If you’re about my age and lived through the Cold War, you’ll likely find the title of this e-newsletter not so much paradoxical as self-contradictory. At the root of the Marxism we have known almost our entire lives is the version instantiated in the old Soviet Union, Red China, and other defunct Communist bloc countries. That Marxism was fiercely anti-capitalist, always and everywhere. Its international mission, in fact, was the purgation of capitalism.
What I’ve called Marxism is Classical Marxism, the Marxism of Marx’s magnum opus Das Capital and implemented in all the communist regimes of the 20th century. Because Marx was a materialist, he believed that every factor of life could be reduced to the physical. This included religion, philosophy, ideology, all ideas, in fact. Economics was the source of all human existence.