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.
This book made its first appearance in 1992, and has been out of print all these years. It is fantastic to have it back and available in this very affordable edition.
The cabal of writers in this piece work tirelessly to show the inherent flaws of the traditional Marxian doctrine. I like to see Marxism as being divided into three distinct sections which are: Labour theory of value (the economic), metaphysical alienation (the philosophy) and historical materialism (the history). All three combine in such a way to form the basis for Marxian introspection upon the world before us, around us and ahead of us as a society. Take but one away and Marxism is severely lacking in its explanatory powers and this is precise what this work does for the reader. Each author takes a fragment of each of these three subdivisions and shows it inadequacy in terms of reason and logic. Marx's economic theories, his philosophical theories, his historical theories, even Marx himself are rebuked in such a concise fashion that it leaves little room to argue against the writers of this work. This is truly a classic piece of literature in the library of anti-Marxian works.
This book is amazing. Its a systematic analysis of Marxism and is packed full of information which should give anyone plenty of ammo to argue against Marx and his "theories".
The review below sums this book up perfectly but we do differ slightly in our opinions. Im not overly fond of the chapter about Marx's life. Even though i do think it was enlightening i think the author at times puts too much of his opinion into it. I know this will suit/please some people but i believe it would have been better if written from a colder point of view.
However the rest of the chapters are brilliant. I even like the intro were Yuri tells us about his life in Russia, and the extremes some people would go to in order to make a living and even feed themselves.
My favourite chapter is the 4th on Marxist Method and Mercantilism. I feel as though its given me a much better understanding of capitalism as well as helping me win many arguments against people who have tried to put it down.
I would love to hand this book to all Marxists and say “when youre done I hope you dont feel too bad about the time youve wasted on Marx”
It's extremely hard to find a book that tackles Marxism as a system. Most anti-Marxist books merely look at the horrors comitted by Marxist regimes while often trying to justify U.S. imperialism, all while never actually looking at Marxism itself as a system. This book rectifies that. The firs chapter deal with the some of the economic problems of Marxism such as the Labor Theory of Value, the role of profit, the failure of Marx to account for time-preference, social calculation, etc. It inquires critically and takes them all to task. The second chapter deals with the role of class conscioussness Hans Herman-Hoppe. The third one by Gary North is a real treat, a biography on Karl Marx, most notably his bourgeoise background. The next chapther is about the difference between Capitalism and Mercantilism, the failure of Marx to distinguish between the two as well as dissecting his ideas of historical materialism and inevetibility. The last two chapters in my opinion are the best. Ralph Raico's "The Classical Liberal Roots of the Doctrine of Classes" is a great history lesson to memorize lest you come across some Marxist with their own perverted brand of "class" and then you can educate them on where Marx really got the idea. Finally Murray N. Rothbard's "Marx: Communist as Religious Eschatologist" is actually quite chilling. It details the Christian Protestant origins of communism and how in the name of "unity, love, etc." and all those other lies megalomaniacs use in communism blasphemed the name of Christ in order to justify their madness and murder and how this eventually carried over to the power-lust of Hegel and the atheism of Marx. Ultimately though, this book is necessary to read and re-read and absorb so as to learn just how many fallacies there are in Marxism, which ones they are, and the how Marxism was evil from the get-go because of its roots in bloody millenial sects of centuries before.
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