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Quote of the Day – Henry Hazlitt on Marxism

By JLP | March 5, 2013

“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

Do you agree or disagree with Hazlitt?

Topics: Economics, Politics, Quote of the Day | 14 Comments »


14 Responses to “Quote of the Day – Henry Hazlitt on Marxism”

  1. Charlie Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Sounds like the modern Democrat party to me….

  2. Stacey Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I would love to hear from someone who could possibly disagree with that. Seems spot on…

  3. doug Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I’d have to disagree with him. That’s way more than one sentence.

  4. BG Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Sounds like a modern Republican straw-man to me…

  5. Matt Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Republican, Democrat, Socialist…. doesn’t really matter that is pretty spot on. Successful people should be admired and emulated not vilified.

  6. JLP Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 11:27 am

    BG, how do you come to that conclusion. What part of Hazlitt’s quote do you disagree with?

  7. Jason Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Sounds like a paraphrase of Elizabeth “Fauxahontas” Warren’s campaign.

  8. Jack Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    In some instances, they can grant that success is the result of superior talent, intellect, work ethic, etc. However, that some people have such things and others do not they consider “unfair,” so those that take advantage of those gifts must be punished.

    This runs afoul of a belief in God, because it is God who gives people special talents, intellect, and work ethics.

  9. kitty Says:
    March 8th, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I have no love for Marx but I have to disagree. Now, his works were not realistic since they didn’t take into consideration the human nature as well as realities of life and that people are born with different level of talent, but they also were the product of their time.

    One thing you need to consider is the time when Marx lived. It was mid-19th century when you social status was entirely predetermined by your birth. There was no access to even basic education for the majority. It was also the time of sweat shops, 6-day weeks, small salaries, hunger, unsafe work conditions: workers in say lead factories getting sick quickly and dying from lead poisoning by the age of 40, child labor. At that time, there wasn’t really that many opportunities for advancement for people who were born in lower parts of society. A son of a factory worker could barely get elementary school education. I am not even talking about daughters since the only options for women were back-breaking servant work, prostitution, or joining a convent.

    At that time, those born to riches and privilege could do very little work.

    I think people should really learn history and maybe read some of the 19th century literature. How about Hugo “Les Miserables” (the novel not the musical) for a start?

    @Jack — belief in God has zero to do with granting or not granting that success is the result of superior talent. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it’s the God that grants talent or nature, it’s still a fact of life that some people are born with more talent than others. It’s just that during Marx time, you could be a genius but if you were born to a scullery maid or a factory worker or a peasant, you had zero opportunities to even get an elementary education whereas if you were born to a nobleman you could’ve been a complete idiot but you were guaranteed a good life.

    How about you guys learn some history.

  10. Jack Says:
    March 10th, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    > during Marx time, you could be a genius but if
    > you were born to a scullery maid or a factory
    > worker or a peasant, you had zero opportunities
    > to even get an elementary education whereas if
    > you were born to a nobleman you could’ve been a
    > complete idiot but you were guaranteed a good life.

    And God was not in control in Marx time? Who determined that this soul who occupy the child of a scullery maid and that soul would occupy the child of a nobleman?

  11. kitty Says:
    March 11th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Jack – again, you shove your religion down our throats. Not everyone believes as you do. I guess your religion is pretty cruel because it says that if you are born to a scullery maid you have to live the right of misery and hunger even if you are a genius and could’ve done a lot for society whereas you could be exception useless, cruel, and stupid but if you were born a son (first son because often the second songs hadn’t much choice either) you can do nothing and live well. Pretty hypocritical to say if you are the one whose idea of hunger is skipping lunch.

    Regardless, if we leave the question of whether it’s a God who determined where you are born or luck, the facts remained that during Marx time the majority of people lived in misery, back-breaking work and hunger. He saw this as not fair, and tried to come up with a way to make it fairer. His ideas were unrealistic, and not right, but they were based on the facts of life of his time.

  12. Jack Says:
    March 11th, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    > Not everyone believes as you do.

    That is EXACTLY what I’m saying. Socialists CANNOT believe in a loving, omnipotent God.

    > [The] facts remained that during Marx time the
    > majority of people lived in misery, back-breaking
    > work and hunger. He saw this as not fair….

    Again, EXACTLY my point. Socialists MUST deny the existence of a loving, omnipotent God, or they would have to claim that their idea of “fair” is superior to His.

  13. Jack Says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Anyway, I disagree with Hazlitt — that’s more than one sentence! :-D

  14. BG Says:
    March 13th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Jack: Google “Christian Socialism”, it even has its own wiki page.

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