Karl Marx Was Right – – Partly
As of late, famed economists and popular thinkers of the day have lately given voice to the notion that Karl Marx was partly sort of right after all. Yelling that “Marx was right” has become an opinion of late that no longer needs to be talked about at night at an undergraduate discussion class, or at your local communist hipster party. While corporatist right wing (tea party) hacks will find this difficult to accept, serious independent thinkers have come around to some of Marx’s ideas, if only because he was right on more things than he was wrong. Belief in Marxism doesn’t make one a Marxist thugs. Marxism has seen a resurgence from being dead and buried, deservedly so. Massive income inequality and capitalism run amuck has created feudalism part 2- just as Marx had predicted.
Both Mr. Magnus and Dr. Roubini have it that we are now in the midst of a textbook crisis of Capitalism. They assert that prolonged income inequality in the United States, being the result of a sustained high return to capital, has led to the weak aggregate demand that underlies all such crises just as Marx described. At that point the two men diverge. Mr. Magnus goes on to prescribe a set of essentially Keynesians remedies. Dr. Roubini, ever the Cassandra, writes off the foreseeable future as incurably depressed, with worldwide “massive social and political instability” as the unemployed masses take to the streets.
It’s not wrong to observe that aggregate demand has fallen in advanced economies, nor is it unusual to put forward Keynesian policy recommendations, nor is it a crime to express disappointment at the impact of the Western world’s fiscal and monetary attempts to prime the pump. It’s reasonable to fear that we’re slipping into a double-dip recession, if we’re not already in one. If Karl Marx had said, “Capitalism has its ups and downs, and it’s difficult to keep everyone happy all the time solely through markets,” then, sure: who would argue? But that’s not what Karl Marx said. He said, “Capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction.” He said it was inevitable that each successive crisis would be progressively more severe until the whole mess would one day spontaneously collapse in upon itself and burn in the flames of the glorious workers’ revolution. And then every other bad thing would fall away, under a benign and idyllic revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat, until even that fell away and the brotherhood of man achieved Communist perfection.