Mon, Jul 14, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letter:

Marx got it wrong

In his article ("What we need is a dose of Marxism," July 11, page 8) Chu Yen-ming (朱言明) advocates a Marxist society, but conveniently ignores the practical reality of its implementation, just as Marx's Communist Manifesto did, over 150 years ago.

The social equality and justice that Marxism promises does not come naturally, but only through the oppressive and iron-fisted force of government. History has proven that the forced equalization of social classes that is produced by Marxism only equalizes the population to the lowest possible level. This may be just, in the minds of those at the very lowest levels, but what justice does it serve to the overall population? Marxism is the subversion of free will; the very will that has the potential for wealth generation!

Marx was like the frog at the bottom of the well, the sky for him was just a circle of light above. As he wrote the papers that constitute the Communist Manifesto, his disgust for society increased. He predicted that for communism to succeed, the entire fabric of society would have to change, for in his mind, every interaction between individuals was dominated by the struggle of the proletariat under the bourgeoisie. Families would be disbanded, all property would become that of the state, women would cease to be slaves to their husbands, and "free love" would prevail. The problem here, is that none of this is natural to humans! A totalitarian government to force such an unnatural contrivance becomes inevitable.

The solution to the human condition is freedom! Freedom to pursue dreams of wealth, personal satisfaction, propagation of family, contribution to mankind, and yes, even gluttony. Such freedom is found only if a minimum of government regulation stands in an individual's way. Such a minimum government would be charged solely with promoting freedom by defending the population against foreign invasion and within it's borders, coercion.

Taiwan would not be the successful nation it is today if its inhabitants were simple farmers. It is the plastics factories and the semiconductor fabs and the equipment manufacturers that provide jobs, income and a high quality of life, all driven by individuals and investors that were interested in making money, to pull themselves up to a higher social level. It is this that drives a nation forward, and provides for those at lower social levels. If any dispute exists as to how much one is paid for his labor in these factories, it is a dispute between workers, as their value is relative to their numbers and their individual productivity.

The keys to a successful society are freedom and social mobility. Marx saw a bourgeoisie that intentionally suppressed newcomers, a situation that barely exists today. The honors and privileges bestowed on the noble families of London in the mid 1800s must have been a strong influence on his political madness, but today, such limitations to social mobility are virtually gone. The only vestige lies in government, and one's "connections" in pursuit of large civic projects; what irony! the very government Marx would have needed so desperately, he would consider the bourgeois enemy!

If the people of Taiwan desperately want their society to look like North Korea, then so be it, but I surely hope they do not.

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