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Opinions of Monday, 15 June 2015

Columnist: Baidoo, Philip Kobina

Nkrumahism, The Can Of Worms I Opened – Das Kapital

Mr Kwarteng started his confutation of my second piece on the basis that since I claimed I did not read all the work of Marx I should not be taken seriously on my outright condemnation of his Das Kapital. Yet, he spends more than three pages trying to debunk what I wrote. Why will he go to that length if what I wrote was just some interpretation of an intellectual midget? He is aware that what I wrote is right and beyond reproach. I was expecting an outright refutation of my claims that what I said is not true, which he did not, but rather used convoluted argument and unnecessary obfuscation to salvage his leaking vessel.

Some books are not worth the paper they are written on. That is to say, spending time to read them is complete waste of precious time. For others, which I consider as ‘holy writ’, needs to be literally chewed from cover to cover, digested thoroughly, assimilated and finally the application of its tenets. While Shakespeare classics are read everywhere around the globe after four hundred years of his passing, similar works of his contemporaries are hardly known. How many people have heard about St. Augustine’s City of God? Perhaps, if you go to the campus of Jesus Christ College at Oxford you might find some hardcore fans. But we still read Euclidean geometry outlined in his book: The Element, which was written circa 7 centuries before Augustine penned his monumental work. For me, Das Kapital falls into the category of books that the paper on which it is written is valued more than the content. Its attractions lies in the fact that it is a masterpiece of political propaganda other than that there is no mileage to be gleaned from it. It is unfortunate that very smart people fall over their heads in its praise.

A lot of writers write all sorts of infantile idiocy and make a lot of money, because there are always blockheads who will always buy trash to read. Let’s take the identity of the number 666, which is supposed to be the beast of revelation chapter 13. I am going to limit my examples to just the twentieth century. There were plethora of books written to prove that it was Adolf Hitler, Pope John Paul II, Henry Kissinger and Saddam Hussein just to name a few. In 1988 a former a NASA rocket engineer turned prophecy teacher, Edgar Whisenant, wrote a book entitled ‘88 reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988’. The only smart thing about the book is the cunning title, but the rest is complete baloney. I wouldn’t recommend it; you will curse yourself for wasting your money. However, the intelligence of the writer is without question. Now, if Baidoo sees another book like that am I obliged to read it? Because it is supreme waste of time to even read the introduction, when there are more classic works to occupy one’s time.

What will be the standing of my reputation if I should strenuously start advancing argument based on the ‘Malleus Maleficarum’? Will he take me seriously if I argue that crop failures are caused by the activities of witches and quote the ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ as my source? The fact that people think Das Kapital is wonderful doesn’t make it a brilliant book. We are in 2015 and there are people who still believe that the earth is flat. It’s been a hard battle since Ferdinand Magellan proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the earth is spherical roughly five centuries ago. So I am not surprised that Mr Francis Kwarteng thinks that Das Kapital is a book of wonder. There are people who believe in aliens, and some write infinite nonsense to vouch such imbecility. Travelling from the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, will encounter earth shattering experience that will render any alien tissue sample completely spent. Yet, people swear heaven and earth that they have seen aliens. So, it is not surprising that Mr Kwarteng thinks that Das Kapital is a supreme work of ultimate dialectics. To most Marxists, discrediting Das Kapital or any of his work is to suggest that Marx was not smart. But there are some smart people who have thought and produced dangerous ideas. The smartness of an individual does not make him infallible. For example, Fourth century BC Aristotelian science teaches us that the earth is the centre of the universe. However, we now know better from Copernicus onward and Galileo who was persecuted by the Catholic Church for deviating from Aristotelian science. Does that make Aristotle any less intelligent? Aristotle was one of the smartest thinkers that ever lived, but he made mistakes, and it is part of the human condition. We shouldn’t be grim about such facts, but rather take comfort from their imperfection in the positive sense that we can replicate their brilliance.

Mr Kwarteng went through what I said about Das Kapital with a bulldozer by asserting that a new introduction, a page, a paragraph can make a huge difference to a book. What sort of introduction can render Mein Kampf a tender Jew loving book? Mr Kwarteng was of the opinion that if I had read all the other volumes of Das Kapital I would have come up with a better outcome. However, since he is an Afrocentric intellectual I will paraphrase for him an Akan proverb, which literally states that you can accurately determine the course of a project, fiesta or a party by its introduction or how it begins. That is why I wouldn’t read all the four volumes of Das Kapital. I am not writing a thesis on Marxism or Kapital that I am obliged to read his entire written opus in order to cover every inconsequential niggling detail. If you don’t know anything about economics and you read it there is no doubt about the fact that you are going to be totally screwed. The fact is they contain some diseased theories that when you get infested and you are not lucky you will take it to the grave. Unfortunately, Mr Kwarteng has caught it, and it’s doing interminable damage to his mind.

Mr Kwarteng makes the statement that assumption are factored into the demand curve as a rebuttal to my denigration of the bungling assumptions his High Priest, Karl Marx, made in his Das Kapital. In effect, if Marx also makes assumptions to support his theories that is also fine. And he went further to assert that Einstein made similar mistakes in the theory of relativity. To say the least, Einstein was developing a new theory of the cosmos, and what new theory did Marx develop? What new theory did he develop like Say’s law or Gresham’s law that students quote in their exams. Before he wrote his communist manifesto in 1848, the constitution of the Icarians was part of the 19th century European consciousness. The only observable theory I can attribute to him is that wherever his principles are adopted they lead to mass graves. The notion of communism has existed for millennia before Marx came along. And if he developed the theory of communism and gave it its scientific cloak they want to attach to it, has anybody been able to replicate what he predicted other than murdering people in the millions. Besides, the difference between Einstein and Marx is that if you observe all those assumptions he factored into his theory you can replicate them. Most laws of chemistry and physics are defined based on keeping certain physical constants within certain defined parameters.

The faulty assumptions he copiously outlined have prodigious difference between them and the Das Kapital, because all those work he referred to did not cause the lives of anybody. Those who rely on the faulty calendars of the Egyptians did not cause wholesale murders of their citizens. If a faulty assumption is factored into the engineering of a space shuttle and it bounces off into space on re-entry you can take consolation from the fact that those astronauts were given a choice to be on that shuttle. What about the emptying of Phnom Penh? Were the victims of that atrocity given the choice or murdered by men in jackboots following the faulty theories of Marx. I keep emphasising these murders because every life is precious, and as a great believer in liberty any ideology that tramples on the freedom of the people needs to climb the highest mountain to even attract my attention let alone warrant a dissertational approach.

And he further asserts that Marx faulty assumptions were fine tuned by Leninism and Stalinism. God help us, I am not making this up. The car has gone through a lot of improvement since its invention in the 19th century. And those improvements have made it better and more comfortable and enjoyable to drive. The Hyundai motor corporation picks up the same underlying theory of car making and produces a master piece – Genesis. Can we say the same thing about Marx and his Das Kapital? I don’t have to repeat this to anybody; the fine tuning of Leninism and Stalinism led to the death of 20 million people in Russia. Maoism led to the death of 30 million and the truth about his Fidelism will come out when the dust settles over Cuba. And he forgot about Pol Pot who wiped out a third of Cambodia, which was very tragic, because that of China and Russia were a drop in the ocean to their population.

To suggest that not all Adam Smith’s ideas are relevant today is to completely miss the point. There is no one who doggedly believes in the ideas of Smith who will force you to believe what they believe. Believers in the revised version of Darwinism don’t force anyone to kowtow to their beliefs. Leibnitz that he mentioned in his piece developed a theological theory called theodicy to explain why there is evil in a world that was created by an all powerful and loving God. Leibniz’s theory was ridiculed by Voltaire in his hilarious and damning novel Candide, and, of course, modern day atheists make a mince meat out of it. The question is does it hurt anybody to believe in the Leibnizian best of all possible worlds theodicy? It doesn’t, but the theoretical assumptions that Marx factored into his Das Kapital to come out right led to the butchering of the very people they claim to advance their welfare. In the same vein Aristotle and Anaximander’s half baked theories did not cause damage to anybody.

In Kwarteng’s essay he grouped Marxism and Capitalism as theories. Nobody sat down to develop Capitalism as a theory. It developed spontaneously that is why it does not have its intellectual defenders like Marxism after all the damage and brutalities it wreaked in every corner of the globe in the last century. Capitalism is an economic system; it is not a theory. And it has proved itself for more than two centuries. It existed before Marxism was adopted wholesale, and it is still thriving after its collapse like a house of cards.

To say that Alan Greenspan did not foresee America’s recession in time to put in corrective measures to nip it in the bud is laughable. If you disarm capitalism of all its prophylaxis how do you expect it to switch to a defensive mode? That is why viruses that attack the immune system are very deadly. Capitalism has been literally stripped of all its defences by the so called control freak political bureaucrats who believe in command and control economy, but won’t dare voice their real intention. Recession is a self-fulfilling prophesy in any capitalist economy when you binge on malinvestment. Milton Friedman believes that the Market works all the time if Politicians like Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank – typical examples of the control freak political socialist bureaucrats, who appear in sheep clothing, will allow it to work. Thank you one more time.

Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr