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  1. #41
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    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.
    True... but I think it's an apples-and-oranges comparison. Burke was an MP, a deep-thinking political theorist and a genuine man of letters. His critique of the French Revolution and its aftermath was a real tour de force. Paine, on the other hand, was a pamphleteer with hit-or-miss success, who happened to really hit one out of the park at a critical time for the Colonies.

    It's like comparing Gore Vidal with George Stephanopoulos. It's inevitable, perhaps, that Paine would be more popular, but that doesn't mean he's better.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    True... but I think it's an apples-and-oranges comparison. Burke was an MP, a deep-thinking political theorist and a genuine man of letters. His critique of the French Revolution and its aftermath was a real tour de force. Paine, on the other hand, was a pamphleteer with hit-or-miss success, who happened to really hit one out of the park at a critical time for the Colonies.

    It's like comparing Gore Vidal with George Stephanopoulos. It's inevitable, perhaps, that Paine would be more popular, but that doesn't mean he's better.
    In some sense I agree with you, definitely in so far that the comparison is apples and oranges, Paine and Burke are entirely different writers and thinkers.

    Burke's sympathies for the colonies are known and his stuff about the "revolution to prevent a revolution" or "revolution of no revolution" about America would really appeal to conservatives, he is the archetypical conservative, besides Bagehot I cant think of a better example.

    So it's perhaps funny that Paine's more well known, I also think in some ways there's an irony because Burke is more of an intellectual than Paine, in status at least if not perspective. Paine is something more like the popular intellectual though, the man of little learning or Gramsci's "organic intellectual" so I can see how they naturally clashed.

  3. #43
    psicobolche tcda'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.


    Machines use other machines in their construction.


    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).


    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.


    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.
    This reply vindicates my decision to have not read 5 pages of this thread, as it's clear that not even the ABC of Marxism was discussed.

    If what you were claiming "Marxism" says were the case, then you'd be right, it would be "utter idiocy". But I'm afraid nearly every claim you've made about Marxist economics is a misrepresentation.
    "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."

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  4. #44
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    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.
    What is the implication of this? Is this to imply the correct course of action is to judge someone strictly in the manner that they would judge others?
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  5. #45
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What is the implication of this? Is this to imply the correct course of action is to judge someone strictly in the manner that they would judge others?
    No; I only meant to suggest that Marx, who freely thought in terms of value judgments, probably made his arguments within that same framework, i.e. expecting them to be judged accordingly. In other words, I'm suggesting that in reading and interpreting Marx, we take into consideration what Marx intended. It's an archaic approach to literary criticism, I know, but then I'm an old dinosaur at heart.

  6. #46
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    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.
    Alright, lets assume he had some sociology works, but its still not majority, its about 50 50 even if what you said is true.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    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.


    First things first. Who thinks Marx's analysis has merit, and why?
    Well, can you explain what is Capital?
    Whats the difference between money and capital?

    neo-classical economics say its only a factor of production, which I don't agree with. Capital and capital accumulation is central to whole function of the economy, and so far only Marx gave a detail explanation about it, regardless its right or wrong.
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

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  7. #47
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yenom View Post
    Alright, lets assume he had some sociology works, but its still not majority, its about 50 50 even if what you said is true.
    The majority of Marx's works were of a sociological nature. That, combined with the fact economics was somewhat underdeveloped in his time, conspired to give him a view of economics that was entirely too centered in the issue of political class conflict. At very best, his theories are outdated, and at worst they were fundamentally flawed to begin with.

    Well, can you explain what is Capital?
    Capital has two definitions: Investment capital is spending cash that is utilized to procure factors necessary for production. Fixed capital on the other hand, are the actual tools, excluding labor and land, that are used in the production process.

    Whats the difference between money and capital?
    Money is the accepted means of exchange in a community. Anything that people will more or less universally accept in exchange for goods and services, is money. Capital on the other hand is a factor of production.

    What's the relevance of this?
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  8. #48
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Labor is irrelevant to an item's worth. The only thing that matters is what people are willing to pay for it. Why should I pay $1200 for a table that took 30 hours to build by hand if I can get the exact same product for a quarter of the price machine-made? Almost all the major historical economists made economics far more complicated than it really is. Nothing matters except that I want something, or don't want it, and am willing to pay x amount of money for it. If you can't meet that, and your competitors can, I'm going to buy from them. If they can't meet it, I'll either pay more or forgo the purchase.
    You lose.

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  9. #49
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeeekyyy View Post
    Labor is irrelevant to an item's worth. The only thing that matters is what people are willing to pay for it. Why should I pay $1200 for a table that took 30 hours to build by hand if I can get the exact same product for a quarter of the price machine-made? Almost all the major historical economists made economics far more complicated than it really is. Nothing matters except that I want something, or don't want it, and am willing to pay x amount of money for it. If you can't meet that, and your competitors can, I'm going to buy from them. If they can't meet it, I'll either pay more or forgo the purchase.
    That's a pretty simplistic and pop capitalist explanation of economics, perhaps if you'd lived at the time when the original economists had you'd understand why they "made economics far more complicated than it really is".

    So, if price is entirely determined by demand and demand is totally determined by personal preferences what is the source of wealth and value, where does money derive its value from? Why does money have intrinsic value instead of exchange value? How does purchasing power effect consumer sovereignty in determining prices?

    Yeah, I guess it is just as simple as you say...

  10. #50
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Why does money have intrinsic value instead of exchange value?
    This is a very good question when we're talking about fiat money. What's the answer?

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