From Daniel Hannan’s Inventing Freedom:
Capitalism was supposed to destroy the middle class, leaving a tiny clique of oligarchs ruling over a vast proletariat. In fact, capitalism has enlarged the bourgeoisie wherever it has been practiced. Capitalism was supposed to lower living standards for the majority. In fact, the world is wealthier than would have been conceivable 150 years ago. The whole market system was supposed to be on its last legs when Marx and Engels were writing. In fact, it was entering a golden age, hugely benefiting the poorest. As the economist Joseph Schumpeter put it, the princess was always able to wear silk stockings, but it took capitalism to bring them within reach of the shopgirl. The living standard of someone on benefits in the Anglosphere today is higher than that of someone on average wages in the 1920s.
I don’t know how many of the people parroting Marx are aware that they’re doing so. But, whatever name we call it by, his doctrine has proved stunningly impervious to events. You’d have thought—I did think—that the collapse of the Warsaw Pact regimes in 1989 would have definitively refuted revolutionary socialism. Yet successive generations continue to fall for it.
The more we learn of behavioral psychology, the more we understand that ideologies are as much a product of people’s nature as of observed experience. The perverted doctrines that actuated the Bolshevists may be immanent in a portion of humanity. Some people are determined to see every success as a swindling of someone else, every transaction as an exploitation, every exercise in freedom as a violation of some ideal plan, every tradition as a superstition. How delicious that, as we approach the bicentenary of his birth, Karl Marx should have turned into the thing he loathed above all: the prophet of an irrational faith.
Hannan, Daniel. Inventing Freedom . Broadside e-books. Kindle Edition.