Why read Marx today?

Jonathan Wolff

Why I looked at this book

Problem 1: Communist countries failed dismally. They were generally autocracies, nothing like the egalitarian regimes promised by Marx. But this book seems to claim that there is still merit in much of what Marx wrote. But then we get to Problem 2: I've found the writings of Marx to be incredibly long winded and tedious. It would seem daft to plough through them in the hope of finding some redeeming nugget of an idea. Can Jonathan Wolff persuade me otherwise? (and in the process I would hope point out which of Marx's writings are worth looking at)

First impressions

OK, so starting this book does begin to persuade me that it might be worth reading some of what Marx wrote. The young Marx reasoned that increasing mechanisation should lead to shorter working hours, but instead the opposite happened. Why? This certainly has relevance today, where instead of the age of leisure promised by Keynes, and despite increasing GDP, many people are struggling to get by. Not only that, but Wolff point to where I can find important parts of Marx's writings without having to plough through reams of tedious stuff - David McLellan's Karl Marx : selected writings, which I shall certainly put on my 'to read' list.
Coming soon:
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