Marxism seems to be popular again. In 2008, at the time of the financial meltdown, Karl Marx’s masterpiece Das Kapital was reissued in Germany by the academic publisher Karl-Dietz-Verlag and became a bestseller. A manga comic based on the book was created in Japan and it became a bestseller, too. In 2011, the prominent British intellectual Terry Eagleton came up with the title Why Marx Was Right. Evidently, Marxism is undergoing an unexpected at first sight reassessment. Here is an explanation why.
Karl Marx’s contribution
First of all, to make things clearer, we should emphasize on the fact that Marxism has little to do with the corrupted Soviet elite of the Post-Stalinist era that was rather feudal. Second, we should see through the scientific approach that Marx used in order to write Das Kapital. He united economics, politics and philosophy in order to improve the science of political economy that was created by Adam Smith in the 18th century. Thus, the German author created the most significant critique of capitalism ever since. What is more, his interpretation of reality (known as dialectical materialism) is actually confirmed by modern-day science as long as scientists are successfully exploring the material basis of all phenomena instead of explaining the world with religious nonsense. Evidently, Marx was way ahead of his time.
What the great philosopher was not right about was his expectation of the forthcoming end of capitalism – he expected that it was just about to end because of the severe social contradictions. But capitalism became transnational and social contradictions changed. This served as blood transfusion for the system – the number of blue collar workers in the big capitalist countries decreased by means of outsourcing the dirtier jobs to the third world. Marx perfectly knew that technical progress changed the structure of society in the past but he did not foresee that it would change them in the future. Nevertheless, the present severe contradictions between the third world and the developed countries make Marx’s theory actual again and give it a new meaning.
Instead of a conclusion
We live on the borderline of a major change in the political and economic life. A matrix of development that used to work for centuries seems to have become obsolete. Karl Marx was the first to envision that there will be a need for a change. Under the complicated circumstances of our time, it is good to take Marx’s concepts of history and development into consideration.