For Marx Geeks ... RE: Marx Without the Realism

Russell Turpin
Thu, 16 Jan 2003 18:09:48 +0000

John Hall:
>>We call someone working to maintain their quality of life while improving 
>>others internationally a capitalist.

Al Diablito:
>That last comment was just absurd.

The irony here is that Marx likely would agree
with Hall's comment, to a limited extent. Marx
thought capitalism was unjust and that its
internal contradictions would lead to a
workers' revolution overthrowing it. But he
also realized that capitalism was extremely
productive, that it improved conditions vastly
vis-a-vis pre-capitalist structures, and that,
from this vantage, the capitalist does pretty
much what John Hall says above, at least while
capitalism is on its upswing.

Marx was a pretty savvy dude, much more so
than most conservatives credit him. Even though
he was the seminal author for many leftist
ideas, he avoided many of the traps that still
ensnare so many less savvy leftists. Marx was
fully aware that capitalism works, and works
with surprising efficiency. He saw social
problems that stem from how well capitalism
works, and predicted the limits at which it
would stop working so well, would enter a
downswing, and would lead to social revolution.
But his criticism came on top of a recognition
of how well it DOES work.

I've been impressed with John Hall's comments
in this thread. In most venues where there are
conservatives, I get lambasted as a pinko when
I try to explain Marx. They often attribute to
him the views of leftists that have a more
straightforward and fallacious reaction to

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