Economic Update: The Contributions of Karl Marx (Part I)

Economic Update: The Contributions of Karl Marx (Part I)

Welcome to part one of a four-part
series on the work and the contribution made by Karl Marx. We do this now because
it’s the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, but of course the real
reason we do it, is because we think that that work, that criticism of the
capitalist economic system, remains a source of important insights, that can be
useful for all of those who want to make a better world out of the one we’re now
living in and through. Before I start, I have to acknowledge what I’m sure you
all know, that words like Marx and Marxism, socialism, communism, and all that,
have been scare words for an awful lot of us for many years. The cold war that
erupted after 1945, and pretty much the whole time since, has been a time when
words like that were associated with scary other countries, scary dangers to
various aspects of the way we live, and so they inspired a mixture of fear and
anxiety, and the way that worked out for an awful lot of Americans, and indeed
people elsewhere too, was a decision not to pay any attention to the work of Karl
Marx, not to read it, not to think about it,
and unfortunately that meant we didn’t learn from it. So let me begin by
explaining briefly what it is we can learn. Karl Marx was a critic of
capitalism. He didn’t like the system, and he basically thought that the human race
could and should do better, and so he spent his adult life explaining and
analyzing for all the rest of us, what it was that he found
inadequate about capitalism, where exactly he thought we could and should
do better, and to present that as clearly and persuasively as, I think, he knew how.
Why should we pay attention to the critic? And well the answer is simple:
critics have their perspective. It’s different from the perspective of people
who like something, and the way an intelligent person goes about dealing
with a difficult topic, is to interrogate and to investigate what the people
believe who like it, but also what the people believe who don’t like it, and
then we draw our own conclusions. It’s a little bit like wanting to understand
the family that lives up the road, mama, Papa, and the two kids that they have.
Even though we know one kid thinks it’s the greatest family there ever was, and
the other one thinks it’s a basket case of psychological dysfunction, if we’re
gonna study the family, we wouldn’t choose to talk to one child, neither the
one or the other, what we would do if we were honest, would be to talk to both
children, hear what they have to say, ask questions, and then draw our own
conclusions about that family, making the best judgment we can. Well, likewise, so it
is with capitalism. We study in this country of the United States, but in
other countries too, we have plenty of folks who help us study what’s good
about it, what they like about it, what’s positive. But a well-rounded
understanding, an honest engagement with the system we live in, would require us
to look at critics as well. And for the last 200 years, the leading critic has
been Karl Marx, more than any other person.
He’s as important on the side of criticizing capitalism, as folks like
Adam Smith, and Ricardo, and John Millet Maynard Keynes, are on the side of those
who think capitalism really is the best thing since sliced bread. So let’s jump
right in. What motivated Karl Marx as a young man
growing up in the middle of the 19th century as he did? Well the answer is: the
goals of the French and American revolutions. He said so many times. He
loved the slogan of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity,
brotherhood. He loved the idea of the American Revolution, democracy, and he
wanted those things to be realized in modern society, in the middle of the 19th
century Europe, where he grew up and lived his life. But he lived at a time
when he was becoming doubtful of a basic idea, that had grown up since the French
and American Revolution, and this idea was, that we would get rid of the old
systems of slavery and feudalism, masters and slaves, and lords and serfs, was now
behind us, we would have a new world, a capitalist world, where the two players
were employers and employees, no longer unfree slaves, no longer unfree serfs. And
by having capitalism replace feudalism and slavery, we would usher in a world of
liberty, equality, fraternity and democracy. Well Karl Marx, coming fifty to
a hundred years later, says, well we got the capitalism all right, but the promise
that capitalism would mean and would deliver liberty, equality, fraternity and
democracy, well, it has not happened. Karl Marx looked around the Europe of his
time, in the middle of the century, and what he saw is pretty much what was
written down, for example in the novels of Charles Dickens. He saw an enormous
gap between a relatively small part of the population, that was well-off, well
educated, literate and comfortable, and on the other a mass of workers in
the industries and the factories, who were none of those things, who were poor,
who were uneducated, who were illiterate, and who were suffering; and he felt the
betrayal. It’s not too strong a word. Capitalism had betrayed in his view, the
promise that had led so many people that he admired, to support the end of
feudalism, and the end of slavery, and they welcomed they all offered to a
capitalism, because it promised liberty, equality, fraternity, and democracy. And so
he set himself a goal: what happened was the great question for him. Why did
capitalism not bring the promise? Why had it failed to do that? And the research he
undertook, which he then wrote up, is what we have now as a criticism of capitalism,
because what he basically discovered and wrote about, was that capitalism not only
wasn’t the vehicle for bringing to be into being, liberty, equality, fraternity,
and democracy, it was in fact an obstacle to realizing those lofty goals, which
Marx never stopped saluting and making his goals as well. Well what does it mean
to be a critic of capitalism? It means that he found in capitalism, and this is
what we’re going to study in our discussions in parts two, three, and four
of this series, he found in capitalism the elements of a system that made it
impossible to have liberty, equality, fraternity, and democracy. He felt that
capitalism blocked, prevented, thwarted whatever progress in those directions
human beings had achieved; and that led him of
course to the conclusion: that in order to get closer to liberty, equality,
fraternity, and democracy, we had to go to a different kind of system, one that was
fundamentally different from capitalism, and for reasons that he will explain and
would explain to us, that was for him the task; and to summarize in this first
introductory presentation, what it was he found, it runs roughly like this: in the
slavery we reject, human beings were divided into two groups, masters and
slaves. The wealth, the power, the cultural dominance, was in the hands of the
Masters. The slaves literally were property of those other people. The
society was shaped, governed run by the masters, for the system’s reproduction
over time. Masters wanted to stay masters; masters wanted their children to be
masters in turn. If you were born into that society as a slave, you were a slave,
and your children would be slaves. For Marx, this was an abhorrent system, and he
rejected it. The same applies to feudalism. There the two positions you
could occupy, were either the Lord, who owned, and operated, and ran, and dominated,
much like the masters had in slavery, but the mass of other people weren’t the
property of the Lord. They were free, at least in relationship to what slaves had
been. But, they were serfs. If you were born to a family of serfs, you were ipso
facto a serf too. The two positions were a minority of lords, and a majority of
serfs, like a minority of masters and a majority of slaves.
Now here comes Marx’s punchline: capitalism he said, wasn’t successful in
breaking out of that model. A few who dominate, a mass who don’t. All that
capitalism did, he said, was to replace the dichotomies of master/slave, Lord/serf, with a new one. It was different, and in that difference, there’s lots of
important lessons. It was different because, what? The minority, which was
still there, had a new name: they were called employers; and the majority also
had a new name: they were called employees. But, when you look closely at
this system, Marx said, it’s very much like the slavery and the feudalism, which
it overthrew, because the dominant role in society, is again played by the
employers. They control the politicians; they control the direction of social
development; they make all the decisions in the workplace; they run the show; they
dominated; and the mass of people are subordinated. And so Marx said, we have to
ask how and why this system of employer-employee, which we call
capitalism, was unable to realize the liberty, equality, fraternity, and
democracy that it had promised. What is it about the relationship between the
employer and the employee, that reproduces a society bedeviled by
instability, conflict, tension, inequality, the absence of fraternity, and a mockery
of the notion of democracy, starting right in the work place, where all the
power to decide what to produce, how to produce, where to produce, what to do
with the profits, is made by a tiny group of people at the top, whereas everybody
who works producing those very profits, has no say at all. That’s not democracy;
that is its opposite. Lastly, let me point out, before we get into the nuts and
bolts of what Marx’s contribution was in analyzing capitalism, because that’s what
he did in his life, let me make it clear one other reason why it’s worth looking
at his contributions. Marx died in 1883, so roughly, a hundred and forty years ago.
That’s not very long at historical time, but in that relatively short period of
140 years, Marx’s ideas spread to every country on the face of this planet.
People in the most completely different economic, political, and cultural
conditions, found enormous meaning in what Marx wrote. That’s why in every
country, there are Marxist organizations, Marxist unions, Marxist newspapers,
Marxists societies, Marxist political parties, and so on. For me, to be able to
come before you, and say let’s look at what this man has to say, is simply to be
able to say, here and now to you, what has been effectively said to literally every
peoples on this earth. If they all found the meaning in it, my guess is we can and
we will do it; and that’s what this fourth, four-part series is intended to
do. Well, we’ve come to the end of part one of these four parts. I hope you found
it interesting and worthwhile, and that you will join with us in taking a look
at the other parts as well. Toward that end, please be sure to visit
that’s patreon/economicupdate, our regular
radio and television program. There you will find the subsequent installments of
this four-part series; and remember, we value our Patreon community, those of you
that follow us in this way, that’s why we are producing special programs like this, and of
course, please remember also to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,
and on our websites, and Thank you
for your attention, and let’s turn now to part 2.

100 thoughts on “Economic Update: The Contributions of Karl Marx (Part I)

  1. Hey Professor Wolff, why don't you tell these "saints" that you know of that will invent new products and services, who are willing to hire people just to share their profits with their employees? They must be hiding somewhere, right?

  2. Continue doing the hard work you do Professor Wolff. I have started listening to your Economic Updates as they come. You are doing society a great service by aiding in the development of class consciousness.

  3. The ruling class (slave owners) won't give it up without a fight. The results would be well worth the fight IMO. Things have gotten to the point where we have less and less to loose.

  4. "….slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborer, while the European plan, ……is capital control of labor by controlling wages. THIS CAN BE DONE BY CONTROLLING THE MONEY."

    – Hazard Circular, 1862

  5. As far as I know Marx said that his idea of a revolution would not work in the Rhinelands (where he studied), because there it already is like his idea of a revolution would make it. So in a way instead of saying "Marxism" one could say "Rheinische Lebensart" ("rhenish way to live").

    Also, isn't every little company where the boss knows all his employees and treats them with respect more marxist than they would admit?

  6. The "Marxism is responsible for X-million about of deaths" Is one of the most foolish pieces of propaganda still believed by people that has ever been spread. The various tens of millions numbers which are completely vacuous have no basis in reality. The numbers includes all the deaths of the Chinese and Russian civil wars. (wars which where furthered and funded by the capitalist opposition.) All of the deaths of WW2, in both China and Russia, as well as deaths from starvation and famine as a direct result of WW2. Notice how the famines and starvation ceased to exist by the time these countries had rebuilt. Then you do have instances of pure insanity and mass murder such as the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, what is overlooked however is the equally bloody and genocidal wars carried out by capitalists at the exact same time, such as the Bodo League massacre in Korea or the anti-communist genocide in east Timor.

    There is absolutely nothing in socialist or communist philosophy that advocates murder or violence against people. In fact quite the opposite, it encourages the liberation of working people. The victims of anti- communist propaganda clearly believe that Communist ideology rivals or exceeds the evils of Fascism or Nazi ideology. This is unequivocally false. However the propaganda, spread of course by the wealthy capitalists in order to solidify their power and wealth has been highly effective in spreading misinformation lies and fear regarding a economic system that benefits the many over the few. Should this be surprising at all? Do people think when feudalism was ending, and anti-monarchy groups formed that the lords and ladies kings and queens gave a fair assessment of their opposition? However when the capitalists tell you what to think of their critics it is taken on faith. . People now are starting to realize that their masters haven't been honest.

  7. any one want to take a whack at this article.

  8. Dr. Wolff, I am beginning to see the solutions that were always engrained in my heart. This philosophy is based on 'humans being'. Capitalism is premised on values and rules gaming on 'being human'. There is definitely a clear distinction.

  9. you withhold important ideas and information unless people give you money. i understand the realities of life in the US but this is no way to build a socialist movement. you are playing into the enemy. think about it. there are other ways. your stats like views, subscriptions and patrons mean nothing, they are metrics used by the system you seek to over throw. real movements transcend the need for money. you will go no where except paying some people a salary while no real change occurs.

  10. Wolff and Marx are both wrong. The problem is liberalism. This is why Neo-Marxian's are much better because they critique liberalism. Liberal hegemony is what keeps the capitalist system in place and makes it resistant to change, it gives it is brutal form, it protects and tolerates social ills, inequality, exploitation, and injustice. Without liberalism capitalism would be easily amendable to socialism. Sure knowing critiques of capitalism is good, but knowing how to critique liberalism is better and the MOST necessary. For instance FDR was NOT a hero. He was the biggest traitor to the socialist cause. He is the reason there is no socialist or labor party in the USA. In fact in his own words his policies were to save liberalism from itself. Negative liberty is at odds with equality and solidarity. Liberalism is an ideological tool that was invented to protect the wealth, property, and power of the upper classes. It is fundamentally an anti-collectivist ideology. Its a shame that professor Wolff is so ignorant of our ruling ideology

  11. Shop at or support at
    Because Capitalism. I know everyone has bills to pay, but I'm not playing, or paying, for this.
    Talk is cheap. Either walk it or….?

  12. I came to consensus-democratic (non-coercive) socialism by way of the Gospels and Acts; however, understanding Marxism is valuable, though you don't have to agree with all things Marx. I sure disagree with plenty he wrote.

  13. Change your channel name to socialism at work. Your question, What is the difference between master/slave and employer/employee? Property rights, An employee can earn capital, save, and invest to start his or her own business and compete against that employer in a free market so long as government intervention dose not pick winners and losers creating "too big to fail" monopolies .

  14. The World Socialist Web Site had a spectacular online rally celebrating Marx birthday/ May Day this afternoon…

  15. How excatly was Marx in favour of democracy if he yearned for the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat"?

  16. The German word for employer is ‘Arbeitgeber’, translated as work-giver, and employee is Arbeitnehmer, work-taker.

  17. I would like to know in every instance that Karl Marx system was used why is it that people took advantage of it manipulator that and then ended up killing millions of people in the name of it? It being communism. Is it just some sort of inherent parasitic quality in the human being that just ends up becoming a monster since they have complete control the people and they're completely disarmed that they could now do whatever they want them every sick desire, every moral Act? Why did these men Stalin and Mao in the name of Communism kill Millions upon hundreds of millions of people? I would like some opinions on that thank you

  18. Thank you. Marxism makes so much sense. Capitalism has a dark ruthless side that is now accelerating with winners and loser in the extreme. Impulsive unchecked wealth and greed without a social or government regulation to humanize the money made by millionaires.

  19. Communism is antithetical to Liberty and freedom. You slander the Statue of Liberty in your evil propaganda.

  20. Rot in hell Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro. Evil dictators inspired by the rants of misguided ignorant philosophers Marx and others.

  21. In Feudalism, the workers were the serfs and they were exploited by the lords. In Slavery, the workers were the slaves and they were exploited by the masters. In Capitalism, the workers are the employees and they are exploited by the employers. All three systems have different levels of freedom but they all have a relationship between the few explorers and the many exploited.

    But the problem is the same as Monarchy, if the king is good the kingdom is good, if the king is bad the kingdom is bad. We all like to see this heroic warrior that fights to become a great king, marry the princess and live happily ever after. But we never get to see what happens next, will his sons or grandsons be great kings? If not, the next generations would have to spend their whole lifes with that king. That's why we started Democracy. If the "king" is bad we can vote for another, in periods of 4 years.

    The same thing goes with Lords, Masters and Employers, If they are good their "kingdoms" will be good, but if they are bad their "kingdoms" will be bad. A master could voluntarly give a good house to a slave, educate him, allow him to start a family and a business, and own the slave by paper to protect him from the system (like a rich father). Ownership is not the worst part, if your owner is good! The worst part is EXPLOITATION. It's when the Lord, Master, Employer ("kings"), takes advantage of their position of privilege to exploit the less privileged. But even if they are good, someday they will die and someone else inherits the throne. And there's no guaranty that the new owner will be good. We need to end Monarchy at work!

  22. Hi everybody. FACT: Serfdom was Land Ownership! "Liberating the Serfs" was the first Double Speak. Peasants Wanted to be Serfs! it was an Entitlement. Being BORN a Serf was what made it so Secure. They were Born with Rights to the Land. The Land belonged to them contractually. The Serfs insisted that the Local Parish Churches maintain copies of the Contracts. You see, in most Serfdom Contracts the Serf was only obliged to provide the Lord of the manner so many bags of grain, and about two days of Labor in a year. Yes, just Two Days! (the French call it 'corvee' ) and the Serfs would even complain about that. that is how good they had it. Then, as the 18th and 19th Centuries progressed, so did Agrarian Technology. The land became much more productive, but the Contracts remained the same. The Serfs were able to pay off their due and have enough left over so that they could purchase decent cloths and even get nice saddle horses and stuff. Oh, remember, that when Serfdom began as in institution, Europe was largely None Monetary. Money didn't come actively into play until the Crusades forced all of the Knights and Lords to go into debt for armor and weapons. that required cash money. Up until then everything was barter in kind, and so the Serfs would have to agree to a none monetary deal of some kind, wouldn't they. But as the Productivity of the Land went up and up it became more of a concern for the Lords to somehow Break their Contracts with the Serfs. So they were Liberated and Kicked off their Land which they had as much contractual Right to as any Lord of a Manner. And I am surprised that Professor Wolff is so ignorant in this regards. Just see when it happened. The Serfs were Liberated at about the same time as the Lords were expropriating the Commons. It was all part of the same rip off.

  23. Capitalism is so entrenched now I don't see how we can possibly achieve any modicum of equality. With oil companies declaring eminent domain for private gain, on property all over the country (including that which is sovereign native American land), it apppears corporations have nearly unlimited power.

  24. Dr. Wolff I’m proud to consider myself a pupil of your interpretation of Marxian thought. When I was a teenager I followed Chairman Mao’s interpretation of Marxian thought, I read Communist Manifesto but found Chairman Mao put Marx’s critiques in a form easier for me to understand. Society has hit some hard limits and if we want to survive we are going to have to reexamine our views on Marx. I’m not sure if I will read any of Marx’s writings anytime soon I am going to read Nomi P. “Collusion” and Dr. Horne’s two books next. I’m going to Patreon tonight and watch the next three episodes of this informative series.

  25. Karl Marx the greatest thinker ever who did the best to free humenity!,,
    Long live his flosefiy!,
    And thank U Profesor Peter Wolf for your efforts in presenting Karl Marx🌹👍✌️

  26. I like the EU………mug! All Hail The Scarlet Banner Exactly….every day millions suffer and die because of the failure of capitalism to meet their needs.

  27. The obstacle to the realization of true democracy, to true equality of opportunity, was captured in one of Winston Churchill's early campaign speeches, while he was still with the Radicals during the first decade of the 20th century. Here is what Churchill had to say:

    "It is quite true that land monopoly is not the only monopoly which exists, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies – it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly. It is quite true that unearned increments in land are not the only form of unearned or undeserved profit which individuals are able to secure; but it is the principal form of unearned increment which is derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but which are positively detrimental to the general public.

    "Land, which is a necessity of human existence, which is the original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, which is fixed in geographical position. Land, I say, differs from all other forms of property in these primary and fundamental conditions.

    "Nothing is more amusing than to watch the efforts of our monopolist opponents to prove that other forms of property and increment are exactly the same and are similar in all respects to the unearned increment in land."

    Monopoly in all its forms, and particularly the monopoly of land and natural resources, is the reason so-called capitalism never delivered on its promise. Marx agreed that the rent of land needed to be publicly collected, but he never seemed to fully understand (as did Henry George and even Winston Churchill) the full potential of this measure to change the course of history.

  28. Richard Wolff, I'm starting a new socialist government. Will you join me, and help promote The 7C Constitution? Sign the petition

  29. Appreciate if you like the comment so Richard can hopefully see it.

    Dear Prof. Wolff,

    I have read a comment on facebook that rich is exploiting even people who don't produce anything but go to work. Here is the comment:
    "It is human farming. They farm a portion of your time. So even if you don't do anything, just sitting there and getting paid means you are giving a part of your time as money circulates. It is designed to steal from you either you produce something or not. Then many humans giving a percent of their time to a minority makes the minority more advantaged over you each passing day. You may think giving money to you even if you don't produce anything is bad for them, but they are not giving you anything, they print the money from thin air, the producers of the goods that you buy with that money are the ones who give you. So the rich owners don't lose anything, they took a portion from the producers, and they took a portion from the consumers, they are parasites. Parasites to people and to Earth. So they are more than happy inventing bullshit jobs for you as long as there are extra goods around. The rich is not after goods, they are after your time, after your consent, they are after establishing a mechanism that they can dominate over you and make the decisions. Their end goal is not to have more goods, but to dominate over you. They feed on the circulation of money, by making you a happy consumer, the portion they get makes them richer and richer."

    Is this true? What are the mechanisms that the rich can exploit even the workers that don't produce anything? Is it by bank interests, or government tax maybe invested to the rich? IN what ways are we being exploited?

    Thank you.

  30. Capitalism is a system which allows any of you to establish a business and share the means of production with your workers. I wonder why no socialist has ever done that…

  31. EU has the effect on me like Saturday morning cartoons for a kid (without the fantasy). It takes precedent over nearly all else and with utmost excitement and interest. The opposite of democracy is "Tyranny".

  32. Astue as ever professor,i look forward to the next part celerbrating the great man,it's long over due Americans once again embraced Marxism.

  33. You people better take your asses to latin america i live in a capitalist country and i want it tp stay that way. Why in the hell would i want to be like everyone else my individuality is what makes me happy and keeps me from hurting others that i disagree with.

  34. I would love to see a long debate between Prof. Richard Wolff and Dr. Jordan Peterson. I just wonder what this two great minds can learn from each other.

  35. Speaking of "scare-words", why do we not hear anything about the distinction between Capitalism and it's dominant, if corrupted form better known as Fascism, practiced almost exclusively in the procedures of the banking, military, education, medical, insurance and law enforcement institutions?

  36. Marxism = Racism
    Karl Marx was a 19c , racist, rapst, bully, and drunk.

    Marxism has been completely debunked as a fraudulent mode of analyses or social construction. Unless you are building a racist, dysfunctional culture administered by sociopaths, Marxism has nothing to offer except lies and misry.

    That “Marxism” is taken seriously is indicative of a deeply impoverished intellectual life, and one that is associated with ever-greater liabilities for those institutions that promote such nonsense as a legitimate field of study or “research”.

    All these poor Marxists can do is attack, critique, and complain about free societies, most often by attacking the invented straw man “capitalism”. Someone should point out that there is no such thing as “capitalism”, if it can be said to exist at all, it is at best a secondary set of characteristics that healthy, open, trust cultivating societies (ie. Judeo-Christian cultures) develop in relation to their economic development.

    Poor old marxisits may never understand, it is pathetic, but for all their endless criticizing they have never never come close to establishing a successful Marxist society themselves, except of course North Korea their shinning exemplar and longest lasting model.

    Karl Marx’s anti –Semitic “economic/social” theories always fail. Recalling the Marxist socialist utopias of the USSR( remember that "super-power"), East Germany (remember them), Albania, Yugoslavia (remember them), North Korea, Cambodia, Czechoslovakia (remember them), Romania, Somalia, Ethiopia, China, Cuba, Mugabe land, Venezuela all evidence the absolute and appalling failures of Marx’s hate based envy/theft “theories”.
    The failure of Marxist theory is so complete that if a Marxist society needs economic growth they are compelled to imitate the economic models of the west. The self-serving and crude aping of the economic models intrinsic to open western societies in closed Marxist one party systems breeds a whole new layer of structural corruption as China has so clearly evidenced. The end result is for many is really worst of both worlds.

    The Oxford scholar Leszek Kołakowski an ex-marxist who escaped the from behind the iron curtain, exposed some of the hypocrisy of Marxist “theory” in his critical text Main Currents of Marxism, it provides an analysis of the origins, philosophical roots of Marxist “theory”.

    Kolakowski describes Marxism as "the greatest fantasy of the twentieth century", a dream of a perfect society, which became a foundation for "a monstrous edifice of lies, exploitation and oppression." From the torture gulags of the USSR and the killing fields of Cambodia to todays food riots in Venezuela, and the toxic self-righteousness of Antifata violence the appalling failures and cultural offensiveness of Marxist dementia can never be overstated.

    Karl Marx was a mentally unstable ego-centric individual, his self- aggrandizing writings model a rhetorically closed self-justifying system, subjective definitions, an absence of natural economic or independent price signals, lack of internal consistency, the pagan wackiness of “historical materialism”, sectarian intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism a series of rather glaring epistemological problems and so on. It was just so much egocentric nuttiness.

    Marxism is a new form of anti-Semitic Racism

    In all Karl Marx’s " writings" it is very difficult to miss his anti-Semitic bigotry, take this quote from his 1844 essay “On the Jewish Question,” or as it is also known " A world without Jews" which clearly establishes Karl Marx as an anti-Semitic racist.
    "What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general." …….The words of Karl Marx clearly anti-Semitic, and words which underscores his obsession with Jewishness and economic culture.

    Although most economists laugh at Marxist economic “theory” , as they do at most of his nutty writings , but in one aspect of Karl’s writing he was quite noteworthy.
    Bernard Lewis of Princeton University and a leading American scholar has described Marx’s "On the Jewish Question" as "one of the classics of anti-Semitic propaganda”. This is as close to success as Marx ever got, as a writer of anti-Semitic racism.

    Marx considered Jews to be the embodiment of capitalism and the representation of all its evils, his ‘critique” of capitalism is in reality anti-Semitism veiled in social /class /economic mumbo-jumbo. Karl’s obscuring rhetoric of class, capital, bankers, false consciousness, and so on hid the anti-Semitic characteristic of his ‘theories”.

    His theoretical mumbo-jumbo, is only useful in inspiring resentment and discord focused on those classes of society where Jews are highly represented, with the final “solution” a violence enforced social uniformity. As an economist, Karl was an unmitigated failure, as all countries that adopted his “theories” have found out, sadly after the demise of 200,million people.

    After writing " A world without Jews" Karl spent the rest of his life concocting screwy pseudo economic rationales for policies that inflicted disproportionate economic and social displacement on the Jewish people and culture followed by his own final solution of gradual “assimilation” and the elimination of the Jews as the answer to the “question” of the Jewish people. His mumbo jumbo, includes his ever- nutty “labour theory of value” , and his unique delusional utopianism as the eschatological “promised land”.

    Ardent Marxist have spent years covering up Karl Marx's racism, his raping the maid, his drinking, fraudulent “research”, deceitful politics, violent behavior, lack of personal hygiene, all to promote or defend his kooky ego aggrandizing theories, (that often “bolsters” their own low self esteem), and perpetuate his anti-Semitic bigotry.

    Today Marxist racists, (or as they are now known Cultural Marxists, the Politically Correct, or social liberals) still hate Israel, and rhetorically “high grade” the Jewish people using a host of rhetorical tactics and terms like “patriarchy” (as a pejorative) “the 1%”, “white males”, “bankers”, “capitalist class”, “critical theory” and so on. Virtually every aspect of Marxist “cultural policies” have a disproportionate negative impact on the Jewish people, the facts speak for themselves, Marxism is racism.

    Lenin the mass murder and close follower of Karl , loved the quote “ Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools” the inverse that “ Socialism is the anti-Semitism of a self-serving power class” is just as true. At the end of the day it is not possible to be a Marxist without being an anti-Semitic racist.

    Karl Marx’s multivariate hostility to Jewish and Judeo-Christian values that define open and free western societies (Christendom) is a manifestation of his explicit anti-Semitic racism, a racism as well documented as it is denied by his sadly deluded followers.

    It is the same left wing anti-Semitic racism that pervades the cultural Marxists and socialist to this day as an implicit / explicit racism. Recently this anti Semitic racism as expressed by the Labor Party of Great Britain has been in the news.

    Karl Marx’s anti-Semitism has been well documented, Marxism = Racism.
    It is all very sad, but very true.

    A helpful reading list regarding socialism as an expression of racism and other problems with marxist "theory".

    The Socialism of Fools?: Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism by William I Brustein and Louisa Roberts
    Karl Marx, Racist, By Weyl Nathaniel ( Recommended)
    The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich von Hayek
    A World Without Jews. By (the racist) Karl Marx
    The Open Society and its Enemies, by Karl Popper
    Marx's Religion of Revolution: Regeneration Through Chaos
    by Gary North PhD.
    Communist Eschatology, by Francis Nigel Lee PhD.
    Socialism, by Ludwig Von Mises
    Main Currents of Marxism, by Leszek Kołakowski

  37. NOT as good as Professor's UNSCRIPTED lectures.
    I love the honest passion expressed by this man.
    Do you have a ring I can kiss, sir?

  38. Of course, no mmind alone can develop a comprehensive evaluation or overview.
    Youn friedrich engels, who discovered severe problems with religion and its hierarchies (Feudalism is more rightly defined as : Exceutive(s), enforcing the status quo, Religion to offer reasons – or rather more accurately, fantasies for continuing to those whose lot is is to work essentially as Slaves for others), was connected with an industrial firm in Manchester, England.
    Although Fred's position was in management (of a thread factory), places like Manchester were perhaps some of the worst places on earth for pollution and living conditions.
    (those of us who do not and cannot live in urban areas understand this more deeply than those who do, but it was a terrible period, with child labor and no escape options.
    Engels involved his young self with attempting to unionize workers (he had, I believe already been exposed to Marx), and wrote "The condition Of The Working Class in England."
    Before continuing is is of extreme importance to mention his deep relationship with Mary Burns, a deeply heartfelt and passionate champion of the oppressed calss. They lived together (mongamously, but never married because mary recognized the problematic control of that institution by religion, preventing equality of women – it too, she realized, all-too easily created subjection, of women and children – that horror of no education, but a life of basic labor in the hellish environment of 19th century industrial England) harmoniously until her early death 20 years later.

    It must be remembered that Europe was quite different than US residents believe. in the 19th century, there was no unified Germany, no single Italy, and that French Revolution mentioned by Prof. Wolf, had failed descending into violent Jacobinism (think Guillotines for all), Napoleon's waste and devastation, war, two more attempts at French Revolution, of which the 1848 revolution had significant effect on the thinking of Marx and Engels, who had together worked to help workers organize – unionize. The revolutionary violence spread around Europe, and workers seeking tolerable and healthy living and working conditions were often violently suppressed.

    So Marx and Engels often became somewhat personae non gratae.

    It must also be remembered that all Europe's nations, duchys, principalities were relatively overpopulated, urbanized, and quite heavily policed. The strictures under which Marx and Engels worked as union organizers were rather coercive/totalitarian.

    Marx had also recognized such developments (Russian history would make my comment really longer, but the serfs had been freed from their complete land-bondage) as the serfs created communes. The second edition of Das Kapital thus had greater understanding of probably social change. Think of the Farmers' Cooperatives in the USA which more efficiently brought produce to market, and improved farmer conditions through social organization.

    In our own nations, we are seeing progress toward equality and social amity reversed, as the slow progression of new Deal, environmental, and proposed equality of opportunity agendas are suppressed by the oligarchic top 105 especially, and the servile violence of the willing slaves among the rest. Government has recognized that agriculture must be supported, but has used it in very capitalistic ways to exploit humans, animal, and nature, to create industrial ag growth economy, with subsidized shipments to far points of the earth – an extremely wasteful, and colonial type of structure.

    So, again, the issue is complex and interwoven, and simple human minds prefer the ease of coasting along in a hostile class-hate ferment, iinstead of respecting the integrity of other lives.
    Once Charles Darwin (and younger Alfred Wallace) came through clear observation, to the recognition that all biotic life had come about through changes. At first, this change was regarded as slow and incremental. Sometimes, however, radiation and evolution happens quite quickly in response to habitat vacuums. I believe that with education in thinking, humans will be better prepared to change their communities and territories in appropriate ways, sometimes slow, and sometimes fast.
    The Bernie Sanders thing almost caused change, but suppression by upper-class machination and lack of education, along with violent intolerance in the heart of the ignorant uneducated, caused an unfortunate reversal.

  39. Too bad Marx ended up being wrong about everything. The places with more capitalism have less poverty and more prosperity.

  40. Marx did NOT advocate for the end of the slavery of women. He did not consider female labor labor. It was simply not counted and considered "reproductive" in a nice little sleight of mind. He did not advocate even paying them. So who were the real slaves, the real chattel? Brotherhood indeed. Marx left half the population out of the discussion. This is how patriarchy is normalized. Why, Prof RD, does this constantly go without comment by all Marxists???

  41. in these times marxism depicts that pure communism will prevail, the co-op typeology of present communist ideology is partly towards that end but it too has its flaws as perniscious as rampant unbridled capitalism. such as robotic people, rhetoric ideals acceptance of mundane, the difference between the co-op and rampant capitalism is that from 99 percent of the worlds population being poor now the entire 199 percent of the world will be medeocre poor inequality will still be the main occupation of the entire worlds population inequality of evolve-ment. mediocrity will abound leading to race decay people will become despondent as there is no hope of evolving and final extinction. so the community led society marx see's has to be one of many facets of many races and subraces and not necessarily of one mind of one mind well sort of. Where one can choose ones own path like bolshevism, anarchy, marxism, feminism etc these were other systems tried, an intermixing of all of these may be the way to go to see which is the preferred system of governance we want or iis it. though it may be influenced by the abnormalities of unreasonable societies within, the individuated individual in an community of societies made up of community capitalist anarchic feminist will add counterbalance. this is perhaps how we become a type 1 civilisation only in that then there is no fear only fear of the impossible

  42. An educated idiot. It is capitalism and free enterprise that afforded you the opportunity to gain the education that you have and it is Marxism that robs Millions even billions of people from the freedom to realize their own potential because of the chains that Marx's ideologies place on them so that they feel that they can achieve because others are keeping them down..

  43. Serfs were slaves! Employees are slaves! You’re not calling them slaves, why? We are still slaves and everyone must say that! Then say capitalism is slavery! So it is illegal!!!

  44. Only an ignorant idealogue would compare free-will employees to slaves or serfs. Employees in capitalist societies are free to affiliate with other employers, as well as to go into business for themselves!!

  45. I'm reading your new book "Understanding Socialism" and have to say that your ability to inject nuance into the subject makes it an easy read. Thank you Professor Wolff.

  46. I have not read Karl Marx's book Capital. Someone I know who has, told me that nowhere in his writing does Marx talk about risk, which is an essential element of free enterprise. How does this element of risk factor into Marx's views? It does seem right that for those who take the risks in starting or growing a business, they should certainly be rewarded if it pays off, especially considering that it is they–not their employees–who have incurred the brunt of the risk.

    I am not a fan of the runaway train that capitalism has become in our society resulting in gross inequity between rich and poor, sometimes obscenely so, but neither do I think people should have incentive taken away from them who wish to take the risks of starting a business with the hope of future gain. Personally, I would love to see more businesses created that draw from the Mondragon model.

    I, too, long for a better model for our society that does not leave a huge percentage of people out in the cold. I am not an idealist, so I have no illusions of universal brotherhood any time soon. I recognize this is ultimately a moral issue and has to do with something that is the most difficult of all to change: the human heart.

    Love your podcasts.

  47. Marxism is a hatred of mans independent mind. The effect is poverty, totalitarian dictatership ,misery and mass murder. Marxism is an absurd claim that mindless ,selfless zombies produce wealth.

  48. it's an ironic way to start because don't you use "capitalism" as a bogyman? The problem with Marx is he didn't have a good understanding of math and never produced a working mathematically based model that could be verified with the scientific method. No one talks about Marx because if you try to read him – it is obvious on his face that he is incompetent.

    OK – it is easy to see where you have gone wrong. Like Marx – you are simply unable to think critically and produce rigorous work. derp. You don't even understand the basic term "capitalism". It is not a human creation – it is simply a mathematical description of natural human behavior.

  49. Thank you Professor, keep up the great work. I wish I had a class with you , But i'm not a night yet if you catch my drift.LOL Happy New Years to all.

  50. Capitalism failed because of its own internal contradictions. Capital getting concentrated into the hands of 1% is fundamentally BAD. The bright side to this day is : Even after spending 14M dollars they could not beat Kshama Sawant at City Council Elections of Seattle, WA.

  51. Well if you want to eliminate all slavery, you're going to stumble over life's realities. There simply has to be a form of benign slavery in order for everything to function properly. Lets take an obvious example : take a little baby born, now try and calculate the amount of effort it takes to get that child to eventually stand on their own economic feet… I'm sure a pretty accurate average can be calculated. Now can one describe this huge amount of effort, in any other way, as free labor ? No… I mean you cannot charge the child for that ! So here we encounter a form voluntary slavery that extrapolates to all other ladders leading to success in economics. Nobody starts out an expert. So here we see the apprentice, that cannot demand the wages of the qualified artisan, almost a perfect blueprint of the master salve relation…. A form of slavery no doubt but more nuanced. So economics is the tame horse of the cultural sphere which allows itself to be guided to a goal beneficial to everybody including the horse. Everybody gets to be the horse at some stage. LOL ! Rudolf Steiner talks of the "free gift" in the economy ; how purchase money goes through a second transformation as loan money and lastly turns into gift money ; the most fruitful form of money, on its way to expire. But nothing is free in reality or the whole thing would crash. What was spent on our upbringing, will be compensated for by looking after the old folks in turn, if only we can normalize society = separate culture from govt/law and economy.

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