MindAphid at SPAMaol.com
MindAphid at SPAMaol.com
Tue Jan 23 15:33:01 MST 2001
a friend asked me to forward an essay he wrote for responses from the list
(see below). if anyone feels like it, please comment. there are a number of
problems with it, which im sure most of you can point out better than i (only
been aware of marxism for about a year), but basically, hes just looking for
a good marxian definition of private property so he can understand exactly
what it means to abolish it and what will replace it. i think he just doesnt
buy the anarchist ideas that underlie most marxian conceptions of
anyway, i am looking for any good references (book, articles, etc) on
immigration, with emphasis on current problems. thanks in advance
BUT, I DON'T WANT EVERYONE TO OWN MY SHOES!
In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels summed up the
theory of Communists in a single sentence: "Abolition of private property."
And it is probably this very theory that has caused the most
misunderstanding. Just what does Marx and Engels mean by the term "private
Further into the Manifesto, it says, "Property, in its present form, is
based on the antagonism of capital and wage labor." Property in this sense
is what they are referring to as private property.
In order to understand this statement, one must understand just what
capital and wage labor are.
Capital is profit that is used to create more capital. But, in order to
produce capital, one do not need to have capital to begin with; simply the
amount of profit one can produce is limited, by turning this profit into
capital, one can expand this limit.
Not all profit is capital; the capitalist would pocket some. Capital is
the portion of the profit that goes to obtaining cheaper labor, more
efficient machinery, or better materials that would in the end make the
commodity cost more, and hence produce more capital.
Capital is obtained in one-way, and one-way only: the exploitation of the
workers. By underpaying the workers, the capitalist obtains capital.
Now lets look at the second thing that makes up private property, this is
the means in which the capitalist exploits the workers; wage labor.
Wage labor is the method of which most people make a living; they sell
their ability to work, either physically or mentally. The wage exists for
two reasons. For one, to entice the workers to give their labor to the
capitalists, it is not expected that someone would take up many of the
existing jobs without something in return.
Second, to keep the worker alive. If there are no workers, then there is
no way to produce capital, and the capitalist will die out along with the
worker. The minimum necessary for a worker to stay alive and participate in
what is socially necessary is the minimum wage; even this proves insufficient
In a Communist society, capital and wage labor are abolished, which would
cause the downfall of private property.
Instead of wage labor, one would be able to exchange however much work
they have done for commodities requiring the same amount of labor. Since one
would not sell their labor, capital could not be produced, and no individual,
or group of individuals (apart from all of society) could profit off the hard
work, sweat, and blood of others.
By abolishing private property, no group of individuals would be
oppressed and exploited by another group; there would be no classes in
The disappearance of private property is also the disappearance of buying
and selling. Where there is no private property, no one will profit off an
individuals exchanges, as well they shouldn't. Instead one would exchange
one's labor for commodities that required the equal amount of labor, thus
that amount of one's labor would vanish, and would be replaced wholly and
entirely by the commodity that it was exchanged for.
Through the abolishing of private property, buying, and selling the
independence and freedom of the capitalists would be destroyed, and the
independence and freedom of the rest of mankind would be granted. The
capitalist freedom and independence would be destroyed by ways of removing
the ability to become a capitalist; all capitalists would become workers in a
classless society in which all are independent, free!
More information about the Marxism