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Noah Smith @Noahpinion
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Greetings, workers of the world! Today's @bopinion post is about Karl Marx...what he got right, and, more importantly, what he got wrong.

bloomberg.com/view/articles/…
The world must never forget the atrocities that were done in Marx's name, or the economic disasters that befell every communist country in the 20th century.

Why did these things happen??
We can at least try to look for the key to Marxism's 20th-century failure in the writings of Marx.

I especially like this breakdown by Brad DeLong: delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/05/un…
Marx certainly underrated capitalism (and he underrated capital too).

Suppression of market activity was certainly a big problem for societies like Mao's China...
...But I don't think that was the biggest problem with Marxism. Countries like the USSR and China invested in a lot of physical capital.

And if those leaders had been wise, good leaders, they would have seen the importance of markets and reversed course (as Lenin almost did).
The big problem, as I see it, was Marx's idea that socialism could only be achieved by violent revolution.

This toxic idea ensured that every communist experiment was accompanied by war, social upheaval, destruction of institutions, and the rise of opportunistic megalomaniacs.
ALL of the successful examples of socialism are social democracies - mixed economies, where socialist leaders are ELECTED instead of installed by violence, and where much capitalistic activity remains.
Successful socialism hasn't followed Marx's blueprint.

Instead, it has largely followed the blueprint of a later, mostly forgotten socialist figure: Eduard Bernstein. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Be…
If you want socialism without atrocities and disasters, then EVOLUTION, not revolution, should be the tactic.

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