Thursday, December 29, 2016

The simplest test for whether a society is Marxist or MINO

Karl Marx wrote in The German Ideology,
In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.
If everyone in a society has that freedom, it meets Marx's definition of communism. If not, the society is something else. You could argue that a society that's moving in that direction is becoming Marxist, but if that society limits the pursuit of happiness, it's Marxist in name only—Stalin and Mao were MINOs.

The best popular depiction of Marx's concept of communism continues to be Star Trek.