What do you do in retirement after you have wasted your life on a lost cause?
Your youth is gone. Your dreams are gone. Your audience is gone. The clock is ticking. So, you putter around the house, and recall better days.
Marxism is a lost cause. When the Soviet Union committed suicide in December 1991, the cause was lost. At the heart of Marxism was its theory of historical inevitability. In Marxism, the forces of production took the place of Calvin’s God. Things seemed to be looking up in the October Revolution of 1917. Russia leap-frogged from rural feudalism to socialism without passing through capitalism.
But then incarnations of Communism, Red China and the USSR, pulled the plug. Deng turned China into a mercantilist/capitalist powerhouse, beginning in 1978. The Communist Part of the Soviet Union posted “Under New Management” on the USSR in 1991. It was all over. The 74-year run closed.
Variety ran its most famous headline on October 30, 1929, the day after the stock market crash: “Wall Street Lays an Egg.” On January 1, 1992, the anti-Communists around the world ran this virtual headline: “Communism Lays an Egg.”
The revolutionary slogan of the 18th century was this: “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” In Communism’s case, there were only broken eggs.
In late December 1991 everyone knew: Marx had been dead wrong. Communism was not inevitable. It was a fad. The fad was over.
Around the United States, the “books for a buck” bins in used book stores filled up with titles like this: What Marx Really Meant. Nobody cared any more. Hardly anybody ever had cared in the United States, outside of faculty members in tax-funded American universities. University-employed Marxists began to hear a virtual sound: snickering. They had become laughing stocks. There had never been many Marxist economists. The Union of Radical Political Economists, the tiny subgroup with the well-deserved acronym — URPE — became even smaller. Today, the URPE website’s Alexa ranking is 6,260,997 — basically invisible. The Mises Institute’s Alexa ranking is 29,393 internationally and 9,668 in the United States: huge.
I did a Web search recently on Marx’s view of Malthus (hostile). The top link was an unpublished article — unreadable — written by a sociologist. When you combine Marx’s analysis with sociology’s jargon, you get truly unreadable prose. I had never heard of the author. The essay was an updated version of a 1971 article. The author was listed as a professor at the University of Colorado.
I thought about this. The University of Colorado for half a century has been known as one of the nation’s leading party schools. With pot legalized in Colorado, the University has adopted a re-branding program to shed the party-school label. This is the equivalent of Madonna trying to shed her branding as an eccentric performer.
I looked her up. She is now a retired professor. She was a three-fer. The University for decades used her to qualify as politically correct in three categories: Marxism, feminism, and Hispanic. There have never been many three-fers on faculties.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)