Even 133 years after his death, the teachings of philosopher Karl Marx seem more relevant today than ever before. They've also gained in popularity. In a recent survey, 43% of young Americans under the age of 30 voiced favorable leanings to the notion of socialism. Is this a sign of a new anti-capitalism trend taking over in the United States? The new documentary titled How Capitalism is Killing Itself, produced by the acclaimed series The Empire Files, seeks to find answers.
The film dissects the tenants of Marx's economic principles, which were largely born out of a humanist philosophy. As recounted by Dr. Richard Wolf, the film's chief interview subject, Marxist economist and Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Massachusetts - Amherst, the philosopher set out to uncover the root of social inequality, and identified a purely capitalistic system as its major culprit. In his view, capitalism could only thrive by imposing various social ills upon society such as impoverishment, inequality and exploitation. Therefore, the Marxist-led socialist movement is characterized by a need to redefine the very foundations of what he viewed as a deeply flawed and immoral system.
There are many indications that the long reign of capitalism may be on the ropes, especially when observed through the prism of this year's United States presidential election. Self-confirmed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has proven enormously successful in spreading the gospel that Marx first preached well over a century ago. The youth, in particular, has flocked in support of Sander's candidacy and his message in record numbers. As members of this new generation eventually assume the mantle of leadership in their country, could their firmly held beliefs facilitate the end of capitalism as we know it?
How Capitalism is Killing Itself is a fast-paced and informative expose, but it makes no illusions to an even handed treatment of its subject; its agenda is implicit in its title. But even for the most fervent skeptics or the uninitiated, the film proves illuminating in its attempts to dispel much of the misgivings, fear and misinterpretations of the Marxist philosophy.