Alan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.
The UnCommunist Manifesto
Engels and Marx published the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Since then, the nightmare of totalitarianism has hung over the world. The West’s ‘Great Reset’ is just another communist revolution, which makes ‘The UnCommunist Manifesto’ useful reading.
Today’s post is about a new, helpfully short book called ‘The UnCommunist Manifesto: A Message of Hope, Responsibility and Liberty for All’, by Aleks Svetski and Mark Moss. I attach a link to the book on Amazon UK at the bottom of this post.
This book is only 80 very readable pages long. It manages in those pages to say much of what I have been writing about at length in this blog over the last two years.
This site, www.awah.uk, tries to communicate pro-liberty understanding in the teeth of massive pro-state propaganda from media and academia. It is therefore my duty and pleasure to encourage you to read this book.
THE DEFINITIONS COME FIRST
Sometimes a book contains an appendix explaining certain terms used in the text and more generally by practitioners in certain areas of activity. This book instead starts with ten pages of definitions of terms. After participating in so many discussions about economic and political theory and ideas, I can see this is a master stroke.
Key ideas I have struggled to enunciate and explain are listed and described here from the start. These include fundamentals such as Time Preference, The Cantillon Effect, Subjectivity, Parasite, Moral Hazard, Evolution (self-ordering progress), Emergence, Stock to Flow, (proper) Economics, Keynesianism, Bitcoin, Utopia, The State.
And not least, Communism itself is defined by Marx’s assertion that ‘The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property’.
The great libertarian Murray Rothbard’s famous definition of ‘The State’ also appears here; ‘in particular it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered, but by coercion’.
CAPITALISM AS A SELF-ORDERING SYSTEM OF IMPROVEMENT
Capitalism here is defined as a self-ordering evolutionary system in which human beings continually look for better and better ways to cooperate with each other to improve their well-being. It is an evolutionary process in that successful forms of cooperation are selected for more investment and innovation while unsuccessful forms become extinct.
A key process is the elimination of unsuccessful enterprises, technologies and institutions through bankruptcy or other failure. That is just like unhelpful mutations being weeded out in the natural world in favour of better adaptations. Trial and error actually works to keep large-scale natural and social systems stable - and central planning doesn’t.
Like the natural world, Capitalism, or ‘society’, is inherently self-correcting and therefore stable. That’s why there is no reason to expect really free societies to be chaotic and lawless. After all, effective customary law is itself the result of evolutionary processes within non-state societies (click here for www.awah.uk post ‘Customary Law, not Chaos, in Stateless Free Societies’).
Capitalism potentially exists as the underlying default state in all human societies. But most of the time a parasite known as ‘The State’ inflicts more or less damage on society by interfering to benefit politically powerful elites.
It is the state that creates chaos. As the great Austrian Economist, Mises, explained in ‘Human Action’, state intervention in specific areas of society creates ‘islands of chaos’. In these islands of chaos, it is no longer possible to rely on normal incentives, or on the information provided by freely established prices, to achieve productive outcomes. As state interventions multiply, the separate islands of chaos coalesce to bring about breakdown.
HIERARCHIES OF THE STATE VS COMPETENCE HIERARCHIES
It is impossible for there not to be hierarchies in the natural world, of which human society is a part. The mere act of moving towards, or away from, a person, book, group, or resource establishes a hierarchy of better or worse things. In unfettered capitalism, the natural order of cooperation and competition will produce associations comprising individuals with differing aptitudes and competences. The result will be what Jordan Peterson describes as ‘hierarchies of competence’. Entities will be run by hierarchical means, but only effective and productive (‘competent’) hierarchies will persist for any length of time.
Politics is about using violence to create ‘hierarchies of incompetence’ which shelter privileged people from competition with the people below them in society. Unfettered competition eventually but inevitably brings down even the largest organisations, since the market is smarter than any corporations. So there are huge incentives for their leaders to stifle liberty and use force to exploit most of the population.
A strength of this book is that it explores the differing types of coercive hierarchy caused by Feudalism, Fascism, Communism, Cronyism, Social Democracy etc. All have their own characteristics causing more or less harm to humanity as a whole. But they are brothers under the skin. All belong towards the unfree end of the spectrum between liberty at one end and state serfdom at the other. And all establish inflexible political hierarchies contrary to well-being.
The latest hierarchical scheme in the exploiters’ toolkit is ‘Technocracy’. Today it is masked in green platitudes about the bogus climate change narrative. Technocracy tries to address the inevitable weakness of top-down state incompetence-hierarchies, which is that central planning cannot work as well as capitalism. It never has. Indeed, it actually doesn’t work at all. Communist societies that survive for any length of time rely on black markets using, for example, cigarettes, booze, dollars etc. in other words, they rely on the deeply repressed but never entirely absent productive force of capitalism.
Modern technocracy rests on the fantasy that ‘science’, computing capacity or some other enhanced Artificial Intelligence will solve central planning’s inability to amass enough information to match the emergent free market’s decision-making processes. Technocracy hasn’t a prayer. Everything, all value, is subjective. That is a fundamental insight of the Austrian School of Economics, the economics wing of the Liberty movement. Value is inside people’s heads. It cannot be accessed or assessed by AI. It cannot be objectively expressed or compared in terms that computers can handle.
Value is subjective, but negotiation between property-owning individuals (property includes ownership of one’s own labour) creates a scale of prices and costs which is objective. The resulting price mechanism enables objective decision making. It simultaneously creates incentives to implement effective solutions and abandon mistakes. These incentives, prosperity or poverty, are the evolutionary drivers of economic progress.
A century ago, Mises used this argument to demolish the intellectual case for central planning for ever (see www.awah.uk post ‘The Impossibility of Socialist Economic Calculation’).
THE WEF/DAVOS CROWD ARE COMMUNISTS
I am often asked how the Globalist Davos Crowd/WEF attempt to create a eugenicist (more technocracy!) New World Order (NWO) can be described as an attempted communist revolution. Surely wealthy oligarchs like Soros and Gates and all the other corporate chiefs serving the NWO agenda can’t really be communists. Well, yes, they can. Communism simply looted the ‘bourgeoisie’ on the way to creating yet another static hierarchy. That is what the insecure western ‘Globalist Elites’ want.
The communist Soviet Union created an inflexible hierarchy. Below was a mass of formerly free but now cowed and enslaved ‘proles’ (in Orwell’s ‘1984’) or ‘plebs’ (in Oxford University’s Bullingdon Club parlance, cf Boris Johnson and David Cameron). On top was the ‘Nomenklatura’, a hugely wealthy, privileged managerial group living above the law. Its members disposed freely of ‘state’ property, travelled abroad and had special, foreign-currency shops offering them western products and luxuries.
Instead of privileged access to foreign exchange under the Soviet system, the globalists will have programmable Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). People like Gates will find their digital money can buy property, or even meat – and yours won’t.
In the USSR, both classes were fixed in position by a massive state surveillance and intimidation system. It consigned tens of millions to the Gulag prison camps, and killed many of them. The New World Order would inaugurate just such a hierarchy, and may be willing to cause more death and misery than Stalin managed. Marx explained that Communism comes down to the abolition of private property, and we should remember that the WEF’s website proclaimed that ‘you will own nothing and you will be happy’. We really are dealing with communists again. Hence the relevance of the ‘UnCommunist Manifesto’.
MARXISM AND THE FAMILY
There is more to read and learn in this book, and I hope you will be able to read it for yourselves. Meanwhile I end by highlighting Marx’s hostility to marriage, and arguably to women in general. It is much less well known, perhaps because it is so unattractive, but it seems to be inherent in the communist world view.
The modern West is sometimes described as the child of the 18th century Enlightenment. Centred on France, the Enlightenment produced figures such as Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu, and many others, as well as Hume, and even Adam Smith, in Britain.
Suffice it so say that the Enlightenment included efforts, by Voltaire particularly, to explain Britain’s twin successes of political liberty and commercial/maritime dominance, as in Voltaire’s ‘in England they shoot Admirals, to make the others more courageous – “pour encourager les autres”. The importance of liberty in Britain’s success was a mystery to absolutist rulers on the Continent. Some of them patronized enlightenment thinkers, while remaining unwilling to introduce thorough liberalisation.
The general tenor was the idea of progress achieved by rational efforts to sweep away ancient ideas and institutions which held back development. Such obstacles included economic barriers, inept and often bankrupt royal and religious establishments, legally privileged elites and damaging, ‘unfair’ and ineffective tax systems. This strand of the enlightenment brought upsets to royal regimes in America and France. But it led, after the fiasco of the French Revolution and Napoleon, to the prosperity of 19th century Europe.
But there is another strand in the Enlightenment. The worm in the bud of modern western civilization is Rousseau. Marx, and his lifelong friend and patron Engels, who wrote the original Communist Manifesto in 1848 during the Year of Revolutions, are Rousseau’s philosophical offspring.
Rousseau wrote ‘man is born free and is everywhere in chains’. This sounds great to a libertarian. One assumes the chains are government restrictions, meddling and extortion, which need to be eliminated to ensure progress as per the main enlightenment project.
Not so fast. Rousseau’s ‘chains’ are social institutions such as marriage, money, religion, traditional respectability and more. He practiced what he preached. He had several children by his unmarried long term ‘partner’ and consigned them to a public orphanage, where their chances of survival were not good.
He pioneered self-indulgent reliance on raw feelings and emotions (which might admittedly have been a little neglected by eighteenth century thinkers). He promoted the notion of the noble savage, and of the ‘General Will’. The General Will was a mystic force entitling the state to do whatever its leaders deemed appropriate, if it could be asserted to be what ‘the people’ wanted - and not necessarily a majority of the people at that.
Rousseau is the father of 19th century Anarchism, and of the over mighty modern state. Anarchism was hostile to absolutist monarchy, but mainly it was fundamentally committed to Rousseau’s attack on property, civil society, the family, law, money etc. Marx is his intellectual heir. His target was ‘bourgeois’ marriage. He said that in the wicked property-owning (‘bourgeois’) classes emotional ties of marriage and family had been extinguished by the pursuit of money. It would be better if women were ‘held in common’, he says.
The intellectual confusion of Marxism likewise reflects Rousseau’s influence. It relies on the over mighty state to create a stateless, essentially adolescent, anarchist utopia.
The Marxist playbook is beloved of statist power-grabbers everywhere. They eliminate the individual as the only valid unit of analysis, and source of all human action. Then they assert that society is trapped in an inflexible hierarchy of groups or ‘classes’ (which historically had been the case in agrarian states). That justifies overthrowing the hierarchy, and robbing and murdering the previously powerful or productive. Lastly, they create a new, even nastier, inflexible hierarchy with themselves at the top.
In Marxism the last phase, labelled ‘The Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ was supposed to dissolve away inevitably. There would then be an anarchist free-love paradise. The New Man would have no need of money, marriage, religious or national affiliation or property.
Strange to relate, no communist power grabbers have ever allowed the police state created by their revolution to dissolve. Marx’s hedonist Utopia will never arrive.
But its imprint remains in the relentless statist attack on the family, religion, sound money, property and freedom, saving, and voluntary cooperation of all sorts. Instead, there is the woke assault on sanity, and the ‘follow the science’ attack on the scientific method, all in support of divisive narratives like Climate Change, Covid, and Critical Race Theory.
What communists, from Marx to the WEF’s Schwab and Gates, actually fear is their own inadequacy. They dread the dynamic, flexible competence hierarchies and societies that we would create once power crazies could no longer rely on state coercion to maintain their hierarchies of incompetence. The ‘UnCommunist Manifesto’ explains this well.
Here is the Amazon UK link: