March 4, 2023
BreakThrough News on Mar 1, 2023
The Communist Manifesto was a short but world-changing text that, despite being written in 1848, is a vital read for anyone who wants a better and more equal society. Brian Becker discusses the importance of the book, the historical context, and what it brought to the world.
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From the archives:
How Does An Economic System So Hostile To Life Endure For Centuries? by Pete Dolack
Why You Should Be A Socialist In 2023
Michael Parenti: Does Capitalism Work?
The Proletariat in Search of a Class, by Gaither Stewart
Michael Parenti: How To Think About Class
Brian Becker: How the State Attacked Socialism in the US: Infiltration, Violence, Deportation
Envisioning A World With No Bosses, by Pete Dolack + Michael Albert: What Kind of Economy Comes After a Socialist Revolution?
The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (audiobook + link to book online)
The Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat, by Birrion Sondahl
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I read the communist manifesto when I was about sixteen, after meeting someone in London (where I was being ‘educated’ ha ha) possibly in some cafe I don’t recall exactly, but who was clearly a zealot; so as I agreed with the points he was making decided to find a copy. It all made sense to me at the time. 60 years on my views are probably much the same, but I don’t feel any need to appeal to Marx as the facts of European life in 1848 were very different a century later, and by the early ‘sixties a lot of social energy was bubbling up in the UK at that time. Times change, and circumstances are constantly susceptible to the vagaries of prevailing conditions.
I don’t think enforced leveling down is either prudent or wise, but I am thoroughly persuaded that life of any description cannot thrive when it is restricted. Imagination and aspiration are close siblings. Human beings in my estimation are naturally creative and resourceful, given the opportunity; restriction & coercion are unhealthy as there is a world of difference between education and indoctrination.
Real education comes most naturally from experience. Human beings, as we can discern from authentic history, are prone to influence. Any system of social organization that attempts to limit or manipulate the potential of individual human-beings is reprehensible in my estimation. We need to learn to be confident and free, to think and act from our own volition. That is a fundamental spiritual right. Guidance and encouragement are essential, but indoctrination, coercion or bribery of any description are no way to cultivate the welfare and intelligence of society, or improve the human race and prosper the health of our planet.
Thanks, David; great to see you here, too.
The average overworked, over entertained, underpaid, working class battler hasn’t got the time, or the inclination to read anything except for SMS’s sports scores, celebrity gossip and grocery prices.
They have been trained in the Capitalist school of ‘education’.
ie Work, buy, and die.
Actually it’s a very short read, or it can be heard via the hour and half audiobook video: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/the-communist-manifesto-by-karl-marx-and-friedrich-engels/, but yes, I do understand your comment.
Peter Kropotkin, or the ‘White Buddha’ as Tolstoy called him, was more down to Earth than Marx:
‘Kropotkin believed in a horizontal (that is, non-hierarchical) society made up of voluntary associations, where all wealth is socially owned, everyone has access to the necessities of life, and everyone owned their own means of subsistence.’
‘Mutual Aid’ should be required reading in every high school or college.