< Marxism

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The remainder of the original article is kept below. It is nowhere close to being from a neutral point of view, especially with the irrelevant comments on capitalism and socialism in general, and should probably be rewritten entirely.

Marxism has a number of inherent contradictions, which unfortunately, are more immediate than the contradictions in Capitalism.

In Marxism, the income from workers' work is pooled, and redistributed. The effect of this is to assure that one gets paid without regard to how well, or hard one works. For many people, this is an invitation to work poorly, or not at all. One effect of this is to lower production. Another is to produce a feeling of apathy- even of one works hard, there is still no visible effect on one's life.

A more general form of the same (pricing) problem is that prices are set by a central pricing authority. Therefore, they reflect a theoretical calculation, rather than actual scarcities. The effect is to cause tremendous waste, as people use scarce (less-efficient), but lower-priced items in place of common (more-efficient,) higher-priced items.

In Marxism, investment decisions are centralized, and this may be the greatest source of waste, because it causes the economy to grow at a lower rate. The central managers are unaware of most of the advantageous investment opportunities. There is no way to get the information to them, because any such communication channel is quickly clogged with foolish, inaccurate requests for investment. In most capitalist countries, people simply invest, and if they invest inaccurately, they lose their investment. Folly is self-limiting, and success is self-reinforcing.

Marxism is also a form of Socialism, and Socialism has several more general problems. See Socialism.

Marxism makes some claims which are falsifible, and these claims have a bearing on Marxism's claim to be considerd "scientific socialism".

  1. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Not true in US. Here the poor have also gotten richer. Marx neglected the impact of technology, for one thing.
  2. The law of the centralization of capital. An economist would be able to say whether this holds or not, in the US.
  3. A hard-to-express law about profit tendencies (I'll have to look it up).

Ed Poor

The standard response to the first is that, since the economy has definitely become increasingly international, one would have to look at the international rich and poor to make a fair evaluation of the claim.