The Communist Manifesto states that ten things need to occur in order to transform a society from capitalism to communism. Let's see how the USA scores. By my calculations, communism wins a resounding victory.
This list of Communist Manifesto planks was copied from Wikipedia. The exact same text can also be found in other sources.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Anyone who owns land pays property tax. For example, with a property tax rate of 5%, you pay 5% of your property's value each year to the government. If you don't pay property taxes, your land is confiscated. Effectively, a person doesn't own their land; it's a perpetual transferable lease from the government. Owning something means you don't have to pay anything for the continuing privilege of ownership. By this standard, nobody in the USA owns land. All land is owned by the government and rent is paid.
Score: Communism 1, free market 0
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Need I say more?
Score: Communism 2, free market 0
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
Estate taxes are pretty hefty. The Bush tax cuts eliminate the income tax in 2010, although it reverts to the old law in 2011. People with tremendous wealth can use trusts to dodge estate taxes. However, they're paying an effective tax to their accountants and estate planning lawyers; for large estates, estate planning services take a percent of assets. Estate taxes hit hardest on families with a business valued in the $1M-$10M range. Their business may not have the cashflow to pay the estate taxes and they may be forced to sell. I'll score this as half a point for each side.
Score: Communism 2.5, free market 0.5
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Are you kidding me? There are many laws making it very easy for the government to confiscate the property of "terrorists" and other criminals. The law makes it very easy for the government to seize assets of people accused of tax evasion. With a globalized economy, you can't really transfer wealth outside of the country. Where else could it go? All countries have the same bad rules for capital ownership, with the USA having slightly better rules!
Score: Communism 3.5, free market 0.5
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
This is easy: The Federal Reserve.
Score: Communism 4.5, free market 0.5
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
There is pretty heavy government regulation of transportation and communication. Most telecommunication companies are big corporations that are heavily regulated. Centralized control in a few corporations is effectively the same as State control. A government-granted monopoly with heavy regulation is the same as State control. Televisions and newspapers are concentrated in a few corporations. However, the Internet is one noteworthy exception that is at risk for being crushed soon, if "network neutrality" is stopped. The free market manages another half-point here, due to the Internet. Will it be able to hang onto this half point? Will the free market score again?
Score: Communism 5, free market 1
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.
The farming industry is heavily regulated and government subsidized. Most industrial farms follow the practices set out by a few agricultural companies (i.e. Monsanto). Factories are hardly even built in the USA. Besides, concentration of manufacturing power in a few big corporations is effectively the same as State control. Maybe the free market should get partial credit here, but I'm going to give Communism a full point.
Score: Communism 6, free market 1
8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
I think that "industrial armies" could be interpreted as huge corporate control of factories and farms. The food industry is certainly heavily regulated.
"Equal liability of all to labour". I'm not sure what that means. I think it means that most people are employees/wage slaves, rather than entrepreneurs. There are so many barriers to starting a small business that most people are effectively forced to work as employees. The average person is a laborer, not a capital owner. Even a small business owner is effectively a government employee, because of the confiscatory effect of income taxes.
Score: Communism 7, free market 1
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
Agriculture is mostly industrialized now. Small farmers are mostly squeezed out or marginalized. The increasing power and regulation of the Federal government means that the ability of cities to make their own laws is reduced. For example, people in California want to legalize marijuana but are forbidden by the Federal enforcement of drug laws.
Score: Communism 8, free market 1
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.
This is another huge win for Communism. There are huge problems with the current implementation of schools, enough for another article. Even though there are private schools, most of them follow the model set by public schools. They are better in quality, but suffer the same structural defect.
The structural defect in schools is that they teach loss-avoidance rather than value-creation. You start with a grade of 100% and are punished for each mistake. Perfection is required to avoid punishment. There is no benefit to learning the material after the test; you just move on to the next subject. If a student sees his mistakes after a test and correctly relearns the material, there is no reward.
Schools are designed to created obedient workers. Their "loss-avoidance" training means that they are reluctant to risk any sort of job loss, making them obedient workers. They are reluctant to risk money in the stock market, and invest in savings accounts or bonds where inflation erodes their savings.
Score: Communism 9, free market 1
By my scoring, the Communist Manifesto has been nearly completely implemented in the USA. The free market only scored two half-points. It scored a half-point for the ability of wealthy people to dodge estate taxes. It scored another half point for the Internet. The half-point that the free market won for the Internet is at risk, if telecommunications companies have their way and abolish network neutrality.
Is there a free market out there anywhere?
Ironically, as I was about to post this, the exact same topic was discussed on the "Ron Paul Forum". http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=4841
That post includes some points I missed, so I'm going to copy and reproduce that post here. I'm copying the post rather than merely providing a link, because the discussion forum may disappear after Ron Paul's campaign ends. This post appears to be itself a direct copy of http://www.criminalgovernment.com/docs/planks.html.
10 Planks of Communism happening in America?TEN PLANKS OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO
Could this be happening in America? If so, how?
Our "elected representatives" have passed laws implementing these anti-freedom concepts. The communists have achieved a de facto FEDERAL SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT in America.
In 1848 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote a book outlining a political ideology, titled "The Communist Manifesto". Marxism's basic theme is that the proletariat (the "exploited" working class of a capitalistic society) will suffer from alienation and will rise up against the "bourgeoisie" (the middle class) and overthrow the system of "capitalism." After a brief period of rule by "the dictatorship of the proletariat" the classless society of communism would emerge. In his Manifesto Marx described the following ten steps as necessary steps to be taken to destroy a free enterprise society!! Notice how many of these conditions, foreign to the principles that America was founded upon, have now, in 1997, been realized by the concerted efforts of socialist activists? Remember, government interference in your daily life and business is intrusion and deprivation of our liberties!
First Plank: Abolition of property in land and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
(Zoning - Model ordinances proposed by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover widely adopted. Supreme Court ruled "zoning" to be "constitutional" in 1921. Private owners of property required to get permission from government relative to the use of their property. Federally owned lands are leased for grazing, mining, timber usages, the fees being paid into the U.S. Treasury.)
Second Plank: A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
(Corporate Tax Act of 1909. The 16th Amendment, allegedly ratified in 1913. The Revenue Act of 1913, section 2, Income Tax. These laws have been purposely misapplied against American citizens to this day.)
Third Plank: Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
(Partially accomplished by enactment of various state and federal "estate tax" laws taxing the "privilege" of transfering property after death and gift before death.)
Fourth Plank: CONFISCATION OF THE PROPERTY OF ALL EMIGRANTS AND REBELS.
(The confiscation of property and persecution of those critical - "rebels" - of government policies and actions, frequently accomplished by prosecuting them in a courtroom drama on charges of violations of non-existing administrative or regulatory laws.)
Fifth Plank: Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
(The Federal Reserve Bank, 1913- -the system of privately-owned Federal Reserve banks which maintain a monopoly on the valueless debt "money" in circulation.)
Sixth Plank: Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
(Federal Radio Commission, 1927; Federal Communications Commission, 1934; Air Commerce Act of 1926; Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938; Federal Aviation Agency, 1958; becoming part of the Department of Transportation in 1966; Federal Highway Act of 1916 (federal funds made available to States for highway construction); Interstate Highway System, 1944 (funding began 1956); Interstate Commerce Commission given authority by Congress to regulate trucking and carriers on inland waterways, 1935-40; Department of Transportation, 1966.)
Seventh Plank: 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.
(Department of Agriculture, 1862; Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933 -- farmers will receive government aid if and only if they relinquish control of farming activities; Tennessee Valley Authority, 1933 with the Hoover Dam completed in 1936.)
Eighth Plank: Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies especially for agriculture.
(First labor unions, known as federations, appeared in 1820. National Labor Union established 1866. American Federation of Labor established 1886. Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 placed railways under federal regulation. Department of Labor, 1913. Labor-management negotiations sanctioned under Railway Labor Act of 1926. Civil Works Administration, 1933. National Labor Relations Act of 1935, stated purpose to free inter-state commerce from disruptive strikes by eliminating the cause of the strike. Works Progress Administration 1935. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, mandated 40-hour work week and time-and-a-half for overtime, set "minimum wage" scale. Civil Rights Act of 1964, effectively the equal liability of all to labor.)
Ninth Plank: Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
(Food processing companies, with the co-operation of the Farmers Home Administration foreclosures, are buying up farms and creating "conglomerates.")
Tenth Plank: Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
(Gradual shift from private education to publicly funded began in the Northern States, early 1800's. 1887: federal money (unconstitutionally) began funding specialized education. Smith-Lever Act of 1914, vocational education; Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 and other relief acts of the 1930's. Federal school lunch program of 1935; National School Lunch Act of 1946. National Defense Education Act of 1958, a reaction to Russia's Sputnik satellite demonstration, provided grants to education's specialties. Federal school aid law passed, 1965, greatly enlarged federal role in education, "head-start" programs, textbooks, library books.)
(Research source: Encyclopedia Britannica.)