osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

I'm seeing Marxian echoes in a lot of economic writing

An interesting trend in the economic writing I'm reading, which is popular literature written by economists and econ-savvy progressives, is about the inevitability of the corruption of the political process and the concentration of wealth, absent strong intervention by government to prevent this from happening.

What is interesting is that this is, unacknowledged, the foundational principle of Marx -- his "central contradiction." Marx postulates that it is because the financial interests will inevitably dominate, and are inherently unable to put in place reforms that break the cycle, the collapse of capitalist society is inevitable. Rather than attempt to delay this through inevitably weak and temporary reforms, workers should instead welcome the destruction of the capitalist state and embrace the socialist state where they control the means of production.

I still think Bakunin's and Hayek's criticism of the socialist state remain valid, but those don't go to the validity of the inevitability of the collapse of the capitalist economy. What matters in that instance, in my view, is the engaged citizenry. Where the engaged citizenry seeks not class consciousness, but to embrace a new social contract which creates suitable checks and balances in the cycle, it is possible to harness the enormous power of capitalism while averting the collapse.

Yes, this takes constant vigilance and a lot of maintenance. That's life.

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