Man is an animal. Some men gave up the wandering animal life of beasts and settled, becoming Human during the Agricultural Revolution only about 5,000 years ago. Humans built cities; the foragers attacked them. Men rebuilt that which the foragers destroyed, and men built walls and fortifications and raised up armies and priests and gathered wealth and power and knowledge. In cities and villages, men became farm animals; most men were slaves. And still the foragers attacked. They attack to this day. And men, no longer slaves, now wealthy individuals and owners of property, owners of their own lives, ponder the savages and wonder about the nature of primitives, wonder if they might be better off than the man of the city after all.
Some have seen the value to Human life in the rise of cities. Marx saw it. He saw in the rise and triumph of the bourgeoisie in France in 1789 the victory of the settled over the savage and the victory of the city over the feudal holding. But Marx did not like the victory of the middle class over the world of feudalism any more than he liked the old order of the privileged over all. He preferred the city over the land, as he writes in the Communist Manifesto, but not by much.
"The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life."
Marx, like most revolutionary socialists, didn't much like the working classes or the peasants. He thought of them as counter-revolutionary and primitive. He looked to the middle class for the force that would destroy the hated feudal order.
"The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part." He saw the revolutionary energies of the bourgeoisie, but he thought of them as a mere replacement of one oppressor of the working classes and peasants over another. Often he sees the middle class as worse than the feudalists in that the former are driven my mechanical and calculating motive.
"The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment". It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation."
Reading this unawares, one would think Marx had some concern for those he writes about. We know better. Marx's concerns were for the ruling elite of Left intellectuals who would rule as Philosopher Kings in place of the kings of the Middle Ages. He turns of cheap sentimentality to try to win converts to his play, his act, his histrionic grab at the spotlight of concern for the people. It's cheap.
"The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers. The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation."
Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, The Communist Manifesto.
Marx isn't demanding to have it both ways: that the rural poor live in happy poverty after the glorious Communist triumph. He claims that rural living is a poverty of the mind, and that cities are a redemption from superstition and exploitation by feudalism. And he goes on to claim that the bourgeoisie are the new rulers who treat the peasants cum proletarians as neo-serfs and worse. Now the peasant is stripped of his ties to Nature and is settled lost and alone on the mean city streets, alienated from the product of the labour he lives by, and even from his own family. Saved from the idiocy of rural living, the peasant in the city is now a piece of labour till his strength gives out and he is swallowed by the insatiable meat-eating demons of the city's industrial charnal house.
If Marx weren't so ridiculous I'd laugh. I don't laugh for a reason: Marxist ideology, the canned thinking that comes from the willfully naive or the driven careerist ideologue is not simply stupid on the face of it, it is murder in action from the book pure and simple. It is clear in the proto-fascist approaches Marx and others take toward the city itself as if the city itself is a means to dehumanise and exploit those the socialists considered alienated and in need of reunification with Nature to be authentic as people.
Whatever benefits Man might have found in the feudal era, and Marx more or less points them out above, man was nevertheless a farm animal. The concept of feudal man as farm animal is clear and simple. Man in a feudal state has rights and duties. Marx and his lot claim rightly that when the feudal ties were severed, man lost his rights to manorial protection; and when he became proletarian he lost his ties to live as bonded person. Industrial and citified man is indeed alienated from nature and other men. To mature adults this process is known as individual freedom. It comes at a price, and we will look at that price in coming essays on Erich Fromm and Eric Hoffer in our investigation of the history of Left dhimmi fascism. For now we'll restrict our probe to life in the city and the roots of why they hate us. The matter of hate is nearly irrelevant in light of our problem in understanding them and us. It is them and us which we will below look at further.
The central principle of Modernity is the individual's ownership of his own life as his own private property. Communism, as one might guess from the root of the term, in not about Man's private ownership of his own life as personal property. Private life includes ones private property, including the means of production if such are ones own. This understanding of person and privacy is entirely offensive to those who would live in the day-dream world of communitarianism. It is so offensive that they who hate privacy will and do commit mass murder and extermination to prevent it from continuing in the face of history.
It matters little that Marx is the figurehead of the Left. If not him, another would have done as well. There is and has been since 1789 a movement to restore the feudal age and return man to the farm and his state thereon as animal. Man as private being is seen by all fascists, Left and Right, as an affront to the order of Life: that Man is a beast who must be controlled by his betters. The bogus claims of Eden after the revolution of socialism is a never-ending one. Man is destined by the fascists to be forever corralled and caged and tended. All communal men are tended. It cannot be otherwise.
When we return to this topic we'll follow the reaction of the peasant and neo-feudalist to the rise and function of the city and see how the reactionary fears and hates it to the point of suicidal madness. We'll see our own delusional fellows using the barbarian proxzies to destroy tyhe city and to turn mankind back to the land as farm animals.