The Key 2 Liberty involves learning the principles of freedom for yourself and then sharing your knowledge with others.



Marxism is an economic and political ideology whose primary goal is to improve society by instituting the principles of socialism as a means to transform a capitalist run society eventually into a society that follows the principles of communism.  The founder of this ideology was a German philosopher named Karl Marx who lived from 1818 to 1883.  His primary belief was that in capitalist societies the people of the working class are the primary producers of the goods and services that are created and that they are disproportionally paid for their labor compared to the owners of the businesses they work for.  He believed that if the working class could overthrow the capitalist business owners they could take over the businesses for themselves and thereafter would receive their fair share of the profits from the businesses.  He along with Friedrich Engels wrote a famous book called the Communist Manifesto that fully explained this ideology.

It is important to distinguish the difference between the ideology of socialism and a socialist government as well as the difference between the ideology of communism and a communist government.  Theoretically, a government that is identified as a socialist government follows the principles of socialism and one that is identified as a communist government follows the principles of communism.  This is hardly ever the case.  Governments that are purported to be socialist or communist typically only incorporate a certain degree of the principles of socialism or communism into the government.


The ideology of a socialist run government is characterized by a large degree of central economic planning and ownership of the means of production by the working class.  The means of production in reference to an economy is basically the land, raw materials, machinery, tools and other equipment necessary to manufacture useful products.  Socialism is the first phase of the Marxist ideology of an economic plan to transform a capitalist society into a communist society.  In this phase, ownership of the large corporations is taken from the capitalists through revolution (violent if necessary) and become owned collectively by the workers of the corporations who then share the profits amongst themselves.  The basic premise of a socialist government is that the distribution of goods should take place according to a person’s production efforts.  It is thought by socialists that people can be mentally transformed from being motivated to work for wages to being motivated to work for the fulfillment of everyone’s needs.  According to Marxist theory, in the final steps of a socialist society, as it transitions over to pure communism, the use of money to acquire items of need will no longer be necessary.  At this point the society becomes “classless” as there is no distinct upper or lower economic class of people.  Marx believed that a communist nation would produce a surplus of goods and that everyone would have ready access to any items of need.

History has shown that these ideas always fall short of the utopian goal of motivating people to work for the common good of the people’s needs.  The Founders were well aware of these ideas and did everything they could to make sure the seeds of socialism were not planted in our Constitution.  They believed that the proper role of government is to protect people rights and not to meddle around with redistributing people’s property to satisfy people’s needs.  Here is what three famous Americans had to say about the principles of socialism (classless society, central ownership of goods) and the right to private ownership of property which is the basis of a capitalist society.

A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams - “The Utopian schemes of leveling [re-distribution of the wealth] and community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown.  [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.” (William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, 3 vols. [Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1865], 1:154.)  [5000 Year Leap, p. 30]

The second President of the United States, John Adams – “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.  PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST.” (Charles Francis Adams, ed. The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. [Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1850-56], 6:9, 280; emphasis added.)  [5000 Year Leap, p. 174]

The sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - “Property is the fruit of labor.  Property is desirable, is a positive good in the world.  That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.  Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.  I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can.  Some will get wealthy.  I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.” (Quoted in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, May 1955, p. 7.) [5000 Year Leap, p. 172]

The Founders would place a socialist government somewhere on the left side of the political power scale.  Since socialism is an ideology of an economic transition from capitalism (free markets) to communism (total economic planning by the working class) the position on the Founder’s political power scale will slide from the center (a balance of power between the people and the state) to the left (power concentrated in the state) as the working class seizes the property of the capitalists.  This can happen quickly through a violent revolution or slowly from gradual changes in the laws of a capitalist run government.

Technically, if the true principles of Marxism are carried out, the level of governmental control will decrease as the people “mentally transform their motivation to work from earning wages to satisfying the common needs of society”.  As this transformation is carried out, the position on the Founder’s political power scale will shift from the far left back towards the center.  However, in order to provide for the level of economic planning that is called for in a socialist society, a significant amount of government would have to remain in place so the position of the government on the political power scale would remain on the left side and never reach the balanced center.  Marx’s ideology explains that as a socialist government approaches a condition of communism, society becomes “stateless” in the sense that the government is reduced to bureaucracies with the sole responsibility of administering the economy instead of being composed of governmental bodies that create coercive laws to control the day to day lives of the people.

Friedrich Engels, the coauthor of the Communist Manifesto, explained it this way, “As, therefore, the State is only a transitional institution, which is used in the struggle, in the revolution, to hold down one’s adversaries by force, it is sheer nonsense to talk of a ‘free people’s State’; so long as the proletariat still needs the State, it does not need it in the interests of freedom, but in order to hold down its adversaries, and, as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom, the State, as such, ceases to exist.”

Even though the level of governmental control of the people in the final stages of a socialist government, before the complete transition over to a communist government, would be less than at the start of a socialist government, because property rights are no longer protected, the Founder’s would place this form of government near the far left side.

The basic ideology of Marxism does not elaborate on the exact structure of government or type of elections to be held in a socialist government.  Marx simply stated that the proletariat (working class) should revolt against the bourgeoisie (wealthy ruling class) in order to acquire the means of production and take control of the administration of the economy.  Basic Marxist theory calls for an expansion of democracy with the working class participating in the decisions that regulate the economy.  Marx also described socialism as a process of changing a government from a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie to a dictatorship of the proletariat.  A dictatorship from Marx’s point of view was a government ruled by a single class of people instead of the current definition which is a government ruled by a single person.

The role of the military and police during the transitional period of socialism depends on the type of revolution carried out by the proletariat on the bourgeoisie to acquire the means of production.  If the revolution is violent, the military and police often cooperate with the working class to overthrow the capitalists and the government as the Russian police and military did in 1917 to overthrow the government of Nicholas II.  If the revolution is accomplished by gradually changing the laws of a capitalist government to create a socialist government the military and police may play no part at all.  As a socialist society approaches the final stage of communism and as people “mentally transform their motivation to work from earning wages to satisfying the common needs of society” the need for the military and police will decline.  When a state of pure communism is attained there will technically be no need of a military at all (stateless society).  Of course all the countries of the world would have to be communist in order for this to be the case.

If Marx’s ideology of socialism is used to define a socialist country there is no country that exists today or has existed in the past that truly fits this description.  The former Soviet Union claimed to be a socialist nation just as the present day People’s Republic of China claims to be.  The means of production was not owned by the working class in the Soviet Union and is not owned by the working class today in China.  The common people of the Soviet Union had very little to do with administering the government and a similar condition exists today in China.  Elections, if held at all, are either for menial, local positions or are tightly controlled by the “Communist Party” at the national level.  The Soviet Union utilized a large military force and police state to keep order and control of the people just as the present day People’s Republic of China continues to do.  Both of these countries qualify as socialist nations in the respect that the state performs a large degree of central economic planning.


Like a socialist government a communist government is characterized by a large degree of central economic planning.  In Marxist theory it is the finished state after socialism where all the means of production are owned collectively by the people.  In an intermediary, socialist state the working class owns the individual companies and the workers of each company share the profits of that company amongst themselves.  This is a “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their contribution (deeds)” ideology.  In a finished, communist state the working class collectively owns every company.  People work for the common good of everyone.  This is a “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs” ideology as popularized by Karl Marx.  The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles describes a basic plan to convert a capitalist country into a communist country.  It contains the ten planks listed below:

Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

The two primary characteristics of a communist society are being classless and stateless.  Most people will agree that no such society has ever existed and most likely never will.  The former Soviet Union and China are considered by many people as being communist governments but neither of these clearly fit the Marxist definition of communism as they are not classless or stateless societies and the working class does not have common ownership of the means of production and has very little to do with the administration of the government.  If communism is the finished state of utopia after socialism most people will agree that the former Soviet Union never reached that state and present day China has some considerable work to do before reaching that state.  The reason these counties are called communist is because they are ruled predominately by a single political party, the Communist Party.  The Communist Party (which differs from country to country) does not necessarily follow the exact principles as envisioned by Marx but rather a variation of them.

The Founders would place a pure communist state as Marx envisioned (classless and stateless) near the far left of the political power scale.  Like a socialist country, a communist country does not protect the right to private property and is ruled by a dictatorship of the proletariat.  Proponents of communism would argue that if all the governments in the world were communist there would be no need of a military.  To date no government has ever reached this state of perfection using the socialist model.


Nationalism in a general sense means a strong identification by a group of people as belonging to an independent country.  For instance, the people of the United States view themselves as Americans while people from France view themselves as French.  Nationalism can also be an ideology that citizens of a country should be of one ethnic or cultural background.  Germany while under control of the Nazis (national socialist) believed that its people should be composed entirely of the Aryan master race.


A fascist government is largely characterized by having totalitarian or authoritarian control over its people assured by the power of the military and police.  A fascist government is a one party state that administers all aspects of the economy, prohibits any resistance to its policies, does not hold elections and is ordinarily led by a dictator or an oligarchy.  Fascist governments use indoctrination, propaganda and sometimes even eugenics to condition its people to be, in the eyes of the government, perfect citizens.

Some people describe fascist governments as being “far right” governments on the political scale.  The original meaning of left and right with reference to governments came from the seating arrangement used by the members of parliament in France during the French Revolution.  The members of radical revolutionary parties (Communists) took the seats on the left while the members of military dictatorships (Fascists) took the seats on the right.  As described in the first section on Types of Governments, “Left vs. Right”, the Founders used a different political scale which was based on political power instead of political parties.  Governments with total power concentrated in the state are placed on the far left side of the scale and the right side of the scale represents a state of anarchy or having a total absence of government.  Governments that give a certain degree of power to the people take positions toward the center of the scale.  The Founder’s would place fascist governments at the far left position on the political power scale as they have totalitarian or authoritarian control over the people.  Examples of fascist governments would be Germany under Adolf Hitler and Italy under Benito Mussolini.


Nazism is a fascist ideology while combining racial and nationalist ideologies.  The Nazis were highly prejudice against the Jewish people and believed in the advancement of an Aryan master race.  Like fascism, some people view Nazism as a far-right ideology of government.  The Founder’s would definitely disagree and place the Nazis where they belong next to the fascist on the far left side of the political power scale.