What Karl Marx can teach us in 2014

The economist wasn't always right. But his vision of capitalism is looking alarmingly close.

Karl Marx
(Image credit: (Henry Guttmann/Getty Images, Hulton Archive/Getty Images))

For most of the 20th century, favorably mentioning the works of Karl Marx has been a quick road to being run out of polite society in the United States. But I've just finished a long trip through the first volume of Das Kapital, as well as several of his other works, and at the risk of tempting the RedScareBot, I think there are some genuinely valuable insights to be had in 2014, almost 150 years after it was first published.

Marx has been maligned mainly by association with the totalitarian dictatorship of the Soviet Union. However, Das Kapital, like most of his work, is a descriptive account of how capitalist institutions would change the politics and economy of a nation. As such a work, I see three main areas where Marx's insights are still worth considering.

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