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View Diary: The "Marxism is coming back" trope (264 comments)

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  •  Interesting isn't it. (13+ / 0-)
    if you are rich and own capital, capital accumulation makes you richer.  
    This is the first chapter of every How to Get Rich guide.  The rest has to do with how to accumulate capital while no one else is looking: leverage, other people's money, control over accounts, and real estate (or the other promotable asset of the moment).

    And with the sales of these books, one would think that the US would have no poverty at all, especially since the glory years of Saint Ronald.

    The problem is that Marx was a better analyst than a revolutionary, better at fundamental understanding than applications.  Plus his best friend Engels was at base a model capitalist (even if his strategy or just his story was working within the system to overturn the system).

    The open questions at the moment have to do with alternatives and how they do not slip into? back into? the same old pre-Victorian capitalism that Marx analyzed.  How is it that the revolutions in most (but as of the moment not all) countries have wound up in oligarchic capitalism regardless of popular pressure.  And some snap back quicker than others.

    Or is it possible for a highly contradictory capitalism to limp along in a failed condition forever just because it finances the political power and force to prevent its replacement with an alternative?

    But it is interesting that the people who caused the current financial crisis, the ones who sought to reverse the mixed system that saved capitalism through the New Deal are raising the Red Scare again just like they did when labor had real power after World War II, briefly until Taft-Hartley stripped it, and could have begun to provide an alternative.  It is also interesting that ethnic anxieties were at the root of that snap-back.  The US could not deal with civil rights and labor together regardless of how much Walter Reuther tried to reform that.

    What is more interesting is that the book that is making the powers that be send out the media dogs is not even that philosophically marxist.   Its like "Isn't it interesting that the current global oligarchs and their political organizations (called corporations) are acting like Capital said they would."

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:33:01 PM PDT

    •  One of my conservative friends (10+ / 0-)

      Rates Marx as an excellent diagnostician but a poor practitioner.

      •  I agree with that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jay C

        Marx was a pessimist concerning capitalism and an optimist on bloated beauracracy (Sp?).

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:22:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So does Thomas Piketty... (5+ / 0-)

          So far as I have read in C21C, he has nothing but admiration for Karl Marx's work as an economist (especially, as given that in the 1840's, the "discipline" of economics scarcely deserved the term), and nothing but dismissal for Marx's political polemics - IOW, as the old saw about Marx goes:

          "Everything he wrote about capitalism was correct: everything he wrote about communism was wrong"

          •  Everything he wrote about communism (0+ / 0-)

            ...was vague.

            In practice, that vagueness was clarified by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh,....and an honest analysis today is that a revolutionary party with antagonistic neighbors and governmental socialist management of the entire economy winds up with oligarchic state capitalism.

            But a "free enterprise" economy with corporate private capitalism and government limited to only some forms of infrastructure also winds up with oligarchic state capitalism.

            In both cases the oligarchs control the capitalist state.

            Someone needs to come up with a well-thought-through alternative direction.  Unfortunately Capitalism in the 21st Century does not quite reach that for all his discussion of Marx.

            It doesn't even begin to grapple with the almost "original sin" issues of commodification and the commodification of money that sets a society on the path to that of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

            50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

            by TarheelDem on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:47:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  True. Revolution hasn't worked out so well in (0+ / 0-)

      practice.

      •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

        Look at the consequences of 1776.  Gadsden flags in the 21st century.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:48:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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