If ever I saw half the truth this essay is it!  Written by John Paul Rollert who teaches business ethics and leadership at Harvard Summer School. He is pursuing a JD at Yale Law School and a PhD at The Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Entitled:  Bernard Madoff, Adam Smith, and capitalism's moral crisis Rollert's essay leaves out one name that needs to be there.  Can you guess who I mean?  Karl Marx, of course!  How can you discuss the "morals" of capitalism without at least mentioning Marx's critique?  Is this not one of the moral issues that capitalists have perpetrated since Marx wrote?  Mark changed history.  Not in the ways he thought he would, but in profound other ways.  Read on below the break to see what I mean.

Since the writings of Marx, capitalist apologists have done everything imaginable to discredit him.  Capitalist greed is actually second to the crusade waged against Marxism.  Of course it is that greed that fuels the fire, but that's not the point.  People have been murdered, framed, persecuted, and otherwise unfairly treated because of the fear Marx kindled in the hearts of these greedy people.  Marx never envisioned changing capitalism so quickly.  The new capitalism was so directed by the fear and loathing his writing engendered, that every generation since Marx has been dominated by the need to keep his ideas from catching on.  We have had the occupation of Russia after the Bolshevik revolution by the US, Great Britain, and their partners.  We had the blockade and the resultant starvation blamed on communist farming methods.  Indeed the methods did not seem to work well, being hatched on the spot with no research behind them.  That again is not the point.

The point is that correct as Rollert is in his identification of the moral shortcomings of capitalism, he still is either blind to or deliberately avoiding the real moral failing of capitalism, namely its own lack of trust in its own core ideology.  That is unless you include the anti-Marx propaganda and overt acts of violence directed at containing this counter ideology.  To me the whole history of capitalism since Marx published is a testimony to the capitalists' belief that he was both correct and dangerously so!

So as my days here get fewer, I can review my own 73 years of living through anti communist propaganda and wars against the evil one, etc. and see Marx as having caused the history of my times to have taken the shape they have.  Capitalism has an iron fisted grip on the minds of so many in this world.  Whatever its moral legacy is we see it in Fox News, the religious right, Glen Beck, McCarthyism, Tesbaggers etc.  etc.

The old song again folks.  Which side are you on?

Originally posted to don mikulecky on Tue Sep 22, 2009 at 09:53 AM PDT.


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