Still Bigger Than Adam Smith…


The Economist has a sharp piece on the accumulated errors of Marx–and the persistence of his influence. Noting that books in print about Marx outnumber those about Adam Smith by a factor of between 5 and 10, the article concludes:

Anti-globalism has been aptly described as a secular religion. So is Marxism: a creed complete with prophet, sacred texts and the promise of a heaven shrouded in mystery. Marx was not a scientist, as he claimed. He founded a faith. The economic and political systems he inspired are dead or dying. But his religion is a broad church, and lives on.

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  1. One of the oddest depositories of Marxist hangers-on is your local bookstore. I’m not talking about those eclectic (translation: ‘money losing’) independent bookstores. Check out the shelves of the ‘Big Box’ chains – Barnes & Noble, Borders – and you’ll find at least an entire shelf devoted to the works of Marx (another shelf is usually devoted to Noam Chomsky screeds). How do the folks manning the counters of these stores sleep at night knowing that their jobs, made possible by capitalism, are absolute contradictions to the utopias they promote?

  2. Daniel,

    I recently went to a Vin Suprynowicz book signing at a bookstore in College Park (as in U. of) Maryland. Apropos to your point, the privately owned store was actually a comic books store (therein the profit) whose owner is a libertarian. He stocks numerous books on freedom that are not carried in the “big box chains”, and frankly told me he sees almost zero interest from the campus regarding these. It’s only by offering superhero comix that he ever has the chance to sell the works of libertarian thinkers to the collegiate “elite”.

    Glen in Md.

  3. Glen, What comics store in College Park? The one on Route 1 across from CVS/strip mall?

  4. Regarding the relative popularity/visibility of fringe “leftist” movements, I fear that they will always have an advantage. Consider two philosophies: one tells you that the highest values are to live productively and peaceably and to leave your fellow man to follow his dreams, be what they may; the other tells you that the highest value is to work for sweeping social change and to sublimate your own desires for the needs of “society”, “the movement”, etc. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the second is always going to be more visible than the first, regardless of their relative popularity, because the first encourages you to go to work, improve yourself, and live the good life, while the second encourages you to make a public nuisance of yourself.

  5. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/26/2004 04:34:53
    God had some serious quality-control problems.

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