I will release a post titled "CRONY MARXISM" on Thursday. If one were to read only one thing I write, I hope it would be that post. Before we get into that subject, we must first do some background work on Marx and his ideas.
Most people do not begin to understand economics until they actually have to earn a living. Many teenagers, simply cannot understand why their parents will not buy them what they want, later grow to understand and do the same to their children.
For a man known as a groundbreaking economic thinker, Marx had an extraordinarily small amount of actual economic experience. He never owned a company or held a full time job. He lived day to day (mostly from Engels) off handouts. Marx's own mother once remarked: "Son, instead of writing about money, go out there and make some!" Indeed, a twelve year old paperboy has more economic experience than what Marx accumulated in his whole life.
I believe this lack of real world experience significantly retarded Marx's economic theory. He had no grasp of basic economic principles such as supply and demand. Like a child, he believed that the determining factor in the value of a good or service is proportionate to the amount of labor expended to create the product. An example:
An I-phone takes much more labor to produce than a bowl of rice and is therefore worth more. Sounds reasonable, in a perfect world, but the world is not perfect. What if there is a disaster and power and cell phone services are out. What if the disaster has made food scarce? Which would be more valuable, the bowl of rice or the I-phone? What about 30 years from now when the I-phone is completely obsolete? Which would be worth more to you, the bowl of rice that will fill your belly, or a useless and obsolete phone? Demand is the determining factor in economics. You may have a baseball card that is listed as being worth thousands of dollars, but if no one is willing to pay that much for it, it's not really worth thousands.
I have no doubt, Marx believed his ideas to be correct. I also have no doubt that he believed redistribution could be achieved to bring about economic equality. However, his lack of real world understanding made most of his ideas impractical. Never the less, many people who do understand economics have used his ideas, and his naive followers, in ways most people have overlooked. They are redistributing the wealth, but not in a way that brings about economic equality, rather, it is used to increase economic inequality.