A Christmas Karl
“You know Engels and Brezhnev and Trotsky and Lenin
Castro, the Chairman, and Krushchev and Stalin
But do you recall
The most famous Comrade of all?”
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. From the patrician and the plebeian, the lord and the serf, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, we see this struggle. Here is the story, appropriate for this season, of one brave proletarian who struggled and won: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Rudolph was one of many reindeer laboring in a hellish capitalist labor farm called “Santa’s Workshop,” in which the noble, proletarian elves and deer worked, breaking their backs for the minimum subsistence wage allowed them by their capitalist master, the so-called Saint Nicholas.
(Dear comrades, is it any surprise that such a wanton bourgeois man would be termed a “Saint” by the church? Let us not forget that religion is but the opiate of the masses.)
In this Arctic hell (not unlike Siberia) these creatures are alienated from their labor. Do the elves ever see their toys? Do their children get the new Barbies? No! They choke on the crusts of bread this Saint leaves them. They have no share in workmanship, no share in the profit. Santa Claus owns the means of production and distribution, the workshop and sleigh.
One brave worker rose above the rest. This young reindeer, this Rudolph, rebelled. He told the capitalist ‘no!’ and stood firm.
The capitalist, who had exploited nature for years, finally had nature turned against him. He was forced to come to Comrade Rudolph. Rudolph, with his natural prowess of a bright nose, forced the capitalist to give him control of the means of production in this instant.
They expropriated the capitalist of his means of production, and set about taking the revolution worldwide. They gave to each child equitably according to his need. With each gift down the chimney, the reindeer included a copy of the Communist Manifesto. A few needy children even received a copy of Das Kapital, of course.
Thanks to the efforts of our young comrade Rudolph, international communism was spread to the masses. Soon, thanks to his efforts, we shall see the revolution arrive. I call on all the proletarians of the world, the cookie elves, the snowmen, and particularly the polar bear, slave of the Coca-Cola corporation, to unite! Only together can we purge this season of bourgeois corruption.
A Capitalist Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge was one of the greatest men in all of England. He carefully ensured his investors were getting their money’s worth, and that he guaranteed no employee or customer preferential treatment. He was the picture of justice. He even gave Bob Cratchit a paid day off for Christmas. Can a more magnanimous entrepreneur be imagined?
Late one night, after a long day of producing value and paying his employees the fair market wage, Mr. Scrooge was visited by a spirit. This spirit took him back to his childhood. In this vision Scrooge saw himself at Christmases past, wasting his time on frivolous relationships and silly holiday traditions when he could have been working, creating value, and spurring the economy. Scrooge began to realize how many people he could have employed and served while he had been throwing his life away on Christmas and charity. He began to really understand the true meaning of Christmas: it was gifts!
And stuff! And toys, and profits, and advertisement. He made a quick note to have Cratchit work overtime on a new December campaign the next day. Maybe something involving a polar bear.
A second spirit then visited him. This spirit took him to the Christmas present. Scrooge saw his employee, Bob Cratchit, and his large family. “Good lord,” Scrooge thought to himself, “I thought I had been paying Cratchit a fair market wage, but it looks like I’m supporting a whole brood! Why aren’t they working? I’m sure the little crippled one is on some sort of welfare, taking my hard-earned shillings. Some Christmas indeed! I get robbed, and this layabout gets free crutches.”
Then a third spirit visited him and showed Scrooge his future. He had a shallow grave, with no mourners. “Good,” he exclaimed, “no one wasting their time on a dead man!” Scrooge was then thrilled to see the hardworking commoners going through his belongings to sell them. He was glad that nothing was going to waste that could be sold. Thrift was the essence of a healthy economy, he reflected.
Moved by these experiences, Scrooge decided to stay open, even on Christmas. He forewent the cheap pleasures of the holiday and applied himself, and Bob Cratchit (subject to a pay cut), to his work. Thus any investor or customer could reach him, even on the 25th of December! Scrooge truly was the picture of Christian service on this day.
Noah Weinrich is a junior studying Politics.