The Real Struggle for Communists is Reading Marx’s Work
Ages ago, as a grad student at NYU in the early 1980s, I took a course in Marxian (or was it called Marxist?) Economics from NYU Econ’s resident Marxist, Prof. James F. Becker. I enrolled in this course in order to give myself sufficient incentive actually to read Marx’s key works.
I am now again reading many of Marx’s ‘scientific’ economics writings (in preparation for a conference that I’ll attend next week). What a crock! Marx’s ramblings are far more ridiculous and difficult to penetrate than I’d recalled.
I’m astonished that Marx’s lumbering, thick, repetitive, and entirely inelegant prose somehow won for him any popularity beyond a tiny handful of crazed and semi-literate followers. Reading Marx is a figurative form of grinding red-hot embers into one’s eyes and trying to make sense, through the pain, of the resulting confused and distorted scene.
More than one person whose opinion and judgment I greatly respect insist that Marx, for all of his many mistakes, is nevertheless a thinker with some worthwhile ideas – a thinker worthy of careful study and respect. Well, if so, I’ve missed something. I’ve not come close to stumbling upon any original thought in Marx that is worth the ink used to record it onto paper. Nothing in the old fool’s oeuvre that I’ve read is remotely worthy of respect. It’s all, as far as I can tell, nonsense that is more difficult to digest than cement and with less intellectual nutritional value.