Einstein on Socialism

I honor Lenin as a man who completely sacrificed himself and devoted all his energy to the realization of social justice. I do not consider his methods practical, but one thing is certain: men of his type are the guardians and restorers of humanity.

Einstein and the Generations of Science. Lewis Samuel Feuerl. p.25

Albert Einstein is one of the famous scientists who have ever lived and has greatly contributed to physics world with his theory of relativity among other achievements. He also had a strong opinion on many other subjects such as religion, the belief in god, love and politics. Now, he is just a scientist and his opinion on matters other than science should not be valued more. However, they are worth being taken into consideration as the man is a famous historical character.

A USSR stamp in 1979 commemorating Albert Einstein.
A USSR stamp in 1979 commemorating Albert Einstein.

In May 1949, the first issue of Monthly Review was published and it included an essay by Einstein himself titled Why Socialism? This was almost four years after the end of World War II and debatably two years after the begging of the Cold War. During the time, the United States was starting to become more and more anti-communist as it tries to stop the influence of the Soviet Union over the world.

Einstein began by comparing both economics and astronomy. He said that both look at different phenomena in order to find the interconnection between all of those. The ultimate goal is to find an explanation of the cause and consequences of what happens in the natural world. However, he made a distinction as he asserted that the job is harder for economists. It is definitely harder to break down economic phenomena as there are many causes that are hard to isolate and analyze. Therefore, is it “advisable” for a person who is not an expert to give his opinion on economics? Einstein believed so.

Man is both a solitary and social being at the same time. This might sound very contradicting but it’s just how human being are. They seek affirmation and validation from their fellow members in society in order to attain self-assurance. Einstein believed that it’s this contradicting nature that makes man powerful and unique. It is, therefore, evident that man is dependent on this concept in society in his survival.

Man has become conscious to his connection to society. However, according to the physicist, this connection has been perceived as negative and as a threat to the man’s human rights and his “economic existence”. Humans, prisoners of their own egotism, are making each other weaker as they disconnect from their surroundings. This has promoted a form of “capitalist anarchy” which he regarded as the ultimate source of evil. It has made the means of production the private property of a few individuals, depriving the workers from the fruit of their labor. The production of the good is being accomplished for the profit rather than the actual use of the good. In addition to that, the technological progress is only helping the increase in unemployment rather than lifting the burden of production.

This form of “unlimited competition” is a huge waste of labor. It also cripples the individuals as they are always in fear of losing their jobs. They do not work because they want to produce a good, but rather to have enough money to purchase the result of their own work. This in turn inflicts damage on the whole educational system preparing overly competitive students, who regard academic success only to be necessary for a successful future career.

The solution? A socialist economy in which the means of production are owned by society. In addition to that, Einstein suggested that this society should be accompanied with an educational system glorifying social goals and the prosperity of all human beings, rather than his own success in life. The realization of this kind of society faces many problems. How can it be realized? How can we prevent bureaucracy empowerment? And how can we further prevent the enslavement of the individual? The problems must be addressed but at Einstein’s times, this topic was considered a taboo as socialists were being chased and oppressed.

Marxism and Women

I decided to look at the status of women in a socialist society. I was inspired by an article written by the late Max Edwards on the same subject. I think he did a great job comparing the Marxist and feminist ideologies and how they go hand by hand and although I do agree with him, I decided to give me own input on the topic.

Many women identified as communist such as Simon De Beauvoir and to some extent contributed to it as is the case with Rosa Luxemburg. Beauvoir published her feminist masterpiece The Second Sex which was one of the books started second-wave feminism. She also joined other feminist Marxists in founding the journal Questions féministes in France. Luxemburg was a member of many socialist parties and co-founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne (“The Red Flag”), one of the most influential leftists newspapers at the time.

In 1919, Vladimir Lenin wrote a short essay titled Soviet Power and the Status of Women. It was the second anniversary of the Soviet Union and he decided to take a look at the achievements of the Union in many fields, including democracy and gender equality. He firsts starts by differentiating between a socialist democracy (benefiting the workers) and bourgeois democracy (benefiting the rich) by comparing their stances on the status of women.

Although bourgeois democracy promised equality and liberty. At the time, no such republic granted women full equality. Not even 125 years after the French revolution. Bourgeois democracy is an ideology full with false promises and hopes exploiting the workers and deluding them into believing that they are truly equal.

A socialist democracy challenges the lies and illusions of the bourgeois and according to Lenin, “declares war on the hypocrisy of the ‘democrats'”. There cannot be true equality and true democracy without gender equality in which half of the population is treated as fully human. Gender inequality is unfair privilege and unfair privilege contradicts the ideals of a truly socialist, democratic society.

We say to the workers and peasants: Tear the masks from the faces of these liars, open the eyes of these blind ones. Ask them:

“Equality between what sex and what other sex?

“Between what nation and what other nation?

“Between what class and what other class?

“Freedom from what yoke, or from the yoke of what class? Freedom for what class?”

Feminism and Marxism are both left-of-center doctrines and go hand by hand. In our struggle against class inequality and the unfair privilege of the rich, we must also rebel against gender inequality and the unfair privilege of men. Both workers and females are being oppressed by the same system as they are regarded as property by the higher class. A specter is haunting the world, a specter of feminism.

Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist of Polish-Jewish descent.
Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist of Polish-Jewish descent.

Trotsky on Trump

A few days ago I was browsing reddit and I stumble upon a post claiming that Leon Trotsky’s assessment of Adolf Hitler seems to fit Donald Trump. I was not really surprised as many people have already made the comparison but I decided to actually take a look at the essay and look at the similarities myself.

Hitler has been widely regarded as a demagogue, a hysterical person, and a comedian.

We have to admit that this opening statement perfectly fits Trump. Whether it’s his appearance on Saturday Night Live or his defense of his penis size, the guy is basically out there making America and the world laugh. For a more in-depth look on this political comedy, check out this article by the New York Times.

The leaders of German labor refused to take Hitler seriously

German politicians could not take Hitler’s plans seriously. According to Trotsky, “they dismissed his program as an impossible blend of reaction and utopia”. This seems to be the case for both the Democratic Party and to some extent, the Republican Party too. However, he is in fact destroying the GOP as it could in fact splinter if Donald Trump gets the nomination.

Taken as a whole, the Hitler program for the reconstruction of Europe is a reactionary-utopian medley of racial mysticism and national cannibalism.

This one is self-explanatory. Hitler’s plans were extremely racist and angled on eliminating anyone who is not of pure German race, the holocaust serves as a great example of his ideology. Trump, although not necessarily as aggressive, opposed almost anyone who is not white. Whether it’s his hate for Latinos and Muslims, or his history of blatant racism and bigotry, Trump wants a pure white America. Reminds me of a small group of Southern ghost cosplayers, usually known as the Ku Klux Klan.

This is only a small section of the whole essay but I must say, I am rather horrified at the similarities rather than impressed by Trotsky’s description. As Karl Marx said “History repeats; first as tragedy, then as farce.”

Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky was a Soviet politician and the founder of the Red Army.