Friday, 19 September 2008

Time to dig out Kapital

At university my supervisor for the history of political thought was an eminent Marxist academic. He still is as far as I know – eminent that is, I doubt very much that he’s still Marxist.

Discussing Kapital one day he came out with the classic “let’s face it nobody actually reads Kapital” My supervision partner (a mate, fellow smart-arse and socialist) knowing full well that I had, turned to me and asked “ Actually I think you have haven’t you ?”.

Cocky students – 1
Academic poseur twat – nil.

This week, with the worst financial crash since 1929, it looks like we should all be dusting off those neglected copies of Marx's Kapital. Out of favour for years, even (or especially) amongst those who wore the Marxist label as a fashion statement, it still remains the best explanation of the state we're in.

We've suffered two decades of triumphal capitalist propaganda telling us that history is over and that markets are everything . Now the same free market evangelists squirm and talk about ‘imperfect markets’ and the need for the state to prop up the banks (privatise the gain but nationalise the pain). It's too much to resist saying "I told you so".

It is difficult not to savour the financial crisis: I take no pleasure in banking employees losing their jobs – the majority will be low grade white collar types, cleaners and security guards. Or people losing their homes or savings. But for all those fund managers and other assorted parasitic scum whose speculation has ruined many other business and lives – good fucking riddance, your time has come. And if they had done their homework the present crisis wouldn't have come as any surprise.

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