Everyone who’s ever had a history lesson, is familiar with The Black Book of Communism, or knows how to access Wikipedia, knows that communism has caused milions of deaths, tens of millions of deaths even. Estimates range from 42 million up to 160 million deaths.
Marx and Engels made no secret of their ends, nor of their proposed methods to attain them.
In the beginning of the Manifesto, they state:
“It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a Manifesto of the party itself.”
And so they did.
Below follows a list of excerpts of The Communist Manifesto containing explicit statements about the goals set by communism and calls to or propagation of the violent methods they assessed needed to be used.
• Destruction of individual property
All the preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.
• “… violent overthrow“
In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.
• Methods: overthrow, conquest
The immediate aim of the Communist is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.
• “… abolition of private property”
In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.
• “… middle class owners of property must be made impossible“
You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
• Abolition of the family
Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.
• Getting rid of countries and nationalities
The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.
• Away with eternal truths, religion and morality
“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”
• Everything must belong to the state
The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.
• “Of course this needs despotic inroads …”
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
• Confiscation of the property of ‘rebels’ (i.e. no dissenters are safe)
Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
• Centralisation of credit, of communication, of transport, all into the hands of the State
Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
• Sweep uncommunist stuff away by force
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
• Communism looks down at those who want to change things by peaceful means
Hence, they reject all political, and especially all revolutionary, action; they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means, and endeavour, by small experiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel.
• Their own summary
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.
• No denial about their methods whatsoever: communism will use force to achieve what it wants
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 Communistic revolution.
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.
They have a world to win.
The complete version of the e-book from which the above quotations are taken is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net. You can find the complete e-book here.