Right After All: Marx Hits the Mark on Cruelties of Capitalism
London – The many criticisms of capitalism leveled over a century ago by Karl Marx, the co-author of the Communist Manifesto, may prove to be more right than wrong.
Evidence both anecdotal and empirical of many of Marx’s observations abounds across London, the city where the German-born Marx, who held a doctorate in philosophy, lived for three decades before his death in 1883.
Income inequity – an element of the capitalism Marx criticized – is at historic high in Britain as in the US.
The richest ten percent in Britain live 100 times better off than the poorest, according to a report published last year in the Guardian newspaper.
In London, the richest capital city in Europe, 41 percent of children live in poverty, according to statistics listed in a Museum of London exhibit.
That Guardian report placed average household wealth for Britain’s top ten percent at the equivalent of $1.3-million-U.S. dollars compared to the equivalent of $13,531 for Britain’s poorest.
Marx stated that the accumulation of wealth “at one pole is, therefore, at the same time, accumulation of misery.”
Homelessness steadily increases around London due largely to recession-related deprivations like unemployment, which lead to loss of shelter, according to reports from social service agencies and the news media.
A homeless man often sleeps on the side-walk in front of a hi-end Hugo Boss clothing store located on the main shopping street in London’s posh Chelsea section, where the average home price is $1.9-million in U.S. dollars.
The home prices in London’s Chelsea section mirror home prices in New York City’s upscale Chelsea, a community located not far from NYC’s Wall Street, currently the scene of mushrooming protests against the greed and inequities spawned by capitalism.
The sleeping location for that homeless man in London’s Chelsea is across from the entrance to the Sloan Square Tube Station of London’s fabled Underground.
The ever-increasing fares for riding London’s excellent subway system drives the poor onto the city’s less costly buses. In September, Britain’s Transportation Secretary told members of Parliament that rising prices for privatized intercity train fares have transformed most rail travel into a “rich man’s toy.”
Prices for privatized home energy soared across Britain between 2004 and 2009 with electricity prices leaping over 75 percent and natural gas soaring 122 percent.
George Durack, 87, who chairs a Pensioner’s Forum in one London community, told a news reporter in September that elderly people confront a ‘heat or eat’ quandary due to escalating energy prices compounded by cuts in energy assistance to retirees by the conservative lead national government.