10th February 2011
The great follies of Karl Marx and the socialists
Capitalism or the overall mechanism of freedom, which comprises free markets and democracy, is infinitely better than what Karl Marx (1818–83) portrayed in his 1848 Communist Manifesto. I would like to digress for a moment here and explore this rather interesting and earth-shaking discovery!
‘The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production’ [technological innovation is good]. ‘[It also has] the need of a constantly expanding market for its products’ [this is a competitive and productive endeavour that enhances the wealth of nations].‘The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation’ [that is a great achievement, to be a civilizing force].‘The bourgeoisie has […] created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life’ [here’s another important feature of capitalism, though this statement needlessly insults people who may choose, upon having considered various options, to live in rural areas].
In addition, there are great equality incomes at the professional levels. In a modern capitalist society, all occupations pay almost equally well at that level. For example, a good professor and a good plumber earn about the same (both earn above $100,000 in Australia today). That is due to the extremely high productivity of plumbers in these countries who are extensively trained in modern, productive technology. Morarji Desai made his first visit abroad in 1958, to Britain, USA and Canada. He found that capitalist societies were very equitable, more so socially. He remarked to Welles Hangen, an American journalist, after his trip, that ‘In your country the manager and the worker sit together without any embarrassment. Many times the worker’s clothes are as good as his boss’s and the car he drives to work is also as good’.[ii] Marx simply did not live long enough to see the long term impacts of capitalism; and like a bad scientist he ignored evidence of the increasing prosperity of workers in capitalist societies in his lifetime.
[This is an extract from Breaking Free of Nehru]