|May 08, 2012||White House Defends Karl Marx||no comments|
Between things like Anita Dunn’sprofessed love for Mao Tse-Tung and the not-controversy surrounding the president’s new campaign slogan(“Forward!”), we suspect White House staffers are getting awfully tired of responding to questions about whether the Obama administration employs at least a few communist-sympathizing officials.
Rick Bookstaber, who currently serves on President Obama’s Financial Stability Oversight Council, may have just kicked off another round of these questions.
Writing on his personal blog Monday, Boosktaber posted a refutation of conservative author Tucker Carlson’s claim that, by repeatedly singling out the “wealthy,” Democrats are waging “class warfare.”
“There is little that matches the artfulness of the rich in waving off criticism of the widening income gap as ‘class warfare,’” Bookstaber writes. “And there is little that matches the gullibility of the rest in following along.”
“I am not picking sides in this war,” he added, “but I believe such a war is justifiable, and indeed ultimately inevitable.”
During the industrial revolution class warfare centered on the length of the working day. A tightly defined working day only appeared with the advent of the industrial revolution. Before then laborers worked when they needed money, and then quit for a time once they fulfilled their needs. But regimentation and a dependable workforce became necessary once there was machinery to run and capital invested, and so with industrialization came the an enforced workday. So it is not surprising that Marx stated the central battle of class warfare at the time in terms of the working day:
The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working-day as long as possible, and to make, whenever possible, two working-days out of one. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of the commodity sold implies a limit to its consumption by the purchaser, and the laborer maintains his right as seller when he wishes to reduce the working-day to one of definite normal duration. There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class. – Marx, Das Kapital
Karl Marx, of course, is most famously known as the father of communism. His political philosophy was adopted and implemented by infamous dictators — including Vladimir Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Min, Fidel Castro, and Che Gueverra — whose search for the perfect collectivist society led to the deaths of approximately 100 million people, according to the historian Stéphane Courtois.