I maintain that a communist is someone who doesn’t agree that the oligarchs are entitled to the fruit of another person’s labor.
Just in thinking that, one threatens the status quo, and in doing so must in some way be demonized or eliminated. The demonization term of the last century and more is “communist.”
Any plan to “share the wealth” in any form- that the people who participate in the collective activity known as business should get a reasonable share of the wealth created – is labeled “communistic.” In using that bogey man term,the user knows the audience will accept it.
Ayn Rand, the guiding light of the Right, had as her heroes those whom she called “builders.” There are few who build as much as those on assembly lines. So, rather than being enemies, Randians and communists should be bosom buddies. And there are few if any CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies who have actually built anything in their lives. Corporate boards and upper management are parasites, sucking the blood of line workers and support people. The old line industrialists that Rand so admired – for all intents and purposes, they simply don’t exist anymore.
The communism Rand claimed to hate wasn’t the theoretical one in which wealth was shared, but one in which Russia – her home country – was actually run by criminals who labeled themselves communists, giving communism a bad name. The altruists she scathingly wrote about in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were ones who claimed one thing and did another. In other words, she said that communism was the claim and totalitarianism was the doing.
That was what SHE was talking about, but the American right interpreted her words for the American populace to be talking about Liberals and Socialists. But in today’s world she could be talking about corporate management. The governing structure is the same – all control comes from the top and all benefits go to the top. When it is governments, they call it totalitarianism. When it is in business, they call it management. It is two sides of the same coin.
Show me democratic corporations and I’ll show you you’re dreaming. Every corporation is a totalitarian state, a feudal system, a fiefdom, a hierarchy. In all the “democratic” countries, democracy ends at the corporate front door, meaning we have a schizophrenic society.
I maintain that until business activity – which is basically just a cooperative effort to accomplish some practical and needed end for the customers – is communized/democratized, both in its internal structure and in its sharing of the wealth, society will never be sane. This is an end the existing oligarchs do not want to see happen, so they do everything they can to obfuscate and deflect so that the others in society do not discover what is really wrong. Toward this end, the most important ownership is the ownership of means of the dissemination of ideas. This is why the Internet is such a threat to the oligarchs. The Chinese government recognizes this at a more gut level, but only because they are coming from a completely different history of experience.
The only real difference between democratic society and totalitarian society is what control is maintained outside the workplace. That our western ownership is not labeled “government” does not make it more free; it only makes it more deceptive, because the oligarchs are the same people, anyway, even if they don’t hold government office. They are the power behind the government and whom the government is there to benefit.
SOME day communism will actually be tried.
Hell, for that matter, some day democracy will actually be tried.
To quote Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, “But that day is not this day.”
[…Revised 3-27-2010 – Changed paragraph 4… smg]