[FoRK] World Map of Happiness

Ian Andrew Bell < FoRK at ianbell.com > on > Wed Aug 2 13:28:55 PDT 2006

On 31-Jul-06, at 8:54 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> Not being an expert on Marx,

... is not a great locus from which to position an analysis of his  
writings and theories.  But as usual you haven't let this get in the  
way.

> my impression is that he projected forward various society  
> strategies, especially capitalism, and, not fully understanding  
> psychology and sociological natural mechanisms (that doom socialism/ 
> communism), and having certain bounding assumptions about  
> capitalism (raw runaway, monopolism, lack of insight into the later  
> invention of various backpressure mechanisms including unions/ 
> antitrust/OSHA), he came to the wrong conclusions.  Given the era  
> when he lived, that is perfectly understandable.

Um, okay.  I'm not certain how the structure of Marx's world differs  
terribly dramatically from ours.  Though he died in 1883, he  
anticipated globalization, for example, which we generally consider  
to be a post-second-world-war phenomenon.  The fulcrum of Marx's  
writings described the distribution of wealth between rich and poor  
whether that applied to individuals, nations, or indeed  
corporations.  His utopia attempted an equilibrium in the millenia- 
long struggle between classes, and as such in his Communist Manifesto  
he posited an economic construct.  It's really not for you nor I to  
debate whether he was right or wrong... the Communist Manifesto could  
flower into being in a vacuum, for example, but may be impractical in  
a world where it needs to compete with capitalist nations (who are A)  
threatened by it, and B) command significant resources to combat  
it).  He wasn't wrong any moreso than Adam Smith (of the prevailing  
economic construct in use today) is wrong.

> I never said he was stupid.

He rests easy in his grave, I am sure.

-Ian.

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