It is important for a modern man to understand the key writers and thinkers whose works shaped and influenced today's politically discourses. And no branch of thinking is more important than economics as it affects and impacts every area of our lives. Especially in this current political race, where a major player is running on an openly socialist platform, an economic theory that has its roots in the writings of a 19th century ideologue named Karl Marx.
Today's liberal, whether a Bernie Sanders voter or a Hillary adherent are heavily influenced by Karl Marx, even if they refuse to admit it directly or only mouth Marxist platitudes that they have learned by rote and do not know the source. They are also heavily influenced by fascist economic thought, but that is an article for another day.
Traditional economics on the other hand, is largely derived in the west from the writings and lectures of the eighteenth century economic pioneer Adam Smith, who will be the subject of the next article. Lets look at the father of modern Communism, a Cool Figure to the Ironic Hipster, and one of the key figures in liberal economics, Karl Marx. You cannot understand liberal ideology without a solid grasp of Marx, as his theories bind together both eschatology and economics and have always exerted a massive influence on liberal theory.
Karl Marx was an eighteenth century German immigrant to England, whose studies on the area of capital led him to produce a blueprint for civilization that was in complete antithesis to Adam Smith’s work and indeed standard western thinking. As author David Wright said, “the most important point in dealing with the Marxist system is its logical interdependence. All parts depend on each other.” Marxism touches each aspect of human civilization, and is set forth primarily in Karl Marx’s magnum opus Das Kapital, partially published in his lifetime, with more volumes coming out after his death, based on his writings edited primarily by his friend and collaborator, Frederick Engels.
Marx was heavily influenced by the teachings of Frederick Hegel and his dialectical materialism, although he took Hegel’s ideas and applied them in areas and ways not originally intended by Hegel. Hegels eschatology in regards to religion was applied by Marx as eschatology in regards to heaven on earth, the Bernie Sander's Socialist Paradise.
Marx's primary work, Das Kapital, is actually several books, Volume I being published by Marx himself, and volumes II and II being published posthumously by his friend and fellow collaborator Frederick Engles, is more of a style of writing that author Paul Johnson refers to as “journalistic…a series of essays glued together without and real form.”
Karl Marx spent his research time in libraries, especially the British Library, and formulated his theories entirely on the basis of what he read, as opposed to what he saw. His economic theory was based on his studies in various libraries, and his personal application of Hegelian dialectical reasoning to the field of economics. As far as can be ascertained, Karl Marx never did any form of field research whatsoever.
The first, and most basic element to both Karl Marx's economic theory is the concept of labor.
Again following an extension of the German philosopher Hegel, he wrote against the ”alienation” that he felt occurred when a worker was forced to do some work not in keeping with his desires. He felt that the pricing system so integral to Adam Smith brought about an “objectification” of men’s work, creating and alienation of the worker from his own desired work. No man should ever have to labor at a trade at which he does not wish, according to Karl Marx, who reinterpreted Hegel’s idea of “coming into one’s own” to refer to the event that takes place when the workers have an economic revolution and “seize power, socialize property, and destroy the economic system” which forced them to be alienated from their work. Stirring words for any liberal, especially Trigglypuff who no doubt has a picture of Marx on her wall to shake her fat in the general direction of every day in due reverence.
Marx divided society into two primary classes of individuals, the bourgeois and the proletariat. Simply put, the bourgeois, who control what Marx called the “means of production”, live off of exploiting the proletariat, who sell their “labor power” to the bourgeois. Marx felt that all conflict throughout history came from the strife inherently between these two classes, specifically focused over the division of the national income
Marx felt that essentially all wealth was obtained from the labor of the working classes, the bourgeois living off of what he referred to as “surplus value," or value taken from the proletariat. Marx argued that this amounted to “exploitation” and wrote vehemently against this. In his ideal society, the proletariat would completely control not only the means of production, but also the value obtained from the production. Adam Smith’s capitalism, Marx felt, was unstable due to the conflicts it created between the two classes. Ultimately he argued that capitalism exploited the labor of the producing class, and that the proletariat were bound in a form of slavery to the bourgeois, and they did not own their own labor.
Regarding private property, Karl Marx prototypes the current liberal "you didn't build that philosophy" writing “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property." Writing in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, Marx defends this assertion by arguing that the proletariat does not control any private property, which property as it exists is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeois and the laborer is in subjugation to the landed classes. Marx’s Communism relied on abolishing all private property and replacing it with state owned property.
Furthermore, he argued increasing industrialization had already done away with most private property, concentrating it in the hands of a tenth of the population. For Marx, property could only be gained for one at the expense of another, as he refers to in his Communist Manifesto, “its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths.”
Marx admitted that in order to affect the overthrow of the landed bourgeois, it would be necessary to use what he delicately referred to as “despotic inroads on the rights of property” as well as deliberately inducing economic unrest and chaos in order to thoroughly revolutionize all aspects of the means of production and transport them into the hands of the laboring classes. In Marxism, everything eventually comes back to class warfare and the struggle Marx saw between the two classes of society. Marx was willing to allow a despotic overthrow of society, with a heavy measure of bloodshed in order to bring about what he saw as equality for all. The Black Lives Matter movement and the recent shutting down of Milo Yiannopoulos at DePaul University bear witness to the liberal embrace of violence and intimidation in confronting badthink.
Karl Marx felt that capitalism forced selfishness on man, and that in the ideal state, a Communistic state, free of the forces and pressures of capitalism, mankind would be primarily concerned with doing good, and would be happy to work for the betterment of all. This is an article of faith with modern liberalism as well. The recent push towards the granting of a "Permanent Living Stipend" so that every citizen can do whatever he feels like, unfettered by worrying about money is merely another expression of Marxian theory about human nature.
Karl Marx also felt that nations were only artificial entities, created solely by the bourgeois and that the working class was naturally bound together. He said specifically that “the working men have no country”, and argued that the proletariat itself, in every land and country constituted a nation. He predicted that once the bourgeois influence had been eradicated, war would cease, as the only reason wars were ever fought was due to the struggle between the classes. Specifically, he stated “as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to." And then the whole world can come together and sing Kum Ba Ya no doubt.
Marx taught that centralization was the key to building a perfect Communistic society. He argued that central planning was needed to ensure that only the right quantities of various things were created, freeing the economy from what he viewed as the uncertain and inefficient vagaries of Adam Smith’s invisible directing hand.
One of Marx’s steps listed for the transformation of society toward the perfect Communist utopia was the ownership by the State of factories as well as the production instruments in order to coordinate them under a centralized planning organization. This is point seven of his ten point plan, set forth in the Communist Manifesto of 1848. Factories generally, and heavy machinery specifically were very important to how Marx thought of driving a nation’s economic progress.
For Marx, an economy would grow faster the more heavy industry it developed, known as the “reproductive scheme”. For example, Soviet planners in Russia diverted huge sections of the GDP of Russia into the development and growth of heavy industry, with the expectation that, according to Marx’s theory of economic development, this would result in an overall stimulus to the economy. Today the would-be central planners of the left feel that "green jobs" will help the economy grow and create "millions of jobs."
Last generation it was heavy industry, now its renewable energy. And the abject failure of the Soviet Five Year Plans in producing wealth was mirrored by the current green energy failures, i.e. Solyndra. In both cases, the liberal elites at the top lined their pockets at the expense of the people who actually try to produce something.
With regard to schooling, Karl Marx would have felt right at home with the public school unions. In his Communist Manifesto of 1848, he gave a list of ten primary steps required to set a nation on the road to Communism, the tenth and final one being the “free education for all children in public schools.” Karl Marx felt that it was crucial to educate children and prepare them for their life as productive citizens. In addition to the free public schools, he also wanted the “combination of education with industrial production”, helping to inculcate the education of children with what he regarded as practical skills.
Marx viewed education and work as two elements that needed to be combined. Although he called in principle for the abolition of child labor, Marx argued that it was not possible to completely remove it from society. Marx was convinced that in order to create the new, more perfect communistic man it was vital to avoid doing what one author refers to as “incarcerating the child in an unproductive scholastic ivory tower,”thus leading to the alienation of that child when he finally entered the real world after his education was complete.
Marx’s education focused on creating what he referred to as fully rounded men, in contrast to what he felt were the partial men of his day. He wanted to mold men who instead of being forced by capitalistic pressures to specialize in one or two things, would instead be free to learn and study whatever he wanted. Marx felt that men should be able and free to change what sphere he was active in whenever he felt like it, best explained in his saying that under Communism he was free “to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after a dinner, just as I have a mind”.
For Karl Marx, economic freedom was gained through the combination of education, overseen entirely by the state of course, and combined with work and vocational training, thus leading to a citizen capable of engaging in multiple spheres of activity, precisely as he chose. The modern Sanders supporter, with his demands for free education and lifelong support by the state to live in his mother's basement, work at Starbucks, and do underwater basket weaving, is a direct descendant and outcome of the socialist theory that springs from Marx's pen.
There were others before and after Marx who were influential in developing the theory of socialism, Plato wrote about a form of Communism thousands of years ago and Aristotle rebutted it shortly thereafter, but Karl Marx brought it into the mainstream of political thought and created the bible that the generations of adherents that are currently attacking out country today quote from, whether knowingly or not. As a modern man, you must understand the source of one of the most poisonous ideologies in existence, one that deprives you of your freedom to think, to work where you choose, and to keep the fruit of your work.