Masters of Money - Karl Marx

When the name Marx comes up, people's immediate reaction usually takes them to thoughts of communism and the various failed attempts by the Russians, Chinese and Cubans to institute their own versions of what they considered Marx's vision to represent. But although he's immediately associated with communism, I've always found Marx the analyst, critic and prophet of capitalism to be the most fascinating of his personas.

When you read Marx's analysis of capitalism and understand the self-contradictions inherent in the logical and moral structure of capitalism, you'd be ready to forswear it indefinitely if it weren't for the fact that at the very same time Marx points to its evils, his admiration for the power, flexibility and ingenuity of this universal acid can't help but shine through as well.

Marx can be understood from various perspectives, philosophical, historical, moral, psychological, economic, sociological, etc. The following documentary provides an economic perspective--a decidedly biased, narrow and too literalist view to be sure, and one focusing too much on the question of labor and the struggle between proletariat vs bourgeois while ignoring the multiple other ways in which capitalism externalizes costs geographically, demographically, environmentally, etc.--but one certainly interesting to think about and understand nonetheless.

Given its tremendous success, we all tend to admire Adam Smith's ideas concerning the efficiency of the invisible hand of capitalism. Marx realized, however, that there may be an inverse relationship between industrial efficiency and human meaning and pride, and consequently developed an incredibly important theory of alienation that still rings true today, and that we'd do well to understand...
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