Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Barcelona, gathered a few sociologists to post his documentary on YouTube.com five days (10/05/2011) after I wrote “Rise of Marx.” I feel it is relevant to append Castells’ documentary to this blog post.
The 2008 global financial meltdown that began with severe credit crunch metamorphosed into a political crisis. Capitalism was under severe attack. Great Britain, the birthplace of modern privatization, nationalized much of its banking industry. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US, a nation that embodies capitalism, saw its government put $250 billion into its banks. The burden shifted to the government. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy claimed, “Laissez-faire was finished.” Governments began regulating their financial systems. The West moved toward a more dirigiste model.
This predicament has now become a social crisis. Occupy Wall Street movement is burgeoning everywhere in the US and western Europe.
Karl Marx (1818-1883) may not be the best known philosopher, but as the revolutionary structuralist, his works, which hinge on his resolute views of human nature, inspired the foundation of many communist regimes in the twentieth century. Historical materialism, Marx’ theory of history, is centered around the idea that forms of society rise and fall as they further impede the development of human productive power. Marx sees the historical process as proceeding through a necessary series of modes of production, culminating in rise of socialism before the inevitable breakdown of capitalism, to be replaced by pre-determined moral idea of one class.
Die Zeit, a German weekly reported recently that sales of Das Kapital, the seminal work of Karl Marx, have quadrupled over the last few years. Who would have thought? He may as well be given a Nobel prize in Economics posthumously in 2011. Respect is overdue.