COMMUNISTS: Dr. Crankley's Children

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Why? For over 2,000 years, a deep gulf between rich and poor had existed in Italy. Why had class conflict now hardened into its present menacing aspect? The answer, for Italy and everywhere, was that before The Machine poverty was suffered as inevitable; since The Machine's promise of prosperity, poverty is regarded (with Marx's prompting) as the result of a conspiracy.

That is the secret of Marx's success. The results may not be what Marx intended. In many countries, notably Britain, the consciousness of poverty results in a drive toward leveling, rather than toward revolution. The Machine is controlled in the interest of reducing the prosperity and power of the "exploiting classes," rather than in the interest of abundance. Economic initiative, instead of being restricted by capitalist greed, is in danger of being fettered by proletarian envy.

The Supremacy of the Cop. In countries truer to Marx, where control of The Machine has actually been taken away from the capitalist, the most extraordinary growth occurred in the meaning of "control." Control of production by "the state," in place of ownership by private people, turned out to need bolstering up. It meant control of speech, thought and personal life. It was not the freed worker who replaced the capitalist; it was the cop, the spy, the bureaucrat.

Old Prince Otto von Bismarck saw what was implicit in Marx more clearly than Marx himself did. He noted the reluctance of Marxists to discuss the nature of the society for which they struggled. Said Bismarck in 1878: "If only I could find out what the future [Marxist] state . . . is like. We can only catch glimpses of it through the cracks. . . . If every man has to have his share allotted to him from above, we arrive at a kind of prison existence where everyone is at the mercy of the warders. And in our modern prisons the warder is at any rate a recognized official, against whom one can lodge a complaint. But who will be the warders in the general socialist prison? There will be no question of lodging complaints against them; they will be the most merciless tyrants ever seen, and the rest will be the slaves of these tyrants."

Yearnings of a Creator. Despite the fear of the warders (and in Marxist countries, because of this fear), Marxism persists. It offers far more than a critique of capitalism; in addition, its converts get the only fully developed materialist religion, complete with creed, church, directions for salvation, answers to every question, saints, doctors and devils.

The ingredients in Marxism's emotional force are 1) pity, 2) hate, 3) desire for power. All three were conspicuously present in the life and character of Karl Marx.

He was born (1818) in the ancient archbishopric of Trier. From his ancestry (which included generations of rabbis and Talmudic scholars) he undoubtedly inherited his gift for subtle and untiring disputation. When Karl was six Father Hirschel Marx, a lawyer, took the family to be baptized in the Protestant Church. Karl became an evangelical atheist.

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