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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Marx’s Fatal Flaw!

    Marx’s Fatal Flaw!

    For some unknown reason, “no other person” has found this error in Marx’s writings. It is important because it means “Marx’s thesis” concerning “communism” is based on false assumptions. Marx proposed the process of social stratification to be an unnatural phenomenon of social evolution which should be eliminated. If you follow the implications of Marx’s thesis to its logical conclusion, social class differences since the beginning of civilization have been evil, or unnatural. In Marx’s lifetime, the blame was with “bourgeois capitalist classes” who exploited working classes for profit. However, in the real world, social differences based on competent outcomes is a “natural phenomenon” which has existed since the beginning of civilization.

    Karl Marx wrote several books with a long index of topics, all of which have been subject to endless theoretical analysis and commentary. There is, however, and central theme to Marx’s writings. It can be summarized as follows: regardless of the historical circumstances, economic relationships, or everyday social situations of citizens, there has always been exploitation. In ancient times, wealthy land owners exploited. Later, capitalists, who were formerly wealthy land owners, exploited. Furthermore, Marx claimed exploitation of the proletariat (workers) by the bourgeoise (middle and upper classes) will continue to worsen as the capitalists take more and more profit at the expense of workers whose increasing exploitation and poverty will eventually lead to revolution, the result of which will be an equalitarian state, or “communism.” .


    Marx errored in his theory of exploitation. Marx proposed: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" This principle refers to free access and distribution of goods, capital and services. In Marx's view, such an arrangement will be possible following the full development of socialism where there will be an adequate supply of goods and services for a communist social order, or utopian society. In a new world order, everyone’s needs would be provided for with a common bond of brotherhood.

    Studying the USSR, one finds state control over the population for maintaining a common brotherhood broke down as individuals sought freedom. In theory, communism may be appealing, but, in practice, it fails because people are inclined to seek validation for “competent outcomes,” not for behavior acceptable to government. When the government dictates proper, or acceptable, social relationships, individuals rebel, seeking to validate their own behavior. In the USSR, the government used the military to control and regulate the population. In theory, communism may be appealing, but, in practice, it fails.

    Marx exaggerated the extent to which beliefs associated with capitalism influence worker’s submission to capitalism. The proletariat, according to Marx, often suffer from “false consciousness” whereby they believe incorrect or even “corrupt” ideas about capitalists, enabling capitalists to deceive or otherwise subvert proletariat beliefs and/or interests in order to maintain and perpetuate capitalism, and therefore continue bourgeoise exploitation of labor for the benefit of profits for the capitalist. Marx's solution was to educate the proletariat to the deceitful practices of capitalists to perpetuate false ideas. We know, of course, in a capitalist society freedom is allowed. Therefore, knowledge about working relationships and company operations would be known to most workers. In a socialist nation, on the other hand, government control of the workplace may prevent such information from being disseminated.

    In theory, communism may be appealing, but, in practice, it fails because people are inclined to seek validation for “competent outcomes,” not for behavior acceptable to a government. When the government dictates proper, or acceptable, social relationships, individuals often rebel seeking to validate their personalities through daily contacts with others.


    I have maintained “competence” to be one of the most important concept for understanding human behavior as well as the most important concept for critiquing Marx’s theory of an equalitarian or communist society. From the writings of Marx, we begin with his critique of social stratification. Marx began his argument against capitalism by claiming social stratification to be an evil, or an unnatural condition brought about by ruling class domination and exploitation of the proletariat or lower-class workers. As a harmful phenomenon, Marx traced social stratification from early civilizations to his lifetime in Europe. He assumed a reduction or elimination of social differences would result in the formation of egalitarianism, or communism, the final resolution of social class conflict. However, Marx failed to take into account the “full range” of possibilities for human societies. A major weakness of Marx was his rejection of the possibility of “social stratification” being a natural phenomenon of human societies.

    In the abstract, Marx’s ideas may appear reasonable. However, when applied to actual situations, another world emerges, one in which Marx appeared to ignore or circumvent with philosophical twists and turns. Marx found all stages of human development, including ancient societies, to be flawed with exploitation and abuse. I propose there is another explanation for social stratification, and it doesn’t include social class exploitation and abuse. Beginning with ancient agrarian societies, I propose a critique Marx’s ideas about the evils of social stratification.

    In early civilizations, we find people with various levels of expertise for planting seeds and harvesting crops. Let’s assume all workers have equal access to a land for planting. Over time we would expect some workers to have developed superior ability based on energy, knowledge of planting, harvesting, experience in the field, and opportunities to harvest. Therefore, one would expect a hierarchy of workers to plant and harvest fields. Eventually, among field hands, the most competent workers became a land owner, and subsequently, in Mesopotamia, land ownership flourished in the “cradle of civilization” known as the “Fertile Crescent Valley”. Then, there are other factors to consider, such as sex, age, family relationships, physical condition, and even ethnicity.

    It is idealistic to think everyone shared everything in common, or tended to share equally in the distribution of land for harvesting. As time progressed, small plots of land for planting and harvesting were expanded into larger land holdings. We know from historical records that agriculture was stratified by land ownership. It is not difficult to imagine some field hands owning land and therefore expanding the “business of agriculture.” Some planters and harvesters becoming more efficient than others, therefore enabling them to teach and supervise less experienced field hands.

    How about the next stage of agricultural development? So, we have people becoming more skilled at planting and harvesting which means a hierarchy of worker skills evolves. Then, with years of experience in planting and harvesting, knowledge of best procedures for food production accrues, which means a few people become expert planters and harvesters, as well as land owners. Then, depending on the quantity of produce, storage sheds or buildings for crop storage are constructed near the fields. Thus, from planting and harvesting, humans progressed to a more efficient means for storing food. Subsequently, land owners took control of larger and larger plots of agricultural land for harvesting.

    This description of early agriculture may fit with what we know about the development of the “Fertile Crescent Valley” or other agricultural areas throughout the ancient world. It is also a description of how “differences in competence,” as defined by social situations, determines social stratification of societies. In short, social differences in all human groups are found in all societies. Therefore, “social stratification is a natural phenomenon,” not the consequence of exploitation or land owner abuse.


    In all civilizations, at each stage of social development, individuals adopt norms of conduct based on values, framed by social institutions (family, political, educational, religious, and military), which influence and direct daily activities. In addition to social institutions, other factors including topography, mineral resources, and stage of technological development have contributed to the growth and development of civilization. Daily activity may be explained as a means by which individuals utilize their “competencies” for the execution of social roles. The most enduring areas of human activity have been jobs for sustaining agricultural as well as other business activity. Without jobs and businesses, past and present, townships, cities, states, or other attributes of a civilized world could not exist.

    Following the path of economic activity from ancient to modern civilizations, one can trace products of human ingenuity. In particular, one can see how humans have been able to transform agrarian societies into highly productive and prosperous urban communities where human competencies have played out in numerous ways. In particular, human ingenuity flourished during the industrial revolution to transform rural into urban city lifestyles for the emergence of a new world. Individual competencies played out in remarkable ways to reshape landscapes from farm and ranch land to suburban enclaves for city workers. As human competences played out, individual competences have contributed to a remarkable degree in technological advances in numerous areas such as factory and business activities.

    As for abuses of power by individual states, kingdoms, or empires, we find another competency based distributive curve based on greed, ambition, lust for power, military conquest, and other abuses by government leaders. As for judgements of right or wrong for abusive or destructive actions, it has become a matter of “individual competence” to make moral judgements. With advancing civilization has come laws and other regulatory devices to control crime in order to protect citizens from “deviant activities.” In all areas of social activity, whether it be government or business, one finds “areas of competence” determining social role outcomes, and subsequently social institutional frameworks for social behavior.

    Reading Marx, one becomes aware of the extreme extent to which exploitation of labor by capitalists was a problem during his lifetime. However, when studying social stratification one is struck by the extent to which social injustices have existed. It is a product of social interaction, and every society has been stratified by social differences. Marx could have made a better case for his proposal of exploitation if he had acknowledged it prevailing in all societies. However, if he had been so objective, he probably wouldn't not have proposed such a strong case against capitalism.

    If you read about Karl Marx’s career as a journalist and editor of newspapers, it is easy to conclude he was a radical. Some of those newspapers where banned by the state for being subversive. Mostly, Marx slanted his arguments against capitalism by exaggerating the extent of worker exploitation. Then, as of now, when an entrepreneur starts up a new business it is essential for that business owner to hire the most competent employees. So, on one hand, we have Marxists claiming the company is exploiting labor to make a profit, while, on the other hand, we have reasonable people claiming the businessman to be successful for hiring competent people to make the business a success. The businessman example is more typical of what really happens with capitalism; it is about the importance of “human competency” for business success. The life of Marx is a good example for the extent to which radicals go to promote their agenda. Moreover, if one studies his professional life as a writer and newspaper editor, it is easy to conclude Marx had a strong bias, or, if you will, prejudice against capitalism.
    Last edited by Cnance; 02-10-2019 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Marx’s Fatal Flaw!

    Studying history, we find exploitation to be a common practice. In the Roman Empire about 40% of the population were slaves, and over 90% of the population lacked property ownership. Therefore, if Marx was fair about exploitation he would have spent more time with past injustices than with Capitalists. In all societies it is easy to find some form of exploitation because there has always been inequality in one form or another. Humans go in and out of competitive situations: games, sports, academic tests, music, grafts, skilled trades, professional training programs, etc. For some reason, God didn't create equality among the species. Even with bugs, we find differences, or oddities. ha. ha.


    Since Marx wrote about problems with capitalism, reform measures have been enacted into law: safety regulations, weekly hours for work, child labor laws, and labor union regulations. If Marx had been born a few decades later, he wouldn't have a good case for labor exploitation. Although, being a radical, Marx would surely find a reason for "revolution."

    In society, almost nothing can be accomplished without satisfying individual competences. The most obvious example may be the production of an automobile. People with inventive skills and special abilities invent and design automobiles, build factory buildings, equipment, machinery, supervise workers, or do all the necessary work for production. Human societies are replete with activities requiring "individual competences."

    Marx proposed an utopian world where people live harmony, or without conflict, for common purposes for the "benefit of all." The problem with this world is it has never, and will never exist! Because people are not created equal, and lack proclivities to become equal or to seek common grounds to eliminated social differences, the best type of society is one in which people have opportunities. If the kid has musical talent, give him or her a musical instrument, etc. Whatever the talent, or ability, give people opportunities to fulfill their potential.

    As time progresses, we have more and more examples for the failure of communism. Oh, I have forgotten to mention all those communes established based on Marx's communism. Most of them have failed! When put to the test, Marx's principles of equalitarianism, or sharing material necessities in common, doesn't work. Inevitably social differences emerge inasmuch as people seek social recognition for competence, and, more often than not, competencies are uniquely distributed, not held in common.
    Last edited by Cnance; 02-11-2019 at 08:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Marx’s Fatal Flaw!

    Marxism has takenover sociology, it is now called "social conflict theory" based on a "Marxist radical perspective." Formerly, in the 1950s and 60s, sociology was based on the "structural functional perspective," or a value neutral perspective whereby sociologists pursued theories with facts. Now, virtual all of sociology is slanted with a radical Marxian bias. Furthermore, on most US college campuses, Marxism is the most prevalent perspective. It is truly an epidemic, and continues to grow as socialism becomes increasingly popular.

    The big problem with Marxism is it is based on false assumptions. Where in the real world do we find equality? In every society since the dawn of civilization, there have been differences in all social groups. Take a random sample of people and put them onto the land. You'll find the population dividing up by levels of competence, it has been that way since the beginning of civilization.


    Last edited by Cnance; 02-14-2019 at 04:23 PM.

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