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  1. #11
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Marx actually has some sense to it.
    Money is a measurment of human work in the economy.
    It is the only reason that explains why things cost money.
    Really?

    So resources have no intrinsic value apart from human labor?

    You'll have to prove that one to me.

  2. #12
    Senior Member dga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    No economist yet has made a truly flawless argument, but if any have come close to it, Marx was not one of them. Marx, in fact, didn't know jack shit about economics. Some glaring errors in his reasoning include:

    On Labor Theory of Value- Well, the first error of reasoning here should be obvious. Assume I work two hours digging a hole in the ground and filling it with crap. You meanwhile worked two hours making a beautiful chair. Which one's worth more? Anyone?
    If I spent 2 hours using my own backhoe to dig the hole, which was to be of precise dimensions, then yes, I'd want at least the same money as the guy chiselling at some wood.

    If I was simply eyeballing lengths and nailing some wood together, then yes, I#d expect to get similarly paid as the guy with a shovel.

  3. #13
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    If I spent 2 hours using my own backhoe to dig the hole, which was to be of precise dimensions, then yes, I'd want at least the same money as the guy chiselling at some wood.

    If I was simply eyeballing lengths and nailing some wood together, then yes, I#d expect to get similarly paid as the guy with a shovel.
    It appears as though you've proven his point.

  4. #14
    Senior Member dga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It appears as though you've proven his point.
    depends. a fancy chair is of less demand for me than a proper place to put stuff.

  5. #15
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    depends. a fancy chair is of less demand for me than a proper place to put stuff.
    ...which again demonstrates that the value of a thing depends on more than just how much labor went into it. The value of that thing also depends on how much demand there is for it.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    I'll post more later, I think poor Karl has received enough of an ass-pounding for now.
    The guy spoke multiple languages, he was a learned scholar, reading omnivirously in anthropology, economics, politics, philosophy, novels, literature, social theory, the monarchs and governments of Europe had him on their permanent watch lists and his theory, whether right or wrong in its entirety, has given rise to multiple academic disciplines as a kind of legacy.

    I'll he's shitting himself that someone whose got a rudimentary understanding of trendy libertarian economics. Why no grand critics of the theories of Durkheim or Weber? Is it because they where lousier theorists than Marx?

    If Marx could be faulted it would be with trying to create a meta-narrative, ie a single theory of everything, that's reductive in the extreme but not out of keeping with literary-philosophical theory of the time, he tried to combine Hegelian philosophy, english economics and french socialism, in a single theory which would correspond to "progressivist", linear, better tommorrows thinking.

    You know what? If Marx was wrong about the labour theory of value, instead of marginal utilitary or subjective exchange theories or others put forward by Schumpeter, Mise or Hayek since he was only repeating the errors of Ricardo, Mill, Smith and just about every other classical economist there was.

    Suggesting that he'd buck the trend is a little like suggesting that people can think totally outside of their cultural context or epoch, it doesnt happen, even a great genius like Einstein etc. still inhabits a particular time and place.

    Like always the critiques of Marx and Marxism pretty much set a different and independent standard for Marx to conform to which no other theorist would be or could be expected to. Its similar to Marx's response to critics in his day who attacked his theorising about history only for Marx to reveal that these where not original ideas but lifted straight from those of capitalist theorists who studied the emergence of capitalism from feudalism, often they where theorists who where respected by the anti-Marxists and left them in something of a quandry explaining their position.

    Marx himself detested economics, describing it as "economic shit", he didnt finish or publish his Das Kapital completely in his life time, he referenced a novel in which an artist whose perfectionism and obsessiveness had repeatedly changed and corrected a painting, and his greatest influences where artists, poets and novelists. He wanted to perform for economic literature and politics, remember these disciplines and theories where only emerging, what Balzac had done in socially critical novels.

    Balzac was a royalist and traditionalist but Marx felt that whatever an individuals personal prejudices they could possess insights, such as Lost Illusions in which an aspiring individual becomes resigned to a fate other than their original hopes of recognition and becoming upwardly mobile in status/class.

    If I needed any vindication of Marx's theories what so ever I'd consider just how important they've proven to speculators or those studying how capitalism (as opposed to socialism) has developed, performs and is prone to crisis and threatened with collapse. The combination of his theories with historically tyrannical regimes has been a tragedy for the world because all his theory has been judged guilty by association.

    When if you ask me those regimes could have used any flag of convenience, Russia has attempted to carry of a "socialism #2" by fomenting terrorism and then seeking to position itself as anti-terrorist nation no. 1 just at a time when the US is threatened with economic and military downshifting.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post


    I'm a conflict theorist, boyyyyyy.

    Actually, something that fascinates me is that Marx's own sociological beliefs clearly conflict with his political perscriptions. The most basic student of conflict theory can see that a dictatorship of the proletariat would never let itself dissolve. One wonders how Marx did not think of this. I suspect it was wishful thinking.
    Marx's talk about a dictatorship of the proletariat is, like all of his work, written with the novelists or poets eye, its melodramatic romanticism and it is meant as "dictatorship" in the sense of a pervasive, iron consensus.

    There's no other way of reconciling those passages of his work with his journalism which indicates just how impassioned he would become by democratic uprisings or upheavels, such as the Paris Commune, he even commended a tax strike at one point for this very reason and all of his scathing satirical remarks are directed at dictatorial behaviour.

    Whether that behaviour is Bakunin's proposals for campaigns of secret terror perpetrated by invisible brotherhoods or his attack on the French Revolution's philosophical idealism, ie that the people had fought for liberty, equality, fraternity and got infantry, cavalry, artillery.

    The consensus view that Marx and Engels thought would arise would be a change like the cultural shift that took place with the death of the divine right of kings or disappearence of the guilds and official serfdom, anyone is free to believe in those things now, who knows some people still might but they hardly are ideas which hold sway enough to organise an economy now are they?

    There's no blue print in Marx as to how society should function or what socialism would look like or anything at all like that, he was resolutely opposed to it, the only time that any concrete (and utopian) proposal was made about an alternative social order Engels had wrote something along the lines that an individual could be a fisher man in the morning, weaver in the evening and Marx, satirically or sardonically, added something about critiquing after dinner.

    Marx was no good at prescriptions at all, besides suggesting a political power struggle would be the final outcome of a change of hearts and minds akin to that before the death of absolute monarchism as a social institution, I think its unlikely he would have seen the power struggle as an election, at least Engels would not have because he felt that standing armies would never conscent to a radical move away from rank and privilege and no volunteer corps could stand a chance against them.

    I'm convinced that both would have consider the ultimate struggle a democratic one, ie that it would take a mass mobilisation, the new consensus in practice, I'm pretty sure in Engels case too that it would have been a libertarian one because he said things about the state which puts most modern day libertarians to shame.

    The thing about Marx and prescription is though that he was a writer and critic, all his work is coloured by this, he doesnt make prescriptions because he'd prefer to critic other peoples instead, like the attacks on the Gotha programme of Lasselle's socialists.

    Ironically in the end Marx was almost the greatest conservative who ever lived. Losing out hope for a post-capitalism no one could so much as imagine when class divisions and exploitation of human resources had become obsolete he spent his last years reading about anthropological studies of pre-capitalist communal farming in Russia. He even went so far as recommending these sorts of traditional living arrangements to Russian marxists as archetypes worth supporting as opposed to seeking to import industrialism a la Great Britain or France.

    I wish Engels had seized the initiative or been an independent theorist, he had a much more easy going, less obsessive and a lot less intellectual, in the prejorative sense of the word, frame of mind. If Engels had lead the way there's every chance that something akin to Robert Owen's vision of independent producer "colonies" or intentional communities based upon shared personal responsibility would have arisen instead of welfare capitalism or dictatorships.

  8. #18
    Sniffles
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    Engels was certainly more of the "nuts and bolts" type than Marx, hence his nickname of "the General"(which he also earned through his military analysis writings, especially on the American Civil War).

  9. #19
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The guy spoke multiple languages, he was a learned scholar, reading omnivirously in anthropology, economics, politics, philosophy, novels, literature, social theory, the monarchs and governments of Europe had him on their permanent watch lists and his theory, whether right or wrong in its entirety, has given rise to multiple academic disciplines as a kind of legacy.

    I'll he's shitting himself that someone whose got a rudimentary understanding of trendy libertarian economics. Why no grand critics of the theories of Durkheim or Weber? Is it because they where lousier theorists than Marx?
    Whoa there boi... are you accusing me of being a libertarian perchance?

    And, Karl Marx was indeed actually a genius sociologist. One of the very best of his time, in fact. He was just utterly fucking shitty at economics, which is more or less what one should expect to get when one lets a sociologist try his hand at economic theorizing.

    To be fair it's not all his fault though. Labor Theory of Value was in great vogue among economists of his time. Marx's absolute biggest fuckup was overestimating the influence of politics in the economy (which is something that I just realized I haven't actually gotten around to blasting him for). Modern neoclassical economists on the other hand are guilty of the exact opposite: completely ignoring the effect of politics in economics.
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  10. #20
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'll he's shitting himself that someone whose got a rudimentary understanding of trendy libertarian economics. Why no grand critics of the theories of Durkheim or Weber? Is it because they where lousier theorists than Marx?
    I think the legacy of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc. have something to do with that. Not whether or not Marx was a superior theorist to Durkheim or Weber per se.

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