Does not human history and our biological natures present the most major flaw in Marxian economics?

To Doctor Wolff, I listen to your economy updates on democracy at work via youtube and I had subscribed to your old channel and occasionally I hear you on KPFA from time to time. I enjoy your insight and I firmly trust that the vast majority of your critiques, recommendations, and hypotheses on various events are correct. However after all these years I have to note that your central tenet seems to be what betrays all the rest of your predictions or evaluations; that capitalism will fail or that when capitalism fails Marxian/socially progressive economics will be the best or most likely replacement. The reason I do not agree with this is not from a lack of desire or trust that alternatives such as worker coops among others are the preferable methods to replace capitalism. Rather it is from two views that I draw this doubt; historical and biological. History is primarily dominated by one notable concept, hierarchy. You have pointed this out multiple times. Chiefs ran tribes, Lords ruled kingdoms, and now we have managers (or in Doctor Wes Cecil of Peninsula College opinion that presidents in democracies are little more than figurehead replacements for kings and our congress replacement for lords). There are relatively few examples of large successful collectives or anarcho-socialist styles of government. When such types of governments emerge (i.e. revolutionary Catalonia) quickly other hierarchical governments conspire to attack and crush them. Biologically we need only look to our fellow evolutionary cousin primates to understand a great deal of evidence to indicate that hierarchical systems are firmly embedded in our most intimate nature as a species. Our evolutionary cousins go to war, have troupes led by “alpha” females and or males and followed by “betas”, and have established (and turbulent) social orders which are well documented by many including noted primatologist Jane Goodall to neuroendocrinologist Robert Sarpolsky. In Russia, as in much else of the world there is a growing idea which cannot be ignored. That democracy, not capitalism, is what does not work. It is painful to come to the conclusion that the vast majority of the history of human interaction comes to the result that many suffer so that the few thrive and lead. However it appears that it is exactly that the necessity of historical objectivity and not the ideal premise of the necessity of historical progress is what is required. To formulate an economic ideal which takes into account our perfunctory socio-biological nature as well as the higher ideal of Marxism is what I maintain must be done so that leaving capitalism in its current false duality form of neoclassical vs Keynesian form is just possible but readily palatable by the majority of people. I trust you can give an insightful and inspiring response to counter and challenge my doubts.

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  • Christopher Kavanaugh
    commented 2017-02-26 14:35:18 -0500
    Your theory, and it is mere argument and not scientific law has many proponents in the anthropological community. The mid ‘70s saw Morris’ THE NAKED APE and Dawkins’ THE SELFISH GENE as two pillars of this position. I would reference an earlier work of fiction by
    the imperialist and ‘white man’s burden’ writer Rudyard Kipling; THE JUNGLE BOOK and the monkey’s ‘Rule of the Bandar Log’ werein " We say it is so, therefore it must be."
    Biological and cultural hierarchies are never simple. Alpha wolves can be bullied and manipulated by the Zeta. Kings had Jesters free to express the rudess comments about their follies. Junk science is as old as the first astrologer to deliver a positive horoscope to his king for a gold coin. They are not all employed by the fossil fuel lobby and my course suggestion ’ Anthroplogy of anthropologists 101’ remains off any syllabus.
  • Patrick Marino
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-26 00:18:50 -0500