Monday, February 20, 2017

Karl Marx’s Misconceptions About Man and Markets

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation on, “Economic Ideas: Karl Marx’s Misconceptions About Man and Markets.”

One of Karl Marx’s greatest appeals for many over the last 150 years has been the idea of remaking man into something better than how we find him, in a new society of socialism and communism that revolution and the “right side of history” will give us.

At the core of this vision and hope is the accusation that individualism, self-interest and a social system based on private property alienates man from himself, from others, and from the world around him. Why? Because under capitalism man is not “free.” But what is freedom for Marx?

It turns out that man is a slave to his circumstances whenever he has to do something he dislikes or does not want to do. If you are cutting down a tree for the pure joy of the physical exercise or if you are sharing the evening with others for the shear pleasure of discussing Marxian philosophy, then you are free. You are free to do only the things you like as an end in itself.

But if you have to cut down the tree because if you do not you will not have the means to build a cabin for shelter, or if you associate with others for some mutual production activity because if you do not you will have no food to eat or clothes to wear, then you are not free; you are a slave of doing things as a means to an end, rather than a playful pure act of pleasure and happiness.

In addition, the free man no longer thinks or acts, Marx’s insists, in terms of his own self-interested wants and desires. The “new man” of post-capitalist society will be singularly other-oriented, a true altruist focusing on the good and betterment of the collectivist society that supersedes the “oppression” of profit-pursuing money making of the capitalist system.

Marx conjures up an alternative universe totally disconnected from reality; indeed, his entire critique of man, markets and societal morality is a flight from reality. The human, individual “self” with his own mind, his own purposes, dreams, goals and potentials will be washed away within the amorphous and imaginary societal collective.

Marx’s vision of man and the society of the future is not a liberation of mankind, but a nightmarish destruction of real, flesh and blood, thinking and acting individual human beings within a totalitarian system of mind and body control by the “people’s state” to come.



  1. So basically if you work for yourself and your own benefit, you are a slave and if you work for others and their benefit, you are free.

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

  2. And, letting anyone and everyone into these uSA, without first dismantling the welfare state, is more freedom for the slave.

    And, if we let anyone and everyone into these uSA, we will be better off because diversity and magic dirt. Marx would whole-heartily approve of open borders, in capitalist countries only, until the whole world was one happy communist place.

    Ropes, nooses, hangings and all that.

    Of course, there would also be the interim between the whole world becoming communist and the "right" people being in charge to really achieve the communism as envisioned by Marx and Engler.

    1. And yet socialist Bernie Sanders is anti-immigration... HMMMMMM...

    2. Retard Smiley strikes again. Yes. Socialists are anti-immigration, and conservatives are pro immigration. Freedom is slavery. Black is white. Libertardians are smart.

    3. Re: JamieinTexas,

      --- Marx would whole-heartily approve of open borders, ---

      No, he would not.

    4. Valley sapien,

      It's in his platform:

      You may want to some time off from burning crosses to learn to read.

  3. Fransisco, not only a possible illegal, at least, with illegal immigrant relatives, a Marxist. Why am I not surprised.

    As to Bernie, he is a socialist, a socialite socialist. He pursues socialism until socialism is controlled by not his group. Then his multiple homes and economic advantages will be equaled with his lessers. He better get in touch with his fellow socialists and get re-educated before it is too late.

    1. Jaime,

      My take on Bernie is that he has some vague awareness of the socialist calculation problem, and he knows that adding a bunch of new people to the mix would complicate things and screw up "the plan."

      Socialism sucks at most things economic, and effectively incorporating new and different producers and consumers is no exception. This IMO is a major reason why several European countries have encountered issues with integrating immigrants into their countries.

    2. Re: JaimeInTexas,

      Who are you calling a "possible illegal" and "Marxist", you mendacious onager? Besides not understanding ANYTHING, you now resort to defamation! I am not surprised by Trumpista tactics which closely resemble those by their brethren on the unhinged left.

    3. Socialism only works until the accumulated capital, that allowed socialism to take hold, is spent.

  4. Fransisco, so you finally answered whether you are an illegal alien? Any relative illegal alien?

    The marxist part was bit of a low blow but I was dishing out what has been dished our to me.