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Sunday, June 20, 2010

BP Debacle: Relearning a Lesson from Karl Marx

Karl Marx's dream of capitalism dying off to be replaced by a more utopian existence never really happened, and never will happen, largely because for all it's faults, capitalism works.

That being said, the BP oil spew can teach us of the primary lesson that Karl Marx taught which still holds true - labor has been and will always be exploited to some degree under capitalism.

Now, we can differ in opinion on exactly how/what is being exploited by the capitalist (business) on the laborer (the average Joe), but this exploitation can explain why some people are expressing reservation about talking down or financially hurting BP, despite their obvious failures. The reasons often provided often come down to just one thing: 'Americans work for BP, we are dependent upon them and other oil companies to live.' I like to imagine that Marx might be able to translate were he alive:

Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.
-Karl Marx, "Das Kapital", 1867

10 comments:

Daniel MacDonald said...

if marx were alive he would have a heart attack when he saw that capitalism still exists!!!

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