May 1 is International Workers’ Day, where workers across the globe gather together and pretend there’s something great about being a worker.
Actually, from my experience, most of the celebrants aren’t workers at all—they’re trust-fund kids, lifelong students, and sundry layabouts who’ve never worked an honest day of menial labor in their lives, but hey! Don’t let that get in the way of their dizzy theorizing and utter failure to grasp economics and history. Being born bourgeois but pretending to understand workers’ needs has a long tradition, going all the way back to both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the original champagne socialists.
Their smug modern-day descendants, drowning in snark and blinded by the pipe dream that their triumph is a historic inevitability, are either blissfully unaware or in blistering denial of the wreckage that communism has wrought wherever it was attempted. Joseph Stalin, either the first or second most prolific mass murderer of the twentieth century (his chief rival is another communist, Mao Zedong) had a name for such people—”useful idiots.”
Although very few of today’s collegiate commies actually hail from the working class like I do, they romanticize the humble worker in an infantile and delusional burst of fanboyish idolization. Neo-Marxists are the Bronies of politics.
If you’re hung-up about being modern and “relevant,” remember that Marx’s Communist Manifesto was written before such horridly hierarchical Meisterwerks as Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and the canon of Friedrich Nietzsche. Keep that in mind whenever you want to talk about old ideas that are on the wrong side of history.
Over my lifetime I’ve seen with my own eyes how conditions have deteriorated for workers. I’ve watched as full-time jobs with benefits, paid vacation, and pensions have withered away to part-time jobs, temp work, contract labor, and chronic underemployment.
So what changed?
The problem—and it’s a huge one, probably the most all-swallowing problem civilization currently faces—is that technology has outpaced most workers’ usefulness. The sweaty laborers whose muscle was absolutely necessary while Marx was scribbling his fairy tales have found themselves replaced by robots and computers. Who even uses a hammer or sickle to work anymore? The romanticized strong-backed worker of Marx’s era is a dead dodo bird—completely obsolete.
Americans have been trained like barking poodles to recoil at the word, while they dismiss any critique of communism as baseless Red Scare paranoia. If fascism is worse than communism, why did communism lead to about 65 million more deaths in the 20th century than fascism did? “Oh, but that wasn’t true communism,” you tell me, reading directly from the wrinkled script. OK, then, the Nazis didn’t represent true fascism. How does that argument suit you?
Look at all the modern communist havens: North Korea. Cuba. Laos. Vietnam. Wonderful holiday destinations, all. China remains nominally communist, but it only started to prosper once it switched to state capitalism. What has been the consistent result of constructing these workers’ paradises? Repression, murder, thought policing, show trials, struggle sessions, gulags, and stigmatizing the slightest dissent from orthodoxy as mental illness.
What’s perhaps most galling is the false idea that these generally inactive activists are “fighting the power” rather than being used cynically by the mavens of unrestrained statist power. College professors openly embrace communism and insist that fascists run America. If that’s the case, why do American media, government, and academia tolerate Marxists but not fascists? It can’t possibly be because fascists support these pillars of power.
It’s tremendously frustrating to see people who thump their chests proclaiming that they represent workers’ interests supporting policies that have decapitated the American working class. If you don’t think that workers’ conditions in America have deteriorated as a direct result of increased immigration and globalization, you are probably dumb enough to believe that socialism is a workable concept. Multiculturalism and open immigration don’t help unite the labor force. Instead, they’re sly methods for perpetually Balkanizing the labor force as it devolves into tinier and tinier identity-based sub-sects interested only in petty squabbling about privilege and intersectionality.
All these blinkered true believers and dupes of mass psychology don’t seem to realize that nature is hierarchical and that elites and oligarchs emerge no matter the political system. All of their hoary old “comrade” and “brothers and sisters” and “we are the 99%” rigmarole is creepily cultlike, yet it’s to be expected with any belief system that negates the individual in favor of the hive.
There is nothing glamorous, sexy, or noble about working. You’d know that if you ever actually had to work to feed yourself. Working sucks. Taking “pride” in it suggests to me a deep, defensive denial. It’s a dumb kind of pride. And sorry to burst your little red bubble, kids, but murderous fantasies based on envy may not be the healthiest platform upon which to build a political system.
In 2014, America lost its place as the world’s top economy for the first time since 1872. Wave at all the workers in China who took your jobs, ye brave American workers, and pledge solidarity with them anyway! You’re all in this together, right?
Marxists are full of shit. Their belief system, and all the bilge that flows from it, is rooted in the transparently fraudulent premise that all disparities in wealth are due solely to unfairness rather than the remote possibility that disparities in ability have at least something to do with it. They preach that it’s greedy to want to keep what you have, but it’s somehow not greedy to want what others have. They all seem to suffer from the simplistic comic-book delusion that once they kill all the rich people, everything will be OK. Fine. Show me one historical example of that ever working out for the better.
Would the workers of the world have any fucking idea what to do once they unite? The historical record says no.