Thursday, 2 April 2009

Tendence Groucho

I seem to remember that before the current crisis a number (well perhaps just one) of economists were of the opinion that only a close reading of Karl Marx could explain Capitalism in its current state (and especially the bankers version of it) with any kind verisimilitude.

Somewhat later Christopher Hitchens has had a similar thought:
I learn that the pride of American capitalism has seized up and begun to rust, and that automobiles may cease even to be made in Detroit as a consequence of insane speculation in worthless paper "derivatives." Did I not once read somewhere about the bitter struggle between finance capital and industrial capital? The lines of jobless and hungry begin to lengthen, and what more potent image of those lines do we possess than that of the "reserve army" of the unemployed—capital's finest weapon in beating down the minimum wage and increasing the hours of the working week? A disturbance in a remote corner of the world market leads to chaos and panic at the very center of the system (and these symptoms are given a multiplier effect when the pangs begin at the center itself), and John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, doughty champions of capitalism at The Economist, admit straightforwardly in their book on the advantages of globalization that Marx, "as a prophet of the 'universal interdependence of nations,' as he called globalization ... can still seem startlingly relevant ... His description of globalization remains as sharp today as it was 150 years ago."

No comments: