Marx's prescient predictions for the 21st century



Uncle Karl also predicted the recent ukulele craze and was ahead of the curve in embracing the instrument as a tool of revolution…


Marx wasn’t an “economist” in the sense of creating models to explain micro- or macro-economics. Today we would probably call him a “futurist.”


You’re right… I think most people would describe Marx as an historian and philosopher, as he was writing historical texts like The 18th Brumaire. But he was also an activist (The Communist Manifesto was a very active attempt to shape revolution in late 19th century Europe). And he was trying to create a scientific methodology of history, and was in direct conversation with hegel.

Incidental, did you read that recent biography of Marx by Jon Sperber. I’ve been wondering if it’s any good:

I think there was also a book published not too long about his personal life, especially in regards to his wife, but can’t remember the name of it.

Eh, not a single citation to any of Marx’s writings are given. Marx has always been a very difficult read, and his system of economics flowed less from the Adam Smith model of looking at actual data and output, and more from forming models based on pure reason, highly influenced by the equally unreadable Hegel. And his views changed a lot over time. The Marx of the Communist Manifesto and the revolutions of 1848 is not the same as the Marx of First International and later.

This article takes extreme simplifications of Marx and applies them to extreme simplifications of economics today.


resemblance to the bust a coincidence? I don’t think so.

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Are you saying Marx predicted a future world ruled by white apes via his hairdressing choices?


To be fair, you can’t really expect footnotes in Rolling Stone.


It seems to me that this article takes some points of Marx’s theories that are at this point relatively well-trod ground by people who actually study marx and connects them to specific historical events happening right now. I’d suspect the author is taking from some condensed version of say Capital or the communist manifesto, or more likely, a condensed treatment of one of those works.

I’ve always thought that Marx was very much an enlightenment thinker and was fully grounded in the events of Europe, both politically, socially, and economically, and reason was one of the core ideals of enlightenment thought–making man the center of history.

I think that Marx attempting to “turn hegel on his head” and ground historical processes in the material instead of some zeitgeist was a pretty important shift. That being said, you’re right, compared to Adam Smith, he absolutely was far more based on reason, but that was probably due to his environment as much as anything.

Also, this it’s in the Rolling Stone… hardly a peer reviewed journal. I think we can forgive him not giving us specific citations.


Is Marx the new Nostradamus? Take some of his gnomic writing and apply it to an event that has since come to pass?

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You may have noticed those events were not randomly chosen, but were economic events. You may also have noticed that Marx was a philosopher of economics. So no, the comparison to Nostradamus isn’t a strong one.


or knowledgeable choices for album of the year.


The instrument he’s holding is a dobro.

Actually, it’s both!!! National made/makes them. It is specifically this model:

They are quite gorgeous and quite expensive… I know because I made the picture… :wink:


It’s a Dobro Uke.

Such a thing was inevitable under the Marxian dialectic. Thesis: ukulele. Antithesis: resonator guitar. Synthesis: what you see before you.


ZING!!! Absolutely true! Marx make’s all things clear, comrade! :wink:


Where’s his Fucken Neck?

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I think most people wince at trying to pronounce an khi… an kxi… an kchi… an [unpronouncible grinding sound]… consonantal h cannot follow n in English.

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So… don’t pronounce it? Personally, I find myself wavering between saying “a historian” and “an 'istorian”, according to whether I want to sound heducated or like an 'ick.

Or, you know, you could stop reading aloud.