Terry Eagleton and Kieran Allen Discuss the Return of Marx

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Terry Eagleton and Kieran Allen discuss ‘The Return of Marx’ from Paula Geraghty on Vimeo.

Terry Eagleton, author of Why Marx was Right and Kieran Allen, author of Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism discuss


On Thursday 23 February 7pm Room 2041 (Ui Chadhain, lecture theatre, Arts block) Trinity College Dublin

Karl Marx is back. The New Yorker proclaimed Karl Marx to be “the next big thinker” of the twenty-first century. The Financial Times, in their recent series ‘Capitalism in Crisis’, acknowledged Marx’s insights into capitalism’s perennial instability, creative destruction and tendency towards crisis.

Marx is one of a handful of people who have fundamentally changed the way we see the world. Even before his death in 1883 his ideas were argued about, reinterpreted and critiqued. More often than not his ideas were discredited and attacked. But now that capitalism is in the midst of the most sustained and systematic crisis it has experienced since the 1930s, there has been a renewed interest in the ideas of Marx. The reason for this sudden swell in interest is clear – world markets are going badly wrong, mainstream economists cannot explain what is happening.

Millions of people around the world from Cairo to New York are challenging the logic of a system that plunges billions into poverty to protect a tiny rich elite. Many of the people engaged in these struggles for a better world are turning to Marx to find a way to win a different kind of society free of poverty, oppression and war. That rather hopeful premise–that a different kind of world is actually possible–goes a long way toward explaining how it could be that the only book that can compete (in terms of paid sales) with the Bible is the Communist Manifesto.

Marx did not simply analyse the workings of capitalism and explain the mechanisms that lead to crises like the present one, he pointed to a way to an alternative, a different kind of world. Marx argued that it would always be ordinary working people who suffer the consequences of these crises, while the rich who create these crises get bailed out. Therefore, he concluded, people need to fight to put an end to this crazy system and create a different type of world, a world for the 99 percent, not the 1 percent at the top.

Terry Eagleton is author of Why Marx Was Right (2011) Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate (2009) and On Evil (2010)

Kieran Allen is author of Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism (2011) – reviewed on Irish Left Review, Ireland’s Economic Crash: A Radical Agenda for Change (2009) – reviewed on Irish Left Review and The Corporate Takeover of Ireland (2007)

Hosted by Socialist Worker Student Society
Filmed by Paula Geraghty © 2012

The above image was originally used by Foreign Policy Magazine in their blog to highlight their lead article Thoroughly Modern Marx by Leo Panitch which the published in 2009


One Response

  1. B. Rand

    March 1, 2012 6:05 am

    The Second Coming, eh? What shape does he take this time round? Will he be old wurzel in new shiny clothing?