by Geoffrey Churchman
He was born on 5 May 1818 in Trier, Germany, to be precise, and in her pursuit of suitable dates for more public holidays to please her voters, it’s a little surprising that Dear Leader hasn’t come up with this one, as he is the father of the ideology which has clearly been a major force in her life and and at least some of her cabinet colleagues. Maybe she’ll announce it next year?
According to the Wikipedia page on Marx, he “has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and his work has been both lauded and criticised. His work in economics laid the basis for some current theories about labour and its relation to capital. Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx’s work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.”
And he is. No student of political science can ignore him as, deeply flawed as his theories are, he has had a major influence on the World. At the time he wrote his works in the mid 19th century he was concerned with the vast disparity of wealth and power between the haves and the have-nots.
But as economic historian John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out, as well as revolution, his Communist Manifesto proposed a series of modest socio-economic reforms by governments, which western countries steadily adopted — and served to diminish the appetite by workers for revolution. The revolutions that did occur — Russia, Cuba, China — happened in those countries which never saw those reforms. In that way did Marx work against Marx.
It’s rather ironic that in the last few decades the vast disparities in income and wealth have reappeared — including here in Kapiti where for some unfathomable reason, KCDC Boss Mr Maxwell is paid from Ratepayers about 5 times the average salary. Globally, we now have a new unfettered dictatorship — not of the proletariat (those at the bottom of the heap) but by the Billionairiat. It’s now said that the top 1% own about 80% of the World.
Even more ironically, Jacinda & Co. have been throwing nine figure sums of Taxpayer money at these billionaires: the America’s Cup owners and most recently, $162 million to Jeff Bezos of Amazon. What about doing something for the workers your party is supposed to represent, Jacinda? Why not reduce GST as David Seymour calls for, Jacinda?