Happy May Day!

Here’s a very good summary by Matt Yglesias about how right-wing ideology is succeding in proving Karl Marx right.

A juicy and telling quote:

[T]hat even though the ruling class could appease the working class by using the state to redistribute and share the fruits of economic growth it would never do so. They would be trapped by their own ideological legitimations–they really do believe that it is in some sense “unjust” for a factor of production to earn more than its marginal product. Hence social democracy would inevitably collapse before an ideologically-based right-wing assault, income inequality would rise, and the system would collapse or be overthrown. The Wall Street Journal editorial page works day and night 365 days a year to make Marx’s prediction come true. (Emphasis mine)

And, specifically for those who see Marx quotes and immediately assume that the quoter is a hardcore Marxist: it is not the left-wing commies who are the torch-bearers for Marx; it’s the right-wing who are bent (intentionally or unintentionally) on proving him right. Dismiss the concerns of the poor, the unemployed, the socially vulnerable by immersing in “survival of the fittest pulling oneself by the bootstraps” dogma and you’ll reap what you saw.

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7 thoughts on “Happy May Day!

  1. David Childress says:

    The court is corrupt,
    The fields are overgrown,
    The granaries are empty;
    Yet there are those dressed in fineries,
    With swords at their sides,
    Filled with food and drink,
    And possessed of too much wealth.

    This is known as taking the lead in robbery.
    Far indeed is this from the Way.

    Lao Tzu

  2. Vladimir says:

    Equal distribution of poverty vs unequal distribution of wealth? One would make similarly compelling argument that appeasing masses does not work for the masses in the long run either, stifling productive elements will lead to the stagnation and, possibly, eventual collapse when other, hungrier new players, like China, enter the scene, unburdened by the fluffy considerations and become dominant economically and, eventually, militarily. The US of A does plenty to support its underprivileged. It could probably do it smarter and differentiate better but not thru raising taxes.
    I am really not sure what exactly is being proven, but we know what following Marxism-Leninism leads to….

  3. If adherents of capitalism (and I consider myself in their ranks) can’t demonstrate that such a system can protect its weak members, then they have no defensive argument when proponents of other regimes enter the discussion. This is the weakness of capitalism and it has no coherent defense these days. I propose strong safety net and some gov’t regulations as redeeming factors. Laissez faire advocates propose nothing of the sort.
    And did you notice that the discussion between left and right has long ceased to be about HOW to protect the weak and slipped into WHETHER we should protect them at all. All this talk about makers and takers.
    It is true, we both know what Marxism leads to, but if you noticed I’m trying to protect capitalism, not Marxism with this blogpost. The free market folks (like this crazy guy Rick Santelly today) make it easier for Marxists to make their case. Essentially, I’m trying to protect them from themselves with endorsing a government role and a safety net.

    Between the two threats to the existing system – social unrest and China, I think China is the least of our problems. We should prioritize the former.

  4. Владимир says:

    Katya, I know nothing about impeding social unrest and the only person inciting it is our President who talks a very damaging talk abt Fairness and redistribution.
    On the other hand I know very well abt China and other external threats. To withstand or deter them we need, unfortunately, a very strong military and to support it we need a vibrant economy. Economy needed to be the primary focus of this administration, not some suffocatingly cumbersome and expensive Obamacare: when people have jobs, they will have coverage. I am digressing, I know, but when people have jobs they also don’t need hand outs. When economy is back in shape, Inshallah, we can afford to concentrate our efforts elsewhere.

    Our empire is rotting away, there are plenty of vultures out there willing to take a bite. The only internal threat, on the other hand, is not social unrest but our impotent politicians.

    I normally don’t argue these points, I believe it is, I might’ve mentioned, a pointless intellectual masturbation, exhibitionism of sorts. So, feel free to ignore the outburst, God knows I don’t mean to offend, but I was rather shocked to see how you prioritize the threats…:)

  5. Anonymous says:

    None taken. I welcome such civil discussion. At the very least we’re looking for answers, a better state than unexamined certitude. “Inshallah”, haha!

    • Vladimir says:

      Of course it is civil, no point busting each other’s leftwithballs…:) You are not on the left fringes and I am quite liberal socially, but fiscally moderately conservative, somehing, I personally think, our country needs but, sadly, is unable to get…

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