How people get rich, according to Marx

And Barack and Hillary too

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By Jim Bowman


The great philosopher reminds us of the Obama doctrine, as in (to business moguls) "you didn't build that," echoed (then walked back) by Hillary a week ago.

Marx says the "primitive accumulation" of money is achieved by "force, robbery, subjugation of the masses facilitating their expoliation." This definition "admirably tallied with ideas common among intellectuals of all types," says Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy."

Marx "contemptuously rejects the bourgeois nursery tale . . . that some people [become] capitalists by superior intelligence and energy in working and saving."

He was "well advised to sneer at that story about the good boys" (hard-working smarty pants), says Schumpeter. "To call for a guffaw is no doubt an excellent method of disposing of an uncomfortable truth, as every politician knows."

However, "this [alleged] children's tale . .. tells a good deal" of the truth" he says. In fact, "nine out of ten" cases of business success are accounted for by "supernnormal intelligence and energy."

Schumpeter is worth our attention, writing as he did with flair and basing his analyses on 40 years of reading and thinking. He's not blowing hard at Marx either. Indeed he defends him from some heavy-duty accusations, of which more later.

Email: Twitter: @BlitheSp

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Posted: November 3rd, 2014 1:51 PM

And, may the privileged white male rest in peace, so goes current politi-speak.

Jack Hughes from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: November 1st, 2014 6:51 PM

I'm rich because I am a privileged white male -

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