The Hobo Philosopher
Karl Marx on Economics 1818-1883
By Richard E. Noble
Karl Marx was not a positive step in the line of thinkers like Smith, Ricardo, Malthus, and Mill who were seeking positive solutions to what they saw around them. Marx said the system was corrupt, didn't work, and couldn't be fixed. He was an academic. He should have been a college professor. He was really a journalist, but his rhetoric was so inflammatory that he was put out of business wherever he went. Near the end of his life he stated that he was no Marxist. He really didn't seem to agree with anybody.
Engels, after Marx's death claimed that Marx's was not an Anarchist, but his own words in the Communist Manifesto state otherwise. He was in favor of revolution. He was in favor of the use of violence in that revolution. Although he predicted Communism as a natural evolution, he acknowledged the need of an interim totalitarian government of the wise and faithful to push things along until a condition where no state was necessary finally existed. I think truthfully, the man just liked to argue, and felt that he was intellectually superior to anyone else in the world. He got trapped in the political arguments of his day. That is always enough to drive anybody wacky. He wanted to be intelligent. He wanted to go down in history as a genius, like his idle Darwin, or like Isaac Newton or even Hegel. If he had been alive in the Russian heyday or even today in Communist China, he would not like it. He would be writing his criticisms of the conditions of the poor and underprivileged in those societies and calling their leadership a bunch of swine and parasitic excreta. They would throw his butt out, or kill him. He would have to escape once again to Jolly old England or the United States where he could babble and research to his heart's content, and maybe even get onto Hardball once and awhile.
He wrote a 2000 page book he entitled This Is Capitalism. In it he describes Capitalism, points out its flaws, and predicts its downfall. He is like the religious clerics of today who try to convince us that life on this planet is impossible. It couldn't have happened. But when you say that it obviously is, so it must have happened, they supply you with an even more preposterous explanation of how that came about.
I think Karl was not as smart as he thought he was. He saw moral injustice in the world, and suggested more of the same, or twice as much as before as a solution. As Adam Smith so wisely pointed out ... virtue, unlike vice is not tempered by the pangs and limits of moral conscience...
It is interesting to note that Karl Marx never worked in a factory. His compadre, Engels, was the wealthy son of a rich factory owner. Engels ended up living in wealth, happiness, and comfort from the legacy of his Capitalistic, private property, and inherited birthright. If it were not for the insanely immoral conditions of so many of the poor and hard working of that day, Marx and Engels would have been but a ripple in a sea of the illogical, misdirected rhetoric of every era and epoch.
Marx said that Malthus' theory was an insult to the integrity of Mankind. I agree. Marx’s mother is quoted as having said that she wished that her son had taken a greater interest in making Capitol, than in criticizing it. According to Engels, Marx discovered the historic significance of the “class struggle" and the "motion of Capitalism." I don't know about all of that, but he certainly discovered how to get people all pissed off.
Marx, for some strange reason, is always placed aside Adolf Hitler. There really isn’t much comparison. They were more opposite than they were similar.
Karl Marx’s sympathies were with the workingman. Adolf Hitler was an elitist who supported, and was supported by, capitalists.
Karl Marx was a family man. The story of his lifelong love affair and marriage with the daughter of a wealthy Prussian baron, Jenny von Westphalen, is a tale of devotion, loyalty and commitment that would bring even Ronnie and Nancy to tears. His children, the few who survived their poverty, loved him and wrote glowingly of their parents and their devotion.
Adolf was “strange.” He may have been a pervert. He may have murdered his half-niece, Geli Raubal, with whom he had a very weird relationship. He had a mistress, Eva Braun, who seemed to be about as nutty as he was. He had lots of strange male pals, Ernst Rohm, maybe the most notable. He may have killed Ernst, a best friend and staunch political ally, with his own hand.
Karl never killed anybody. Karl wanted to save mankind and devise a system that would make the world a better place. He thought Capitalism to be an exploitive curse on the poor workingman and the world. Where did he ever get such an idea?
Aldof wanted to murder everybody. Lucky for all of us he ended up murdering himself.
Actually Karl Marx was a rather nice man, somewhat argumentative, but very bright, studious and diligent in the pursuit of learning, understanding and spreading what he believed to be the truth. He left some major literary works, the most notable being Das Capital, that are still being debated and studied to this day.
Das Capital was basically a critical and very involved economic evaluation of the Capitalist system. It was Karl’s opinion that this system was immoral and corrupt but more important, self-destructive. Karl attempted to logically and economically prove that Capitalism would eventually collapse and destroy itself. Whether he was successful or not is still being debated.
Adolf Hitler was a murder and killer who believed in the slaughter of mankind and not its salvation. He was bigoted, prejudiced, and mean spirited. He left behind a book called, Mein Kampf, that is the bible of psychopathic hate and vitriol. In it he preaches the righteousness of evil and selfishness, the glory of war, and the necessity of genocide and mass murder. He is rarely referred to as a “nice man.”
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