Essay:The Communist Premise

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This page is an essay, and may not meet the Common Point of View standards for articles. Some leftists may disagree with the statements expressed here (which do not necessarily reflect the views of Communpedia).

The Communist Premises are that it is the right, duty, and responsibility of the working class, producers of all wealth, to organize and govern themselves and to deny any minority, however it may style itself, the opportunity to exploit the labor of the proletariat or to seize or hold the products of their labor. That it is possible, indeed necessary and inevitable, that due to the productivity and centralization of productive processes and socialization of the working class under capitalism [1] for humanity to employ economic planning to overcome the economic instability of capitalism[1] and achieve universal abundance and freedom using the creative and cooperative[1] organizational and technical techniques of the Industrial and the information revolutions,[2] "through the development of industry the working class would grow in numbers and organization, while gaining constantly in intellectual and moral power. In this way labor can achieve the power to emancipate itself";[3] that the barriers to that abundance are political and social, not economic or technical. According to Karl Marx, socialism, then communism, will develop according to the laws of political economy due to the vast productive forces at the command of the working class.
Socialism is based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and exchange, upon production for use as against production for profit, upon the abolition of all classes, all class divisions, class privilege, class rule, upon the production of such abundance that the struggle for material needs is completely eliminated, so that humanity, at last freed from economic exploitation, from oppression, from any form of coercion by a state machine, can devote itself to its fullest intellectual and cultural development.[4]

Global peace

Conditions of global peace include management of class conflict and nationalism. The dictatorship of the bourgeoisie which has concentrated the fruits of global production in the hands of a tiny minority will be replaced by a social compact which apportions the fruits of labor in an equitable manner. Likewise, imperialism and hegemony will be replaced by an effective world government.

Dictatorship of the proletariat

The working class, organized democratically on a global basis, is responsible for exercising its power to safeguard socialism, and, eventually, communism from overthrow or attack by capitalist or nationalistic reactionaries who seek to establish a basis for seizure of power by a minority.

Prerequisites

Appropriation and management

Socialism requires that the organized working class control and manage the production of goods and services, including creative innovation, in an effective democratic manner. Developing and nurturing that capacity is central to production and distribution of both the necessities of life and products and services which add to enjoyment and richness of life. Failure to master management of enterprises and allocation of capital necessitates acceptance of a management and capitalist class which performs that work; likewise, failure to foster and reward creativity results in stagnation, and conflict with creative workers who rightfully feel their vital contributions should be recognized and rewarded.

Morality

Communist society assumes a culture of responsibility on the part of its citizens exists or will develop. Such a culture may develop out of consideration by the people of a nation of the need for it. However, in order for such national conversations to take place there must be sufficient freedom of speech and freedom of communication.[5]

In a socialist society a national dialogue will develop among the people seeking to define and encourage social responsibility and personal morality. That dialogue will draw on both the humanistic principles of Marxism and the traditional values of the society. In the People's Republic of China this dialogue must address the difficult question of how the precepts of Confucianism, itself a humanist philosophy, can be integrated into socialist morality[6]

Assuming power

Assuming power without satisfying the prerequisites of ability to govern and manage or without broad political support by a conscious, informed, and moral proletariat plunges a ruling communist party into a desperate struggle to rapidly satisfy those prerequisites. Assumption of power in these circumstances has historically resulted from the collapse of outmoded systems of governance and management. Successfully exercising power in such circumstances requires management of the concrete situation which will usually include a state and nation in the midst of serious crises such as war or economic and social backwardness. Nationalism will be present.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Page 4, "Marx on Evaluating Pre-Capitalist Societies" essay by R. Nordahl originally published in Studies in Soviet thought, volume 31, pages 303 to 319 (1986) reprinted in Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought: Critical Assessments of Leading Political Philosophers Second Series, Volume Vi, edited by Bob Jessop and Russell Wheatley, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Ltd (1999), hardcover, 2928 pages, ISBN-10: 0415193265 ISBN-13: 9780415193269
  2. Philip Auerswald (March 2012) (hardcover). The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy. Oxford University Press. . http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Economics/Demography/?view=usa&ci=9780199795178. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  3. Chapter 1, "The Origin of Socialism" Social Democracy versus Communism Karl Kautsky
  4. Max Shachtman "Is Russia a Socialist Community?" Source: The New International: A Monthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism, Vol.16 No.3, May-June 1950, pp.145-176.
  5. "Bystanders’ Neglect of Injured Toddler Sets Off Soul-Searching on Web Sites in China" article by Michael Wines in The New York TimesOctober 18, 2011
  6. "Dreaming About a Life Free of Lies" article by Didi Kirsten Tatlow in The New York Times December 14, 2011

External links and further reading