Friday, April 24, 2009

Reading Capital

The biggest danger of Karl Marx is that his argument against capitalism is so powerful it evokes sympathy towards any authority that will "abolish" it.

Needless to say, harboring a priori sympathy for authority is very bad; it should also go without saying that the newer varieties are always cultivated in response to their older, better understood peers. Marx felt and understood the immorality of capitalism very well, but apparently did not anticipate the raw recruiting power this put in the hands of political agents likely to construct an analogous monopoly within the state. Looking back, this seems kind of dumb.

To their credit, this is one score the anarchists got right, even if they precipitated little more than their own slaughter and persecution by sticking to it. A cynic might say this is what anarchists do best; an idealist that "do no harm" is no small accomplishment in Bolshevik Russia. Remember that someone is always ready to advance their career unreflective of the authority which facilitates it: I mean, it's a job, dude. Humans are quick to learn which way the wind blows, but few are resolved to oppose it on principle.

1 comment:

penthimos said...

Well, I oppose the wind on principle!

—Save the Oocytes