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Gypsy and Willy

No. 450

The Ghost of Karl Marx

April 4, 2010

Almost everyone hears or reads about Karl Marx some time in his or her life. This is mainly because of his authorship of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. At that time, the world was well into the industrial revolution and Marx, an avid student of Adam Smith.who is generally considered the godfather of free market capitalism at its dawn in the late 1700s., Marx felt that this economic system would produce so much wealth, that the world could transform into a more just and equal society...in the sense of the distribution of wealth...and created this famous slogan concerning this hypothetical system: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Already dismayed by the course free market capitalism was taking, Marx felt that it was creating a new ruling class replacing...and mimicking...the aristocracy of royalty. Consequently, toward the end of the nineteenth century, Marx created his greatest work...Das Kapital (Capitalism)...a scathing critical analysis of the inner workings of capitalism. Marx's main focus was on the exploitation of workers by the owners of the means of production. However, we will focus on several other aspects of his monumental writings. Today, that will be the so-called ten point program to make the transition from capitalism to communism. They consist of government programs and are:

One thing is immediately clear. Almost all of these points were embraced by the so-called progressive movement at the start of the 20th century and have subsequently been adopted by almost all Western governments. Only the heavy handed authoritarian points...like numbers 1, 3 and 4...have been altered significantly, but almost all have been softened considerably from Marx's grim exposition.

So Glen Beck and the other spokespeople of the Nutzoid Right have been accurate in their comparisons of current administration to "communism"...right? Well, not quite. First of all, they neglect to mention that the West has remained faithful in general to rights of the individual and freedom. Furthermore, these folks always assume that "socialist" programs...those aimed at wealth redistribution and equality...are inherently bad, BECAUSE they are associated with communism. This is by no means a settled issue. Also, all our attempts at wealth equalization have failed completely to arrest...or even slow down...the ever widening gap between richest and poorest. Finally, comparing Obama to Hitler or Stalin...brutal dictators in undemocratic authoritarian systems...is simply stupid.

One irony in all this is that non-communist countries have adopted all these points, while the so-called communist countries have never really gotten around ito it, since the latter couldn't find a way to replicate the productivity of free market capitalism in order to pay for these social luxuries. But there is a second and even more ironical issue concerning Marx's economic theories. He pointed out that free market capitalism can never remain free. Since the owners of the means of production require a profit to operate, the group consisting of the sum total all the workers is never paid enough to buy back all the goods and services it produces. This will lead...always...to an overproduction of goods and services. Furthermore, competition will guarantee that some businesses...those who are less efficient or producing inferior product... will be destroyed in this cycle. So, companies will get larger and larger...each "recession" creating larger and larger conglomerates as the winners absorb or pick up the production the losers. Free market capitalism will thus always evolve toward a much less benign...and less productive...system, monopoly capitalism, where these large entities have ever more control over the people who purchase their products and ever less reason to pay any attention to the actual needs of those people. Where else they gonna go?

Oh, yes, one more thing. Marx predicted, more than a century ago, that eventually...since all the wealth will eventually be in the hands of the owners...the system will collapse. Sounds complicated as we explain it. However, capitalism is just another pyramid scam a concept which is very simple to understand. It just takes longer to play out, since it really produces wealth and the profit margins (skim) are much lower than they are in a scam which produces nothing (think Ponzi scheme or Bernard Madoff").

John Maynard Keynes introduced other very sophisticated methods...based on debt and inflation...to delay the collapse. However, each cycle of boom and bust seems to make things MUCH worse. With debt and inflation already teetering on the brink of doom and economic problems multiplying like horny rabbits, the question isn't WHETHER it will collapse, but WHEN. Some think it already has, that we will never emerge from the current crisis. We think it will survive at least one additional cycle. That may happen much quicker this time around as the amount of debt throughout the capitalism world...most of the world...has truly skyrocketed in this round.

Any of this starting to sound familiar? Or are you confused? Stay tuned and this series will clear it all up...

Talk to you later...


To contact Gypsy or Willy and comment on what they have written...or anything else...write to willy@dreamagic.com (Willy Chaplin).or gypsy@dreamagic.com (Gypsy)


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