Last March I wrote a long rave about Socialism and why we should transition toward a Socialist society instead of a Capitalist one. Of course, Socialism is far better than Capitalism in regard to human rights and equity, but I recently decided that Communism is actually the most compassionate system we could ask for. I used to believe that Democratic Socialism was as far left as I could go, but I no longer think that those ideals are anywhere near as progressive as society should become. Communism is defined by Frederick Engels as “the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.” The proletariat, which originated in England during the Industrial Revolution, is a societal class that does not receive profit from any capital. These people are workers who don’t benefit from their own labor. Furthermore, Engels says Communism will “take the control of industry and of all branches of production out of the hands of mutually competing individuals, and instead institute a system in which all these branches of production are operated by society as a whole – that is, for the common account, according to a common plan, and with the participation of all members of society. It will, in other words, abolish competition and replace it with association.”
I, just as most people who were educated by an American school system, learned that Communism was a scary thing that had to be defeated by the goodness of Capitalism and democracy in other countries. Over the past few years though as I became friends with and studied the teachings of other abolitionists, I learned to decolonize and deconstruct the education I had and discover the realities of certain histories. Communism is not scary or dangerous or threatening. It’s not theft or a lack of agency or the end of freedoms. Communism is a theory that addresses what Karl Marx described as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” In short, everyone in society is ensured that they receive from the community exactly what they need to thrive, not just survive. The main key points of the Communist revolution would be:
- Abolition of private property through progressive taxation, heavy inheritance taxes, abolition of inheritance through collateral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.) forced loans, etc.
- Gradual expropriation of landowners, industrialists, railroad magnates and shipowners, partly through competition by state industry, partly directly through compensation in the form of bonds.
- Confiscation of the possessions of all emigrants and rebels against the majority of the people.
- Organization of labor or employment of proletarians on publicly owned land, in factories and workshops, with competition among the workers being abolished and with the factory owners, in so far as they still exist, being obliged to pay the same high wages as those paid by the state.
- An equal obligation on all members of society to work until such time as private property has been completely abolished. Formation of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Centralization of money and credit in the hands of the state through a national bank with state capital, and the suppression of all private banks and bankers.
- Increase in the number of national factories, workshops, railroads, ships; bringing new lands into cultivation and improvement of land already under cultivation – all in proportion to the growth of the capital and labor force at the disposal of the nation.
- Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother’s care, in national establishments at national cost. Education and production together.
- Construction, on public lands, of great palaces as communal dwellings for associated groups of citizens engaged in both industry and agriculture and combining in their way of life the advantages of urban and rural conditions while avoiding the one-sidedness and drawbacks of each.
- Destruction of all unhealthy and jerry-built dwellings in urban districts.
- Equal inheritance rights for children born in and out of wedlock.
- Concentration of all means of transportation in the hands of the nation.
I believe in Communism because I want to live in a society where billionaires don’t exist, workers don’t need unions to be given rights, everyone has a home and healthcare and food and education, communities work together, no one is evicted, money goes to the people who need it not bigger prisons and more police, people don’t have to work 40+ hour weeks to barely survive. I want to live in a world without Capitalism because that system is what separates the United States into a brutal class hierarchy where the wealthy hoard resources and money while manipulating and controlling every part of society. Like I said in my Socialism post, “Capitalism is the reason why approximately 40 million Americans live in poverty every day while Jeff Bezos is worth $113.9 billion (and climbing). It’s the reason why 26 people own as much as 50% of the world’s population. It’s the reason why the US represents 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prison population. It’s the reason why 44 million Americans are uninsured, and 38 million have inadequate insurance. It’s the reason why despite scientists on every continent warning us about the imminent threat of climate change, America continues fracking and catering to fossil fuel industries. It’s the reason why landfills and hazardous waste sites have always been placed in poor communities. It’s the reason why 24% of civilian workers aren’t guaranteed sick leave. It’s the reason why politicians will always be bought by the richest lobbyists and CEOs while ignoring the needs of their constituents. It’s the reason why the Federal Reserve provided $1.5 trillion, then $500 billion, and $1 trillion more of overnight loans a day to large banks in order to keep the stock market afloat, but Congress refused to provide Americans with $1,000 a month to pay for their bills and food during the worst of COVID.” Working toward a Communist society is fighting for a world where everyone has what they need, and isn’t that what we should all want?