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Marx Was Right

A college undergrad at Liyang’s Crazy English said he was studying marketing. What he really said was Mǎ Kè Sī 马克思 Marxism. At the time my Chinglish vocabulary was limited to Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) and Xin Be Ke (Starbucks). Being a recovering Yankee trying to find expat gold in China, I dropped the Q&A right there, not because Communism was a taboo subject but I didn't really know anything other than the usual laowai refrain Adam Smith is good, Karl Marx is bad.  

May FIFTH the Day of PRACTICAL AWAKENING: Those born on May 5 often regard it as their particular mission to educate and enlighten others. No matter how humble their station, they can offer valuable advice as to how life can be bettered. In doing so, they may at times arouse resentment through what is taken for meddling. Later, however, others often come to realize just how relevant such suggestions indeed were.
STRENGTHS: Convincing, Insightful, Enlightening; WEAKNESSES: Dogmatic, Insensitive, Jealous;
ACE of Spades: The Card of AMBITION: The Ace of Spades is the ancient symbol of the secret mysteries, the most spiritual card in the deck, and yet, also the most material. The A person usually has a life-long conflict between their material, worldly urges and their deep, past-life spiritual heritage. 

Marx Was Right

I have started my seventh year in China, with bi-monthly sojourns to South Korea where I proceed directly to the Itaewon bookstore for three weekly issues of the Economist. The store lacks the ambitious selection of Page One in Hong Kong but it did have four choices for Marx. I came away with The Communist Manifesto and The Essential Marx edited by Leon Trotsky; two hours later I was in complete agreement on Marx’s theory of Capitalism.

C – M – C


M – C – M1


M1 = M + ∆M = surplus value

The disagreement with Marx comes about with his Communist philosophy but his 150 year old Econ 101 course is equally valid today.


"You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population.” Karl Marx


New York Times on July 22, 2014, the "richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent."


Like Marx, Thomas Piketty, the economic North Star of a new generation, has proscribed taking away 80% of private property with an international wealth tax.


Marx’s C – M – C equation from the dairy goat farmer’s perspective:


(C) Stands for a COMMODITY in our case a gallon of goat milk.


(M) Means MONEY, $15 at the farmers’ market.


(C) The new COMMODITY, whatever the buyer turns it into; most people drink it but others make kefir, cheese or soap.

M – C – M1


(M)  MONEY is needed to produce the (COMMODITY) in our example it cost us $5 to produce one gallon which begat $15 of new (M1) MONEY. Marx calls this transaction "exchange value.” The next step in the process is defined as "surplus value” where:

M1 = M + ∆M = $10 of "surplus value”


It is this movement of a COMMODITY into (M) MONEY then in turn to (M1) MONEY that converts our sale of milk into CAPITAL. Thereby making us ‘CAPITALIST PIGS’ in lieu of goat farmers.

Marx thought and Piketty’s concurrence placed the blame for income inequality on the shoulders of the bourgeoisie (Shelby and me) for exploiting the goats, the land, and Abundio, our one lone illegal alien proletariat employee.

  Abundio Loredo

Our bourgeoisie defense rested on the fact that at age four Abundio herded goats in Mexico, loved working with animals and would rather sell his Marxist labor power’ for $500/week milking cows and goats than chopping meat in a Chinese, all-you-can-eat buffet, 11 hours a day, six days a week.

Piketty, the déjà vu Marx, has recast the ills of capitalism as "r > g (meaning that the rate of return on capital is generally higher than the rate of economic growth) meaning we would have to give up $8 of our ten dollars, for re-distribution among the proletariat. No way Jose!


Bill Gates, the bourgeoisiest guy on the planet, thinks philanthropy is the answer but he wants to give it away, his way. In 1998, Gates' net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars.


Adam Smith’s 1776 Econ 101 text book, Wealth of Nations declares that "Agriculture, the Produce of the Land, is the SOLE or the PRINCIPAL Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country.”


If that is so, then in the 500 years of American farming, the individual farmer only made M1 MONEY from 1865 when Lincoln freed the slaves, ending subsidized agriculture to the end of WWI when Henry Ford’s ‘Farmall’' tractor forced the self-sustaining bourgeoisie agrarian entrepreneur off the land and into the cities to become a proletarian labor-power slave. 


Marx was right, Piketty proved that Marx was right but Gates put his (M1) MONEY where it was needed in SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP in the support of agriculture in Africa and India.


I observed Agricultural Cooperative Development International’s ‘Small Farmer Production Project’ in Egypt in 1985, I know a millennia ago, but it was a USAID sponsored form of Social Entrepreneurship. Last year in Ethiopia, while Jane Marie climbed a mountain to view the falls of Bahir Dar, I interrogated a USAID dairy coop farmer and the collection station boss. The farmer got a buck a gallon which is squares with the $1.10 for a US proletarian farmer, only a buck in Ethiopia made the farmer a member of the "bourgeois" class.

Global warming, illegal immigration, over population, world hunger, income equality, health, soil deprivation and universal happiness can be easily achieved by local organic food production. So, why isn’t happening? The Crony Capitalism of Statism. Two of the five most economically free nations: Hong Kong and Singapore are city states; two others Australia and New Zealand practice industrialized agriculture – all be it not as pervasive as the US. Only Switzerland, retains a "bourgeois" attitude in farming.






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