Karl Marx on Modern Retirement and as Early Julian Simon
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m enjoying David Warsh’s Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations immensely. I’ll be posting highlights over the next few days.
Discussing Karl Marx’s ideas about socialism, Warsh writes:
It was at this point in the argument that the arm-waving began in earnest. What would life be like after the revolution? Afterwards, Marx said in one famous aside, the division of labor would all but disappear, and a man might fish in the morning, hunt in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, “philosophize after dinner,” just as he desires, “without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd, or critic.” If that sounds like a description of middle-class retirement living in the industrial democracies today, surely it is an accident.
I love Warsh’s humor.
And later on the same page, Warsh writes:
His [Marx’s] fundamental disagreements with the English economists became more and more obscure. Ricardo had believed that growth would cease because of the scarcity of natural resources. Marx believed it would continue because of the growth of knowledge.
Thus my reference to Marx being an early Julian Simon.