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Americans: Marxist Hostages

December 10, 2010

It’ll be no great surprise to you when I reiterate one of Marx’s fundamental concepts: that there exist fundamental and profound class antagonisms between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. It may also not serve so much a surprise to know that the aim of the majority of Marx’s—socialism’s, really—proposed reforms is redistribution of wealth.

Coincidentally, this is the aim—the mechanism for achieving economic equality across Bourgeoisie-Proletariat factions—of taxes (along with providing basic public services such as police and fire protection). It is common Marxist thought that the Bourgeoisie, one of “two great hostile camps,” holds the working class as its captive—a captive only to be released through its revolution, as described in his Communist Manifesto.

While reading The New York Times today, as I do most days, the words of a particular headline caught my eye, and instantly connected my thoughts with Marxist idealism.

Obama Defends Tax Deal, But His Party Stays Hostile
American People Are Like Hostages Being Harmed, President Says in Plea

In case you’re a little behind on the Senate proposal: while incurring some $900 billion in U.S. deficit, the Bush-era tax cuts would be extended (saving a $70,000/year earner about $1,400) and a 13-month extension of jobless aid for the long-term unemployed would be implemented, among other stimulus goals.

What is interesting is that Obama in this case has assigned the American people the role of the ever-exploited Proletariat, and the system failing to support them, the Bourgeoisie. As Marx would say the Bourgeoisie holds the working class hostage, as Obama asserts that the refusal of economic relief to struggling citizens to be a hostage situation. It is as if the current tax system is serving as the oppressive force in the case of the everyday American, who is, as statistics show, in a time of great economic need.

One Comment
  1. tungyat permalink
    December 16, 2010 12:19 PM

    The tax system that different politicians advocate is to a great extent dependent on their economic beliefs. In general, republicans believe in the free market system, that is less government interference, whereas democrats believe in a larger degree of government intervention. In this case, taxation and unemployed benefits would be viewed by some to be a distortion in market incentives and incur large inefficiencies that would have repercussions on the development of the country.

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