Download this book at https://mises.org/sites/default/files/Requiem%20for%20Marx_2.pdf
or go to https://mises.org/library/requiem-marx-0
or go to https://mises.org/library/requiem-marx-0
Yuri Maltzev's Requiem for Marx is a wonderful and engaging book edited by Yuri Maltzev who worked as an Economist for Gorbachev. Here are some fascinating excerpts:
the West. "We should all be thankful to the Soviets," says Paul Craig Roberts, "because they have proved conclusively that socialism doesn't work. No one can say they didn't have enough
power or enough bureaucracy or enough planners or they didn't go far enough."
A young man from a peasant family I knew had heard that market activity was legal, and decided to raise a pig to sell in the market. For six months, this hopeful entrepreneur devoted his time and money to caring for it and feeding it, hoping he would earn twice his money back by selling it. Never was a man so happy as when he took the pig to market one morning. That night I found him drunk and depressed. He was not a drinker, so I asked him what happened. When he arrived at the market, a health inspector immediately chopped off a third of the pig. The inspector said he was looking for worms. Then the police came and picked the best part of it, and left without even saying thank you. He had to pay bribes to the officials in charge of the market to get a space to sell what was left. And he had to sell the meat at state prices. By the end of the day, he earned barely enough to buy one bottle of vodka, which he had just finished drinking. This was Gorbachev's new market in a nutshell.
Western academics and media pundits found his support for socialism charming, if a little outdated. But the people who lived under the system felt differently. They knew socialism had proven itself the most destructive ideology in human history-responsible for untold millions of deaths. For those populations onto whom socialism had been imposed, it had impoverished them, wiped out their cultural heritage, and in many cases, resulted in massive bloodshed.
The sad legacy of Marxism is the mind set of certain people, both in the East and West, who believe that the state can cure all economic ills and bring about social justice. Yet a return to
central management under whatever label is not the solution, but neither is the status quo. What is needed in the former Soviet Union and Soviet-client states is a wholesale repudiation of the legacy of Marx. In the United States, too, Marx's ideas influenced a generation of reformers during the Progressive Era (out of which came modern central banking and the progressive income tax), the New Deal, the Great Society, and continues to infect departments of literature and sociology in major universities. Remarkable even after the fall of Soviet and East European social regimes, Marxism has not lost all its academic cache.
The greatest irony regarding the massive amount of published attention that is squandered on Karl Marx is this: Engels was the indispensable partner in the history of Communism, not Marx. Engels was ahead of Marx conceptually from the beginning, although he was two years younger. He became a communist a year before Marx did. He became interested in the economic conditions of industrial civilization before Marx did; his Condition of the Working Class in England was the book that in 1845 converted Marx to the theory of the economic foundations of the revolution. There is at least a reasonable suspicion that he and Marx together worked out the idea of the materialist conception of history, although Marx is usually given credit for the discovery. Joseph Schumpeter, after dutifully doffing his intellectual cap to Marx's greater "depth of comprehension and analytic power," then observes that "In those years Engels was certainly farther along, as an economist, than
was Marx." Engels co-authored The German Ideology. He co-authored the Communist Manifesto (1848). He ghost wrote many of Marx's journalism pieces to help earn him some extra money. He had a lively writing style and the ability to turn a phrase. He also knew how to make and keep money. Marx possessed neither skill.
Karl Marx's life serves as testimony to the failure of bad ideas. The only people who still take his ideas seriously are bourgeois intellectuals, heretical middle-class pastors, and power-seekers who want to become tyrants for life-the kind of people Marx despised, that is, people very much like himself. On the bourgeois dole for his entire life, he spent his days criticizing the very economic structure which permitted him his leisure time: capitalism....Had bourgeois London not given him a place to hide and work-we would never have heard of this third-rate materialist philosopher and fourth-rate classical economist.
Karl Marx was the foremost hater and most incessant whiner in the history of Western Civilization. He was a spoiled, over-educated brat who never grew up; he just grew more shrill as he grew older. His lifelong hatred and whining have led to the deaths (so far) of perhaps a hundred million people, depending on how many people perished under Mao's tyranny. We will probably never know.
Wilhelm Windelband devoted only two brief bibliographical entries and part of one paragraph to Marx and Engels in his 1901 History of Philosophy. The fact is, Marx had very little influence prior
to 1917, especially in the United States. Had it not been for Lenin, references to Marx would be limited to a series of obscure footnotes, rather than a library of books.
Marx emphatically rejected those utopian socialists who sought to arrive at communism through a gradual and evolutionary process, through a steady advancement of the good. Instead, Marx harked back to the apocalyptics, the post-millennial coercive German and Dutch Anabaptists of the sixteenth century, to the millennial sects during the English Civil War, and to the various groups of pre-millennial Christians who foresaw a bloody Armageddon at the last days, before the millennium could be established.