Roger’s notes on our discussion of The Communist Manifesto (part 2) 1/10/12

We started out by talking about the role of the force of arms implied
by Marx in the Communist Manifesto.

Most agreed that Marx did not advocate violence, but that he laid out
his opinion of what would happen, given the trends of that time, and
what needed to happen.

We touched on the topic of Marx’s materialist concept of history
without further discussion. Likewise, Marx’s concept of the class
nature of the family was raised.

The concept of a classless society met with skepticism on the grounds
that a few will tend to take control and dominate, leading to
degeneration of a revolution.

Marx believed that revolutions would start in the more advanced
capitalist countries like Germany or Britain, but that hasn’t been the
case.

We discussed the problem that capitalism was an inherently
expansionist system, and its expansion could kill the planet’s
environment and people through climate change rather than leading to a
socialist revolution of the kind that Mar predicted.

There was discussion of whether a worker’s state was/is needed to
defend the gains of class struggle, or whether doing away with the
state as advocated by anarchists might be possible. A classless
society as seen by Marx requires a leap of faith.

Since workers were instrumental in creating capital in the first
place, they should have the right to take it back.

We decided that Marx did not give a recipe for creating socialism, but
gave particulars of a socialist platform like ten points that he
thought most socialists would support implied by worker control of
capital, like guaranteed work, the industrialization of agriculture, a
graduated income tax, public education, etc.

We touched on the topic of the possibility of evolutionary socialism
achieved within the existing state or government, such s Karl Kautsky
proposed, versus armed rebellion, like other Marxist socialists think
is a necessary part of the process.

We concluded by deciding to read the last chapter of Marx’s “Capital”
which is a part relatively easy to read and understand.

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