We (Innomove Lab) just posted "Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels at paragraphr.com, which is a web app being developed by Innomove Lab.
I am not a communist. To be honest, I have never read Marx properly. First of all, I did not want to ruin my family by becoming another socialist when I was in college during the time of military government. Another reason, which is more important, has to do with my reading habbit. When I read anything, I try to understand the key messages and decide to continue or stop. I tend to continue when I see something counterintuitive and non-linear. Innovator's Dilemma, one of my favorite business books, was such a kind. "Good management is exactly the reason why good companies fail." How can I resist?
When I tried reading Marx or Marxist literature, I have not seen any such thing. I felt it would be very linear. It would be "What you see is what you get" analysis of capitalist society.
By the way, I think "capitalism" is a misleading term. I think the core of free market economy (my preferred term) is freedom to innovate. To tell you what I mean, assume you are an employee at a supermarket in 1992. Having seen the Internet, you really get excited. You have a lot of happy thoughts, imaginations. Then you tell your boss, the supermarket manager, that they should make an online shop. He does not agree and declines your proposal. He says "this is good enough". What do you do?
Well, here is the critical difference. If you were in a communist society, you should just give up. It is a "community" decision that you should follow, whether it is democratic or (more likely) dictated by the elites. What if you were in a free market economy? You can leave and start up! I believe that this freedom of pursuing your own venture is the critical difference of the two systems. Everything else must be details.
You may say that I did not compare apple to apple. You are right. We need to additionally explain what the core assets of a free market economy. I think it is the idea, which you as a supermarket employee had. So, ultimately a free market economy is an economy which compensates for (successful) creativity. Unlike any other assets, including the capital, idea does not have a limit. An innovation gives a good environment for another innovation. And as long as we give indiciduals the freedom to do something at your own risk, there will be people who disagree with status quo and start a revolution. And some will always succeed. So, wait forever for the market economy to reach an end. I bet it won't come, though the society will be more equal than now (I will write more about this in Mass Niche). That's my view of the free market economy.
Back to the Communist Manifesto. Anyway, I did not have a chance to read a Marx book completely. And here we have Paragraphr, a platform to discuss a writing and a project in need of usage and feedback. So, why not put a Marx writing on it and read it there. Hopefully we get some feedback on rankrz.com, which I am realizing is quite difficult as a company outside the US, and I get to read and test commenting myself (slowly). Lastly, though I want to avoid any political or ideological discussions, my feeling is that the recent "Free" issues and so on have non-business, non-economic implications. If that is really the case, why not have two tracks: current and trendy Free and digital goods on one hand, and classical and fundamental thoughts on the other.
Would you join me reading the mind of Marx?