Karl Marx, Illustration by Santy Gutierrez Illustration by Santy Gutierrez

Self-destructive tendency of capitalism – Brian Leiter explains how to think about Marx

When people think about Karl Marx today, they often lose sight of several important things, argues philosopher and legal scholar, Brian Leiter. One is that Marx was actually kind of a fan of capitalism, in the sense that he thinks capitalism and technological process will lead to the elimination of menial labor. But then what? It seems we’ll get a big vacuum in the job market for people without elite educational degrees. And if we don’t do anything about that, presumably, we’ll get mass unemployment. And if there’s mass unemployment, no one will be able to buy anything, which will tank the entire economy, including the fortunes of the one percenters, who rely on people purchasing things to continue turning a profit. Communism can only get going once that process is finished. The purpose of communism isn’t to altruistically spread the wealth around . It’s just to prevent the world economy from imploding! So in a way, you could pitch communism as a project driven by self-interest.

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