Marx's philosophy, which he named communism, was as much utopian as it was socialistic. He envisioned a society in which the wealth created by industrialism was equally and forcibly distributed among all of its inhabitants. Implicit in this scheme was the visible hand of the philosopher king (the state), but tragically absent from his delusion was a realization of the source of industrial wealth - the entrepreneur, who risks investment for profit. By removing the profit link from the magic cycle of capitalism, utopian socialism was doomed to sink inexorably back into the dismal miasma of pre-industrial feudalism.
Marx's atavistic social structure has actually been tried, first in Russia then in China, and later in such diverse places as Germany, Italy, Cuba, and North Korea, all with predictable results. It turns out that communism cannot exist except through its imposition by a totalitarian government using propaganda, xenophobia, and cultural isolation to quench the natural human desire for personal betterment. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the cultural bankruptcy of communism had become universally apparent, although vestiges of it linger in some political and philosophical backwaters such as the U.S. Democratic party and its propaganda media, who recognize its value as a precursor to fascism.
In the United States in the early twentieth century, communistic socialism was adopted by Hamiltonians such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, (the latter of whose aristocratic illusions was enhanced by the noblesse oblige theories of the British socialist John Maynard Keynes). The methods employed by these self-styled philosopher kings were attempts to micro-manage the economy and to control the news media through force-fed government propaganda. The predictable results were industrial stagnation and economic depression. In the mid-twentieth century, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) developed and documented a method of inciting civil discontent as a means of achieving redistribution of wealth, a tool that is still central to the machinations of communist-socialists such as Frances Fox Piven, Stephen Lerner, and Barack Obama.
So we have seen socialism evolve from a natural and necessary social organization employed by man's ice age ancestors through an uninformed reaction to the industrial revolution to a political method of enforcing human slavery using propaganda, suppression of opposition and criticism, and "community organizing" (i.e. rabble rousing and class warfare) to achieve the enrichment of self-appointed aristocrats at the expense of what they consider to be the "plebeian class." The problem with this bastardization of socialism, of course, is that the "plebeian" class (i.e. the producers of wealth) produce their wealth for their own profit, not for the entitlement of others, and as they are not only the most intelligent but also the most industrious people in any society, they will take their skills elsewhere rather than submit willingly to slavery. The purveyors of the communist-socialist dream, therefore, are destined to be left dependent on the ever-expanding dregs of society, who produce nothing but burgeoning demands on the increasingly declining public wealth, thus ultimately dooming the entire society to the level of abject poverty observable today in North Korea.
Reprinted from History And Common Sense by G. E. Kruckeberg, Kindle edition (Available Below).