The financial crisis and recession are forcing many to reconsider their views on the current economic, political and social system. Really they do not have an alternative? But in this capacity, Marxism is inevitably not considered.
An ordinary person considers teaching as authoritarian, calling for violence. In our time, all this is irrelevant. Professional economists consider Marx’s conclusions to be incorrect, he is accused of delusions.
But few really read the scholar’s works or at least the excerpts from his thoughts. In his book, Terry Eagleton studied the work of Marx and came to the conclusion that he was in many ways right. The writer debunks several myths about the teachings of this famous figure.
Marxism is outdated.
It seems that meditations of 150 years ago simply can not be applied to the modern world. But after all, such claims can be attributed to Darwin and his theory. Meanwhile, modern biologists do not dispute it. Eagleton believes that although the details of the teachings have radically changed, his basic ideas are even more relevant than ever.
In practice, Marxism leads to tyranny.
There is a myth that accuses Marxism of the appearance of Stalin and Mao. It must be remembered that Marx merely talked about the capitalist system, practically not saying anything about its alternative future. And even more so, he did not say anything about the realization of such ideas, about the necessity of tyranny. One can not blame Einstein for his work on the mass and energy of blame for the appearance of an atomic bomb.
Marxism does not give people freedom and individuality.
Of all the accusations attributed to the teaching, this is the most unfair. All of Marx’s teaching is based on liberating a person from the bondage of hired slavery. The philosopher believed that people have the right to the full realization of their creative potential. Marx saw equality as more opportunities for self-realization, and not an option for creating faceless clones.
Marxism is a utopia that ignores the human essence.
Marx hated abstract utopias and he had no illusions about the emergence of a harmonious communist society without disagreements and conflicts. It is strange that he is accused both of class conflicts and of an excessively idealized society.
Marxism boils down to economics.
Actually, Marx was a multifaceted thinker, he was not an economist in the first place. Nevertheless, this figure believed in fundamental economic relations. Marxism is a doctrine of the laws of the development of nature and society and the construction of humanity of a new pattern.
Marxism is a materialistic teaching that frees morality, religion and spirituality.
Marx was a modern thinker and his attitude to these issues was exactly the same as that of a rational person at that time or today.
Marxism is obsessed with the outdated concept of “classes”.
Today, most people are a middle class, so the doctrine of a class conflict seems to be out-of-date. Some data on the state of things in the modern world are very indicative. Americans are now becoming rich at the expense of finance and real estate. In terms of types of financial welfare, 38 percent of households have private business, 60 percent – financial securities, 62 percent – business capital. The top 10 percent of people owns 80 to 90 percent of all shares, bonds, funds, 75 percent of non-residential real estate. Given the financial situation, we can say that the top 10 percent and owns the whole of America. In other countries, the stratification is even more revealing.
Marxism calls for violence.
Marxism is associated with a violent revolution, but Eagleton argues that the author of the theory was simply a sober realist. Marx was not against reforms, as such. He was simply skeptical that the elites would peacefully and voluntarily give up their power.Let Marxism not be separated from violence relative to several people, but after all, the normal functioning of the capitalist state and modern society is built on daily violence.
Marxism stands for an authoritarian powerful state.
Marxism is credited with the phrase “the dictatorship of the proletariat,” which links this doctrine to Stalin, Mao, or Saddam Hussein. In fact, Eagleton proves that Marx was an irreconcilable opponent of a powerful state or despots in his chapter. The phrase itself was invented by Marx’s political opponent, August Blank. Thus, he formulated the rule of power of ordinary people. Marx believed that the state should not regulate the lives of individuals, but become an organ subordinate to society.
Marxism is today simply an alternative approach, unrelated to the existing.
Today, there are many alternative exercises: feminism, postmodernism, post-positivism, eco-movements, the struggle for gay rights, ethnic politics, the struggle for animal rights, antiglobalism. And this is all considered a new teaching. In some cases, as with postmodernism, this is an alternative to Darwinism. But antiglobalists and fighters for peace draw inspiration and are based on Marxism.
Marxism crashed in its predictions.
It is asserted that Marx predicted the end of capitalism and completely failed in this. But it is worthwhile today to look at those who created this myth. In November 2008, the Queen of England visited the Mecca of most economists, the London School of Economics. Elizabeth asked about the reasons for the economic recession, and who could have foreseen this. In response, she received a pathetic three pages with accusations of rejecting the collective imagination of many bright people. Taking into account all existing modern scientific methods and means, the gurus did not understand what was going on in front of them and what should be expected in the future. Marx accurately predicted global social disruptions in the future. The philosopher expressed his claims to political propaganda in the Manifesto, and in Capital he demonstrated a profound analysis of the existing system. In various of his writings, Marx argued that the system itself will not change, a strong political organization is needed to move forward. You can blame him for wanting for real. To say “Workers of all countries unite” is easier than to do. Perhaps, Marx underestimated the ability of capitalism to survive and invent ingenious ways to involve the population. One crisis replaces another, which we observe today.
Marxism predicted the impoverishment of the masses.
Critics of the exercise say that real wages in developed countries have grown over the past hundred years, which refutes Marx’s predictions. In fact, his thoughts were distorted. The scientist believed that wages can grow, while workers will receive an ever smaller proportion of the product produced. And even with the growth of labor productivity and the improvement of living standards, the exploiters will receive more and more profit. Marx believed that trade unions could achieve only certain limited improvements through their reforms. A high level of unemployment makes it possible to employ workers with inflated production rates or at lower salaries. In the past 25 years, even in the prosperous US real wages have declined significantly. Is not this what the philosopher and economist predicted?