Of the Possibility of Socialism

“Nature does not guarantee that socialism will follow on the heels of capitalism.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of a Desirable and Feasible Future

“If it is to be more than an idle fantasy, a radically different future must be not only desirable but feasible; and to be feasible, it has to be anchored in the realities of the present.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of the Futility of Arguments for Socialism

“What Karl Marx objected to among other things was the utopianists’ belief that they could win over their opponents purely through the power of argument.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Building Socialism

If you attempt to build socialism in wretched economic conditions, then as we have seen you are very likely to end up with some species of Stalinism.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of History

  “If there were certain tendencies at work in history, there were also countertendencies, which implies that outcomes are not assured.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Capitalism and Capital

  “The final limit on capitalism, Karl Marx once commented, is capital itself, the constant reproduction of which is a frontier beyond which it cannot stray.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Capitalism

  “Capitalism will behave antisocially if it is profitable for it to do so.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Political Power

  “The political odds will always be on the system in power, if only because it has more tanks than you do.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Marxism

  “Marxism is meant to be a strictly provisional affair.  That there is a life after Marxism is the whole point of Marxism.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Karl Marx

  “Karl Marx was the first to identify the historical object known as capitalism—to show how it arose, by what laws it worked, and how it might be brought to an end.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Marxist Theory

  “Marxist theory itself is not just a commentary on the world, but an instrument for changing it.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Mental and Material Production

“Before we can think, we have to eat; and the word ‘eat’ opens up the question of a whole mode of social production.” —Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right, 2011  

Of Questioning Markets

  “For the true believers, questioning markets is akin to blasphemy.” —Michael Perelman, The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers, 2011  

Of the U.S. Economy

“The most powerful economy in the world, the current U.S. economy, seems powerless to meet the most pressing needs of its people.  The list of pervasive problems includes obscene poverty, inadequate health care, climate change, and environmental...

Of Capitalism

“The inherent instability of capitalism leads to recurrent economic crises.” —Michael Perelman, The Invisible Handcuffs of Capitalism: How Market Tyranny Stifles the Economy by Stunting Workers, 2011  

Of Poor Relief

Is private charity enough?  Or do we need to organize and coordinate poor relief programs?  There are intelligent and well-meaning people who believe private charity is the only Christian way of assisting the poor.  They believe that volunteerism is...

Of Production in Classical Greece

  “The bulk of production in the Greek world of the classical period was done by free peasant proprietors producing at or near subsistence.  The rest was done by a relatively small number of craftsmen producing in workshops of very restricted...

Of Exchanging Opinions and the Duties of a Citizen

  What is the Enlightenment model of how people change their opinions?  People change their opinions through information-gathering and reasoned deliberation.  It is the duty of every citizen to undertake the task of collecting as much knowledge and...

Of Money's Use

  “Money was invented to be used in exchange.” —Aristotle, Politics      

Of Production for Use Versus Production for Exchange

In his writings, Aristotle complained about the Delphian knife, which was “not good enough to do its job properly”, to quote Scott Meikle.  According to Aristotle, the maker of the Delphian knife exhibited “a ‘niggardly’ spirit (penikhrôs)”.  It was...

Of Ancient Society's Anti-Commercialism

  “Ancient society was not a market economy.  The product of labour did not universally take the form of a commodity or exchange value, since a sizeable proportion of production was undertaken for direct consumption rather than for sale.  The...

Of the Art of Money-Getting

  “Money-getting is a distinct art because it has a distinct end, and Aristotle says himself that when a professional art like medicine is pursued for the sake of money, the ends of the two arts of medicine and money-getting ‘pass into one another;...

Of Doing Venal Philosophy

According to Aristotle, the Sophist makes money, not philosophy.  Money-making has a tendency to corrupt any and every human activity.  Doing philosophy in order to make money debases and prostitutes philosophy; it degrades the otherwise worthy...

Of Economic Disputes

  “Arrogant self-confidence is the norm in economic debates.” —Michael Perelman,The Natural Instability of Markets: Expectations, Increasing Returns, and the Collapse of Capitalism, 1999