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Context: Marxism, OnCapitalism

Quora Answer : Why do communists think that marxism is the only way to fight oppressive capitalism?

Apr 7, 2018

Marxists believe that they have the best analysis as to what oppressive capitalism actually is.

And it's usually better to fight from a position of understanding your enemy than not understanding your enemy.

So, for example, a Marxist probably does accept that some kind of liberal democrat also wants to fight oppressive capitalism. But the Marxist thinks that the liberal democrat is underestimating the strength of the enemy.

The liberal democrat says : "Look, I've come to an arrangement with the capitalists. I don't do politics of envy. I'm intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich. As long as they pay their taxes. I'm happy to leave them to do their thing."

The Marxist looks at this, shakes his head and thinks "here we go again".

And lo and behold, a few years later, it turns out that filthy rich people have been pouring their money into think-tanks that promote the idea that that the economy is being held back by taxes, and that the Laffer Curve proves that tax-cuts pay for themselves. Those same filthy rich people have run newspapers and web-sites that have promoted right-wing politicians who want lower taxes and less regulation on the rich. They've invested heavily in internet analytics companies and developed the art of targeted advertising to try to swing close elections. They've happily funded fake news sites and hysterically divisive paranoid campaigns to stir people up against the liberal democratic status quo.

Suddenly the liberal democrats find they are wiped out on a wave of populism that's founded on 20 different, often contradictory, impulses and prejudices that the filthy rich have been carefully injecting into the bloodstream of the population through multiple media sources over years.

The Marxist looks at this and thinks : "Yeah, I did warn you. Capital is insatiable. It won't accept any kind of deal or constraint. If you leave Capital with power, it will use that power to undermine whatever constraints and obligations you try to put on it."

So sure, you don't need to be Marxist to fight oppressive Capital. But if you aren't, then you're missing some of the, let's call them "heuristics", that Marxism brings to the fight.

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