Marx? Not as we know him… or, why bother quoting from Das Kapital when you can make up any old rubbish? January 28, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Marxism, Society, Uncategorized.
I was at a meeting last week when someone asked me had I received the email doing the rounds with the quote from Marx that prophesied the current financial crisis. No was my response, what was in it? The person was a bit vague, but apparently Marx had foreseen all the details including the collapse of banks, their nationalisation and ultimately how communism would be the only answer.
Now, I could have been cheered, but somehow I didn’t recall anything about ‘nationalisation of the banks’ as an aspect of Marx’s thesis, or at least not in that precise formulation. Or indeed the idea that banks would collapse. That level of detail, or rather that oddity, didn’t strike me as ringing entirely true.
So I asked them to forward me it…
Here it is in all its glory…
“Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”
Karl Marx, 1867
Got to love the date… but curiously no reference to the original text is given. Which is hardly surprising since it’s a construct in every detail. It’s all over the internet if you google it, but this post at least recognises it for what it is…
I guess I could still be cheered that a broad non-Marxist, or non-Marxist influenced, swathe of the population is at least being exposed to his name, if not his actual thinking, but I’m not really. It just seems to me that whoever ‘composed’ the piece threw it in because it was the only oppositional handle they could think of.
And I haven’t found the energy to say anything about it to my colleague.