The Accidental Marxist - Granite Grok

The Accidental Marxist

Karl Marx Bust statue

For more than 150 years, the principle

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

has been identified by Karl Marx and other writers as ‘the basic principle of communism’.

Conservatives are scared of the importation of Marxist ideas — like Critical Race Theory (CRT) — into schools.  But isn’t it a little late to be worrying about that, when those ideas are already so deeply embedded in society, particularly in the tax systems that pay for those schools?

Say what?

Consider two guys, with homes worth $1 million and $100 thousand.  Why does the first pay ten times as much to support the schools in his district?  From each according to his ability.  For that matter, why is he paying at all to educate the children of other people?  To each according to his needs.

Of course, it’s not just schools that are funded this way.

Consider two guys, with essentially the same truck.  One was made in 2021, the other in 2016.  Why does the first pay six times as much to register his vehicle?  From each according to his ability.  And where does the extra money go?  To subsidize people who can’t afford new vehicles.  To each according to his needs.

Those are just two examples from New Hampshire.  Federally, of course, we have the income tax.  One guy makes $300 thousand per year, while another makes $30 thousand. Why does the first pay, not just 10 times, but 25 times as much in income taxes?  From each according to his ability.  And where does the extra money go? After losses to corruption and waste and expenditures for the suppression of rights, it subsidizes people who make less. To each according to his needs.

Imagine if grocery stores worked this way. Consider two guys in line with the same basic items (a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a couple of steaks, a gallon of milk). But the first pays five times as much as the second — for exactly the same thing — because his income is higher, or because the value of his house is greater, or because he drives a newer car.

Is there anyone who wouldn’t consider this to be crazy? But it’s exactly what we do when we pay for schools, and roads, and a thousand other government expenditures funded with so-called ‘progressive’ taxes.

If we’re really concerned about rooting out Marxist ideology in schools, the place to start isn’t in the classroom, but at town meetings, where every year children get to watch Marxist ideology being used to pay for their schools, their roads, their transfer stations, and so much else that surrounds them.

As Emerson said: ‘What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.’  To tell kids that Marxism is bad while relying on it to fund the society they live in, and hoping that they won’t notice the contradiction, is the worst kind of self-delusion.  And it creates a situation where younger people have little choice but to ask themselves what else older people are lying about.

The people — including so-called ‘conservatives — who approve of progressive property, vehicle, and other taxes should go ahead and admit that they’re just fine with Marxism when it subsidizes things they like.

As for the people who genuinely fear Marxism, they should be crusading to eliminate it as the basis for property, vehicle, and other taxes that implement its most fundamental principle:  From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

All of which is to say, if we’re concerned about how easily the seeds of Marxism are taking root, and how quickly they’re growing, maybe we should consider how we’ve been preparing the soil so diligently, and for so long, with taxes (and subsequent government expenditures) based on the very principles, we claim to fear.