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Karl Marx is often described as one
of the greatest thinkers of the 19th century.
His writings have inspired revolutions,
and generated centuries of fierce debate.
Born in Prussia, now Germany,
in May 1818, Marx believed that capitalism,
which was in its infancy at the time, had serious flaws.
Marx claimed that in pursuit of profit,
capitalists would encourage their ideology
that work is good, leisure is bad,
and material things will make us happy.
Embracing mass production,
depriving workers of job satisfaction.
At the same time, exploiting the working class.
He became involved in the Communist League,
a small group of intellectuals who wanted
to abolish the class system and spread wealth equally.
Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto
in 1847, with his benefactor Friedrich Engels,
laying out the Marxist vision of a society
where wealth is distributed evenly.
Property is owned publicly, and education is free for all.
But Marx was little-known and little-read at the time.
When he died in 1883, only 11 people
attended his funeral.
After his death, his ideas flourished.
Based on the theory of Marxism came communism,
the realization of a stateless society where all are equal.
Communism became a global movement,
but the utopian ideal of a fair
and equal society failed to materialize.
Communism tyrannized and impoverished it subjects.
And slaughtered them in the tens of millions.
Today, capitalism dominates the world.
But many of Marx's criticisms have never been more relevant.
Today, the global disparity between rich
and poor is startling.
Marx predicted that capitalism would lead
to the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor.
He was right.
He also predicted that capitalism would lead
to boom and bust economics.
Marx predicted that capitalism would lead to globalization,
and that a handful of firms would
have huge market dominance.
However,
Marx underestimated the ability of
capitalism to make everybody richer
by making products much cheaper.
Since the 1980s, the number of people
in absolute poverty has fallen by about one billion.
He also got wrong the capacity
of capitalism to reform itself by creating welfare states
that redistributed wealth through taxation.
Although there is a lot to learn from Marx,
his solution was far worse than the disease.
At the same time, it can't be said
that today's capitalism, dominated by immense inequality
and financial crises has triumphed.
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Was Karl Marx right? | The Economist

2249 Folder Collection
Priscilla published on October 5, 2018    Priscilla translated    Evangeline reviewed
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