True Marxists

Are Conservatives and Republicans aware of how essentially Marxist they are? Marx taught that the underlying dynamic of capitalism would eventually destroy it from within, even if it wasn’t opposed from without. In the meantime it would grow more and more socially oppressive, until (he hoped) it would trigger the workers’ revolution that would replace it.

Late capitalism therefore, which is where we are at now, is exactly the stage we should be at according to his schematic. Over the last century or so it has been temporarily delayed by devices like social democracy, the welfare state, ‘New Deals’, imperialism and wars, but none of these can put off the evil day for ever. Even social democrats, who have been the true ‘anti-Marxists’ up to now, cannot cheat history. The genuine Marxists – a.k.a. the capitalist class – are bound to win. – Until, that is, ‘the Revolution’ and the establishment of a genuine communist society; which, however, Karl was always a bit hazy about. (How can we know, when ‘history’ hasn’t reached there yet?)

That we are presently at this late Marxist-capitalist stage should be obvious to anyone looking around them. In Britain it’s half hidden by the faux-aristocratic clownishness of our leaders, but is still to be seen in the privatisation of public assets, including the media, and of ‘democracy’ itself; in capitalist ‘austerity’ allied to the boom in private wealth; in the theft of the ‘people’s game’ (soccer) from the people themselves by rich international capitalists (sorry; that’s a sore point with me); in the decline of – I would say – any sort of morality that doesn’t serve a commercial purpose; and in the diminution of the social sphere generally. In the USA the Marxist takeover should be much easier to make out, in the figure of its President (for now): a cheating and amoral property developer who almost personifies the excesses and the evils of late-stage capitalism pur. There’s no disguise here; no Old Etonian – or even Yale/Harvard – polish to obscure the atrociousness. What you see is what you get. Trump hardly represents America – or at any rate the America I know and admire. But he’s the image of the stage of economic, social and moral development that America has reached and that Marx foresaw; the quintessential Marxist, in other words. He might not like that.

PS. I hope Marx was wrong. I’ve too much to lose in a revolution.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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