Is Marx Still Relevant?

SOCIALISM - MARXISM, 14 May 2018

Peter Singer | Project Syndicate - TRANSCEND Media Service

On the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth on May 5, 1818, it isn’t far-fetched to suggest that his predictions have been falsified, his theories discredited, and his ideas rendered obsolete. So why should we care about his legacy in the twenty-first century?

Project Syndicate

1 May 2018 – From 1949, when Mao Zedong’s communists triumphed in China’s civil war, until the collapse of the Berlin Wall 40 years later, Karl Marx’s historical significance was unsurpassed. Nearly four of every ten people on earth lived under governments that claimed to be Marxist, and in many other countries Marxism was the dominant ideology of the left, while the policies of the right were often based on how to counter Marxism.1

Once communism collapsed in the Soviet Union and its satellites, however, Marx’s influence plummeted. On the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth on May 5, 1818, it isn’t far-fetched to suggest that his predictions have been falsified, his theories discredited, and his ideas rendered obsolete. So why should we care about his legacy in the twenty-first century?

Marx’s reputation was severely damaged by the atrocities committed by regimes that called themselves Marxist, although there is no evidence that Marx himself would have supported such crimes. But communism collapsed largely because, as practiced in the Soviet bloc and in China under Mao, it failed to provide people with a standard of living that could compete with that of most people in the capitalist economies.4

These failures do not reflect flaws in Marx’s depiction of communism, because Marx never depicted it: he showed not the slightest interest in the details of how a communist society would function. Instead, the failures of communism point to a deeper flaw: Marx’s false view of human nature.

There is, Marx thought, no such thing as an inherent or biological human nature. The human essence is, he wrote in his Theses on Feuerbach, “the ensemble of the social relations.” It follows then, that if you change the social relations – for example, by changing the economic basis of society and abolishing the relationship between capitalist and worker – people in the new society will be very different from the way they were under capitalism.

Marx did not arrive at this conviction through detailed studies of human nature under different economic systems. It was, rather, an application of Hegel’s view of history. According to Hegel, the goal of history is the liberation of the human spirit, which will occur when we all understand that we are part of a universal human mind. Marx transformed this “idealist” account into a “materialist” one, in which the driving force of history is the satisfaction of our material needs, and liberation is achieved by class struggle. The working class will be the means to universal liberation because it is the negation of private property, and hence will usher in collective ownership of the means of production.

Once workers owned the means of production collectively, Marx thought, the “springs of cooperative wealth” would flow more abundantly than those of private wealth – so abundantly, in fact, that distribution would cease to be a problem. That is why he saw no need to go into detail about how income or goods would be distributed. In fact, when Marx read a proposed platform for a merger of two German socialist parties, he described phrases like “fair distribution” and “equal right” as “obsolete verbal rubbish.” They belonged, he thought, to an era of scarcity that the revolution would bring to an end.

The Soviet Union proved that abolishing private ownership of the means of production does not change human nature. Most humans, instead of devoting themselves to the common good, continue to seek power, privilege, and luxury for themselves and those close to them. Ironically, the clearest demonstration that the springs of private wealth flow more abundantly than those of collective wealth can be seen in the history of the one major country that still proclaims its adherence to Marxism.

Under Mao, most Chinese lived in poverty. China’s economy started to grow rapidly only after 1978, when Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping (who had proclaimed that, “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice”) allowed private enterprises to be established. Deng’s reforms eventually lifted 800 million people out of extreme poverty, but also created a society with greater income inequality than any European country (and much greater than the United States). Although China still proclaims that it is building “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” it is not easy to see what is socialist, let alone Marxist, about its economy.5

If China is no longer significantly influenced by Marx’s thought, we can conclude that in politics, as in economics, he is indeed irrelevant. Yet his intellectual influence remains. His materialist theory of history has, in an attenuated form, become part of our understanding of the forces that determine the direction of human society. We do not have to believe that, as Marx once incautiously put it, the hand-mill gives us a society with feudal lords, and the steam-mill a society with industrial capitalists. In other writings, Marx suggested a more complex view, in which there is interaction among all aspects of society.

The most important takeaway from Marx’s view of history is negative: the evolution of ideas, religions, and political institutions is not independent of the tools we use to satisfy our needs, nor of the economic structures we organize around those tools, and the financial interests they create. If this seems too obvious to need stating, it is because we have internalized this view. In that sense, we are all Marxists now.

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Peter Singer is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, Laureate Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, and founder of the non-profit organization The Life You Can SaveHis books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason), Rethinking Life and Death, The Point of View of the Universe, co-authored with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek, The Most Good You Can Do, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, One World Now, Ethics in the Real World, and Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction, also with Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek. In 2013, he was named the world’s third “most influential contemporary thinker” by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute.

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One Response to “Is Marx Still Relevant?”

  1. Briana Mitchell. says:

    A contribution to understanding Marxist Economics.
    Brian Mitchell. UK.

    The Myths and Fallacies of Capitalist Economic Ideology. Part 1:
    A Contribution to Making Marxist Economics Easier to Understand and Prove.
    The Classical Economists of England and France, such as the favourite of conservatives or capitalists: Adam Smith, along with David Ricardo, Jean Baptiste Say, Charles Fourier, James Mill, John Stewart Mill and several others were the original formulators of what became the Labour Theory of Value in Political Economy; and it was the most recent of these, Karl Marx, who tidied up their errors and loose ends into a fully comprehensive analysis of the workings of capitalism. His main popular work is called Capital.
    “We are not presenting the world with a new principle, saying in a doctrinaire fashion: “Here is the truth – fall on your knees before it!” We are deriving new principles for the world, and deriving them from principles already inherent in the world. We are showing the world what it is in fact fighting for; and consciousness is something the world must acquire, even if it does not want to.”
    (German writer and playwright Heinrich Heine, on Marxism.)
    “It’s sensible, Anyone can understand it. It’s easy, You’re not an exploiter – so you can grasp it. Find out more about it. The stupid call it stupid, the squalid call it squalid, It is against squalor and against stupidity. The exploiters call it a crime, But we know it is the end of crime. It’s not madness but the end of madness. It’s not the riddle but the solution. It is the simple thing so hard to achieve.”
    (German progressive writer and playwright Berthold Brecht.)
    You have to ask why they keep screaming democracy, freedom and human rights at us from the rooftops when we have neither. When capitalists talk of democracy, freedom or human rights, they always mean one thing only – capitalism, which by its very nature can have neither. Less than 6 percent of the British people in 2017 own more that 88 percent of the country’s wealth. This tiny percentage of the population have given themselves the “freedom” and the “right” to own the immensely vast means of production of everything, indeed, the very means of subsistence of life itself, and profit enormously from the work of the overwhelming majority rest of us; who own no means of production, not even the means of subsistence of our lives, but only our ability to work, to sell our labour power for mere wages from those who have taken ownership of it all as their own private capital.
    Having allowed allowed profits from capitalism to dominate every aspect of our lives, has given us less human rights to the means of life itself than a prehistoric hunter gatherer. As the MP who instigated the NHS Aneurin (Nye) Bevan found, parliament is just for public consumption, to fool the population into believing that we live under some kind of democracy, and noted that real power in Britain lies two miles to the east of parliament, in the corporate, financial and banking City of London. We are ruled by their corporate lobbying of parliament and their wealthy capitalist MPs, not any democracy.
    Contrary to the British Registrar General’s seven or eight different social classes beloved by government, academic sociology and the media, there are only two classes in capitalist society worth considering, economic classes: (a) the capitalist class, a tiny percentage of the population, possibly now some five or six percent, who own the land, all the means of production, all the commodities produced, banking and finance, and all the profits made, and control political power; and (b) the working class, the overwhelming majority rest of us, probably now approaching some 88 percent of us, whose only means of subsistence is the wages the capitalist class chooses to pay us, assuming we have a job. Any other socio-economic classification is not only totally meaningless but deliberately misleading in order to confuse any socio-economic thinking.
    Capitalist propaganda continuously tries to make people believe that Marxism is about communism. Marxism is neither about communism nor a plan for communism, it never has been. Mainstream capitalist education and media deliberately hides the fact that Marxism is a thorough analysis of capitalism and how it works. After all, Marx’s main three volume work is called Capital, where he says in its introduction:
    “it is the ultimate aim of this work to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern [capitalist] society.”
    (Karl Marx, in his introduction to his main economic work Das Kapital (Capital.)
    However as a critique of capitalism, Marxism certainly implies the socialist solution to the horrors of capitalism. But Marxists leave the establishment, implementing and planning of socialist society up to each population or country to decide according to their different levels of historically existing conditions.
    As mainstream propaganda never tires from telling us, it is certainly true that a socialist economy, just like any other economy, can have problems. But they are not problems of socialism or anything to do with socialist economics itself. If socialist countries have problems they are usually problems of production or distribution. As an imagined example, there may have been a shortage of toothpaste and a glut of toothbrushes on one side of town and the opposite on the other. But these problems are a result of errors or mistakes in planning or management of production or distribution of goods, not problems inherent in socialism. And even the most mildly socialist countries or any trying to resist imperialist domination are forced to operate under economic boycotts and blockades by the capitalist world. Socialist Cuba is a classical example of this.
    Compare the problems of socialism with the very real and serious problems of capitalism all over the world and we see that the problems of capitalism are immensely vast and horrific compared with those of socialism.
    Capitalism is completely anarchic and brutally competitive, both in terms of its competition with every other capitalist and every other country, and most especially in its fierce opposition to the working class majority everywhere. It has a vast world of inherent problems and massive contradictions, which are not possible to solve under capitalism.
    Capitalism has problems of having to destroy massive unsellable surpluses of overproduced food because it is unprofitable on the one hand, and on the other hand underproduction of desperately needed necessities such as food and medicines; again because it is not profitable.
    The capitalist world has mass poverty, starvation and the deaths of many millions of people in a vastly abundant world, millions of these being children. It has massive problems of homelessness along with unsellable building land and building materials on one hand, and unemployed building workers on the orher. The capitalist world is full of the continuing plunder of other nations of their cheap labour and raw materials. It perpetuates massively underdevelopment of countries in case they become independent or economic rivals or competitors. It perpetuates wars and the deaths of many more millions, racism, fascism, genocide, and maintains a world of massive rising debt amounting to the economic output of many poor countries in perpetuum, interventions and overthrows of popular democratically elected governments such as Arbenze’s Guatemala, Jagan’s Guiana, Mossadegh’s Iran and Allende’s Chile and so many others, imposing dictatorships on them. It maintains the massive wealth of a very small section of society alongside the poverty, homelessness, hunger and starvation of the overwhelming majority in this deeply troubled world. These are problems which continue to exist after more than a century of advanced capitalism. No socialist nation has had any of these problems.
    Redistribution of capitalist owned wealth under any kind of social reformism, as in so-called social democracy, is impossible as capitalism by its very nature cannot be reformed in favour of the working class and therefore can never solve any of the problems inherent in capitalism. Only genuine socialism based firmly on Marxist economic principles can ever solve these problems:
    “There must be something rotten in the very core of a social system which increases its wealth without diminishing its misery.”
    (Karl Marx.)
    “They talk about the failure of socialism but where is the success of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America?”
    (Cuban leader 1959-2008 Fidel Castro.)
    “I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”
    (US Socialist leader Eugene Debs, in court convicted of opposing the US Sedition Act.|)

    Contrary to capitalist propaganda, the exporting of socialism has never been a Marxist, Socialist or Communist policy.
    Again, counter to mountains of capitalist propaganda, it has never been the policy of any modern communist or socialist party to “export” socialism or to impose it on other countries; which is not possible anyway, and is counter to Marxism:
    “The victorious proletariat cannot impose on any other country its own idea of a happy life without doing damage to its own victory.”
    (Karl Marx.)
    “We’re not recommending socialism, but of course neither are we advising against it. … If they want to maintain capitalism in their own countries, let them maintain it for as long as they want. That is their own business. … In an academic discussion we can prove to them that socialism is better, more humane, more rational and fairer than capitalism, but we cannot go there and tell them: change your social system. … that is not our business. Nobody will ever want to change the capitalist system by force, to impose socialism… nobody will ever want to do that.” … “It is the imperialists who need weapons, since they are completely devoid of ideas. … Ideas don’t need weapons, if they can win the masses over to their cause. No one can think that the contradiction between capitalism and socialism can be settled by force. You’d have to be out of your mind to think that way, and that’s the way the imperialists think. That’s why they have military bases all over the world, threaten everybody and intervene everywhere. Where are the socialist countries’ military bases?”
    (Cuban President 1959-2008 Fidel Castro.)
    “The history of a social system will be decided not by rockets, not by atomic and hydrogen bombs, but by the fact of which social system ensures greater material and spiritual benefits to man. … It is not true that we regard violence and civil war as the only way to remake society… The Communist system must be based on the will of the people, and if the people should not want that system, then that people should establish a different system. … If you feed the people just with revolutionary slogans they will listen today, they will listen tomorrow, they will listen the day after tomorrow, but on the fourth day they will say: “To hell with you!””
    (Soviet President Nikita Kruschev.)
    “The export of revolution is nonsense. … Without the support of millions, the best minority is impotent. … Every country makes its own revolution if it wants to, and if it does not want to, there will be no revolution. … We Marxists believe that revolution will occur in other countries as well. But it will come at a time when it is considered possible or necessary by the revolutionaries in these countries. … to assert that we desire to bring about revolution in other countries by interfering with their way of life is to speak of something that does not exist, and which we have never preached.”
    (Soviet President Josef Stalin.)
    “Communists are convinced that the future belongs to socialism. Such is the march of history. But this does not at all mean that we are going to engage in the ‘export of revolution’, in the interference in the affairs of other countries. The ‘export of revolution’ is altogether impossible. Socialism grows only on the soil of objective requirements of the social development of each particular country.”
    (Soviet President Yuri Andropov, June 15 1983.)
    “How can the Soviet Union be labelled imperialist? Where are its monopoly corporations? Where is its participation in multinational companies? What factories, what mines, what oilfields does it own in the underdeveloped world? What worker is exploited in any country of Asia, Africa and Latin America by Soviet capital? Soviet cooperation with Cuba and many other countries is based not on the sweat and sacrifice of exploited workers of other countries, but on the labour and efforts of the Soviet people.”
    (Cuban leader 1959-2008 Fidel Castro.)

    But it has always been a capitalist aim to force the capitalist system on the rest of the world.
    On the other hand, capitalism is exported all over the world, yesterday as colonialism, today as imperialism, creating misery and death for many millions of humanity all over this very rich and abundant world:
    “The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.”
    (US Vice President Dick Cheney, June 2002
    “The central concern of the foreign policy of the United States must be the creation of a world order which is oriented to the broadest possible extent towards our national interests as a free, democratic and capitalist great power.”
    (US Wall Street Journal.)
    “A collective action to eradicate international communism is not an act of intervention in the internal affairs of another State but is an act to uproot intervention.”
    (US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Chicago, New York Times, Nov 30 1954.)
    “A war with the Soviet Union appears to me to be unavoidable. The idea of peaceful coexistence is simply humbug.”
    (US General Kenny, Sept 1954.)
    “Leadership towards a new system of international relationships in trade and other economic affairs will devolve very largely upon the United States because of our great economic strength. We should assume this leadership, and the responsibility that goes with it, primarily for reasons of pure national self interest.”
    (US Secretary of State Cordell Hull.)
    “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.”
    (US banker, financial advisor to President Roosevelt, and Council on Foreign Relations member, James Warburg to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 17 l950.)
    “Our fear that communism might someday take over most of the world blinds us to the fact that anti-communism already has.”
    (US political economist, social scientist and author Michael Parenti.)
    Because the aim of capitalism is only profit instead of satisfaction of people’s needs, the export of capitalism has always been a most essential need of capitalist economic dynamism. Capitalism of necessity must always stagnate within the limiting confines of its native national demographic boundary and must be exported to other countries, first as colonialism, and now as imperialism, plundering them of their vast resources of cheap labour and raw materials, and to flood their markets with otherwise unsellable surplus capitalist products in order for capitalism to survive without an inevitable collapse:
    “The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. … we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands… It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production… it creates a world after its own image.”
    (Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto. [Note: Bourgeois: French, meaning owners of capital, capitalists, adopted by Classical Economics, Political Economy, Marxism etc.])
    The widely understood validity of Marx’s refutation of capitalist economics is scientifically proven.
    Every socialist minded person needs to study the basics of Marxist economics and understand it so as to be able to prove it, to categorically refute the deliberately misleading myths of capitalist economics. Only then will the popular majority be masters of society, and start to change the not only ridiculous but inherently murderous socio-economic division of society between the class of capitalists – the comparatively few owners of the means of production of social wealth, and the working class – the vast majority rest of society who own nothing but their ability to work for whatever wages the capitalist few decide to pay.

    Capitalism’s self serving economic myths are clearly indefensible unscientific nonsense.
    “A capitalist creates wealth no more than a person who milks a cow creates milk.”
    (Karl Marx.)
    “Marx’s great achievement was to place the system of capitalism on the defensive.”
    (US writer Charles Madison.)
    “The professional study of [capitalist] economics has become ideological brainwashing. It is a defense of the excesses of the capitalist system. … Capitalism is not about free competitive choices among people who are reasonably equal in their buying and selling of economic power, it is about concentrating capital, concentrating economic power in very few hands using that power to trash everyone who gets in their way.
    (US economist David Korten.)
    “I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.”
    (Albert Einstein.)
    “No longer could I resist the conclusion that capitalism was doomed. No longer must the livelihood of the community rest in irresponsible hands; blast furnaces remaining cold, mines undug and houses unbuilt, unless somebody’s private profit set forward the lighting, the digging and the building. Shivering miners could not dig the coal they needed, naked men could not weave their shirts and coats, nor could the man who lived seven in a single room enter a brickyard and build himself a house; though he kicked his heels for a dozen years in idleness, he must remain in misery if no one could make a profit from his labour. The public that needed these things and could produce them had no access to the land and machinery of production. Private profit took precedence of human life. Christian morality, if it was to be true to its mission, must find these things intolerable and demand reform.”
    (The Dean of Canterbury Dr. Hewlett Johnson.)
    “I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation.”
    (Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani education activist shot by the Taliban and survived.)
    Even early US presidents agreed with the Labour Theory of Value, which was further developed by Marx:
    “Trade in general being nothing else but the exchange of labour for labour, the value of all things is justly measured by labour.”
    (Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.)
    “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
    (US President Abraham Lincoln, 1861. Superb Marxism Mr President!)
    “All economic and political institutions are contrivances that should serve the interests of the people. When they fail to do so, they should be replaced by something more responsive, more just, and more democratic. Marx said this, and so did [US founding President.] Thomas Jefferson.”
    (US political economist, social scientist and author Michael Parenti.)
    The same ideas appeared long before Marx:
    “The State should take the entire management of commerce, industry, and agriculture into its own hands, with a view of succouring the working classes and preventing their being ground to the dust by the rich.”
    (11th Century Chinese statesman Wang An Shih – Eight centuries before Marx.)
    Statements agreeing with Marx’s Labour Theory of Value were made before Marxism became popular and feared by the ruling class, who’s defensive aim since then has been to suppress, falsify and villify it. The following five quotes are from the economist beloved of capitalists or conservatives, the Scottish Classical Economist Adam Smith, all of which are identical to Marxism and later developed fully by Marx:
    “The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it annually consumes.”
    (Adam Smith. This is the same as Marx’s Labour Theory of Value a century later.)
    “The word value, it is to be observed, has two different meanings, and sometimes expresses the utility of some particular object, and sometimes the power of purchasing other goods which the possession of that object conveys. The one may be called ‘value in use;’ the other, ‘value in exchange.'”
    (Adam Smith. This is exactly the same as Marx’s Use Value and Exchange Value.)
    “The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command. Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.”
    (Adam Smith. Marx’s Labour Theory of Value and Exchange Value is exactly the same as this.)
    “Labour alone, therefore, never varying in its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all times and places be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price only. … labour, like commodities, may be said to have a real and a nominal price. Its real price may be said to consist in the quantity of the necessaries and conveniences of life which are given for it; its nominal price, in the quantity of money. The labourer is rich or poor, is well or ill rewarded, in proportion to the real, not to the nominal price of his labour.” … “Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.”
    (Adam Smith. Marx’s Labour Theory of Value is exactly the same as this.)
    “The value which the workmen add to the materials, therefore, resolves itself in this case into two parts, of which the one pays their wages, the other the profits of the employer upon the whole stock of materials and wages which he advanced. … The natural price, therefore, is, as it were, the central price, to which the prices of all commodities are continually gravitating.”
    (Adam Smith. Marx’s Labour Theory of Value and of Surplus Value as the source of profit is exactly the same as this. Capitalists carefully use Smith’s work selectively to support capitalism, even though Smith himself did not, along with other classical economists.)
    And as the following compilation shows, David Ricardo was another of the classical economists who understood what have now become Marxist economic principles:
    “It is not by the absolute quantity of produce obtained by either class, that we can correctly judge of the rate of profit, rent, and wages, but by the quantity of labour required to obtain that produce. … The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour. … The opinions that the price of commodities depends solely on the proportion of supply and demand, or demand to supply, has become almost an axiom in political economy, and has been the source of much error in that science. … There is no way of keeping profits up but by keeping wages down.”
    (English classical economist David Ricardo, whose main work is Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. Like Adam Smith and other classical economists, he was an early formulator of the Labour Theory of Value later elaborated fully by Marx.)
    Marxism is also verified by many other modern economists and leading or well known personalities all over the world:
    “To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service”.
    (British Labour Party Clause 4, removed in 1995 by Blair’s New Labour. It must be restored.)
    “Capitalism did not arise because capitalists stole the land or the workmen’s tools, but because it was more efficient than feudalism. It will perish because it is not merely less efficient than socialism, but actually self-destructive.”
    (British born British Indian scientist, evolutionist and biologist John (J.B.S.) Haldane.)
    “The worst enemy of humanity is U.S. capitalism. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neoliberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism. If the entire world doesn’t acknowledge this reality, that the national states are not providing even minimally for health, education and nourishment, then each day the most fundamental human rights are being violated. … We can not have equilibrium in this world with the current inequality and destruction of Mother Earth. Capitalism is what is causing this problem and it needs to end. … Capitalism and the thirst for profit without limits of the capitalist system are destroying the planet…Climate change has placed all humankind before a great choice: to continue in the ways of capitalism and death, or to start down the path of harmony with nature and respect for life. … Globalization creates economic policies where the transnationals lord over us, and the result is misery and unemployment.”
    (Bolivian President Evo Morales.)
    “there is no doubt in my mind, as many intellectuals have said, that it is necessary to transcend capitalism. But capitalism can not be transcended through capitalism itself; it must be done through socialism, true socialism, with equality and justice. I’m also convinced that it is possible to do it under democracy, but not in the type of democracy being imposed by Washington.” … “Privatization is a neoliberal and imperialist plan. Health can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right, nor can education, water, electricity and other public services. They can’t be surrendered to private capital that denies the people from their rights.” … “We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet. However, that requires a change in lifestyle, a change in the economic model. … Capitalism is the specter, almost nobody wants to mention it… Socialism, the other specter Karl Marx spoke about… this is the direction, this is the path to save the planet, I don’t have the least doubt. Capitalism is the road to hell, to the destruction of the world. … We must go from capitalism to socialism.”
    (Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.)
    “My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system now doesn’t work either for the United States or the world, driving it from crisis to crisis, which are each time more serious.”
    (Cuban leader 1959-2008 Fidel Castro. This is aptly explained by the Marxist Law of the Falling Rate of Profit, which the world sees happening ever more fiercely in modern times.)
    “One of the chief arguments used in support of the policy of an open shop is that every man has an inalienable and constitutional right to work. I never found that in the [US] Constitution. If a man has the constitutional right to work, he ought to have a constitutional right to a job… A man has the right to work only if he can get a job…”
    (US criminal lawyer Clarence Darrow. [The socialist Soviet Constitution guaranteed the right to a job by law, but capitalist Russia now has the usual capitalist unemployment and homelessness problem among many others. Cuba’s constitution also guarantees the right to life and all that this entails, which of course includes the right to a job. Naturally, the right to life itself is totally meaningless if it does not guarantee the right to the means of life – food, home, health, education and work.])
    However, all the progressive statements of the pre-Marxist classical economists were soon dropped and kept quiet about as soon as capitalism advanced and Marxism became in massive popular opposition to it.
    As all Marxists, socialists and communists know, and as anybody who has spent time in socialist populations or societies such as in Cuba, socialist economies eventually produce socialist people:
    “Change the economic base and you will change human beings.”
    (Karl Marx.)

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