Requiem for Marx
After the fall of communism, and certainly after this wide-ranging demolition of Marxism by Austrian scholars, who can possibly defend Marxism? Plenty of people, many of them smart otherwise but uneducated in economics. This book is the antidote, covering the whole history of this nutty and dangerous system of thought.
It begins by an alternately hilarious and tragic introduction by the editor Yuri Maltsev. He describes in vivid detail life in the Soviet Union, which, he points out contrary to myth, was indeed an attempt to realize Marx's vision. Of course the system moved away from the strict doctrine, lest everyone in the country be reduced to the most primitive possible economic conditions. He describes a society in which nothing works, ethics and morals collapse, and absurdities abound in every aspect of daily life. It is a priceless first-hand account.
Next come sweeping essays by David Gordon and Hans-Hermann Hoppe that get into the guts of the Marxian system and show where it went wrong from both a philosophical and economic perspective. Hoppe in particular here shows how Marx took classical liberal doctrine on the state and misapplied it in ways that contradicted all logic and experience.
Gary North provides a devastating look at Marx the man, while Ralph Raico zeros in on the Marxian doctrine of class. Finally, and as a triumphant finish, Rothbard offers a wholesale revision of the basis of Marxism. It was not economics, he says. It was the longing for a universal upheaval to overthrow all things we know about the world and replace it with a crazed fantasy based secular/religious longings. Rothbard finds all this in the unknown writings of Marx and his post-millennial predecessors in the history of ideas.
Mises Institute, 1993