Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels frequently spoke of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” in their writings. Most English literature dealing with socialism relies heavily on “jargon” peculiar to the early socialist and communists writers of Europe. For that reason, many Americans who are not among the initiated have difficulty understanding what socialism is, how it differs from capitalism and why it makes a difference.
Prior to the industrial revolution, the word bourgeois was used to refer to the owners of land, the primary source of wealth. With the progress of industry the word was expanded to the owners of factories or anyone who owned the means of production. Proletarians were the peasants who rented land from, or worked for the landlord. Later the word came to be used mostly for those who worked for wages.
The bourgeois of today is anyone who owns or manages property or employs others in the creation and accumulation of wealth, including those with wealth from inheritances or investments. The proletariats are those who work for wages and those who receive their income from government handouts. The centerpiece of Marxist theory is the struggle between these two classes which he considered to be the true history of mankind. To refine the definitions even further in light of the corporate, capitalist society of America we could say the bourgeois are those who are exempt from the requirements of certain labor laws—owners, managers and other exempt employees. Proletariats are the non-exempt employees and the unemployed.
The purpose of socialists is to foment enmity between the bourgeois (capitalist class) and the proletariats (working class) until the proletariats rise up and appropriates the means of production, or creation of wealth. This revolution may be carried out by armed revolution as in Russia, Cuba, China, etc. or by a political revolution as in Venezuela. Democracies like the United States are particularly susceptible to political revolutions. In fact, we have been undergoing a socialist political revolution for the past hundred years. That revolution may reach it culmination on November 4, with the election of Barack Obama and a socialist/democrat Congress.
According to Marx and Engels the transition from capitalism to communism passes through four stages: capitalism, revolution, socialism and finally communism. Under capitalism the bourgeois are the ruling class, after the revolution the proletariat becomes the ruling class. Under socialism, differences between the classes fade away until they no longer exist, ushering in the communist utopia. At least, that’s the Marxist theory.
During the post-revolutionary period, according to Marx, the capitalist system would be replaced by a consolidation of power by the proletariat class which Marx referred to as the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The purpose of this dictatorship is to prevent a counter-revolution and suppress opposition. Under revolutionary socialism such as the ones in Cuba, Russia, China etc. opposition to the new regime is eliminated by imprisonment and assassination. That is not likely to happen in America, however, we can expect a concerted effort to stifle free speech and the character assassination of anyone opposing the new order of things.
As the confidence of socialists in the Obama campaign and in Congress increases we begin to see some indication of what life will be like in a proletarian dictatorship. The most glaring example is the campaign’s reaction to “Joe the plumber”. There have been other more subtle instances where the Obama Campaign has attempted to stifle opposition. Just yesterday three reporters who have been traveling with Obama during his campaign were denied further access to his campaign plane during the final days of the campaign; This after their newspaper editorial departments endorsed McCain-Palin. These newspapers are not conservative but centralist. They are the Dallas Morning News, the Washington Times and the New York Post.
TV interviewers have been “blackballed” because they asked questions that placed Obama in a bad light. Radio talk show phones have been “jammed” by Obama supporters when guests critical to Obama were on the air. Congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and others have openly expressed their desire to bring back the fairness doctrine to get rid of talk radio opposition like Limbaugh, Hannity and Levin. During this election cycle the mainstream media has clearly shown its eagerness to usher in socialism with its coverage of the ‘08 elections.
A post-Obama America will be quite different than the America we live in today, in spite of the socialist policies we have come to accept and live with already. Before you go to the polls on Tuesday, take a few minutes and go to a few liberal websites, like the Huffington Post, Move On.Org, or the Daily Koz. Forget the posts, read the comments following the post. Are these the people you want to be setting the policies for your country? If not, be sure to vote for every Republican on the ticket. We can sort them out later.