Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Philosophers philosophise, but rarely look you in the eyes

I have been accused of using this blog to write bitter diatribes about women; well actually I have been accused of using this blog to recreate the style of Ike Graham the lead character from the film Runaway Bride. In any case today’s column will, I hope, be a stinging criticism of a form of government and lifestyle whose appeal, to be entirely honest, escapes me.

That form is Marxism.

Only last week I was bombarded with endless leaflets bemoaning capitalism and vigorously advocating Marx as the saviour of the world. I was presented with multiple copies of the socialist worker newspaper (refused on the grounds that we have real toilet paper in our house at the moment) and generally harassed by people who normally wouldn’t have looked at me, never mind spoken.

By Wednesday I felt I had suffered enough and politely enquired what was so great about Marxism anyway? A question that, I have to tell you, remains unanswered despite the vast swathes of students claim to follow him.

To all students out there, please help me out here, what is the attraction? Is it truly that you and he have seen through the corporate red tape that divides and conquers our society? Or is it merely a last desperate attempt at anarchistic rebellion before graduation and a life in the real world? Maybe it is even overwhelming respect and admiration of that towering symbol of communism, the beard, which in Marx’s case and indeed his accomplice Friedrich Engels surely belongs somewhere on Salisbury Plain rather than attached to a person?

Whatever it may be; let us take a look at a few facts of communism, the only surviving form of Government based on Marxism. Firstly it’s worth pointing out that Marx’s critique: Das Kapital, where he outlines many of the beliefs adhered to by communists was never even finished. The first volume was published in 1867 and yet Marx didn’t manage to have the other volumes published before his death in 1883. Could it be that, despite claiming to have them ready at the time of the first publication Marx did not in fact now the conclusions of his own work? The other volumes were “edited” and published by his colleagues Friedrich Engels and Karl Kautsky between 1893 and 1910. Now if in 1867 Marx claimed the books were ready, how come it took him and two friends over 40 years to produce them?

Secondly, we have the mass of evidence presented by the former USSR and its complete failure to make communism work for 50 years before the people, or die Leute as Marx termed them, the very ones who were supposed to want and benefit from the system overthrew there leaders.

And finally, my most damning evidence for the failure of the system comes from Marx himself. One of the few opinions myself and Marx share is this; “After a period of time the state control of production and income for the benefit of the people will end”. Sadly however this agreement was to be short lived as Marx thought that it would end because the state would cease to exist having handed “power to the people” to quote the second most well known Marxist, Wolfie Smith of BBC comedy Citizen Smith. This however I’m afraid to say is nothing more than an idealistic dream as we see that the divide between those with the power, namely the government, and those without, namely everyone else, grow ever wider until their ultimate end when corruption and theft have reduced so many to so little and those remaining finally break free from their oppressors to retake what’s left of there country. The classless society will never come about this way, if at all. In the “people’s republic of China” the private sector accounts for 50% of their economy, whilst in Vietnam the figure is even more anti-Marxist. This leaves the little known country of Laos and Cuba as the only true exponents of Marxist Communism in the world today, and you only have to look in the seas around America to see how desperate Die Leute are to escape, sailing for freedom on anything bigger or drier than a Ryvita biscuit.

If all this has failed to dissuade you from picking up the baton or indeed beard of Karl Marx then I fear there is no hope left. Head for an army surplus store, consign your career to the scrap heap and be prepared for a big I told you so from, well, every one else. Still you’ll save money on razor blades . . . .