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Home | Blog | The well-read Marxist

The well-read Marxist

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09/06/2008

One of my favorite websites is the Marxists Internet Archive (marxists.org). The folks there maintain a huge volume of Marxist writings. In addition, they provide online books and articles that are essential to the well-read Marxist -- as well as the free market Misesian looking to do some research.

One of those books is from none other than Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. That's right, the site includes a free version of his Karl Marx and the Close of His System. And they give the book fair treatment with this summary:

Written in 1896 for a series of independent Essays on Political Science, Böhm-Bawerk's work has held up as a classic criticism of Marxist economic theory. In Capital Vol I., Marx explained the profits of capital as resulting from surplus value. He left open the problem of explaining how capitalists with differing ratios of labor to machinery can have similar profits, a contradiction to be resolved in further works. Marx, in Capital Vol III, takes up the matter again, but according to Böhm-Bawerk's essay, does not resolve the issue logically. He concludes with a critique of his contemporary, Werner Sombart's interpretation of Marx in Sombart's essay, "Zur Kritik des ökonomischen Systems von Karl Marx".

Ironically, while the site claims to maintain over 8 gigabytes of written material, it's this one book that turns the rest of the Marxist scholarship into nothing more than interesting relics of our past. Yet the Marxists continue on, just like our two major parties and their continual rehashing of the same old economic nonsense. It must be tough being an ideologue in the face of a Böhm-Bawerk or Ron Paul. Of course, invalid theories and a pocket full of scapegoats have worked for centuries.

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