According to John Gray, Marx's analysis of the capitalist system was correct. It is unsustainable and ends up destroying its own social base; Marx called that the bourgeousie, today we call it the middle classes.
What do you think?
... as capitalism evolves, its defenders say, an increasing number of people will be able to benefit from it.
Fulfilling careers will no longer be the prerogative of a few. No more will people struggle from month to month to live on an insecure wage. Protected by savings, a house they own and a decent pension, they will be able to plan their lives without fear. With the growth of democracy and the spread of wealth, no-one need be shut out from the bourgeois life. Everybody can be middle class.
In fact, in Britain, the US and many other developed countries over the past 20 or 30 years, the opposite has been happening. Job security doesn't exist, the trades and professions of the past have largely gone and life-long careers are barely memories.
If people have any wealth it's in their houses, but house prices don't always increase. When credit is tight as it is now, they can be stagnant for years. A dwindling minority can count on a pension on which they could comfortably live, and not many have significant savings.
A Point of View: The Revolution of Capitalism
So - what's to be done? Politicians got us into this mess - can we trust them to get us out of it? Or is a middle-class revolution on the cards? Or will people just stick their heads in the sand and hope the good times will return when it all settles down again?Looking to a future in which the market permeates every corner of life, Marx wrote in The Communist Manifesto: "Everything that is solid melts into air". For someone living in early Victorian England - the Manifesto was published in 1848 - it was an astonishingly far-seeing observation.
At the time nothing seemed more solid than the society on the margins of which Marx lived. A century and a half later we find ourselves in the world he anticipated, where everyone's life is experimental and provisional, and sudden ruin can happen at any time.
What do you think?