An Introduction to Marxism for Non-Marxists (w/ Ian Bennett)

I’ve long argued that it’s important for everyone engaged in political debate to understand the ideas, theories, and philosophies they’re arguing with.

That understanding begins with taking them on their own terms, trying to appreciate them the way those who hold them do. In other words, you shouldn’t just read what your side says about the other guys, but instead look to how the other guys talk about their own ideas.

What’s more, critically engaging with, and making a real effort to understand, perspectives that aren’t our own is often fascinating. And, even if you ultimately reject their conclusions, you can still learn a lot, and gain valuable insights that make your own thinking more nuance and robust.

That why, when I was first kicking around ideas for ReImagining Liberty, I knew I wanted to do an informal series on perspectives and philosophies outside of what falls within the radical liberal tradition.

Today I’m pleased to kick that off with my friend Ian Bennett (@EpochPhilosophy), host of the excellent Epoch Philosophy YouTube channel. The topic is Marxism. Ian’s a Marxist. I’m not. But, as I said, there’s value in having a clear understanding of Marxism, of what Marxists actually believe, and what Marx actually said, instead of what libertarian or conservative critics say they belief or say he said.

My conversation with Ian is a perfect introduction to Marxism for non-Marxists. We talk about what Marxists mean by capitalism. (Spoiler: It’s not simply a synonym for free markets.) We talk about alienation, about revolution, about how Marxists view socialism as a kind of radical democracy.

I hope you’ll enjoy our discussion as much as I did — and learn as much from it as I did.

ReImagining Liberty is a project of The UnPopulist, and is produced by Landry Ayres. Podcast art by Sergio R. M. Duarte.

Music: Finding the Balance by Kevin MacLeod | Link | License

Join the conversation

or to participate.