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The Rise and Fall of Equality

  • Date Submitted: 09/25/2014 02:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.6 
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THE RISE AND FALL OF EQUALITY
December 9th, 1989 10:45 pm was a definitive moment in the course of modern politics, not just because it marks the dissolution of some wall, but because it marks the collapse of a political system which had dominated the better part of the 20th century. It marks the collapse of a philosophy which promised universal liberation, but soon turned into a doctrine of oppression. It marks the collapse of communism.
Communism’s lifespan was a mere 140 years, from the fiery prose of the 1848 Communist Manifesto to the storming of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. What began as the musings of a handful of exiled intellectuals metastasised into a global movement that ruled over one third of the world’s population and transformed the character of the modern state.
As the 21st century unfolds and communism recedes in the rear view mirror, it may start to appear as a passing fancy, a dead-end detour on the road to the triumph of liberal capitalism. However, during communism’s century and a half of existence it was seen as a foreboding challenge to the liberal-democratic model of social organisation.
It was all started by a German economist by the name of Karl Marx. Marx claimed that actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by a classless society. What all this jargon quintessentially means, is that Marx believed capitalism to be short lived, and to be succeeded by a classless society which would be governed by the labourers. It all sounded dandy at a superficial level, but Marx’s focus on the seizure of state power was in reality “a recipe for disaster”. What Marx did not realise was that the leaders of an organization would inevitably substitute their own views and interests for those of its mass membership, which is exactly what transpired under the Soviet state created by Lenin and Stalin.

The birth...

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