Karl Marx versus Thomas Piketty

Both [Marx and Piketty] protest economic disparities, but move in opposite directions. Piketty advances into the domain of salaries, income and wealth; he wants to temper these extremes and give usto alter the slogan of the ill-fated Prague Spring of 1968capitalism with a human face. Marx advances into the domain of commodities, work, and alienation; he wants to undo these relations and give us a transformed society.

This is from UCLA historian Russell Jacoby in the New Republic. The rest of the article is not that great, to be honest (I’ll bet you ten bucks that Jacoby – whom I never took during my time in Westwood – is an old man; I can safely assume this because of the praise he lavishes upon Karl Marx at the expense of Piketty and other economists), but I thought this excerpt was a good opportunity to enhance my argument that Murray Rothbard was a great Cold War scholar and a terrible role model for the world we live in today.

Rothbard’s argument – exemplified by this excerpt that Adam provided in the ‘comments’ threads a while back – devastated the Marxist notions of the world held in the 1960s and 1970s, but Rothbard’s argument simply does not grapple with Piketty’s. It’s a whole new ball game, and one that newer scholars who have built upon Rothbard’s foundations are now grappling with. It does us no good to continue parroting a line of reasoning that has long since outlived its usefulness.