WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2009
When Marx Isn't Really Marx
This quote, purportedly written by Karl Marx in Capital, has been making the rounds:
Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.
Sounds prescient, no? One problem: McMegan investigated the quote and discovered that Marx didn't actually write it. Not only that, but he didn't say anything remotely like it. He predicted just about the exact opposite: the working classes would be forced to live in immiserated slums (not McMansions in the suburbs) until they finally rose up and overthrew their capitalist oppressors. Obviously, this is not the state of things.
If you feel like checking on your own, all three volumes of Capital and many other of Marx's writings may be found here.