MARXISM and Capitalism appear polar opposites in more than economic respects. Marxism is a political philosophy dressed up to look like science, while capitalism is neither. Marxism by its name is rooted in the writings of an impoverished exiled German journalist, while capitalism knows no true father, just a lot of supportive uncles. Marxism requires orthodoxy, and deviance can be fatal. Capitalism welcomes Darwinian variety. Marxism is utopian in theory and murderous in practice. Capitalism promotes cut-throat commercial rivalry, but delivers a pragmatic utopia.
Poverty in the Third World has been falling since the collapse of the USSR, as formerly socialist states embrace market reforms. Ironically this fall in deprivation in the Third World has accelerated since the banking crisis of 2008. The number of people living on a dollar a day is falling so rapidly that extreme poverty is expected to be eradicated by 2030 on current trends. Capitalism will Make Poverty History, Mr Geldof.
Yet cheerleaders for Marxism are flourishing. The explanation is that most of them are under 40, and thus have no direct knowledge of the existence of major Marxist countries, such as the USSR and its slave states. They are too young to have understood the loathing people living under Marxism had for that economic system, or if they do, they rationalise it by stating that Marxism has yet to be properly put into practice. Every failed Marxist state is denounced as ‘not real socialism’ by those who hang on Papa Karl’s every word. Young Marxists also unquestioningly absorb the ingrained culture of hate and support for communal violence that is the human evil at the heart of Marxism.
How to point out the error of their youthful ways? One possible method is through the medium of hip-hop and rap. The American Institute for Economic Research has produced a ten-minute rap video that pits Marx against Mises. For the uninitiated, Ludwig von Mises was the a champion of the Austrian School of economic thought, one of a generation of German-speaking economists who fled the continent for sanctuary in Anglo-Saxon countries which were more receptive to their ideas of economic liberty. There is a certain irony that the moribund Habsburg empire produced a disproportionate number of capitalism’s best cheerleaders, while Marxism hails from the centre of 19th-century global capitalism. But enough background. Here is the rap video:
Hold on, dear reader, I have more to offer you. While Marxism is economic arsenic, Keynesianism is more like statist heroin. While it does not kill immediately, it stupefies an economy and renders it addicted to the printing-press while inflation and malinvestment erodes its innards. About a decade ago, the distributor of economics-related media EconStories produced a critique of the neo-Keynsian methods used to address the banking crisis, methods which did not just reward abject failure but enriched it, as the freshly-printed banknotes backed by nothing were used to lift global banking out of a hole of its own making. Capitalism had not failed, it was a ‘broke banking system’. EconStories pitted John Maynard Keynes against one of Mises’s students and Mrs Thatcher’s favourite economist, Friedrich Hayek. Here’s the resultant rap:
Not content with one hit rap, EconStories produced another. Watch who wins the argument and who wins the bout:
At present, the UK seems to be being offered a choice between arsenic and heroin. Perhaps it is time to slam a book down on a table and declare our beliefs once again.