the most obvious facts of history. The decay and overthrow of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome had nothing to do with slaves rising up against their masters. The slaves of those days were for the most part subservient, abject, and helpless ‘creatures’, whose occasional murmurings and rebellions were suppressed with horrible cruelty. Those were not ‘class struggles’ of the Marxian type and did not bring transition to feudalism. Even Engels says that toward the end of the Roman Empire slaves were scarce and dear. The latifundia, great agricultural estates based on slave labor, were no longer profitable. Small-scale farming by colonists and tenants was relatively lucrative. Basically slavery died because it did not pay any longer. Then came the barbarian invasion, the downfall of Rome, and the establishment of feudalism; this as the result of conquest of a higher civilization by a lower one and not through the driving force of class struggle. [ Marx to Stalin, J.E. LeRossignol, pages 152-153]. Similar historical problems existed for Marx and Engels in connection with the transition of society from feudalism to capitalism.
Fallacy 10 – Communist agitators have done everything in their power to fan the flame of artificial class-conscientiousness in the minds of workers, but the basic struggle between labor and capital has not been to overthrow capitalism but to get the workers a more equitable share of the fruits of capitalism. During the past twenty years labor has attained a higher status in the United States than ever before. The Communists tried to seize leadership in this reform trend, but the more the workers earned the more independent they became; this included discharging the Communist agitators from labor union leadership. Workers did not respond to the Communist call to overthrow capitalism. Communist writers have admitted this with some bitterness. Both government and industry leaders have generally developed the philosophy that strong buying power in labor is essential to keep the wheels of industry moving. Labor thus has come closer to assuming its proper role as an integral part of capitalism. Such development makes labor an indispensable part of capitalism rather than its class-conscious enemy.
Fallacy 11 – In this failed Communist assumption under capitalism, all wealth would be gradually monopolized until a handful of men would own everything and the exploited, property-less class would be the overwhelming majority of mankind. Actually, instead of growing the property-less proletariats, they have been decreasing under capitalism. When Marx wrote his massive tome on Capital he was living in most abject poverty. To him the proletariat were those living in the same condition as he. Today, in the highly-developed capitalistic nation of the United States, the only people who could be classed as proletariat under Marx’s definition would be those who own no land, have no savings deposits, no social security, no retirement benefits, no life insurance, no corporate securities, and no government bonds. Such a proletariat does exist in the United States but the minority is so small that Marx would hardly want to claim it. Under American capitalism wealth has been more widely distributed among the people than in any large nation in secular history. If we look for such a contrasting country we find that the country which really does have the majority of its population in a class of property-less proletariat is the Motherland of Communism where the Dictatorship of the Proletariat has been in force for over thirty-nine years.
Fallacy 12 – Marx’s theory on wages also failed the test of time. He assumed that technological developments would make machines more and more efficient and therefore throw so many men out of work that they would compete for jobs until wages would become more and more meager. Technological development has actually created more jobs than it has destroyed. Except during times of depression…and ‘pandemic’ (a gift to Communist theory)…the long-range trend in capitalism has been to get closer and closer to the economic dream of “full-employment”.
Fallacy 13 – In Marx’s view, because of smaller and smaller wages, he assumed the only possible way to attain an adequate living would be by owning property. That is why he said that the possession of property was the one thing which distinguished the proletariat from the exploiting class. Today some individuals may for example receive $100,000 a year for the sale of their labor services, while others live quite well on incomes of $25,000 derived from ownership of property. In such cases it would certainly seem ludicrous to call the first group proletariat and the second group exploiting bourgeoisie. Under capitalism, ownership of property is certainly not the only means of gaining adequate economic independence.
Fallacy 14 – Marx and Engels failed in trying to predict what would happen to the middle class under capitalism. They predicted that the middle class would be forced to follow the dismal process of sinking back into the property-less class so that ultimately there would be just two violently antagonistic classes…the capitalists and the property-less proletariat. Actually the very opposite happened. Economic studies show that the middle-class (consisting of people who are neither extremely prosperous nor exceptionally poor) has been rapidly growing. The members of the middle-class have increased in number, in wealth and in proportion to the rest of the population. [Comparative Economic Systems, by Ralph E. Blodgett, page 735].
Next week we will continue on the Communist fallacies that predicted the failure of capitalism. Unfortunately we have some in government today in the United States that would welcome such a failure. Class conflict has always been a means used to destroy societies and the Communists have used that tactic around the world to gain a foothold. We see the tactic even being used in some of today’s churches. One of the words used is ‘toleration’. For those who have studied and know the Word of God, toleration means accepting individuals as creations of God but not accepting the sin that may have consumed them. We do not show love when we entertain sin.
– Bob Munsey
“Millions of rebels roam the earth, and thousands of them sit in churches in our own land…They have heard, but they have turned their backs and walked away time and time again.” Hope in a Chaotic World, Ray C. Stedman