10 September 2008

Daily One Cosmos: On Marxism

Classic One Cosmos writing about Marx and his troubled relationship with history and economic reality:
the first thing that comes to mind is Marxism, which specifically developed in that gap between the premodern and modern world. It is fundamentally rooted in the myopic fallacy that things were getting worse for the average worker, when the reality was that, for the first time in 10,000 years, they were actually getting dramatically better.

In this regard, Marx was not just economically illiterate, but completely ahistorical, a malady that continues to afflict the left to this day. The free market will eventually solve most problems that leftist solutions will only perpetuate or aggravate. But the leftist relies upon people being riveted only on the now, which then requires some sort of radical solution to redeem the future.

For example, how many Americans realize that gasoline actually reached its peak price in the early 1960s if adjusted for inflation, while it reached its low point in 1998? For the demagogues of the left, it is vital that you not know that, just as it was vital to Marxists that people be unaware of the fact that for the average laborer, the 18th century was almost a straight upward line in terms of increasing affluence.
(h/t: M. Lybbert)

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