Three places where you’ll see Marxism in America
Today, since communism is still a bad word, those who want to achieve its goals but not claim its name have developed a new approach. Three new approaches, actually. One goes by the term “state capitalism.” Another goes by the term “democratic socialism.” A third is a form of critical social analysis popular in universities. Let’s look at each:
1. State Capitalism
In a nutshell, state capitalism is the practice of federal governments taking ownership and management control of otherwise private businesses. The idea behind state capitalism is inherently socialistic, in spite of the use of the word capitalism. At present, Russia, China, and other nations are committed to state capitalism, but so are many American leaders. Recently, for example, the U.S. federal government has made aggressive moves in the health-care, energy, and banking sectors of the economy. Government control of the economy creates a significant justice issue because the government is so vulnerable to corruption.
The Hoover Institution’s Arnold Beichman pointed out that socialism in the former Soviet Union, rather than distributing goods equally, actually created a class known as the nomenklatura, whose members “own everything, the auto factories, the food markets, the pharmacies, the transport system, Everything.” Instead of achieving its stated goal of destroying class distinctions, socialism tends to remove competition and deposit cronyism in its place.
In Soviet times this elite class ran the economy into the ground. Will it do the same in our economy?
2. Democratic Socialism
Bernie Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist and forcefully argues that America would be better off if it were to substantially raise taxes on high income earners and put more control in the hands of the federal government. Sanders argues that democratic socialism wouldn’t be anything like the totalitarian Marxist regimes of the past because the people would be in charge. All socialists describe themselves as democratic, and usually win favor by promising to restore power to the people through democratic elections. Seldom do they ever get around to it. Fidel Castro in Cuba and Kim Jong-Un both described themselves as democratic socialists. Both presided as dictators.
So is someone like Sanders different? Democratic socialism is often used by socialists to get the support of people for radical reforms. The socialist part continues, the democratic part usually does not. To understand what democratic socialism is really all about, we need to understand what Marxism is all about.
3. Marxism in the University
Several decades ago, U.S. News and World Report revealed an alarming increase in the number of Marxist professors on university campuses. In affirmation of the claim that ten thousand Marxist professors roam America’s college campuses, Herbert London said, “Every discipline has been affected by its preachment, and almost every faculty now counts among its members a resident Marxist scholar.” Among them, Duke University’s Fredric Jameson and Lancaster University’s Terry Eagleton. At any major university you’ll find some professors overtly evangelistic about Marxism and many others sympathetic to Marx’s aims.
The same is likely true in your state capital and in Washington, D.C.
Explore additional articles from Summit Ministries relating to Marxism/Communism.
Understanding the Times by Jeff Myers and David Noebel, available in Summit’s bookstore.