Monday, January 17, 2011

a bogeyman is scaring America: the Declaration of the Fair Share Party

The Declaration of the Fair Share Party

A bogeyman is scaring America — the bogeyman of sharing the wealth. The rich and powerful of old America — preachers and politicians, liberals and conservatives, local cops and federal agents — have made a pact to drive out this bogeyman.

Is there anyone who wanted to help the poor who wasn't called a red? Even conservative Democrats say liberal Democrats are socialists.

This tells us two things:

1. The rich and powerful know fair-sharers are powerful.

2. It's time for fair-sharers to tell everyone their beliefs, their goals, their ideas, and answer the fairytale of the Bogeyman of Sharing Fairly with a declaration of their party.

To do this, fair-sharers from different countries met in London and outlined this declaration, to be published in many languages.

To be continued?

ETA: I don't know how serious this is. I was just thinking that Americans have a lot of reasons for not understanding what Marx and Engels were trying to explain. One reason is their writing is, in many ways, dated. The Communist Manifesto wasn't meant to be a sacred text. It was meant to be a living document that would inspire change.

So I'm tempted to translate it into American. Maybe I'll do a little more tomorrow. Suggestions are, as always, welcome.

ETA 2: I've made a few tweaks after the comments, and I'll probably make more.


  1. The word "sharing" itself has unwelcome connotations. Rightly or wrongly, to most folks today it sounds like Barney the Dinosaur telling children to play nice with their toys. Trying to win over a potentially suspicious audience using that word will just elicit snickers.

    (Or the audience hears "taking away what's yours and sharing it with people who haven't earned it" and the response will be way more hostile.)

    However, the phrase "fair share" evokes a very different feeling. Sounds honest and decent and old timey, don't it? The Fair Share Party -- as in "each person should get his or her fair share" -- would have a lot more appeal for poor and working class folks who may otherwise think of themselves as conservatives or Tea Party sympathizers.

  2. Comrade Bensam has a good point. "Sharing" kinda pings the daytime talkshow bullshit vibe. The first phrase that springs to mind with the word "share" in it is "Let's all share our feelings!", and that just kinda makes me wanna hit somebody with a brick.

    "Fair Share", on the other hand, works quite well.

  3. It could be that the reason people don't understand what Marx and Engels were trying to explain is that half of it doesn't make a lick of sense. Being dated doesn't help, but the real problem is that as authors, they couldn't write their way out of a pay toilet. They should have gotten one of their converts who could actually form a coherent sentence to write it for them.

  4. Richard and Joe, good point. I'll tweak that now.

    Joel, I think the problem with this particular document is it was originally written in German, then translated too reverentially. Marx was an academic--Dr. Marx--and he wrote like one, which can be daunting. Engels is an easier read.

  5. Joe, you remind me that we need another word for "comrade", which has been so pointed that at freethesaurus, the first definition of "comrade" is "Bolshevik".

    Right now, I'm leaning toward something like Good buddy, Pal, or Pard.

  6. Translating into American would be locally useful, but what is really necessary is to translate this stuff out of the nineteenth century.


  7. Pamela, agreed. Does that mean you think what I did is still too 19th century, or you have doubts about what's ahead?

  8. Will -- I meant I thought that getting the material out of the 19th century would be more difficult later on. It's less the language than the assumptions.


  9. Pamela, I hear that. Now I think I will push ahead, just to see what the result is.