A Marxist indictment of capitalism — and why the indictment must be wrong


The Anchoress posted at her blog a semi-animated video by a self-avowed Marxist explaining why Marxism, not capitalism, will save the world. I have to admit that I didn’t watch it. It wasn’t the content that drove me away, it was the choppy visuals, which trigger migraines. Having just beaten back a migraine, I wasn’t willing to go for round two. If you want to watch it, though, please do so, here.

Without having seen the video, though, I can still tell you that anything it says is fallacious, to the extent that it tries to argue that Marxism is a better system than Capitalism. I know this because I’ve had a lifetime to consider that argument.

My father, who was raised a Communist before dying a Reagan Democrat, kept believing to the day he died that Communism could somehow work, if it was just done right. The problem, in his Communism steeped brain, was that the Russians, and the Chinese, and the Cubans, and the North Koreans just weren’t doing it right. Back in those days, since I was young, and hadn’t refined my thoughts, I argued with him simply by reiterating that because Communism hadn’t yet been done right, no matter the time or place tried, that alone was a pretty good indication that it couldn’t be done right.

Those arguments are long gone, but I have finally distilled the principles that, in my mind at least, establish conclusively that Marxism, which draws all power away from the individual and vests that power in the State, can never be done right. A few epigrammatic statements about the State are all I need:

  • The State has no conscience.
  • The State will always put its collective survival ahead of the living, breathing “cogs” that animate it (and it will dehumanize those cogs to the status of disposable cockroaches if need be to maintain its survival).
  • The State is incapable of rapid response to changing situations (with the federal response to the Gulf Spill being the ultimate example of the rigidity that renders it incapable of abandoning its perfect standards in the face of an overwhelming amount of spilled oil).
  • An all-powerful State, without any competition, has no incentive to provide good service, whatever that service may be (health care, housing, etc.). Competition is the spur to quality.
  • Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This was true before Lord Acton said it, and it will be true in perpetuity. If you vest all power in the State, you inevitably have, not only absolute corruption, but you have absolute corruption with unfettered life-and-death power over every living and breathing “cog” under its control.

Your comments about either the Anchoress’ video or my conclusions?

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

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