We all know the famous words of Marx:
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs“
While camouflaged, this is a goal of today’s progressives and is even taught in the schools from an early grade. However, while teaching it, I would love to see teachers putting it into practice. Let’s look at a potential scenario.
A teacher announces to their class that the passing grade is 75. However, all students are guaranteed to pass. If a student has a grade average of 90, 15 points will be taken away from them and given to a student with an average of 60. If a student has a grade average of 80, 5 points will be taken away from them and given to a student with a grade average of 70.
In other words, the more you produce or the better you do, the more will be taken away from you and given to someone else. How long would it be before the student with a grade point average of 90 stops putting in as much effort? After all, if your efforts are no more recognized than the student who doesn’t put in the same effort, why bother?
This now brings us to the next problem:
If the student who had a grade point average of 90 stops putting in the effort, where will the teacher get the points to give to the student with a grade point average of 60? The teacher will have no choice but to threaten some form of punishment to the better student for their declined efforts.
That classroom will now be a small model of what happened in the Soviet Union, Communist China, Cuba, and present day Venezuela. Soon, producers start to lose their incentive to produce which leaves nothing to distribute to those who don’t or can’t show as much effort.
That hypothetical classroom is exhibited today with the push for “equal outcome.” A student with poor performance is rewarded with unearned recognitions while better students are penalized and criticized for doing so much better. The student must be doing better because they are somehow “privileged.” We also see it with the demand for ever-increasing programs that result in income redistribution. Despite the fact that top earners pay over 80% of all income taxes we hear the never-ending battle cry of “the rich must pay their fair share.” Of course, we never quite know what is meant by “fair share.”
All of this is done under what is euphemistically called “compassion.” If you don’t go along with these programs you “must not care about your fellow man.” We have all heard that. But, answer this simple question:
What was the level of “compassion” in the old Soviet Union, or Cuba, in Maoist China, or today’s Venezuela? In the countries that put Marx’s theories into action we have seen human suffering at an unimaginable level where nearly 100-million people were brutally tortured and executed, countless imprisoned, and entire populations thrown into unbelievable poverty where people had to wait in line for hours for a half of loaf of stale bread and the most elementary necessities of life.
How have the Left justified these atrocities?
Somehow it wasn’t Marx’s theories that were at fault, it was just carried out by the wrong people. Unfortunately, reality is much different. The Soviet Union, Cuba, Maoist China, Venezuela, and others carried out Marx’s writings to the letter and the horror shows were the results.
Marx predicted the evolution: Capitalism will evolve into Socialism, and Socialism will evolve into Communism. On this prediction, based on what we are seeing today, Marx may have been exactly correct.
In the next essay it would be worth taking a look at how the old Soviet Union happened.