Why Marx Was Wrong by Lawrence Eubank ably refutes Karl Marx’s central argument against Capitalism which Marx presents in Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Eubank convincingly dissects the central argument of Marx, that Capitalism enables Capitalists to grow wealthier via the “exploitation of laborers, through the extraction of unpaid ‘surplus value’ from them,” point-by-point, in his 500-page book.
In Why Marx Was Wrong, author Lawrence Eubank builds his refutation upon Marx’s own statements. Eubank examines the philosophical rot in Marx’s central argument, going into detail about exactly where and how Marx’s statements are incorrect. In his scholarly and erudite assessment, Eubank cites the works of several other authors with a pro-Capitalist point of view who support his condemnation of Marx’s flawed reasoning.
Right from the start of Why Marx Was Wrong, Eubanks questions why millions of people living in countries around the world still appear to be convinced that Marx’s central argument against Capitalism is a valid one. Despite “the utter collapse of Communism,” for some reason people continue to assert that Marx’s critique against Capitalism has merit. Eubank writes in his book that this is often true “even in countries that never were subjected to Communist rule.”
In Why Marx Was Wrong, Lawrence Eubank adeptly skewers the central argument against Capitalism that Marx presents in his book by pointing out that from Marx’s very first sentence, he bases his statements on what Eubank calls “unspoken assumptions.” Marx makes assumptions about Capitalism without backing them up with established facts, expecting his readers to accept the assumptions without asking any questions about what facts they are based on.
The initial sentence of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx begins with an assumption that millions of people have blindly believed, as they have read it, “The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as ‘an immense accumulation of commodities,’ its unit being a single commodity.” Marx thus begins constructing his central argument like a house of cards, on an extremely unstable foundation.
Continuing on, as if the statement he has just written is factual, Marx states what he considers a necessary way to begin his argument. “Our investigation,” Marx writes, “must therefore begin with the analysis of a commodity.”
Though Lawrence Eubank in Why Marx Was Wrong and Karl Marx in Capital: A Critique of Political Economy write about economic systems that are very different from each other, both Capitalism and Communism are similar in that they have both been experimented with and tried out by governments, often with mixed results, and both economic systems are often staunchly defended or criticized by people who do not really know the basic arguments and tenets that have been made in favor of and against each system. Perhaps one of the reasons that people either blindly follow Capitalism or Communism or condemn one or the other of these economic systems is that the study of economics can seem to be rather dull and tedious to many.
Knowing about the economic policies of different countries can be fascinating. Analyzing why some countries who follow certain economic policies become more successful than others is a very interesting subject to some people, but the information is often taught in classrooms in a somewhat dry and boring manner.
Though reading through the 500 pages of Why Marx Was Wrong requires a commitment for the readers of Lawrence Eubank’s book, the author attempts to make his very able refutation of Marx’s central argument as entertaining as possible. For instance, Eubank states that Marx’s labor theory has similarities to “paranoid conspiracy theories,” and he compares the reasoning of Marx to that of “a medieval Scholastic.” Why Marx Was Wrong is a Must Read for anyone who is interested in the study of economics and who has wondered why Marx’s central argument against Capitalism has continued to be believed by millions of people, despite being based on flawed logic and unproven assumptions.
Written By Douglas Cobb
Why Marx Was Wrong by Lawrence Eubank