Although I find most of Stuart Gort's views on economics abhorent, I found myself agreeing with his posting on the 27 December concerning Marxism. Marxism in theory I like. The major problem is that over and over again the theory has been thwarted at some point just after the revolution by those with the political will to do so. Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Mugabe and so on. Nowhere has the end result looked anything like the utopia promised by Marx. This inability to bring the theory into practice would seem to be a major flaw in the theory itself. If Marxist theory is so rational and perfect, why has it never been translated into action? It would have been interesting to see how Cuba would stand now if the most powerful country on earth hadn't attempted to destroy it at every turn. Evil has been committed in Cuba but not to the extent of in the US - and I don't mean this in some abstract way. The history of the civil rights movement is littered with the police assassinations of prominent black leaders, not to mention the state sanctioned show trials and executions of communists. But I digress.
Stuart Gort's anger with Marxist ideologues is similar to my own feelings towards "Economic Rationalist" and Free Market ideologues. These people laud these ideas, applauding apparent success and ignoring glaring failures. New Zealand, some may be surprised to discover, has made more of a move towards rational economics and free marketeering than any other nation on earth so far as deregulation of markets and industries and labour market is concerned. The result? Economic stagnation. It looked good there for a while but no cigar. To some this is proof that the system doesn't work. To others it simply means that we haven't gone far enough, while the human beings caught up in it continue to suffer. The economists and politicians in the forefront of this push will never admit or accept that they were wrong and will continue their drive until a new ideology is created to deal with the problems they have created.
This happened with Keanesianism, it happened with the economic liberalism which preceeded it, it happened with the imperial economics of the British empire and the only inevitability is that it will happen again.
What to do. What to do.
The problem is that it is only with ideology that people are able to feel the political will to change things. There needs to be some way of tempering these ideologies with some humanity once they achieve power. Otherwise the cycle will be repeated over and over again.