Showing posts from February, 2022

Mises vs. Marx

 Ludwig von Mises attempted to dismiss Marx's class analysis based on the fact that capitalists compete with each other for capital, for workers, and for customers. All that is true. And yet it does not refute Marx. Consider: the football players on the Bengals compete with each other for playing minutes. And yet when they go up against the Rams, they will all unite to help defeat this opponent. People can compete within some class, and yet unite as a class when faced with a challenge from a different class.

Would Marx have imagined this?

Faced with the prospect of revolt from the proletariat, the liberal state created a new class: the permanent underclass. Whereas proletarian man was connected to society only as a factor of production, underclass man is not even a factor of production. If proletarian man is like an ox, underclass man is like a rat or pigeon: living a separate existence on the fringes of human society, collecting whatever scraps and refuse come his way. But he serves a purpose: he is the canary in the coal mine for the worker. “Not happy working 40 hours a week in a repetitive, stressful factory job for a barely adequate wage? You better keep showing up for work, or you could wind up in that housing project you drive past in the morning, with your kids getting beat up on the way to school every week.” UPDATE: And of course, Marx saw that liberal reforms would serve to prop-up liberal society, not to genuinely reform it.