Karl Marx was evil. Communism, his solution to the problems of capitalism, produced the most crushingly dehumanizing dictatorships in history. And yet, while his solutions to the problems of capitalism were wrong, his diagnoses were spot-on.
In as brief an analysis as possible, here are his five objections to capitalism:
Modern work is alienating. Humans were not meant to become soulless parts of an assembly line or imprisoned in an office of tiny cubicles. Individuals lose their individuality.
Modern work is insecure. Technology inevitably makes workers expendable. Factories have become increasingly automated, gone are the days of the telephone operator, MAC machines have replaced bank tellers; the examples are endless. And for humans, job-loss is akin to losing one’s place in the world.
The exploitation of the worker by the capitalist is theft. Workers are paid as little as possible while capitalists profit as much as possible. Marx called this primitive accumulation. Greed is good.
Capitalism is inherently unstable. Financial crises are crises of abundance. Accumulating more bad mortgages than the markets can bear. Producing more oil than the markets can bear. Creating more startup tech companies than the markets can bear. Growing more tulips than the markets can bear. Supply will inevitably surpass demand.
Finally, capitalism is actually bad for capitalists. Capitalists are not inherently evil, they are as much a product of the system as are the workers. Economics replaces real, human emotion. Stuff is more important than people. They have to be “keeping up with the Joneses”, but the Joneses are just as unhappy as they are.
Marx got everything right. Except for the solutions.
– Kurt Poleet