The secret to Karl Marx’s success Part II: The Green Machine

From Ghosts On The Roof, Whittaker Chambers, page 177:

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS. These ideas [see Part I] were set forth in the 1848 Manifesto and developed in Das Kapital and other children of Karl Marx’s mind. The most interesting thing about these ideas is their success in the teeth of developments proving that Marx’s main assumptions were wrong. He assumed, for example, that the spectacular poverty of industrialist workers of his day would spread and deepen. The capitalist philosophers, who predicted rising living standards, were right. A hundred years after the Manifesto, however, the class struggle is sharper in spite of the fact that the living standard of the “exploited classes” is almost everywhere higher than it has ever been.
     The other day [1948] a keen U.S. observer, back from a year in Italy, was warning of the danger of a Marxist political victory there. A listener asked: “But when the Marshall Plan gets going, won’t rising living standards greatly reduce the unrest?” The observer replied: “Not necessarily. The discrepancy between the rich and the poor will still be there, and that is what counts.”
     Why? For over 2,000 years, a deep gulf between rich and poor had existed in Italy. Why had class conflict now hardened into its present menacing aspect? The answer, for Italy and everywhere, was that before The Machine poverty was suffered as inevitable; since The Machine promise of prosperity, poverty is regarded (with Marx’s prompting) as the result of a conspiracy.
     That is the secret of Marx’s success. The results may not be what Marx intended. In many countries, notably Britain, the consciousness of poverty results in a drive toward leveling, rather than toward revolution. The Machine is controlled in the interest of reducing the prosperity and power of the “exploiting classes,” rather than in the interest of abundance. Economic initiative, instead of being restricted by capitalist greed, is in danger of being fettered by proletarian envy.

Welcome to The Green Machine, my son.

When you add it all up
The tears and marrowbone
There’s an ounce of gold
And an ounce of pride in each ledger,…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s