Evaluation and Significance
Some of Marx's historical predictions hit the mark. The devaluation of workers continues apace, some 150 years since he wrote of alienation on the job. One can even look at the recent American trend of corporate downsizing in information technology (IT) and other departments as reducing human beings to exchangeable commodities. Marx said that industrialists had to achieve “surplus value” and one manner of doing this is to force experienced, higher-paid workers out on the pavement when their continuation is no longer “cost effective.” The scenario ends with their jobs being moved abroad to hire cheap labor.
On the other hand, two Marxian views fell wide of the mark. Marx insisted that the collapse of capitalism was inevitable. He was wrong in his view that the collapse was imminent; capitalism persists, more than a century and a half since he wrote
In addition, many professional philosophers and lay readers think that Marx idealized human nature. Unlike Thomas Hobbes, Marx insisted that excessive self-interest, over-weaning greed, and lust for power were manifest only in capitalist societies. But some of the same tendencies were observed in the upper-class members of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, not all capitalists are driven exclusively by greed. In short, one can say that some features of human nature can be the same in any economic system.