Wall Street's Marxist moment


Zac Bissonnette recently wrote about a quote that is making the rounds on Wall Street. It claims to be a passage from Karl Marx that predicts our current economic predicament:

Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalised, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism. (Das Kapital, 1867)

As a number of people pointed out, the quote is a hoax. You can easily search through all of Marx's writings at marxists.org and you'll quickly find that there is no such passage. But the quote raises some interesting questions: Why is this faux quote making the rounds, and why do people find it so interesting?

One reason might be the increasing fear that people are feeling about the stock markets and even capitalism itself. We've been living in a strongly pro-capitalist environment for decades now -- at least since Reagan was elected, and certainly since the fall of the Soviet Union -- and there has been very little by way of a legitimate leftist resistance to the organization of just about everything on a capitalist basis.