I shall now proceed to describe the economic system advocated by the Bolsheviks. It must be remembered that the objective of this system is to stamp out the distinction between the rich and the poor and to see that everybody has food, clothing, and medical relief; and that all have their ordinary needs met according to a standard which should be the same for everybody. In short, their object is to do away with all the economic handicaps that operate against the poor. The principles upon which this system is based in accordance with Marxian theory are as follows:
From each according to his capacity. For the sake of illustration, assume that one man owns ten acres of land and another a hundred. The levy from each of them will not be equal or even in equal proportion. After allowing for the legitimate needs of each, the surplus will be taken away from him.
To each according to his need. That is to say, in conjunction with the first principle whatever a person produces will be taken away from him subject to his being permitted to keep or to be supplied whatever he may stand in need of in accordance with a uniform standard. A man with less productivity but with a large family would yield less to the State and receive more from it in comparison with another with higher productivity and a smaller family.
The surplus belongs to the State and must be employed for the benefit of the whole community, irrespective of whether the surplus is the result of labour or luck.
That goods also, and not merely persons, should be subject to State control. That is to say the State should have the right to decide what shall be grown, and what not, in a particular locality. For instance, if a particular area is best suited for the cultivation of sugarcane, the State would direct that it should be devoted to the cultivation of sugarcane. Similarly, the growing of wheat or cotton may be prescribed for other areas. In other words, the State would prescribe in each case the use to which sources of production would be put and everybody would be bound to obey.
That intellectual effort divorced from manual labour has no value. The basis of all production is manual labour. Everybody must, therefore, make a contribution through manual labour, and those who refuse to do so shall have no claim upon the State or the community.
To ensure the spread and successful working of these principles, a policy of offence rather than of defence should be adopted.
By the application of the first of these principles the Bolsheviks took possession of all property, wealth and other sources of production.
In accordance with the second principle, Bolshevism charges itself with providing for the needs of every manual worker. It is the duty of the Bolshevik Government to provide food, clothing, shelter, fuel etc., to each family in proportion to its numbers and also to make provision of medical attendance and relief. The only persons, who are excluded from the benefits of this system, are those who refuse to undertake manual labour and thus disentitle themselves to these benefits.
In accordance with the third principle, the State appropriates to itself all surplus in production and in the sources of production. For instance, if a peasant is able to produce 50 maunds1 of grain on his holding, whereas his requirements could be met out of 20 maunds, the extra 30 maunds would be appropriated by the State. Or again, if a holding is in excess of the area sufficient to maintain the peasant and his family the excess area must be surrendered to the State.
As a result of the fourth principle, Bolshevism has deprived peasants, traders and artisans of all liberty of action by prescribing what each will or will not do. All agriculture, industry, trade and commerce must be carried on as prescribed by the State. The State determines what shall be grown or produced in each area and the peasants have no choice in the matter. The same is the case with other occupations and activities. Everybody has thus been reduced to the level of a task labourer.
The fifth principle has been utilized as a weapon against religion, inasmuch as by its application ministers of religion became disentitled to all relief. As a priest did no manual work, he was not entitled to have his needs fulfilled. The result was that the priestly class were compelled to devote the whole or the greater part of their time to manual labour, that is to say, to secular occupations.
A powerful attack on religion has been delivered by Bolshevism through adoption of the principle that religion should be a matter for the free choice of each adult. It is asserted that parents have no right to instil the principles of any religion into the minds of their children. Education and instruction should be wholly the concern of the State. It is alleged that to influence the mind of the child in the direction of a particular religion is tyranny of the worst type, as a result of which children grow up in the faiths of their parents. The proper course, it is asserted, is to safeguard the minds of children against all religious influence so that when a child grows into an adult, he or she can make a free choice in the matter of religion. The adoption of this view means the destruction of religion. Under it children are separated from their parents at an early age. Their education and instruction are placed in the hands of a State agency. All reference to religion or religious doctrines is excluded from the education prescribed. The result is that the child grows up completely indifferent to religion, if not actively hostile to it. It is no use asserting that when he arrives at the age of discretion he can adopt whatever religion he chooses. His mind, by that time, becomes completely sealed against every religious influence. It is claimed that the system ensures a clean slate so far as religious training is concerned, so that an adult on maturity is at liberty to write on it what he likes. This, however, is a patent fallacy. Under this system the child grows up in the belief that religion is nothing but a bundle of superstitions and by the time he becomes an adult, he becomes completely godless. The result is that the system ensures that future generations shall be confirmed atheists.
In accordance with the sixth principle, Bolsheviks began intensive propaganda to convert other countries. Their agents soon spread over the continent of Europe and in parts of Asia. In these countries they are known as “Communists.” They have some sort of organization in the Punjab and other provinces of India also. Thus the principles preached by the German Jew, Karl Marx, obtained ascendancy throughout Russia, and the movement to secure the necessaries of life for every person, to abolish poverty and to establish equality between the rich and the poor began to have practical shape on a large scale. As the object of this movement was to bring about a universal revolution it produced certain reactions in other countries.
1 Unit of weight equivalent to approximately 37 kilograms.