One of Karl Marx’s key selling points of the communist ideology was that it was a progression in the history of economics – mercantilism, then capitalism, then socialism, then communism.
We have, and are, seeing Marx’s prophecy come true.
During the 20th century, beginning after the 1910s, the size and scope of government grew, through taxation, regulation, legislation, and government services. A popular essay which circulates the Internet describes how all ten planks found in Communist Manifesto are present in the United States.
In the 21st century, beginning in the 2010s, we are seeing communism itself coming into fruition – communism being the complete lack of private property. This communism is being done under the guise of convenience and cutting-edge technology. Through the popularity of subscription services and cloud computing, we are on the edge of the largest voluntary surrender of private property in human history.
As of August 7th, 2013, Amazon.com’s Kindle service offers 600,000 books that cost less than $4.99 each, and over one million that cost less $9.99 each. This includes 180,000 books that are exclusive to Kindle. Public domain books are available for free, but like all Kindle books, they cannot be printed, changed, or resold for free or charge as public domain works normally are. In addition, Amazon.com can (and has) remotely disabled any books “purchased” via Kindle – you do not own these books, you license them, and they are found in the Kindle cloud, not on your devices.
One million books at $9.99, 600,000 books at $4.99, and millions of public domain works “for free” total almost $13,000,000 of private property in the hands of Amazon, an amount which would be otherwise multiplied trillions of times in physical books. And prices through this century will no doubt rise with inflation and currency devaluation.
Services such as Netflix and iTunes take advantage of the similar “convenience” of massive voluntary surrender of private property. Instead of owning audiovisual media (much of which has since been redesigned with crippling copyright controls), no such media has been pressed, leaving the entertainment which enhances our lives and creativity in the hands of two companies.
Yes, these are private companies, not the government. However, governments from Pakistan to the United States continue to conspire with these companies to censor and alter these technologies to their best interests, as well as spy on the financial information and personal preferences of these customers. It is now far more “convenient” for the UN to seize all the world’s books from Amazon and all the world’s music from Apple than it was for FDR to seize gold bullion from millions of American individuals. And just as the perjury of Clinton led to the lies of Bush II, it is only a matter of decades before desensitization makes such actions possible. Communism is truly the cutting edge.
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