Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Karl Marx

The only medicine communism has invented—the centralised, beyond social control, state ownership of the national wealth and one-party rule—is worse than the illness it is supposed to cure; it is less efficient economically and it makes the bureaucratic character of social relations an absolute principle. --Leszek Kolakowski, quoted in Obituary, The Economist, July 30, 2009


On the recommended works by this author:

From the cash-nexus passage of The Communist Manifesto onward, alienation is identified with commodity production for the competitive market and with the moral consequences of the industrial process under capitalism, but the term itself is abandoned. --Kenneth Rexroth, The Communist Manifesto, Classics Revisited (1968)

Marx would ask first and foremost how to overcome this all-consuming social passivity. He thought that unions and workers’ parties developing in his time were a step forward. Thus in Das Kapital he wrote that the “immediate aim” was “the organization of the proletarians into a class” whose “first task” would be “to win the battle for democracy.” Today, he would encourage the formation of new collective identities, associations, and institutions within which people could resist the capitalist status quo and begin deciding how to better fulfill their needs. --Leo Panitch, Thoroughly Modern Marx, Foreign Policy, May/June 2009 (via Arts & Letters Daily)


On this author:

We could sum up the SI’s position by slightly modifying Marx’s statement: Artists have only depicted the world, the point now is to change it. In this perspective, the situationists were artists in the same sense that Marx was a philosopher. --Jean-Pierre Depetris, Ken Knabb, the Situationist International, and the American Counterculture, October 2008

One of the triumphs of Western arrangements is the institution of monogamy, which has in principle made it possible for each male and female to enjoy a plausible shot at the reproductive outcome which all the apparatus of nature demands. Even Karl Marx did not fully appreciate the immense radicalism of this form of equity. --Lionel Tiger, quoted by Richard John Neuhaus, While We’re At It, The Public Square column, First Things, August/September 2008

Marx after communism: Marx's intellectual legacy, The Economist, December 19th 2002

The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing, by Lee Harris, Policy Review, December 2002

Can you hear Marx tittering in Highgate? If only socialists had studied Marx properly, they would have known all along that capitalism would triumph. By Faisal Islam, Observer, May 19, 2002

Marxism as Psychodrama, by Linda C. Raeder, Humanitas 1994 No. 2

This Godless Communism, illustrated by Reed Crandall, Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact, Volume 17, Numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 (1961-62), The Authentic History Center


You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.

We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the "lousiest petty bourgeois cheating."

But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war. --President John F. Kennedy, Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961


Karl Marx (1922), by Harold Laski, Archive for the History of Economic Thought

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