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The Perfect Anti-Marx Antidote!
on 4 September 2009
A virus has been haunting the world for 150 years - the virus of Marxism. It mutates at incredible speed and can assume the weirdest shapes. (Indeed, many of the mutant forms bear only the faintest resemblance to the original virus.) It can cause serious damage to individual and public health. Some researchers believe that it is deadly in any form. Even in our times of economic recovery, social regeneration and global well-being (yes, we can!), the risk that somebody you know and love gets infected with the virus of Marxism is surprisingly high. If a person in your vicinity has expressed any doubt lately about the progress of our society towards a bigger-better-brighter future; if they have shown signs of profound disorientation such as mentioning the name of Marx in public or even (god forbid) reading a book BY Marx - then by all means you must act at once! The virus can quickly become resilient to even the most ruthless therapy methods.
Now, at last, here is a message of hope: the Oxford University Press is proud to present what is sure to become one of the leading anti-Marx antidotes on the market. Disguised as a friendly guide, it is targeted to victims of the virus in its earlier stage of infection, when the chances of eliminating it are higher. The book's attractive qualities include: a thin constitution, making it seem oh-so-easy to learn everything you need to know about Marx in one afternoon; a slick red cover with a super-cool version of the iconic picture of the bearded madman (chicks will be impressed when you walk by with this book under your arm!); accessible language that makes the reader feel at ease with his/her own virus (motto: "I too have felt the need to read Marx"); just the right amount of "critical" thinking to give the faint impression of a pro-Marx (god forbid) reading of Marx.
The way this antidote acts is pretty straightforward: by kindly leading the reader through the slopes and slides of Marx's enormous body of work, the book ends up proving that: a) Marx was RIGHT regarding a series of rather obvious issues such as the deceptive nature of religion and the drudgeries of work and how nice it would be if society could develop into a utopia where consideration for your neighbour counted more than making a profit, etc; and b) Marx was WRONG when it comes to the very core of Marxist thinking, namely the idea that profits are made (exclusively) through the exploitation of your/my/everyone's labour (a hard pill to swallow, for sure). The anti-Marx arguments are cleverly saved till the end of the book. By the time the reader gets there, he/she is probably pretty convinced that Marx was a smart chap and had a whole lot of important insights about our society - and then WHAM!, it turns out that, well, the most important insight, the one that forced poor Marx to write three whole volumes in order to explain himself, this very point is nothing but a poorly-founded "claim"... Herein lies the genius of this little book. And exactly what devices does Mr. Wolff use in order to contradict Marx's "claim"? Subtlety is his greatest weapon. Instead of boring us with hard facts, Mr. Wolff carefully selects a number of effective expressions that lead the reader to agree that Marx's whole premise is false. "Claim" is obviously a favourite term, because it implies that Marx neither researched into his topic nor presented proof to sustain his views (never mind those three volumes of "Capital" and many more essays dealing with this matter). Other expressions include: "shaky", "not substantiated", "supposed", "Marx feels" (as opposed to thinks), "as Marx would have it". Mr. Wolff also spends an inordinate amount of pages discussing what Communism is supposed to look like, thus giving the (misleading) impression that Marx wrote more about Communism rather than Capitalism itself. Finally, the coup-de-grace is Mr. Wolff's reduction of Marx's opus "Capital" to a vast collection of "dry pages". Now if THIS isn't enough to make even the most well-intentioned Marxist wannabe give up the effort and move on to more interesting hobbies!
So: waste no more time, get your copy of the anti-Marx antidote NOW and protect yourself and all your loved ones from the virus of Marxism for once and for all! It's quick and safe and 100% guaranteed! (After all, it was put out by the prestigious Oxford University Press.) Marxism no more!!!
(But really, kid: If you've come this far that you are checking out books ABOUT Marx, why not READ MARX HIMSELF and find out first-hand what he had to say about life? All these apparently helpful introductions and "learn-about-so-and-so-in-90-minutes" guides are bound to produce their share of personal interpretations, thus preventing YOU from reaching your own conclusions. It's a bit like believing all the rumours about your neighbour Mr. Smith without actually having met the guy... In spite of all the bad press, Marx himself is a great read: he's smart and witty and he presents his arguments in a clear and understandable language. If you fear the thickness of his - thoroughly rewarding - "Capital", there are myriads of short essays in which he sums up his most important ideas - pardon, "claims". For example: "Wage Labour and Capital". It won't hurt you to give it a try. If you find out that you don't like it, there's always scuba-diving. And TV.)