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  1. #31
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    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.
    For the record I don't actually think Marx was an idiot. I just think his economic theories were utterly moronic. Marx was actually a first-rate sociologist and I mentioned as much in this very thread.

    Regarding machines adding value - machines are the product of human labour.
    Machines use other machines in their construction.

    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
    The mere fact they increase the efficiency of production means value added. The overall increase in productivity comparing the presence of machinery or other tools to the absence of it is, in fact, the definition of adding value. Then of course there is the fact that mobilizing the resources necessary for the acquisition of said machinery is itself value-adding. It requires acquiring large amounts of investment capital, which few people can by themselves fund (very few factory outfits today are sole proprietorships and those that are are leveraged to the hilt -- capital machinery is very expensive), which is why capital exists in the first place. In socialist countries the norm is for the state to take over that role (something I'm not necessarily opposed to, mind).

    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.
    Zero-sum fallacy. Capitalist economies grow because their overall output grows -- ergo it's possible for continuous transactions to yield continuously rising profits if it were otherwise, the outcome would be either 1) stagnation of both profits and wages, or 2) rising profits and declining wages. Decline in either has historically been, in most countries, the exception rather than the rule.

    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?
    Debt. Modern economies are financed on credit, which increases investment rates at the cost of diminishing risk/return ratios. The more leverage held, the smaller the decline needed to wipe it out, and since companies and individuals have a general tendency to become more indebted over time, eventually a breaking point is reached where they are wiped out -- then the infamous debt crises occur. The Great Depression was an extreme example of this very basic phenomenon.
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  2. #32
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    For the record I don't actually think Marx was an idiot. I just think his economic theories were utterly moronic. Marx was actually a first-rate sociologist and I mentioned as much in this very thread.
    WTF

    What are Marx's great sociology works?
    All Marx's theories are economics or telling workers to give a shit about capitalism.

    Marxist economics are not communist ideology. There are alot of flaws with the reasoning marxist economics, nevertheless, they explain ways how capitalism works in ways that bullshit neo-classical economics fails to do.

    Nowdays economics is just bullshit mathematics that has nothing to do with reality.
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

    "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses"~Sulla

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  3. #33
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Some good posts guys but the tone's not conducive to dialogue and the convseration will just get tiresome for one or the other.

  4. #34
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    oohh I just found this after doing an ego search (Peguy typed my name in the thread)



    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?
    Aleskei should explain his analysis of capitalism and enlighten us. Even me in the capitalist camp thinks Marx's analysis has certain degree of accuracy to it.
    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.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Aleskei should explain his analysis of capitalism and enlighten us. Even me in the capitalist camp thinks Marx's analysis has certain degree of accuracy to it.
    I think there's a problem in Marx, a lot like there is in most economists and social philosophers, is that they could be good at description but not necessarily prescription.

    The sociological content in Marx is pretty much that social change operated through thesis-antithesis-synthesis and that societies are in perpetual conflict rather than a functionalist consensus.

    Which, like I said before but maybe not in this thread, is simply stated like that not too different from a lot of observations about institutions, organicism or conventionalism by conservatives.

    The difference, which despite scientific or objective pretension is a subjective value judgement in Marx, is whether you suppport or oppose change and for what reason.

  6. #36
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    The problem is that our propaganda paints Marx as equaling "bad," while the old Soviet propaganda painted Marx as equaling "good," so it's hard to analyze Marx as "Marx," absent any value judgments.

  7. #37
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The problem is that our propaganda paints Marx as equaling "bad," while the old Soviet propaganda painted Marx as equaling "good," so it's hard to analyze Marx as "Marx," absent any value judgments.
    I hardly care for Western conceptions of the fundamental goodness of capitalism, as I disagree with many of them. So I'm in a pretty good position to make impartial judgments.

    Cloud's answer coming up. Stay tuned.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The problem is that our propaganda paints Marx as equaling "bad," while the old Soviet propaganda painted Marx as equaling "good," so it's hard to analyze Marx as "Marx," absent any value judgments.
    I don't think Marx himself would agree that one should evaluate Marx without value judgments. After all, he certainly wasn't reticent to make them himself.

  9. #39
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    WTF

    What are Marx's great sociology works?
    All Marx's theories are economics or telling workers to give a shit about capitalism.
    This is incorrect. Marx made major contributions to prevailing theories on historical materialism and dialectics, and his works are heavily associated with conflict theory and critical theory. Three quarters of Marx's works were, in fact, of a sociological nature -- theories about how society and classes within it function as units.

    Marxist economics are not communist ideology. There are alot of flaws with the reasoning marxist economics, nevertheless, they explain ways how capitalism works in ways that bullshit neo-classical economics fails to do.
    Some of Marx's economic analysis has merit, but most of it, as I outlined in the OP, is utter bullshit, which is not to say neoclassical economics is necessarily any better.

    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    Aleskei should explain his analysis of capitalism and enlighten us. Even me in the capitalist camp thinks Marx's analysis has certain degree of accuracy to it.
    First things first. Who thinks Marx's analysis has merit, and why?
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    First things first. Who thinks Marx's analysis has merit, and why?
    I think from a methodological perspective alone the analysis has merit, I think because of its legacy it also has merit and it could even have literary merit, he was inspired by poets and novelists, I really do think he wanted to be a kind of novelist too.

    The guy himself is interesting as an illustration of the archetypical intellectual, not a lot of people are going to understand Burke's assault on the philosophees, to be honest Tom Paine has carried the day contra Burke in a popularity, even, maybe, a literary sense.

    Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism, Democracy discusses Marxism and then the role of intellectuals and brings it up to date and his archetypical intellectual is Marx.

    While most developed states have integrated their intellectuals in some way, with universities and think tanks as the money for each has become available or perhaps even social services and intelligence services. Marx is a really early example, when that kind of integration hadnt taken place, no tax sponsorship, he subsisted with private patronage from Engels.

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