Customer Review

56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars why you should read marx, 12 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Capital: Critique of Political Economy v. 1 (Classics S.) (Paperback)
In Marx' economic works and above all in "capital" we find the deepening of the classical economists' theory of value, an understanding of the origins of crises as the text develops throughout 3 volumes, a superior method in the way of treating economic problems, and an historical background to the theory generally. All the criticisms of Marx are well-known by now and have been effectively discussed by other marxist writers such as David Harvey in "The Limits to Capital" and Guglielmo Carchedi in "New Frontiers in Political Economy". If one looks throughout history violence is almost always committed when poltical/economic systems change. To blame Marx for a 100 million deaths is complete idiocy as one could likewise blame Nietzsche for WW2 or George Washington for the death of all the original inhabitants of the US plus all the deaths attributable to US meddling around the world. As someone with substantial knowledge of world history Marx was aware of the necessity of violence when society was split between irreconcilable forces and didn't shrink from pointing this out. Those who still advocate neo-liberalism and free markets are those in power who have benefited from their pre-existing superior strength and have little concern for the deteriorating environment and the awful labour conditions in most of the world. Marx is still relevant in these times (the neo-liberals still invoke Adam Smith, an 18 century political economist), so if all we have to look forward to is the "mutual ruination of the contending classes" I'll see you all on the barricades!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Aug 2012 23:17:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Aug 2012 23:19:34 BDT
Hud955i says:
Marx never ruled out violence, but he was a historical materialist and his view was that the revolution should take whatever form was appropriate to the historical circumstances. He did not regard violence as inevitable. As time went by he realised that capitalism had developed well beyond the point where barricades and street violence would be a practical way to wrest power from the capitalist class. In a speech at The Hague at the end of his life, he even discussed the idea that in advanced democracies, the revolution could be carried out through the ballot box. The "necessity of violence" is, I think, the reviewer's belief, not Marx's.

Marx did refer to the 'mutual ruin of the contending classes' but this was a historical reference not a prophecy of the future. Marx never suggested that this is "all we have to look forward to".
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