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Marxists Discover Property Rights

copyright-law

A left wing publisher is using copyright laws in an effort to force a website to remove certain copies of the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels from its database:

The Marxist Internet Archive, a website devoted to radical writers and thinkers, recently received an email: It must take down hundreds of works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels or face legal consequences.

The warning didn’t come from a multinational media conglomerate but from a small, leftist publisher, Lawrence & Wishart, which asserted copyright ownership over the 50-volume, English-language edition of Marx’s and Engels’s writings.

To some, it was “uncomradely” that fellow radicals would deploy the capitalist tool of intellectual property law to keep Marx’s and Engels’s writings off the Internet. And it wasn’t lost on the archive’s supporters that the deadline for complying with the order came on the eve of May 1, International Workers’ Day.

“Marx and Engels belong to the working class of the world spiritually, they are that important,” said David Walters, one of the organizers of the Marxist archive. “I would think Marx would want the most prolific and free distribution of his ideas possible — he wasn’t in it for the money.”

Still, Mr. Walters said the archive respected the publisher’s copyright, which covers the translated works, not the German originals from the 19th century. On Wednesday, the archive removed the disputed writings with a note blaming the publisher and a bold headline: “File No Longer Available!”

I’ll assume that the publisher’s copyright claim is valid under the law, but I do say that it’s somewhat ironic that a group of people who ascribe to a philosophy that eschews the very idea of private property has suddenly become so concerned with their property rights.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    I am unaware that Marxism rejects private property rights?

    In fact Marx says, “the right of man to property is the right to enjoy his possessions and dispose of the same arbitrarily, without regard for other men, independently from society, the right of selfishness.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  2. They also reject the idea of ownership.

    And, when it has actually been placed into practice, Marxism has been all about abrogating property rights (see e.g, the Soviet Union)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug, you any many others make the mistake of equating Marxism with Communism. I don’t really think that Karl Marx would have approved of Soviet style Communism.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  4. dennis says:

    Ha! Human, after all.

    @Doug: Doug, I’m gonna leave out the snark and just say I’m surprised that you would hold up Soviet-style communism as an example of socialist Marxism. Although, I will grant you that various theories of its application exist. Kinda like Christianity: who knows which one is the true and correct form!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  5. Matt Bernius says:

    For the record, Marx created a distinction between “Private Property” (in some respects better explained as productive property — i.e. the means of production or things that create capital) from “Personal Property” (things produced by the individual – ie the products of their labor — or purchased/bartered using the products of their labor).

    I’m not sure where Marx would net out on Copyright. I think he would support the translators being reimbursed for their labors. However I suspect he would see this application of copyright as being abhorrent to his principles.

    Beyond that @Ron Beasley that is entirely correct. No one can read Marx and think that Soviet Communism was Marxist Communism. There’s a reason why the Soviets *banned* many of Marx’s writings.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  6. @Matt Bernius:

    Every time communism has been tried on more than the smallest scale, it ends up in a repressive regime and a giant massacre. And the supporters of communism stroke their chins and go “well that wasn’t really communism”. How many more times must it be tried before supporters of communism will finally admit that regardless of how they would like it to work out, the Soviet Union is how it always ends up working out in practice?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    @Stormy Dragon: While there may be some truth to that Communism is not alone. Even capitalist systems can morph into tyrannical oligarchies. That’s happened in the US before and appears to be happening again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  8. @Ron Beasley:

    I see capitalism more like the law of gravity. It merely describes how an economy works, not what should be done with it. The problem is that some people assume capitalism means we should all jump off of skyscrapers instead of trying to figure out how to build airplanes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. Tyrell says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Exactly. I have not read of one communist/Marxist country that did not wind up being a total disaster. If Cuba is so great, as some misguided individuals think, then why do their people risk their lives in rowboats to get to the US?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  10. anjin-san says:

    @ Stormy Dragon

    The problem is that some people assume capitalism means we should all jump off of skyscrapers

    And some people think “the only purpose of a business is to make a profit, period.”

    Not “make a profit by creating great products and services for our customers”, not “make a profit AND be a good corporate citizen”, not “make a profit AND create great jobs for our employees”, not “make a profit by developing products that will, in ways large and small, make the world a better place.”

    Capitalism, conservative style equates to a very small number of people owning almost everything, while the rest of us fight for the crumbs. Oh, and conservatives who are fantasy capitalists (see “Plumber, Joe the”) can have an additional fantasy that they are somehow kindred spirits to the plutocrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. BigEd says:

    Doug;

    You should post the position of Lawrence & Wishart before you condemn what they have done.

    But since you didn’t, I will:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. george says:

    Can’t think of any economy in the last two hundred years which wasn’t some sort of mixed economy. The USSR was no more pure communism than today’s USA is pure capitalism.

    The most likely reason for this is that any pure economy (pure communism, pure capitalism etc) is going to be such an obvious disaster that even their proponents back away from putting them into practice.

    Arguing about capitalism vs communism is lot’s of fun when in college (especially over beer and pizza), but seems to be mainly irrelevant when it comes to actually governing – no one’s ever implemented any of them without a lot of mixing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  13. Ben Wolf says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Marxism does not reject or deny property rights, it rejects private ownership of the means of production.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. @anjin-san:

    Well that’s kind of my point. Capitalism is correct that corporations will, by their nature, seek to maximize profits. Attempting to make them do something else merely by ordering them to do something else is doomed to failure as their nature will be to resist your order as much as possible. Instead you have to organize the institutions they interact with so that maximizing their profits will necessitate doing what you want them to do.

    To go back to the gravity analogy, if you want to build an airplane you can’t just go “gravity doesn’t work, we’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist”. Instead you have to account for gravity in your design and make a plane that flies despite it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Ron Beasley says:

    Capitalism doesn’t mean you won’t have tyranny. China has gone from Communist to an oligarchical capitalist (fascist )country but it’s still a tyrannical country. Mussolini’s Italy was capitalist but a tyranny never the less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ Stormy Dragon

    Attempting to make them do something else merely by ordering them to do something else

    Have you ever met a business owner? A lot of them WANT to do the things I mentioned above, and make money.

    I know people who had/have businesses that are about a lot more than just making money. I know people who have provided great products, great services, great jobs, and gotten rich in the process. They give a crap about their employees and their communities.

    Your conception of capitalism sounds quite grim. Only profit matters. A lot of people think profit matters, but it is simply the fuel that makes greater things possible.

    I kind of feel sorry for you. In your world view, people have to be ordered to give a crap about something other than money. How sad is that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ll assume that the publisher’s copyright claim is valid under the law, but I do say that it’s somewhat ironic that a group of people who ascribe to a philosophy that eschews the very idea of private property has suddenly become so concerned with their property rights.

    Where you say “somewhat ironic,” I would say “predicably hypocritical.”

    And yeah, the Marxist apologists always use the “No True Scotsman” argument when it’s inevitably revealed that the latest “Marxist paradise” has piled up another huge body count. What’s the current death toll among Marx’s followers? I lost count when it passed 100 million.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  18. Ben Wolf says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Historically the purpose of the corporation is to serve the public interest. Profit maximization is very much a product of thinking over the last forty years and is not a valid function for an institution created by the state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  19. anjin-san says:

    Marxist apologists

    You are doing battle with people who exist, for the most part, in your imagination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: There’s this guy up there who calls himself “Ron Beasley” who stated the following:

    Doug, you any many others make the mistake of equating Marxism with Communism. I don’t really think that Karl Marx would have approved of Soviet style Communism.

    And that got 15 upvotes, zero downvotes.

    So there are 16 people just in this thread who seem to exist, despite your denials…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  21. @Ben Wolf:

    The idea of incorporation originally came about during the rule of Emperor Justinian. While some were intended to serve public interests, others (trade and crafting guilds) were primarily focused on commercial interests from the very beginning.

    And the Stora Koppaberg copper mine in Sweden was a publically traded corporation as early as 1288, so thinking of them as business concerns goes back a lot farther than “the last forty years”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hold it, are you suggesting that Marx would have approved of Soviet styled communism? If so, we can safely discount anything you say about Marx, you’ve obviously no idea of what you’re talking about.

    You might well argue that the ‘no true Scotsman’ issue applies to attempts to apply communism (and capitalism for that matter, since neither has been applied purely) – the argument that it would be impossible to implement true communism is one that many have seriously put forward, and it might well be true. But to argue that what went on in the USSR is even close to what Marx wanted is so mind numbingly strange that I find it hard to believe you believe it yourself.

    Or put it this way. If you’re arguing that what Marx wanted is impossible, you may have a point. If you’re arguing that what went on in the USSR is what he wanted, then you’re making things up as you go along.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  23. Grewgills says:

    @george:

    If so, we can safely discount anything you say about Marx, you’ve obviously no idea of what you’re talking about.

    You can leave Marx out of that sentence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @george: What I’m saying is that every attempt to implement Marxism has resulted in a tyranny that piles up a huge body count. And every such attempt, once it inevitably collapses, is followed by hordes of people saying idiocy like “you any many others make the mistake of equating Marxism with Communism.”

    If only there was an example of Marxists producing a system that does NOT result in massive oppression and slaughter…

    Hey, Marxists! You’ve already racked up a nine-figure body count. (That dwarfs Hitler’s accomplishments, by the way.) How many more have to be slaughtered on your altar before you admit that your theories are horrifically wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  25. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    That’s Ron’s argument goes over your head surprises no one. It sort of assumes the reader is educated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  26. bill says:

    sure, marxism could work, if it weren’t for stupid humans being all like themselves and such…..
    maybe in a few hundred years, if we’re still the dominant species- but probably not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. Andre Kenji says:

    I´ve read something from Marx. Marxism is not a system of government, is a method of historical and economic analysis. In some sense, that means that the world is divided between oppressors and the oppressed. The idea of the Frankfurt school is basically that the bourgeois uses mass media to exploit the proletariat. Paulo Freire has a book called “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”.

    Yes, Marx cowrote the Manifesto of the Communist Party, but that´s relatively vague regarding public policies, and that was written when slavery was common in the whole world and when political democracy was rare. He also praised the United States and he supported the annexation of half of Mexico in 1848.

    I´m not a Marxist, I think that the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” is a much better reading than the Das Kapital and I don´t accept Marxist concepts like Class Struggle and Surplus value. But, people should read if before writing opinions about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  28. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: When I was taking a logic course, the textbook included an example of a fallacy that had me laughing for days. It said, “A dog is an animal. An elephant is an animal. Therefore, a dog is an elephant.” (This stuck in my memory longer, alas, than the name of the fallacy it’s supposed to illustrate. Can anyone help me out here?)

    Whatever that fallacy is called, you’re demonstrating it to a tee. Nobody in this thread has professed to believe in Marxism. Nobody in this thread has claimed that Marxism works. It’s true that apologists for Marxism have argued that Soviet-style communism was a distortion of Marx’s ideas, and it is also true that some people in this thread have made the same argument. That is the entire basis on which you rest your absurd statement that people in this thread are being “Marxist apologists.” Instead of addressing the argument on its merits, you have created a doglaphant. Or is that elephanine? You tell me, it’s your creation!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  29. Tillman says:

    As I recall from my schooling days, communism wasn’t even a system you could implement – it was supposed to be the inevitable result of industrial capitalism. Marx was predicting that capitalism would devour itself once the workers realized they had nothing left to lose in revolution. Marx never predicted marketing or big data, though.

    And then Lenin came along and tried to modify it into something you could force. The rest is history.

    @Kylopod: I don’t recall if that has a specific name, but that’s one of those first-day arguments the prof puts up to demonstrate the difference between valid and invalid arguments in deductive logic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. mantis says:

    @Kylopod:

    “A dog is an animal. An elephant is an animal. Therefore, a dog is an elephant.” (This stuck in my memory longer, alas, than the name of the fallacy it’s supposed to illustrate. Can anyone help me out here?)

    The fallacy of the undistributed middle.

    All dogs are animals.
    All elephants are animals.
    Therefore, all dogs are elephants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  31. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What I’m saying is that every attempt to implement Marxism has resulted in a tyranny that piles up a huge body count.

    I could put you in touch with my Communist cousin, he could talk your ear off about the giant body count capitalism’s racked up. From a big-C Communist point of view, pretty much every war fought ever was capitalist imperialist expansion and oppression. And that’s not including all the poor wage-slaves who have to work to survive, thus crushing…I don’t know, their inborn passion and creativity and human spirit, I guess.

    I don’t agree with him on much at all, but if we’re going to start labeling all systems formed under the rubric of communism as “eventual tyrannies,” we have to understand we’re reading the victor’s version of history, or “capitalist” history. And capitalists don’t speak badly of capitalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Matt Bernius says:

    @Tillman:

    I could put you in touch with my Communist cousin, he could talk your ear off about the giant body count capitalism’s racked up

    See “North American Slave Trade” and the genocide of Native Americans (in all of the Americas) as examples of what unfettered capitalism wrought.

    Look, no one is suggesting that there has been a successful Communist State. Or that Communism is a sustainable project (outside of the Pre-DS9 Star Trek universe).

    All we are trying to say that claiming that the USSR. China, or any other Communist state has ever implemented Marx’s form of Communism is factually incorrect.

    As you wrote

    As I recall from my schooling days, communism wasn’t even a system you could implement – it was supposed to be the inevitable result of industrial capitalism. Marx was predicting that capitalism would devour itself once the workers realized they had nothing left to lose in revolution. Marx never predicted marketing or big data, though.

    And then Lenin came along and tried to modify it into something you could force. The rest is history.

    This is 100% the case. It’s also a problem with Marx’s modernist views (that there was a single evolutionary path for all of society). It’s also why Marx was a far better Economist than necessarily a Political Prognosticator.

    Which is also why many of Marx’s writings were banned in the USSR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. anjin-san says:

    I bought some new patio furniture today, “Made in Vietnam” (pretty nice too)

    How many peasants did we kill in Vietnam because we were certain that if those dominoes fell, it would be the end of the world – or was it just because war is good for business? I can’t remember now.

    At any rate, we killed a lot of people, Uncle Ho still won, and now they are making our patio furniture.

    But let’s talk about the evils of communism, a system no one is all that interested in any more. Because it is a lot easier than looking in the mirror.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. Ben Wolf says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Corporations were allowed to generate profits if they served the public interest, which is why until very recently the state retained authority to revoke the charter and dissolve the corporation if its behavior or performance were no longer satisfactory. They were also typically banned from any participation in politics.

    Don’t make the error of thinking that public trading, or stock markets, were instituted for the pursuit of profit. Stock markets were instituted to bring capital and entrepreneurs together to expand public wealth, not for profit maximization. Profits, again until very recently, were a secondary objective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  35. Ben Wolf says:

    By the way, I am unaware of a single guide on corporate governance written by directors stating that maximization of shareholder value, or profitability, is a primary concern. If we look at the literature holders of equity are listed dead last in the hierarchy of corporate responsibility and there is no legal requirement to do otherwise.

    Profit maximization is a bizarre and frankly brain-dead idea which came to dominance over the last forty or so years. Prior to that corporations operated to benefit the corporation itself (meaning keep the firm healthy, follow the law, take care of employees) and only after that was satisfied did the shareholders get something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. Gavrilo says:

    I’m always amused at how the left feels compelled to defend Marx. Yet, call one a Communist or even a Socialist and they get all huffy. It really is fun to watch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  37. anjin-san says:

    Shorter Gavrilo – “I don’t understand what you guys are talking about, but, but, but, commies”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  38. Tillman says:

    @Gavrilo: I’m compelled to correct incorrect premises when I’m not lazy. By sheer coincidence, the folks who have the most incorrect views on Marx tend to be on the right.

    Then again, that’s not always the case. My Communist cousin and some of his brethren have horrifically incorrect views on Marx, but getting into it with them is usually an exercise in futility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. grumpy realist says:

    Hmm. Getting back to the original point of the thread….

    It would seem to me that Marx is far enough back that any company that wanted to find an edition on which the copyright has lapsed could probably do so. Also–wasn’t Marx in England for most of his research? I’d be very surprised if there isn’t some old Victorian edition in English floating around that could be republished without fuss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. Kylopod says:

    I’m always amused at how the left feels compelled to defend Marx. Yet, call one a Communist or even a Socialist and they get all huffy. It really is fun to watch.

    And I’m always amused at how the right thinks that pointing out incorrect statements about a group automatically implies membership in that group. Object to the statement that all Muslims are terrorists, and that can only mean you’re a Muslim yourself. Suggest that Marx would probably not have approved of a brutal regime that banned many of his own works, and you must be a Marxist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s all anyone needs to know about Marxism: if people start talking about implementing it, start digging mass graves. Because every time it’s been tried, those graves have ended up being filled. Filled to overflowing.

    Anything else you might want to know about Marxism is literally academic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  42. Gavrilo says:

    @Tillman:

    By sheer coincidence, the folks who have the most incorrect views on Marx tend to be on the right.

    That’s funny because most of the folks on the right that I know recognize Marx for exactly what he was–batshit crazy. It’s the folks on the left (including lots on this thread) who seem to think Marxism is viable but just hasn’t been properly implemented. (Hint: It’s not.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  43. Tillman says:

    @Kylopod: That’s a human/”both sides do it” phenomenon.

    @Gavrilo:

    That’s funny because most of the folks on the right that I know recognize Marx for exactly what he was–batshit crazy. It’s the folks on the left (including lots on this thread) who seem to think Marxism is viable but just hasn’t been properly implemented. (Hint: It’s not.)

    “Including lots in this thread,” you say. Why don’t you point them out? Link to their posts and excerpt some quotes about how they think Marxist communism is viable. Several have contended that Marxist communism has never been implemented correctly. No one, going off my brief skimming of the thread, has argued Marxist communism would be viable. In fact, one mentioned how it’s an entirely credible argument that it would be impossible to implement correctly.

    And, all things being equal, folks on the right would be ideologically opposed or blind to Marxist appeal anyway, so you’ll forgive me if their impressions aren’t the ones I go off of.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. Andre Kenji says:

    Marxism is a method of economic and political analysis, not something that´s “implemented”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  45. anjin-san says:

    Here’s all anyone needs to know about Marxism:

    Well sure. If you think in sound bites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. anjin-san says:

    Here’s all anyone needs to know about Marxism:

    Most of the commentators from the right on OTB don’t seem to have a clue about what socialism actually is, though they go on about it incessantly. I guess we should not be surprised that the same is true of Marxism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: There were a lot of people who argued that even discussing a definition of “torture” was itself unthinkable — “torture” is bad, and discussing of just what does or does not (or should or should not) meet the legal standard of “torture” was in and of itself reprehensible.

    That’s pretty much how I feel about Marxism — but with about 100 million reasons. To discuss it in a theoretical sense without acknowledging how all the attempts to realize it have ended genocidally is itself reprehensible.

    And it’s really hard to distinguish from the explanations of the former supporters of fallen self-styled Marxist states who explain that they simply didn’t practice True Marxism.

    The best way to evaluate Marxism is in its real-world effects. And that’s over 100 million corpses, many in unmarked graves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  48. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    There were a lot of people who argued that even discussing a definition of “torture” was itself unthinkable — “torture” is bad, and discussing of just what does or does not (or should or should not) meet the legal standard of “torture” was in and of itself reprehensible.

    That’s pretty much how I feel about Marxism — but with about 100 million reasons. To discuss it in a theoretical sense without acknowledging how all the attempts to realize it have ended genocidally is itself reprehensible.

    a) I’d disagree with people saying we shouldn’t discuss definitions of torture since our Constitution only uses the phrase “cruel and unusual punishment” without providing examples, requiring us to interpret it.
    b) I’d usually disagree with people not wanting to discuss definitions in general. (Bill Clinton’s “is” defense is an exception.)

    Hell, I would say correctly interpreting Marxism from the various communisms we’ve seen enacted by one oppressive regime or another is even more important because of all the people who’ve died. Especially since, as I noted before, Marxism isn’t an implemented system but a prediction about the end-results of capitalism. Discussion of a thing should not be reprehensible even if the thing itself is. If it were so, you could not learn from reprehensible things or distinguish them with perfect clarity, and if we can’t do these, their possibility of recurrence becomes more likely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  49. mantis says:

    Communism has never worked and never will. It always leads to authoritarianism, usually violent.

    A communist revolution as laid out by Marx has never been accomplished, and never will, as it is based on realities no longer operative. Marx lived in a particular time and place, and was reacting to the economic realities produced by the still ongoing industrial revolution. Times have changed dramatically since.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: How amusing that you’ve discovered that all anyone needs to know is exactly the amount you know — which is zero.

    On every subject you’ve ever discussed here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That’s pretty much how I feel about Marxism — but with about 100 million reasons. To discuss it in a theoretical sense without acknowledging how all the attempts to realize it have ended genocidally is itself reprehensible.

    This means you don’t even understand the difference between Marxism (a system of thought for analyzing socioeconomics) and Communism (a system of government). As such, you probably shouldn’t be discussing it at all unless you want to reveal your ignorance, which I guess has never bothered you before.

    The primary reason why communism as imagined by Karl Marx has never been attempted is that it was supposed to come about naturally following the failure and collapse of capitalism. This collapse never came to pass. Marx was wrong, but his mistakes were pretty understandable given the state of labor in Britain (and elsewhere) when he was alive. How one could witness that and not predict a workers revolution, assuming no economic evolution to help them (an incorrect, but not stupid, assumption), is beyond me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  52. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: So, you’re saying that Marxism is 1) irrelevant today, and 2) flawed from the outset anyway.

    Sounds to me like you’re saying that studying the details of Marxists is something that should be left to academics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  53. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Oh, you’re still playing your old game — wait for others to do the rhetorical lifting, then come racing out to bayonet the wounded. Pity that I’m not as wounded as you think, and your “bayonet” is a plastic spoon.

    Don’t laugh at wr, folks. It won’t hurt his feelings — he’s too obtuse for that. Don’t laugh because he mistakes it for applause.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    More importantly, he and others are pointing out that you apparently don’t understand what Marxism actually is. Hint, it is not a type of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    : So, you’re saying that Marxism is 1) irrelevant today

    No, Marxism is still an important and useful system of thought in socioeconomics. You are still mistaking Marxism for communism, and at this point it seems intentional.

    and 2) flawed from the outset anyway.

    I think Marx’s predictions that society would naturally see a collapse of capitalism followed by socialism and then communism were flawed, yes, but that does not necessarily mean his method of economic and social analysis is not valuable.

    Sounds to me like you’re saying that studying the details of Marxists is something that should be left to academics.

    It already is left to academics.

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