Marx tog fejl

Karl Marx er en af de mest indflydelsesrige og interessante tænkere i de sidste 175 års politiske tænkning.  Han er også en af dem, der har taget mest fejl.  Det kan der være grund til at minde om i en tid, hvor finanskrisens efterdønninger af og til får folk til at tro, at denne skulle have bevist, at Marx havde ret.  Min gode, gamle ven, Dr. Madsen Pirie (Adam Smith Institute), har fornylig i en debat givet en pædagogisk opsummering af de væsentligste empiriske fejl i Marx' tænkning:
"He was wrong to predict that history would take us to the inevitable triumph of the proletariat and then stop.  History shows no signs of doing either.  Marx was also wrong to suggest that this would happen first in the most advanced economies as the final stage of capitalism.  In fact such revolutions as came took place in less developed economies such as Russia and China.  It has not happened in the advanced economies, and this could be because Marx was wrong about something else. He predicted that capitalism would drive down wages to survival level before its final denouement.  In fact as economies became more advanced, both wages and living standards rose to levels not even dreamt of in Marx's day, and this seems to have lowered the pressure for revolutionary change.
Marx was also wrong about something more fundamental.  He was wrong about change.  I don't just mean that he was wrong about the changes that would come about; more fundamentally he was wrong about how change takes place.  He took
the Hegelian model of change.
To Hegel change comes about through staccato triangles.  A state of affairs nurtures its opposite, and from the violent clash between the two a new state of affairs emerges.  Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis.  Violence is at the core of it, and hence Marx's commitment to revoution.
But Marx was a contemporary of Darwin.  He had read Darwin's "Origin of Species" and admired Darwin's account of the origins of humankind.  He failed, however, to spot the significance of Darwin's theory of change and to incorporate it into his own programme.
Darwin advanced a gradual mechanism of change in which small differences gradually come to dominate over time.  It is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and is a much more accurate description of how change usually happens in human societies than was Hegel's account.  Indeed, Darwin was right and Hegel was wrong.  This means that Marx was also wrong, wrong about change, and wrong about how capitalism would develop. [...]
Marx was wrong about another important thing.  He subscribed to the labour theory of value, believing that the value of a thing arises from the labour put into producing it.  Wrong.  Value is based on demand.  If no-one wants a thing, then no matter how much labour went into producing it, it is valueless.We all value things differently, which is why trade takes place.  We trade because we each put greater value on what the other person has than on what we are offering in exchange.  We both gain more value when we trade, and that's how we create wealth."
Gode kritiske fremstillinger af den marxistiske analyse kan findes hos f.eks. Karl Popper, Ludwig von MisesThomas Sowell og David Gordon.

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