Marxists are devoted students of socialism but they are stuck in a treadmill of bad theories that cloud the many better insights of Marx’s thinking. Marx exudes an aura of being supersmart but his work is mired in the stupidities of the era of reductionist scientism. He almost saw threw Darwinism and grasped its problem at a first glance but then kowtowed to his sidekick Engels and embraced the fatal dose of a second pseudo-science.
In the end, Marx comes off as almost stupid in his obsession over his theories. That work was one thing in the Second International period, but now the left needs to move on.
Marx was a remarkable man but he suffered his own ambition to create a new science and had a domineering temperament that imposed a set of fallacies on his students and successors. The critics pointed to this almost at once at the end of the nineteenth century but the Marxist cadre has never learned. Part of the problem is that those who see the problems move on, sadly not always to socialism but to the right, leaving the remaining cult behind. The Marxist cadre is a private club of cultists who are in the way of the path to socialism. Marx’s late photos seem to show a sad face. One must suspect that he felt the failure of his theories. His endless and obsessive work was a kind of writer’s block that drove Engels to frustration as he finally inherited the mess of Capital and tried to rescue something from Marx’s failure to get his theory to work.
Marx was a man of his time in the euphoric wake of Newton as everyone tried to found new sciences. Marx’s attempt is a failure and he seems not to have seen why. Reducing history to economics just doesn’t work and the causal explanation, in general, doesn’t work for historical studies.
This whole mess is blocking the left at a time of desperation. I would say, drop the whole dreary theory method and stay with the parts that work, e.g. the working class angle and class action. In many ways, Debs did just that and his version is simple and clear.
The eonic effect moves in a different direction but it can provide a simple substitute for historical materialism whose claims are preposterous. It is hard to see how Marx thought he could make of theory of history in the model of history that he used.
Marx’s classic analysis of capitalism is marred by its unnecessary theoretical framework of historical periodization, e.g. …feudalism, capitalism, communism…The result is a misper…