Most people agree that we need to improve
our economic system somehow. Yet we’re also often keen to dismiss the ideas of capitalism’s
most famous and ambitious critic, Karl Marx. This isn’t very surprising. In practice, his political and economic ideas have been
used to design disastrously planned economies and nasty dictatorships. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t reject Marx too
quickly. We ought to see him as a guide whose diagnosis of Capitalism’s ills helps us
navigate towards a more promising future. Capitalism is going to have be reformed – and
Marx’s analyse are going to be part of any answer.
Marx was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany. Soon he became involved with the Communist party, a tiny group of intellectuals advocating
for the overthrow of the class system and the abolition of private property. He worked
as a journalist and had to flee Germany, eventually settling in London. Marx wrote an enormous number of books and
articles, sometimes with his friend Friedrich Engels Mostly, Marx wrote about Capitalism, the type
of economy that dominates the western world. It was, in his day, still getting going, and
Marx was one of its most intelligent and perceptive critics. These were some of the problems he identified
with it: Modern work is “alienated”
One of Marx’s greatest insights is that work can be one of the sources of our greatest
joys. But in order to be fulfilled at work, Marx
wrote that workers need ‘to see themselves in the objects they have created’. Think
of the person who built this chair: it is straightforward, strong, honest and elegant It’s an example of how, at its
best, labour offers us a chance to externalise what’s good inside us. But this is increasingly
rare in the modern world. Part of the problem is that modern work is
incredibly specialised. Specialised jobs make the modern economy highly efficient, but they
also mean that it is seldom possible for any one worker to derive a sense of the genuine
contribution they might be making to the real needs of humanity.
Marx argued that modern work leads to alienation=Entfremdung in other words, a feeling of disconnection
between what you do all day and who you feel you really are and what you think you ideally be able to
contribute to existence. Modern work is insecure
Capitalism makes the human being utterly expendable; just one factor among others in the forces
of production that can ruthlessly be let go the minute that costs rise or savings can
be made through technology. And yet, as Marx knew, deep inside of us, we don’t want to
be arbitrarily let go, we are terrified of being abandoned.
Communism isn’t just an economic theory. Understood emotionally, it expresses a deep-seated
longing that we always have a place in the world’s heart, that we will not be cast
out. Workers get paid little while capitalists
get rich This is perhaps the most obvious qualm Marx
had with Capitalism. In particular, he believed that capitalists shrunk the wages of the labourers
as much as possible in order to skim off a wide profit margin. He called this
primitive accumulation=ursprüngliche Akkumulation Whereas capitalists see profit as a reward
for ingenuity and technological talent, Marx was far more damning. Profit is simply theft,
and what you are stealing is the talent and hard work of your work force. However much one dresses up the fundamentals,
Marx insists that at its crudest, capitalism means paying a worker one price for doing
something that can be sold for another, much higher one. Profit is a fancy term for exploitation. Capitalism is very unstable Marx proposed that capitalist systems are
characterised by series of crises. Every crisis is dressed up by capitalists as being somehow
freakish and rare and soon to be the last one. Far from it, argued Marx, crises are endemic to capitalism – and they’re
caused by something very odd. The fact that we’re able to produce too much – far more
than anyone needs to consume. Capitalist crises are crises of abundance,
rather than – as in the past – crises of shortage. Our factories and systems are so efficient,
we could give everyone on this planet a car, a house, access to a decent school and hospital. That’s what so enraged Marx and made him
hopeful too. Few of us need to work, because the modern economy is so productive. But rather than seeing this need not to work
as the freedom it is, we complain about it masochistically and describe it by a pejorative
word “unemployment.” We should call it freedom. There’s so much unemployment for a good
and deeply admirable reason: because we’re so good at making things efficiently. We’re
not all needed at the coal face. But in that case, we should – thought Marx
– make leisure admirable. We should redistribute the wealth of the massive corporations that
make so much surplus money and give it to everyone. This is, in its own way, as beautiful a dream
as Jesus’s promise of heaven; but a good deal more realistic sounding. Capitalism is bad for capitalists Marx did not think capitalists were evil.
For example, he was acutely aware of the sorrows and secret agonies that lay behind bourgeois
marriage. Marx argued that marriage was actually an
extension of business, and that the bourgeois family was fraught with tension, oppression,
and resentment, with people staying together not for love but for financial reasons. Marx believed that the capitalist system forces
everyone to put economic interests at the heart of their lives, so that they can no
longer know deep, honest relationships. He called this psychological tendency commodity fetishism=Warenfetischismus because it makes us value things that have
no objective value. He wanted people to be freed from financial
constraint so that they could – at last – start to make sensible, healthy choices in their
relationships. The 20th century feminist answer to the oppression
of women has been to argue that women should be able to go out to work. Marx’s answer
was more subtle. This feminist insistence merely perpetuates human slavery. The point
isn’t that women should imitate the sufferings of their male colleagues,it’s that men and
women should have the permanent option to enjoy leisure. Why don’t we all think a bit more like marx? An important aspect of Marx’s work is that
he proposes that there is an insidious, subtle way in which the economic system colours the
sort of ideas that we ending up having. The economy generates what Marx termed an
“ideology”. A capitalist society is one where most people,
rich and poor, believe all sorts of things that are really just value judgements that
relate back to the economic system: that a person who doesn’t work is worthless, that
leisure (beyond a few weeks a year) is sinful, that more belongings will make us happier
and that worthwhile things (and people) will invariably make money. In short, one of the biggest evils of Capitalism
is not that there are corrupt people at the top—this is true in any human hierarchy—but
that capitalist ideas teach all of us to be anxious, competitive, conformist, and politically
complacent. Marx didn’t only outline what was wrong
capitalism: we also get glimpses of what Marx wanted the ideal utopian future to be like. In his Communist Manifesto he describes a world
without private property or inherited wealth, with a steeply graduated income tax, centralised
control of the banking, communication, and transport industries, and free public education.
Marx also expected that communist society would allow people to develop lots of different
sides of their natures: “in communist society…it is possible for
me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon,
rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever
becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” After Marx moved to London he was supported
by his friend and intellectual partner Friedrich Engels, a wealthy man whose father owned a
cotton plant in Manchester. Engels covered Marx’s debts and made sure his works were
published. Capitalism paid for Communism. The two men even wrote each other adoring
poetry. Marx was not a well-regarded or popular intellectual
in his day. Respectable, conventional people of Marx’s day would have laughed at the idea that his
ideas could remake the world. Yet just a few decades later they did: his writings became
the keystone for some of the most important ideological movements of the 20th century. But Marx was like a brilliant doctor in the
early days of medicine. He could recognise the nature of the disease, although he had
no idea how to go about curing it. At this point in history, we should all be
Marxists in the sense of agreeing with his diagnosis of our troubles. But we need to
go out and find the cures that will really work. As Marx himself declared, and we deeply
agree: Philosophers until now have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however,
is to change it.

100 thoughts on “POLITICAL THEORY – Karl Marx

  1. Am I wrong in believing that the 'communism' which was penned by Engels and Marx Has NEVER been in practice ? What's more, it will, and cannot ever be. Maybe this is idealistic foolishness, but I think that, for now anyway, it is only a fairytale. And I think that anyway, the 'idea' eliminates much of human ambitions, creativities, and freedoms which would place this 'utopia' in a stasis of sorts. Not at all very well suited to the human animal.

  2. does anyone else think that it is unbelievable that 75% of economic professors are Marxist. it seems like he was just a kept man that never had to work because he had a rich buddy that owned a cotton mill. I wonder why he thought that no one should have to work to survive lololololol.

  3. IT sound beautiful but in real life it don't work , human nature is not build for this , great if it did work communist countries show us it don't work , We don't want people to be poor but people want nice things that the true , people want to be better then the next man that life and human nature too, it was so great why don't after country or people want it , communist regime did guns to put the people into line , they hate intelligence to they kill them first

  4. Leisure forced upon purposeless people. Leisure taken from the people who earned it. Profit is described as theft while taking from people who started businesses and made their way to the top isn’t theft. What a backwards way of looking at things

  5. What.. Marx said capitalism make enough to give everyone in the world a car…. Eh.. Did he really say that.. Didnt think there were many cars around back then… Me smells bullshit

  6. Profit is theft is exploitation is unstable.
    Unemployment is freedom.
    Marriage is an extension of business
    The Bourgeoise family marriages were comprised of tension, repression, and resentment…
    People stay together for financial reasons and this
    forces everyone to put economic interest at the heart of their lives so they can no longer know the value of deep relationships. @6:08 The Afrikan twins- masculine/feminine. This video is great!!!! Thanks. 🙏🏾

  7. I think the author misses a point on Marx's interpretation of the Paris Commune and the road to socialism being paved with class conflict and workers' organisation. Otherwise a really good breakdown in 10mins.

  8. A few things. One, Marx was a philosopher, not an economist. Two, he and Adam Smith had an extended correspondence, and Smith had a deep respect for Marx as an smart critic of economic ideology. Third, Smith had become a totem for "capitalism" which is incorrect; most people don't read past the needle part of The Wealth of Nations, but if you do, you'll see Smith understood the limits of his ideas. Thus his insistence on some sort of centralized buffer to the worst aspects of capitalism.

  9. Yes Marx was so brilliant…his brilliance had 120 million innocents butchered… lives wrecked….economies plundered…countries destroyed… He was a Satanist and actually wrote a letter to satan… you are a sick bastard and nobody should buy your lies School of Life (Lies)… you are a shill for evil..bash America and lift up Marx… disgusting fraud…wonder how many lives you wreck a dayi

  10. How does Marx explain the rise of service industries? They are inherently abstract – people LOVE working in them. How the f*ck did his moronic ideas ever gain traction?

  11. He’s just a guy who never fully understood capitalism but did understand it a lot better then your pro government democrat do. He’s basically a left libertarian

  12. The worlds plagiarist of half baked ideas. Imagine people actually taught this nonsense in Universities. He is no more relevant than Freud. Whereas John Stuart mill continues to be a light in our darkest hour, the present. We really have problems with human morality not with ownership of wealth.

  13. Modern instrustry is so efficient that no one has to work. Everyone could be given a house and a car.

    Ever built a house ? They dont grow on trees.
    You Marxists mean well but little real life experience.

  14. Right well maybe communism had a chance back in the days were if you didn’t work your only pass time would be looking at a wall but today we have so much leisurely activities it just wouldn’t work

  15. We would’ve never made it to the moon without capitalism. Capitalism allows innovation. Marx didn’t understand that Christian culture is built off sacrifice. Utopian societies aren’t real

  16. this is top tier dumb shit… as a capitalist you have earned yourself through lazy research a well earned place in poverty

  17. shame on you Karl Max, your forefather was a rabbi and you are line with it , you grow up in a Christian family and a pure Jew, how come that you introduce this political theory as a Godless society?

  18. Permanent leisure? why would someone work in the first place if they did not have to – I would love to not work and just focus on only my passions but not everyone's passions or things that they enjoy actually are productive.

  19. Surely there's many problems with marxism. What about the wealthy people in our countries? They will just move and take their wealth with them. Look at Venezuela. Look at the Soviet union. Does it really ever work. I'm all for equality I truly am. But why take a shot in the dark at a system that makes the rich less wealthy and the poor even poorer. Capitalism is by no means perfect but I thing it's the best system that we have. I'm quite happy to go to work get paid pay the bills have a few holidays each year and spend time with my children. I don't want all the stress and pressure of being at the top of a big company, and if I was in a high pressured job then I would want higher wages but I don't think that's how equality works. It's a messed up world.

  20. 1- "What you think you ideally be able to contribute to existence". What you think and what your real contribution is, are usually two different things. We all think that our contribution is more important than it really is.
    2- "Capitalism makes the human being utterly expendable". Sure, before capitalism lions were eating persons in caves and the whole humankind stagnated every time an individual perished. We are all expendable and capitalism did not do it.
    3- "We do not want to be arbitrarily let go". It is not arbitrary, it is based on your qualities. Again, lions used to eat the less apt. It is not a byproduct of capitalism.
    4- "Profit is theft". You steal from someone against his will. Workers are free to go. They can start a company and hire themselves, even without profit if they please. Of course this is not that easy. Hard tasks need a reward and this is profit.
    5- "We are so efficient producing that we could get anyone in this planet a car, house,…". What are your bases for this affirmation?
    6- "We should not call it unemployment, we should call it freedom". If you do not work because you do not need to, I agree. But I do not think that this is the case in the majority of the cases.
    7- "We should distribute the money from big corporations". Then, there would not be big corporations and we would not be that efficient producers.
    8- "People staying together not for love but for financial reasons". What is love? Partners have been chosen because of their adaptation to the environment since ever.
    9- "permanent option to enjoy leisure". I guess Marx was willing to provide all they need to enjoy leisure.
    10- "judgements that relate back to the economic system". They do not relate to the economic system, they relate back to the Darwin theory of evolution.
    11- "capitalist ideas tell all of us to be anxious, competitive,…". Yes, when we lived in caves fighting for the scarce resources with the neighbour tribe, we were not anxious or competitive. Capitalism came to teach us that.

  21. I like Marx & Lenin thoughts .But history never mentioned a great thinker Achyara Vishnu Gupt Chanakya from India 2nd century .

  22. marx did the best for cuba, venezuela and now argentina, and also thanks of keynes, now we will have hiperinflation and be the shitty country we are

  23. "At this point in history we should all be Marxists….."
    Wow. It is astounding that after all the history of the past 100+ years people can still say something so profoundly stupid.

  24. Profit is exploitation of the hard work of the laborer? You gotta be kidding, if there were no profit to be made, businesses wouldn’t have any incentive to drive for? And if the business goes under the owner is the one that incurs all the debt and hardship not the laborer. So rightfully so the owners should reap more rewards.

  25. Look at USA and see that people must hav 2-3 jobs to have a economy working. USA are capitalism. Even John Maynard Keynes told that capitalism Will destroy itself

  26. Capitalism is greed based but practical and self sustained.
    Socialism is not self sustained also need a driver (dictator).

  27. Oh my god …I was a subscriber ….very one sided and missed alot …unsubscribe …how many other stories that I've watched are inaccurate now …

  28. Marxism will only work if 100% there’s no corruption. Unfortunately, it is human nature to want more, be better than anyone else. Not everyone think this way, but majority do.
    Marxism will be unfair because who decides who gets to work and have time for leisure? Who decides who gets paid more? A burger flipper or a doctor? Who is decides who gets to be the “decider/judge” ? Will there be a voting system in place which means prone to corruption? Unfortunately, naturally life is a just a series of problems with the occasional crisis. As humans, we are responsible on how we approach and handle these things. We are personally responsible for every action we take/do. It’s not other people.

    Capitalist countries, such as the west, is the land of opportunity, that’s why a lot of people desperately want to immigrate to capitalist countries.

  29. Did anybody else get Uncanny Valley-ed by this video. Like the information was useful but I was really distracted by my stomach doing summersaults any time Marx popped onscreen. Or The Scream. I actually jumped when he popped up over the top of the cubicle.

  30. Who said that if capitalism fails then we move to communism? Both systems are evil and they'll never work!! Both are created in a way that the end will concentrate immense power in the hand of a few! That's how things are now. NWO. Remember Marx was an elder of Zion.

  31. "Corporations, multi billionaires, have too much control over government and society." – If there are no subsidies, regulations and tax exemptions, meaning it is not in competence of government to implement those policies, then there is nothing to have controll over in the government. These are socialist features. The business literally colludes with state . This is not capitalism! Yet you want hybrid system of socialism/capitalism and slowly drift towards more socialist policies. How can you think this will reduce arbitrary, unjust inequalities in society??? Its probably the blindness to own moral injustice you commit by deeming power to create wealth as dehumanizing…

  32. Yeah, his ideas are beautiful… but they are not the truth… because the theory of exploitation is based on fake premises…

  33. Man is a seeking being. We strive to find our place in society. Marx was one of the few that actually manage to understand this and see how society builds and topples over itself

  34. I really like how this isn't critical of Marx. But shows it in a independent light. I only recently became more Marxist because I wanted to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. Thanks.

  35. Das Kapital is a long book….and what is the logical conclusion in it: "just take from working, rich people – and give to non-working poor people". AND: "Stop all creativity of people and enterprise – so noone gets rich in front of others…. – stop progress!"

  36. Anyone who reads and understands a little about the Austrian School of economy can see that they refuted everything Marx said about capitalism
    Search for
    Karl Menger
    Bohm Bawerk
    Ludwig Von Mises
    Friedrich Hayek
    Murray Rothbard

  37. btw, the explanations are very inaccurate to me. Exploitation could be explained properly. Also self-alienation is not only about meaningless tasks, but about not being able to enjoy the fruit of one's work.

  38. As much as I don't agree with his political/economic views, Marx gave though and tried to understand the world and how it could improve, which is much more than most people of his day and now. And, in a more radical level, is those types of people that make the wolrd advance.

  39. how is this related to what stalin did or what china is doing? marx basically said if everyone wont have to worry about cash, and have their needs for doing their part they could achieve more out of their lives and maybe became creators and inventors and this could lead to aa better society for all. i dont see how killing all your ppl or enslaving them to death derived from this idea. its bullshit

  40. 9 and half minutes justifying laziness. Didn't marx know that his abundance of "leisure" would only make him even fatter?

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