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Rehabbing Karl Marx Yet Again

Dr. Tim Stanley weighs in on the Left's continued attempts to rewrite history.

by
Chris Queen

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November 8, 2013 - 11:00 am
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karl-marx

For decades, the Left has waged a war to bend history to suit their narrative. From the disinformation tactics of the former Soviet Union (and even Russia today) to the dishonesty in modern American textbooks, the Left has no compunction about changing the facts of history. Most recently, British leftist Owen Jones appeared on a BBC program and attempted to wash the hands of Karl Marx of the damage caused by his followers. Earlier this month, columnist and author Dr. Tim Stanley weighed in on Jones’ rehab attempts on Marx’s image:

I can’t quite believe that I’ve just sat through ten minutes of BBC television in which British journalists Owen Jones and Zoe Williams have defended Karl Marx as the prophet of the End of Capitalism. Unbelievable because I had thought Marxism was over with the fall of the Berlin Wall – when we discovered that socialism was one part bloodshed, one part farce. But unbelievable also because you’d have to be a pretty lacking in moral sensitivity to defend a thinker whose work sent millions of people to an early grave.

I don’t want to have to rehearse the numbers but, apparently, they’re not being taught in schools anymore – so here goes. Sixty-five million were murdered in China – starved, hounded to suicide, shot as class traitors. Twenty million in the USSR, 2 million in North Korea, 1.7 million in Africa. The nightmare of Cambodia (2 million dead) is especially vivid. “Reactionaries” were sorted out from the base population on the grounds of being supporters of the old regime, having gone to school or just for wearing glasses. They were taken to the side of paddy fields and hacked to death by teenagers.

On the BBC broadcast, Jones and journalist Zoe Williams both dismissed Marx as “just an economist,” yet Stanley neatly draws the line from Marx’s theorizing to the natural result of Marxism’s implementation:

It’s possible to argue that Marx was an economist rather than a politician – that he only analysed the failings of Capitalism and never offered the blue-print for building socialism that would end in disaster in the 20th century. But that misses the point that Marx’s analysis was what informed that blue-print and, so, he bears intellectual responsibility for it. His view that all human relations are shaped by economics and that everything we do is measured in purely material terms reduced the individual to a pawn in a historic war between competing classes. You’re not a person – you’re either an exploiter or an alienated peasant… Throw into the mix Karl’s belief that the working-class could not lose – historical determinism – and you get the kind of fanatical, anti-human view of life that would end inevitably in gulags. “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss,” said the teenage vanguard of the Cambodian communists. Compelling logic to the intellectually unformed.

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Top Rated Comments   
Timely and poignant, Chris. Can we now take the same line of reasoning in your essay and apply it to those who seek to infuse what is happening in America, to America...while the brushes are dipped in cans of whitewash...while some gloss over the effects of Marx here and now....as "unintended consequences".

Devoted followers of Marx today do not give a Tinker's Dam about truth, facts, evidence, morals, ethics, life, liberty or our Constitution.

Obama is admittedly a fanatical fellow traveler and he always has and continues still to surround himself with the most vicious brand of free market haters, Bible haters and Constitution haters.

Our academia whitewashed truth out of existence for 50 years. Our entertainment culture adopted Marxism as a favored child and continues its adoration today.

And our media turned itself into a cheap trick , spending its entirety now on it's back with its legs in the air for Marxism.

But Marxism hides here as "compassionate liberalism" the biggest fraud of all that spawns a billion fry of useful idiots.

It's murderous, lying, vicious rap sheet...scented over with the perfume of deceit covering the rotting carnage left in its wake. OUR side aids and abets this fraud by babbling about "incompetence" and all those "unintended" losses of freedoms, rights, accumulated wealth and liberties we are suffering daily.

When...when...will we find the courage to confront the truth head on?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...I once fooled myself that there was a distinction between economic analysis and practical despotism. There isn’t."

In support of that thesis, I give you (please take them) modern day economists Paul ("print them dollars") Krugman, Robert ("no stimulus money to white male construction workers") Reich and architect of the redistribution scheme known as Obamacare, M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber.

Evil hiding in pomposity and feigned expertise.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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Snow Storm Greets Global Warming Protesters In Calgary, Without The Slightest Hint Of Irony Say “We’re Seeing The Effects of Global Warming”… Heh.

http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/11/16/anti-pipeline-protesters-gather-in-calgary-to-decry-climate-change
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Marx is just plain wrong. And demonstrably so.

His error is fatal and occurs right at square one - the Labor Theory of Value (LTV)

Labor Theory of Value (LTV) is a construct of Marx that purports to describe where Prices come from in an economy. For Marx, price is determined by ONE thing and ONE thing ONLY - the amount of labor it tales to produce a thing. Not from the interplay of supply and demand, but solely on the amount of labor a thing contains. And ALL prices for ALL goods (and services) are determined in this way. Not some prices, or most prices, but ALL prices.

All of Marx, root and branch, hangs together or collapses in ruin depending on whether or not LTV is true. And unfortunately for Marx and his aficianados, LTV is demonstrably FALSE. A trip to the mall or market will quickly convince you of this.

The classic example is a comparison of the wages of Alex Rodriguez vs Michael Phelps. A-Rod makes many multiples of what Phelps does. Why? Is it because it takes that much more labor to be a MLB Gold Glove infielder than an Olympic Gold Medal swimmer? No. But because ... Love him or hate him ... Many more people will pay to see A-Rod play than to see Phelps swim. LTV is wrong. QED

And without LTV, Marx is fiction.

With all due respect to the learned discussions about the minutae of Marxism...they are as relevent as a deep discussion about the physics of Prolemy's earth-centric cosmology. I suppose they are fun for the participants ... But who cares? Marx' economy is as dead wrong as Ptolemy's solar system.

Garbage in, garbage out.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rather like the common cold and the Cubs inability to win a pennant, Marx will be with us always. People don't like reality because reality doesn't always provide "fairness." Marx and his bitteness-and-envy-posing-as-political theory have always provided a way for progressives to ignore reality (and their own appalling intellectual narcissism) by claiming that they are obeying "scientific" (and therefore unquestionable) historical principals. Besides there is a "Marx industry" out there that needs to continue to operate. The fall of the Berlin Wall was like the bankruptcy of a major business and the Marxists did what many bankrupt businesses do - They reorganized under a form of intellectual Chapter 11. None of them lost their jobs within elite college faculties or had their publishing contracts cancelled. Instead they rebranded much of what they want as "progressive", embraced enviromentalism and continued to operate at a somewhat lower level of production without mentioning the word "marxism." Now - more than twenty years later - they are taking advantage of the short-term memory of the public to roll out the new and improved "Marx 2014."
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Committed leftists almost never engage in honest conversations with conservatives because they know they would lose. When there is a discussion the distortions start flying out of their leftists' mouths and attempts by the conservative to systematically catch up by pointing out their inaccuracies quickly provoke personal attacks. Sometimes the lies are clever enough to provoke smiles; too often the spoiled, overeducated shill doesn’t stay around long enough to get to this point, having already gone into a rage and fled the scene of battle shortly after it begun. It’s never pretty.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can think of two successful, fully communist systems. A bee hive and an ant hill.

Of course, they have had about 3 million years more than us, to figure it out.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great point!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bee hives and ant hills aren't systems, they're organisms. From a biological perspective the queen is the only part that counts. The workers you see are merely parthenogenic clones she creates to enable her survival and reproduction. There's nothing communist about it.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
no wonder

Nothing has remotely approached Marxism as a cover story for political criminals to seize and abuse power in the non-Muslim world, at least since the con artistes extraordinaire realized that religion had run it's course as a vehicle to sham wow the public.

When you think about it, in the face of the hundredfold improvements in lifestyles brought about by political freedom and capitalism...what else have thy got?

Marxism is jujitsu personified; use the very accomplishments of the movements that freed people from slavery to re-enslave them.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Part 1.
If you want to know what Marx's marxism was, do not ask a marxist, ask me! I entered a comment in the last discussion of a rebabbing KM in which I mentioned two volumes on KM that I published years ago. I will list in a most abbreviated manner the evolution of "marxist" thought upto and including the party marxism of Lenin and the cultural marxism of Marcuse:

1.a Marx reduced reductionistically consciousness and its cogitating to a function of material life (eating, housing, clothing and sex). The reduction has the form of B (consciousness) is NOTHING BUT A (material basis generating B).
1b. Marx wrote: "Morality, religion, metaphysics and whatever ideology [thought out system] ... [they] lose thus all appearance of their own proper substantivity. They [morality, religion, etc.] have NO history, NO proper development, rather ... it is not consciousness that determines life, rather [material] life that determines consciousness". This is THE premise of premises of Marx's marxist thought!!!!!!
2. Through a psuedomythological process (studied in my first vol. on Marx), Marx concludes that the proletariat is the "emancipatory" (i.e., salvational) factor in econommic reality (material being determining human activity and thought) that will realize a total annihlation, an absolute negation of that which (socio-economically) is in order to bring about a (utopian--not his term) world in which all exploitation is removed. There is little discussion, particularly in detail or in economic theory, of the nature of the NON-alienated society after the REVOLUTION. Most important: Marx felt that he had discovered "scientifically" THE reason for alienation and the bearer of emancipation. -- Also, note: "Morality" is a function of an alientated consciousness and has NO substantivity nor history whatsoever, other than as a cover up for the economic basis. MORALITY is excluded as a factor in Marx's analysis. The "economic" basis, and that alone, will produce the REVOLUTON that transforms bourgeois society into communist society. Thought plays no role, particularly religious and moral thought!!!
3. Marx developed an economic theory (really, a critique and not analysis of "human action" a la Ludwig von Mises), discussed in my second volume, in some detail making many predictions, which have been checked, some right and some wrong.
4. Marx's CENTRAL thesis was that an absolute dichotomy, indeed, contradiction would evolve between capital and labor that of necessity leads to the total impoversitment of the proletariat, an absolute impoverisment such that it makes labor's revolution a total, absolute and complete annihilation of capitalistic society. No moralisms, just hard "scientific" theorizing by Marx.
(In Part 2, I will continue on to Lenin and Marcuse.)
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
5. By the end of the 19th Century it was clear that Marx had made a FALSE prediction. Instead of absolute impoverisment, the proletariat was living better and better and becoming less and less revolutionary. This produced a crisis is marxism and was resolved in two ways, one by Lenin & Co and later my Marcuse & Co.
6a. Lenin used imperalism as an explanation of how the proletariat could live better. (Note: exploitation shifted from the developed world to the not-so-developed world). Also, and this is key to Leninism, Lenin concluded that the proletarian on its own could not and would not develop the REVOLUTIONARY consciousness necessary to effect a total revolution. What to do? (The name of one famous tract by Lenin).
6.b. The foundation of a emanciaptory revolution is given by the proletariat's condition, but another ingredient is need, i.e., an organized group of professional revolutionaries who possess THE knowledge. This change made marxism into a truely revolutionary force. Lenin did not wait for the revoluton, but he and his comrades made it (or better, fianced by the German Kaaiser in WW I, stole it from Karensky and his social democrats). But, there is also the problem of changing the capitalist mind-set. Oh, Lenin, opined, one can get rid of capitalists by putting them against the wall and shooting them. But the "captialist attitude", even in the poor, well, that is a different matter. What moral restrictions are there? Remember Marx's rejection of morality!!! What the revolution needs, is justified, no matter what!!! As my witness I suggest reading a short play by Bertolt Brecht called "The Measures Taken"! The morality is summed up as Moscow loyal communists chant: "Reach down and embrace the BUTCHER, but change the world, it needs it". This BUTCHER imperative is fully justified in terms of Marx's fundamental theorizing. Quite possibly Marx would have been taken back by the blood spilt in his name. I suspect Lenin would have rid the world of that 19th Century intellectual bum as counterrevolutionary. But, that does not free Marx from the sins of his followers. Why? Because Marx in his thinking exlcuded all morality and reduced all to economic functionality. When his theses proved wrong, they were corrected by Lenin who did what was necessary to make good the one fundamental mistake Marx had made, namely that proletariat of itself would develop a revolutionary consciousness. The band of gnostic knowers constituted the Communist Party with its centralized democracy, i.e., discussion until Lenin decides. Stalin took it further and got rid of the discussion of the party hacks by killing them. Stalin is but a logical develop of Marx's thinking, once his misprediction is overcome by an active party realizing the revolution. What is necessary for the revolution, is just (right).
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
7a. Whereas the Marx -> Lenin communism has obstensibly failed with the demise of the Soviet Union (which is a bit of an illusion), another type of marxism, far more insidious, has conquered the West, and that is "cultural Marxism". It has conquered not only America, but Germany where I live and to such a degree that it is long gone forgotten. I suggest turning to YouTube and seeking out Prof. W. Lind's 22 minute production entitled "The History of Political Correctness". This is a marvelously clear overview of the history of cultural marxism, co-starring both Horowitz and Prof. Kimbal. I will only touch upon the central modification to Marx made by the cultural marxists.
7b. Cultural marxists combined marxist anticapitalism with an inverse Freudianism. Freud was culturally quite pessimistic. The cultural marxist reversed Freud by holding that the factor surpressed was not so much the economic interests of the proletariat, rather the libido interests of human beings per se. The surpression of human libidal sexuality and sensuality was/is, of course, a function of capitalism with its markets and its wares and its etc. Although capitalism is not materially impoverishing the proletariat, it is, however, repressing the human libido needs. Taking up an old thesis by Engels, cultural marxists focused upon the family (by its nature supposedly authoritarian) and the restriction of libdo freedom necessary for family life. The destruction of the family has become the object of annihilation for cultural marxists. All this is wrapped up in complicated theory that I cannot hope to abbreviate in this comment. The breakdown of the family is central. Prof. Charles Murray's "Coming Apart" exmines changes in white America from 1960 to 2010 which, in my opinion, reflect the nefarious influence of cultural marxism. (In many ways, Obama is a child of the Marcuse family.)
7b. Without doubt the stressed reader of my comments will find them to be long, all too long. They are not!!! They are but an abbreviation highlighting the big dots evincing the connection between Marx and his followers, be they Leninists, Maoists or cultural marxists. There is NO morality in Marx's Marxism, only doing what is necessary to bring about the emancipatory revoluton! Try as they might the defenders of Marx cannot free him from setting up the goal and freeing up the means for revolution. The rest is but the death, dust and ashes of Marx's thinking.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cultural Marxism is to Marxism as Stealth Jihad is to Violent Jihad.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/cultural_marxism_in_education_1.html

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for the reference to the American Thinker. The article offers a fine introduction to the subject. This cultural abberation (from my point of view) is so integrated into society, here in Germany too, that it is no longer recognized. The sexualization and de-genderizaiton planned for German children is but an outgrowth of conceiving "emancipation" in sexual terms. Interestingly there is a new word in German, namely the verb "Gendern", i.e., (Engl.)"gender" + "-n" (= German mode of making a verb). An fateful result of the "pansexualism" (my term for the fruit of cultural marxism) is that, to be ironic, the more sex Germans have, the more they plument towards population extinction with 1.4 children per woman (and 2.1/woman is necessary to maintain the population). Indeed, 22% of German women 40-44 have NO child whatsoever (and not because they have entered a convent, ha!). Libido liberated from familial structures is leading Germany, indeed, Europe to a coming brink of extinction unless ....(????).
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Socialism would work FINE if it wasn't for those damn HUMANS.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Timely and poignant, Chris. Can we now take the same line of reasoning in your essay and apply it to those who seek to infuse what is happening in America, to America...while the brushes are dipped in cans of whitewash...while some gloss over the effects of Marx here and now....as "unintended consequences".

Devoted followers of Marx today do not give a Tinker's Dam about truth, facts, evidence, morals, ethics, life, liberty or our Constitution.

Obama is admittedly a fanatical fellow traveler and he always has and continues still to surround himself with the most vicious brand of free market haters, Bible haters and Constitution haters.

Our academia whitewashed truth out of existence for 50 years. Our entertainment culture adopted Marxism as a favored child and continues its adoration today.

And our media turned itself into a cheap trick , spending its entirety now on it's back with its legs in the air for Marxism.

But Marxism hides here as "compassionate liberalism" the biggest fraud of all that spawns a billion fry of useful idiots.

It's murderous, lying, vicious rap sheet...scented over with the perfume of deceit covering the rotting carnage left in its wake. OUR side aids and abets this fraud by babbling about "incompetence" and all those "unintended" losses of freedoms, rights, accumulated wealth and liberties we are suffering daily.

When...when...will we find the courage to confront the truth head on?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"OUR side aids and abets this fraud by babbling about "incompetence" and all those "unintended" losses of freedoms, rights, accumulated wealth and liberties we are suffering daily."

Leftists and Islamists are all about keeping us babbling.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...I once fooled myself that there was a distinction between economic analysis and practical despotism. There isn’t."

In support of that thesis, I give you (please take them) modern day economists Paul ("print them dollars") Krugman, Robert ("no stimulus money to white male construction workers") Reich and architect of the redistribution scheme known as Obamacare, M.I.T. economist Jonathan Gruber.

Evil hiding in pomposity and feigned expertise.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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