The New York Times has launched a debate about whether Karl Marx was right after all about capitalism (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/03/30/was-marx-right). As the NYT put it in its introduction to the contributions of some well-known economic commentators and bloggers: “in the golden, post-war years of Western economic growth, the comfortable living standard of the working class and the economy’s overall stability made the best case for the value of capitalism and the fraudulence of Marx’s critical view of it. But in more recent years many of the forces that Marx said would lead to capitalism’s demise – the concentration and globalization of wealth, the permanence of unemployment, the lowering of wages – have become real, and troubling, once again. So is his view of our economic future being validated?”
You can see what’s worrying the NYT. Like many supporters of capitalism as the only and best system of human social organisation, the NYT is worried that capitalism does not (or no longer seems) to deliver ever-increasing living standards for the majority, but instead is producing ever greater inequalities of wealth and incomes, to such a point that it could provoke a backlash against the system itself.
So the NYT offers a debate. And the question of whether Marx was right about capitalism is put to five bloggers. Of course, most of these are very quick to assume that Read the rest of this entry »