Nkrumahism, The Can Of Worms I Opened – Das Kapital III

Sat, 20 Jun 2015 Source: Baidoo, Philip Kobina

In my piece, which engendered Mr Kwarteng’s essay under contention, I quoted Boris Yeltsin to paint a picture of 70 years of Marxism in the Soviet Union. It was like hell breaking loose. Mr Kwarteng attacked Yeltsin savagely on his morality, and I was utterly shocked that he could expose himself so crassly for attacks from his rear. Because if we are dissecting people’s intellectual contribution based on their morality then his almighty John Maynard Keynes will not stand a chance in hell. But I am a principled man, and I am not a cheap hack. I don’t attack people’s intellectual work based on their morality. Those who care to know about the depravity of John Maynard Keynes can go fishing. And this is a helping hand; you can read Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey: A Critical Biography, Heinemann, London, 1967. It is beneath contempt to even waste my time writing about it. I have got better things to do with my time rather than writing about the low life of a leftist icon.

For all the inconsistencies that flowed through his intellectual life there is one thing that I cannot take away from him. When challenged on his history of changing his position on so many issues he quipped, ‘When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?’ At least, John Maynard Keynes when he realises that he is wrong does alter his theories. It is in the same vein that he changed his mind about Soviet Marxism, which came alive via the communist manifesto and Das Kapital. And Mr Kwarteng cannot deny that these were the holy text of the brutal Soviet Union. Keynes had prodigious experience of events in the Soviet, because he was married to a Russian lady and he travelled widely in Russia on several occasions. With his free access to the Soviet Union at a time when foreign nationals were not allowed speaks volume about the fraternity in which he lived, moved and had his being.

The following is what Keynes had to say about the brain child of Marxism: Russia exhibits the worst example which the world, perhaps, has ever seen of administrative incompetence and of the sacrifice of almost everything that makes life worth living to wooden heads ...’; it was a ‘fearful example of the evils of insane and unnecessary haste’; ‘Let Stalin be a terrifying example to all who seek to make experiments. This is quoted from (Skidelsky 1992b: 488). Robert Skidelsky, also known as Lord Skidelsky wrote three award-winning volume of the biography of Keynes. Of course, this is not Baidoo speaking, but John Maynard Keynes ruminating about the end product of the silly ideas of Marxism.

The foregone is the sentiments of just one example of one of the liberal icons Mr Kwarteng cannot have enough of. And I don’t think that will suffice his twisted appetite, so I now introduce Karl Popper’s views on totalitarian regimes such as Stalin’s Marxist Russia and Hitler’s Nazi Germany with the former being the ultimate death cult of Marxism. Karl Popper was an Austrian born British philosopher who penned ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’. He is reputed as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. Popper’s thoughts on totalitarian ideologies, for example, Nazism and communism demonstrated that they all share one thing in common. They believe to be the custodians of the ultimate truth. And Popper argues that since the ultimate truth is beyond the reach of humankind, these ideologies have to resort to oppression in order to impose their vision on society. And that is exactly what happened in Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Ghana under Nkrumah, etc.

Aneurin Bevan the post Second World War labour minister who establish the British National Health Service was an ultra believer in liberty as being essential to the building of a fair society. He believed it was possible to have public ownership and liberty. He asserted, ‘if I believe the development of socialism meant the absolute crushing of liberty, then I will plump for liberty, because the advancement of human development depends entirely on the right to think, to speak, and to use reason, and allow what I call the upsurge to come from the bottom up to reach the top.’ What does this quote means? Bevan believed so much in liberty boxed into a corner he will ditch socialism in favour of liberty. Because without liberty you cannot think, produce and even tell your fellow traveller whether they are right or wrong. Without liberty the death knell sounds for a vibrant society, especially a democratic society.

Karl Popper further ruminating on liberty in his book ‘Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography’ said, ‘I remained a socialist for several years, even after my rejection of Marxism; and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.’ This is what cuts the ground under all the argument that Mr Kwarteng makes. Because he believes that everybody should submit to the will of the state. And the will of the state comes in the form of jackboots and guns like what happened in Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, and many more.

What Mr Kwarteng did in his essay in dealing with my condemnation of Das Kapital is called misdirection. If Marx came up with a better theory in the subsequent volumes he would have done himself a world of good. And as Mr Kwarteng claims he has read the entire opus he would have shouted it from the highest steeple to silence my claims if there is anything of substance, but deafening silence and unmitigated evasion.

Das Kapital did not just produce the brutalities, but it couldn’t produce. He said with funfair in his manifesto that in the workers’ paradise all will be happy to produce even food to feed themselves. In reality, even countries that were self sufficient in food production before the application of that evil system became basket cases over time.

Finally, I will leave the last word on the Das Kapital to John Maynard Keynes, though I have nothing, but contempt for his economic theories. This is what he wrote about Das Kapital when he tried to distance himself from that stupid ideology he was in bed with for the greater part of his life. ‘How can I accept a doctrine which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete economic textbook which I know to be not only scientifically erroneous but without interest or application for the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeois and the intelligentsia who, with whatever faults, are the quality in life and surely carry the seeds of all human advancement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the Red bookshops? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.’ I will not leave you high and dry. This can be found in John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion, 1931. This is not Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr speaking; this is what your own icon wrote about an ideology that you sit down to write infinite nonsense in its praise. It is a death cult that the likes of you look the other way when millions are murdered. And it is all well and good if it advances your evil, sick and twisted ideology. Mr Francis Kwarteng, you need to scrape the barrel to convince me of your teenage philosophy. And I have not finished with you yet. Thanks for now.

Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr



Columnist: Baidoo, Philip Kobina