Do communists want to abolish private property? What is the purpose for this belief according to The Communist Manifesto?
A core belief of Communism is that societies should abolish private property held by the bourgeois class, since it was not earned by the bourgeois, and was instead gained off the labor of others.
Read more about the idea to abolish private property, and why it is a defining belief of Communism.
Communists and the Proletariat: Working to Abolish Private Property
What is Karl Marx’s view on private property according to The Communist Manifesto? The Communists support the Proletariat and want to forcibly overthrow the Bourgeoisie. The defining feature of Communism is the desire to abolish bourgeois private property. Bourgeois private property wasn’t made or earned by a bourgeois individual—it was made by many laborers working together. Therefore, property should be common and a society should work to abolish private property. According to Communism, private property shouldn’t exist.
The Path Forward
Once the Proletariat have acquired political power, they’ll take the following ten measures. (Some of the measures along this path are unsustainable but unavoidable. Problems will iron themselves out naturally. According to Communism, private property is the source of many of these problems and removing it would solve problems.
- Abolish the ownership of land and put all land to public use. This will eliminate oppression and class conflict.
- Create a progressive or graduated income tax. This will spread wealth more equally among all members of the population and eliminate classes.
- Abolish inheritance. This will eliminate wealth being held by a few instead of distributed among everyone.
- Take away the property of emigrants and rebels. Emigrants who are living abroad and left possessions behind obviously aren’t currently using them, so they can be better used by the general population. Rebels who oppose the Proletariat also shouldn’t be allowed to have property.
- Create a national bank using state capital. Private banks simply hold money. A national bank could use money to improve social conditions.
- Put the state in charge of communication and transportation. If the state controls these things, rather than an oppressor, everyone will have access to them.
- Expand and improve the state’s control of infrastructure and land. Currently, people aren’t making good use of resources. The state can allocate resources in a way that most benefits everyone.
- Require everyone to work and require working conditions to be decent. This will result in everyone contributing to society.
- Decentralize jobs from cities by combining agriculture and manufacturing. This will reduce geographic inequity and make better use of resources.
- Abolish child labor, create public schools, and give all children free education. This will improve the lives of children.
Political power only exists to allow one class to oppress another. The Proletariat will only briefly be the ruling. After the above measures have been carried out and all class distinctions fade, political power will cease to exist. Karl Marx’s views on private property help explain these discrepancies, and how they could be solves.
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Here's what you'll find in our full The Communist Manifesto summary:
- How the oppressors and the oppressed have been in conflict for all of human history
- How the communists planned to overthrow the ruling class and put in place a fairer system for all
- Five key criticisms of Communism, and how Communists respond