POLITICAL THEORY - Karl Marx

Karl Marx remains deeply important today not as the man who told us what to replace capitalism with, but as someone who brilliantly pointed out certain of its problems. The School of Life, a pro-Capitalist institution, takes a look. For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop: https://goo.gl/O1tWri
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FURTHER READING

“Most people agree that we need to improve our economic system somehow. It threatens our planet through excessive consumption, distracts us with irrelevant advertising, leaves people hungry and without healthcare, and fuels unnecessary wars. Yet we’re also often keen to dismiss the ideas of its most famous and ambitious critic, Karl Marx. This isn’t very surprising. In practice, his political and economic ideas have been used to design disastrously planned economies and nasty dictatorships. Frankly, the remedies Marx proposed for the ills of the world now sound a bit demented. He thought we should abolish private property. People should not be allowed to own things. At certain moments one can sympathise. But it’s like wanting to ban gossip or forbid watching television. It’s going to war with human behaviour. And Marx believed the world would be put to rights by a dictatorship of the proletariat; which does not mean anything much today. Openly Marxist parties received a total of only 1,685 votes in the 2010 UK general election, out of the nearly 40 million ballots cast…”

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  • SuperHans

    This is a pretty bad summary of his thought. He didn't think "unemployment" was a positive good in the capitalist sense. He thought capitalist societies create unemployment because without unemployment laborers could demand higher wages without fear of replacement. He thought humans are alienated from their labor under capitalism but not that "unemployment" or "leisure" was the ideal. Rather, it's that we need a system in which leisure and labor are both enjoyable elements in every person's life.

  • Umm Yeah

    Karl Marx has always been a bit tragic to me. He wanted to help people, not give them Stalin.

  • Chukkas

    This comment section makes me want to send all of you to the gulag.

  • TAL29000

    Well Karl Marx seems like a hugely intelligent guy. It's a shame Stalin had to go and taint the word communism by going and becoming one of the most evil humans to ever live.

  • James Montegomery

    So many "isms". Made me jizzum.

  • Smoking Horsey

    The irony is that it is becoming increasingly clearer that capitalism itself is the best way to achieve some of the ideals that Marx wanted to strive for. For example, all of us are discussing these ideas on YouTube, a platform owned by one of the biggest multinational corporations to emerge from the capitalist system in modern times. Yet, people who earn their living on this platform do so with the freedom to create content that they enjoy. They can make videos on one topic today, then something completely different tomorrow. This is a very different form of income to the highly repetitive and monotonous work of a factory worker. Marx also believed in free education for all. Again, that is essentially true today. Anyone with an internet connection can access all of the world's knowledge. All of us right now are taking the time to learn from a channel called The School of Life. Of course, the self-education we gain online does not currently compete with a certificate from Oxford University. However, even in that case that is only true in terms of the old 20th century model of work. In terms of the new emerging 21st century model of work, a self-taught coder can create and publish their own games or build their own websites. It seems likely that this sector of the economy is going to grow. In addition, capitalism is clearly beginning to gear towards a future where fewer people are used for their labour. Many studies have been published indicating that as much as 30% of the workforce is going to be automated due to developments in AI in the coming decades. This will also lower the cost of goods and services. Therefore, the 21st century (of which we are only just at the very beginning of) may well be a century where the trend is less mandatory work in order to survive and more optional work in order to feel fulfilled. Even in terms of private ownership of property I can see a world where this actually becomes less of fact of life. For instance, it is not hard to imagine that a day will come where self driving cars are so wide-spread, available and affordable to use for a one-off trip, that fewer people will see the need to buy their own cars. People may begin to see cars as a service which is shared. As well as this, look at the massive decentralised alternatives that are emerging in the 21st century, even to things such as banking (cryptocurrencies). An ever greater amount of "sharing" alternatives are appearing. It seems that capitalism is a process as opposed to a fixed system. It is the means to an end. It appears to skip right over socialism and provides the means to all the positive aspects of communism without the need for any authoritarian leadership to attempt to put it in place. Simply through the highly profitable capitalist services themselves, a clear utility for sharing is beginning to change the way we live our lives. Marx could never have envisioned this. The idea of the internet and the way we use it today would have been completely alien to people of Marx's time.

  • A - Metsan

    First off a disclaimer: at this point i still haven't read "the communist manifesto"I find the fact that people in the comments seem to argue communism vs capitalism quite strange. After all i thought that the whole purpose of this channel was to keep an open mind to ideas you might've not considered, plus the video mostly just explains the main points of Marx's work.As for the solution to the problems with capitalism, well i find that ideally a blend of communism and capitalism might be the way forward. For instance - healthcare, an idea that most people (including me) find communist in nature. The USA is aiming for pure capitalism and hates anything resembling communism, thus it has basically no working healthcare system. On the other hand Here in Europe countries have working, state sponsored healthcare which benefits all. I can't give any specific solutions to capitalism's problems, but i think people will find that many communist ideas will be realized in time. That will happen, as an era of complete automation and mass unemployment is coming, whole industries would be completely automated and fewer and fewer job positions will be available - some people find that terrifying, i on the other hand find it terrific. I can see this era coming within my lifetime (probably not but still possible). I find that due to that era of automation, having "basic income" systems is basically unavoidable - and that, on the other hand, will definitely happen within my lifetime - because unemployment in areas such as mining and cargo hauling, and many more such jobs, will simply skyrocket within the next decade or two. P.S. I am currently studying "Software Engineering" (basically programming) and - I LOVE programming, no matter what i'll never stop making my own programs and things - BUT i would also love the opportunity to be able to make my own little experimental programs without having the pressure of deadlines and awful bosses. At the same time i think many scientists will be extremely happy to be able to do their research without having to fight for funding, but that is a lot further in the future, around the time the abundance of resources removes the need for money.

  • Space Traveling Cactus

    I had to watch the most blatantly capitalist propoganda advertisement before I could view this awesome video. Gotta love late stage capitalism.

  • Vinny Woon

    Marx was ever in awe of capitalism and appreciated its immense potential. I respect Marx for his praise of and genuine appreciation for capitalism.

  • Tanner Herzman

    well at least the Antisemitism is low in the comments.. LOL..

  • Tommaso Ranemghi

    ☭200 years of marx birth. Alles gute zum geburtstag karl☭

  • Flaming Flashback

    Anyone can be a capitalist, so long as they exist in a capital system.

  • Stendalis

    There should be a balance of capitalism and socialism in our society, simple as that. All this extreme crap like we see now in North Korea (socialism) and USA (capitalism) sucks badly for most of the human beings.

  • Lorenzo G.C.

    I am American. It is, unfortunately, true that there are many people who are truly ignorant and blindly believe a black and white perspective on capitalism and communism. Most of the populace that criticizes Marx, labels him a Stalinist, which I find despicable. Stalin was a totalitarian dictator who deserved to rot for what he did to his people. He became a dictator because power consumed his rational thought. However, the point isn’t to reject Marx's perspective because Stalin used it for a destructive purpose; it’s to figure out how to go about fixing capitalism’s ills which was Marx’s main point. Many people don’t know this: Marx actually wrote more about capitalism than he did about communism. Replacing a society with communism under the state generally doesn’t work, most people agree on that point. However, living in current free-market capitalism, coming up with certain policies and new economic theories, writing them and publishing them for criticism, and then implementing them (if they rationally work) into the policial economy, is the way to go to change the current inaccuracies with classical and Keynesian economic models. This is an extremely daunting task, mind you, but a rational perspective. Nordic and EU nations are doing well above average in regards to public education, healthcare, and the environment. They are “investing” in those sectors through government spending and high income taxes because they realize they are TREMENDOUSLY important for a “progressive” society. Most people who criticize Marx haven’t read his life’s work and yet they feel entitled to label the man this or that. He wasn’t a perfect human being, but he wasn’t an evil person either. This is basically the crux of why conservatives think it’s taboo to bring the man up. They don’t know what to think of him, so the easy way out is to create an ignorant false equivalence of “Stalin = Marx.” Especially now, during the conservative wave. Also, something I find worrisome but also amusing is that a lot of conservatives are starting to favor a more authoritarian political philosophy, which seems to me, pretty hypocritical if they dislike Stalin or any other totalitarian dictator for that matter.Conservative political elites like Trump, Putin, and May realize that a stupid populace with a polarizing media is imperative in retaining a 1% status quo; as do many of their corrupt big business buddies. They are actors using divisive tactics like racism, xenophobia, etc. to split the public on identity politics. So they create false narratives that the biased media is fake, when in fact, they are spreading the most propaganda through the same media itself. In Putin’s case, media is monitored by the state, restricting freedom of speech, and Putin is a vulture capitalist and as many sources claim, the richest man in the world (net-worth of ~$200 billion). Putin is basically a dictator at this point, and Russia isn't a state-socialist society anymore, it's state-capitalist. It's funny how so many conservative talk show hosts rant on the "mainstream fake biased news," when in fact they themselves are biased and are spreading their own agenda. It's a circular problem. This is why an educated populace is imperative so that fewer people demand stupid gossip on either side of the political aisle, so more media outlets supply more independent unbiased thought. PBS is a good example, at least in the U.S. of what unbiased media is, relative to all the other networks out there. Why do I claim this? Well, because they are public sponsored with no rating system. They aren't a business that goes bankrupt if they don't meet the ratings required. They depend on the public support, and not corporate. So if the public doesn't like PBS, they will be gone. This is why I think the current private communications system in place is so polarizing because they present things--not to inform objectively--but to get the attention of the public instead, to keep their ratings up. Private communications are moving into YouTube itself. YouTube hosts a plethora of liberal and conservative news platforms, and they are not spreading objective analysis either. Steven Crowler, TYT, The Ben Shapiro Show, The Majority Report with Sam Seder, etc. are not objective media outlets, they all hold clear biases.I don’t have all the answers, no one does, but I do realize there is reform needed in our current political economy, education, healthcare, and environmental protections. Most conservatives don’t even want to concede on these points.Granted, there are many people that also believe a social democracy is a path to go, in America and around the world. “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” is a beautiful quote by Thomas Jefferson. And to those people, thank you for having an open mind. To the others, if it makes you feel better when you sleep, keep thinking current free-market capitalism will hold for eternity.P.S. I intend this comment as an informative one. I am also biased, just like everyone on the planet. I also realize some things that I say currently might be wrong. I am also a learning human being. The point is to not take my opinion as 100% correct, but to educate yourself even on the perspectives that don't appeal to your worldview​, to become a more well-rounded and intelligent person. That is, in other words, a more objective human being.

  • Chen Henry

    Maybe communism will become reality when AI and robots are well enough to replace labor, so human beings can be free to do whatever they like.

  • Robyn Josephine The Brocialist

    He was right about everything.

  • Kim Carlson

    So many commenters trash the idea of spreading the wealth around--in an economic system where there are more people than jobs--but completely gloss over the fact that capitalists pay workers as little as they can in order to keep more for themselves. Maybe they're exploiter wannabes.

  • Alexandre Santos

    Marxism is pure evil disguised as an utopia.It has been tested over and over and already led to the direct massacre of more than 100 million people, and to the impoverishment and misery of populations in countries belonging to almost all the continents on earth.It simply goes against human nature and freedom, and can only be enforced through force, censorship and injustice.

  • Ginger Stalin

    Stop spreading capitalist propaganda, watch TheFinnishBolshevik's response to a response to this

  • Sirio Martins

    Make one about Bakunin

  • Naff Hits

    I don't want more than what I'm truly valued at. I just want the essentials of living "Car" "House" just basic quality of "Food" and Pass on my average fair amount of off sping. 2 or 3 children as a family man husband. with outside sociability away from the phones that spies on us 24/7. And collects that information to sell and exploit even more so. which all of this has become luxury and debted at a slave cost who hasn't got bill money?

  • Michael Wicksteed

    karl Marx was a smart man and i'm sure he would cry if he saw the atrocities of modern "Communism" in places like North Korea where a select few are living in luxury and the 99% are oppressed and hungry. North Korea is not real Communism, it is a Monarchy/Dictatorship mix.

  • Gabriel Oliveira

    Dude, I am currently living in China. I need a VPN (virtual private network, which is illegal, but necessary to access things like Google, YouTube, FB, etc) just to be able to access YouTube and have a discussion with you. This is the epitomy of the issue. My family comes from Brazil, a place where, despite so much socialist progress within the last few decades, the parties are being kicked out of office again and again due to so much corruption. My father moved from there to America, started from the bottom and was able to get his kids through grade school and into colleges and universities. I suggest you move to a communist country, since you consider it a "heaven". Your view might change.

  • Jean Bordes

    Des vidéos extrêmement riches et le plus souvent formellement justes:bravo!

  • FreeMind1028

    Capitalists will never find peace before dying.

  • Jules Winnfield

    Idiots saying that Socialism has never been successful, please take a look at China about to become the strongest economy in the world lol

  • Derek Changed You

    The point that really hits me is that as a capitalist society we produce so many houses, cars, electronics etc. that everyone in this country could have one but we have so many people in poverty, living pay check to pay check and theres only 1% of people who barely do any hard work but live the richest and most comfortably FROM the other 99% of people who work hard.

  • Bhargavi Suhas

    Of every other political theories out there, Marx's is the one which influenced the world (both state and civilians) to fight against the status quo! Yes, may be we haven't found the better way or even any other way, but at least we started venturing out bcz of his theory of opposing capitalism... For now there are 2 options, 1. Believe in religion and do some charity for some credits from your god. Or2. Be a Marxist and redistribute your wealth..

  • Samfan P P

    The point however is to change it

  • revelthehunter

    Capitalism fails because people are weak, they have a tendency to become corrupted from success - losing the values and the discipline that gives the human mind its edge through adversity and competition. By the same token communism fails as any form of government because people are strong - humans hate any kind of cage placed around them (literally or figuratively) that might stifle their ability to realize their own potential.I believe strongly that personal freedom is the right choice to make for better or worse, but humans are like swords and must be continuously tempered and sharpened through discipline and not left to rust after a hard battle is won. Communism is perhaps a nice dream to have but that kind of world must be decided on by the values of free men and not a dictator or else people will suffer and eventually rebel.

  • Fox Mulder

    The only problem I perceive, though I am not too familiar with Marx's works, though I will read them. Is that the problems that stem from capitalism are more biological than ideological. That's also why communism failed so monstrously. But through capitalism, it's able to sate our more base instincts, tribalism, hierarchical structures, and risk reward, which allows for benevolence on our own terms. Now I'm not saying capitalism is perfect, and the criticisms he had on here were correct, but it's so much deeper than just an economical system.

  • Azzam Kılıç

    Türkçeye çevirenler, iyi ki varsınız. Paylaşımcı ruhunuzu asla kaybetmeyin. Elinize, emeğinize sağlık. Teşekkür ederim <3

  • MagnumMuzic

    "Yet just a few decades later they did, his writing became the keystone for some of the deadliest idealogical movements in history ever." Lets just brush aside the 100 million dead because of his "important philosophy that we can learn from".

  • Augustus Mussolini

    Marxism was severely flawed but I perfected it

  • LUCIUS SATAN

    Stalin, Lenin, Zedong even Marx himselfare not real Marxists...

  • ajttambo

    No thanks, my private property is mine and you can take it from my cold dead hands.

  • SIP871

    This is the first English video i see on youtube, where they pronounce German words the right way. sehr gut!

  • Thomas Riley

    I am now a Marxist ! This is a good idea.

  • alex Debroux

    Saying that Marx lead to the millions of deaths in the Soviet Union is like claiming that Nietzsche lead to the concentration camps under the Nazi regime. You may not like his ideology, but taking him responsible for what happened in the SU just shows your ignorance

  • Cathal Hegarty

    He should have cleaned his room.

  • Chitra Agrawal

    i loved this man & his ideas (y)

  • LUCIUS SATAN

    Some cold war Cunts are here just to criticize Marx.....Illiterate Whores....

  • End me

    Communism is great on paper. In practice, it fails because somewhere, some way, there will always be someone pulling the strings, and that kind of power corrupts. The only way to somewhat prevent that corruption is with a vote, which would be democracy, which would make the political leaders who pass those laws and get those votes want a reward, which would be money, which would be capitalism. Basically, Communism can't work until Capitalism is 100% abolished, and even then it won't work.

  • Avery Cope

    0:58 “The abolition of private property.”Are you kidding me? Wtf??

  • DoopsieTootsie

    S E I Z E D A M E M E O F T H E P R O D U C T I O N

  • Ville Lindgren

    this gave me back my faith in mankind

  • David York

    Marx was very insightful.

  • Marek Tužák

    Communism, Capitalism.... two sides of the same shekel..

  • LEGOMANIAC419

    A very enlightening video. I enjoyed it. It's so easy to label Marxism as evil and wicked, especially here in America. And it's not hard to imagine why, with dictatorships that used his ideas to empower themselves. I had once believed Marx was little more than a rabble-rouser obsessed with bloody revolution, and I'm glad this was posted soas to prove that Marx was genuinely concerned with the welfare of his fellow man.

  • TheSciFiCat

    Communist joke:"Comrade, it this the line where there is no bread?""No Comrade, this is the line where there is no milk, the line where there is no bread is over there."

  • Anne Tessari

    seriously frightening how naive some of these comments are. I think, if I assume correctly that most of the replies are Americans, you have no sense of history and have been truly brain washed to think you system is so successful and everything is going swimmingly. That the wealthy 1% deserve to be extravagently   wealthy at the expense of the workers they exploit is just ignorant !  So glad I live in a country that had socialist reform in the 70s and a redistribution of wealth accepted by everyone.  4 weeks Paid annual leave, paid sick leave,  unemployment benefits, disability benefits, universal health care, minimum wage. Basic human rights - that those that have more money contribute to by paying more taxes.     Sounds perfectly fair to me. I pay higher taxes than most people, but I consider that fair to help those less lucky than me.  Isn't that fair?Brain washed by the media, who have big business interests at heart, there seems to be an absolute ignorance of history and how socialist reform changed everything for the average worker

  • Nameless

    Marx was advocating for murdering of anyone who is richer than the poor and seriously, how do we enjoy 'leisure' if we don't produce goods to satisfy our needs?YOU ARE FULL OF LIES!

  • Clockwork

    Marx's ideas are good on paper, but in reality, it's impossible. Marx didn't take into account the inherent flaws in humanity. Most humans are too "evil" to properly carry out the ideas of Marx.

  • Andrew Leslie

    Judging from the comments section, there are two distinct types of people watching this video, people who want to learn and actually have a deep understanding of the philosophy of a marx-capitalist society and people who comment only because the red scare is still very evident.

  • Aiden Jackson

    And are we supposed to treat the ills of capitalism by assassinating rivals and causing the most wide scale man made famine history?

  • Alex Delgado

    Starts video "Yeah millions of people died under communism but they didn't do it right". That's as silly as someone saying "you know what Hitler didn't do fascism right but if he did x y z right perfect society.

  • Buidalot

    Ok ok ok I'm gonna quote the video here. "One of the evils of Capitalism is not that there are corrupt people at the top - this is true in any human hierarchy." Ok so if there will always be corruption why the flying heck would you put it in control of a big govt? North Korea, China, Cuba, USSR, Cambodia, and Venezuela. They all did that and the same thing happened every time! The corrupt govt. went hay wire! So let me rephrase what was said in the video. "One of the evils of Communism is the govt. will become totalitarian and control everything and a lot of people will die." There that's better.

  • alex Debroux

    What's the point in disliking a video that's simply explaining Marx his ideas?

  • SgtMichalek

    wtf i love communism now

  • Lushen

    What did I just watch? You said at the end of the video that we should all be marxists in the sense that capitalism is highly flawed and we need to look to other solutions (that don't exist but whatever). But in your description, you said your 'institution' was pro-capitalist?Either way literally everything said in this video unintentionally damned Marx. It praised "leisure" which is basically a nice way of talking about the unemployed who don't contribute anything to society. It said that the workers were victims of thieving capitalists but without the capitalists they wouldn't' be able to sell their products. Essentially the goal of any political system should be to distribute resources to the people who are the most likely to use those resources as efficiently as possible. That is exactly what Capitalism does. The business owners who have a history of being successful gain more capital so they can create new businesses that are inevitably successful because the owners have a proven track record of doing exactly that. Hence, why every company Elon Musk creates is hugely successful. Nearly every famous entrepreneur is CONSISTENTLY successful. On the other hand, nearly all lottery winners fail miserably. People who create companies that are unsuccessful are deprived of resources to prevent them from wasting those resources on another failed business practice. It's a very darwanist system and you can't fight nature.I really hope that out of the 62k likes, 50k of them were bots? Because if 6 in 7 thought the views expressed in this video were accurate to any degree we're all screwed.

  • majorMcpharter

    Abolish the wages system.

  • wilson_1984

    Why has every attempt at Communism resulted in totalitarianism and exploitation of laborers, the very thing it aims to eliminate?

  • Aiden Jackson

    Profit is theft? It’s a transaction, a mutual transaction that is of course consensual. I remind you that these workers who are being “robbed” are actually being paid for it, and it’s not slavery as they choose to work

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