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Ed Driscoll

The Gray Lady is Always the Last to Know

April 2nd, 2013 - 12:29 pm

“Hmm. Turns out Karl Marx was just as smelly and personally useless as his modern-day acolytes!”, Moe Lane quips, adding, “Hey, you want a good laugh?  Figure out when I started to chortle… at the New York Times:”

The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.

Still, it comes as a shock to realize that the ultimate leftist, the father of Communism itself, fits a recognizable pattern.

As Tim Blair quips, “Stinky Broke, and Mad” is no way to go through life, son. And yeah, that’s the guy whose ideas you want to run with, to totally upend millennia worth of mankind’s accumulated social and economic wisdom, hit the CTL-ALT-DLT keys on civilization, and completely reboot your nation. What could go wrong?

But I love the notion of someone at the Times writing that the discovery of Marx’s foibles comes as any sort of shock, when Paul Johnson’s book Intellectualswhich devotes one of its chapters to Marx’s pathetic day to day life and places him into a recognizable pattern shared by many on the left — was first published in 1989.

Related: And if that’s how little the Times knows about its own religious forefathers, imagine what else is missing in their collective knowledge of history. Or as Michael Walsh writes, “They say you tend to believe what you read in the newspaper until the story concerns something you actually know about. The Times has just proven to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world that it knows nothing about their religion. Read it on all subjects accordingly.”

Update: From Michael Walsh at the Corner, “The Elephant in the Room in My Pajamas.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Another pillar of socialist, statist thought is John Maynard Keynes, noted economist who blessed the spending of politicians by writing indeterminate books allowing for 80 years of interpretation.

Keynes was a flake who wrote in grand terms about an "economics" which pleased the political masters of his time, and our time. Classical economics says to leave the people alone. Keynesian economics says that politicians are supreme, and are able to correct the "deficiencies" of the businessmen who unfortunately happen to create all of the wealth.

Keynes could not see the fallacy in the ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window#Bastiat.27s_argument )
Broken Window Fallacy. Believing in this fallacy is the centerpiece of Keynesian thought.

In the above fallacy, breaking windows is naively seen as beneficial because there is a shopkeeper with additional wealth ready to buy a new window and produce beloved "economic activity".

The Keynesian idea that distributing money (stimulus) creates wealth depends on a store of wealth in the society waiting idly to be confiscated to increase "economic activity". Wealth is reduced to a minimum after a few such interventions.

It should be enougdiscredit that Keynes proposed digging ditches and refilling them as a way to prosperity and full employment. He was better than Houdini at misdirecting his audience.

A story about Keynes shows that he really believed in the Broken Window fallacy. If you take resources from a restaurant owner, you can increase restaurant employment. As Margaret Thatcher said, socialism works until you run out of other people's money.

( http://easyopinions.blogspot.com/2008/12/keynes-digger-of-holes.html#towels )
Keynes, Digger of Holes
=== ===
During a 1934 dinner in the U.S., one economist carefully removed a washroom towel from a stack to dry his hands. Mr. Keynes swept the whole pile of towels on the floor and crumpled them up. He explained that his way of using towels did more to stimulate employment among restaurant workers.
=== ===
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash"

Well then, perhaps we should look to him for economic advice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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The Worldly Philosophers detailed all this in 1953, plus the fact, not mentioned here, that because of his poverty, Marx couldn't afford a bed for his maid (yes, his maid) and so often made her sleep with him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Marx sounds just like the kind of guy you wouldn't put in charge of second shift at the local Dairy Queen.

And honestly, how many of you would dine in an establishment where the big "O" was in charge of cleanliness.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another pillar of socialist, statist thought is John Maynard Keynes, noted economist who blessed the spending of politicians by writing indeterminate books allowing for 80 years of interpretation.

Keynes was a flake who wrote in grand terms about an "economics" which pleased the political masters of his time, and our time. Classical economics says to leave the people alone. Keynesian economics says that politicians are supreme, and are able to correct the "deficiencies" of the businessmen who unfortunately happen to create all of the wealth.

Keynes could not see the fallacy in the ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window#Bastiat.27s_argument )
Broken Window Fallacy. Believing in this fallacy is the centerpiece of Keynesian thought.

In the above fallacy, breaking windows is naively seen as beneficial because there is a shopkeeper with additional wealth ready to buy a new window and produce beloved "economic activity".

The Keynesian idea that distributing money (stimulus) creates wealth depends on a store of wealth in the society waiting idly to be confiscated to increase "economic activity". Wealth is reduced to a minimum after a few such interventions.

It should be enougdiscredit that Keynes proposed digging ditches and refilling them as a way to prosperity and full employment. He was better than Houdini at misdirecting his audience.

A story about Keynes shows that he really believed in the Broken Window fallacy. If you take resources from a restaurant owner, you can increase restaurant employment. As Margaret Thatcher said, socialism works until you run out of other people's money.

( http://easyopinions.blogspot.com/2008/12/keynes-digger-of-holes.html#towels )
Keynes, Digger of Holes
=== ===
During a 1934 dinner in the U.S., one economist carefully removed a washroom towel from a stack to dry his hands. Mr. Keynes swept the whole pile of towels on the floor and crumpled them up. He explained that his way of using towels did more to stimulate employment among restaurant workers.
=== ===
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash"

Well then, perhaps we should look to him for economic advice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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