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View Diary: Why Marx Still Matters (73 comments)

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  •  This has always been my fundamental (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amsterdam, Autarkh, Mary Mike

    critique of Marx, as noted in the diary - there is no infintite input of either labor or energy. We live on a finite planet. This is also my ultimate complaint against capitalism - neither offer an option that is sustainable for life in the long term.

    We must do something new.

    Either way, I still believe Marx's notion of freedom expresses not only our truth, but might lead to the solution to the extinction problem we now face.

    •  Marx was a hubristic Victorian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lucid

      And so, expecting immediate revolution, he imagined the increase of productive forces because, in the mid-19th century.  This would not have been as environmentally harmful then as it is today.  Our civilization consumes 85 million barrels of oil every day; his didn't.

      Marx's dream of socialism remains unfulfilled, tho.  I think he gave up on Victorian hubris in 1872, when he engineered the vote at the meeting of the Workingmen's International to have the headquarters situated in New York City, thus removing that organization to efforts at immediate revolution.

      The Soviet experiment, as Kees van der Pijl reminds us, was backed by an ideology fit for a contender state.  Its ideas of economics were so compatible with capitalism that its dissolution into modern-day capitalist Russia required a couple of palace coups.  From van der Pijl's recent book:

      While foreign trade virtually collapsed in the 1930s, Soviet industrialization developed a state-monitored emulation of the more advanced mass production economy being developed in the US.  The Soviet leadership paid American engineering firms huge fees to draw the blue-prints for their five year plans... (221)

      The ecosocialist future, on the other hand, suggested by Saral Sarkar (Eco-socialism or eco-capitalism?: London, Zed Books, 1999 ) is much more pessimistic than anything Marx imagined.

      reduce, reuse, recycle

      by Cassiodorus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 01:54:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ooops! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lucid

        Change to:

        "Marx was a hubristic Victorian, and so, expecting immediate revolution, he imagined the increase of productive forces because, back then in the mid-19th century, the world had been much less quantitatvely exploited."

        reduce, reuse, recycle

        by Cassiodorus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 02:02:34 AM PST

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        •  But Marx was actually a German Jew (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus

          who lived and organized within Victorian England...

          so who really knows.

          While I can see the affinity with the '60's upper middle class white kids who didn't know shit, I think if you read Grundrisse, you might get a different perspective.

          •  Marx married a lower aristocrat (0+ / 0-)

            and lived off of his inheritances and what he could borrow from Engels.  He was a male Communist who got his maid pregnant.  His early attitude toward Jews was reflected in "On the Jewish Question."

            The Eighteenth Brumaire had this philosophy of history:

            Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.  (15)

            If we are to apply this principle rigorously we must also apply it to Marx, as a man (sic) who makes his own history, but not as he pleases.

            reduce, reuse, recycle

            by Cassiodorus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 03:34:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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