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  1. #21
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Human work creates value in the economy. Human work is the source of value.
    Without work, things still have value and are gifts of nature, but they would not have monetary value.

    Why does rocks and mud worth nothing while a ton of fine steel is worth money (and can be exchanged with money?) The only reason I can find is that the amount of work and technology applied to it gives it value.
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

    "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses"~Sulla

    Conquer your inner demons first before you conquer the world.

  2. #22
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Human work creates value in the economy. Human work is the source of value.
    Human work, however, creates disproportionately more value when leveraged by well-coordinated resources and capital goods (machinery, etc). This is where capital adds value.
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  3. #23

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    What's got to be realised that the various and rival theories of value may all have legitimacy, they're relative and make more sense in combination than exclusively by themselves.

    There is a subjective element to value and I cant argue with that, if I bought a book cheap and was able to sell it for a greater price because a consumer demanded it irrespective of the price hike I've not put any labour into it, not even in procurement particuarly, I was lucky to get it more cheaply than it was available for when I sold it.

    Besides that one of the greatest theories of value which I have time for is that of marginal costs (not sure if that's the right term but I'm not going to try utility this or that mistakenly someone can correct me if they know the right terminology), the idea that sacrifices and risks are what are being compensated for, ie if someone spends their time labouring or doing anything they incur a cost in so far as they can not be doing something else in that exact moment.

    The market doesnt approximate too well and can appear very unfair in its calculation of prices to reflect sacrifices and risks but perhaps that'll change with technology and improvements in information, the thing is always going to be eschewed by other factors such as class struggles, then again any alternative has suffered from the same problems.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    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).
    My collected works of Engels is one of my favourite books, out of print too and I picked it up accidentially as a curio from a second hand book shop, I like his military historian pieces and his philosophy and letters are very revealing of an entirely different character from that which is frequently portrayed by Marxoids.

    The guy writes a letter to Marx about his insensitivity because Marx wrote to him demanding money when Engels wife had just died, Engels was a very sensitive guy by all accounts and had spent night and day with the women as she passed away. I'm surprised to be honest that he simply didnt cut Marx off at that point but other letters show that despite how one sided it got Engels was a loyal friend and awe struck by Marx's reading and intellect.

    His writings on religion and the German peasant war and the reformation are pretty interesting too, he really was a bit of a cynic about the possibly of a revolution not being defeated or betrayed from the get go you know.

    The stuff he said about the growth of the US state was awesome, imagine a socialist "founder" extolling the terribleness of growth in the no. of salaried and pensionable state official :P

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    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.
    I may have been jumping to conclusions because I tend to see attacks on the labour theory of value, particularly attacks on it as a Marxist idea as all eminating from the same source. The poisoned spring of libertarianism.

    I'm unsure that things where as clear cut between sociology and economics in his day, not even sure if the same could be said for our day even, in many ways I think economies are premised upon unacknowledged sociological factors or culture. For instance the sheer amount of co-operation (often not remunerated or recognised even) that has to take place in order for capitalist competition to materialise.

    I do think that Marx and Mise are mirrors of one another, I'm not sure if I consider that the one exaggerated the political dimension and the other underestimates it. In a lot of ways I think that the conservative idea that politics trumphs economics is valid, the last good advocacy of it I read was the UK conservative Ian Gilmour's Tory Keynesianism.

    The shotgun marriage of conservatism and capitalism or free markets or monetarism (whatever guise that devil goes by) is a bizarre and I consider uniquely American phenomenon but its been exported at a rate of noughts.

  6. #26
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I may have been jumping to conclusions because I tend to see attacks on the labour theory of value, particularly attacks on it as a Marxist idea as all eminating from the same source. The poisoned spring of libertarianism.
    I'm a little more original than that. You might notice for example that not once have I mentioned economic freedom (which I consider a vastly overrated concept, as "freedom" in general) or any of the other retarded strawmen market liberals generally use when refuting Marxism. I considered the mechanical and material aspects of Marxist theory for what they are, and refuted them on their authentic flaws. And I'm still not done...
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  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    I'm a little more original than that. You might notice for example that not once have I mentioned economic freedom (which I consider a vastly overrated concept, as "freedom" in general) or any of the other retarded strawmen market liberals generally use when refuting Marxism. I considered the mechanical and material aspects of Marxist theory for what they are, and refuted them on their authentic flaws. And I'm still not done...
    Marxism's a little out of vogue, a lot of people beat you to the old refutation thing, I remember in ninties and before when the theory hadnt even gone into a proper decline yet, different times, different times altogether.

  8. #28
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Marxism's a little out of vogue, a lot of people beat you to the old refutation thing
    True. I was driving the point home for an individual on this forum who appears to still believe the hype.

    I don't agree with a lot of modern arguments against Marx though.
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    True. I was driving the point home for an individual on this forum who appears to still believe the hype.

    I don't agree with a lot of modern arguments against Marx though.
    You're kidding there's an unreconstructed Marxist on the forum? Bet I've got them on ignore, its not Victor?

    Anyway, the best angry refutation was probably by Kolakowski, it was bizarre reading his book because he really does a fantastic job of presenting every single marxist idea and thread, its unbelieveable the knowledge he has of something that its so, so obvious he hates with a vengence that'll echo through the ages.

    Francis Wheen has written some good books on Marx and Das Kapital which are broadly sympathetic without being partisan or myopic.

  10. #30
    psicobolche tcda's Avatar
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    oohh I just found this after doing an ego search (Peguy typed my name in the thread)

    Well, moving on... Marx actually caught on to that little snag, and added the amendment that this went only for socially useful labor. Since it's somewhat difficult to quantify social usefulness, I'm gonna assume this means demand. Ergo, he's assuming that two articles with the same demand will be worth the same given the same labor time. This isn't so bad (though it's steering a little close to the neoclassicist theory of marginal utility -- one that most Marxists reject), but it's still not really up to snuff, because it ignores the importance of capital (as in physical capital) in production. If I make a chair by hand in two days by hand and you carve an identical chair in an hour then the two chairs are obviously worth the same. And even if mine is worth more (it likely is because it's handmade), it'd have to be worth some 20 times more, at least, for it to be worth the same, labor-time-wise, as yours (not likely).

    This is a rather important point, because it essentially destroys the Marxist theory of labor exploitation -- which is the central point of Marx's entire economic model. Capital machinery obviously adds value to production (significantly so in fact), and acquisition of capital machinery is made possible by capital investment, which is the contribution of capitalists to production. Ergo, evidently capitalists add value to the production process above and beyond that produced by workers, and thus the value they extract from the production process is not a labor surplus.

    Now, if you wanna argue that the value derived by capitalists is excessive, then that's fair but it falls in the realm of generic socialism, rather than Marx's "scientific" socialism. It's somewhat moot, given that nowadays the value derived by senior management far exceeds that derived by capitalists themselves, as do their powers; and senior managers are technically workers.
    LTV was accepted by all classical economists (like Adam Smith and Ricardo) before Marx, so you not only called them utter idiots, but called Marx superior to them...quite funny.

    The rest of your post is answered by the fact that Marx identified an average amount of labout time which a commodity should take to produce, and that anyone who fell below this could not grow and woudl eventually be bankrupted (i.e. to the extent their labour is above the average time taken, it is not socially useful).

    Regarding machines adding value - machines are the product of human labour. Captial is "dead human labour" in Marx's words. They increase the efficiency of production, but do not add value above that which was paid for them (if this were so then profitability owuld be a mere swindle by the buyers of machines against the sellers of machines, meaning there could not be net growth of both, which there is).

    Only labour works for less than its value. If there were any other source of value, i.e. within exchange itself, then capitalism as a whole could not grow, because for every capitalist who profited with a sale, one would lose out on the purchase.

    Regarding the inevitable collapse of capitalism: learn to distinguish battle cries from analysis. Marx lived at a time of great revolutions which may have coloured his view, also.

    However what is clear is that Marx never thought capitalism would collapse purely because of its own contradicitons, because it is able to make the workers pay for the inevitable crises via the mass desctruction of over-accumulated capital (i.e. closing down production) and commodities (i.e. destroying unsellable goods). However in order to do this, it must drive down the living standards of the working class, leading inevitably to class struggle - which will exist as logn as class society exists - which is the seed of the possibility of a proletarian revolution.

    One question for Aleksei - if you reject a Marxist analysis, what is your explanation for the inevitability of cyclical recessions in capitalism every 5-7 years or so?
    "Of course we spent our money in the good times. That's what you're supposed to do in good times! You can't save money in the good times. Then they wouldn't be good times, they'd be 'preparation for the bad times' times."

    "Every country in the world owes money. Everyone. So heere's what I dont get: who do they all owe it to, and why don't we just kill the bastard and relax?"

    -Tommy Tiernan, Irish comedian.

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