[Editor's Note: Thanks for Doug Lain of the Diet Soap. While I plan on writing a response to their comments, and most especially to respond to the problem of this split between base and superstructure or the difference between thought and action, for the moment I thought I’d contribute by providing some links.
First of all, perhaps the single greatest insight Marx had was on the subject of the Labor Theory of Value. He essentially agreed with Adam Smith and Ricardo, but while they took living labor to be the universal and ahistorical source for all value in the world, Marx understood this value to be an historical value, one that could only arrive on the scene once a class based mode of production arrived on the scene.
It’s all very complicated, but Brendan Cooney’s youtube channel makes it easy. His Law of Value video series is tremendously helpful. He’s got everything a 21st century would want: Fetishism, Crisis Theory, an explanation of the idea of socially necessary labor time, abstract labor, all of it set to music and illustrated with clips of cartoons, US propaganda films, and cheesy homemade computer graphics. Here Marx is presented as a Mashup:
Turning to my own commie efforts I’d recommend my interviews with Andrew Kliman and Brendan Cooney for discussions of Marx himself, and conversations with C Derick Varn, Martin Jay, Adrian Johnson, and Jodi Dean if you’d like to hear conversations on Marx’s followers. C Derick Varn and I discussed the madman Althusser, Martin Jay and I talked about the Frankfurt School and Adorno, Adrian Johnson and I circled around Slavoj Zizek, and Jodi Dean and I discussed her own Marxist perspective on Occupy Wall Street.
And if you’d like to mostly listen to me explain Marx’s critique of Feuerbach (and mispronounce Feuerbach) to my son Benjamin here’s a video wherein I attempt to do that. The Cooney influence is fairly obvious here.
Douglas Lain is a fiction writer, a blogger for Thought Catalog, Tor.com, and Right Where You’re Sitting Now, and the podcaster behind the Diet Soap Podcast. His most recent book, a novella entitled “Wave of Mutilation,” was published by Fantastic Planet Press (an imprint of Eraserhead) in October of 2011, and his first novel, entitled “Billy Moon (a novel)” is due out from Tor Books in August of 2013. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.