no third solution

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Marx’s Circularity

January 5th, 2010

Aside from what I’ve previously written about Marx, I keep examining his peculiar brand of “economics”. After all, it laid the groundwork for most of the past century’s public policy (and subsequent catastrophes), and  pretty much all of what we’ll be forced to bear for the foreseeable future, as well. So I just can’t let it go.

Per Marx, exploitation is the result of primitive accumulation (a topic I’ve already thoroughly discussed). And over-accumulation is what ultimately leads to the exploitation of the proletariat.  But so-called over-accumulation depends upon exploitation, right?

As it stands, it’s an insoluble problem. If it were one or the other, we could resolve the root problem.

It can’t be both. Exploitation can’t be the cause of accumulation, if accumulation is a necessary condition for exploitation.  Don’t feel bad if you didn’t catch this before. I just noticed it. Until you see this as circular nonsense, Marxists will be able to use either one of those arguments or the other against you, depending on the situation.

c montgomery burnsFurthermore, Marx assumes, that the evil, cut-throat C. Montgomery Burns-style capitalists unwaveringly collude with one another, to the detriment of the proletariat, even though it is in their individual best interests to break these thieves’ pacts.

Circularity, again. How can the capitalists be so evil as to force less-than-subsistence upon the proletariat, but at the same time not evil enough to undermine, to wreck an economically precarious cartel (all cartels are economically precarious)?

By ignoring competition between capitalists and taking as a given collusion among capitalists, the “race to the bottom” maxim is a foregone conclusion setting the stage nicely for class warfare (where Marx is also wrong!).

When exercised, Marx’s ideas have resulted in super-states (cf. USSR, USA, etc.) and witch hunts, the likes of which put Salem to shame (Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I. The Gulag Archipelago Vol. 1).

If I could choose one man, whose ideas would be forever erased from the minds of men, from their libraries and records, it would be Karl Marx.

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no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics