Marx …to each according to his needs

2018 04 01: added an excerpt from Schiller’s Song of the Bell
2018 09 05: Added links to related articles
2021 02 20: Added the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

— Karl Marx

This posting relates to a discussion of the principles of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, a.k.a. The Communist Manifesto.

It boggles the mind that, when it comes to choosing between the Ten Commandments the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto, increasingly more people choose the latter and thereby attempt to wipe out the progress made during ten thousand years of social evolution that had create civilization and brought it to its apex.

The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto

  1. Expropriation of land and application of income derived from land for State expenditures.
  2. Heavy, progressive taxation.
  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of lending in the hands of the State through a national bank with State capital and exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of all means of transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Proliferation of nationalized manufacturing, instruments of production, land clearing and improvement of all land holdings according to a common plan.
  8. Equal mandatory employment for all, construction of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. The consolidation of agriculture and industry, evolution towards gradual elimination of the distinction between city and rurality.
  10. Public and publicly funded education of all children. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form.  Unification of education with material production etc.

From the Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx and Engels, 1847/48)

During the last week [as of 2011 04 16] there had been a large drop in the number of visits brought to Fathers for Life through website searches via  During the week preceding last week there were 8,905 visits as a result of Google searches.  This week there were only 5,618 visits from, a drop of 34 percent.  That is even though traffic from Bing increased by over seven percent. The decline in the number of visits directed by Google Search did not happen gradually but within the space of a few hours.

The decline in visits is not due to a drop in traffic volumes (those were on the rise).  It can only be due to Google having arbitrarily lowered either the ranking of, or reduction in the ease of finding information at, the website of Fathers for Life. Google had changed its algorithms for website rankings. Part of that was that conservative websites were being down-ranked.

Ever since I became a bit more active on Facebook, a month ago, I became astounded about the extent to which many individuals actively promote socialism, especially the sort promoted by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.  Here is an example, namely a portion of an exchange between me and someone who, along with many others, wishes for nothing but to stop working for money, to abolish the obligation to work, and to establish the right of everyone to have his basic needs provided by the State.

Linda wrote (after I had pointed out to her that her ideas read as if taken straight out of the Manifesto of the Communist Party): “Walter I never read any marx or communist manifesto, …”

It boggles the mind.  Is that an example of “women’s way of knowing”?  If that is so, then why does anyone worry about the doctrines expressed by Marx and Engels?  Let’s just use “women’s way of knowing” to guide us by, and then the whole world will be happy and in eternal bliss.

Linda should look at this:

That is too bad, because you are doing a lot of needless work.

There is no need for you to re-invent the wheel. Your wish to abolish the obligation to work and to establish the right to be provided basic needs was expressed by Marx: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
More at Wikipedia

That is right down your alley.

Here are the main planks of the Communist Manifesto that every modern communist regime was or is built on (from “The Socialist Phenomenon”, by Igor Shafarevich):

1. The Abolition of Private Property

The fundamental nature of this principle is emphasized, for instance, by Marx and Engels: “The theory of Communism may be summed up in a single sentence: ‘Abolition of private property,'” (Communist Manifesto).  (p. 195)

2. The Abolition of The Family

The majority of socialist doctrines proclaim the abolition of the family. In other doctrines, as well as in certain socialist states, this proposition is not proclaimed in such radical form, but the principle appears as a de-emphasis of the role of the family, the weakening of family ties, the abolition of certain functions of the family. (p. 195)

3. The Abolition of Religion

It is especially easy for us to observe socialism’s hostility to religion, for this is inherent, with few exceptions, in all contemporary socialist states and doctrines. Only rarely is the abolition of religion legislated, as it was in Albania. But the actions of other socialist states leave no doubt that they are all governed by this very principle and that only external difficulties have prevented its complete implementation. (p. 195)

4. Communality or Equality

This demand is encountered in almost all socialist doctrines. Its negative form is seen in the striving to destroy the hierarchy of the surrounding society and in calls “to humble the proud, the rich and the powerful,” to abolish privilege.  (p. 196)

The comments that follow each of those quotes are short, one or a few paragraphs each.  Just follow the links I identified.

The complete Manifesto of the Communist Party is here (PDF file, 539kB)

Then there is the context out of which Linda’s wish emerged during the discussion.  It emerged out of the proposal to work only enough to produce what is absolutely essential (without anyone specifying what they consider to be essential) and to do so without any money exchanging hands.  In other words, many of the people in the discussion thread in all seriousness contemplate that to solve the problems that bother many now living in the once-upon-a-time proud and wealthy U.S. of A. requires nothing less than to abolish money as a means of exchange and to substitute a barter system.

Hold on to your seat and consider this:

Allen (many others stated similar things) said: “stand up and stop working for money.”

To which I responded:

Okay, I’ll bite.  So, explain to me how you can exist without money. If you don’t make any mortgage payments, you will be paying rent. You need to pay for food, clothing, utilities, gas for your car, and even for Internet access and the PC or laptop you use, the software to run the applications on your PC, your cell phone, etc.

What about the infrastructure you are using, the roads, the sewer lines, the water for cooking, bathing and doing the laundry, the electricity you use, the fuel that is brought to your home to heat it, the education system that taught you and will teach your kids how to read, write and do arithmetic? How can any of that be supplied to you and anyone else without money?

What will you use as a means of exchange when buying goods and services — peanuts? Even if that were possible, how will you be able to get the peanuts? Did you ever try getting a ride on a bus by offering to pay with peanuts for the ride? Do you know of anyone willing to work for peanuts?

Here is a dose of reality. Even the cavemen had money. They used cowrie shells, flint stones and salt for money.

Kids used to learn about those things, if not before they went to kindergarten, then at least during the first two or three years in school.

At any rate,  it is not worth it to continue participation in that discussion.  As they say, the lights may be on, but no one is home.  The scary thing about it is that there are many people who are like that.  There are far more of them than there are voices of reason, and the clueless majority decides who gets into power to rule us all.

There is little doubt in my mind that this will play out throughout the world until the bitter end that is not all that far off, when everything will be in ruin and chaos.

The cavemen had more sense.  At least they provided the foundation on which our civilization was built, whereas now clueless people are hell-bent on tearing down all of what civilization achieved by voting accordingly and having no shortage of clueless “leaders” to vote for.

When I was younger, I had often thought that it would be nice to live a long life to see how things will turn out.  Now I am just about 75-years old (82, as of 2018), happy that most likely I won’t live long enough to see the bitter end of it all and hope that it will hold off until after I meet my maker.

Addendum 2018 04 01 (it is not an April fool joke.  I mean it!)

Those are mind-boggling perceptions of the principles of communism — The quest for Utopia (a.k.a. Paradise on Earth) is as old as mankind, but the general understanding of it has not progressed any farther in the minds of many than when it was first a gleam in anyone’s mind.

Freedom and Equality! one hears proclaimed,
The peaceful citizen is driven to arms,
The streets are filling, the halls,
The vigilante-bands are moving,
Then women change into hyenas
And make a plaything out of terror,
Though it twitches still, with panthers teeth,
They tear apart the enemy’s heart.
Nothing is holy any longer, loosened
Are all ties of righteousness,
The good gives room to bad,
And all vices freely rule.
Dangerous it is to wake the lion,
Ruinous is the tiger’s tooth,
But the most terrible of all the terrors,
That is the mensch [1] when crazed.
Woe to those, who lend to the eternally-blind
Enlightenment’s heavenly torch!
It does not shine for him, it only can ignite
And puts to ashes towns and lands.

— Quoted and translated from ‘Song of the Bell‘, by Friedrich von Schiller (that excerpt is part of his description of the impressions left on him by the French Revolution)

Note 1: The definition of mensch given in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 10th edition:

“[Yiddish, mentsh human being, fr. MHG mensch, fr. OHG menisco; akin to OE man human being, man] (1953) : a person of integrity and honor.”

The term is currently still very much part of the German language and still means human being, just like the English term man did until the feminists decided that it was discriminatory to women to designate anyone “a person of integrity and honor.”


See also:

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