This US History Sounds Marxist, And Also Basically True

Im_a_marxistCan something be basically Marxist and also basically true? Of course my answer is yes, because Marxism as a tool for analysis can sometimes be summed up as a ‘Follow The Money.’

As an economic and political system Marxism has – so far – been as awful a system as we humans can manage to create [possibly in a four-way tie with Fascism, Talibanism and whatever you’d like to call North Korea’s ‘Juche’ system.]

As political analysis, however, Marxism has much to lend to it. Primarily the view that we can understand major economic groups as sharing common interests that they will, in aggregrate, try to advance at the expense of other major economic groups. This article below strikes me as a largely accurate, Marxist, view of US History. Enjoy!

Defending Wealth in America article.

In other semi-related news, I’m slowly making my way through Piketty’s Capital. Very enjoyable so far, and I’ll do a review as soon as I can.


Please see related posts:

Inequality in America video

Book review of Plutocrats by Chrystia Freeland

TED talk of inequality from a Plutocrat



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2 Replies to “This US History Sounds Marxist, And Also Basically True”

  1. In fewer sentences, the author is arguing that the super-ultra-extra-rich are really good at preserving their wealth, and will even allow a few members of the bourgeoisie to have a taste of it, so long as they keep helping the super-ultra-extra-rich keep everyone else in shackles; at the end of the day, house-slaves are still just slaves.

  2. As history, this article is basically false.

    Just as an example, the author’s discussion of the adoption of the US Constitution repeats a flawed Marxist economic analysis from the early 20th century that was refuted in the 1958 book, “We The People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution.” In that book the author sets forth exhaustive economic analysis of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention and how they voted on key issues, finding that the truth is much more varied and rich than the crude Marxist reductionism represented here allows.

    While economics certainly played a role in the development of the Constitution, there were in fact many competing economic interests at the table. It wasn’t just the landed gentry who huddled together in Philadelphia to come up with a way to ensure they got paid while fooling everyone into thinking they were protecting liberty (like the linked article suggests). There was a mercantile interest, a farming interest, a debtor interest, a creditor interest, etc. All of the different interests involved had to compromise in order to come up with the final result, which was founded on the idea of enumerated powers, limited government, and protecting rights of individual liberty and property. In fact, many of the delegates voted in ways that promoted these principles but didn’t align with their own personal economic interests.

    But typical of Marxism, the author of the article takes a couple of kernels of truth and ignores reality, which is that the Constitution (and all of American history) can’t be reduced to a single interpretation.

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