On Saturday at the Left Forum in New York City, Chris Hedges joined professors Richard Wolff and Gail Dines to discuss why Karl Marx is essential at a time when global capitalism is collapsing. These are the remarks Hedges made to open the discussion.
Karl Marx exposed the peculiar dynamics of capitalism, or what he called “the bourgeois mode of production.” He foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction. He knew that reigning ideologies—think neoliberalism—were created to serve the interests of the elites and in particular the economic elites, since “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production” and “the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships … the relationships which make one class the ruling one.” He saw that there would come a day when capitalism would exhaust its potential and collapse.
Phi Beta Iota: What is new in 2014-2015 is that mainstream minds are beginning to understand Marx’s thinking and over-coming the centuries of libel and slander equating Marx’s sound critique of capitalism with the totalitarian implemenation of communism, which is no better than fascism including corporate fascism. In this era authors like Matt Taibbi and Peter Linebaugh and Alan Ryan merit much more attention. It is helpful for Hedges and Wolff to be doing what they are doing, we applaud their voices and their statements.