SHAPIRO: Debunking Karl Marx

SHAPIRO: Debunking Karl Marx


Perhaps the single most influential book ever written is Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. The book is often radically misinterpreted, by both its supporters and its critics. Its supporters often read it as an exhortation to violence and radical change, where the book was supposed to be predictive of inevitable trends in history; its critics often read it as a purely economic theory, when in fact Marxism makes observations about human nature. In order to examine the foolishness and ugliness of Marxism, we must begin by examining its key tenets. There are five, in the main: dialectical materialism; the Marxist theory of history; the theory of surplus value and exploitation; class struggle and revolution; the dictatorship of the proletariat and communism.

Dialectical Materialism

We must begin with one

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