Friday, October 23, 2009

Have you read Marx?

Yes. I think it is this chair I am sitting on.

My daughter is struggling through "The Communist Manifesto" for her exams in Victorian literature, so I decided to do some studying myself into what exactly is the ideology underlying "Communism". I more or less thought I knew what "Communism" did, how it functioned and have certainly seen the results. But what did Marxist Leninist ideology or dictatorship of the proletariat actually mean? These terms have been thrown around over the years by pseudo political scientists who likely had no more idea than I.

I used quotation marks above because Tanya insists that the Soviet Union never was "Communist" per se, that it never progressed past "Socialism". Talk about confusing this poor boy who always thought socialism was government provision of social safety net programs such as health, welfare, unemployment insurance and education (ie looked after its citizens) while the economy was strictly capitalist.

My main sources in this exporation have been Wikipedia and http://www.marxists.org/ with a little help from http://www.answers.com/ . I have found a number of interesting definitions which I shall post over time. I can assure you that with statements like "Marxism is the theory of dialectical materialism based on communist practice", my head hurts.

2 comments:

  1. I'll have to follow those links later (right now I need to go and de-flea a dog), and I certainly plan to do so as I too have long been curious about just what it was that Marx believed since the quotations I've come across by him make a lot of sense.

    Maybe the links get into this, but my understanding is that fascist socialism allows private ownership whereas leftist socialism doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I've read Marx and Engels. And, with Tanya, I don't think Russia ever had true Communism. It was a dictatorship, not a community-oriented political process.

    What we have in Canada is a "social democracy." Though our current Prime Minister wants to turn it into a quasi-fascist, anti-social sort-of democracy. Sigh!

    ReplyDelete