El Capital de Marx en el siglo XXI

188
Carlos Marx. Calarcá.

Alejandro Cifuentes

“Si se quiere entender qué está ocurriendo con la distribución de los ingresos en la economía del siglo 21, es necesario dejar de hablar demasiado sobre habilidades, y empezar a hablar mucho más sobre los beneficios y sobre quién posee el capital.” Estas palabras pertenecen al economista keynesiano norteamericano Paul Krugman, quien a pesar de insistir en que los postulados de Marx tienen más interés para el historiador –entendido historiador como el preocupado por curiosidades de un pasado inerte–, ha venido reconociendo que para entender la desigualdad es necesario prestar atención a la contradicción capital/trabajo.

Cuán ilustrativas son las palabras de Krugman de cara al 150º aniversario de la publicación de El Capital, obra fundamental de Karl Marx. Desde la desaparición del “socialismo real”, hace poco más de tres lustros, los apologistas de la globalización, han intentado enterrar los aportes de Marx mediante explicaciones “científicas” elaboradas en el seno de la academia occidental. Se ha argüido que el proletariado ha dejado de existir, pues nos encontramos en una sociedad postcapitalista cuya economía se basa en los servicios, la circulación y la información. Estos hechos harían inútiles las ideas expuestas en El Capital.

Pero lo que el siglo XXI, y su profunda crisis económica, vino a mostrarse que los problemas del sistema capitalista, como la pobreza, la desigualdad y la explotación laboral, no habían quedado en el pasado. Incluso, a estos problemas se han sumado la precariedad laboral y la crisis ambiental, que amenazan la existencia misma de la humanidad. Ante estas circunstancias, desde mediados de la primera década del presente siglo, no solamente gurús del capitalismo han reconocido la validez de Marx para salvar el sistema –como en su momento ocurriera con Keynes–, sino que la sociedad misma ha comenzado a encontrar en El Capital explicaciones a las problemáticas contemporáneas que permitan trazar lineamientos para la transformación social.

El exilio de Marx

Marx se exilió en Inglaterra después de las revoluciones de 1848. Allí, enfrentando problemas económicos, familiares y de salud, se dedicó por dos décadas al estudio de las principales obras del pensamiento económico occidental para comprender el funcionamiento del modo de producción capitalista. En 1867, finalmente publicó el primer libro resultado de su trabajo, El Capital. Crítica de la economía política. Inicialmente vio la luz en alemán, y ya para la década de 1880 el libro contaba con traducciones al francés (revisada e intervenida por el mismo Marx), el inglés, el ruso y el español, entre otras.

En la actualidad, El Capital cuenta con varias traducciones en nuestro idioma. El Fondo de Cultura Económica, editorial mexicana que ha difundido la traducción del español Wenceslao Roces, realizó en 2014 la cuarta edición del libro. Esta edición cuenta ya con la primera reimpresión en físico y una primera impresión en versión virtual.

El influjo actual en nuestro continente es palpable. No solamente autores tan variados como Néstor Kohan o Enrique Dussel, insisten en la importancia del pensamiento de Marx para el mundo latinoamericano, escenario de una de las mayores desigualdades sociales en el mundo. También podemos ver como en Bolivia la obra fundamental de Marx ha sido motivo de reflexión en medio de la construcción de una experiencia alternativa al modelo neoliberal.

La actualidad de Marx

No en vano desde Argentina hasta México en este 2017 se han venido realizando eventos conmemorativos que han reunido a académicos, estudiantes, investigadores y movimientos sociales en torno a una reflexión sobre la importancia de El Capital para nuestro mundo. Colombia no es ajena a este movimiento, y durante la primera semana de octubre Bogotá será sede del “IV Seminario Internacional El Capital-150 Aniversario (1867-2017)”, una iniciativa apoyada por universidades públicas y privadas del país, que lleva cuatro años impulsando una reflexión pública sobre la vigencia de la obra de Marx. El presente año, en su versión culmen, congregará a investigadores colombianos interesados en la obra del autor alemán, estudiantes y movimientos sociales. Además, contará con la presencia de ponentes internacionales como las cubanas Kenia Echavarría Fraga y Natasha Gómez, el alemán Michael Heinrich y el inglés David Harvey, entre otros.

El Capital es lo que podríamos llamar un clásico, pero no por ser una reliquia del pasado, sino porque tras siglo y medio de existencia sigue demostrando su vigencia. Ahora bien, para entender esa vigencia es necesario leer la obra siempre desde nuestro presente. Sin embargo, podríamos resumir al lector que la actualidad del libro radica en que Marx analizó una forma social dada, el capitalismo, y señaló que ésta funciona sobre la base de la explotación del trabajo de la mayoría de los seres humanos. Su finalidad era transformar esta situación. Hoy una minoría de personas que ha construido sus privilegios por medio de la violencia y la explotación, continúa subyugando a una mayoría trabajadora. Por estos motivos, El Capital aún nos puede aportar luces para entender nuestro mundo, y construir uno mejor.

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