For over 150 years, the UK economy has defied Marx by turning workers into capitalists. What now?
by Allister Heath
Karl Marx was wrong: free markets are wonderful. They have delivered prosperity on an astonishing scale and helped bind the world together. But their greatest triumph has been their ability to turn workers into capitalists. Forget about those obsolete class-war theories so beloved of Jeremy Corbyn’s fans: Middle Britain’s army of home owners, investors and wealth accumulators own trillions of pounds worth of capital.
Yet all of this progress towards a genuinely classless society, in the Marxist sense at least, is now at risk. The ongoing devaluation of thrift, the rise of zero or negative interest rates and our economic establishment’s obsession with free credit means that it is becoming unreasonably hard for non-financial experts to accumulate wealth, especially for the young and those who are starting from nothing.