Karl Marx and The Constitution
By: David S. Petolicchio
Communism (or it’s more popular version, socialism) is a hot button issue in no small part due to notable lawmakers like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, but it’s premise is far from new. The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The core of communism is the belief that resources must be distributed and that private property must be removed from society.
Karl Marx summarizes this notion in one of his more famous quotes from The Communist Manifesto, “The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” As outlandish as this may sound, the reasoning focuses on the theory that if those in power who control resources are dethroned and those resources redistributed equally, then society would prosper and maintain a new state of equal prosperity. Another striking quote from The Communist Manifesto reads: “Communism deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labor. The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations.” The general theme is obvious, Marx wants man to be capable of producing and profiting off of his own work, sounds fair right? Wrong. There’s a difference between being paid to work for a company or business, and simply being industrious as an individual. When you work for someone in a factory or warehouse, you’re being paid to accomplish a task, not necessarily to earn the end result of that task. The logger doesn’t own the wood, the miner doesn’t own the gold, the oil well digger doesn’t own the oil well, etc. They are hired to harvest those materials on behalf of a business. There’s no coercion forcing them to work.What Marx is truly trying to address is social and economic equality. In order to achieve absolute equality, coercion is inevitable. In other words, you would be forced to share resources with others and the “equality” in question would be entirely subjective. Who determines what is equal? One person? The masses? The founding fathers purposely devised a system that would attempt to diffuse both mob rule as well as a dictatorship. Both of these extremes, however, are inevitable with communism. It would be logical to assume that anyone in power who considers communism, or its watered down compatriot socialism, as superior to our constitutional republic, should be viewed with the upmost skepticism and distrust. How can you uphold a system of laws when you want to fundamentally change or destroy its basic premises? The Constitution was, in part, to restrain the desires of the majority while still creating protections against a minority of power dominating the citizenry. This notion is in direct conflict with the principles of majority rule proposed by Karl Marx.
“In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude.” – James Madison
The founding fathers recognized the threats of society in its majority as well as threats of government oppression. Why? Because both are made up of people and people are inherently fallible and corruptible beings. The masses shouldn’t be trusted with too much power and neither should a centralized government. This is why the founding fathers set up a system that seeks to find a balance between both forms of government.