Germany and China celebrate Marx’s 200th birthday

Germany accepted the gift of a large statue to Marx from China to commemorate 200 years since Marx’s birth. Their were very mixed  views in Germany we read about accepting this gift, and even more mixed views of the legacy of the political philosopher. It is an important to remind ourselves of Marx’s policies, given the popularity of his work with  some in the Labour party.

There is no doubt of his influence. Some of the  teachers and lecturers I heard  were heavily influenced by what they thought Marx had said, though most of them also thought you could adapt Marxism to a social democrat framework. They were not normally willing to defend Marxism as practised in the USSR at the time. I read some of Marx’s works  to find out how a long dead intellectual could cast such a shadow over societies that we ended up with the tyrannies of Marxist states. They were all much poorer than the west, and so obviously lacked the  personal freedoms we took for granted.

One of my earlier political publications was a rebuttal of the Communist party Manifesto. That slim document was far more influential than Das Capital, as it was so much more accessible, with a strong ten point political programme which informed the ultra socialist agendas of  Marxist revolutionaries and tyrants around the world. The irony of the document was that its central attack on inequality and privilege led directly to a worse kind of privilege, the privilege that accrued to the political leaders of communist states and to communist party members which was then enforced with violence against anyone who questioned their rule.

So I wrote the Popular Capitalist Manifesto. It proposed doing the opposite in nine of the ten policies recommended by Marx. The one I agreed with  was universal free education with no child factory labour..

To remind you what Marx proposed:

The abolition of all private property

A heavy progressive income tax

The abolition of all inheritance rights

Confiscation of all property of rebels and emigrants

A monopoly state bank

Centralisation of all transport and communications in state hands

Wholesale nationalisation of means of production  and state planned farming

Establishment of industrial armies with equal requirement of all to labour

Shift of people into towns with erosion of distinction between town and country

Free education for all with abolition of child factory  labour

In a future  post I will set out my alternative to this Manifesto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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112 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday Karl. You predicted the proletariat would destroy capitalism. Instead capitalism has destroyed the proletariat. We’re all middle class now.

    Still, you have your new statue. The dogs of Trier will be grateful.

    • IwasGnarth
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Surely an exemplar of the outstanding post? The phrase ‘The dogs of Trier’ has such a marvellous sense of history (or Shakespeare perhaps) surrounding it I was forced to do a search – and came up with a hundeschule, naturally.

    • APL
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Marx’s philosophy also led directly to the famines in the Ukraine which killed five to ten million Ukrainians.

      “Wholesale nationalisation of means of production and state planned farming”

      Famine and starvation followed the Soviets had posters up during that time warning the proletariat that it was illegal to eat your own children!

      Under the Soviet system, it was even illegal ( The Law of Spikelets ) to pick up grain that had been left on the ground. Penalty death.

      Marx’s birthday and his philosophy gives us no cause for celebration.
      Marxism is a diabolical evil philosophy.

      • APL
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        “The abolition of all private property”

        Typically for someone who advocated sharing private wealth, Marx net worth on death was about £250 in 1883.

        By today’s standards, that’d be £250,000.

        Common labourers were earning three shillings and six pence for a ten hour day, six days a week. Given that at the time, most people lived hand to mouth, he lived pretty comfortably for a radical egalitarian.

        But, behaviour happily adopted by Lenin, Stalin and the whole politburo

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Indeed what he was proposing was the destruction of nearly all incentives to work and to better yourself, your family and the economy. In short the destruction of the economy.

    The abolition of all private property says it all really, so everything belongs to the state – well that should work well who will look after it all and fix it?

    I do not however agree with you on “universal free education with no child factory labour”. Universal education yes but it should not be free unless people really cannot afford to pay. The best system is probably vouchers or tax credits that people can top up and lots of private schools competing for pupils. Child factory labour well clearly this is a question of degree, is it voluntary and at what age. There is a lot to be said for children working voluntarily and much is learned from doing it (be it in factories, shops, houses, farms or just the garden). Much harm had been done by government regulations making it rather hard to employ teenagers.

    Also there is the question as to what is actually taught. Most schools currently push the lefty climate alarmism, the renewable energy agenda, magic money tree economics, the politics of envy, love of the anti-democratic EU and the “government knows best” religions. This judging from the children who emerge, even the brighter ones. The current exam system and text books are stuffed with bogus science, massive exaggerations and other such nonsense.

    Looking at your list of what Marx proposed we clearly should do the complete opposite of nearly all of them. Though I would not have enforced child labour, nor would I allow the poor to be totally uneducated.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      A good piece on this topic from Dan Hannan today in the Sunday Telegraph. “Why would anyone be a Marxist now?”

      Why indeed?

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Of course under May and Hammond we have most of this anyway, as we have had essentially socialists in charge since Winston Churchill left office – with the (partial) exception of Thatcher perhaps:-

    The abolition of all private property

    Taxation at current levels (IHT, Income tax, VAT, council tax, fuel and alcohol duty, stamp duty, sugar tax, NI …….) can easily tax 90% of your capital away over say 25 years. Just do the sums of return with not tax and return after tax!

    A heavy progressive income tax

    45% currently plus NI at circa 24% (with employers too) plus no personal allowance for many either.

    The abolition of all inheritance rights:-

    IHT at 40% over just £325K, Hammond and Osborne still ratting on the £1 million each promise of 7+ years back.

    A monopoly state bank:-

    We certainly have a total lack of real competition in banking and effectively state banking through micro regulation, the BoE and huge barriers to entry.

    Centralisation of all transport and communications in state hands:-

    Well we are about 40% there on this I think though direct ownership or regulation. Bus lanes, congestion charges, mugging cameras everywhere.

    Wholesale nationalisation of means of production and state planned farming:-

    Well with EU subsidies, regulations and CAP, planning regulations, environmental laws mean this is surely about 70% there. Also with the green crap energy agenda. Loads of expensive subsidised (but stationary) wind turbines all over southern England yesterday as I flew over.

    Shift of people into towns with erosion of distinction between town and country:-

    This has largely happened too, but largely by choice.

    Free education for all with abolition of child factory labour

    We have this too.

    So in many ways he was actually a prophet. Time to undo all the damage this has caused and keep Corbyn out at all costs.

  4. Adam
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Marx’s monument adds to the architectural aesthetics of Highgate Cemetery, but what did he achieve beyond convincing the world that Communism fails those it is supposed to support?

    If all property is theft, how could property have rightfully belonged before it was stolen?

    • Peter Martin
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      “If all property is theft “

      That was Proudhon’s remark, who incidentally was an Anarchist.

      • Adam
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        I thank you for the distinction, Peter. It was negative attitudes to property to which I was referring generally.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      No one with any understanding of human nature could ever have thought that his totally bonkers ideas would work.

      As George Orwell put it:-

      “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”

      (or “experts” in non subjects nowadays perhaps?)

    • Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Highgate cemetery is well worth a visit. There are other left wing people buried there too Paul Foot, Miliband senior etc.. Plus famous authors such as Douglas Adams who wrote ‘the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Nothing wrong with an interesting statue or two. We are not in McCarthy’s America.

      You have to pay to get in to the cemetery though.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Paul Foot was at least a bright and good willed lefty, in as much as there is such a thing!

        • mickc
          Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

          I disagree….he was neither bright nor good willed, as the late Valerie Storie could attest. He was an arrogant public school product who believed he knew best; the type who ruled this country and continue to do so, very much to its disbenefit.

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it was Proudhon’s claim, but I feel that Adam is right. The concept of theft presupposes some system of property rights and then the violation of someone’s property right.

      What can we say about Marx and the modern Marxists? Even by the 1890s, leading figures in the SPD (the German socialist party and originally Marxist) were beginning to doubt Marx. They pointed out that Marx’s prediction of the increasing centralisation of capitalist industry so that it would eventually become one big firm was not happening. Also the ownership of capital was becoming more, and not less concentrated, whilst the proletariat was becoming more and not less wealthy. Then there was the little problem that most economists regarded the labour theory of value, taken up by Marx, as a thing of the past. Marxism was on its last legs and on the way out. So, what happened?

      There was a dreadful war in 1914 and one of its results was the Russian Revolution. This event spawned a socialism which had a radical tinge and was both extra-parliamentary and violent. This revolution moreover broke out in a country which Marx regarded as backward and not ripe for his anti-capitalist revolution. Strictly speaking then, this brand of socialism should not be called Marxist, rather it should go under the name of its founder, V.I. Lenin.

      But could we ever get the President of the European Commission to honour a statue to Lenin, I wonder?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Stephen Berry

        Indeed

        Marxist adherence “phase one” did not work…hence the move to “phase two” Cultural Marxism, as expounded by the Frankfurt school, arguably the original seat of the cunning lefty loony world-change protagonists. And today, our evolving nouveau Communistic political future, with its consequential “eventual” cataclysm, laid bare for all to see….driven from its seat of ludicrous power grabbing fanatics, Brussels!

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    The Popular Capitalist Manifesto:-

    Capitalism would indeed be very popular. Lower taxes, more freedoms, cheaper energy, higher standards of living, better health care, transport, housing, higher paid and more freely available jobs, better schools and education, easy hire and fire but with lots of available jobs so who cares …..

    So why do May and Hammond not try it? Instead of giving us the highest and most complex taxes for 40 years, endless new damaging regulations and an election with a punishment manifesto!

    Thatcher after all won three elections (four really with Major as her chosen man). Until the voters rapidly worked out what a complete fool, EUphile and economic ignoramus he actually was.

    So they buried the party for many terms. May seems to be trying her best to do the same again?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      It will need a different team to do this. Perhaps Mr Javid understands better than May and Hammond the need for a competitive economy with incentives to work, and he will again be the bridge between their quasi socialism and common sense.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Almost everyone I know understands things better than May and Hammond.

        What sort of idiot would waste companies time and money on gender pay reporting when we know on average they do completely different jobs, take totally different work like balance choices and do completely different degrees and qualifications on average. How much did just law that take directly off productivity and growth?

        Did you hear Grieg Clark on Marr today. No doubt at all that T May is going for “Brexit means nothing at all”. She really needs to go. She is like the LibDims and the BBC wrong, wrong, wrong and and a robotic electoral liability too.

    • NHSGP
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Very obvious reasons.

      Look at state spending. 218 bn a year goes on the debts. That’s plural. Don’t fall for the con that the only debt is the borrowing, there’s lots of other debts too. Like civil service pensions.

      30% of taxes goes on debts not services.

      That’s austerity

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        I have not realize is was quite as high as you say, but even so the main problem is the “services” the state do deliver are so inefficiently delivered. Many of them are of no real value at all or even negative value.

        We do clearly need a state sector private sector equalisation system or tax. State worker have nearly ten times the pensions pots that the private sector do. They work fewer hours, take more sick pay and are much less productive too. Many produce nothing of any value to the public at all.

    • APL
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic: “So why do May and Hammond not try it?”

      The Conservative party does not conserve anything. If CCO were selling conservatism as a product it would be prosecuted under the trades description legislation.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    It is evident, from certain punitive tax levels and the nationalisation programmes of the past and now proposed by Corbyn’s Labour party, that the Marxist influence is still strong in the UK. Too often the Conservative party has appeared reluctant to advance the cause of free enterprise and the disciplines of a competitive market place.

    • agricola
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      I would submit that Marxism is still prevalent in the UK because we can take a dilettante approach to it, never having had to live under it.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Punitive levels of taxation are with us already under a so called Conservative Government with tax and spend May and Hammond at the helm. We don’t have to wait for a Labour Government. The only thing which will happen under Corbyn is they will be even more punitive.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        The highest and most complex for 40 years many simply not sustainable either. Higher taxes from this position would raise less tax not more and throttle the economy even further.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Dear Oldtimer–Yes–And why don’t the Conservatives, such as are left, simply blow Corbyn away by explaining in a manner that even his potential supporters can understand how absurd and shallow what he says is. I physically wince when he comes out with his offerings built on his oh-so-profound assessment of what his potential supporters want and simply offering it to them. My most recent wince was just before the recent elections when he had worked out, Bless him, that his potential supporters would like more pay so he told them in power he would see to that. How exactly he was less clear on. Thank God he has been given a bloody nose. More effort should be put in to demolishing everything he says–it’s pathetic.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      The punitive levels of tax on labour are due to the desire of the powerful land lobby to have a free lunch !

      Back in Marx’s day , the largest part of the land lobby was still the landed gentry and it was recognised as being distinct from capital .

      The classical economists from Adam Smith onwards realised society could not afford the parasitic overheads of the crony capitalist land lobby and capitalism was seen as a means to destroy it .

      Sadly with the democratisation of land ownership , the landed gentry were replaced by mortgage lenders and apologists for the land lobby such as Milton Friedman deliberately sabotaged the subject of economics to conflate land with capital .

      In the UK this got even worse in 1982 when banks were allowed virtually unrestricted access to the mortgage market ; puffing it up by creating new money .

      Land , is part of the natural domain and everyone needs exclusive use of enough land to live on . Indeed many are deliberately deprived of their share of nature by the land lobby and then expected to subsidise them with punitive employment taxes .

      So we have gone from one extreme of Marx’s view on private property to another where things which should benefit society as a whole benefit only the few .

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        “Milton Friedman deliberately sabotaged the subject of economics to conflate land with capital.”

        How on earth do you come to this absurd conclusion?

  7. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Marxism. A roadmap to serfdom and slavery.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I agree entirely, HOWEVER I feel sure it will be tried again, and possibly soon because look at the quality of the elected leaders we have managed to vote into office in the ‘liberal, advanced west’. (I quite like the idea put forward by Nevil Shute, where individuals who contribute most to their society receive additional votes)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Similar to the EU then or indeed just remaining in the customs union!

  8. Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    This really is one intellectual our world could have done without – but some other neurotic would have come up with these ideas eventually – I am offended that Marx should be called a philosopher – he has created dogmatic principles which his followers have accepted without question…and continue to do so.
    As mentioned by The Prangwizard, marxism is a roadmap to serfdom and slavery…and one of the items on the agenda shows this most clearly, for has there ever been a more suppressive tax than “income tax”
    This society is already too far down the marxist road, but one thing we could do, NO, SHOULD DO, is to replace INCOME TAX – There are ways and means, and it would be score a victory for rationality and common sense, against a prevailing enemy that has almost got us cornered.

    • Adam
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Bryan,

      People doing good things, such as working to generate income should not be penalised with a taxing charge for it. Work should be encouraged.

      Tax should apply to consumption, & more so to excessive or harmful actions people take, to reduce or discourage them altogether, such as: creating dangers, polluting, crime, self harm from smoking, wasting energy, obstructing others’ freedom; with many more candidates.

      Any sensible person knows what should be promoted or prevented. Govt appears unaware.

      • Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        ADAM – Thanks for that…. I will keep pushing my main ideas to make VAT better, and to do away with personal taxation …it can all be done without the economy crumbling to dust…

  9. duncan
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    At the heart of this charlatan’s philosophical and political construct was the destruction of the civil and private person and the absolute politicisation of a human’s body, mind and soul

    Like Keynes who followed him, Marx’s ideas afforded a horde of megalomaniac ‘politicians’ the apparent justification for taking away a person’s freedoms, placing people under total state control and destroying their liberties in all areas

    In effect human beings became little more than state property.

    Politicians embrace political power. They embrace the pursuit of power and the use of power. It is the nature of politics. Out function as private citizens in a liberal democracy is to impose limits and a degree of control on our this power is exercised. Marx’s ideas destroyed that balancing mechanism.

    Freedom of movement destroyed
    Free-will destroyed
    Freedom of speech destroyed
    Freedom of the press destroyed
    Your thoughts controlled by a state owned media
    Destruction of all democratic, civil and social freedoms

    The number murdered and killed in the name of Karl Marx surely numbers in the multi-millions and yet we still have to tolerate his name being bandied around as though his ideas represent some source of liberation

    The left-right narrative is a boon and a convenience to the left. The left have successfully convinced many that left equals good, virtuous and compassionate while right is the exact opposite. This narrative is a narrative. it is not a reflection of the real world. It is an intellectual contrivance presented as a fact.

    This so called gift and its acceptance is a disgrace. This philosopher’s ideas have led to the most appalling abuses, murder and destruction. And still his ideas are portrayed as virtuous. It is a failure of those who reject his ideas

    The deceit of Marxism. The lies of Marxism. The blatant use of propaganda and imagery to lull people and stunt their critical faculties. This is the true aim of Marxism and socialism. It is nothing less than the dehumanisation of every free thinking, free living individual

    The state does not grant me my freedoms. I assert my freedom as an individual human being. Politicians do not grant me my freedoms. It is not a gift afforded to me by a political master.

    The propaganda of his believers have successfully swept under the carpet the abuses committed by those who have embraced Marx’s ideas. Stalin and Mao murdered millions.

    Marx and his ideas are a stain on humanity.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      “The number murdered and killed in the name of Karl Marx”

      So how many people were killed and murdered over the centuries in the name of Jesus Christ? The propaganda of his believers has also successfully swept under the carpet the abuses committed by those who embraced his ideas.

  10. duncan
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    ‘Commentators are describing this as a stalemate. “Peak Corbyn” now follows “Peak May” into the pundit’s lexicon. Guido suspects that when the Tories change their leader, the public will shift decisively…’

    For once, I agree with Paul Staines. Time for a radical shift to destroy Corbyn and his band of merry Marxists

  11. charlesD
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Selfish uncaring 19th century capitalism and uncaring Czars brought poverty for a lot of people..then a lot of people looked for something else..then in turn the wrong types, at the head of the masses turned out to be more uncaring than the Capitalists, they put themselves at the head of this new ‘ism’ and build dachas in Black Sea resorts and murdered and imprisoned millions. Meanwhile three royal cousins went to war with each other and caused more millions to perish and nobody was held responsible- nobody was called to account..Later on Pol Pot and others murdered millions and the world looked on.

    It’s not the ‘isms’ that gets it wrong it’s people again.. just like Putin or Erdogan..or Pol Pot ..these autocrats would go with any ‘ism’ so long as they have the power.. therefore middle of the road is best if we can..and moderation in all things..

  12. agricola
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Marxism is a prescription for the degradation of the human spirit and it’s well being. You can include with it all the variants under the umbrella of communism., a failed religion.

    In terms of the UK you can include socialism, a tried and failed philosophy whenever it has gained power. Corbynism is just a more extreme version that I hope will never be given the opportunity to drag down the UK with it. None of the above can accept that for any collection of political ideas to work you must create wealth, both personal and national. You do not create wealth by killing the spirit of free enterprise that is inherent in the UK, but you do need to control it’s extremes so that everyone benefits. We still have a way to go in this respect.

    I find it ironic that mainstream politics tried to taint UKIP with racism, but the reality is that it has emerged in Corbyn’s socialism.

    I often think that political parties start with a menu and we then decide where we wish to dine. Would it not be better to list all those things that benefit the nation state and all the people that live in it, from which one could then create a political menu. Put the goal before the dogma, but make sure the goal is big enough to include everyone.

  13. Blake
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    So Boris is on his way over to the US to suck up to the americans..well I hope he uses a long handled spoon when he takes his soup and doesn’t get us embroiled again in any of these american israeli misadventures and not even for the promise of trade deals..as far as trumpism goes it is much better to steer clear of US madness for the next couple of years..what’s that you were saying about Marx?

  14. Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    ”……its central attack on inequality and privilege led directly to a worse kind of privilege, the privilege that accrued to the political leaders of communist states and to communist party members which was then enforced with violence against anyone who questioned their rule.”

    What does this remind you of – only without the violence? Yet.

  15. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “The Communist Manifesto” (1848) and Marx’s (attitude towards Jews ed) (see “On the Jewish Question” 1848 and “The Russian Loan” 1856) has inclined me toward the opinion that he would have sat comfortably in the Labour Party of today.

    Mr Corbyn has promised additional public holidays if he becomes Prime Minister. Let’s have one declared for 14th March to celebrate the death of Marx who was truly a revolting creature.

  16. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I read the Marx communist manifesto once, and thought it like the rantings of a student.
    Why the world should make such a big deal of puerile and fanciful ideas I don’t know.

  17. Peter Martin
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Marx didn’t have much to say about what should happen after capitalism but he did have a lot to say about capitalism itself. Which wasn’t at all negative. Such as:

    “Modern industry has established the world-market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its time, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages. We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.”

    It’s not just Marx’s proletarians who have , historically, had problems with ‘globalisation’. Conservatives, too, are often uneasy when free market liberatrian capitalists argue for such concepts as free movement of labour. From their POV it makes perfect sense. When employ local workers on high wages when you can have much cheaper labour from elsewhere?

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The Soviet Union was a system of “State Capitalism” rather than communism.The bolsheviks devoured American-authored books on industrial organisation and efficiency.In 1924 Stalin wrote:-

      “The combination of Russian revolutionary zeal and American efficiency is the essence of Leninism.”

      And Lenin has always struck me as being more of a descendant of Robespierre than Marx!

  18. Epíkouros
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    No doubt Corbyn and Mcdonnell would love to include that with a bit of Mao thrown in in the next Labour manifesto prior to the next election. These days it would not fall on so many deaf ears as in times past but not enough would be receptive to it so they will not. However if they gain power it is certain that they would seek to enact much of it into legislation. As you point out Marx’s philosophy was misguided in the extreme and the adoption of it even in diluted forms creates political, economic and social environments far worse than that which it seeks to replace. As for social justice, civil liberties, human rights and democracy these cease to exist in any meaningful form.

  19. Mark B
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Marx was a thinker and an idealist. He never had a proper job, a business or had anything of value. He lived off the charity of others and would never be the victim of that which he espoused for others. How kind.

    The intellectual class love him however. I can only guess why but, the late Professor Hawkins may have shinned a light on why. After the Glorious Referendum of 2016 in which many in the universities supported the EU, there was much surprise amongst the intellectuals that the great unwashed should reject such a noble project as they see it. Professor Hawkins pointed out that, they enjoyed a privileged position in a closed environment.

    It is also worth pointing out that many people in senior positions in the EU Commission were / are Communists.

    Marx was wrong. He like the a above never knew, only saw, how life was for ordinary people. He had no experience of working down a mine, in a field or a factory. And as we find time and time again, it is experience what matters most, not the fancy thoughts, ideas, qualifications and titles.

  20. Stred
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    My Eastern European friends escaped after their middle class parents were at risk of being abducted and never seen again. At university, students with parents in the party were favoured, while they were described as of unhealthy origin. They never saw their family again and faced 25 years imprisonment if they were to return. Their modest family house was confiscated and let to party officials relatives.,who wrecked it.

    It is hard to understand how some middle class teachers and lecturers can still believe in Marxism and spread their beliefs to their gullible students. The horrors of National Socialism are taught but not the fact that more murders and economic disasters occurred under Communism.

  21. Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Marxism is understandably popular with those who have nothing and no prospects of gaining anything. The oppressed masses in Russia, impoverished colonies etc.

    Post war consensus politics and One Nation Toryism in the UK realised this and shaped policy accordingly.

    The shift of wealth to a very small elite, the destruction of the middle class and so forth raise the possibility of a large segment of the population without sufficient commitment to the political status quo to prevent civil unrest.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Peter

      Marxism is great for the priviliged few politicians it supports, but at the expense of the masses who pay for it.

      Indeed fewer people benefit from this form of Politics than do under Capitalism, where at least you have some chance of helping yourself move forwards, and upwards.

      Shared wealth sounds great to many students who have nothing, but when they wise up and realise they are just sharing a poverty existence many then change their views.

      Corbyn and his ILK have never really grown up, they are still Lefty student protesters at heart.
      Amazing so many people have fallen for it !

    • APL
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Peter: “The shift of wealth to a very small elite,”

      Peter, that is a very common place refrain, especially at the BBC. Staffed by privileged members of the elite, by the way.

      And I recognise the statistics tend to support it. But, why don’t you put some names forward , you know, members of the elite?

      I’d start with Anthony Blair but I looked him up and he is only worth £60 million ( including ten homes ), although why someone needs more than one or two, is lost on me.

      So, sixty million is chicken feed when it comes to the ‘elite’.

      So, who is on your elite list?

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Greg Clark, Minister for Multinational Corporates:
    Individuals and small traders will pay import tariffs and duties according to EU rates when they consume goods imported from outside the EU, and need to reclaim them later
    Toyota will benefit from not having the complication of having to pay/reclaim tariffs on goods freely circulating between the EU and UK.

    Fair exchange?

    • anon
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      No.

      Small traders will end up in the position of not claiming or not getting the refund. This would become a cashcow for the EU and is designed to lock us in by the backdoor.

      Toyota can afford & is better able to manage any EU non barriers to trade .

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Which means non-EU countries won’t do trade deals with us separately, because consumers/small traders are de facto paying the EU tariff, and stifling their competitivity compared to EU suppliers, whose goods would continue to be freely circulated.

        How different is that to being in the EU customs union, but with no seat?

    • Richard
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Re the Toyota job loss scare story: as our kind host has said:
      “The UK industry runs a £13 bn surplus with the rest of the world and a £21.8bn deficit with the rest of the EU on vehicles. It also runs a £6.2bn a year deficit on components with the rest of the EU and is in balance on parts with the rest of the world. The EU has not been a good or easy market for the UK industry.”
      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/09/05/uk-manufacturing-looks-stronger-in-august/
      And although 80% cars made in the UK are exported (mostly to RoW), it is also true that 85% of the UK car market is taken up by (mainly EU) imports.
      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/03/17/movement-in-eu-thinking-on-brexit-and-populism/#comment-860687
      So in fact there is obviously much scope for import substitution by UK car manufacturers in the event of ‘No Deal’. And expected FTA place of origin rules are causing component manufacturers (eg (i) Gestamp announced a new Midlands manufacturing facility & (ii) Nissan’s suppliers) to onshore to the UK.

      Questions should be asked in the HoC about the statements made by Mr Clark today.

    • stred
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Greg Clark gives the impression of being a ‘clerk’. He understands the detail but cannot understand the overall picture. Large companies, with large containers full of parts, do not have a problem with electronic paperwork to manufacture tariff free assembly. How can an ex Libdumdum become a minister?

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    How have a Corbyn and his acolytes not grown out of their childish acceptance of these tenets?

    A naive student trying to impress a crush with their fairness and faux intellect I can understand spouting this dross but anyone with life and work experience should know better.

    Especially anyone owning property in Islington or Hayes.

  24. Diplomat
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Germany should present China in return with a statue of Chiang Kai-shek who did so much for river and water resources in China

  25. NHSGP
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The height of delusion is think that you make people richer by taking their money and giving it to someone else.

    Equally, consent matters. Not that the Tories, Labour or the Lib Dems think that other people have the right of consent.

    Like Marx all three parties still think they have the right to slave labour.

    • Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      ”…height of’delusion…. make people richer by taking their money and giving it to someone else.”

      Does THIS remind you of any ‘organisation’ not a million miles from here?

      • APL
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        L Jones: “Does THIS remind you of any ‘organisation’ not a million miles from here?”

        The Tory party?

  26. Bad Marx, no ticks
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The best critique of Marx was by a fellow socialist, theoretically at least, more aware of how power corrupts
    “…the Social-Democratic party of German workers, headed by a duumvirate invested with dictatorial power–Marx and Engels…” ~ Bakunin.
    “When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called “the People’s Stick”.~ Bakunin

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Yes.Bakunin was a Russian revolutionary anarchist who broke with Marx early on and correctly predicted how the actuality of Marxism would turn out- “worse than the worst tsar”-and is much admired by modern libertarians.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The Marxist Labour politician John McDonnell was on TV on the Andrew Marr show this morning, and he said that his party “wants to negotiate a customs union” with the EU, and “that will solve the Northern Ireland border problem”.

    It suggests we have made some progress over recent months, albeit at a snail’s pace, that Andrew Marr then questioned whether the/a customs union alone would be enough to solve that supposedly intractable problem, whereupon John McDonnell admitted that Labour also wants to keep us “as close to the Single Market as possible”.

    Later the Business Secretary Greg Clarke was interviewed and he fretted about Toyota bringing in car parts through Dover and not wanting that smooth and easy flow disrupted, and claimed for unclear reasons that the civil service’s preferred “customs partnership” would mean that Toyota could continue to avoid border checks and paperwork.

    Again and again Andrew Marr kept returning to “the two alternative options on the table”, the most stupid of which is the one strongly preferred by Theresa May, who has followed her Prime Ministerial predecessor by going into the pages of the Sun to make her vow to the people, although perhaps understandably without using the same language of a “cast iron guarantee”:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/6220497/theresa-may-britain-out-eu-customs-union/

    “PM’S CUSTOMS VOW Theresa May vows to get Britain out of the EU Customs Union as soon as possible”

    “The PM has brushed off fears she has gone soft on Brexit and spoken of her ‘absolute determination’ to get out of the EU Customs Union by the end of 2020”

    Let’s be clear about this, anybody who wants us to stay in the EU Customs Union wants the EU to continue to run our trade policy for us “as a logical consequence”:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/05/05/the-local-election-results/#comment-933427

    and in my view any such person is not even fit to be in our national Parliament.

    As for the supposedly intractable problems at the Northern Ireland border and also at Dover pro-EU senior civil servants seem to have started by ruling out the “do nothing or as little as possible at the borders” option and instead have decoyed the government into a choice between two alternatives both of which are designed to be traps.

    For a quarter of a century since the advent of the EU Single Market we’ve allowed goods to flow in from the EU without intercepting and checking them at the borders, so where will be the pressing necessity to change that just because we ourselves will no longer be in the EU or its Customs Union or its Single Market?

    Will those car parts being brought in by Toyota without any checks at the border suddenly need to be checked? Will their hauliers immediately start to smuggle in contraband, or to engage in people trafficking, to an extent which they are not doing now while we are in the EU, and will Toyota be unwilling or unable to deal with that sudden unexpected collateral damage from Brexit? Or is Greg Clarke concerned that this disreputable company Toyota could not be trusted to pay any new customs duty which the UK government might decide to impose on the parts they are bringing in from the continent? And how would it help to continue to impose EU tariffs on everything we import from outside the EU?

    All this is the most unspeakable garbage, none of it makes any sense at all, even I find it shocking that apparently ministers and MPs can be so easily led by the nose by pro-EU civil servants, and to be frank I’m getting really fed up hearing the same rubbish all the time without any common sense rebuttals coming from the government.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      And here’s some more rubbish from a prolific source of rubbish, pro-EU Tory rebel Anna Soubry MP saying that we should have EFTA and the EEA:

      https://www.conservativehome.com/video/2018/05/watch-soubry-i-dont-care-whether-you-call-it-a-customs-union-an-arrangement-a-partnership.html

      ignoring the reality that the EFTA countries are not in any customs union with the EU and the Irish government has long ago rejected anything resembling the “light touch” customs border arrangements between Norway and Sweden.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5695681/Theresa-tells-hard-Brexiters-plan-EU-customs-face-chaos.html

      “Mrs May’s No 10 Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins, has told her that the ‘partnership’ is the only idea which will allow the UK to cut new trade deals while avoiding the need for a hard border in Ireland – and is also the only plan likely to be accepted by the EU and voted through by the Commons.”

      So what about this plan, the simplest option which has been ruled out for no good reason, apart perhaps for being far too simple and so lacking the desired potential to create implementation delays stretching out into the distant future?

      “For our part we will do nothing new at the Irish border for the foreseeable future, nothing whatsoever to impede or even to monitor the present free flow of goods and people across the border from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland; if there are UK tariffs to be levied on the imports we will do all that away from the border, and if there is some evasion we will accept that minor financial loss; if the EU Commission is genuinely worried about the open border becoming a back door for what they see as contraband to enter the EU Single Market then we will pledge to take all effective legal and practical measures we can to help prevent or at least minimise that problem for them, and continuing with the existing full and sincere co-operation we have with the EU and Irish customs authorities.”

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    You’ve forgotten this, JR:

    http://www.euronews.com/2018/05/04/juncker-opens-exhibition-to-karl-marx

    “European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has opened a series of exhibitions in Karl Marx’s hometown of Trier.

    They include a huge bronze statue of Marx donated by China. It’s to be officially unveiled on Saturday; the 200th anniversary of the birth of the philosopher.

    The sculpture of Marx has proved somewhat controversial but Jean-Claude Juncker spoke in positive terms about him.

    “Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future had creative aspirations,” he said.

    “Today he stands for things, which he is not responsible for and which he didn’t cause, because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite.”

    The huge bronze figure is mounted on a pedestal directly in front of the former Marx family home. Chinese President Xi Jinping also praised him … “

    • Andy
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Juncker is a member of Luxembourg’s Christian Social People’s Party – a centre-right party. He leads the European People’s Party in the European Parliament. The UK Conservative Party used to be in the same group before they went bonkers, moved far to the right and became all but unelectable as a majority party.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        So where does that put the BNP then ? Are they Far FAR right ?

        You’re trying to constrict debate by smear

        • Andy
          Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          It’s fact, not smear.

          It is the UK Conservatives who have moved to the right everyone else has stayed where they were.

          You sound uncomfortable by move to the right. Good. You should be.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

            Labour under Corbyn have “stayed where they were” has got to be the most ridiculous statement.
            Not one political commentator would agree with you.
            Even the Guardian has run articles about the change in the Labour party.

          • APL
            Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            Edward2: “Labour under Corbyn have “stayed where they were” has got to be the most ridiculous statement.”

            And the runner up in the ‘most ridiculous statement’ competition must be:-

            “It is the UK Conservatives who have moved to the right .. “

      • Edward2
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        You see him as centre right but most see him as centre left.
        Junker is no Tory.

        When did the Conservatives “go bonkers and moved far to the right” ?
        I must have missed that….Cameron? May ?

        You do have some very very odd views Andy.

        • Andy
          Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

          It started under Cameron but it has gathered pace under May.

          When you are standing a long way to the right even the centre is well to your left.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            The Conservative party is not far right.
            Neither are Cameron and May
            I cannot think of any political commentator that would agree with you.

  29. Norman
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I was privileged to see first-hand, the outworking of Marxism during a 2-week tour as a government official in early 1989, to a certain East European state run on Stalinist lines. I always said, it was one thing to read about, but to see it first hand was a dreadful shock. The atmosphere of gloom, oppression, economic dysfunction, and an amorality except as defined by the state, impacted every waking moment of these poor people – most of whom longed to be free, but were powerless to achieve it. They were forced to live the lie, much the same as in North Korea, today.
    I note that Mr Junker was among those last week who spoke equivocally of Marx!
    Ideologies do not develop in a vacuum: they are a response to the overall human condition of their day. The benign influence of the Christian Gospel which came out of the Reformation, and later, the great evangelical revivals of Wesley, Whitfield and others, is said to have saved this country from violent revolution. It was much the same in America, notwithstanding the Civil War.
    Marxism is Anti-christian, as is post-modern liberalism. The EU is of a similar pagan spirit, though with a pseudo-religious veneer. All these despise genuine believers, and in the past, marginalized, imprisoned and killed them – and still do – albeit subtly, through their many proxies.
    There is a faint hope that an EU-liberated Britain will rediscover what made for her peace in the past – a widespread movement from within the hearts of individuals, nothing to do with any mere man.

    • Norman
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Dear John – having spent the day catching up on an audio-visual study on the rise of the Nazi’s and their brutal policies towards the Jews (& others), and their hatred towards their Marxist ideological opposite’s – whose work I saw first-hand in a visit to E. Europe in early 1989 – I have a heightened sense of horror against totalitarianism of any kind. In my earlier post, I set out why I thought Britain had escaped these terrible things.
      However, I realize that it’s so difficult nowadays to speak on certain issues in any political forum without being misconstrued, so I fully respect your wise moderation! Suffice it to say, we live in a dangerous world, where our cherished freedom is really so very fragile. Thank you for your understanding.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Norman,

      I visited Prague in 1989 for a conference as a guest of the then government but also in the presence of the later President Klaus and his wife who were no longer under house arrest. A highlight of the program was an a capella performance of Czech religious material and -unfortunately part of what you see as pagan, post modern liberal, etc- their spirituality was apparent. The shops were still empty but the people in refused to speak Russian (maybe mine was too rusty). Twenty years later, Russian was quite popular among the older shopkeepers. From some Lithuania, through Poland, both fission products of Czechoslovakia, Hungary etc, the population seems to reject secular capitalism and to like stronger protective state involvement (of course Christianity, of the Catholic persuasion is very much alive there among the older generation). Mostly areas that the Enblightenment did not touch and where democracy was absent completely before WWII, several authoritarians ruled between the wars and communist Quisling-types ruled until it became to hard for Russia to compete internationally. Then these orphan states joined the EU (with strong British encouragement) and never really felt at home in the paganism of the Western EU. Maybe Protestant England and Catholic Visegrads would be a good match?

      • Norman
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for your comment, Rien. Of course, we are touching on a huge subject, and the history of Europe and the Byzantine states to the East is fascinating, and a closed book to so many of us insular Britons. I would highlight two points from your remarks. The Czech Jan Hus, and the Moravian Brethren of Bohemia, were brave fore-runners of the Reformation, who had a huge impact in their day. Second, as you mention paganism in the west, is it not strange that statues outside EU buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg feature brazen depictions of Europa and Zeus (reminiscent of the woman riding the beast), and one of the buildings themselves modeled on the Tower of Babel?) Presumably this deliberately mocks those who would take Revelation 17 seriously.

  30. Rien Huizer
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It is not fair to have a go at a poorly qualified and largely self-taught German economist from an era when the discipline was still nascent. Marx has been an influential figure nonetheless, as was the also German “economist” List, the spiritual father of economic nationalism. Their main legacies are pockets of people who dislike markets and are looking for “superior” ways of economic governance. Statte ownership with Marx, national champions and protectionism for List. The two were combined (with some omissions and additions) in the concept of National Socialism, an ideology that is no longer en vogue.

    Let’s face it, people also celebrate Mother’s day, remember the war dead with pride or horror, etc. Clearly the Germans and Chinese celebrate Marx’ birthday for different reasons, I hope you agree.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for intelligent posting.

      Your posts chill me.

      Andy’s just make me laugh.

  31. Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    With the current fashion for wanting to destroy all statues representing the past which started in the US with the destruction of Civil War figures, and now extending to this country with calls for the destruction of Nelson’s Column, I believe that we should start with the destruction of all statues of Marx in the UK beginning with the one in Highgate Cemetery.

  32. Jack snell
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    So happy birthday..anď what’s Marx got to do with anything today..His was a gigantic failed experiment that fell at the first fence because it forgot to factor in depotism and nepotism

    Reply LIsten or read some of the Labour leadership who are influenced by all this

    • charlesD
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply..No I don’t believe a word..what Labour are at is sloganeering..when they get back into power all of these mad ideas about nationalising things will fall by the wayside just like Trumps great wall.. Corbyn is a bit mad but not that mad..all he want’s is to get into No 10..we are in the era of fake news..mind you I think he may well send McDonnell to siberia as an emmisary

  33. Allow mi awd China!
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Marx owed more to Lao Tzu than China owes to Marx. Though Karl Baby did not digest “Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.” —Lao Tzu

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Great comment.

      Lao Tzu was a brilliant thinker. Mainly, i think for showing that 1. things often aren’t black and white (although they often are too) 2. The nature of paradox in life 3. The importance of obliterating ego (as opposed to personality) – and in particular through trying to forget the ego. No expert on him, but his teachings were profound (and same for Confucious even though their teachings often so different).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        If our country focused more on Christ—and, Lao Tzu, Confucious, Rumi, and others, our country would be amazing.

        (And Christ did NOT come to abolish wealth, but to warn against being obsessed by wealth and not being honest in how we earn it and not being generous with it – I mean we don’t even need to Christ to tell us all this, scientific studies show us that money only makes us happy to a degree, and can then quickly make us very happy, economists tell us that greed leads to boom and bust, and writers, poets, artists and human experience tells us that money can be great and that it can also be very dangerous – like sex and power – all good but can be dangerous as well if we’re not careful).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          ‘scientific studies show us that money only makes us happy to a degree, and can then quickly make us very happy’ – can then quickly make us very unhappy i meant.’

          And certainly don’t suggest we all make enough money to make us happy and then stop and become hippies (Christ was no hippy). We need successful people in business, even if they have made lots of money (but where they’ve made the money incentivised like the Quakers by work ethic – and where work ethic brings a great happiness of its own), because they provide jobs for others, and lots of other benefits.

        • APL
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          Ed Mahony: “Christ did NOT come to abolish wealth, but to warn against being obsessed by wealth ”

          Agreed, it’s not money, but love of money that is the root of all evil.

  34. Sam Duncan
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Marxists always tell us that the evils perpetrated in its name had nothing to do with the man himself. They were a corruption of his noble ideas. Just the other day, at the unveiling of the statue in Trier, none other than Jean-Claude Juncker said he “wasn’t responsible for all the atrocities for which his supposed heirs must answer”.

    But how is the “property of rebels and emigrants” to be confiscated without force? How is the “equal requirement of all to labour” in these “industrial armies” to be achieved without some kind of conscription, and punishment for those who refuse? Why, inded, did he envisage rebels against his great popular revolution? What are people emigrating for? The gulag, the guard towers and attack dogs of the Berlin Wall’s “death zone”, the ban on fishing in Cuba lest the fishermen use their boats to escape… all are perfectly in line with the writings of Marx.

    The 19th-Century German liberal parliamentarian Eugen Richter read what Marx had to say, listened to the first generation of his followers, and foresaw how the whole sorry tale would unfold, almost perfectly, twenty-five years before the Russian revolution.

    • stred
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Marx made clear his intentions and is as responsible for the results ,as Hitler was for his. A stain upon humanity, supported by Corbyn and Momentum ,along with our universities.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      The most young and idealistic learn within months of say becoming a shop steward that they feel a certain sudden difference in their self-perception. Only later do they recognise it for what it is, their own un-equality. Why didn’t they elect some other equal person ?So the young person quickly abandons idealism and quits the socialist movement or carries on and becomes a Labour MP knowing from his own experience he is doing wrong.

  35. mancunius
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    ‘I believe there is a lot to learn from reading Kapital – yes, of course, there is….As has been recommended, not just by me but many others – mainstream economists as well.’ (John McDonnell, BBC Interview, 7 May 2017)
    ‘I am here to reject the politics of fear promoted by the British establishment who don’t want us to discuss the ideas of Marxism…Marxism is about developing democracy, but to have an honest debate we need to be able to cut through the lies about Marxism…To be considered of value, Ideas have to be relevant and of interest today. Ten years after the banking crash, interest in Marxism hasn’t declined, its increased…Marx’s ideas confront many of the issues that affect our people… this system is crisis-ridden… as Marx said, the massive extension of credit will only make it worse.’

    John McDonnell, at a commemorative celebration of Marx at SOAS, London, yesterday, 5 May 2018.

  36. Kenneth
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t youngsters work in factories?

    • Back to the future
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      For they are busy working unproductively, compulsorily, unpaid plus compulsory unpaid and unproductive overtime at home like a cottage weaver of yore only the latter was paid!

      • Kenneth
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Ha ha…but it was a serious point.

        We have a jaundiced view of youngsters doing some part time work especially in factories due to Dickens’ work and the BBC’s propaganda.

        However, getting some work experience and earning some money would suit some youngsters very well imho

        • Back to the future
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          Mine was a very serious point. Having children forced into doing clerical work, unpaid, for long hours with a regime of such overbearing supervision and management would if they were older, even if paid, result in a violent Red revolution. And, I would join it!!!!! It is disgusting how we treat kids. We got so used to it ourselves we think it is normal.
          As to your “serious point”..PAID work , productive work,yes, if they must work and they must.

  37. Ron Olden
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    ‘Marxism’, in itself, is now irrelevant, because, as social theory, it’s been proven wrong.

    The truly bad people, are those who still hide behind it, despite the overwhelming conclusive evidence that adherence to it’s implied doctrines, keeps people poor and living in fear.

    But that’s nothing to do with ‘Marxism’ It’s all to do with most of its’ remaining adherents’ envy driven, hate complexes. If Marxism didn’t exist they’d invent something else.

    The idea of State Control of everything ‘for the common good’, however, long predated ‘Marxism’. And people today, who are not remotely ‘Marxist’ or even ‘egalitarian’, will still tell you that this or that, should be run by the State, or by some sort of ‘collective decision making process’ because it’s ‘too important’ not to be.

    It seems intuitively obvious that competition and choice is wasteful, and that there’s a simple, fair and obviously better way.

    But people who fall for it, forget that wealth has to be created before it can be shared out, and that socialism is hopeless at creating wealth.

    People don’t create wealth unless they get for themselves, what they want out of doing so. It’s not something that be done ‘communally’ because there’s no connection between cause and effect for the people best capable of doing it.

    Politicians need to understand that the best they can hope to do, is create an environment in which as much wealth as possible is created and then think up ways of sharing it out, so that we all get something, without killing the Goose that lays the eggs.

    And Socialists are always looking at what someone else is getting out of some economic transaction, rather the celebrating the fact that everyone getting something that they otherwise wouldn’t.

    For Socialists, however, as long as we’re all equally poor that fine. But if one person’s income doubles, whilst another’s goes up 1000 fold that’s ‘obscene’.

    It’s also ‘obscene’ to inherit tens of millions of pounds from your parents and pay ‘only’ 40% tax on it, but it’s ‘good fortune’ to win the same amount on a Lottery and pay no tax at all on the win

    The Joseph Rowntree Foundation definition of ‘poverty’, states, that in any year when everyone in the country gets richer, ‘poverty’ has nevertheless still risen, unless every single person has got richer by the same amount and the very poorest people here are still richer than ¾ of the Global population.

    Whereas if everyone gets poorer, but the richest people get poorer fastest, ‘poverty’ has fallen!!

    There’s a word for all this. It’s ENVY.

  38. PaulW
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Rees-mogg today he’s not sounding like his usual plummy self..things must be hotting up there..strange but I havn’t heard much from Duncan Smith lately either..and with Fox and Gove zipping in and out of No.10 I would love to know what’s really going on..maybe first sighting of the cliff edge? Strange again how decades of whinging and EU bashing have brought us to this..

    • Richard
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      You ignore IDS’s article from yesterday:
      “As John Curtice pointed out, we have been reminded that “the electorate that [the Conservative Party] now has is disproportionately a Leave electorate… 70 per cent of the Conservative vote are people that voted Leave…it has to deliver Brexit.”

      This is a vital point as we consider the electoral landscape, and understand what the future holds. The Conservative Party is the Brexit Party – and our future is inextricably tied up with whether we indeed deliver Brexit.”

      IDS also discusses the merits/demerits of the New Customs Partnership in detail.
      https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2018/05/iain-duncan-smith-downing-street-will-make-a-mistake-if-it-seeks-to-cling-to-the-discredited-unworkable-and-defeated-customs-partnership.html

      • Andy
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Yes. IDS again putting the interests of the Conservative party ahead of the interests of the country.

        70% of Conservative voters in the local elections backed Leave. And the Conservatives got 35% of the vote. So that’s 24.5% of the electorate which backed Leave. Add on another few percent who supported the dead UKIP – and, we’ll be generous and give you a third of Labour’s vote, and you reach about 42% who still back Leave.

        No wonder you are scared of a second referendum. Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck. That’s the sound of Leave chickens.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          Very odd statistics.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      PaulW

      No matter how much coming and going into Number 10, Mrs May will push forward with her version, or rather her advisors (Oily and others) version of what they want, until it all ends in tears.

      If she pushes forward with her version and remains as Prime Minister the Conservative Party may get a very rude awakening indeed at the next General Election.

      Like Cameron she could be a hero, but also like him she will been seen as a complete failure if we are still tied to the EU in any meaningful way.

      I hope for the best, but unfortunately fear the worst.

    • Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      It’s obvious that we only know as much as the media decide to tell us. We can’t be shown all places at once, and know everything – we are dependent on these news outlets. We then have to sift what we’re given.

      But we shouldn’t believe that nothing is happening just because the press has decided not to tell us everything. Each medium has its own agenda, after all.

  39. margaret
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Marks cared for the people and that is what I take out of it. Equality is a strange concept . I myself feel as though I am equal to all . I am sure I don’t meet the income of some but that is not an issue for myself. I would not wish to abolish private enterprise , but like most things there is a time and a place . The thing I don’t approve of is the seductive powers of employers as they hold the purse strings and ‘we will bow to you as you pay the wages even if you are corrupt and less intelligent than us.’

    I love the non judgemental, but paradoxically I can categorically say I am toffee nosed and think myself above criminals , rapists and those who wish to harm others . Yes! they are my inferiors. As a lover of Kant , my schema excludes these lower morons. Manchester and London in the last couple of years have been at the butt of an ideology gone wrong. They are below us in deed .

    I love an old English Oxford accent . I love Rees Mogg’s accent. My heroine as far as a beautiful speaking voice is concerned is Honeysuckle Weeks. I love listening to Dr Lucy Worsley . Accents though have little to do with the democratic ideology . This is the playground of the bigots .

    We still need that embarrassing, not talked of thing though.’ Love . ‘

  40. rose
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Will our left wing broadcasters remember to mention Adam Smith’s 300th birthday?

  41. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Apologies for me going on about are we prepared for Brexit and all that. This is your private website. And I shouldn’t do that. And I appreciate that you and others are working really hard on Brexit. Thank you for allowing me to post.

    Best wishes.

  42. Dennis Zoff
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    John

    Interesting summary, thank you.

    Question: In which country has Marxism, in any of its variants, been truly successful?….though Corblimy would no doubt suggest Venezuela is a true example of communism/socialism success…..they just need lots more of the same to truly succeed?

    Genuine anecdote:

    My wife’s family originally came from the DDR in the sixties…last of the few that managed to get through before the concrete wall sealed their fate. However, to assist their ruse they came to West Germany penniless, having to leave their home and all their personal belongings, to ensure the Stazi believed their explanation that it was only for a short vacation to visit their family. My wife’s father was on the Stazi interest list “as a possible political dissenter; which he was” and it was only a question of time before his time was up, hence the need to flee. A very close call indeed!

    It came as no surprise to my wife’s family when Erich Honecker’s villa was raided, post-regime collapse, to discover in the cellar hoards of the best of the best from the west….he had a very luxurious lifestyle; this while the common DDR citizens waited hours in long queues for the bare essentials.

    To survive in the DDR, one had to be totally unquestioning and demonstrably obedient to the Government. The DDR’s main trick was convincing (brainwashing) the youth against the so-called ills of capitalism and communism as their saviour. The EU has, arguably, introduced a similar youth programme – Erasmus+ “Minds and souls”

    Incidentally, my Hungarian uncle (by marriage) had a similar escape in the late fifties, though he chose to come to England. It is very difficult for free thinking Westerners to fully understand/grasp the real evil of communism, unless they have been subjected to its most vile extremes! The EU is slowly giving us a glimpse of their particular version of communism…and it does not look very nice?

    Above is just a simple example of the bare-faced double standards lie of Communism. Nicolae Ceaușescu is another example, plus many other Communist Dictators with whom everybody is familiar with.

    Clearly, an excellent example of George Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

  43. nigel seymour
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    When I was in school we had Great Britain, The United Kingdom & The British Isles. I would welcome NI and ROI unification but doubt this will happen in my lifetime. We could then be become THE GREAT BRITISH ISLES…

    We now have the EU and in particular Barnier doing whatever they can to stop Brexit or at least dilute it to the extent that we continue to bow to EU rule. May isn’t helping the decision of 17.4m voters to make a clean break and is playing into EU political hands. Greg Clarke is nothing more that a Gov sounding board for remainers hoping that their ref tide will turn and we will stay shackled to EU political ideology.

  44. Kev
    Posted May 13, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Marx was a great man, with a view perhaps a 1000 years ahead of his time.
    When I look at the poor families in England and in fact in most of Europe or even USA I see nothing has changed for them since the industtial revolution. They still need to go to food banks, can’t afford a decent house, lack access to good university education, etc etc. So how capitalism has done any good for them?

    Reply Living standards are on average much higher now than then and most people who need it do benefit from social protection – benefits, social housing etc that were not available in 1800

    • Kev
      Posted May 14, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Social housing like Grenfell is more of a shame than something to be proud of.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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