Four Crazy Germans

So I read Nietzsche, and I wanted to read a happier book like Surprised by Joy, but I thought it might be interesting to read a book by another German, Adolph Hitler. Then, as I was reading Hitler, he went off on a tirade about the Social Democratic Party. So, I decided to stop and read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.  What was it with the Germans from 1848 - 1945?   They were crazy!! (By the way, I started reading Hitler's Mein Kampf on D-Day. I thought that a fitting day to honor our fallen heroes).

I still have many pages to go on Hitler (I am reading selections suggested by Susan Wise-Bauer in The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, but her selections still total 335 pages), and I am finding it fascinating. He was against communism. So, he got that right, but I just read the part about how he came to be anti-semitic in Vienna, Austria, and it makes me so sad. I see why he was so charismatic though: he was a very good writer. Good writers have changed the world: some for the better but some for the worst.

Back to The Communist Manifesto. It is a quick read, and you can read it for online or download it on a Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation) or other eReader, all for free. I recommend everyone read it. It really helped me to understand why the U.S. was so paranoid about communism! Marx and Engels wrote this document when they were 29 and 27 years old, respectively. How idealistic. How dumb. I wonder how they would feel if they could see how their theory played out? Not so good. Communism is a confirmed failure. It may have been a nice neat theory, but it assumes that the "rising proletariat," who are confiscating the property for the common good will be sinless, selfless creatures, but this was not the case.  They robbed from the bourgeoisie (middle class) and became rich themselves! Also, lack of private ownership doesn't motivate one to work!   Communism has been a failure, and why did people let two idealistic 20-somethings change the course of history for the worst?!  So sad! With all the failures of capitalism, it does work. It isn't perfect, but it works much better than communism.

Here is a great overview from Wikipedia:

10 point program of Communism - Or "How to be a Thief" (alternative title by me)

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with acommon plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[8]
According to the Communist Manifesto, all these were prior conditions for a transition from capitalism to communism, but Marx and Engels later expressed a desire to modernize this passage.[9]
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