Fun fact: I'm taking four classes this semester (not counting marching band), and I'm currently studying Marxist thought in two of them.
Here's my problem with Marxism: Marx correctly observed that history is driven by conflict. However, he incorrectly believed that this is somehow a bad thing.
Consider this hypothetical situation: A public school decides to do away with its grading system and give everyone an "A" just for showing up. However, the school still assigns homework and gives tests. How many people are going to do the work if everybody gets the same grade?
Yeah, that's the problem with Marxism/communism. Marx believed that there is no fixed human nature, so people could be conditioned to share both the means and results of production. However, if history is driven by conflict and oppression, doesn't this indicate that there is, in fact, a fixed human nature? I think it does.
Human beings are selfish, and there is no way to change that, so the proper way to deal with it is to come up with a society that takes advantage of human nature rather than trying to change it. Thus, capitalism. The ideal Marxist society may look good in theory, but the second one person does better than another, the whole system breaks down. In contrast, capitalism relies on the innate competitive nature of human beings to create a society where people are forced to work harder than those around them to succeed, which in turn makes everyone more successful except those who are too lazy to work. It's not perfect, and it doesn't always work that way, but since perfection is impossible, it's the best we can do.
The same goes for Marx's idea of government. He apparently believed that the state-centered government is simply a transitional phase between eeeeeeevil capitalism and a society where everyone controls the means of production. The problem here, once again, is human nature.
Government is composed of human beings. Human beings are selfish. When you give all the power to government, they're not going to give it back unless a revolution forces them to. The only problem is that truly successful revolutions, like the one that happened here a couple hundred years ago, lead to capitalist societies held together by a representative democracy, which forces government to share its power with the people.
This is why I laugh when people claim that the Soviet Union and other Communist states don't represent true communism because true communism gives everybody equal rights. If the state-centered government is a necessary step between capitalism and "real" communism, then real communism is impossible. Once you give government all the power, you're fucked.
In conclusion: Marxism is bullshit. Thank you.Posted by CD on November 9, 2005 10:54 AM | TrackBack