Thus, in the 1800's, he created a populist message that appealed to the proletariat. He told them that they were being exploited by a rigged system that favored the bourgeoise. That system of course was capitalism. In a sense he was right. Capitalism ultimately favors the few at the expense of the many. That's because capitalism forces competition, and in any competition there are mostly losers and only a few winners. It is of course this competition that has lead to most of the innovations that we enjoy today.
None of that really matters in being able to sell a principle. The proletariat may have been weak and powerless but they were plentiful. Most of them had a natural envy and resentment for the bourgeoise. Marx used both and sold a failed economic system that took over much of Europe for years.
Ultimately, what Marx did was practice old school text book class warfare. He pitted the proletariat against bourgeoise. He demonized the bourgeoise and the system that made them successful and he started a revolution. For the most part, his marketing and political strategy worked. His flawed system gained a great deal of popularity for a while. It is for this reason that class warfare is among my biggest political pet peeves. I have seen with Marx the corrossive effect that it has.
Today's Democratic party uses class warfare just as liberally as Marx once did. I see their class warfare used in four different topics: taxes, trade, employment, and health care.
The phrase tax cuts for the rich is so popular in many circles that it is a part of our lexicon. Ever since they were passed, Democrats have tried to paint the tax cuts as overly favoring the wealthy. This is of course a dubious arguement for several reasons. The first of which is that it is difficult to pin point exactly what the cuts did and didn't do. The second is that the tax cuts cut each tax bracked by three percent. Thus, everyone not only got the same tax cut but the same tax cut as a percentage.
This hasn't stopped any of the Democrats from demonizing the tax cuts as advancing the interests of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor (very much like Marx once did to capitalism itself). The Democrats have effectively used class warfare to demonize the tax cuts and the wealthy by extension. Furthermore, besides reversing the tax cuts, most of the Democrats want to spend that money in very Marx like socialist ways. Here is how Barack Obama characterized it.
The Bush tax cuts — people didn't need them, and they weren't even asking forIn fact, this is the mantra of the entire Democratic party. The Democrats have already targeted income taxes, capital gains, and the death tax as taxes they would raise in order to spend on numerous domestic programs for the poor and middle class. By demonizing the most successful, they can put themselves on the side of the little guy and effectively they have updated class warfare that Karl Marx revolutionized.
them, and they ought to be relaxed so we can pay for universal health care and
On trade, the Democrats use class warfare in a different manner. This time they pit American workers against all other workers, and they blame free trade from taking jobs from Americans and giving it to the foreigners. It is a slightly different spin on class warfare but it is no less effective. Here is how Barack Obama characterized NAFTA.
It's a game where trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart. That's what happens when the American worker doesn't have a voice at the negotiating table, when leaders change their positions on trade with the politics of the moment, and that's why we need a President who will listen to Main Street – not just Wall Street; a President who will stand with workers not just when it's easy, but when it's hard...
They take this populist message to states like Ohio and they blame the evil free trade deals for all the workers losing their jobs. With taxes, they blamed the rich for the troubles of the poor and middle class. With the issue of trade, they blame the foreigners for the same failings. Either way, it is an effective use of class warfare. (It should be noted that on free trade the Dems even surpass Marx himself who was in favor of free trade)
This arguement is of course just as dubious on a rational level. Free trade has consistently shown to raise everyone's quality of life, and it is dubious at best to link job losses in Ohio to free trade. Still, the correctness of the arguement is not now the issue...the effectiveness is. Whether or not free trade cost anyone their job is not the issue, if you are a struggling manufacturing worker in Ohio, someone preaching protectionism and telling you they will bring back the jobs those dirty foreigners stole is effective.
Unions have long been a major constituency of the Democratic party. Thus, it is only natural that the Democrats side with the workers against management every chance they can get. No company has faced the wrath more than WalMart. The main reason is Walmart's refusal to unionize. Because Walmart won't unionize, the Dems have made them their enemies. Here is how one group allied with both John Edwards and Barack Obama editorialized it...
Now, let's never mind that WalMart employees nearly two million Americans and provides splendid savings for millions more. The so called "anti family business practice" actually means that WalMart sells their goods for less than the family businesses can. Furthermore, WalMart is a private company that is trying to maximize profits. Their goals shouldn't be to take care of the American worker or family. They certainly shouldn't be forced to. Only the free market can do that.
The national conference call, entitled a “Call for Change”, will highlight two of the Democratic Party’s brightest stars, Senator John Edwards and Senator Barack Obama, who will be speaking out and calling on Wal-Mart to put families first and become an employer that reflects the best of American values. During the conference call, Senator Obama and Senator Edwards will also encourage the 285,000 supporters of WakeUpWalMart.com, and all Americans, to continue the fight to change Wal-Mart and change America for the better.
WakeUpWalMart.com will also announce the start of its 6-week 2006 Holiday Campaign, entitled “Hope for the Holidays,” The goal of this year’s holiday campaign is to build community pressure on Wal-Mart to put families first and end its anti-family business practices and policies which hurt its 1.39 million workers, their families, and America.
None of this actually matters because WalMart offers the Dems another opportunity to practice class warfare. This time it pits management against employee. Because WalMart refuses to unionize and drives out smaller shops by undercutting them, Walmart can effectively be painted as taking advantage of the little guy. That is the hallmark message of class warfare...the powerful take advantage of the weak. Then, the messenger steps in to right a wrong, and in this case the Dems want to force WalMart to unionize.
The second part of the Dems strategy of class warfare in management vs. employee, is the salaries of CEO's. Here is how Barack Obama characterized the issue.
In 2005, the average CEO in the United States earned 262 times the pay of the average worker. Put another way, a CEO earned more in one workday than an average worker earned in a year. In 2005, the average CEO of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company received a 16% increase in CEO pay over 2004.Hillary Clinton sees the issue largely the same.
S.1181 neither caps nor limits CEO pay but merely requires that firms discuss and debate pay packages for CEOs on a case-by-case basis with their shareholders. If a board of directors disagrees with the nonbinding vote of shareholders, the board can still go forward with the pay package. But at the very least, shareholders would have had the opportunity to voice their opinions about whether the pay package is appropriate.
It is inconsistent with our values to allow CEO pay to skyrocket while workers’ wages and benefits are under threat. There needs to be greater public scrutiny of CEO pay, and more independence of Boards of Directors.
Now, Obama's idea is absurd. There are many times millions of shareholders in publicly traded companies and many don't hold the stock for any significant time. Furthermore, there are already regularly scheduled shareholder meetings where issues like this can be discussed. How in the world are thousands if not millions of shareholders supposed to add their input? Hillary, on the other hand, comes up with vague and undefined solutions.
Again, their solutions are besides the point for this discussion. What is important is that they have identified an easy target, fat cat CEO's, and they have demonized them. This is another classic Marxist technique. This merely updates the proletariat vs. bourgeoise war, and only isolates the CEO to represent all of the bourgeoise. Once again, the Democrats play on the natural envy and resentment that most workers have for their bosses, and they use it effectively to practice class warfare.
4) Health Care
Forty million people are uninsured in this country. This is another nugget that has become a part of th lexicon because it has been said so often. On the issue of health care, the Democrats have again effectively played class warfare pitting the poor against the greedy drug companies, doctors and insurance companies. Here is Barack Obama on the insurance companies.
The insurance business today is dominated by a small group of large companies that has been gobbling up their rivals. There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market. These changes were supposed to make the industry more efficient, but instead premiums have skyrocketed by over 87 percent.Here is the key phrase for me...
There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market.This is classic Marxism. Obama attacks capitalism, using mergers as the representation of capitalism itself. Of course, Obama would have to do that if he is to sell a socialist system.
This sort of imagery is powerful because most stiffs know that mergers involve huge dollars and most have probably never benefitted from one directly.
Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and most of the rest of the Democrats similarly blame the combination of greedy doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, as well as capitalism itself for 40 plus million people not having health insurance.
Their solution is of course universal health care, or socialized medicine. This is classic Marxism. In this case, the drug companies, insurance companies, and doctors represent the bourgeoise and the uninsured are the proletariat. Once again they preach about a system that is rigged to exploit the weak and they will swoop in with a system that is for everyone.
It is classic Marx to preach that under this system everyone will benefit. That is exactly what Marx promised, a system for everyone and not just the fat cats. Here, the Democrats preach naked socialism dressed up by the word, universal health care. It is classic Marxism leading to classic Marxist solutions.