What’s wrong with Karl Marx?

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.

Tis writing was prompted by an article by which a professor was trying to prove Marx wrong, while applying his postulates to the contemporary world. For countless years I’ve ignored similar writings but this time I did react/1/, and, while serving as a tribute to the great man, this short treatise should summarize the most important arguments in favor of carving the name of Karl Marx on the wall of greatness.

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 so-far from its own self of Marx’ time that it is a different animal altogether – and therefore a different socio-economic theory is required in order to conceive and hatch the next phase of its evolution further on.

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.

  1. https://www.academia.edu/37940175/Critical_analysis_of_Marxist_ideology.pdf 
  2. Ivan D., Bulgaria, terra europeansis incognita, ISBN 978-954-91584-3-4
  3. https://www.academia.edu/4439386/Nomenklaturocracy_or_what_exactly_was_Orwell_right_about
  4. https://www.academia.edu/34736374/The_basics_of_Nomenklaturocracy_thesis_1_Exposing_modern_day_Nomenklatura_and_revealing_what_kind_of_reality_shall_Nomenklaturchiks_empty_promises_bring
  5. https://www.academia.edu/37471751/The_basics_of_Nomenklaturocracys_thesis_2_Economics_of_the_decline