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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Could Marx make a come back?

    Not as a theorist of communism/socialism but as a or the theorist of capitalism par excellence?

    Think about it, in all his books Marx does little in the way of an outline of socialism or communism, he is a critic of capitalism but he is also its champion, certainly a great part of the communist manifesto is taken up with a serious critique of capitalism's opposition, ie "utopian" socialists, often because by Marx's estimation they are failing to give capitalism the credit it deserves and he does heap praise upon capitalism and its achievements.

    He felt capitalism was unfair and that unfairness would never be mitigated, therefore the only response to crisis was to abolish it.

    I think that he underestimated capitalism's capacity to create such super-abundance that with class divisions intact, inequality, often grave inequality intact, that the social floor would rise as it has.

    There's plenty of political pressure to return to victorian conditions, although it can not be said to be off necessity, it is a political question and choice rather than being compelled by objective conditions of production.

    It is only during recessions, like this one, when taxation and spending does not come from growth by threatens to eat into the wealth of the richer elites and disturb their status that there is an issue and that is insufficient for popular or an elite wish for change, its not abandonment of capitalism even.

    What do any of you think? Should Marx be taken seriously as a theorist of capitalism rather than a theorist of socialism.

  2. #2
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    Marx was a theorist of sociology, and I wouldn't take him or any of the other Marx brothers seriously.


  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Marx has lived on through conflict theory fairly well, so I'm not sure if a comeback would be an accurate phrase. Americans more than anyone else (except maybe embittered eastern Europeans) ignore Marx's actual influence in widely excepted, non-communist ideas.

    Now, I don't know if any comeback will happen, but I will say this; In many ways, Marx's impression of the world that was crucial to people having the incentive to form class consciousness is more applicable to today's age than it was to his own.

    This really popped into my head when I was talking to a Pakistani friend of mine. She talked about these extremely wealthy businessmen in Karachi who lived in lavish mansions outside the city and traveled in personal helicopters. They didn't merely exploit Pakistanis, who are on average very poor. They also made their money due to simply investing in things that have nothing to do with Pakistan. They travel around the world freely. They invest around the world freely. She told me all of this after I was talking about the state of American business, because she was noticing they were the same. I've since come to notice that the ultra-rich of the countries around the world are so untethered to their home countries, and spend so much time intermingling with each other, that they seem to have more culturally in common with each other than they do with the poorer people of their own countries.

    Whatever it amounts to, the world today has a single, global, isolated class of the wealthy that did not exist nearly so clearly back in the 1800s.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Marx was a theorist of sociology, and I wouldn't take him or any of the other Marx brothers seriously.

    I always liked Harpo the best. He could play the harp!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Marx has lived on through conflict theory fairly well, so I'm not sure if a comeback would be an accurate phrase. Americans more than anyone else (except maybe embittered eastern Europeans) ignore Marx's actual influence in widely excepted, non-communist ideas.

    Now, I don't know if any comeback will happen, but I will say this; In many ways, Marx's impression of the world that was crucial to people having the incentive to form class consciousness is more applicable to today's age than it was to his own.

    This really popped into my head when I was talking to a Pakistani friend of mine. She talked about these extremely wealthy businessmen in Karachi who lived in lavish mansions outside the city and traveled in personal helicopters. They didn't merely exploit Pakistanis, who are on average very poor. They also made their money due to simply investing in things that have nothing to do with Pakistan. They travel around the world freely. They invest around the world freely. She told me all of this after I was talking about the state of American business, because she was noticing they were the same. I've since come to notice that the ultra-rich of the countries around the world are so untethered to their home countries, and spend so much time intermingling with each other, that they seem to have more culturally in common with each other than they do with the poorer people of their own countries.

    Whatever it amounts to, the world today has a single, global, isolated class of the wealthy that did not exist nearly so clearly back in the 1800s.
    That is more Marx the political theorist you're talking about than Marx the theorist of capitalism which I was talking about, the reason I created this thread was because I had read about people in the IMF and Wall St. who were actually turning on to Marx during and in the wake of the present crisis.

    Not because the behaviour of bankers could be understood through the lense of class struggle, which is true I would say, but in understanding how credit had been used as a fix (to square away lack of demand in the economy as wages are repress, productivity increased but no consumers to buy the produce) and how capitalism is only as good as its latest fix.

    Although I think that Marx the political theorist is still worth a look, I dont think that he could be considered the theorist of communism or socialism, there are a lot of other better theorists, even Engels, so its not like it takes a lot of research to find one, on that score.

    What you describe, about the transnational, now transglobal, capitalist class is very valid. In the UK the conservatives think that making the country into more of a "treasure island" will enable more people to get rich and also more international control or power through the money system but its essentially a case of how, as managers, the state, irrespective of political/partisan party in power, can be at the service of the same group of people.

    What I've read about these elites is pretty vile, its at least as sickening as Pilger's exposes of third world governments and villains working with them in the first world. They're behind people trafficking, child trafficking, all sorts of ill shit which takes place in international waters beyond the jurisdictions of any courts. When I first read about most of it I prayed that the fires of hell were hot for them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    Marx was a theorist of sociology, and I wouldn't take him or any of the other Marx brothers seriously.

    I dont think he was, I know that a he has been enlisted by a lot of sociologists, particular conflict theorists, and Weber did say that he thought most sociology was an argument with Marx.

    Mainly about the relationship between social economic basis and cultural superstructure, which caused the other in a chicken and egg sort of dealio.

    To be honest I've always thought that most classic conservative theorising was closer to what sociology proper is, both micro and macro.

    Marx to me has always been more clearly economics, politics and possibly philosophy, particularly moral philosophy, since he has a lot of underpinning presuppositions which are not often considered enough.

    There's a lot of enlightenment and rennaisance humanism beneath it all, possibly even cultural heritage that isnt older than either of those things.

    Although, like I said, what interested me was that people in the IMF and Wall St. would be reading Marx to provide explanations for the current crisis.

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    I can't imagine why you wrote a serious response to someone who made a reference to the Marx brothers...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I can't imagine why you wrote a serious response to someone who made a reference to the Marx brothers...
    Because I is awesome badass.

  9. #9
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    Definitely! Groucho will rise again during the Zombie apocalypse.

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