Saturday, February 26, 2011

Marx Was a Communist

On this date in 1848, Karl Marx's A Communist Manifesto was first published. Marx's Manifesto was a polemic, calling for social revolution and the implementation of a 10-point plan designed to begin the last turn of the historical wheel that would result in communism. The Trans-Atlantic Communist league has uploaded this video simply listing Marx's 10 points set to a rousing communist anthem.

It is interesting to note how many of Marx's points have been absorbed into U.S social policy over the past century.

For those interested in a good introduction into Marxist economics, I recommend chapters nine through thirteen in Murray Rothbard's Classical Economics.  In chapter nine he lays out the historical origins of communist thought. He then begins his discussion of Marx in chapter ten in which he explains the intellectual origins of Marx's thought in particular. As Rothbard reminds us:
The key to the intricate and massive system of thought created by Karl Marx (1818-83) is at bottom a simple one: Karl Marx was a communist. A seemingly banal or trite statement set alongside Marxism's myriad of jargon-ridden concepts in philosophy, economics, history, culture et al. Yet Marx's devotion to communism was his crucial point, far more central than the dialectic, the class struggle, the theory of surplus value, and all the rest. Communism was the goal, the great end, the desideratum, the ultimate end that would make the sufferings of mankind throughout history worthwhile.
Rothbard makes the compelling case that Marx developed a millennial vision of a secular kingdom of God on earth and then set out to build a scientific case explaining why history demands we end there.

Rothbard goes on to explain, at just the right level of detail, the importance Marx's theoretical system--historical materialism, the class struggle, Marx's economics of capitalism, and his theory of capitalism's inevitable collapse--to Marx's communist vision. In so doing, Rothbard shows how and why Marx's life project was ultimately doomed. In short, Rothbard's exposition of Marxist economics is a towering achievement. 

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