Pedro Schwartz: The Communist Manifesto and the Lure of Scientific Socialism – Interview and Talk

Interview with Spanish politician and economist Pedro Schwartz*. Recorded at the 14th Gottfried-von-Haberler Conference 2018 in Vaduz (FL)

 Summary of Pedro Schwartz’ talk:
“The Communist Manifesto and the Lure of Scientific Socialism”

The Communist Manifesto (1848) was an explosive pamphlet written by Karl Marx with the help of Friedrich Engels, where he predicted the inevitable of downfall of capitalism and the coming dawn of communism. The seduction of this powerful piece of rhetoric lay in the combination of three elements: the assertion that its arguments were scientific, the tone of moral indignation, and the rousing call to arms for a social revolution. Of course, he failed in his prediction of the immiseration of the working classes, and the inevitable march of the free market towards all-embracing monopoly. But the mistakes with the crueller outcomes were another two: that capitalist growth was based on the primitive accumulation of value extracted from the working class; and that scientific and technical progress was not brought about by free competition but was an automatic result of material conditions. Here were implicit an excuse for oppression and a hatred of individual freedom.

*Pedro Schwartz held his talk at the 14th International Gottfried von Haberler Conference which took place on May 25, 2018 in Vaduz, at University of Liechtenstein. Conference topic: “Karl Marx: Born 1818 and Still Going Strong?” – German: “Karl Marx: Mythos und Realität”. The event was organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.”

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