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  • Back to index of Class Conscious, Second Edition
  • Class Conscious:
    The Injustice of Poverty

    Second Edition

    Chapter 12: Our Part in Realizing this Communist Vision

    By Punkerslut

    Start Date: May 24, 2003
    Finish Date: June 2, 2004

    We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

    -- Martin Luther King Jr., 1963 [*1]

    The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands its dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.

    -- Che Guevara, 1960's [*2]

    Communism guarantees economic freedom better than any other form of association, because it can guarantee wellbeing, even luxury, in return for a few hours of work instead of a day's work.

    -- Peter Kropotkin, 1901 [*3]

    It is not charity but a right, not bounty but justice, that I am pleading for. The present state of civilization is as odious as it is unjust. It is absolutely the opposite of what it should be, and it is necessary that a revolution should be made in it. The contrast of affluence and wretchedness continually meeting and offending the eye, is like dead and living bodies chained together.

    -- Thomas Paine, 1700's [*4]

    The laboring man, however, ought to remember that all who labor are their brothers, and that all women who labor are their sisters, and whenever one class of workingmen or workingwomen is oppressed all other laborers ought to stand by the oppressed class. Probably the worst paid people in the world are the workingwomen. Think of the sewing women in this city -- and yet we call ourselves civilized! I would like to see all working people unite for the purpose of demanding justice, not only for men, but for women.

    -- Robert Green Ingersoll, 1877 [*5]

    Inquire of the most learned and wise of the present day, ask them to speak with sincerity, and they will tell you that they have long known the principles on which society has been found to be false.

    -- Robert Owen, 1816 [*6]

    ...the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.

    In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.

    Finally, they labor everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.

    The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

    Workers of all countries, unite!

    -- Karl Marx, 1848 [*7]

    Section I: Conclusion to the Work

         It is a wonderful, beautiful, and gorgeous thing to believe and think, that a world can exist without poverty, without want, without misery, without crime. It is a noble thing to try to create such a world, and it is a gentle and wise thing to believe that it is possible. In this book, I have explained our economic situation, the mechanics of a Capitalist economy, the foundation of cooperative societies, the abuses that have been wrought by Capitalists, and I have offered an alternative to the daily class war that we must face. In all of this book, I have offered evidence, reasoning, and intellectual insights. I do not believe that I have erected a philosophy based on mythical assertions, on absurd convictions. I do not believe that what I have preached here is impossible, nor do I believe that it is contrary to the common good. Communism, when it is taught for what it is, when it is understood for what its philosophers contend, will elevate the working man. It is the most Democratic institution that could be placed in our economy, for it grants us liberty while denying everyone the right to persecute others -- it has done away with the old method of property relations, thereby alleviating our misery and want.

         But, my readers, we are not yet in that era of Communism -- we still have milestones to accomplish. We are still under the yoke of an oppressive and cruel regime of Capitalism. Everyday is a struggle to survive, every life is another story of the cruelties that want and misery give to us. Whether the outlet is crime or unemployment, lives are being taken on a daily basis by this juggernaut of Capitalism. We still have work to accomplish, for the body of Capitalism is still able and strong, and it will remain so until we turn it into a corpse. Whether we work side by side to establish a Communist collective through peaceful campaigning and elections, or whether we used armed force in a revolution, or a combination of these two tactics, everything that contributes to making the life of the Proletariat better is desirable. It may happen to be that by peaceful, collective organizing, that the minimum wage is raised by several dollars; and it may happen to be by armed, militant force, that key leaders in the system of Capitalism are neutralized. In a peaceful campaign, the state will eventually seize power of the megacorporations' means of production, via legislation. In a valiant revolution, the people themselves will seize power of these means of production. Both methods of changing society have their effectiveness in accomplishing goals, but it is not for me here to say which anyone is to take, so long as one road is taken.

         To the social reformer, who picks debates and arguments to spread his ideas peacefully, I offer this advice: like any reformer, you may feel saddened or depressed, that you cannot more directly effect your cause. But do not allow it to dishearten you, because it will be by peaceful means that the masses are allowed to see what the Capitalist class has hidden from them. To the political revolutionary, who uses illegal tactics to hinder and otherwise distress the Capitalist class from exploitation, I offer this advice: like any revolutionary, you may feel that your small acts account to little, that your small rebellions will not change everything. Do not allow this to dishearten you, either, because it has only been through the means of people aggressively asserting their own rights that any revolution has succeeded.

         But, whatever path is chosen, I only ask this... that at least one is taken and neither scorned, so long as we recognize our duty and obligation to change the socio-economic climate that our civilization still suffers through. And with that, I wish you luck.

    Section II: Afterthought -- The Development of my Opinion on the Matter

         From the beginning to the ending of this book, nine out of ten parts of it being research and the rest being organization and writing out of that research, at least the entire span of a year has gone by. In that time, I was homeless on the streets of Los Angeles (early research), enrolled in a university (middle research), and finally expelled from that university for unsubstantiated school claims of illegal drug selling (late research). My political and economic view points on the matter were both prevalent, and only growing stronger, with my work on this book.

         My early economic view was that of a Capitalist. I believed in a system of competition, securing for the consumer fair prices, and motivating workers to innovate and become better and more productive parts of society. Much like the theorists I took to, I was uninformed about actual economics, and my appraisal of the system of Capitalism came from both the Red Scare propaganda, and the pseudo-intellectual quality of Free Enterprise. Then I would come to be interested in theories of Atheism, Secularism, Freethought, Humanitarianism, and Animal Rights. I found that many of my heroes had an inclination towards Socialist ideologies, so I investigated, and their arguments convinced me. But, it would only be through further research that I arrived at the theory of Communism. Only by more in-depth thoughts and theorizing, would I be able to see that Communism alone would be the greatest liberator that the human species has ever had. Hopefully, there will be a day when it can succeed, and the suffering of the Proletariat can come to a cease.



    1. "Letter From a Birmingham Jail," written while in jail by Martin Luther King Jr, 1963. Quoted from The Portable Sixties Reader, edited by Ann Charters, a Penguin Classics, page 28.
    2. "Ideology of the Cuban Revolution," by Ernesto Che Guevara.
    3. "Communism and Anarchy," by Peter Kropotkin, Freedom: July (p30)/August (p38) 1901.
    4. "Agrarian Justice," by Thomas Paine.
    5. "Eight Hours Must Come," by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1877.
    6. "A New View of Society," by Robert Owen, Essay 3, 1816.
    7. "Manifesto of the Communist Party," by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties," 1848.

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