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Guest Post: Karl Marx Makes a Comeback

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by John Rubino via The Dollar Collapse blog,

A perfect sign of the times is the unexpected success of a 700-page economics text called Capital in the 21st Century by French college professor Thomas Piketty. As of April 30, it is the best-selling book in the world and is generating the kind of controversy that one would expect for what is reportedly an updating of Marxist theory for the Internet age.

I haven’t read it, so can’t comment on the book itself. But the subject is a good springboard for a look at the actual tragedy of Karl Marx, which is that his ideas got tried out in the real world.

There are two parts to Marx’s main theory. One is a critique of capitalism as a system in which the guys who own factories and hire workers coalesce into an international class with a very specific set of goals: to drive workers’ wages down to just enough to keep them alive, to accumulate as much wealth as possible and to use that wealth to take over the political as well as the economic system. Eventually this process reaches a point where the 1% own pretty much everything, the 99% own virtually nothing, and the latter finally get fed up and take it all back for themselves. You get either a violent revolution or a political process that results in massive wealth taxes and comprehensive social programs to redistribute the capitalists’ ill-gotten gains.

So far, so good. This pretty much describes the period since 1971 when the world stopped basing their currencies on gold and began pouring trillions of newly-created, totally-unbacked dollars into a banking system that evolved from supporting real wealth creation to basically running everything for its own benefit. Bankers and their corporate and political allies accumulated vast fortunes while the rest of the world was pushed ever-further down the economic ladder. And now comes the revolution, with rising taxes and massive new entitlements in the developed world (see Obamacare in the US and a doubling of the sales tax in Japan) and violent revolutions in much of the developing world.

So Marx got this right and would be seen as a prophet if he’d stopped there. Unfortunately, he went on to predict that the revolt of the 99% would result in a “dictatorship of the proletariat” in which workers of the world abolished private property and ran things so wisely that government would just fade away.

This is of course crazy, and when it was tried in the 20th century it failed with catastrophic consequences for the Soviet Union, China, and a long list of smaller but no less tragic countries. In case the reasons for this failure aren’t obvious, here are the two big ones:

1) You can’t eliminate ownership of property. If it exists, someone has to own it, and if private individuals don’t, then government does. Governments are run by people and people are infinitely corruptible, so giving politicians and bureaucrats the infinite power of total ownership necessarily, always and everywhere, produces dictatorship. You just end up replacing rapacious but creative international bankers with brutal and uncreative political hacks.

 

2) This economic vision is static. It says that today’s factories represent society’s “wealth” and that running them right and distributing the proceeds equitably produces a happy world. But a modern economy is dynamic. Today’s factories are constantly being surpassed by tomorrow’s, as entrepreneurs come up with better ways of doing things. This creative destruction is the real source of wealth and the reason that capitalist societies progress — in terms of product quality and cost, if not necessarily in good sense and compassion. Compare today to 1950 and, well, there’s no comparison. One would have to be insane to go back to a time before smart phones, stem cell therapies and the Internet.

To freeze progress by putting bureaucrats in charge of everything is, in effect, telling creative individuals not to bother working 16 hours a day and taking big risks to revolutionize biotech or microchips or solar power because even if they can get their ideas past the people who would be made obsolete, they (the inventors) won’t be rewarded for their efforts in any tangible way. So, as Ayn Rand explained in Atlas Shrugged, the creative class goes on strike and society stagnates.

The result: brutal dictatorships and the eventual dismissal of the Marxist ideas on which those societies are founded.

Which is too bad, because Marx’s critique of the modern world was right-on, and the first half of his scenario is playing out just as he predicted. Now the challenge is devising a monetary/financial reset that brings the 99% back into the game without producing a stagnant dictatorship. It will help if we understand why it’s happening.

 

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Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:17 | 4724236 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

And the Marxist Utopia lives on!  In the future, of course.....

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:56 | 4724322 Alethian
Alethian's picture

Utopianism FTW!!!

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:18 | 4724238 seek
seek's picture

Way off topic, but Tyler needs to pick up this story: http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

I've only seen it mentioned on one other posting here so far. It goes way beyond porn stars, I know at least a half-dozen firearms-related firms that had similar issues and it all comes back to the choke point program. Even the ABA is getting pissed about it.

The presentation by the FDIC seems to support the notion that they're going after several legal activities along with plenty of illegal ones: http://www.microbilt.com/communications/FDIC-OCC-DOJ-Presentation%289171...

As usual, everything goes back to the DoJ.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:28 | 4724264 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Definitely not off topic, seek.  Choking can go both ways.  Can you feel it?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:19 | 4724242 Dorelei
Dorelei's picture

The last time someone tried to lever on technology to suppress the bureaucratic-technocratic-sclerotic side of an  outdated communist system the USA just staged a coup and killed a democratic elected president to instaure a ruthless dictature ....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Cybersyn

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:24 | 4724245 honestann
honestann's picture

Entice the 99% back into the game?  Give me a break!  If the 99% have ANY sense, they will completely leave the game and never, ever take any part ever again.

If anyone seriously imagines that the human producers of this world need the human predators for any reason whatsoever... they are absolutely, completely, totally and utterly insane.  The 1% are destroyers, not producers.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:31 | 4724393 SDShack
SDShack's picture

Exactly correct. It's the Sociopath way.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:20 | 4724247 maskone909
maskone909's picture

Citizens under socialism are easier to contrrol. So yeah no doubt thats why they are pumping this so hard. Sheeeit

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:22 | 4724251 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Take a walk through Highgate(London) cemetery, and piss on
his mausoleum.I used to live round the corner, and often did,
on the walk back home from the pub.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:54 | 4724318 Alethian
Alethian's picture

You, sir, deserve a pint.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 00:07 | 4725197 Hulk
Hulk's picture

I sense a never ending cycle developing here !!!

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:28 | 4724265 windcatcher
windcatcher's picture

 

The internet is CIA “Chaos” central control, The secrecy and anonymity of the internet only applies one way. We do not know the identity of the poster but “Chaos” in CIA central control in Utah know each and everyone of us and “every thing” about us. Beside your identity profile is a box check with +- or 0 that will indicate if you are brainwashed, not brainwashed or hopeless individual.

 

Age demographics and education are important in replacing the generations of “Free Enterprise System, Fair Trade and individual Democracy” (government of, for and by the People) with another government of globalized “Free Market Corporate Fascist” brainwashed generations. Any “individual” over 50 will have a 0 check by their name. American school children being brainwashed under global United Nations Agenda 21 Century will have a + next to their name.

 

Time and corruption is all that is needed to destroy and restructure American society.

 

The Trilateral Commission is meeting today secretly to decide our fate. The global Bankster/Big Oil/ Military Complex corporate conglomerate US empire started operations in 1979 to overthrow the United States of America and destroy the Free Enterprise System of capitalism: totalitarian CIA “Chaos” is in central control today.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:24 | 4724611 deflator
deflator's picture

 God will not allow this to continue indefinitely...

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:28 | 4724266 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Actually the problem is not a monetary one anymore.

Machines taking over human jobs....you pay machines nothing in essence except capex and maintainence/Ops charges.

http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/machine-strong-human-weak/

Humans are being made redundant as producers of meaningful value. First slowly then fast.

We need to re-value our relationship with machinery, with the disease of modern design...we need to embrace the machine. Right now, we are at war with it.

To our great detriment.

Butlerian jihaad or In Dust Real Ensign?

Somewhere in perfect balance between the Amish and Mr. Singularity perhaps...

ori

http://squareandc.net

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:40 | 4724285 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Work fills the time available for it. Machines will soon compete with each other as efficiency improves.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:41 | 4724287 blabam
blabam's picture

If it wasn't for fed inflation taxes rules/ regulations and shit the west would have 2-3 day workweeks. 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:46 | 4724550 Marco
Marco's picture

Without government intervention employers will just employ less people for more hours, it's more efficient.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:32 | 4724275 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The reason Marxism and communism could not work was because up until now open source software could not have replaced the role of governments.

Now's the time. End of oligarchs. Rise of the machines.

Long live everyone.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:36 | 4724282 bcecil
bcecil's picture

Very simple fix. Poverty is created all over the world, and always has been, by despots and psychopaths who control all things financial for their own gain.
What many people really don't get yet is Bitcoin/Litecoin are the worlds first, very liquid, average persons, commodity/asset of exchange and, complete trust system, that  doesn't need any governments or banks to exist and it's impact on the lives of the average  person will be way bigger then the internet.
Here  is how you permanently stop all political/government/big bank control with bitcoin/litecoin.. we can also free all of the worlds debt slaves = 99% of population!
New universal and local exchanges must marry BTC/LTC ( which is really a form of an asset not a currency or money ) with gold/silver/commodities It will lead to a grand new world reserve liquid trading commodity vehicle (not currency ) ... and eliminate ALL potential regulation problems with bitcoin/Litecoin being equated to one, or any fiat government currency, taking the power completly away from all of the despots and  psychopaths who control all things financial for their own gain.
One day soon, when a hard working person in Somalia ( or name impoverished country here ) receives the same pay as as anyone else in the world, doing the exact same job he/she is doing and then can take what he/she made and buy some rice at the same price ( all shipping handling for entire world is  priced in ) with that same universal currency/asset he/she earned there will be no more  poverty anywhere.
This will also give bitcoins/Litecoins value and gold/silver/commodities liquidity and bypass all fiat currencies in the world taking away power from the top 85 families on the planet that have the same assets as the bottom 3.5 billion people. ( and 10's of thousands of others ripping people off everywhere)
This also solves the problem of not much liquidity for the easy transfer and payment using actual pieces of gold/ silver / commodities over the internet ..... now their value is transferable to btc/ltc, which is easily exchanged anywhere for everything starting with the most important thing wages for employment.
The way to move the whole thing forward is a worldwide UMX exchange and hundreds of local smaller ones, (2 companies are even developing cheap satellite coms for bitcoin servers ) for gold and silver weights and commodities , not US dollars, CDN dollars, or any other dollars, to be exchanged/traded for btc/ltc.
You can use small shops everywhere, in small communities, in every country in the world, like a current cash shop, pawn broker, grocer or gold/jewelry dealer that fronts all of the small trading for everyone. So you give them some gold or silver commodities etc and they give you btc/ltc or you give them btc/ltc and they give you gold silver commodities based on current gold/btc exchange rates on the UMX..
All 3 things cant be touched by megalomaniacs and are outside of "world money regulation/phantom creation" BTC and even LTC is the same as precious metals in many ways, it has a finite amount available over time, cannot be "printed" into oblivion, must be mined and is a store of wealth and no one individual or group owns the system, it belongs to everyone. The numbers make sense..if you look at fractional bitcoin system the numbers more then make sense... each btc can be broken down to units that equal .00000001 so There are really 2,099,999,997,690,000 (just over 2 quadrillion) maximum possible units in the total maximum bitcoin design. The value of "1 BTC" represents 100,000,000 of these. There is only around an actual 1 trillion in printed usd $ around and currently 60+ trillion in total US debt http://www.usdebtclock.org/ (not including unfunded liabilities ) So there is, or will be by the year 2140 (end of bitcoin mining), 2000 times more exchangeable bitcoin units then us$ in the world and then there are no more BTC.
Mbtc (1/1000 of a BTC has already shown up on hundreds of sites, including redit where people are tipping others for good ideas, music etc. via phones or comps...
As more gold mined down the road it will just change the exchange value slightly ..but,unlike "make believe" money, (only .52% of the Bank of Canada's money is real, 1.75%in at the Fed and the average is .75% in all the central European banks ) .....both gold/silver and bitcoins/silver/commodities have physical limits on total in existence and are very real.
It will lead to all the regular people all over the world getting paid at the same world rate for their labor and buying food etc at also the same world rate, and not an artificial slave rate, dictated by some country leader who is skimming off the top.
Whats going on right now will amaze you if you are not keeping up...

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:11 | 4724672 spine001
spine001's picture

What you say is true, but few understand it. It will take a couple of generations to develop, you are being idelistic assuming it will happen in your lifetime. But, your idealism doesn't mean we should not support its progress. I support it and will do so for as long as I breathe. But don't bother to push for understanding. Only experiences will create it and that takes time.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:36 | 4724283 Red Lenin
Red Lenin's picture

It wasn't Marxism that failed.   It was the people that put it in place.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:56 | 4724316 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Marxism does not take into consideration the basic tenet of human desire for achivement. As much as they try to extinguish this simple fact of our inherent nature, it will always fail regardless of who implements it. Humans desire. That will never cease. Hence, a system that works off of human complacency will always fail. The Chinese that worked fields for Mao would wait for "the boss" to pass and then they would sit down and look at the sun. Millions died from this shitty system and Marx was a lazy POS who lived off of others so he could write and let his children starve. FUCKING FACT.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:35 | 4724403 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"It wasn't Marxism that failed.   It was the people that put it in place."

 

When you base a political philosophy on sloth, envy, and the desire for a free lunch with no effort, what could possibly go wrong?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:06 | 4724340 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

That's the same reason the Ghost Dance failed.  Some Indians failed to dance and the Great Spirit did not open the ground and send back the dead braves and  replenish the herds of buffalo.

Note: This is the excuse always given for all failed religions.  Not enough true believers.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 01:16 | 4725286 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Brilliant observation...

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:06 | 4726311 malek
malek's picture

Exactly! Every failed idea would have worked, if the people/nature/laws of physics would have behaved accordingly.

Only one solution to that: break the people/nature/laws of physics.

Please go kill yourself.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:43 | 4724294 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Marxism/Communism is, like Keynesianism, just intellectual cover for theft and criminality. The mindblowing thing is that people continue to by into this crap instead of Liberty, as in "leave me the fuck alone."

 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:48 | 4724553 Marco
Marco's picture

I can't leave you alone, we share the earth ... an earth far too highly populated to be able to just avoid eachother.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:44 | 4724298 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

By the way, Marx was a lazy 'tribe' member that wrote all of his screeds to justify his laziness.

So adherents of Marxism that think that it will "pull them out of poverty" are ignorant that it really is a justification for laziness. LOL

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:50 | 4724308 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Capitalism works....crony capitalism via a coporatacracy does not work.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 04:24 | 4725406 Which is worse ...
Which is worse - bankers or terrorists's picture

Please kindly explain how one does not lead to another in a world where if a corporation does not like a law, they just move to another country. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 17:16 | 4726597 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

"Please kindly explain how one does not lead to another in a world where if a corporation does not like a law, they just move to another country. "

I can answer that with one word: "No."

Just subscribe to Life, Liberty and Property and non-aggression against others' Life, liberty and Property and expect the same. Then when anyone or anything comes that threatens to aggress against you or your neighbor, tell them, or it, "no." If they keep coming, let your AK or AR tell them "no."

That was the message so well displayed at the Bundy ranch: "No."

 

"As children we are trained to refrain from using the word "no." As adults that behavior makes us children."

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:53 | 4724312 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Can the American heart stand the shocking fact about the death of middle class life?
Can we live without aspirational consumerism as the central purpose of American life?
The agonizing death of the yuppie will be a tough pill to swallow for the masses. Trading in that Armani suit for a butler's jacket will break their hearts and wound their soul.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:21 | 4724605 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Who in their right mind would trade in the middle class lifestyle Americans have enjoyed for decades for the failed policies of socialism. Answer : Today's democrats and progressive republicans.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:52 | 4724313 Alethian
Alethian's picture

For fuck sake. This shit again?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:19 | 4724319 deflator
deflator's picture

It doesn't matter what form of government as long as the citizens are righteous. If citizens are corrupt then they will be governed by corruption.

 

 I think if the majority of citizens were righteously enlightened then a bottom up form of government would be ideal. For thousands of years humans continue to cry out, not for self governance but for kings and judges.

 

 China and the Soviet Union are characterized as bottom up forms of government where ironically their failing was humongous centralized governance.

 If all the "money" gets funneled through a small centralized group of individuals it is human nature that they will rationalize keeping all of it for themselves.

 Accounting is only a waste of time if there is trust.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:38 | 4724410 SDShack
SDShack's picture

"For thousands of years humans continue to cry out, not for self governance but for kings and judges."

That's why I say Hope & Change was really designed as Hoax & Chains. Sadly, the masses bought it... twice.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 15:59 | 4724328 JR
JR's picture

Piketty, who’s taken over Number 1 on the book charts in his resurgence of Marx’s Das Kapital to the thrill of the Leftists, has created a type of cheering section for the welfare society, using a sort of word game. And, as we now know, words are like different colored shiny rocks. They mean only what the speaker chooses them to mean (translation: nothing).

In the 30s, Stuart Chase nailed just how worthless and how dangerous the term “capitalism” is and its use by those economists and bankers who seek to confuse and dominate a discussion.

“’Capitalism is thus a shape, a form, which speaks, commands, fights, runs away. Asked to define it, the debater on the left introduces more abstractions. ‘Absentee ownership,’ ‘surplus value,’ ‘class struggle,’ ‘private ownership of the means of production,’ ‘exploitation of the masses,’ ‘imperialism,’ ‘vested interests,’ ‘proletariat,’ ‘bourgeoisie,’  the ‘profit system,’ and many more. The great words roll. The Schoolmen perspired no harder in their Aristotelian squirrel cages. From time to time, the reasoner thrusts a hand into the world outside and seizes a raw, living fact. If it pleases his argument, he hauls it squirming into the cage. If not, he drops it.”

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:03 | 4724337 NYPoke
NYPoke's picture

The scam is to promote Communism/Socialism as an alternative to Capitalism, when the same people run all 3.

 

All about centralized power & all 3 have been used to do just that.  Throw in Democracy & you pretty much have all the options you need to abuse the people.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:45 | 4724427 SDShack
SDShack's picture

Sociopaths run ALL the systems. The only way to stop a sociopath, absent violent revolution, is the uniform judicial application of the rule of law. Left to their own devices, a sociopath will twist all law to their benefit at the expense of the masses. What you end up with is a rule of law for the masses only, that is separate and completely different from the rule of law for the elites. That is the Feudal World Order, and it is rapidly becoming the New Feudal World Order today. For a society to function for the benefit of all, ALL must be subject to the same enforcement of the rule of law... the masses and the leaders. There can be no double standards. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:10 | 4726317 malek
malek's picture

Well said.

One thing I would add is violent revolution in the end almost always leaves you only with a different breed of sociopaths.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:05 | 4724339 jabhagsb
jabhagsb's picture

1) You can’t eliminate ownership of property. If it exists, someone has to own it.

Rubbish. Property can exist without ownership. This type of statement shows the extent of the author's brainwashing by those that own the printing presses and wish to own everything else. It can possibly exist without ownership and by the way, we will print up all of the money necessary to own it.  Thank you.  

 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:08 | 4724462 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

 

Consider Zimbabwe.  Mugabe and his tribe came in and seized the property of the White tribe. So good so far. In every conflict there are winners and losers.  The problem is that he did not stop there.  He introduced a thugocracy.  A lower ranking thug found out real quick that his new found property could be seized by a higher ranking thug.  Have a nice beamer and a higher ranking thug takes it away from you.  The only way to have a car was to have a beater that nobody wanted to steal.  Get the farm going, repair the pumps, get the irrigation up and running and produce a crop what happens?  A higher ranking thug takes it away from you.  End result: one of the most productive nations in Africa can’t feed itself. What follows next?   Currency collapse.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:07 | 4724341 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Why do they always talk about the stock, and not about the flow?

A two-tier system is needed, sustenance economy next to a pure capitalist system, funded by the law of communicating barrels.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:21 | 4724369 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

No such thing as "privately owned property",...you still have to pay a propery (extortion) tax and Govts can evict you any time for any reason with the stroke of a pen (eminent domaine).

You have NO rights!

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn/expansion/infosheets/eminentdomain.pdf

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:22 | 4724370 trader1
trader1's picture

the article's author demonstrates a weak understanding of marx and has already made his mind up about things...

So Marx got this right and would be seen as a prophet if he’d stopped there. Unfortunately, he went on to predict that the revolt of the 99% would result in a “dictatorship of the proletariat” in which workers of the world abolished private property and ran things so wisely that government would just fade away.

why is the prediction "unfortunate" regarding a revolt of the 99% that results in a dictatorship of the proletariat, abolishing private property, and government fading away?  

and what is to stay he won't be proved correct?  he certainly has time on his side...

 

and maybe, such a future is just be around the corner (albeit in a modified form)?

 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:28 | 4724383 Nimby
Nimby's picture

Government doesn't exist to protect me from you; it exists to protect you from me.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 04:12 | 4725397 trader1
trader1's picture

that's an interesting belief system.  how is that one treating ya?

i tend to believe we are all one.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:24 | 4724373 Amish Hacker
Amish Hacker's picture

The other thing Marx got spectacularly wrong, imo, is he predicted that communism would be created by the "workers of the world," i.e. the industrial workers. But the only countries that have tried Marxism ( USSR, China, Cuba, etc.) have been agrarian economies/societies.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:25 | 4724375 Idleproc
Idleproc's picture

Imbecile. You have not read and understood Marx.
Marx said of eliminating private ownership of the means of production, not the individual.
Lobby and global corporations threaten the ass.
The Communist attempt ended in the '20s with the Stalinist counter-revolution of criminals.
Stalin's communists killed them all, the last one was Trotsky.
I am not communist, but so read the story.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:26 | 4724376 Nimby
Nimby's picture

If the 1% own everything, then who buys their products?  

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:47 | 4724429 novictim
novictim's picture

No one.  And that can be described as the central flaw to Capitalism.  

Wealth inequality to the point of negative economic growth  is the guaranteed out come of Capitalism.

The good news is that we can fix capitalism with Democratic socialism: Progressive Taxation

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:28 | 4724379 boozo
boozo's picture

Karl Marx proved a wreched example of apostate, human depravity. He refused to work for a living, consumed his family's wealth, borrowed contintually without repaying, committed adultry as a life style, let his children die of neglect, hated vegetables, drank excesively, stole his best ideas from others without giving credit, advocated violence, and seldom bathed or washed his teeth. His hypotheses, when tested, always proved unworkable. "There is no devil but Satan, and Marx was his apostle."

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:43 | 4724425 novictim
novictim's picture

Message and messenger flaw.

You have the intellect of a child, boozo. Your name says it all.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:55 | 4724426 Dull Care
Dull Care's picture

Very true. Marx was a bum, a loser, and never worked a day in his life.

 

Why a man of such little genuine accomplishment was taken seriously is beyond me, notwithstanding the disastrous real life applications of his theories.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 03:17 | 4725372 ebear
ebear's picture

"hated vegetables"

Any man that hates vegetables can't be all bad.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:29 | 4724388 laomei
laomei's picture

The problem with Marx is the way his words are twisted and warped.  I can see a man with a broken face, but I can't put it back together again.  Marx was little more than an observer who could see the obvious.  The solutions based on Marx are basically an attempt to avoid the bloodshed and find a stable reality.  The problem with the implementations are that there is inevitably a transitionary phase, hence the unending revolution to reach the state of no government.  Unfortunately, that spirit dies out by the 2nd generation virtually always.  Once a government has been put into place to aid in the transitionary phase, it becomes very difficult to take it apart again, vested interests tend to win out.  That's the problem really, man loves corruption, you can't just make it vanish overnight.  Man also loves authority.  Be it primal man creating gods and chiefs to defer to, or modern man, creating governments to defer to.  Take any group of 10 people, give them a task requiring organization, and sure enough, 1 will be end up as the leader, either via "election" or via demonstration.  It's just the way it works.  Man is also LAZY, you could go around and kill off every single person who is not capable of taking charge of situations, really, you could do that.  And by the very next generation, you'd end up having to do it again and again and again until the entire population was wiped out.

 

Furthermore, employee ownership of all industry creates a new problem... new workers and retiring workers.  I can start a company with 10 people and we all own 10% of it, we all contributed equally during formation and we all agreed on equally important tasks.  We take all profits and divide them equally.  The company grows and requires 10 more people.  So.. how does that work now? Do they just get 5% and we drop to 5%?  What about their "buy-in"?  Likewise, what if someone leaves? Does their share vanish with them? This only really works in a world without money.  Where the company is tasked with providing everything for the workers in lieu of actual "ownership".  Retired workers must still be cared for... but when a company fails, that goes *poof*.  There are solutions too all this out there of course, but it becomes complex enough that certain rules must be enforced, and that requires government, which negates the whole shebang.

 

So, Marx was great at seeing the problems, but there really is no good solution to it.  Even the bloodshedding solutions fail to solve the problems built into the system.  All they do is flip the chessboard over and reset the pieces.. the end result will, necessarily, be the same over and over and over again.  War and conquest helps to delay it, as does slavery.  But you eventually run out of lands to take and people to enslave.  A revolutionary government ends up falling into maintaining a status quo after the revolutionary generation has passed the reigns and it's a hard rut to get out of.  Understanding these flaws allows one to understand the bloodshed associated with the real-world trials.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:40 | 4724400 novictim
novictim's picture

Well said, laomei!

But it is imprtant to state "The Problem" with capitalism.  Otherwise, the ruling elite who prosper under it will pretend that the Marxian Solution is a failure "because there, in fact, is no fatal flaw in Capitalism."

 

Millions have been murdered and have died in-order for the failed solution of Communism to be tested...

...and Millions have died for the Capitalist world order to silence those who see that Capitalism does have a problem and needs to be fixed or it will end in guaranteed cycle of ruin.

We are now in the Capitalist cycle of ruin which starts with wealth consolidation and severe inequality.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:31 | 4724515 deflator
deflator's picture

Brilliant analysis btw,

 

So, Marx was great at seeing the problems, but there really is no good solution to it

 

 There is a good solution to it, and that is for individuals to be honest and understand that their actions are inevitably accountable even if accountability isn't measured out in their lifetime. It is easy for humans to measure things based on their lifetimes.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:34 | 4724401 Reaper
Reaper's picture

Their god, Marx, is risen from his grave.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:12 | 4724467 deflator
deflator's picture

 My God wants humans to be self governing as an ideal like individual sparks from a bondfire that make up a collective fire that is God!

The human collective is God.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:37 | 4724402 Strat-O-Sphere
Strat-O-Sphere's picture

The enemy of the people is the state itself, represented by a government which is here to enforce a vertical ownership structure. In practical communism the state cuts out the middle man, and becomes the capitalist. Only a totalitarian structure can enforce such a state. (As the article correctly states.) No one gives up their sizeable accumulated property for nationalisation by their own free will.

In capitalism, cronyism, greed, corruption and imperialism destroy the free market principles that it needs to function for all members of the society. This crisis of the capitalist system is nauseatingly evident today.

That leaves anarcho-syndicalism, whereby people co-operate freely in a co-op structure. This is challenging to put into practice however. Most people have been conditioned to be led like sheep, and taking their future into their own hands by co-operating with other likeminded individuals is a major barrier to human progress.

Some small groups have managed to do this with varying degrees of success however. If human spices are to survive in the long run they need to evolve past the brutal cavemen mentality of what is yours is mine, but what is mine is none of your business - whilst enforcing this dogma with violence.

Technological progress as well as globalisation have displaced a lot of people from paid employment in this post capitalist neoliberal system. This trend will probably continue. 3D printers will eventually replace 90% of people needed in manufacturing, as well as the construction industry. These massive productivity gains have been very profitable for the 1% of those who own practically everything. The proceeds of this productivity were (and are) privatised, whilst the losses (unemployment) have been socialised, and thrown onto the state to deal with.

Only a horizontal ownership structure will prevent a complete future disaster via an inevitable collapse of demand for poorly paid employed debt slaves to generate profit for their owners. I have strong doubts this can be achieved at this point in time.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:38 | 4724411 Dull Care
Dull Care's picture

Jonathan Bowden with a great smackdown of Marxism and the Frankfurt School. Riveting speech.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnBQUJJ-7iE

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 16:59 | 4724450 libertysghost
libertysghost's picture

Don't bring up a book in your lead that you haven't read...rrrrrrrr

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:27 | 4724511 jeditolstoy
jeditolstoy's picture

I wouldn't say Marx got the first half right, per se. Perhaps he got the mechanics correct-- in that a minority of the population would amass wealth at the expense of the majority, etc, etc. What he missed was the way in which this would happen. Mainly, he foresaw this would happen by 'capitialist' means. But as we now know in hindsight, it was Keynesianism that provided the means to allow the '1%' to control society. It was not capitalism that rearranged society in an unequal manner, as Marx would 'predict'. Only when we limited capitalism's self correcting mechanisms, did society become unequal.    

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:40 | 4724724 Nimby
Nimby's picture

"...in that a minority of the population would amass wealth at the expense of the majority..."

Wealth accumulation may be a zero-sum game, but wealth creation is not.  It's helpful to know the difference.

 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:33 | 4724525 drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

You forgetting Vladimir?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:38 | 4724537 besnook
besnook's picture

kind of funny and typical. everyone is guilty. that is the real message of marx. the lesson is this. one dreamed about utopia is just as bad as another dreamed about utopia. there is, unfortunately or fortunately depending upon where you sit RIGHT NOW, only one way. no matter what economic, political, social, construct man builds it falls down only to be replaced by another construct with some utopian edge as a foundation that is all really the same damned thing that was. you are human. this is your fate. all things must pass.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:44 | 4724546 deflator
deflator's picture

 Sounds like a rationalization to get what is yours now while it lasts.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:00 | 4724562 besnook
besnook's picture

just human nature. the only semi successful construct so far experienced on a wide scale have been the various eastern religions in terms of fairly peaceful coexistence but even buddhist and confuscians and hindis blow up. some benevolent kings and emperors and noibles and slave owners led some enlightened empires. i have been fortunate to experience the last of the real glory of the usa and am now priveleged to watch her in panic as she self immolates(i am not thrilled) i even know of 2 still successful communes organized in the 70s. the point is all things must pass and getting it right in any system is a temporary state with zerohedge....and we will die trying.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:02 | 4724576 deflator
deflator's picture

 Being a, "realist" serves to maintain the status quo of centralized governance.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:26 | 4724597 besnook
besnook's picture

i learned a long time ago the most effective way a single person can change the world is by living the world desired or your attitude is under your control. the way you percieve the world is under your control. if you want a better world you have to be it. only then will your world be the best world there is. that is as good as it gets.

when you can understand that in the context of someone willing to give his live, the ultimate gift, to someone, something or some idea then you can begin to understand the gravity of the human mind, the self induced insanity that ruins everything in many of the ends, ukraine for example. i should add i don't mean the ukrainian people only. i am also referring to the unipolar petroeurodollar neocon/banker crazies.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 17:49 | 4724554 Wait What
Wait What's picture

it irks me to no end when writers, or in conversation, people call entrepreneurs 'creators' when the vast majority of them are the opposite of that. except for the rare occasion in which a project is mostly self-financed, most 'entrepreneurs' are simply financiers for people with great ideas or products. while i suppose such subtle distinctions aren't necessary when pushing demagoguery, for those of us with a little insight on usage of linguistics in opinion shaping, this is crucial; when you separate the innovators from their financiers you get 2 distinct classes, with often contradictory interests. Apple's history w/ Jobs comes to mind. Properly compensate the creators, not their financiers and you create a different world than one in which innovators are assumed to be entrepreneurs as well.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:11 | 4724594 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Without capital there is no creation and without bankruptcy there is no failure. I'd contend the problem is that we have not allowed bankrutpy to occur when it is vitally needed for business as well as financiers (ie. banks) failures.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 04:44 | 4724699 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I contest that statement. Commercial Capitalism began with Venice's monetary dominance; aka around 1300. The (western) world worked to a Venice-Bruges axis; with Constantinople under the Latin cum Venetian gun. 

If creation is evolution of society then creation has occurred before birth to Venice. I would agree if you said Capitalism is a catapult, it accelerates the creation of wealth. But it is not necessary for creation to occur in society. Only the pace of creation is slower. Its Man's labour and brain power and social organisation that creates wealth.

Capitalism just accelerates the process via concentration of "fire power". But civilization is about humans and their value systems; its not primarily about means but about objectives.

Capitalism is just about means. Civilization existed before the internet, before Gutenberg's press, before capital; it existed when men started forming societies. 

I think we are blinded by technology and by capital formation to the point of the absurd, as bubbleonomics is teaching us today! We have forgotten that more important than efficiency of human systems as epitomized by capitalism is the notion of INTEGRITY of human systems; aka about objectives and ethics (mindset). 

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 23:37 | 4725136 Wait What
Wait What's picture

"Without capital there is no creation"

i'm the kind of person who will take things to their logical ends to see what will happen. when i read this i think back to the 1st humanoid who slapped 2 rocks together next to some dry branches and invented fire.

it was a moment of innovation that didn't necessarily require 'capital' but used resources to instigate a leap forward in humanity's probability of survival. in that sense, capital matters; every inventor requires the materiel or virtual components on which to build his innovation. i don't agree that capital in the larger, contemporary sense of the word (e.g. the 1%'s money) is required for creation. smart people invent things in their 'garages' all the time. that's what's implied in the distinction between innovators and entrepreneurs. some innovations require large capital outlays, some spring from ideas and materials just laying around. innovation is a very different thing from monetization: developing an amazing new way of doing something everyone does is a very different thing from mass producing 1000 units of that thing for sale at XX% profit margin.

no one will argue, esp. here, that bankruptcy isn't essential. we, as individuals, pay the consequences/enjoy the benefits of our investment decisions, so why banks/financiers get a pass is beyond justifiable. but that's the reality we live in, a world too interconnected for the big dogs to fail without crushing everyone else in the process. chances are this game won't change until a sizable group of people of substance decide to put someone in charge who is immune to the vestiges of the failed generation's corruption. when they finally decide it's time to do so, they can find my at the local dive bar, sipping on a Jack and Coke. ;) j/k

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 18:25 | 4724614 pcrs
Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:43 | 4724692 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

Marx actually had little to say about socialism.  He shows how the capitalist system poisons and destroys itself.  The details of how a capitalist system does itself in are fascinating, but the underlying problem is the same as with a system of bankers and renters.  Or a Monopoly game.  Or any system based on greed, on the relentless accumulation of money.  It fails - or rather chokes to death - on its own success.

Marx was struggling with the probem he saw would be put in front of us when the time came:  what next?  How to build a new system not driven by greed?  There's no reason he should have gotten it right, writing 150 years ago.  And no reason the answers Lenin and the Bolsheviks came up with 100 years ago should be judged against the current reaity.  The Bolsheviks inherited a revolution made by a very different population under very different and desperate conditions, and with every other hand turned against them. It was sink or swim, and they did their best with what they inherited, making shit up and when it didn't work making up something else.  

The history of revolutions isl worth studying, knowing we're destined to have one, like it or not, win or lose. We need visions of where we could go, and knowledge of the mistakes of the past so perhaps we can avoid them.  But we should know that we too will be faced with a unique, perhaps unimagined and no doubt desperate situation, and we too will be making shit up together to survive.  This time it has to be the whole people, the 99% or the 99.9% - as many as can be won away from the project of saving and restoring the system they once fattened off of - coming together to make something new work, not just the "proletariat".   

................... 

BTW, we should all learn more about what happened in our own American Revolution, not just because it has something to teach about the next one, about how revolutions work, but also because it will help clear away a lot of mental nonsense about revolutions that our heads have been stuffed with and that holds us back.

See Revolution1774.org 

Read "The First American Revolution, before Lexington and Concord" by Ray Raphael.  

Then watch for the reenactment of the events of Sept. 6, 1774, the first celebration in almost 200 years of what used to be called Revolution Day, with a colorful cast of thousands.  

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 00:29 | 4725234 MEAN BUSINESS
MEAN BUSINESS's picture

WhyWait: We do know. As Michel Jarraud said at the IPCC AR5 WG2 press release 31MAR14, we can no longer plead ignorance.

"we should know that we too will be faced with a unique, perhaps unimagined and no doubt desperate situation, and we too will be making shit up together to survive."

It wasn't that long ago that mass extinction events were unimagined. Then we learned of the dinosaur extinction. Today we know about five previous mass extinction events (and many non-mass extinction events) and we know the causes. This puts us in the unique position of knowing that CO2 etc can lead to mass extinction and we know CO2 levels have been rising at an increasing rate.

We deliberately try to remain ignorant (thanks in part to being constantly lied to) to just how desperate this situation will become, and moreover, when it will become desperate and for whom. There are two levels of desperation; 1) there are those desperate to sound the alarm bells because of genuine concern over tipping points and 2) the refugees who are the first to feel the impacts of global warming. Ultimately, in the 6th mass extinction event 90% of ALL species will live and die desperate. 

At the AR5 WG3 press release we heard that mitigation is a high speed train that must leave the station soon and all of global society needs to get on board.

In 2015 in Paris at UNFCCC COP 21, anyone, whether .01%r, 1%r, 10%r or member of the proletariat, in other words everyone, is going to learn just how truly desperate the situation is. I very much doubt it will be a repeat of COP 15. There will be an invitation to, as The Beatles said, come together...

(and +1 for your post on Venezuela the other day.)


Sun, 05/04/2014 - 00:55 | 4725266 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

The urgency felt by those who see what the ultimate stakes are will be a great source of power to the people's revolt.

But no matter how urgent our issue, none of us can do it alone.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 02:37 | 4725345 MEAN BUSINESS
MEAN BUSINESS's picture

And the people's revolt has now begun. They are em.nuclear.powered, they may believe, by one person, but that person is not alone. More than anyone alive today, who is the one person that KNOWS the meaning of "ultimate stakes"? Therein lies the answer as to who will write the invitation I mentioned above.

As The Beatles said, "those Ukraine girls really knock me out..."

And BTW, that high speed train? Yep, nuclear powered.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:25 | 4724693 AchtungAffen
AchtungAffen's picture

Nobody's perfect. And you can't say you understand something unless you find some portion which you agree on and another in which you disagree. Yes, Marx description of the problems of capitalism is gold. At the same time, his prescriptions for what to do, or what the "should be" is, are crap. At least he tried to dream of something that human nature, as it is now, will never take. Let's salute ye dreamers, if it wasn't for you, we'd be forever stuck in the same shit. Hail to them, and let's hope someone else gets a better solution. Just don't stay in the hole of believing "capitalism" is the panacea. There has to be a better way, there'll always be...

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:30 | 4724696 deflator
deflator's picture

Babies are perfect, if you are honest, babies will always laugh and clap for you. Babies can tell if you are a liar immediately.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:13 | 4724784 Bemused Observer
Bemused Observer's picture

Babies will also 'paint' with their own poo, so I'm not sure I'd trust their judgements.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:52 | 4724701 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

This article expressed the view of Marxism that I have held for several decades: "There are two parts to Marx’s main theory. "

I have called the first part "scientific Marxism," which, within the context of 19th Century science, was solid. The second part was "messianic Marxism," which was bullshit, that was sold and exploited by bullies, who were able to use the language of "scientific rationality" to justify their kinds of organized lies, operating social robberies. Since I assert that human realities are necessarily always organized lies operating robberies, which are in some dynamic equilibria, therefore, my idealized view is that we should up-date the "scientific Marxism" while denouncing the "messianic Marxism."

However, actually, what exists are runaway systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, in which society is dominated by the best professional liars, and immaculate hypocrites, so that our civilization has become too completely crazy and corrupt to be able to self-correct its own profound errors.  As all of our problems are rushing towards the limits of being able to strip-mine planet Earth, we ought to become more serious about how to develop better human and industrial ecologies, which could be integrated within natural ecologies. While that may be theoretically possible, it is not practically possible within the context of our real problems, which are that we operate combined money/murder systems, in which the death controls are done through the maximum possible deceits, while the debt controls are done through the maximum possible frauds.

The ONLY actually possible resolutions to increasingly severe human problems, as exponential growth hits real limits, are different death controls. However, the REAL ways that our problems are going to actually get resolved are through the emergence of Peak Insanities, whereby the death controls will be done through the manifestation of death insanities, because we are already drowning in systems of debt slavery, which have already generated numbers which are debt insanities. Any attempts at better solutions start off deep inside of that hole, within other bigger holes, which are still being dug deeper, while the steeper and steeper sides are threatening to fall on top of us.

The crucial problems are that the central concepts, within any living systems that regulate the development of those systems, are the death controls. That necessarily applies to human civilizations, the same as all others. However, human systems have perfected their paradoxes, such as that success in warfare was based on deceits, so that the murder systems were actually operated in the most dishonest ways possible. Around those central facts were accumulated controlled opposition groups, who promote the same basic bullshit as the biggest bullies did, regarding social lies about how the murder systems work.

Since the REAL human murder systems were based on a long history which favoured the most dishonest and deceitful to become the most successful, that REAL human ecology then became the foundation for the REAL political economy to be based on frauds, such as with the legalized creation of the public "money" supply out of nothing as debts being the supreme expression of that triumphant fraud.

My view is that is IS possible to understand human beings and human civilizations more scientifically, as general energy systems. However, when one does that in more thoroughly scientific ways, then that reveals and explains why society ended up being controlled by the best professional liars, and immaculate hypocrites, in both the established systems, as well as in their controlled opposition. That method of looking at human realities as general energy systems explains how and why those systems went through their path of least action, or least morality, as they exist now.

In my view, it is quite possible to up-date "scientific Marxism" to make it more consistent with 20th Century sciences, and even perhaps with the emerging 21st Century science. However, doing that even more totally destroys "messianic Maxism," as utterly ridiculous bullshit. Meanwhile, as the limits to the continued exponential growth of the human population and human activities are reached, we are going to be forced to develop radically different human and industrial ecologies, which MIGHT be sustainable within surviving natural ecologies. HOWEVER, what is actually happening is that our current civilization is controlled through combined money/murder systems, which were based on a long history of frauds and deceits, in which the old-fashioned religions and ideologies were various forms of controlled opposition, operating within the same frame of reference as the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories.

OUR BASIC PROBLEM IS THAT THE DEATH CONTROLS ARE AND MUST BE THE CENTRAL CONTROLS, BUT THOSE HAVE DEVELOPED TO BE BASED ON THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE DECEITS, WHICH INCLUDES THAT THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION GROUPS TO THE ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS MOSTLY OPERATE WITHIN THE SAME FRAME OF REFERENCE OF DECEITS REGARDING THE HUMAN MURDER SYSTEMS.

Since the death controls will continue being the central core of everything else that regulates civilization, but it is practically impossible to have any rational public debates about those death controls, since they were developed to be based on the maximum possible deceits, which includes that religions and ideologies which became socially significant were operating within that same frame of reference, of basically deceitful attitudes towards the death controls, there is no reasonable way to imagine how human civilization could avoid reaching the limits to strip-mining planet Earth in any other way that simultaneously going through Peak Insanities, along with Peak Everything Else.

Karl Marx is more likely to be making a "comeback" in the form of even more mad "messianic Marxism" rather than as a "comeback" of more "scientific Marxism," because a society which is almost totally dominated by professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, throughout all of the established systems, as well as throughout almost all of the controlled opposition to those systems, is barely capable of becoming more scientific, but is quite capable of becoming more madly messianic.

For several decades, I have been working on the problems of how could human civilization adapt to progress in science and technology creating technologies which are trillions of times more powerful than ever before in human history. However, my conclusion these days is that is NOT practically possible. There are runaway systems of financial frauds, which are driving debt slavery to generate numbers which are debt insanities. However, almost nobody is able and willing to analyze how and why that happened, and then still remain consistent with that analysis when proposing solutions.

The historical reasons WHY money is measurement backed by murder, since the debt controls were backed up by the death controls, should not be deliberately ignored when turning to suggestioning "solutions" to those problems. There are NO genuine solutions which can work outside of their reality. All other "solutions" are bullshit, which are guaranteed to backfire badly, because impossible ideals make the opposite happen in the real world. Indeed, our problems are ACTUALLY trillions of times worse than ever before in human history, and are headed towards becoming quadrillions of times worse. Theoretically, we need intellectual scientific revolutions which would apply to politics, and especially to militarism, as ways that different death control systems could back up different debt controls systems, through a monetary system revolution.

Of course, none of that apparently has a hope in hell of happening, while runaway debt insanities, provoking runaway death insanities, are the highly probable default outcomes. REALLY "devising a monetary/financial reset that brings the 99% back into the game" would require enough competent citizens to operate better death control systems, within better combined money/murder systems. However, by and large, almost nobody is willing or able to think about that, and it clearly does not manifest in any significant way within the realms of public debates, which are dominated by old-fashioned established systems, and their controlled opposition. The 99% are mostly Zombie Sheeple, who have become incompetent citizens, who have been conditioned to feel like they want to continue being incompetent citizens, while within them are the Black Sheeple, from the various controlled oppositions groups, who recommend bogus "solutions" which still stay within the biggest bullies' bullshit world view of unscientific, if not anti-scientific, false fundamental dichotomies, which therefore promote the same old impossible ideals as the basis of "solutions," which are guaranteed to continue backfiring badly, as they always have before, i.e., like "messianic Marxism" backfired so badly!

Thomas Piketty's work clearly fits within the general pattern of controlled opposition, reactionary revolution, presenting good analysis of the real problems, (as a sort of "scientific Marxism"), which then collapses back to bullshit "solutions" (as a sort of "messianic Marxism.") He would NOT be famous, and we would NOT be discussing him unless he did that, because he fits within the mold of controlled opposition, which is really no opposition at all. Piketty DELIBERATELY provides superficial analysis, which does not lead to radical enough solutions, as already discussed in these two previous articles:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-28/critique-pikettys-solution-widening-wealth-inequality

A Critique Of Piketty's Solution To Widening Wealth Inequality

& ANOTHER SIMILAR & SOMEWHAT BETTER ARTICLE:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2014-04-27/piketty-rickety-government-complicity

Piketty Is Rickety On Government Complicity

The intellectual scientific revolutions which are necessary to make political science become more consistent with the rest of science are many orders of magnitude more difficult to achieve than the previous kinds of revolutions in the philosophy of science. But nevertheless, the progress in technology driven by the progress in science is driving the necessity for a technologically based society to advance its philosophy of science. As I say, that would take much better "scientific Marxism," which even more forthrightly rejected the bullshit promoted through "messianic Marxism." However, pretty well all the established systems, as well as almost all of their controlled opposition, are obstacles in the way of that being able to happen. Therefore, my predictions for the future are the established systems will continue to drive themselves madly self-destructive, and go through severe social storms and psychotic breakdowns, due to them being based on vast systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which evolved through thousands of years of Neolithic Civilization being based on Huge Lies, backed by Lots of Violence, which perfected the ways that society was controlled through systems which developed on the basis of the selection for the maximum possible deceits and frauds.

The evolutionary corrections of those runaway systems of lies backed by violence are going to be quite extreme, since the enforcements never made those frauds become true, but nevertheless, were able to make those Huge Lies still able to dominate and control civilization, to the degree where that kind of society is now terminally sick and insane. Since we operate our REAL murder systems through the maximum possible deceits, and our REAL monetary systems through the maximum possible frauds, while almost all the controlled opposition groups to those established systems also operate within basically the same bullshit frame of reference, the chances for any better breakthroughs to sufficiently wide-spread intellectual scientific revolutions are practically zero ... While the chances of the established systems going through psychotic breakdowns are practically guaranteed.

As the madnesses of debt insanity numbers provokes death insanity numbers, PERHAPS more people might begin to think in sufficiently different ways about the REALITIES of having built globalized systems of electronic frauds, backed by the force of atomic bombs. However, there are no indications that will significantly happen, until after those systems cause their own collapses into crazy chaos, after which it is quite impossible to predict what might then survive to PERHAPS consolidate a Translithic Civilization, which might emerge surviving through the mad self-destruction of the Neolithic Civilization's social pyramid systems, based upon backing up lies with violence being the primary way that civilization was controlled.

However, the popularity of books like the recent one by Thomas Piketty again tends to confirm that attempts at up-dating "scientific Marxism" STILL tend to collapse back to recommending bullshit solutions, based on "messianic Marxism," because those attempts at up-dating the science continue to be DELIBERATELY silly and superficial, because otherwise they would NOT be popular enough for us to have bothered to notice, and then discuss ... The standing profound paradox is that better solutions would take more radical truths asserted about the real nature of the problems, but that, the more radical truths are addressed, the less popular those become, since the established systems, and their controlled oppositions groups, are dominated by professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, whose previous social successes depended upon them wanting to continue to operate primarily within the same biggest bullies' bullshit world view.

Hence, the standing irony that the more there needs to be an intellectual scientific revolution that is profound enough to actually address the real nature of the problems, and then continue to recommend solutions which are consistent with that analysis, the more unpopular that becomes, and therefore, the less likely we are to ever notice that, or for that to be discussed more widely. Of course, sufficiently up-dated "scientific Marxism" leaves Marx behind in the ancient archeology of ideas. Furthermore, doing that even more blows away the "messianic Marxism" bogus solutions.

The basic problem is the structure of Neolithic Civilizations. The basic solutions are for there to develop some Translithic Civilizations, which would have to develop a philosophy of science which could consistently survive after the development of technologies which were trillions of times more powerful. By and large, those are the REAL PROBLEMS, which require radical truths which are extremely unpopular at the present time!

It remains to be seen whether or not enough of the accomplishments of Neolithic Civilization could survive through its paradoxical final failure from too much "success" at controlling itself through systems of lies, backed by violence, which, of course, totally deny and suppress the radical truth about themselves. In that context, Thomas Piketty's book, and this article about it, were merely both examples of that happening yet again. This article was correct about its analysis, and I have long agreed with that, on its own level of expression. However, this article's critique of the "solutions" offered by Piketty were also still silly and superficial.

The PROBLEMS related to globalized systems of electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs, are PROBLEMS which the overwhelming vast majority of people do not want to think more deeply about, and perhaps are incapable of thinking more deeply about, because they do not want to. After all, to understand those REAL PROBLEMS requires facing how there ACTUALLY are combined money/murder systems, in which the debt controls are backed by the death controls, but wherein the abilities to do that through electronics and atomic energy, etc., are trillions of times BIGGER than anything that ever existed before in known human history.

None of the established systems of the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, nor any the systems of thought promoted by their controlled opposition, come within light years of coping with the REALITIES of electronic frauds, backed by the force of atomic power. Only very profound scientific revolutions, that apply through political science, and especially the monetary and military systems, MIGHT come within the right frame of reference. However, of course, such an approach would necessarily be extremely unpopular, and not now understood by the vast majority of people, who would not want to understand that change in their modes of thinking, since doing so would blow away almost everything that they previously believed in, and require them to think in radically different ways about everything!

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:55 | 4724749 james.connolly
james.connolly's picture

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie ...

"Wood Stock for KLEPTOCRATS"

Warren Buffett Defends Coca-Cola Abstention at Berkshire Meeting
Wall Street Journal - ?32 minutes ago?
Once again, the annual May ritual that brings tens of thousands of shareholders to a corner of downtown Omaha, Neb., lived up to its reputation as the "Woodstock for capitalists.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:02 | 4724757 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The root cause of peoples ills is their reliance on other people in authority (government) to be pristine individuals, completely altruistic.

This cannot be because people are not but its always easier to "appear to be" charitable or fair when using other peoples money isn't it?...lol.

Therefore both Marxism & Capitalism fail under the weight of laws passed down by self-interested people inside & outside of government. The rule of law was supposed to act as a brake on the nature of people but when people are the ones making the laws...

Well, here we are ;-)

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 21:35 | 4724847 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

For sure, nmwen:

"Well, here we are ;-)"

See my reply below to deflator about how profoundly paradoxical it would be IF the public schools and mass media taught people that they should NOT trust authorities! As long as the sovereign power was sane and stable, then the "rule of law" could be a good thing. However, when the sovereign power becomes insane and unstable, then the "rule of law" turns into a monster, since NOBODY GUARDS THE GUARDIANS! Therefore, those who have the power to enforce corrupted and crazy laws are far more dangerous than any other criminals!

I REPEAT:

The connection between human laws and natural laws is the ability to back up lies with violence.

Human realities are always systems of organized lies, operating robberies.

Politics is dynamic equilibria between different systems.

Our current problems are mostly due to the degree to which the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy has been applied in North America, and somewhat similarly all around the world, to achieve the extent to which the vast majority of people are unable to understand, because they do not want to understand, that governments were always the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals.

For "We the People" to provide limits on the abuse of the power by governments, enough of us would have to understand that enough, so that we did not so routinely vote for the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, or else, get so disgusted with the degree that politics was nothing but lies and hypocrisy that we stopped voting at all.

I continue to believe that a democratic republic working through the rule of law is the best theoretical way to deal with the fact that everyone has some power to rob, and power to kill to back that up. However, for a long, long time, and certainly now, the ways that most people think is too much dominated by the biggest bullies' bullshit world view, based on false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, which makes it impossible for most people to practically cope with the social facts that their government has become more and more blatantly taken over by special interest groups, which have legalized bigger lies, and backed those up with more legalized violence, to benefit those special interests, in ways which are getting worse and worse for that society as a whole!

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 22:58 | 4725085 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"The connection between human laws and natural laws is the ability to back up lies with violence."

And the only remedy to unnatural human laws (which are lies, at their core) is violence.

We can all wish it were not so...but wishing & fantasizing about things that are not reality, doesn't make them any more real.

Its like the victim of a crime wishing & split-second-fantasizing he were somewhere else (instead of staring down the business end of a gun)...he can wish he were somewhere else, he can wish "the law" was there to protect him at that very moment, he can wish a lot of things.

But reality dictates something else, he will submit or die according to someones elses interpretation of right & wrong and/or their laws of existence.

Personally, I've never been big on submitting to people pointing guns at me and I always react with violence, its just a quirk in my character for some reason ;-)

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 03:06 | 4725363 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"We can all wish it were not so..."

However, IT IS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeDYrKnLDi8

"Our Only Hope Will Come Through Rebellion"

I thought that presentation grossly understated.

However, even what it says are solid social facts.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 23:10 | 4725106 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

Radical, slow down a bit.  Take a deep breath.

Granted, we're screwed.  In mutiple ways.  Most of the people I know could agree on that.

Sometimes it can look pretty hopeless, especially if you just look at what they can do and listen to their stories.  But we can also look at what we can do.

If you could just make up, off the wildest top of your head, an idea about what could we all do about this shit together, what would it be?

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 03:22 | 4725370 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Well, WhyWait, IF I could think of "an idea about what could we all do about this shit," then I would be doing it. However, everything that I have attempted to do for several decades has failed. Given my best objective view of how badly "we're screwed," I am not able to maintain anything but irrational hopes for some series of political miracles. E.g., I am working on this project: Electoral District Associations

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 04:58 | 4725426 ebear
ebear's picture

"However, everything that I have attempted to do for several decades has failed."

Maybe you should try a different approach?  

Lengthy diatribes, regardless of their validity,  tend to put people off.  It's a question of form, not content.  We live in a world of sound bites where getting your point across in the first 15 seconds is essential.  Sucks, but it is what it is.

From my own studies, I've noticed that revolutions rarely take the form of mass uprisings due to acceptance of a revolutionary idea.  Marxism is quite possibly the only example.

On the contrary, most revolution is subversive.  New ideas enter the collective awareness through the back door.  They sneak in undetected and gradually undermine existing orthodoxy from within.  In the case of technology, revolution is often a case of adjusting to the unanticipated effects of the new technology.  Read McLuhan and Innis in that regard.

The question I would ask is, are you trying to escape the cyclical nature of these control systems, and if so, what would you replace them with, given that cyclicality appears to be a permanent feature of human development?

I'm not as pessimistic as you seem to be.  Individually, we each have a narrow window on reality, limited by a short life-span which tends towards frustration when results aren't immediately forthcoming.  What we currently perceive as a dire threat may be nothing more than one of those inevitable set-backs on the road to a better future.  

For someone living in the Dark Ages it didn't make much difference that 300 years later the world would be a better place.  His world sucked and the future looked pretty bleak. Nonetheless, here we are today, in an arguably much better world.

Maybe chipping away slowly is all we've got, but in the long run it might make a difference.  No guarantee, but in the end what else can we do?  

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:59 | 4724882 brushless backlash
brushless backlash's picture

4 part lecture that will blow your mind http://rdwolff.com

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 19:44 | 4724732 deflator
deflator's picture

Should I use my intellect to my advantage over my fellow human beings? My God say's that I will surely die and burn in Hell.

 Should I teach my children how to be deceptive?

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:53 | 4724811 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

It is arguable that only some classes of human beings covertly teach their children to be deceptive, while the vast majority of human beings in other classes attempt to teach their children to be honest.

It is arguable that those cultural trends have been going on for so long that there are now some genetic components to that kind of learning. In the general distribution of cultural and biological traits, i.e., in the distribution of memes and genes, there only appears to be a relatively small amount of room at the extremes of that distribution for there to be selected positively for deception, while, throughout most of the majority in the middle, for most of the time, there tended to be selection for honesty, as a better policy.

It  seems to me that there are criminal overclasses, and criminal underclasses, which may covertly teach their children to be deceptive, and they may well have some genetic predisposition to be able to learn to be more deceptive better. Of course, it is extremely difficult to discern the relationships between the ways that genetics and neural networks interrelate, within any environment, to be selected for, or against, a greater, or lesser, frequency of occurrence.

But nevertheless, it is my current opinion that the ruling classes are predisposed towards being psychopathic and sociopathic, because they were selected through historical processes to become successful by doing that. Furthermore, they seem to care that their children will also be able to be covertly taught how to continue to function as the ruling classes, who are able to be deceptive, and to back up their deceptions with violence. Indeed, it seems to me that those in the upper classes are more coherently like that than those in the fragmented criminal lower classes.

There is no doubt that human civilization has developed a human ecology wherein there are different kinds of people, who both culturally, and somewhat genetically, are metaphorically acting like those who are fulfilling the roles which are analogous to Vicious Wolves, Domesticated Dogs, Zombie Sheeple, and Black Sheeple. Those social roles appear to be recapitulated in different societies, from within prisons, to within schools, to their expression in government and finance, etc. ...

Generally speaking the various people who fill those kinds of social roles, through a combination of both genetic and cultural factors, tend to come from a very long line of social stories which justify and rationalize their roles, which they are more or less able to assimilate and agree with. Mostly, at the present time, the vast majority of the people are in the class of Zombie Sheeple, who are taught how to be good Sheeple, and therefore, taught to be honest, while that tends to work best for them, within their social situation, over the longer term. Meanwhile, the ruling classes appear to have perfected the abilities to be deceptive, and to back up their deceits with destruction, while that appeared to work best for them, in their own social situation, over time.

At present, the various social classes tend to have their own world views, both publicly and privately, which can not communicate with each other very well. Despite that they are still members of the same species, different classes of human beings have become relatively alien to each other. The paradoxes tend to be that the Vicious Wolves taught the Zombie Sheeple to bleat their moralities, while the Domesticated Dogs that herd the Zombie Sheeple tend to mostly agree with the Black Sheeple about what they are doing, or should be doing.

Given that situation, which has a long, long history behind it, in the form of both personal and social habits, it is extremely difficult to answer any questions about whether or not to teach children to be honest or dishonest, or to teach them to understand the degree to which their lives are actually being controlled by lies, or the truth. That is especially acute since the truth is that the ruling classes are have tended to be the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence, and various kinds of psychopathic sociopaths have tended to dominate government and finance, etc.. Therefore, most children are taught "daycare rules," while it appears that those in the criminal underclasses and the criminal overclasses are covertly taught the opposite to "daycare rules."

... See my comment above regarding how extremely unlikely and improbable it would be to have the public school systems and mass media tell people more of the radical truth about how their society really works! Of course, that kind of radical education would be necessary IF society was going to recover as a working democratic republic, in which citizens became more competent, because those citizens would have to understand the principles and methods of organized crime, in order to understand that, as citizens, they were actually a member of an organized crime gang, while, through their prolonged incompetence, they had allowed both the criminal underclasses, and criminally overclasses to flourish, in ways which were ultimately self-destructive to society as a whole.

Of course, the ways that the overclasses depend upon their systems of debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits, are way more important than how the underclasses operate within those systems. It is typical of how the Zombie Sheeple are kept ignorant and afraid, that our language for the criminal overclasses which dominate government and finance, etc., is so poorly developed, that we barely are able to have any rational public debate about those problems, while were are drowning in bullshit debates about the relatively trivial in comparison problems due to the criminal underclasses.

It is a very interesting question to even think to ASK: "Should I teach my children how to be deceptive?"

Similar questions revolve around the issues of to what degree should one teach one's children to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories?  Does one teach one's children that we live in a "free and democratic society," or actually live inside a runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut, building a bigger fascist police state? How are those children supposed to respond to that?

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 05:41 | 4725442 ebear
ebear's picture

It is a very interesting question to even think to ASK: "Should I teach my children how to be deceptive?"

A better question might be:

"Should I teach my children how not to be deceived?"

The answer is obvious, but the means are another question.  First you have to stop inculcating them with the lies you've taken as truth, starting with the god myth - the original time-tested control system.

Having done that,  you then need to teach them to hide their true nature from others less tolerant, so in that sense, yes, deception plays a role.

Deception is part of nature - aligators look like logs, moths look like tree bark, cats puff themselves up, and so on.  Learning to avoid deception is also part of nature, so teaching a child how not to be deceived is really part of survival training, as is knowing when to deceive (*) and when to be truthful.


(*) eg: the answer to "is your mommy home?" is always yes, whether true or not.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 00:38 | 4727373 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, ebear, learning how not to be deceived is the flip side of deceiving.

An issue there would be with regard to the saying: "The best defence is a strong offence." For sure, nature is full of deceptions, and humans are not unique, but only far more able in degree to be able to deceive others, as well as themselves. Indeed, my basic view is that our brains necessarily construct a model of the world which MUST be relative illusions, or lies, and that our view, even of ourselves, MUST be relative lies.

The ultimate truth is a truthless-Truth. All relative truths, which are the only ones we can experience, MUST be relative lies. That is WHY I assert human realities are always systems of organized lies. "Truth" is only something which we may approach asymptotically. However, it is absolutely impossible in principle for any finite system of understanding to be both complete and consistent.

My view is that we should be teaching children the elementary principles of philosophy and spirituality, which have as their necessary corollaries that the authorities should not be trusted, because it is NOT possible for anyone to be 100% right, nor 100% confident that they are right. In my view, the dichotomy between the truth and lies is like all others. That is relatively useful, but never absolutely correct. The paradoxical nature of absolute truth is that can not be experienced, nor possibly communicated. Only relative lies can be experienced or communicated. All knowledge actually has relative negative values, not relative positive values.

When the biggest bullies' bullshit view dominated the philosophy of science, it inserted an arbitrary minus sign into the entropy equations in thermodynamics and information theory, because the bullies would not approve of the view that all of their power was relative negatives, rather than absolute positives. The biggest bullies' bullshit world view dominates our society, and is engaged in a war against consciousness, to try to suppress the elementary principles of philosophy and spirituality, which are also consistent with the emerging sciences such as neurology, regarding how our brains and senses actually operate.

Everything that we experience as the "real" world is constructed in our minds, using tools such as the natural language which was our mother tongue. The authorities want to reify that, as absolutely true, rather than as relative social and psychological constructions.

My most basic ideas are based on the concept of SUBTRACTION, which can be understood somewhat through the approach of Kantian philosophy. We ONLY experience the phenomena, of the appearances of things, including even ourselves to ourselves. It is NOT possible to directly experience the noumenon, or the thing-in-itself. Everything we "know" is necessarily some part relatively subtracted from a Whole which we can NOT "know," although we transcendentally ARE That.

I REPEAT that postmodernizing science reconverges with ancient mysticism, from whence it started. Scientific methods are about asking how we know something, and how confident we are about knowing that. The deeper answers to those questions are that it is NOT possible to ever be 100% right. There are inherent limits to measurement, and other basic principles of science, which are quite consistent with ancient mystical insights.

In my view, the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories are understandable as being expression of the war against the consciousness of the slaves by the slave masters, which tends to also enslave the consciousness of the masters to some degree to.  The bullies natural promote their bullshit as the absolute truth. They assert their privatization of God, and the privatizations of the environment that follow after that. Their systems are based on backing up lies with violence, whereby that violence temporarily succeeds in beating people into tacit submission and agreement that the bullies' Huge Lies are the truth. It is hard to imagine how our world could end up being more backwards than it is. However, it still makes sense that history selected for the dominant systems of lies, backed by violence, to control civilization. It makes sense that civilization became based on enforced frauds, while that civilization does everything it can to try to prevent most people from figuring that out!

Paradoxically, the truth is that nobody can possibly know the absolute truth. The more that the bullies were able to promote their bullshit as the absolute truth, the more ensnared in triumphant systems of lies and social slavery we all became! For sure, therefore, it would be a good idea to teach children not to be deceived. However, in order to do that they would have to be taught that all of the most basic concepts, such as time and space, are also relative illusions.

Our current civilization is NOT willing and able to assimilate the elementary principles of philosophy and spirituality, because our social pyramid systems have their foundation built on lies backed by violence. A typical dilemma is that things like the special theory of relative proves that time and space are relative illusions, not independent absolutes, but while that theory actually made atomic bombs possible, it did so without the philosophy of science that made those bombs possible having any apparent enlightening effect upon the people who control the uses of those bombs. Obviously, I am not happy about that, although I believe that I can abstractly understand how and why that happened. I do not think there will be any good future from having a more and more technologically based society, in which its philosophy of science is profoundly perverted by the dominance of the biggest bullies' bullshit.

I have been working to change that, without any success. However, I can not convince myself that that was not worthwhile to attempt, no matter how practically impossible the task appears to be. I can not embrace the biggest bullies' bullshit, as a way to advance my career. My intellectual integrity commands me to reject the dominate systems of enforced frauds that control the civilization that I was born into. So far, that has been a dismal failure, however, there continues to be no way whatsoever, that has any shred of intellectual integrity left, to compromise with the Huge Lies, in order to have a more personally successful life, within the currently established systems.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:20 | 4724793 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

But a smart capitalist does not destroy himself and the society around him because it is not in his own long-term interest.  That was Marx's biggest mistake.  Unfortunately there is today a shortage of smart capitalists, stupidity and fraud rule the day.

And of course Marx was wrong about the pathetic fallacy that there is a simple, stable, natural state of goodness and truth, that the masses would automagically generate if given a chance (and mebbe a little wise guidance, harrumph).

I shot a Marxist in my pajamas the other day, and how he got in my pajamas I'll never know.

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:25 | 4724807 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"automagically"...I'm stealin that ;-)

Sat, 05/03/2014 - 20:51 | 4724858 brushless backlash
brushless backlash's picture

if you want to see why no US universities will allow any real comparative economics to be taught just take a listen to http://rdwolff.com

Old buddy Karl never wrote a book about communism.  He never wrote a book about socialism.  His big crime was to ask "what happens to the surplus when people get together and pool their efforts?"  That is why there's not a single leftwing socialist knee jerk reactionary college campus where you'll find and economics department that has a clue about what Marxs work was about.  

It's like asking "what do conservatives conserve?"  The answer is simple and simple answers are powerful emotive triggers in simple people.  The obvious answer to this question is nothing.  Republicans haven't balanced a budget since the 1950's when the last real conservative was in office.  

No middle class can ever flourish with a parasitic central bank calling the shots as to where the surplus goes.  It's that simple.  Any questions?

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 01:12 | 4725282 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA2lCBJu2Gg

 

karl marx ....great video on his personal life by the loveable douchebag stefan molyneux

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 02:40 | 4725347 poldark
poldark's picture

Everyone should read UN Agenda 21.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 02:58 | 4725361 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Oh yes, Agenda 21 is changing the world we live in, behind our backs.

Everyone should watch this, and i mean everyone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XA_yW7Z5OM&list=HL1399185133&feature=mh... ( A talk by a military man who explains the situation on the ground)

Agenda 21 explained by Rosa Koire in comprehensive fashion.  Watch this if you have not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ykELwj1Ta8

Have the family over and watch them if you can.  Though you may disagree with the person speaking for personal reasons, you must listen to their message.  Give deep consideration to the possibilities ahead if the plan is carried through. 

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 08:22 | 4725527 d edwards
d edwards's picture

Should have been titled "Das Kapital in the 21st Century"-same old crap with the same result.

 

Those who fail to learn from history are f-ing idiots.

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 12:06 | 4725887 novictim
novictim's picture

Picketty is not a Marxist.

NYTimes from 5 days ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/business/international/taking-on-adam-...

PARIS — Thomas Piketty turned 18 in 1989, when theBerlin Wall fell, so he was spared the tortured, decades-long French intellectual debate about the virtues and vices of communism. Even more telling, he remembers, was a trip he took with a close friend to Romania in early 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet empire.

“This sort of vaccinated me for life against lazy, anticapitalist rhetoric, because when you see these empty shops, you see these people queuing for nothing in the street,” he said, “it became clear to me that we need private property and market institutions, not just for economic efficiency but for personal freedom.”

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But his disenchantment with communism doesn’t mean that Mr. Piketty has turned his back on the intellectual heritage of Karl Marx, who sought to explain the “iron laws” of capitalism. Like Marx, he is fiercely critical of the economic and social inequalities that untrammeled capitalism produces — and, he concludes, will continue to worsen. “I belong to a generation that never had any temptation with the Communist Party; I was too young for that,” Mr. Piketty said, in a long interview in his small, airless office here at the Paris School of Economics. “So it’s easier in a way to reopen these big issues about capitalism and inequality with a fresh eye, because I was too young for that fight. I don’t have to justify myself as being pro-communist or pro-capitalist.”

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 01:13 | 4730966 rockface
rockface's picture

Here's an idea! What about, "Newer Smarter"?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!