Old books
Sir – Marx’s theory of the crises of capitalism is little more than a melodramatic description of the business cycle — standard fare in economic analysis. Every original contribution that Marx made to our understanding of capitalism is demonstrably false: the working class does not become increasingly immiserated; the class structure does not become increasingly polarised; no society has evolved from feudalism through capitalism to communism; the iron law of wages is fallacious; the State does not wither away when capitalism is abolished. Marx will continue to be neglected by serious scholars because he was wrong in every important respect.

Letter by John Meadowcroft published in The Times on 23 October 2008.

John Meadowcroft 154x154

Member of the Advisory Council

Dr John Meadowcroft is a member of the Advisory Council at the Institute of Economic Affairs as well as a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. John has taught on the Hansard Scholars Programme at the LSE and in the Department of Politics at Queen Mary, University of London.

2 thoughts on “Marx was wrong in every important respect”

  1. Posted 23/10/2008 at 17:11 | Permalink

    Marx has become the Nostradamus of economics. During economic downturns, it becomes fashionable to dig out the Communist Manifesto and quote some vague passage that, if you try hard enough to read it that way, remotely resembles a description of what is currently happening. That is then presented as a “proof” that he was right after all.
    He wasn’t. Marx lacked understanding of the capitalist’s role as a risk-taker and discoverer, and about time as a ‘production factor’.

  2. Posted 23/10/2008 at 17:11 | Permalink

    Marx has become the Nostradamus of economics. During economic downturns, it becomes fashionable to dig out the Communist Manifesto and quote some vague passage that, if you try hard enough to read it that way, remotely resembles a description of what is currently happening. That is then presented as a “proof” that he was right after all.
    He wasn’t. Marx lacked understanding of the capitalist’s role as a risk-taker and discoverer, and about time as a ‘production factor’.

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