The contempt frequently expressed by many economists toward Karl Marx first began to dissolve when the growth of monopoly and the possibility of such disturbing phenomena as unemployment became genuine realities. More and more, social scientists came to agree that Marx’s examination of the economic system in its totality was relevant to the problems at hand. They noted that he had tried to work out carefully and analytically relationships between the various social and economic components. He even set up “models,” so dear to the hearts of modern theorists. But above all, he dealt with technology, underconsumption, unemployment and the concentration of capital. These were big questions and Marx sought to supply the big answer. That he was not always able to come up with the right one is beside the point. The fact is, he was a serious thinker who dealt with serious problems. That so many of his supposed intellectual descendants assert all the Marxian phrases to be absolute truth is merely sad, for this reveals them to be precisely the sort of fools Marx abhorred.
Orthodox economists had evolved through the years some fairly elegant analytical structures from which, as Mrs. Joan Robinson, the noted British economist, says, it was possible to derive with great accuracy the value of a cup of tea. Marx, although possessing much cruder tools, exhibited a far deeper sense of the meaningful: his formulations of economic problems tower over most of the work...
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