September 28, 2012  By Jack Jodell

From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.” So wrote the founder of communism, Karl Marx, in his brilliant 1875 summation of what he envisioned would occur once the human race had achieved true communism. Indeed, on the face of it, at least, his Communist Manifesto seemed to provide a common sense and even noble goal for all to aspire to. After all, if followed and implemented properly, it would lead to pure democracy and equality in all aspects of life, including even pure economic democracy. But Marx failed to account for basic human selfishness, and his attempt to rechannel humanity into a more selfless type of race would be doomed. While Marx was a superb analyst and diagnostician of the failures of the 19th century capitalism of his time, his prescription for overcoming these failures through the establishment of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” was tragically flawed. The millions of people brutally fear-stricken, tortured, and even murdered at the hands of his followers – Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Castro, and most of the rest – are ample evidence of that. Yet there was a great deal of underlying truth in Marx’s writings. For example, whether or not religion is actually “the opiate of the masses”, as Marx had stated, none can deny the conservative, status quo-enforcing effect many far-right Christian churches have exerted on our society over the years. Marx had also predicted that capitalism would eventually bring anout its own downfall. The failure of modern day capitalism, with its ever-increasing disparity of wealth and rapidly disappearing upward mobility, makes me wonder if perhaps the end of the capitalist system as we know it may well be underway.

Of course, to listen to those in the Tea Party and the reactionary Republican Party it has now infested, Marx’s philosophy is all wrong and pure, laissez-faire capitalism is the only route to follow. Both Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his eager-beaver stooge running mate Paul RUIN insist that renewing  the failed economic policies of deregulation and sustained huge tax cuts for the rich will save our slumping economy. Ruin even continues to espouse the ridiculous philosophy of the hypocritical elitist Ayn Rand – who for decades preached that the rich should get everything and that the federal government had no business in providing a social safety net for the poor – but then accepted both Medicare and Social Security for herself once she became elderly! Meanwhile, a recently popularized video of Romney from last May has shown that he, too, cares not one bit for the poor or struggling middle class, and in fact views them as leeches and parasites! It is abundantly clear from this video that Romney only wishes to reward the very wealthy with even bigger tax cuts while ending or severely reducing social aid programs for the needy at the same time! These diabolical voices for the far-right just keep preaching the same old insanity, even though their preferred economic model has repeatedly failed for the past 83 YEARS! For they have been advocating an economic system which basically believes “from each according to his ability; to each according to his GREED!” You read it right, folks: with their constant calls for more deregulation and less opportunity for the poor through a reduced federal government, Romney and Ruin are proposing to destroy all the gains made from the New Deal and Great Society programs of the 1930s – 1960s, and this must simply NOT be allowed to happen! For their idea of economics is highly myopic and smacks of self-interest. It is merely a preponderance of greed!   

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in "free market" economics, capitalism, commentary, extremists, Mitt Romney, Politics, Tea Party and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I love that you began with Marx. Great stuff Jack. SO GLAD to see you back co-host!

  2. You echo something I was saying long ago: Marx was a great diagnostician but a lousy pharmacist.

    A zoologist put it another way: Marxism works, but unfortunately Marx had the wrong species!

  3. I may be wrong here, but I don’t think Marx ever actually offered any detailed, specific proposals for any system that might replace capitalism. Marx gets a great deal of grief, particularly from the Right-Wing, about every single injustice that’s ever been done in the name of “communism” worldwide. But, frankly, this is deeply unfair to Marx. He’s being blamed for political systems that he had nothing to do with. On the other hand, I believe Marx is one of history’s greatest philosophers in the way he brilliantly explained how the modern world works. And yes, although he was addressing 19th century capitalism, his ideas about class and economic history were timeless and startlingly bold, brilliant and original, and consciousness-raising in a profound manner that really only Darwin can approach. Marx described how capitalism is a deeply flawed system, a system that contains the seeds of its own destruction. The last time I checked, the Story of Mankind is hardly over, and Marx may well be proven to be vindicated in the long term. I believe he will be.

  4. Hi, Marc:
    This was precisely the criticism of Marx in many circles — he told what was wrong with capitalism more eloquently than anyone, but he had nothing with which to replace it. Hideous enormities have been committed in his name, even without endorsements from him.
    But, looking at what’s happening to capitalism worldwide, I’d say that his diagnostics are being re-evaluated very positively. He predicted that capitalism would, despite many attempts to reform it, always revert to its original brutal form. I can’t see what the alternative is, but capitalism does appear to be in crisis around the world. Chalk one up for Karl.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Marc and Manifesto Joe,
      I agree wholeheartedly with both of your conclusions on Marx. My only additional comment would be that, while he never came up with a specific alternative to capitalism, he did analyze and critique it quite accurately. He also stated that it would become replaced by a “dictatorship of the proletariat” (working class), with the end result being the achievement of true communism.

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