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Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism

Marx's Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism

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'In the triumphant resurgence of capitalism and indeed its global reach, the one thinker who is vindicated is Karl Marx. The demise of the socialist experiment inaugurated by October 1917 would not distress but cheer Marx if, as an atheist, he occupies any part of Hell, Purgatory or Heaven. Indeed, if it came to a choice between whether the Market or the State should rule the economy, the modern libertarians would be shocked as much as the modern socialists to find Marx on the side of the Market.'

"This book is meant to annoy and provoke...". A distinguished economist and seasoned heretic, Meghnad Desai has spent most of his life as an advocate on the Left. This book is the culmination of a period of reassessment initiated by the challenge of Thatcherism, the collapse of the Soviet system, and the British Labour Party's embrace of market -driven politics, which has led Desai to his recognition of "the end of the road for democratic socialism."

In this provocative and enthusiastically revisionist book, Desai argues that capitalism's recent efflorescence is something Karl Marx anticipated and indeed would, in a certain sense, have welcomed. Capitalism, as Marx understood it, would only reach its limits when it was no longer capable of progress. Desai argues that globalization, in bringing the possibility of open competition on world markets to producers in the Third World, has proved that capitalism is still capable of moving forwards. Marx's Revenge opens with a consideration of the ideas of Adam Smith and Hegel. It proceeds to look at the nuances in the work of Marx himself, and concludes with a survey of more recent economists who studied capitalism and attempted to unravel its secrets, including Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek.