A friend asked me over dinner the other night if she was becoming a Marxist. She had been discussing social changes with her husband and was recently questioning her long held beliefs.
“That’s a great question,” I answered, “I can help you figure that out.” So here’s a little Marxism quiz to help you find out where you stand. Oh, and use a pencil, please, so that you may courteously erase your answers.
The Jet Set
Am I a Marxist?
- Land Redistribution
Too much land belongs to too few people. Let’s take all the land and divide it evenly among everyone, or at least according to everyone’s needs.
- I’m for it!
- It sounds OK, but maybe we should look into it a little more.
- I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.
- I am a capitalist pig that owns a lot of land so I’m pretty much against this.
- The Workers’ Revolution
Workers will rise up and seize the means of production to take control of their own lives for the betterment of all.
- It’s inevitable! As soon as the people wake up and realize that there is a big black boot on the juggernaut of the worker, it’s totally going to happen.
- Maybe we should start small, like the employees of Footlocker could go first.
- Is this going to function like the committees at work? I don’t know if this is such a good idea.
- I am a capitalist pig that owns many factories and lots of means of productions. How will I spend lavishly at the expense of the working classes if there’s a revolution?
- Class Consciousness
You need to become aware that you’re part of a society that exploits classes. We need to achieve consciousness of class before we can mount a proper revolution.
- You need to wake up and smell the proletariat! Look, it’s simple; society is rigidly class-based! The people need to understand where they fit so we can finally have an awesome revolution that will solve all of our problems.
- I like the idea of just one class of people, the workers. I can still be the boss, though, right?
- I think everyone knows we have a class system, but maybe the best way to affect change is to allow for fluidity of class through education and opportunities.
- That sounds like another way of taking money out of my capitalist pig pockets, which, to clarify, is totally bad.
- History = Class Struggle
History is nothing more than the way that the different classes have struggled against each other
- Amen! And the sooner we update all the textbooks to say that, the sooner the people will be educated about how the workers have been oppressed. Then we can get on with that revolution you talked about.
- Hmm. I can see some valid points in your argument, after all, serfdom, slavery, factory conditions, the very word “Dickensian.”
- It’s one way to look at history, but hardly the only way or even a complete way.
- Classes? No such thing. Except that as a capitalist pig I am definitely morally superior to you and always have been, now get back to work.
- Religion is the opiate of the masses!
- I don't know about opiates, but I sure do fall asleep in church a lot.
- Maybe people should be allowed to worship, or not worship, as they please. However, I am in favor of poppyseed muffins.
- I import opium. It's a long story, but most capitalist pigs are diversified. I'm also episcopalian, if you must know.
- The Family
The family is the basic unit of our currently corrupt society. The family gets in the way of the rise of the people because it prevents revolution.
- Preventing revolution is bad! As long as people continue to think of ‘families’ as the place where children are raised through mind control, the future workers will be hamstrung by their own conventions. Families: Against!
- Mine isn’t one of them, but I know some pretty terrible families. The Jensons down the street come to mind…Can you take their kids first?
- There are so many things wrong with that statement; I don’t even want to start. Leave my kids alone.
- I am a capitalist pig that uses familial conventions to suppress the worker and all political thought. Families are useful to keep my control of society (so that I can enrich my own pockets.) Besides, if there weren't families, who would shop at the company store?
Mostly A: You are a Marxist!
Well met, Comrade! Let’s go to a café and discuss how we can bring about the revolution of the proletariat. We have a lot of work to do and questions to answer, i.e. yes or no to armed resistance? How fast do you think we can collectivize? We need to come up with a good name, is The Shining Path already taken?
Mostly B: You are Petit Bourgeois!
You sympathize with the workers but might employ workers as well. Don’t worry, you will be crushed under the wheels of the revolution that you helped to start! OK, maybe worry a little.
Mostly C: You are Bourgeois!
You might own the means of production, but you might also just be opposed to crazy revolutions that hurt more people than they save. Lots of people get called bourgeois; all they are is rationally opposed to going to much in either direction--which is probably why they will be crushed under the wheels of the revolution.
Mostly D: You’re a Capitalist Pig!
Not only do you own the means of production, but you will oppress all to maintain power. You may establish some foundations and engage in philanthropy to redeem the terrible acts you’ve engaged in, and people you’ve sacrificed to the cogs, all in an attempt to assuage your soul (putting you into the company of the Carnegies and the Rockefellers.) On the bright side, where will you summer this year?
How did you do?