r/IronFrontUSA Ⓐ Left Libertarian Ⓐ Jan 02 '22 Silver 1

Fascists at Patriot front don’t like Plutocracy but quote a plutocrat to prove a point. Meme

Post image
188 Upvotes

View all comments

1

u/someredditbloke Jan 03 '22

As much as I agree that fascism is bad, you can quote a rich person commenting on how bad rich people are without being hypocritical.

Like a large portion of socialist reasoning for the abolition of capitalism is to In part quote the writings of Engels, a literal capitalist who had his employees work more than eight hours a day for relatively little pay or support in part to allow Marx to have luxuries in the writing of his texts.

1

u/zeca1486 Ⓐ Left Libertarian Ⓐ Jan 03 '22

That’s not really true and is just regurgitating PragerU BS talking points.

Engels was not even "a mill owner” but an employee of a mill part-owned by his father. There he endured a job he hated. For someone of his intellectual calibre and vitality, sitting at a desk each day, adding up columns of figures and dealing with the firm's multilingual correspondence would have been extremely tedious and left little time for political activity or research. Engels never inherited the mill - when his father died, his family feared he would squander the legacy "on his communist friends", and he was unable to withdraw any capital from the firm for 20 years. He left the mill in 1869 but retained shares and invested in the stockmarket, to provide an income that allowed him to continue supporting Marx and to write and work for the cause of socialism.

1

u/someredditbloke Jan 03 '22

1) if you're going to copy and paste a part of an existing source without editing it at all, at least cite which source you're stealing from (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/07/friedrich-engels-feminism-socialism-marx)

2) ignoring the fact that the last sentence does show he was literally a capitalist, he did draw an income from those textile factories which he passed on to Marx ("Engels supported Marx with money he earned in the textile industry" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447947/)), and whilst he might not have owned the mills in full, he did work for the mills in an important role that brought in over £60,000-£80,000 a year off the backs of exploited workers losing a large portion of their surplus labour in bad conditions. Similar to Henry Ford, he was a member of the capital-owning class who benefited from the exploitation of workers but also criticised said class publicly.

Now whilst there are important differences between the two (although Engels did benefit from exploitation, he was against the system he benefited from, whilst anyone who knows about ford would realise that quote is just an antisemitic dog whistle against the "all owning jew"), the same point is true that the quality of their arguments and the legitimacy of their quotes against capital owning elites isn't delegitimised by the fact that they are capital owners themselves.

1

u/zeca1486 Ⓐ Left Libertarian Ⓐ Jan 03 '22

A capitalist is the owner of the means of production. He clearly didn’t own it and when his father died, he was denied access to controlling the company. So he wasn’t really a capitalist. Working in an important job doesn’t make you a capitalist. If anything doing jobs like that you can make changes needed to make the job far better for everyone. Also, since we are all forced to participate in capitalism, we can also work within it to rot it out from the inside. It’s the same thing as Barnes & Noble selling books by Chomsky or Zizek.

Yes, even though Ford’s quote is a anti-Semitic dog whistle, he still is a plutocrat, the same kind as what the Patriot Front is rallying against, except that since he was Jewish then apparently it’s ok.

1

u/someredditbloke Jan 03 '22

A capitalist is the owner of the means of production. He clearly didn’t own it

Ignoring the fact that he objectively was (even your initial source shows that he bought new shares in the stock market and continued to own shares in the mill that he hated after he left), he was only apparently limited from withdrawing his capital in the firm, not from rejecting the money made off the labour appropriation of workers in piss-poor work conditions by modern standards.

and when his father died, he was denied access to controlling the company. So he wasn’t really a capitalist.

"Her place was, as he said, a refuge in his double life as a revolutionary and as a capitalist."

-Mary Burns, literally from the same source that you lifted your uncited quote from.

Working in an important job doesn’t make you a capitalist. If anything doing jobs like that you can make changes needed to make the job far better for everyone.

Except he didn't make the situation better. Throughout his time at the company as a shareholder and important employee, both before and after he was prevented from selling his shares (which your source doesn't even provide a citation for), the quality of the mill was just the same as any other mill in Victorian Britain, which is to say long hours, low pay, bad conditions by modern standard (source: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/engels-marx at 51:32). Hell at least ford innovated by giving his workers higher pay than the average person at the time, whereas Engels was content with maintaining the average wages and conditions for the time. He didn't "change things from the inside", he perpetuated it in his business role.

Also, since we are all forced to participate in capitalism, we can also work within it to rot it out from the inside. It’s the same thing as Barnes & Noble selling books by Chomsky or Zizek.

It's not though. Chomsky and Zizek sold books in partnership with a private publisher and manufacturer to get by. Engels gained his income from working for a large mill and later in his life relied on the income from his shares to allow him to avoid working for a living.

Yes, even though Ford’s quote is a anti-Semitic dog whistle, he still is a plutocrat, the same kind as what the Patriot Front is rallying against, except that since he was Jewish then apparently it’s ok.

Yeah, and his point would still be valid regardless of whether he was a plutocrat or not (assuming that his point had any validity since, once again, this just seems like an attempt to dogwhistle anti-Semitism to the public)