Capitalism Made Workers Rich, So Socialists Had To Invent New Oppressed Classes

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Posted: Dec 04, 2018 10:55 AM
Capitalism Made Workers Rich, So Socialists Had To Invent New Oppressed Classes

There are 7.7 billion people inhabiting the earth. That is a big number to get your mind around, but what is even more amazing is that, with all of those people, there are no two who are exactly the same. Every person is absolutely unique. Even identical twins, while they share the same genetic material, do not share the same experiences, relationships, or even psychology.

It is true that everyone shares certain physical, emotional, or psychological characteristics with other people, and it does help, for descriptive purposes, to group people according to various categories, such as race, nationality, personality type, abilities, etc, etc. Every person, moreover, belongs to a large number of such classes. A six foot five inch black man might be a flashy professional athlete with expensive tastes, who loves to entertain, who struggled with academics, and who loves pets, each category describing the individual and his personal characteristics. Another six foot five inch black man might be a serious university professor who dresses conservatively, who loves to teach, and who enjoys family. The two men may share many arbitrary classifications, but their interests, abilities, educations, and a whole list of other characteristics differ. Those two men, though they are black, are not defined by their black skin. They are individuals who have different things to contribute to society, different needs and wants, and different visions for the future.

Karl Marx, the father of communism, wrote in the 1800s about what he considered scientific socialism, the idea that history progresses toward a predestined end, which, in his view, was socialism, with the ideal of, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” An important part of his theory was that society was made of two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie -- the oppressed workers and the oppressive employers. Ultimately the proletariat would rise up and smash the bourgeoisie and take over the means of production, and then everyone would live peacefully in abundance. What the whole 20th century can attest is that socialism hasn’t worked out too well, for neither the proletariat nor the bourgeoisie. It has become painfully obvious that workers in the most socialist societies were doing the worst, and those in the freest societies were doing the best. Confiscation of productive property caused degradation, not progress.

Die-hard socialists had to come up with a different bogey man, and socialist intellectuals did just that in the mid 1900s. Postmodernism developed to undermine confidence in Western culture, objective reality. Neo-Marxists of various stripes have developed a myriad of oppressed classes so that everyone can claim to be part of an oppressed group, as long as that group is not a part of that traditional Western culture. The thought leaders determine the dogma of the class, and if you don’t buy into it, you are either a traitor to your class or you are one of the oppressors.

Without question, some people are oppressed and some people are oppressors. The question is what claiming membership in oppressed class does for you. If your class, whether it be race, national, gender, or any of the myriad others you may be a part of, determines your outcome, then there is nothing you can do about it. That tall, black college professor was a part of multiple classes that might be called oppressed. He did not let his class define him. He is Walter Williams, an eminent economics professor who did not let his class define him. He faced discrimination, and he fought it throughout his life, but he put his unique set of skills and interests to work for him and for society, teaching people.