Today, 14 March, marks the 140th anniversary of the death of Karl Marx, the greatest thinker and revolutionary who has ever lived.
The capitalists and their representatives thought that they had finally buried him long ago. But he keeps coming back to haunt them. This is especially the case today.
It has been nearly 15 years since the slump of 2008 broke out. This was the onset of the deepest crisis ever faced by capitalism, which threw the world into turmoil.
Those aged around 35 or under today have grown up in the wake of this crisis, knowing only the ‘wonders’ of capitalism: economic turmoil, bailouts for bankers, food banks, austerity, climate catastrophe, and more.
At the same time, as the poor become even poorer, the wealthy elites have never been so stinking rich, amassing fortunes beyond their wildest dreams.
The class divide is increasingly a chasm. From 1978 to 2020, CEO salaries grew by 1,322%. Meanwhile, the numbers living in poverty in Britain are projected to rise from 11 million to 14 million, including 30% of children.
Spectre of communism
No wonder people’s faith in capitalism has been shredded. This was graphically confirmed by a recent poll, issued by bourgeois think-tank the Fraser Institute, who interviewed those aged 18-34 years in countries including Britain, the USA, Canada, and Australia.
Researchers were shocked at what they found. They discovered that: “The level of total agreement for communism as the ideal economic system among those aged 18-34 years is disturbingly high in the United Kingdom (29 percent) and to a lesser extent in the United States (20 percent) and Australia (20 percent).” [Our emphasis.]
Yes, that’s right – “disturbingly high”. Well, we say: let them be disturbed!
When the pollsters interviewed those aged between 25-34 in Britain, the figure supporting communism rose to 32 percent. In other words, almost one in every three young people in the UK regard themselves as communists. This translates to around 4.5 million people.
Marx was right
No wonder the ruling class and their apologists are shaking in their boots. All their attacks on Marxism and communism have not had the effect they hoped for. On the contrary, for millions of ordinary people, the idea of the socialist revolution is not at all fanciful, as they claim.
When an idea grips the minds of the masses, Marx explained, it becomes a material force. And this is what is beginning to happen.
Marx’s ideas were supposed to be ‘out-of-date’ and ‘old-fashioned’. Yet they are proving to be strikingly modern. It is capitalism that has become decrepit, and which needs to be put out of its misery.
The Marxist theory of crisis has now become a reality. Just take a look around.
He explained that the laws of capitalism would lead to an accumulation of riches and wealth at one pole, but also to increasing misery, toil, and burden at the other.
Is this not the case today – not only for the richest 1%, but for the rest of us who suffer from stress, insecurity, and falling living standards?
Capitalism’s crisis, and the widening gulf between the classes, prove without a shadow of a doubt that Marx was right.
Marx was a true revolutionary, who made socialism a science. He understood that socialism was not simply a ‘nice idea’, as the utopian socialists believed, but was rooted in the development of society.
The productive forces created by capitalism have outgrown the limits of private ownership, which have become a barrier to further progress. The contradictions of the capitalist system are preparing its downfall.
“From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations [of private property] turn into their fetters,” Marx stated. “Then begins an era of social revolution.”
Capitalism has produced its own gravediggers, Marx highlighted, in the form of the working class. Unlike previous revolutions in history, the overthrow of capitalism would mean the abolition of classes and of class distinctions.
Crisis and revolution
Even some of the serious bourgeois strategists grudgingly admit that Marx was correct on many fronts.
For instance, Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, the organ of big business, recently wrote a book called The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism. In this, the author frets about the dual crisis of capitalism and of bourgeois democracy.
“Capitalism on its own, as Marx himself said rightly, tends towards monopoly,” states Wolf. “Capitalists like to rig the markets in their favour. Of course, they do.”
What he and others can never admit, however, is that the impasse of capitalism is paving the way for revolution.
The elimination of competition, and the tendency towards monopoly, marks the beginning of the disintegration of capitalist society.
Today, the world market has been carved up by a handful of multinational corporations, which plunder the globe in pursuit of ever-greater profits. In doing so, they prepare the ground for devastating crises, wars, revolutions, and counter-revolutions.
A world to win!
Revolutionary upheavals impend. This can be seen from the dramatic changes taking place in Britain and internationally. There is instability everywhere.
With this has come the reawakening of the working class, which is entering onto the road of struggle, with all the ups and downs this entails. The revolutionary moods affecting the youth will become universal.
Our communist vision is for a society based on the emancipation of the working class. This could become a reality, on one condition: that we build a revolutionary party, based on the ideas of Marxism, just as the Bolsheviks did prior to the October Revolution of 1917. This is what we are doing in the International Marxist Tendency.
Our task is not to patch up capitalism, as the reformists aim to do, but to overthrow it. There is no middle road.
Yes, indeed, the communists are coming! We wholeheartedly echo what the founders of scientific socialism stated when they proclaimed their revolutionary goals in the Communist Manifesto:
“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!”
If you agree, then join us!