You say that you “do not intend to paint everyone who uses these identities as evil” (3), but that doesn’t stop you from calling Marxism inherently “violent” and “selfish.” You paint a pretty damning picture. It looks scary, but if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the paint is full of bullsh*t.

Marxism can only be called “selfish” if you look at it from the perspective of the bourgeoisie. I would call capitalism the “ideology rooted in selfishness," as it allows those who wantonly accumulate wealth, hoarding it from those who need it, rigging the system so that those who do not have are often given the choice to either work excessive hours for menial wages with few opportunities for advancement, or not work at all. Moreover, those who do not have are often made to give to those who do have. While it may not be such a problem when superfluous luxuries are too expensive for many people, there are a number of basic human necessities unaffordable for lower- or even middle-class citizens.

Healthcare is a big one, as medicine and medical procedures covering major illnesses are often priced in a range wherein a wealthy person who contracts cancer likely won’t have to worry about expenses, but a poor person in the same situation will find themselves without enough money to go on living.

Then, there’s education. Because public schools are often funded through property taxes, wealthier neighborhoods have better schools, meaning that the children of wealthy families get better educations and are therefore in a better position to see success in their adulthood. When you get to the college level, tuition can be so high that even middle-class students are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt which they spend their whole lives paying off, while students with wealth are better equipped to establish themselves post-graduation, entering the workforce financially unfettered. Some hardcore libertarians take the stance that education ought not to be considered a right for all people, but rather an entirely privatized institution, attempting to justify a system that benefits the wealthy. The result of such thought, however, is a system wherein it’s much easier to become wealthy if you’re educated, but it’s much easier to become educated if you’re wealthy. Does that really sound fair to you?

Housing can be a tricky situation if you’re not rich, especially in the city. People need to live in the city, because that’s where their job is, but as the cost of housing is today rising much faster than wages, many people are being pushed further and further away from their positions. Now this may not be so much of a problem so long as people are able to get to their jobs, but getting around places is another thing that becomes harder the poorer you are. Public transportation is often the cheapest way to get around, but most cities in the U.S. don’t have terribly robust networks. Then people have to get cars, which are maybe more convenient, but are also both more expensive and worse for the environment. It would be great if everybody had better access to buses and trains, but some folk make a lot of money by selling cars, and people with money are usually really good at keeping people without money from getting what they need.

On top of all this, the minimum wage has, contrary to your assessment from part III, actually been declining over time. The statement “wages have never been higher” (3) (for which you sited no source) may appear to be true when assessing median household incomes over the years, but that isn’t really the number we ought to be looking at when discussing whether or not the poorest among us are capable to afford cost-of-living expenses. Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage hit its peek in 1968 (4), at a whopping $1.60 an hour (or $11.68 in today’s economy), and in 2019, the number has fallen to approximately 60 percent that. Although I’m no economist, I would guess that this is a major contributor to the fact that economic mobility has been steadily dropping since 1940 (5).

Any one of these issues may be manageable on its own, but when combined (as they often are), it becomes pretty tough to get anywhere if you're poor. Even if you claimed that our capitalist system was fair insofar as it didn’t force anybody from either class to give to the other, those who do not have would still have to pay many of these expenses in order to participate in society, and those who have would be the ones largely receiving these payments. One class will always be giving to the other. The question is, who do you think should do the giving? Those who have, or those who need?

But enough on selfishness, let’s talk about violence. Yes, Marx was in favor of a violent uprising, and many countries who have adopted his economics have done so violently, but that doesn’t mean that Marxism must be violent. Many socialists in the U.S. today, as I have already highlighted that you have noted, are not violent, and comparing them to the Soviet Union is a quick and cheap way to knock them aside without engaging with their politics. Many countries in Europe today such as Germany, France, and England have enacted socialist policies without taking to the streets, and the major democratic-socialists in our country today are much more interested in emulating them than they are in Stalin.

Also, Marxism does not have a monopoly on violent revolutions. Why is the idea of a downtrodden people taking arms against those above them so bad when Russia does it, but not the U.S.? The American Revolution was a bloody war waged for the foundation of a capitalist government. The very same capitalist government you are mooching off of, as you attend this tax-subsidized school, while writing articles about how much you hate that people want the government to pay for things.

Furthermore, revolutions and executions are not the only forms of violence which an ideology is capable of working. When American soldiers invade Middle Eastern countries on behalf of oil companies, is that not capitalist violence? When Bangladeshi teenagers burn alive in fires consuming hazardously constructed sweatshops owned by U.S. clothing corporations, is that not capitalist violence? When men and women with mental health issues starve in city streets, unfit to work due to their various conditions, and without care because their lack of work also breeds a lack of insurance, is that not capitalist violence?

You say that “working conditions have never been better, and benefits have never been more substantial. This is all thanks to inter-company competition” (3), with a complete disregard for the history of labor rights movements—instances of socialist activism—which leads to such conditions and benefits (6). Because of socialism, our country no longer houses sweatshops such as those which workers suffer in across seas, and when those countries are able to adopt more humane regulations that do not work people to death, it will be because of socialism again. Giving corporations credit for present-day working conditions is like giving men credit for the suffragist movement because they’re the ones who finally let women vote.

In a capitalist system, each person’s value is measured only by their capacity to produce capital, and those unable to work for profit require people still within the system to actively care for them. The trouble is that not every person has someone who will care for them in this way, and so if each person is to receive their basic needs, some sort of social infrastructure is a necessity. Socialism is a necessity. If you truly wish to remain ignorant to the plight of the masses, then I cannot force you to change. But if you have any concern for our poor, our hungry, and the people who need us, then I encourage you to don your Hammer & Sickle spangled ushanka and march against the parasitic bourgeoisie. Long live mother America!

Sources:

1) http://www.umassmedia.com/opinions/the-hammer-sickle-is-just-as-bad-as-the-swastika/article_69f3e82c-2a55-11e9-9590-8b128eb18955.html

2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-the-united-states-right-wing-violence-is-on-the-rise/2018/11/25/61f7f24a-deb4-11e8-85df-7a6b4d25cfbb_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3ddd5fa766b0

3) http://www.umassmedia.com/opinions/the-hammer-sickle-is-just-as-bad-as-the-swastika/article_94b20ff0-2fd5-11e9-9b51-8f543edaeaa3.html

4) https://www.infoplease.com/business-finance/labor-and-employment/annual-federal-minimum-wage-rates-1955-2015

5) https://opportunityinsights.org/data/

6) https://aflcio.org/about/history

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