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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Default Karl Marx

    Now here's a guy whose type has not been discussed.

    I've heard Alpha NT, but an Alpha with revolutionary ideas? Ha. If he's Gamma, he's not Gamma NT, as he lacks the practical concerns of his grand scheme. And I really doubt he's Delta. Beta ST is my guess.


    Karl Marx - Wikiquote.








    Last edited by silke; 11-06-2014 at 10:04 AM. Reason: updated links

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Now here's a guy whose type has not been discussed.

    I've heard Alpha NT, but an Alpha with revolutionary ideas? Ha. If he's Gamma, he's not Gamma NT, as he lacks the practical concerns of his grand scheme. And I really doubt he's Delta. Beta ST is my guess.
    Alpha NT. His system is chock-full of stupid.

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    are you taking a history of economic thought course or something? its weird because I am, so your recent Adam Smith thread and now this one have come up at just the right time for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Alpha NT. His system is chock-full of stupid.
    What's funny about retards like you is that you haven't even read the Communist Manifesto, and thus think he's actually proposing a system, when in reality he is making a prediction.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Now here's a guy whose type has not been discussed.

    I've heard Alpha NT, but an Alpha with revolutionary ideas? Ha. If he's Gamma, he's not Gamma NT, as he lacks the practical concerns of his grand scheme. And I really doubt he's Delta. Beta ST is my guess.
    I would be interested in this as well. I'm typing not from knowledge of the person himself, but from knowledge of his intellectual output:

    Beta ST makes sense if Hegel is EIE, since Marx was strongly influenced by Hegelian dialetics (though he was opposed to Hegelian metaphysics). The focus on historical processes and change indicates and the systemisation of these historical trends into a linear teleological progression indicates . The focus on the material base as determining the ideational superstructure rather than vice-versa to me indicates and and the very notion of praxis as opposed to intellectual disengagement seems to be more than .

    And Marxist thought is influenced (perhaps the right word is flavoured with) by the essence-reality dichotomy, which might coincide with a quadra composed of and .

    I'd have to read more about him the person to say whether I think LSI or SLE would fit better though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    What's funny about retards like you is that you haven't even read the Communist Manifesto, and thus think he's actually proposing a system.
    I've read it twice. And it does too.

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    No, he predicts it. He's not laying out plans for someone to implement; he just says "this is what I think is going to happen."
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    No, he predicts it. He's not laying out plans for someone to implement; he just says "this is what I think is going to happen."
    No. The book is not impartial. Regardless of how he presents it, he's laying out a flawed system.

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    The fact that the system he predicts is incompatible with the mindset of today is irrelevant. He clearly states that drastic circumstances will come to exist before any of the predicted change takes place, and that the occurrence of the revolution is itself dependent upon the mindset of the people who cause it to happen.. The reason it's seen as "flawed" is because it's not applicable to our current economic and social mindset. Use all the examples you want, but they are completely irrelevant, because they were improperly implimented and "forced." The truth is that nobody has a clue as to whether communism would work or not; any declaration about its stupidity or inherently "flawed" nature is pointless theoretical speculation.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    The fact that the system he predicts is incompatible with the mindset of today is irrelevant. He clearly states that drastic circumstances will come to exist before any of the predicted change takes place, and that the occurrence of the revolution is itself dependent upon the mindset of the people who cause it to happen.. The reason it's seen as "flawed" is because it's not applicable to our current economic and social mindset. Use all the examples you want, but they are completely irrelevant, because they were improperly implimented and "forced." The truth is that nobody has a clue as to whether communism would work or not; any declaration about its stupidity or inherently "flawed" nature is pointless theoretical speculation.
    Blah blah blah. Any system that says "human nature must be mutated beyond recognition for this to work" is rubbish.

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    Furthering my argument for Beta ST:

    Marx demonstrated a clear Beta 'aristocratic' mentality. Marxism is based almost entirely on class identification and Marx was concerned with analysising society as a whole - not merely as the the aggregation of individuals. Within each class, he ascribes the desires, aims and objectives that are distinct and discrete. The division of the classes (groups) was determined according to criteria that Marx himself laid down (that is, the material relations within society).
    Last edited by unefille; 09-05-2008 at 04:03 PM.
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    One of the common themes that comes through in all Marx's writing is his aim to distill laws of motion in history (Ti) and being able to penetrate the appearance to reveal the essence (Ni). I mean, his writing has enormous scope though, like 'The German Ideology' is focused pretty much just on philosophical/methodological issues, and very much within the existing Hegelian tradition, so would logically demonstrate Ni+Ti. It is also filled with a certain intellectual one-upmanship, the intention seeming to be to show that communism is superior to other philosophical hypothesis, in contrast with 'Grundrisse' which presumably was written for a wider audience, thus makes a more accessible argument. In any case, he is always conscious of situating his arguments in their specific historical context, which could be evidence of Se/Ni.

    Marx's development of Hegel's dialectic into historical materialism could be seen as a Se development - it introduces a material focus to his methodology which Hegel lacked. He looks at how societies are formed. According to him, every historical development of society is marked by a dichotomy – all events occur in a contradictory manner. History is in a state of flux, with each stage developing from the dialectical contradictions of the previous stage. This would seem to fit in with a Se and Ti valuing quadra.

    And for more demonstration of Se, one just has to go to 'The Communist Manifesto', which has significantly less reasoning than his usual but still profers a vision of the possible future (Ni+Ti) if the workers escape their false consciousness (Ni) and create the conditions of the transformation of capitalism into socialism by appropriating the means of production (Se+Ti). The purple prose and blatant emotionalism could be seen as Fe valuing.

    So, Beta ST for Marx, and I'd lean to SLE given the lack of stylistic consistency and the way he tailors his arguments to the context he's arguing it in. He doesn't seem to have any of the Ij rigidity.

    I could see Engels being Alpha NT, probably ILE though. And given he wrote/compiled so much of Capital volumes 2 and 3, that's got to affect how Marx is seen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Blah blah blah. Any system that says "human nature must be mutated beyond recognition for this to work" is rubbish.
    rofl at your embarrassingly obvious closed mindedness and attempts to interpret things to the extreme because they conflict with your political ideology. How intellectually infantile of you.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    rofl at your embarrassingly obvious closed mindedness and attempts to interpret things to the extreme because they conflict with your political ideology. How intellectually infantile of you.
    What's closed-minded about not being oblivious to the fact that communism will never, ever work, and that every attempt thus far to make it work has failed due to the way it ignores simple economic principles?

    Oh right. Nothing.

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    You are closed-minded because you have no idea whether or not it would work and choose to judge it regardless of your limited point of reference.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    What's closed-minded about not being oblivious to the fact that communism will never, ever work, and that every attempt thus far to make it work has failed due to the way it ignores simple economic principles?

    Oh right. Nothing.
    What are these 'simple economic principles' you refer to, what model of economics are they drawn from and what assumptions about human nature does that model make?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    You are closed-minded because you have no idea whether or not it would work and choose to judge it regardless of your limited point of reference.
    I have a very clear idea of exactly why it won't ever work.

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    I'm waiting.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    are you taking a history of economic thought course or something? its weird because I am, so your recent Adam Smith thread and now this one have come up at just the right time for me
    The Adam Smith thread was as a result of general interest in his ideas, partly spurred on by my reading Empire by Niall Ferguson, who is an economic historian, and whose style of writing is very compelling. Plus, I just purchased books one to three of The Wealth of Nations. Karl Marx is more to do with political as opposed to economic history (the economics of his ideas are like sidekicks to his political ideas). Also, I realised that there's not been a thread on him yet, and he's a very prominent political figure in modern history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    What's funny about retards like you is that you haven't even read the Communist Manifesto, and thus think he's actually proposing a system, when in reality he is making a prediction.
    What's funnier is the retards who think his ideas are remotely practicable.

    Quote Originally Posted by unefille View Post
    Beta ST makes sense if Hegel is EIE, since Marx was strongly influenced by Hegelian dialetics (though he was opposed to Hegelian metaphysics). The focus on historical processes and change indicates and the systemisation of these historical trends into a linear teleological progression indicates . The focus on the material base as determining the ideational superstructure rather than vice-versa to me indicates and and the very notion of praxis as opposed to intellectual disengagement seems to be more than .

    [...]

    And Marxist thought is influenced (perhaps the right word is flavoured with) by the essence-reality dichotomy, which might coincide with a quadra composed of and .
    This is the kind of reasoning that I like. It shows what functions you see in him, and why you see said functions in him. (Something someone like dee lacks.)

    Quote Originally Posted by idolatrie View Post
    One of the common themes that comes through in all Marx's writing is his aim to distill laws of motion in history (Ti) and being able to penetrate the appearance to reveal the essence (Ni). I mean, his writing has enormous scope though, like 'The German Ideology' is focused pretty much just on philosophical/methodological issues, and very much within the existing Hegelian tradition, so would logically demonstrate Ni+Ti. It is also filled with a certain intellectual one-upmanship, the intention seeming to be to show that communism is superior to other philosophical hypothesis, in contrast with 'Grundrisse' which presumably was written for a wider audience, thus makes a more accessible argument. In any case, he is always conscious of situating his arguments in their specific historical context, which could be evidence of Se/Ni.
    This I'd agree with. He was essentially explaining "how things are" (maybe an argument for irrationality rather than rationality), as opposed to what should happen. It wasn't like a prediction, as Gilly stated the Communist Manifesto purports, but rather just an analysis of the world in his eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    rofl at your embarrassingly obvious closed mindedness and attempts to interpret things to the extreme because they conflict with your political ideology. How intellectually infantile of you.
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    What's closed-minded about not being oblivious to the fact that communism will never, ever work, and that every attempt thus far to make it work has failed due to the way it ignores simple economic principles?

    Oh right. Nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    You are closed-minded because you have no idea whether or not it would work and choose to judge it regardless of your limited point of reference.
    lol @ conflictor wars

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    They aren't practicable in the economic conditions we currently live in, true.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    I'm waiting.
    Lack of incentives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Lack of reasons.
    k, I understand.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I don't know. I don't want to sound dismissive without having deeply analyzed his writings (which I haven't). Every time I've tried to read his books, almost everything was smelling of bullshit from every angle. It seemed like what he was describing wasn't, and isn't, something that actually exists. I have absolutely no problem with people using their imagination. However, he was writing about economics, which is a very reality-based subject. That's why I find his approach debatable.

    This said, the communist manifesto is better. I think the type suggested for him is ILE, and I agree with it. His writing style is very similar to Keynes'. It's interesting to compare the two authors because they are very similar, yet it seems that Keynes has been able to focus more on actually existing processes, but with less success as far as moving masses goes. The opposite can be said about Marx. I might say, that the latter has succeeded in fulfilling his hidden agenda, whereas the former payed tribute to his attempt at injecting into his system.

    It can't really be said that Marx system will never work. He acnkowledged that what he wrote in his first books was not logically sound (his theory of value, as every labor-bases theory of value, is clearly wrong and from this follows the impossibility of determining prices). He was trying to solve this problem when he died. It's somewhat hilarious that some people tried to apply the ideology without first correcting this very major logical flaw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    They aren't practicable in the economic conditions we currently live in, true.
    And in the state of human nature.

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    *sigh* This is going nowhere.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    He acnkowledged that what he wrote in his first books was not logically sound
    Did he? Referring to what, specifically?

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    (his theory of value, as every labor-bases theory of value, is clearly wrong and from this follows the impossibility of determining prices). He was trying to solve this problem when he died. It's somewhat hilarious that some people tried to apply the ideology without first correcting this very major logical flaw.
    The surplus value theory could only be believed by those, like Marx himself, who never actually had to produce and sell something. It's sheer nonsense.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    k, I understand.
    You know little-to-nothing of economics, (and I'm not claiming I'm some expert, but I do know a lot more than the average person, if the people on this forum are any indication) yet you accuse me of being ignorant?

    How can communism work if there are no prices, no profit, no supply and demand? Who will organize the economy? Central planners?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    *sigh* This is going nowhere.
    Come on, Gilly. How am I not right? Humans are selfish by their very nature. They will never just submit to a system where there is no private ownership, where no one can covet another's property.

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    You know little-to-nothing of economics, (and I'm not claiming I'm some expert, but I do know a lot more than the average person, if the people on this forum are any indication) yet you accuse me of being ignorant?

    How can communism work if there are no prices, no profit, no supply and demand? Who will organize the economy? Central planners?
    I think the end game of communism is that money does not exist. We do each other favours instead. I supply your family with potatoes, and you build me a new conservatory. Of course, the same principle exists (tit-for-tat), but all we've gotten rid of is cash. How frightfully idyllic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I think the end game of communism is that money does not exist. We do each other favours instead. I supply your family with potatoes, and you build me a new conservatory. Of course, the same principle exists (tit-for-tat), but all we've gotten rid of is cash. How frightfully idyllic.
    Money will exist in some form or another as capital (that is, the means of production). If no one can own capital, then it must be directed by some central source, which has already been tried. It's impossible for a myriad of reasons, the most glaring of which is that a group of central planners cannot under any circumstances keep track of the millions of transactions that take place every day, much less know what to do about them as well as the people running the businesses would.
    Last edited by discojoe; 09-05-2008 at 07:40 PM.

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    Well, you're right that I don't know enough about economics to really engage this debate, but for one, that doesn't necessarily make you right, and two, well, suffice to say that it's kind of implicit that a lot of the factors that would make communism impossible today would have to change if it were ever to happen, so any arguments questioning its validity in reference to the way our economies work today is pretty pointless.

    I'm not trying to say that it will happen, necessarily, but I think it's foolish to rule it out altogether, because quite frankly, we just don't know what's going to happen in the future.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Karl Marx has some interesting ideas and provides an unique angle or perspective when looking at other ideas or facts, but as a coherent system, it is neither practical nor particularly well thought-out for something to be implemented.
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    That's because it's not supposed to be "implimented"
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by unefille View Post
    What are these 'simple economic principles' you refer to, what model of economics are they drawn from and what assumptions about human nature does that model make?
    I want to know as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    Did he? Referring to what, specifically?
    There was a (one out of many, actually, but this one was recognized by him) about the nature of technology: basically, he wanted to extract the surplus from the potential profit of the firm, and redistribute it among the workers. The caclulation he used to do so is very simple: let v be the variable cost, c be the fixed cost, s be the surplus. Let the total hours worked by a worker be h = v+s (basically, the worker has v hours that are payed, and s hours that are "taken" by the owner). Profit (surplus) percentage is then p = s/(v+c). Now however if either v or c changes due to the introduction of a new type of technology or changes in productivity of the workers, there is no way to understand which part of the equation is actually changing and by how much.

    This means that his system could only work for the brief period of time comprised between the end of capitalism and the introduction of a new technology and/or a change in productivity of the workers. In his latest manuscripts (I think that they're the ones edited by kautsky after his death) he attempted to put forth a solution, however he never compiled the model to its end due to deteriorating health.

    I think the end game of communism is that money does not exist. We do each other favours instead. I supply your family with potatoes, and you build me a new conservatory. Of course, the same principle exists (tit-for-tat), but all we've gotten rid of is cash. How frightfully idyllic.
    It's not really like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I don't know. I don't want to sound dismissive without having deeply analyzed his writings (which I haven't). Every time I've tried to read his books, almost everything was smelling of bullshit from every angle. It seemed like what he was describing wasn't, and isn't, something that actually exists. I have absolutely no problem with people using their imagination. However, he was writing about economics, which is a very reality-based subject. That's why I find his approach debatable.
    I would argue that his approach was entirely reality-based, that was his major methodological contribution to economics. He argued that your position in society (your political consciousness) is dictated by what you have (your material conditions) which is the base-superstructure framework. He looked at society and saw two classes (with some exceptions) which were in conflict: the capitalist (who owned stuff) who oppressed the workers (who only had their labour to sell). You may not agree with what he saw, but I don't think the argument that he wasn't basing his work in reality is really valid. (I guess it would come down to whether you accept multiple subjective realities though, which is perhaps another debate.)

    This said, the communist manifesto is better. I think the type suggested for him is ILE, and I agree with it. His writing style is very similar to Keynes'. It's interesting to compare the two authors because they are very similar, yet it seems that Keynes has been able to focus more on actually existing processes, but with less success as far as moving masses goes. The opposite can be said about Marx. I might say, that the latter has succeeded in fulfilling his hidden agenda, whereas the former payed tribute to his attempt at injecting into his system.
    I'd have to completely and vehemently disagree that Marx and Keynes are similar. I find them worlds apart, besides the fact both are at times incomprehensibly wordy. As theorists I think they begin from very different places, and the way in which they develop their arguments is wholly different. In addition, Keynes had an entirely orthodox economics education, and I don't see any evidence of him adopting a single one of Marx's ideas. (If you want to see a Marxian-influenced take on the same things Keynes wrote about, try Michel Kalecki.)

    Marx tried to create a holistic and even hegemonic theoretic stucture in the model of communism, which I'd argue is evidence of Ti. Whereas, Keynes' approach, even if he tried to call it a 'general theory', is far more ad hoc and locally contingent, and evinces far more Te.

    It can't really be said that Marx system will never work. He acnkowledged that what he wrote in his first books was not logically sound (his theory of value, as every labor-bases theory of value, is clearly wrong and from this follows the impossibility of determining prices). He was trying to solve this problem when he died. It's somewhat hilarious that some people tried to apply the ideology without first correcting this very major logical flaw.
    The labour theory of value, as written in Capital volume 1, is a simplified construct used to explain his circular flow model. I would argue it has as much utility as any other simplified model, like the 2-sector model used in mainstream macroeconomics. Marx did acknowledge that it was flawed, and was going to develop it in subsequent volumes of Capital. Unfortunately (or perhaps conveniently for him) he died before he could do so, and Engels was certainly not up to the task of finishing his work. I can't say any subsequent Marxist has either fixed this, and as you said, many have just accepted it. But I don't think their sin is any greater than any other economist who relies upon formalism and models with all their built-in assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    How can communism work if there are no prices, no profit, no supply and demand? Who will organize the economy? Central planners?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Come on, Gilly. How am I not right? Humans are selfish by their very nature. They will never just submit to a system where there is no private ownership, where no one can covet another's property.

    I think the end game of communism is that money does not exist. We do each other favours instead. I supply your family with potatoes, and you build me a new conservatory. Of course, the same principle exists (tit-for-tat), but all we've gotten rid of is cash. How frightfully idyllic.
    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Money will exist in some form or another as capital (that is, the means of production). If no one can own capital, then it must be directed by some central source, which has already been tried. It's impossible for a myriad of reasons, the most glaring of which is that a group of central planners cannot under any circumstances keep track of the millions of transactions that take place every day, much less know what to do about them as well as the people running the businesses would.
    I will apologise in advance for jumping into someone else's debate here, but it seems like you're applying neoclassical/orthodox reasoning to Marxist theory. Which strikes me as comparing things which have very different assumptions.

    I don't think the communist model, when operational (so going on the hypothesis it can occur here), has any need for supply and demand (ie, the market) to distribute goods, or capital accumulation to incentivise because the whole point of communism is the collective - so that's everyone, not just the government or a central body, owns EVERYTHING. Thus there is no need to get one up on your neighbour and covet his property, as there is no sense of individual property ownership. This is based on a very different way of thinking to our present economic system.

    Ezra, what you describe is a barter economy, which is not communism. Communism, according to Marx, can only occur after capitalism has flourished and then run its course, so it is definitely not about returning to a pre-capitalist mode of production which is bartering. It is also not about favours - in fact, the principle of self-interest still applies. Because everyone collectively owns everything, it is still in your interests to make your resources grow, but by doing so, it would be for the betterment of everyone, not just yourself. The reason why this collective ownership is necessary is to get rid of the alienation workers feel from what they produce. So the socialisation of the means of production means there is no disconnect between workers, production and consumption.

    The world Marx was envisioning would be radically different from ours. So judging it by indicators we use for capitalism obviously does it no favours and just makes it appear ludicrous. Communism does not imply central planning, and Marx explicitly wrote that he did not think Russia would move to communism because, when he was writing, they just were not advanced enough in capitalism for the natural progression to be made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    There was a (one out of many, actually, but this one was recognized by him) about the nature of technology: basically, he wanted to extract the surplus from the potential profit of the firm, and redistribute it among the workers. The caclulation he used to do so is very simple: let v be the variable cost, c be the fixed cost, s be the surplus. Let the total hours worked by a worker be h = v+s (basically, the worker has v hours that are payed, and s hours that are "taken" by the owner). Profit (surplus) percentage is then p = s/(v+c). Now however if either v or c changes due to the introduction of a new type of technology or changes in productivity of the workers, there is no way to understand which part of the equation is actually changing and by how much.

    This means that his system could only work for the brief period of time comprised between the end of capitalism and the introduction of a new technology and/or a change in productivity of the workers. In his latest manuscripts (I think that they're the ones edited by kautsky after his death) he attempted to put forth a solution, however he never compiled the model to its end due to deteriorating health.
    I wrote my reply before seeing this, so apologies for the redundancy.

    Though, on the point about variable capital and fixed capital not being indicated in surplus value, isn't that the point? That variable and fixed capital is substitutable, which puts workers in a more precarious position, keeping wages at minimum levels and ensuring the reserve army of labour is always a potential pool for capitalists to dip in to?

    And in the communist model, there would be no surplus value extracted, since the means of production are socialised.
    allez cuisine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by idolatrie View Post
    I wrote my reply before seeing this, so apologies for the redundancy.

    Though, on the point about variable capital and fixed capital not being indicated in surplus value, isn't that the point? That variable and fixed capital is substitutable, which puts workers in a more precarious position, keeping wages at minimum levels and ensuring the reserve army of labour is always a potential pool for capitalists to dip in to?
    In his system, yes, that is the point and I agree that he has tautologically proven it to be such: given its assumption, it was inevitable.

    And in the communist model, there would be no surplus value extracted, since the means of production are socialised.
    Yet exactly the same equations would be needed in order to determine the quantities supplied. Because you can use a Leontief input-output model for determining quantities when you know the demand, or you can derive the demand from input-output tables. But without one of the two variables, you get n+1 variables with n equations, thus every solution is consdiered possible. It's basically the objection put forth by Von Mises and Von Hayek, I think you're familiar with it.
    Sraffa almost solved the problem - or at least provided Ricardo's surplus theory with a solution - but it's still unworkable in a closed communist economy because it's impossible to know what the "right" wages are.

    However, perhaps you were speaking about Marxism as a system which is useful to represent the workings of the industrial economy of the 19th century. I would still disagree with it conceptually, though. Profit is a result of supply and demand; in the 19th century an high supply of workers coupled with an high demand for industrial products produced the situation that Marx analyzed. I do think that a neoclassical system is able to explain the situation more efficiently and elegantly.
    Yet I am against an historicist perspective on economics: I believe that systems should work indipendently from their historical and social context. I understand that if you favor the opposite point of view Marx's analysis can be considered as fitting, in that particular historical context, in that particular place.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    However, perhaps you were speaking about Marxism as a system which is useful to represent the workings of the industrial economy of the 19th century. I would still disagree with it conceptually, though. Profit is a result of supply and demand; in the 19th century an high supply of workers coupled with an high demand for industrial products produced the situation that Marx analyzed. I do think that a neoclassical system is able to explain the situation more efficiently and elegantly.
    Well, I do read Marx's explanation of capitalism, and his development of the communist model as two different projects. I think his critique of capitalism is an important one, and he does identify some of the major causes of crisis that capitalism has suffered (eg. crisis of underconsumption and the Great Depression). I agree that his work is very much a product of its time - it does rely upon the industrial proletariat being a major component of the population, which is something that isn't really the case any longer. The simple two-class model is one that has been subject to much development with in the Marxian tradition, though.

    The neoclassical model is certainly more elegant, but I guess it depends on whether you think the model should be elegant, or whether it should reflect reality. (And I'm not arguing that the Marxian model does that.)

    Yet I am against an historicist perspective on economics: I believe that systems should work indipendently from their historical and social context. I understand that if you favor the opposite point of view Marx's analysis can be considered as fitting, in that particular historical context, in that particular place.
    I see value in Marx's historical perspective, as I don't think capitalism was the mode of production in any of the pre-capitalist systems (anything prior and including mercantilism). But I don't think that's necessarily what you're referring to there. I would argue that neoclassical economics is just as historically contingent as Marxism, it fits with the liberal/democratic form of government, and the social assumptions of its creation. Both schools have had to be changed and developed in order to better account for our present socio-economic situation. My issue with the atemporal nature of neoclassical economics is that it doesn't account for the concept of time (and it assumes a knowable future), but I would argue that the school which best accounts for that is Keynesianism (the non-synthesis ones, though).
    allez cuisine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellothere View Post
    are you taking a history of economic thought course or something? its weird because I am, so your recent Adam Smith thread and now this one have come up at just the right time for me
    Whose/which course are you taking?
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    tony aspromourgos' / ecos3004 - have you taken it previously?

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