In the last 34 years of his life, in London, Dr. Karl Marx kept scribbling his huge three-volume “Das Kapital” (he had a doctor’s degree in the humanities), and only Friedrich Engels, a businessman working in his father’s textile firm, kept saving Dr. Marx and his family from starvation.
“Das Kapital” is huge, but its three volumes can be summed up in two paragraphs:
(1) The poor (like Dr. Marx) are poor because the rich (like Engels and his father) rob them of part of their earnings. In the case of Engels and Marx, this was not so, but Dr. Marx wrote not of individuals, but of “classes”— the class of the poor (the proletariat) was robbed by the class of the rich (the capitalists).
(2) The proletariat must exterminate the capitalists and take back their proletarian earnings (“the surplus value,” or the profit).
Then the money was to be abolished: Everyone would work just for the pleasure of it “according to his ability” and would take free of charge any goods and services “according to his needs.”
But first of all, “the robbers (the capitalists) should be robbed,” as Lenin put it. Alas, the “robbery of the robbers” led to a national disaster. The followers of Dr. Marx, led by Lenin (a lawyer by education) could not reinstate and run all those numberless shops and workshops the population needed to live. So “capitalism” was permitted, but was called not capitalism (or private enterprise, as in China today), but NEP (New Economic Policy) and the capitalists were called “nepmen.”
Yet the problem was more difficult. It was not clear from “Das Kapital” who would be the ruler or the head of the government.
First it was Lenin because many Russian Marxists considered him as wise as was Dr. Marx, who had died in 1883. But Lenin was soon ill, partly because a Social Revolutionary tried to assassinate him since Lenin and his followers had seized autocratic power at the expense of Social Revolutionaries, of Marxists who disagreed with Lenin, etc.
Stalin and other Leninists, displeased with the scope of Lenin’s power, stopped, under the pretext of his illness, Lenin’s communication with the world outside the hospital. He died without naming his successor.
For Stalin, to oust Trotsky from the succession was quite a job, which first led to the exile of Trotsky, and in Mexico, in 1940, Stalin’s agent stole from behind the seated Trotsky and crushed his skull with an alpine axe.
There was yet another lacuna in “Das Kapital”: the absence of protection of the masses, and not only individuals, from autocratic power. At the end of his life, Stalin was preparing the annihilation of Jews as part of his transition from Marxism–Leninism to Byzantine Russian nationalism. Marx was a Jew. As was Trotsky. Who would have protected them as Jews from being annihilated? How would this have been accomplished? Why would they have been protected?
There is a difference between Marxism–Leninism in Stalin’s Russia and in today’s China. In Russia, Marxism–Leninism continued to be touted for all the world to hear because even when Stalin was in his full autocratic power in Russia, one-fourth of voters in France and one-third of them in Italy “voted Communist.” The “Communist world revolution” was still expectable. Not today! And hence Marxism–Leninism is used in China as propaganda for its “inner consumption” only.
Here is the second paragraph of Hu Jintao’s speech as printed in the Jan. 2, 2008, China Daily: Marxism–Leninism reveals the universal laws governing the development of history of human society. It analyzes the contradictions inherent in the capitalist system that it is incapable of resolving internally and shows that socialist society will inevitably replace capitalist society and ultimately develop into communist society.
The belief that China is not just after war, but is after a new world, a global China, may inspire some Chinese. According to Marxism–Leninism, China’s world war will not be fought to enslave or exterminate enemies, but to liberate them (hence “the People’s Liberation Army”), to make them part of a new world — a global Chinese paradise.
The only important organizational activity Marx ever undertook was his leadership of the “International Workingmen’s Association,” known as the “First International.” Its hymn later became the Soviet anthem. Different Communist Parties translated the hymn known as “The International” into their respective languages. The translation into Russian sounded as follows:
Arise, ye cursed and branded,
The world of those enslaved and starved!
Our minds are aboil,
And are ready to fight to death!
We shall destroy the world of evil to its foundation,
And we shall create our new world,
In which those who were dirt and rubbish
Will rise to the highest skies.
Yes, this is our fight, final and decisive,
The International will help humankind to gain its real life!
After World War II, “The International” was replaced, as the hymn in Stalin’s Russia, with an anthem that said, “we were raised by Stalin who inspired our labor and heroism.” The hymn began with the assertion (which would make Marx or Lenin or Mao faint) that the “unbreakable union of free republics has been forever welded together by the great Rus.” “Rus” is the old poetic name of Russia. Stalin’s Russian nationalism was full steam ahead, and the fact that Lenin mispronounced the Russian letter “r” made new Russian nationalists speak of his Jewishness.
But from China, I have recently heard “The International.” Marxism-Leninism is fully alive for domestic consumption in China together with its “International” so full of military globalism, ruthless bigotry, and self-righteous fanaticism.
Yes, the dictatorship of China does need all those post-nuclear super weapons to make the wildest ravings of “The International” “our new world.”
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