Watered-Down Marxism

By Alex Entz

While in Europe, I had the good fortune to attend a student rally advocating for the taxation of the rich to pay for free education. One of the major organizers and supporters of the rally was a group known as “Communist Students,” and they handed me a pamphlet about their groups and their seven objectives.

What I saw shocked me. Communist Students, one of the foremost promoters of communism on campus, has gone soft! Their seven proposals were all fluff. To atone for their lack of true communist principles, I will here list their demands—practically anarcho-capitalist though they may be!—and modify them to fit a truly collectivist agenda.

1. Abolish student fees. Everyone should be encouraged to develop themselves and their intellectual and critical abilities to the fullest degree.

The Communist Students group start off their list of demands with a simple and well-reasoned one, though, personally, I would prefer “encouraged” be replaced by “required”. What are central planners for if they cannot overcome the classic information asymmetries in education by dictating who goes to school and for how long?

Alex Entz encounters "watered-down marxism" in Europe.
Alex Entz (right) encounters “watered-down marxism” in Europe.

2. For academic freedom in teaching and research.

Here, Communist Students got it half right. Academic freedom is a must, except for those subjects that use mathematics and logic and economics. These subjects rely on the types of reasoning that are deleterious to Our Cause. Namely, objective reasoning, and basic economic principles.

3. Students over the age of 16 should receive grants set at the level of the minimum wage—at least 300 pounds/week under today’s conditions.

Three hundred pounds per week? What is left of communism if all are not receiving living wages? 800 pounds per week, minimum. If we can let everyone be rich, why shouldn’t we?

4. The right of every young person on leaving education to a job, proper technical training or full benefits.

Adam Smith might as well have written this sentence. True communists would recognize that kids deserve all three, not just one. Communism, is, after all, the ideology of choice!

5. Remove all obstacles to the participation of youth in social life. Votes and the right to be elected from the age of 16.

Such a statement is ridiculous! The weak-kneed Communist Students leadership is setting up further arbitrary restrictions to participation in the political process. Were they truly communists, they would recognize that we cannot be satisfied until all individuals can participate in social life. From here on out, individuals should be allowed to vote* and perform other civic duties from birth!

6. The provision of a broad range of sports and cultural centres under the control of representatives elected by youth.

Just sports and cultural centres**? In what sense is that at all communistic or equitable, to have youth serve in leadership roles which are constricted to mere sports and cultural centres? Youth should have sole control over large swaths of government. The exact positions (and the individuals who will fill them) will, of course, be determined later by the Central Planning Committee.

7. The extensive provision of education and counseling facilities on all sexual matters, free from moralistic judgment, is an essential prerequisite to enable youth to develop themselves in all areas of sexuality and reproduction.

The Communist Students end on a strong note by pushing the achievement of short-term hedonistic goals over long term ones. When we enable and encourage people to think about making their futures more than they already are, they start to question their situation. They lose faith in their inability to be socially mobile; optimism gone, they will inevitably lose their assumption that the situation we have fostered for their own good is, indeed, “good.” And we can’t have that.

At a time when the world has been plunged into recession by the behemoth banks that run our economies, it is ludicrous to see that the communist “standard-bearer”, the Communist Students group, has conceded so much ground to those favoring free markets and free minds. If such a pace continues, it may be difficult for us to indoctrinate impressionably young freshmen in the coming years.


*Until voting is eliminated. 

**The Marxist spelling, apparently, of “centers”.

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