Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Myopic Marxists and Adam Smith

In contradistinction to last years claims that Marx was more popular and revered by the general listening public than Adam Smith from a British Marxist, another mMarxist from a different Chuurch of Marx laments the fact that nobdy considers Adam Smith's ideas to be as dead as most people consider Karl Marx's.

THE REPORTS of my death,” wrote Marx Twain, “are greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said of Marxism as a body of ideas.

Marx of course died long ago--1883 to be precise. The economist of the free market, Adam Smith, died almost a century before that, in 1790), yet, curiously, there are no books announcing that “Smithism” is dead.”

So writes Paul D’Amato, ‘Not a dogma, but a guide to action’ (20 October) in Socialist Worker online (Chicago, Illinois)

Marxists always have a problem with Adam Smith, while everybody has a problem with Marxists, especially those who have lived or still live under the heel of Marxist regimes and within economic systems influenced by his philosophy.

Truly, when he asserted that the role of philosophers was not to interpret (understand) the world, but to change it, his true believers managed to do so by changing the world into a seriously worse place for everybody in it. They see Marx as a ‘guide to action’, which they pursue with a vengeance against the people, including other supposed Marxists, whom the hate with unhealthy degrees of apoplexy, and kill when they are in power.

Smith preferred to try to understand the world and foreswore any ambitions in changing it other than by presenting his book on The Theory of Moral Sentiments and his report of An Inquiry Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, for consideration by those inclined to read them.

He railed against the ‘men of system’, wise in their conceit, who believe (and how they believe!) that they, and only they, know what is best for others and, in the face of timorous doubt and other bourgeois errors among the people, they would dam well ram it down everybodies throats – cut them if they have to – in the cause of, er, what?

There are “no books announcing that ‘Smithism’ is dead” because he didn’t cause the deaths of tens of millions at the hands of the thousands who trampled over them in pursuit of his utopia. He didn’t ask for anybody to follow him, anybody to impose their ideas on others, nor did he create a religion out of their worship of him.

He simply said here are the consequences of following mercantile and monopolistic practices, here are the consequences of fighting for empires and here are the consequences of a lack of freedom and justice - now you choose.

The only ‘curiosity’ is why Paul D’Amoto cannot see the difference.


Post a Comment

<< Home