The History of Economic Thought: From Marx to Hayek

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2. The Emergence of Communism

  • The History of Economic Thought: From Marx to Hayek
January 13, 2006

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The roots of Marxism were in messianic communism. Marx’s devotion to communism was his crucial point.  Violent, worldwide revolution, in Marx’s version made by the oppressed proletariat, would be the instrument of the advent of his millennium, communism.

All visions of communism include certain features. Private property is eliminated, individualism goes by the board, individuality is flattened, all property is owned and controlled communally, and the individual units of the new collective organism are in some vague way equal to one another.

Marx’s portrayal of raw communism is very like the monstrous regimes imposed by the coercive Anabaptists of the sixteenth century. Marx never explains how a system of total greed becomes transformed into total greedlessness.  Marx’s poems reflected militant atheism. A hatred of God as creator greater than himself apparently inspired Marx.

The second in a series of six lectures on the History of Economic Thought.

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