Jim Rogers: Karl Marx Got a Few Things Right

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    Jim Rogers: “Karl Marx didn’t get many things right, he got a few things right, one of which was figure out the money and you’ll figure out what’s really going on; you’ll figure out the politics, the society, and a lot of stuff.”

    Is Rogers correct, and if so, what other few ‘rare’ things did Marx actually get right?


    I can’t find this quote online to read the context. Can you provide a link to it?

    Here is the only Rogers’s quote on Marx that I could find:


    The statement in the quote you give is just a commonplace: people with wealth influence politics, culture, etc. Such a view is not, then, distinctly Marxist. If Marx repeated commonplace truths, then he got those things right.

    Here is one thing Marx wrote about money:


    If Marx repeated commonplace truths, then he got those things right. But the things that are distinctly Marxist are wrong.

    Here is Rothbard on Marx:



    Thank you for replying Jeff.
    He only says it in a video, and I think he was saying it in the context of capital. Here is the link to the website, the video is in RealPlayer, and what he says can be found at 16:50


    Maybe he refers to “The Marxian Theory of Inflation”? http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/education/study-guides/marxian-theory-inflation

    Or maybe he has this quote by Keynes in mind:

    “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
    Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919), Chapter VI, pg.235-236


    Rogers basically said, “Capital wants to earn a return; just like labor want to earn a return; land wants to earn a return.”

    And in the sense that he was saying, “Figure out the money and you’ll figure out what’s really going on”, I now believe he was saying it in the sense (just as he explained in his book ‘Adventure Capitalist’) that a currency is like a thermometer:

    “In most places around the world, the currency is like a thermometer. It may not tell you what is going on, but it tells you that something is going on. You know a country is falling apart when even the government and its own citizens will not accept its own currency; then you know a country is really in trouble. One of the ways to take the temperature of a country and its currency is to visit the local black market in currency (one exists wherever there are exchange controls) because it’s one quick and sure way for an investor to find out what’s going on in a country. The price of the currency is to the prudent investor what an X-ray is to an experienced radiologist.”


    … so I guess with that said about currencies and thermometers – back to my initial question – surely there is no way that Karl Marx (of all people) could have thought of this?


    Again, this seems like a commonplace to me. Why couldn’t Marx recognize, like anyone (regardless of their political thought) can, that if people won’t accept their government’s money the country is in trouble?

    It’s a daunting task to read all of Marx to see if he said such a thing. Instead, you might send Rogers an e-mail and ask him for the citation.

    Here is a short commentary on Marx’s theory of money:



    Thanks Jeff and Torq.

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