Reading Bruce Caldwell’s introduction to by F.A. Hayek, I stumbled upon some astonishing background material. I have to say up front that I’ve never seen the utility of Marxism and I have always regarded it as the fetish of a mentally ill collective. There are elements of scientistic thinking in Marxism that is blended with pure utopian tripe. However, it never ceases to baffle me how academics are fascinated by this twisted, insane philosophy. The fact that Marx was a deadbeat kleptoparasite who set out to foster a world revolution a priori to constructing his destructive philosophical system should have been some warning to his acolytes that they might be being led down the primrose garden path to collective hell. : Texts and Documents
Caldwell provides some quotes from the Labour Party’s 1942 statement of the post-war order, “The Old World and New Society.” The two most telling: “A planned society must replace the competitive system” and “The basis for our democracy must be planned production for community use” (12). Then he gives a quote from Barbara Wooten from her review on a Marxist work that brings many things into focus: “The whole approach to social and political questions is still pre-scientific. Until we have removed tribal magic in favour of the detached and relentless accuracy characteristic of science the unconquered social environment will continue to make useless and dangerous our astonishing conquest of the material environment.”
First, Wooten does not say that Marxism is “scientific.” However, the Marxist work she read appears to have elicited a response that pines for a more scientific means of organizing society. Second, she appears to be alleging that the approximate anti-thesis of Marxism, namely capitalism, is beset by elements of “tribal magic.” Third, she writes explicitly (and disturbingly) of conquering the “social environment.” Lastly, she implies that we have already conquered the material environment.
It may appear a belated rebuttal to Ms. Wooten to object to her characterization of science, and by implication, Marxism and capitalism, but there are many reasons to do so. I see residue of Wooten-like thinking throughout the “social scientific” ranks. From overt Marxist professors to burgeoning young technocrats it is deeply embedded in the manner of thinking of our academic, bureaucratic and political leadership. There are several myths that cling hard to the minds of these “social scientists” and it would be counter-productive to address them all here, but one of the greatest myths is the idea that capitalism is exploitative.
In several senses this insinuation towards capitalism is perverse, but I want to focus on a single comparative aspect: man’s relationship to the natural environment (in the non-reified sense).
Marxists make hay of the idea that capitalism rests on Judaeo-Christian principles because they both promote an exploitative relationship of man to the earth. This is patently false.
Capitalism intrinsically recognizes the delicate balance of man’s relationship to nature with the principles of free pricing, scarcity and supply and demand. When given the opportunity to function unobstructed by Marxists and government technocrats, these natural laws inherent to the market provide signals that let people know when natural resources are getting scarcer.
Gambling operations like futures trading and derivatives are not inherent to a market, which is merely a system resting on the free exchange of goods and services for capital. The relationship of futures trading and derivatives to pricing is a separate issue that will not be discussed at length here.
In contrast to capitalism, it is the non-system of Marxism-in-practice (which ultimately rests on the unquestioned arbitrary authority of a Leninist party) that does not recognize scarcity as a fundamental organizing principle, abhors free pricing and thus leads to the technocracy’s poor, underinformed assessment of supply and demand (such as with the “Great Leap Forward”), and fosters a non-humanistic point of view that justifies brazen, ultimately exploitative behavior towards man and nature.
The pseudo-scientific worldview of Marxists is profoundly unscientific in that it leaves no room for skepticism or reality-checking. Their worldview promotes government policies that are disastrous, both intentionally and unintentionally.
It is no accident that governments that derive their legitimacy from Marxism commit the greatest atrocities against human beings and engage in completely unchecked exploitation of man and the natural environment.