The Rehabilitation Of Karl Marx.

February 8, 2009 at 9:20 am | Posted in sheer selfindulgence, writing | 23 Comments
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No-one can read Karl Marx without at least being amazed by his combination of imagination, intellect and love of his fellow humans. He didn’t worry about the numbers, he had his mate Engels for that, he imagined a world in which justice was put before profit and figured out a way to get there. Indicated a direction whilst accepting a margin of error. He said ‘man’, perhaps better put these days as human-type creatures. (Sometimes lovingly referred to as ‘the little pink people.’)

There is no peace without justice. This is both a statement of the physics of the event in that a crime unpunished will continue to reverberate through a community, eat at its conscience, resentments will brew in dark corners and it is also a promise made by people like me. And here is why.

There is no defence of ‘I was just following orders’. Go ask Adolf Eichmann if that one works. If you push a button knowing there is a possibility in which that missile will kill and maim innocent children you have committed a crime. If you sell the missile to him knowing he might do that, to make a profit for yourself, you have committed a crime too.

There is no left or right to politics. There is the little pink people and the corporation and you are being eaten by your own machines! Everybody Panic!

Haha, for some of us there is no rehabilitation.



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  1. ‘The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men.’
    The man was a visionary in my book. I bet he is shedding a tear wherever he is right now.
    Shedding a tear perhaps, Selma. Or happy that the end of capitalism and the economic slavery it is founded on is getting closer and closer.

  2. visionary? I would rather be dead than one of those little pink people.
    Interesting post!
    Better dead than reddish, Nick? Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Every definition limits, but there is no limit, to justice or not

  4. Paul:

    When I read this post it totally hit me. What hit me is that I do believe that people have to pay for what has happened over the last 8 years of government in the United States. (I am in Canada and our Prime Minister was a total pawn of Bush).

    I think at the very least deadeyed dickless Dick should be charged with war crimes and profiteering off of the backs of a war he helped to create.

    I also cannot believe there is still an ongoing discussion on whether what Israel has done is justified. I mean for fuck sake. Hamas is not right either so I definitely do not take their side but to me that is not what this is about. This to me should be for the world a moral situation. Where you state when you knowingly bomb children it is a war crime.

    If this was just the Israelis that want to bomb and the Palestinians who want to bomb each other (hopefully throw in Dick and Bush and they all alone with no civilians involved kill each other, I don’t give a shit. But this situation is nothing less than a war crime.

    One side says it wants security, one side says it wants freedom and both are saying it within a vacumn of a bible.

    Anyway, maybe I am missing this post completely because I am not an intellectual like the people above, because I don’t even get what they mean (over my head). But this is what I got from the post.

    I know, blah blah blah. Okay, I’m shutting up.

    Stay safe from the heat and away from the fires.


  5. Sorry Paul, I didn’t know my rant was so long.


    That’s quite alright, Renee, I enjoy a good rant especially when I agree entirely as I do with yours.

  6. “…a crime unpunished will continue to reverberate through a community, eat at its conscience, resentments will brew in dark corners and it is also a promise made my people like me….”

    such is the innate of society – that in some way it maintains a life, a spiritual principle of its on that demands more from us than we might be able to demand individually- otherwise we are doomed to the consequences of our mistakes and malformations…
    and you thought you were hopeless. 🙂
    I am often hopeless, Kim. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. are you familar w/pinkie and the brain… he was always concerned about power and taking over the world…
    No, I’ve never heard of them but I shall go and look now. Another contender, heh,

  8. i probably know more about groucho’s work but i enjoyed the wordpictures and pitch, and
    then at the end somekind of trombone combo waterslide zoom, and landing a tough subject, cool
    Cool, thanks Tipota.

  9. In an interesting coincidence, I’ve recently grappled with the concept of capitalism vs. socialism and considered how the world as we know it really is just one big monopoly over the global wealth, consolidated in a few hands. Alas this is how it is; even most of those who have vision and humanitarianism eventually get corrupted and go for the money. If you look at the history of the world you can clearly identify three Western countries (their politicians and bourgeoisie anyway- France, England, and the USA) as colonial or neocolonial imperialists that have dominated world wealth, and now the postcolonial leaders of the relatively new nations (or the third world) are really no better because everyone wants a piece of the pie. Today in a modern context we just call it something else, like ‘war on terrorism’ but really its just another form of imperialism and outright thievery. I think I am a socialist and I really do believe that there should be a massive redistribution of world wealth, but how do you ever do something like that and get everyone to comply? You can have social revolution and all that good rhetoric but what usually happens is that the revolutionaries end up becoming the mercenaries, so we’re essentially back to where we started. Did you know that the only social revolution in the history of mankind (as far as I know) where a redistribution of wealth actually occurred and money trickled out to everyone was during the French Revolution? And yet, France was one of the biggest colonialists ever. I used to believe in a capitalist free market but in order for that to exist in the positive state the business owners need to have an ethic or there needs to be a mechanism which enforces an ethic, but believing that is too naive….
    …so much for getting actual literary feedback from me lately, huh? I’ve been reading a book called “The Wretched of the Earth” (translated from French) by Frantz Fanon (1961) and all it talks about is socialism vs. capitalism in post-colonial developing nations, etc.
    It’s not just about one country bleeding another though, if we take a look at the global credit systems and basic premise of stock markets and world banks and all that good stuff designed to bleed the average person dry so a few can benefit.

  10. What a rant fest I just had in your comments section- sorry Paul 🙂
    Woohoo, that’s two excellent rants so far. And I agree with you in most every detail. Thankyou, Harmonie.

  11. Because humanity’s crimes will forever reverberate down the generations, it is hard for me to imagine how change will occur. Throughout history, it has seemed to occur, and then things go backwards again. There is always that undercurrent of reverberations.

  12. …like aftershocks. You know, you think it’s over and then, it’s not.
    There have been some strange echoing rumbles,

  13. Schopenhauer remarked: ‘The more I love mankind, the less I love men’. I like to think I am a little more optimistic than that. Fingers crossed, ahem.
    Fingers crossed, indeed. Marx saw an inevitability to the whole process, he wouldn’t have thought crossed fingers necessary but he hadn’t seen all that we have seen.

  14. Butterfly Award;)
    Woohoo, thankyou.

  15. To The Querulous Squirrel’s comment. I’ve wondered and felt the same. I wonder if it’s because we have such short attention spans and we’re forgetful. I sometimes think it’s because we want to believe that it’s over that we take it for granted and forget how things use to be. weird.

    Excellent post Paul. This maybe be off the subject but I feel like it’s somewhat related. I’ve think about how much of our civil rights that have been taken away in the name of safety. When the idea of safe is like a magic trick.
    I don’t think that’s off the topic at all, Cocoyea. There is the connection between engendering fear in the population and using that fear to erode rights and create an illusion of safety.

  16. interestingly enough, he was the one Marx Brother who wasn’t all that funny…
    Haha, I’m sure he had his moments, Chico. And of course, there was Zeppo.

  17. I think you are right, there is no left or right to politics…Still keeping the utopian society dreams alive in my mind:)
    Corruption is as old as humanity though…
    Yes it is, sadly. But we need ideals to work toward, even if they seem impractical at the moment.

  18. […] by Paul Squires – “The Rehabilitation of Karl Marx”. Special mention also to William […]

  19. “There is no defence of ‘I was just following orders’.”

    If I may counter, I’d offer a defence.

    If a person chosen to carry out an order was chosen because of their susceptibility to “hyperbolic discounting” and the environment within which the order was placed is designed to exploit this susceptibility, then the odds are stacked unreasonably in favour of the person carrying out that order, despite it not being in keeping with any moral code that otherwise would stop them from carrying out the same order. That said, the people responsible for giving the order, and for designing and implementing the environment within which the order is given, are in a far more indefensible position than the person carrying out the order.

    Sorry, what I meant to say was that it’s not fair to bully people into doing what you want, and that’s a defence. 😀
    I would certainly agree, Noah that the giver of the order and creator of the environment are more culpable. Your scenario reminds me of the poor soldiers being punished right now for the Abu Ghraib (sp) atrocities when clearly they are being scapegoated to protect those further up the food chain. But I think no amount of ‘hyperbolic discounting’ can take away all responsibility for actions which are fundamentally wrong.

  20. I wonder, though, if it’s so simple. The movie, The Reader, touches on this. A crime is a crime, but it depends on the definition one gives of “crime.” I’m not saying it’s right, but there are other mechanisms at play here.

    BTW, fires are scary, dear Paul.
    Well, I think we can agree some basic things are crimes, like bombing children and torture. Fires are scarey.

  21. BRAVO!!! I know absolutely nothing about Marx, but I know TRUTH when I see it! 🙂 My comfort in what you are describing is this….

    It may not happen right away, or in the way we ‘think’ it should happen, but in the End – Justice is done.

    In this life or the next, in this circumstance or a new one, we all do reap what we sow.

    PEACE….Hope Obama makes that his second priority after this ridiculous ‘bailout’ situation is handled.
    Creating peace, that is what it is all about, Grace.

  22. Whewee, Paul. Great catalyst. Here’s another 2 cents worth.
    Broadly speaking, evolution is a web, a network of 2 primary foci: competition and cooperation. There are no local guarantees, only global tendencies in fits and starts toward greater integration and collective viability. Ever since the evolution of consciousness reached a critical mass in us where we began to have the capacity to consciously participate in our evolution we have drawn lines in shifting social sands – increasingly agreeing to limit our behavior, directing competition into more healthy, progressive channels and increasingly encouraging cooperation among both individuals and social groupings. There have been and are now numerous cutting edge visionaries and many untouched dark backwaters. Capitalism, as we have known it, has played a major role in directing our competition and cooperation in positive and hugely meaningful ways, but I believe its days are numbered and that it will soon be regarded as an old wine skin which will not contain a new consciousness, a new level of holistic cooperation and competition which no longer cuts off its nose to smite its face, nor robs Peter to pay Paul. Our ethics, economics, and politics are in continual flux, and because they are moving they can be steered. We should all take responsibility and participate in that endeavor.

    Thanks, Paul!
    Cool, thanks, Wayne. I think Capitalism became a major force for evil when we reached the stage where everything that could be owned was owned. Before that it fueled growth and exploration, since that it has done nothing but create violence and slavery.

  23. […] Jump to Comments I recently responded to one of Paul’s offerings with comments about the need for something beyond capitalism as we know it. I think this article […]

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