Please Stand By While We Immanentize The Eschaton


On the Foreign Policy blog, you can get three opinions of Marx:

Leo Panitch

James K. Glassman

Matthew Yglesias

Glassman and Matt Y point us to the Christoper Hitchens piece in the Atlantic. Panitch’s article is a response to Matt, who is responding to Panitch’s original piece in FP. A brief nugget from the original piece:

“If he were observing the current downturn, Marx would certainly relish pointing out how flaws inherent in capitalism led to the current crisis. He would see how modern developments in finance, such as securitization and derivatives, have allowed markets to spread the risks of global economic integration. Without these innovations, capital accumulation over the previous decades would have been significantly lower. And so would it have been if finance had not penetrated more and more deeply into society. The result has been that consumer demand (and hence, prosperity) in recent years has depended more and more on credit cards and mortgage debt at the same time that the weakened power of trade unions and cutbacks in social welfare have made people more vulnerable to market shocks.”

Jonah Goldberg responds to Matt at The Corner:

“Well, if you want to give Marx full and sole credit for the insights that capitalism hits the occasional speed bump or that wealthy and powerful people self-servingly justify their own status, you’re free to do so. But my guess is that you can find people making the second point in the Bible (Hebrew and Christian), among the ancient Greeks and Romans, in Confucian China and amongst all of the philosophes of France.

As for the first point, well, here’s the thing: Every human thing has “periodic episodes of crisis.” It is an eternal trope of leftism to assign to its enemies problems that are generic to humanity itself.”

Points to Goldberg in the post for using the most fun phrase in the lexicon: “immanentize the eschaton.” I’m not talking about the meaning of the phrase, just the words. It sounds like something you do to the Warp Drive.

Back to the subject, at the new AEI blog, Nick Schulz takes on Matt Y and points us to a Berkeley Prof. whom you may know well: Brad DeLong. Jonah returns to share some e-mails.

More on Marx? I’ll post it.


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Filed under Go Meta, The Crisis

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