A detailed debunking of Marxist philosophy.
Eubank (The Case Against Capital, 2001), a former computer programmer and consultant, says his book is intended “to show that Marx’s central accusation against capitalism—that it enriches capitalists only via their exploitation of laborers, through the extraction of unpaid ‘surplus value’ from them—is a fallacy.” The author adeptly uses Marx’s own work Capital: A Critique of Political Economy to skewer the socialist philosopher, highlighting statements Marx made and refuting them one by one. Eubank adds his own commentary (which is unerringly critical of Marx) and cites the writings of others to support his pro-capitalist argument. Essentially, chapters follow the basic format of quoting passages from Marx’s work and lambasting them. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is the comparison of Marxist theory to the economic theory of Adam Smith. In this section, Eubank contrasts Marx’s labor theory—which he says “has all the typical characteristics of ‘paranoid conspiracy theories’ or ideologies”—to Smith’s labor theory, which “is more a ‘labor, rents and profits’ theory than a ‘labor theory.’ And ultimately, as a theory of what determines market price, [Smith’s] is a “supply-and-demand” theory, not a labor theory at all.” Ultimately, Eubank concludes: “Smith writes as a scientist or investigator of the facts, Marx as a medieval Scholastic.” Unfortunately, the book has a weakness: it is dull and plodding rather than lively and engaging. Quite a bit of the text in the 500-plus pages seems to take on Marx’s writings at a highly technical level. At times, the sentence-by-sentence analysis feels dry and pedantic, certain to be tiresome for the average reader. And since the book concentrates almost solely on a single work of Marx’s, it has a very narrow focus. As a result, this tome is likely to be most appropriate for academics and others with more than a casual interest in Marxist philosophy as it compares to capitalism.
A scholarly study thoroughly researched but ponderous and suitable only for those with a burning desire to see Marxist theory deconstructed.