Tuesday, September 17, 2013


                                                                      CHAPTER II

                                                           THE CLASS STRUGGLE

The class struggle is an important key to understanding Marxism. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels comment that the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. (COMMUNIST MANIFESTO I, 1)

I. What is the social class?

Class is a complex term, in use since the late eighteenth century, and employed in many different ways. In society, there are many groups of people holding similar roles in the economic processes of production and exchange, and there were many ways to classify the social classes. The popular class distinction is between the powerful and the powerless, landowner and tenant, employer and employee, leaders and followers, strong and weak, rich and poor, etc.
One's class is determined largely by:
+personal or household per income or wealth
+occupation education and qualifications
+family background

There are 9 social classes in United Kingdom:

(1).Upper class: Generally holders of titles of nobility and their relatives, some with substantial inherited wealth. Men will almost always speak with some variant of Received Pronunciation. It is nearly impossible to join this class after birth.
(2).Upper middle class: Generally professionals or businesspeople with both good university degrees and professional qualifications, usually with a public school education. A significant proportion of their wealth is often from inheritance, but with earnings this class has the richest and most successful people.
(3).Upper middle class:
Generally professionals or businesspeople with both good university degrees and professional qualifications, usually with a public school education. A significant proportion of their wealth is often from inheritance, but with earnings this class has the richest and most successful people
(4).Middle class:
Similar to the upper middle class but usually from a less establishment-based background and education. Generally professionals or businesspeople with a university degree, perhaps from a "new university". Will normally own their own home and earn well above the national average.
(5).Lower middle class:
May not hold a university degree but works in a white collar job and will earn just above the national average.
(6).Upper working class:
Generally does not hold a university degree and works in skilled or well experienced role such as supervisor, foreman, or skilled trade such as plumber, electrician, joiner, toolmaker, train driver.
(7). Working class:
Generally has low educational attainment and works in a semi-skilled or unskilled blue collar occupation, in fields such as industrial or construction work. Some examples would be a drill press operator, car assembler, welding machine operator, lorry driver, fork-lift operator, docker, or production labourer. Disappearing fast due to de-industrialisation and automation.
(8).Lower working class: Generally works in low/minimum wage occupations, such as cleaner, shop assistant, bar worker. Often employed in the personal service industry.
(9).Underclass: Reliant on state benefits for income, described by Marx as the lumpenproletariat. (Wikipedia)

We also have five social classes in the United States:
(1).Upper class:
Those with great influence, wealth and prestige. Members of this group tend to act as the grand-conceptualizers and have tremendous influence of the nation's institutions. This class makes up about 1% of the population and owns about a third of private wealth.
(2).Upper middle class:
The upper middle class consists of white collar professionals with advanced post-secondary educational degrees and comfortable personal incomes. Upper middle class professionals have large amounts of autonomy in the workplace and therefore enjoy high job satisfaction. In terms of income and considering the 15% figure used by Thompson, Hickey and Gilber, upper middle class professionals earn roughly $62,500 (€41,000 or £31,500) or more and tend to reside in households with six figure incomes.
(3). (Lower) middle class:
Semi-professionals, non-retail salespeople, and craftsmen who may have some college education. Out-sourcing tends to be a prominent problem among those in this class who often suffer from a lack of job security.Households in this class may need two income earners to make ends meet and therefore may have household incomes rivaling the personal incomes of upper middle class professionals such as attorneys.
(4).Working class:
According to some experts such as Michael Zweig, this class may constitute the majority of Americans and include those otherwise referred to as lower middle. It includes blue as well as white collar workers who have relatively low personal incomes and lack college degrees with many being among the 45% of Americans who have never attended college.
(5). Lower class:
This class includes the poor, alienated and marginalized members of society. While most individuals in this class work, it is common for them to drift in and out of poverty. (Wikipedia)

According to Marx and Engels, the main classes in capitalism are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.They said:
Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other -- bourgeoisie and proletariat. (COMMUNIST MANIFESTO I, 1)
The bourgeois class is the highest class of people in the modern time, the time after the Industrial Revolution and the discovery of America.The capitalists are the owners of capital.
The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

On the contrary, the proletariat class is the class of wage earners, esp. those who earn their living by manual labor or who are dependent for support on daily or casual employment. The working class, the proletariat class is the lowest or poorest class of people, possessing no property, esp. in ancient Rome.
In Marxist theory, the proletariat class is the class of workers , the industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive. Proletarians are wage-workers, while some refer to those who receive salaries from the capitalists.
In Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels stated by bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live. (Note by Engels - 1888 English edition)
Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie (capitalist class) as occupying conflicting positions
However, other classes such as landlords, petty bourgeoisie, peasants, and lumpen proletariat also exist, but are not primary in terms of the dynamics of capitalism.

II. Is the history of all hitherto existing society the history of class struggles?
According to Marx, in the primitive communist epoch, people lived in peace and in
equality therefore there was no social class distinction and no class struggle during that time. Since prehistory, all societies have struggled each other, and they were the wars between strong and weak, good and evil. We couldn't see the class struggles but the wars caused by the Imperialists or the Colonialists. The World War Two was the war between the Capitalists and the Fascists. And the war between Vietnam and China in 1979 was the war between the Communist comrades, not the class struggle!

III. Did Russia, China and Vietnam have capitalist class and proletariat class before the Communist Revolution?After the Industrial Revolution, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, United States became the developed countries while Russia, China and Vietnam were the undeveloped countries. It means that before the Communist Revolution, there were no bourgeois class and proletariat in those countries.
According to Nguyễn
Thế Anh , under the French domination, Vietnam had around 200,000 workers included children who were about 1% of the population . ( Việt Nam Dưới Thời Pháp Thuộc, Lửa Thiêng, 1970, 256). Russia and China were also the agrarian countries, and had no capitalists and proletariats.
Therefore, the Marx's theory should not be applied to Russia, China and Vietnam.

IV. Who were the communists?At the beginning, the communists were the intellectuals, sons of the feudal mandarins, or the capitalists such as Karl Marx, Engels, Lenin, Chen Duxiu
, Li Dazhao, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Lol Nol, etc. They were not the workers, but they used the mask of proletariat class for their profit. They guided the workers and pushed them struggle against the capitalists following Marx and Engels 's theory:
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the lines of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.

The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat. (COMMUNIST MANIFESTO II ,1)
Communists are minority in USSR, China and Vietnam. In Vietnam there are about 3 million party members, but in fact, 20 members of the Politburo have the power to control the state, and they can do everything if they want. The communists formed a new class while people live in sufferings. The communists are the enemies of their people.V. What did the communists do?
V.1. Did they work for the proletariat class?
In the communist regime, the Vietnamese workers have to work hard:
Làm ngày không đủ,
Tranh thủ làm đêm
Làm thêm ngày nghỉ.
The Vietnamese workers always
Work night and day
They have no rest
Even Saturday and Sunday
In Russia, in 1933 workers' real earnings sank to about one-tenth of the 1926 level. In January 1958, Mao Zedong launched the second Five-Year Plan known as the Great Leap Forward, a plan intended as an alternative model for economic growth to the Soviet model focusing on heavy industry. Unfortunately, the net result was that the rural peasants were not left enough to eat and many millions starved to death in what is thought to be the largest famine in human history. This famine was a direct cause of the death of tens of millions of Chinese peasants and workers between 1959 and 1962. Further, many children died shortly after the Great Leap Forward came to an end in 1962 (Spence, 553). (Wikipedia)

The communists exploited the workers more than the capitalists did. Today, the proletariat class in China and Vietnam have been still poor even poorer when the red capitalists richer. Their fate did not change under the communist regime excepted some of them becoming the important persons of the communist party. The proletariat class was only a tool in the communist hand.V.2. Did the communists work for their people?Karl Marx declared that the communists were the majority working for the majority of people:
All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.
Communists are the minority and they work for their interest, not for the the interest of the immense majority. By 1933, the party had approximately 3.5 million members but as a result of the Great Purge party membership was cut down to 1.9 million by 1939. In 1986, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had over 19 million members or approximately 10% of the USSR's adult population. (Wikipedia)
Communists always classify their people into two categories: friends and enemies. Communists are their comrades, but sometimes they killed them such as Stalin killed Trotsky, Mao Zedong killed Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao.
How about their people? According to Marx and Engels, the upper class , the middle class and the lower class are their enemies :
The lower strata of the middle class -- the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants -- all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production.

The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay, more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If, by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests; they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.

The "dangerous class", the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.(COMMUNIST MANIFESTO I,14 )

Thus the majority of people were their enemies, their victims. Communists did not serve the interest of the immense majority as they said. On the contrary, they killed a great number of their people including the proletariat class. Lenin's the Red Terror which was official policy, was more systematic, better organized, and targeted at whole social classes .The number of people killed under Stalin's regime produced estimates ranging from 3 to 60 million [1]. After the Soviet Union dissolved, evidence from the Soviet archives also became available, containing official records of the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners under Stalin for either political or criminal offenses, around 1.7 million deaths in the Gulags and some 390,000 deaths during kulak forced resettlement – for a total of about 3 million officially recorded victims in these categories.[2]

VI. Who were the bourgeois , and the landlords?

According to popular view even Marx's theory, bourgeois are the owners of the modern manufactures, and the landlords the owners of thousand hectare of land. But in USSR, China, Vietnam, they were really the peasants even the middle class of peasants or the small traders. The bourgeois, the landlords were the the caps they put on the head of the innocent people. In USSR, after the failure of the first years of collectivization, Stalin blamed this unanticipated failure on kulaks (rich peasants), who resisted collectivization. These peasants who were about 60% of the population, were to be shot, placed into Gulag labor camps, or deported to remote areas of the country, depending on the charge. Archival data indicates that 20,201 people were executed during 1930, the year of Dekulakization.[3]

In Vietnam, the year 50s were the most radical period in which many peasants were labelled as landlords and subjected to the confiscation of their land, and many Communist Party members purged from village-level party branches on the charges that they were landlords or landlord agents. Finally, there were about 500,000 peasants were executed. Following the order of Chinese advisers, 5% of Vietnamese population were considered as landlords , and at least in a small and remote village , a peasant must be labelled as landlord, although they were the simple peasants, and each of them had about 7,000 square metres, a half of animal, 6 tools, 500 kg of rice and 6,000 Vietnamese communist dong (USD$10) . After the Land Reform, a poor peasant family received about 2 acres [4] but about one year later, they lost everything, and they became the slaves because of the collectivization of agriculture. (Hoàng Văn Chí. From Colonialism to Communism)
Former Hanoi government official Nguyen Minh Can, told RFA’s Vietnamese service: “The land reform was a massacre of innocent, honest people, and using contemporary terms we must say that it was a genocide triggered by class discrimination”.Some reports said that up to 50,000 people were killed and another 500,000 died gradually in labor camps or from starvation. Almost 1 million of the North Vietnamese people uprooted and left the North to move South because of this event.(Land reform in Vietnam. Wikipedia)In China, the land reform was launched by the Communist Party of China in 1946. The U.S. State department in 1976 estimated that there may have been a million killed in the land reform, 800,000 killed in the Zhen Fan campaign. According to Chang and Halliday, Mao himself claimed that a total of 700,000 people were executed during the years 1949–53.However, because there was a policy to select "at least one landlord, and usually several, in virtually every village for public execution", the number of deaths range between 2 million and 5 million. In addition, at least 1.5 million people were sent to "reform through labour" camps. Mao played a personal role in ordering these mass executions.He defended these killings as necessary for the securing of power.
Besides the Land Reform, from 1960 to 1961, Mao's Great Leap Forward resulted in widespread famine and many deaths. The official statistic is 20 million deaths, as given by Hu Yaobang. Various other sources have put the figure between 20 and 72 million (Mao Zedong. Wikipedia)

Thus, communists did not love their people, communism was a disaster for humankind. Shapiro asserts that "The refusal to come to terms with the socialists and the dispersal of the Constituent assembly led to the logical result that revolutionary terror would now be directed not only against traditional enemies, such as the bourgeoisie or right-wing opponents, but against anyone, be he socialist, worker or peasant, who opposed Bolshevik rule." (Lenin. Wikipedia)

ClassismIn the communist society, the class struggle leads to the classism. Marx and Engels classified all citizen into two main classes : the bourgeois class and the proletariat class.Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other -bourgeoisie and proletariat (COMMUNIST MANIFESTO I, 1)

The bourgeois class is the enemy of the proletariat class
, but the lower class and the middle class are also classified as " the enemies of the people" . They are suspected by the communists because "they are not revolutionary, but conservative and reactionary!"
Classism is grounded in the Marxist system that pits individuals with differing socioeconomic statuses, and other class related divisions, against each other. This system leads to antagonisms and prejudices between members of various classes. In many countries, classism refers on a personal or individual level, either in behavior or attitudes, either conscious and intentional or unconscious and unintentional. But in the communist societies, classism is the fundamental factor of laws and governmental policy.

The intellectuals are classified to the middle class therefore they are imprisoned or killed in the communist countries. In USSR, about 40 million people, including intellectuals were killed by Stalin.Vladimir Putin said of those victims, esp. the intellectuals:
"Those who were executed, sent to camps, shot and tortured number in the thousands and millions of people
," Putin said. "Along with this, as a rule these were people with their own opinions. These were people who were not afraid to speak their mind. They were the most capable people. They were the pride of the nation. And of course over many years and today as well we still remember this tragedy. We need to do a great deal to ensure that this is never forgotten.[5]

In Vietnam, the intellectuals were considered as the most important enemies that communists must destroy first (trí, phú, dịa, hào, đào tận gốc, trốc tận rễ) . Under the communist regime, the intellectuals shared with their people the suffering. After 1917, a lot of Russian intellectuals were killed, or imprisoned, and number of them fled to the foreign countries. The others stayed with Lenin and Stalin. Science in the Soviet Union was under strict ideological control by Stalin and his government, along with art and literature. Many scientists were sent to labor camps (including Lev Landau, later a Nobel Prize winner, who spent a year in prison in 1938–1939) or executed (e.g. Lev Shubnikov, shot in 1937). Lack of intellectuals, the Soviet Union used foreign experts, e.g. British engineer Stephen Adams, to instruct their workers and improve their manufacturing processes.

In Vietnam, communists followed the classism strictly, and there are many kinds of classism:
+Party classism:
In the Land reform movement, Communist Party members purged from the political position, the army, and village-level party branches on the charges that they were landlords, landlord agents or landlords 'son or daughters. It was the time the poor peasants became the party members, and important persons in every administrative and economical positions.
+Job classism:
The communists could have good jobs easily when the others did not.
+Institutional classism:
The landlords', son and daughters could not have permission to go to high school or university. After 1975, landlords, bourgeois, officers' sons and daughters of South Vietnam met a lot of difficulty at the entrance of university.
+Marriage classism:
The communist party members had to present their will to his party in advance of their wedding. They would be refused if their lovers related to the "the enemies of the people".

Trần Đức Thảo, a Vietnamese communist philosopher, wrote :
The notion of class is right, but do not consider it as an absolute truth, if so, we would negativate man, and the human kind in general. [6]
Trần Độ, a former general of Vietnamese Communist army, in his Diary, criticized the theory of class struggle:
The theory of class struggle and the policy of dictatorship of proletariat lead to the classism, which is very inhuman like Mao Zedong and Pol Pot. (TRẦN ĐỘ. Diary III, 1)

VIII. The Violent Struggle

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels confessed their aim :
The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

This is a violent struggle, which can cause the war in the country and in the world. Although Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong and Ho Chí Minh created successfully the communist parties , overthrew the feudal regime , won the invaders, and governed their countries in a long time , but their victory did not last long. Anyway, in USSR and in Eastern Europe, the communist parties were dissolved at the end of 20th century. In China and Vietnam, now communist leaders also quited the Marxism , Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism to follow the economic reform with the theory of "socialist market economy".

Many philosophers and socialists followed the peaceful struggle, so they opposed Marx and Engels such as George Bernard Shaw, Herbert George Wells, and E. Bernstein. Moreover, Communism could expand only in the undeveloped countries and in the colonies, but in the Western Europe and in the America, the workers negatived Marx and now many communist parties also dissolved.

In a word, there were many communist parties or socialist parties but the parties lead by Marx , Lenin, Stalin and Mao were the most strong and brutal communist parties. In the name of proletariat class, people, freedom and equality, they exploited the workers and people, they imprisoned and killed hundred million people around the world. Due to the theory of class struggle, they caused a lot of suffering to people and they commited "geocide"!

[1].Twentieth Century Atlas - Death Tolls". http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm#Stalin. See also: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956, 1973–1976 ISBN 0-8133-3289-3 (Wikipedia)
[2].Stephen G. Wheatcroft, "Victims of Stalinism and the Soviet Secret Police: The Comparability and Reliability of the Archival Data. Not the Last Word", Source: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Mar., 1999), pp. 315-345, gives the following numbers: During 1921-53, the number of sentences was (political convictions): sentences, 4,060,306; death penalties, 799,473; camps and prisons, 2,634397; excile, 413,512; other, 215,942. In addition, during 1937-52 there were 14,269,753 non-political sentences, among them 34,228 death penalties, 2,066,637 sentences for 0-1 year, 4,362,973 for 2-5 years, 1,611,293 for 6-10 years, and 286,795 for more than 10 years. Other sentences were non-custodial.(Wikipedia)
[3].Hiroaki Kuromiya, The Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s. Yale University Press, 24 December 2007. ISBN 0300123892 p. 2 (Wikipedia).
[4].According to Hoang Van Chi, the number 2 acres is not true, because every peasant had already public land, and communists had raised the number of land three to four times to tax the peasants during 1945-1956.
[5].http://www.bbc.co.uk/vietnamese/forum/story/2007/10/071031_putinrussianmemorial.shtml ;
[6].Trần Đức Thảo, Vấn Đề Con Người và Chủ Nghĩa Lý Luận Không có Con Người (Le Problème de l'homme et l'antihumanisme théorique, Saigon, 1988, 1989, 174 ,122).

No comments: