- Karl Marx, The Man Behind the Communist Revolution — Richard M. Ebeling article.
Excellent concise biography of the man whose evil ideas were responsible for the deaths of over 100 million persons by their own governments in the 20th Century.
- Karl Marx: Communist as Religious Eschatologist — Murray N. Rothbard article.
Murray N. Rothbard’s brilliant online essay, “Karl Marx: Communist as Religious Eschatologist,” is the most powerful indictment of Marxism ever written.
- Karl Marx, Racist, by Nathaniel Weyl
Marx was a vicious racist and anti-Semite. His demonic apocalyptic vision of destruction led to the deaths of over 100 million victims by their murderous Marxist regimes.
Reviewed by Dr. Gary North: “This is an irrefutable book. Not many books in history are. I have a Ph.D. in history. I wrote a book on Marx’s thought, which was published in 1968. I went through more primary source documents by Marx and Engels than most professional historians ever do. This book is a compilation of direct citations from primary source documents. Weyl assembled the citations in one book, for which historians should be grateful. The one-star ratings are offered by readers who cannot bear the thought that their beloved Marx wrote what he very clearly did write. If you have any doubts, buy this book and read it.Then follow the footnotes. This book was dropped down the academic memory hole from the day it was published. Marxism was still a faith shared by academics in the West. Deng abandoned the faith in the year this book was published: 1979. In December 1991, the experiment in Marxism was abandoned by the USSR. This left the aging holdouts in the West high and dry. The few Western Marxists who had read Weyl’s book never forgave him for writing it. Weyl was one of theirs who abandoned the faith early. This always outrages the faithful in any religion, which Marxism was — a religion of revolution.”
- Requiem for Marx — Book by Yuri N. Maltsev (editor).
After the fall of communism, and certainly after this wide-ranging demolition of Marxism by Austrian scholars, who can possibly defend Marxism? Plenty of people, many of them smart otherwise but uneducated in economics. This book is the antidote, covering the whole history of this nutty and dangerous system of thought. It begins by an alternately hilarious and tragic introduction by the editor Yuri Maltsev. He describes in vivid detail life in the Soviet Union, which, he points out contrary to myth, was indeed an attempt to realize Marx’s vision. Of course the system moved away from the strict doctrine, lest everyone in the country be reduced to the most primitive possible economic conditions. He describes a society in which nothing works, ethics and morals collapse, and absurdities abound in every aspect of daily life. It is a priceless first-hand account.
Next come sweeping essays by David Gordon and Hans-Hermann Hoppe that get into the guts of the Marxian system and show where it went wrong from both a philosophical and economic perspective. Hoppe in particular here shows how Marx took classical liberal doctrine on the state and misapplied it in ways that contradicted all logic and experience.
Gary North provides a devastating look at Marx the man, while Ralph Raico zeros in on the Marxian doctrine of class. Finally, and as a triumphant finish, Rothbard offers a wholesale revision of the basis of Marxism. It was not economics, he says. It was the longing for a universal upheaval to overthrow all things we know about the world and replace it with a crazed fantasy based secular/religious longings. Rothbard finds all this in the unknown writings of Marx and his post-millennial predecessors in the history of ideas.
- Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis — Book by Ludwig von Mises.
Socialism is the most important critical examination of socialism ever written. Socialism is most famous for Mises’s penetrating economic calculation argument. The book contains much more however. Mises not only shows the impossibility of socialism: he defends capitalism against the main arguments socialists and other critics have raised against it. A centrally planned system cannot substitute some other form of economic calculation for market prices, because no such alternative exists. Capitalism is true economic democracy. Socialism addresses the contemporary issues of economic inequality and argues that wealth can exist for long periods only to the extent that wealthy producers succeed in satisfying the consumers. Mises shows that there is no tendency to monopoly in a free market system. Mises analyzes reform measures, such as social security and labor legislation, which in fact serve to impede the efforts of the capitalist system to serve the masses. Socialism is a veritable encyclopedia of vital topics in the social sciences, all analyzed with Mises’s unique combination of historical erudition and penetrating insight.
- Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth — Ludwig von Mises article.
This is the essay that overthrew the socialist paradigm in economics, and provided the foundation for modern Austrian price theory. When it first appeared in 1920, Mises was alone in challenging the socialists to explain how their pricing system would actually work in practice. Mises proved that socialism could not work because it could not distinguish more or less valuable uses of social resources, and predicted the system would end in chaos. The result of his proof was the two-decade-long “socialist calculation” debate.
- Collectivist Economic Planning — Book by F. A. Hayek (editor).
In 1920, Ludwig von Mises dropped a bombshell on the European economic world with his article called “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.” It argued that socialism was impossible as an economic system. It set off two decades of debate, so by the time the essays appeared in English, in this very book here, in 1935, the debate was still raging. This volume edited by F.A. Hayek dug the knife into socialism’s heart unlike any book to ever appear. It contains essays by Mises along with a foreword and afterword by Hayek. It also contains more commentary by N.G. Pierson, George Halm, and Enrico Barone. It is exceptionally well edited and beautifully argued, and has not been in print for many years. The contents are nothing short of prophetic. The so-called “Calculation Argument” has never been answered. It shows that without private property in capital goods, there can be no prices and hence no data available for cost accounting. Production becomes random at best, and completely irrational. Mises had convinced his generation and this book completely devastates the whole socialist apparatus from a theoretical point of view.
- Karl Marx and the Close of His System –– Book by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk.
The great economist takes on Karl Marx, and his fundamental failure to understand the workings of the capital market and its relationship to value. The criticism was devastating, so much so that a leading Marxist responded, and thus herein is Rudolf Hilferding’s response. It is very weak, as you will undoubtedly notice. The book is introduced by the socialist Paul Sweezy, and he too tries to rescue the Marxists from the corner into which Böhm-Bawerk drives them. So this book makes for great drama, and it is a pleasure to see the Austrian come out on top despite every effort by the compiler of the book to prevent it.
- Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities — Article by Ralph Raico