author: Ivan Daraktchiev
The outgoing year, AD 2018, marks one very important anniversary: 200 years since the birth of Karl Marx. Whether revered or hated, he has been studied, quoted, analyzed, criticized, idolized, cursed… but hardly has lefany literate person indiﬀerent. And that counts for billions of people, without exaggeration. It is reported that Karl Marx is still holding the record or most quoted person, ever! Combined with the act that Big Money is still spending vast amounts to have his writings proven wrong, and his legacy negated or denigrated, this is suﬃcienttestimony to the greatness of the man. In my mind, there are two colossi of the XIX century: Karl Marx, giant №1 in socio-economic thinking, and his peer Leo Tolstoy, No 1 in spiritual philosophy.
In defense of Marxism, by a non-Marxist
So, what is wrong with Karl Marx, then? In one word, plain, straight and clear, the answer is “nothing!” Wrong are all those who are trying to apply a well-argued socio-political theory to the wrong society. Indeed, it is inappropriate to consider today’s “capitalism” equivalent to that of 150 years back. Capitalism has evolved
Without dwelling on details which the reader can ﬁnd in /1-5/, we will illustrate below our concept of the evolving human society during the last century and a half. On the diagram the various phases of this evolution are presented, each phase being followed by (relatively brief) period of social turmoil: war, revolution of sort, long-lasting major international crisis, etc. While the arguments related to regulated vs unregulated capitalism /1/ are straight-forward, the explanation about Nomenklaturocracy, the degenerated form of Representative Democracy /2-4/ and its multiple variations /5/ may require more reading; therefore, a table borrowed from /5/ is provided below. As far as the time intervals whereby major radical change was precipitated, the only one probably needing clariﬁcation is the one in early seventies when the gold standard was dropped. The rest should be self-explanatory.
Hopefully this simpliﬁed diagram will help everyone visualize the evolution of mankind’s socio-economic life, stop looking at it as a static entity, and restore respect to the man who ﬁrst researched the sources of massive social injustice of his time, analyzed them, and then proposed a solution. It should be acknowledged that his teachings brought about the build-up of a new socio-economic system, which – while far from perfect, as any pioneering one would be expected to be – demonstrated: (i) the advantages of collective ownership and exploitation of national assets; (ii) the advantages of adherence to spiritual values as primary; and (iii) the prospects to boost up even multi-ethnic society’s cohesion by embarking on an egalitarian project. The emergence of Soviet Union as super-power is the best example of above, given it has risen within a generation and a half from a backward semi-feudal empire with no less than 100 million people living in abject poverty – and mostly illiterate. In addition, nobody should ignore the inﬂuence the very existence of USSR exacted on the evolution of capitalism from unregulated to regulated, certainly in Europe.
Consequently, nobody should be blaming Karl Marx for what has happened far beyond Unregulated Capitalism,nor should be wasting time to look into his writings for hints to a solution from the current mess. The diagram should also remind everyone that change is the only constant thing in the Universe, and that societal change is the only man-inﬂuenced alteration while everything else, e.g. climate change, is entirely dependent on our star’s functionality.
- Ivan D., Bulgaria, terra europeansis incognita, ISBN 978-954-91584-3-4