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Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism Paperback – May 17, 2004
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“A criticism from the Left was that it was over-optimistic to hope for ‘social capitalism.’ Well, perhaps. But capitalism is all we’ve got and Meghnad Desai’s book Marx’s Revenge, published by Verso, is brilliantly timed.”—William Keegan, The Observer
“Marx, if we did but know it, is the prophet and advocate of globalization.”—Will Hutton, Independent Magazine
“A stimulating, judicious and learned book, at times provocative and merry, but, above all, thoughtful on where the world has come from ... and the errors and breakthroughs of judgement which allow us to treat our economic world with enhanced self-consciousness.”—Development Policy Review
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Our author, Meghnad Desai, shocks marxist revolutionaries and romantic anti-capitalists everywhere when, at the very beginning of the book (p. 3), he tells us that Marx would prefer the market to rule the economy rather than the state ruling the economy. "The idea that socialism would be brought about by the state was alien to everything he stood for. (p. 4)" Yes, I agree. The market forces us to be free(r); in the name of security, states (socialist or otherwise) must always hide that freedom from us. Marx thought that the market forces us to find both our independence (from God and State) and our interdependence, and therefore, our Humanity. - And who knows? Then, eventually, perhaps one day to dialectically change even that!
Unlike our romantic anti-capitalists, Marx was a progressive and an admirer of technology. As one of the two greatest dialecticians (he stood Hegels dialectic right side up) of the nineteenth century he knew full well that nothing in the material or social world disappears by magic. Regarding the change from the capitalist mode of production to the socialist mode of production Desai argues throughout this book that the genuinely Marxist understanding is that "any particular mode disappeared only after its full potential had been exhausted... (p. 7)" And our author adds that there isn't anything that can change that.
In a nutshell, it is this that our author is trying to prove throughout this book. He is arguing that Capitalisms full potential has yet to be realized! The notion that Marx could have supported the Russian Revolution as it historically developed, that is, socialism being foisted upon a non-capitalist state out of the blue, without any other socialist states in europe, is silly -if not hilarious.Read more ›