Skip to main content

This guy, not Groucho.

Sign of the times. Capitalism's flaws have become so manifest, the suffering so widespread, that a corporate publication is praising Marx.

With the global economy in a protracted crisis, and workers around the world burdened by joblessness, debt and stagnant incomes, Marx’s biting critique of capitalism — that the system is inherently unjust and self-destructive — cannot be so easily dismissed. Marx theorized that the capitalist system would inevitably impoverish the masses as the world’s wealth became concentrated in the hands of a greedy few, causing economic crises and heightened conflict between the rich and working classes. “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole,” Marx wrote.

A growing dossier of evidence suggests that he may have been right. It is sadly all too easy to find statistics that show the rich are getting richer while the middle class and poor are not. A September study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington noted that the median annual earnings of a full-time, male worker in the U.S. in 2011, at $48,202, were smaller than in 1973. Between 1983 and 2010, 74% of the gains in wealth in the U.S. went to the richest 5%, while the bottom 60% suffered a decline, the EPI calculated. No wonder some have given the 19th century German philosopher a second look.

This being Time Magazine, I expected the author to beat a furious retreat and explain all the ways that Marx was wrong, dangerous, and smelly, and there's a little of that, but to the author's credit, he points out that...
...current economic policy continues to fuel class tensions... Debt-burdened governments in Europe have slashed welfare programs even as joblessness has risen and growth sagged. In most cases, the solution chosen to repair capitalism has been more capitalism. Policymakers in Rome, Madrid and Athens are being pressured by bondholders to dismantle protection for workers and further deregulate domestic markets. Owen Jones, the British author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, calls this “a class war from above.”
No word in the piece on "class warfare from above" in the United States, but what do you want from Time/Time Inc/Time Warner?

The author point outs, reasonably, that that "there are few to stand in the way" of the ruling class's war, citing the decline of labor unions. But he doesn't note the bubbling activism on the left (other than to say OWS "fizzled") or the rise of anti-capitalism in Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere or the increasing class consciousness, of which his own piece is an example.

Yet he ends by mentioning a possibility he calls scary and I call the humankind's best hope: that if policy makers don't address poverty and economic inequality, "the workers of the world may just unite. Marx may yet have his revenge."

Follow me on Twitter.

Originally posted to david mizner on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 02:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and TrueMarket.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, grytpype, claude, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, davej, Ed in Montana, cslewis, KeithH, PLS, Paleo, Chi, melo, ferg, grollen, teacherken, roonie, glitterscale, Liberal Thinking, miasmo, importer, mickT, badger, Powered Grace, NYmom, lost, emal, PeterHug, karlpk, Minnesota Deb, Sherri in TX, LynChi, Wintermute, Aspe4, eeff, TarheelDem, Bryce in Seattle, maskling, RFK Lives, expatjourno, hubcap, niemann, nc 11th cd, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, opinionated, TheMomCat, JSCram3254, susans, TracieLynn, litho, CanadaGoose, fugwb, wonkydonkey, magnetics, nyceve, whenwego, srkp23, stevej, chuckvw, PBnJ, fishwars, cosmic debris, niterobin, farmerhunt, roses, pedrito, oceanview, fumie, ctsteve, splashy, Cedwyn, sidnora, wader, revsue, psnyder, Joe Bacon, NYC Sophia, figbash, Urizen, pat bunny, draghnfly, brainwave, Boppy, duncanidaho, agincour, chrismorgan, Bluehawk, Sychotic1, defluxion10, houyhnhnm, RuralLiberal, chickeee, Timbuk3, wordwraith, riverlover, walkshills, Oaktown Girl, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, ybruti, Kitsap River, Deward Hastings, jcrit, AlwaysDemocrat, Josiah Bartlett, xxdr zombiexx, sebastianguy99, Armand451, environmentalist, sawgrass727, Tirge Caps, nailbender, Skennet Boch, ExStr8, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, Jeffersonian Democrat, denise b, Ckntfld, ichibon, caul, SherwoodB, liberalcheesehead, Alice Venturi, run around, grimjc, Simplify, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, viral, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, Kevskos, reflectionsv37, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, majcmb1, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, aaraujo, Burned, Kayakbiker, lotlizard, Ice Blue, LucyandByron, Tool, spunhard, Bob B, Savvy813, dbadw, Ginny in CO, sodalis, Brian B, coloradorob, peacestpete, mightymouse, xaxnar, Jim R, Over the Edge, begone, RJDixon74135, martini, poco, esquimaux, Hirodog, snazzzybird, Captain Sham, Orinoco, detroitmechworks, WB Reeves, Keone Michaels, Sura 109, RustyBrown, cybersaur, Naranjadia, profundo, Kimball Cross, ActivistGuy, liberalconservative, Dvalkure, koNko, ruleoflaw, sleipner, KenBee, flygrrl, The Wizard, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, Blue Wind, Conceptual Guerilla, triv33, StrayCat, agnostic, gooderservice, Crashing Vor, Sagebrush Bob, NearlyNormal, el cid, ER Doc, MBNYC, hlsmlane, vivian darkbloom, onionjim, Helpless, democracy is coming, CA Nana, profh, Persiflage, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Cassiodorus, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, kurt, ethanthej, SD Goat, shaharazade, Tom Anderson, Eikyu Saha, bstotts, sea note, markthshark, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, fisheye, out of left field, bluicebank, ChadmanFL, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, hawaii2, Loudoun County Dem, SpecialKinFlag, Debs2, devis1, Dartagnan, offgrid, EdSF, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, LamontCranston, deepeco, DWG, sfbob, joedemocrat, davehouck, NoMoJoe, HCKAD, jayden, US Blues, Aunt Martha, martyinsfo, cyncynical, SeaTurtle, bobswern, millwood, carpunder, pioneer111, CT Hank, Wreck Smurfy, Rumarhazzit, leonard145b, JML9999, bewild, trueblueliberal, Assaf, South Park Democrat, on the cusp, TomP, rmonroe, Mighty Ike, JDWolverton, cynndara, rogerdaddy, mconvente, also mom of 5, GAS, wayoutinthestix, chakadog, MikePhoenix, zerone, poligirl, mamamedusa, Youffraita, Aureas2, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Buckeye Nut Schell, KJG52, Its any one guess, beltane, Calamity Jean, rssrai, MrJayTee, Wek, catly, alnep, mofembot, No Exit, Gemina13, Notreadytobenice, Troubadour, OrdinaryIowan, SteveS Austin, lenzy1000, Executive Odor, priceman, magicsister, squarewheel, ZhenRen, fayea, greywolfe359, Celtic Merlin, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, ragged but right, Bule Betawi, bleuet, Rick Aucoin, ceebee7, mjkellett, greengemini, divineorder, lostinamerica, BigAlinWashSt, dharmasyd, bsmechanic, banjolele, CanyonWren, LeftOfYou, maryabein, janmtairy, Zotz, Nailbanger, jennylind, rbird, mkor7, JesseCW, RageKage, zaka1, UnaSpenser, thirty three and a third, jomi, lastman, jazzence, Leslie in KY, kevinpdx, Leftcandid, catilinus, Words In Action, Amber6541, Just Bob, commonmass, coppercelt, roadbear, serendipityisabitch, The Free Agent, jethrock, piers, angelajean, jakedog42, mookins, Polly Syllabic, plankbob, ATFILLINOIS, Eddie L, Dingodude, cordgrass, gulfgal98, samanthab, tb mare, pixxer, Puddytat, Kristina40, Jaimas, Johnny Q, Publius2008, nirbama, DrTerwilliker, MsGrin, kenwards, ericlewis0, Nada Lemming, fiercefilms, slice, rmabelis, annieli, Barbara Marquardt, allenjo, ozsea1, Liberal Capitalist, Oldowan, StateofEuphoria, freesia, swale44, asterkitty, smiley7, boomerchick, mrsgoo, marleycat, Wolf10, Ojibwa, Fresno, KVoimakas, floridablue, tardis10, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, The Rational Hatter, Calvino Partigiani, PhilJD, Marihilda, Sunspots, stlsophos, jadt65, DRo, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, CoyoteMarti, bassinduo, DEMonrat ankle biter, allergywoman, IowaPopulist, No one gets out alive, Azazello, BlueDragon, YaNevaNo, quill, jacey, stormicats, anodnhajo, isabelle hayes, Williston Barrett, Siri, ahumbleopinion, Eric Nelson, rustypatina, done lurking, Betty Clermont, Over50Lib, 420 forever, farlefty, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, Mr Robert, peachcreek, Free Jazz at High Noon, Ana Thema, BusyinCA, MartyM, Rizzo, Galtisalie, lunachickie, Kenneth Thomas, DSWright, ItsaMathJoke, dotdash2u, George3, wasatch, hungeski, surreal times, Robynhood too, mythatsme, Ray Pensador, Blue Dream, SwedishJewfish, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, nomandates, doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers, Linda1961, Brooklyn Jim, Late Again, JayRaye, poopdogcomedy, Papuska, goodpractice, Alhambra, howabout, JosephK74, northerntier, Demeter Rising, tampaedski, Jason Hackman, Frank Whitaker, Catkin, DarthMeow504, The Marti, ialonelady, Stentorian Tone, Dodgerdog1, OldSoldier99, Stephen Wolf

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site