On occasion when I tune into professional, i.e. academic discussions in my field I still find the same depressingly monotonous Marxist claptrap I’ve heard for decades. Never mind that Marx has conclusively been proven wrong on just about everything as history has unfolded. His inane “theories” still have a hold on these people, most of whom have never even read him. (As you’ll see below the best antidote to Marx is actually having to read him). Adam Smith, on the other hand was a prescient and authentic genius who has been proven right on just about everything. His work is still quite readable and relevant to our times, but outside of economics departments he is hardly known.
Marx is not an important “thinker” by any standard. Nor does he rate highly as a philosopher, political economist, or theorist based upon substance, reason and relevance. Nevertheless he has been historically consequential, evidenced by the death and misery caused to hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century at the hands of the Communists. That impact does not, however, warrant placing him in the big leagues of political philosophy alongside Aristotle or Hobbes, where many academics still insist he belongs, despite his mediocrity.
When I was in graduate school in a political theory course it came about that the Professor assigned us to actually read Das Kapital page by page. Naturally all the lefty students were delighted. They were actually going to “read” Marx! Well a day or two into some of the most boring and obscure text ever written the enthusiasm level rapidly declined the more they read, and by the end of that torturous seminar there wasn’t a “Marxist” left in the class. The time to store this charlatan in the dustbin of history is long overdue, and those still clinging to these obsolete concepts should justly meet with derision.
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