Are We Turning Into Marxists?

Here’s a provocative question, inspired by the recent Indianapolis press release:

Are we turning into Marxists?
By “we,” I mean Agora Financial, or more specifically, the dominant ideology of Agora Financial as presented by The Daily Reckoning, which most all of us contribute to (including me, certainly; I’m not pointing fingers here as much as making an observation.).
Consider this excerpt from an interesting essay on Marx and related issues:
Marx, as many others of the nineteenth century, observed the growing economic globalization of the planet, a trend that continues at an ever increasing pace today. He saw that giant corporations would come to dominate the world, and he emphasized the importance of economic cycles. Marx recognized the tremendous productive potential of capitalism, and he argued that it would be the massive productivity of capitalism that would cause its end as a socioeconomic system by making socialism, followed by communism, both materially necessary and logically possible. Marx believed that capitalism would be transformed into socialism by means of class warfare.
That sounds a lot like the end game we (Agora Financial) are predicting, doesn’t it? Unavoidable class war, corporate gigantism, failure of the state, capitalism enabling socialism when the basic tenets of capitalism fall under the weight of oppression – these are all Agora Financial themes, and they are all Marxist themes.
I’m not knee-jerk anti-Marx, by the way. He had some interesting ideas, and may have gotten some of the trends right. Of course, you can never say that sort of thing to a broad audience because they will instantly think you’re a commie. Nuance is required. I consider myself a small L libertarian with a love of food for thought, regardless of its source.
It may be that we are not Marxists; we’re simply traveling down the same path as the Marxists for a temporary space of road. We see things going to hell; they see things going to hell. But we don’t see the same ultimate destination.
The Marxists think the destruction of the current system as we know it will give us communism. We, meaning Agora Financial, would disagree with that (or at least I hope we would).
So what are we then? What ultimate destination do we see beyond the destruction?
I think it’s important to think about this from a philosophical perspective, but also from a marketing perspective. Gloom and doom will not sell as well when the ugly predictions have come true. If we stick with our theme that everything is going to pot, and then it actually does, we are eventually going to be reviled. The Calvinists have fun pointing out moral decay, but they don’t have much fun when the rot actually sets in. At least that’s my perspective.
An interesting observation is that the libertarians seem to be on this same temporary path – the Marxists, the Libertarians, and Agora Financial. They (the libertarians, like Doug Casey) see things going to hell, as the Marxists do, but they ultimately have a long-term optimistic view of the future. They think that common sense will kick in at some point, that we will learn from our mistakes, and that technology and intellectual enlightenment will eventually liberate us from all the political bullshit we suffer through today.
Back to marketing considerations: I think Agora Financial, at some point, should start emphasizing the libertarian perspective more. Not necessarily right away, but at some point in future.
The gold book, Once & Future Money, is ultimately a kind of libertarian manifesto because it takes an optimistic view of the long run: the idea that we will learn from our mistakes. People have already responded to that optimism and it’s not something we would have to fake, like the permabulls’ phony-baloney crap about how everything is fine here and now, because there really is reason to be optimistic on the other side of the pain. At least I think there is. I have a strong Calvinist streak, but I also believe in the long-run power of moral and intellectual evolution.
So anyway, some food for thought. I submit that we are taking a Marxist line right now, but that’s okay because it’s also a Libertarian line. At some point there will be a fork in the road, and we will want to make our bet with the Libertarian view. Both because that’s the view that is more correct (I believe), and because cynical optimism that is nevertheless optimistic will ultimately sell better than an embrace of Das Kapital.

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