Think Like Karl Marx

Life arc hint #2: Consider entire systems.


Stick a hand in and feel their flows. Think about their evolution. Dream of massive dialectic shifts. Time when they will occur. Think about what you can do to participate, dampen, or accelerate.

That could be writing a book. Or working for someone who is. Or starting a company, or blowing something up, or funding a new project. Or pivoting an existing organization. Or setting yourself on fire in front of the right people.

But always think huge. Because it increases your chances of mattering. Most of humanity was anonymous and lost to dusty history. Do not fall into their ranks.

If you do this right, engaging in arguments about particular actors (mostly in politics) becomes a nonstarter. It is tough to bicker when you can think through how to solve the underlying problem.

A word to the wise. Marx matters not because he wrote, but because Engels took his unfinished tome and finally shipped the damn thing. Produce. And, unlike Marx, try to be able to care for your family.

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1 Comment
  • As Pink Floyd aptly noted, there are always “Pigs on the Wing”. What Pink Floyd failed to note is that Communist Pigs are no better than Capitalist ones. The album, “Animals”, which I will play on my radio show this afternoon with commentary, was based on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Which, in turn, was based on Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”.

    “The first chapter of the Manifesto, “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, examines the Marxist conception of history, with the initial idea asserting that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. It goes on to say that in capitalism, the working class, proletariat, are fighting in the class struggle against the owners of the means of production, the bourgeois, and that past class struggle ended either with revolution that restructured society, or “common ruin of the contending classes”.

    It continues by adding that the bourgeois exploits the proletariat by “constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones”.

    The Manifesto explains that the reason the bourgeois exist and exploit the proletariat with low wages is because of private property, “the accumulation of wealth in private hands, the formation and increase of capital”, and that competition amongst the proletariat creates wage-labour, which rests entirely on the competition among the workers!

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