Marx and Automation

May 2024 Forums General discussion Marx and Automation

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  • #128115
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    That's quite a detailed response, Robbo. It is a pity the author has not engaged directly on the forum to answer your queries about what he is actually meaning in places.Hopefully, he will discover this thread the same way as he did previously and this time answer the criticisms and i am sure it will lead to further clarification. I hope it can be accomplished in a comradely exchange.your comments have been very helpful.

     Roboo knows what he is talking about

    #128116
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Steve-SanFrancisco-UserExperienceResearchSpecialist wrote:
    twc wrote:
    Michel Luc Bellemare wrote:
    The SPGB Forum claims that structural-anarchism economics is linked to the currency-crank economists who believe that value can be created out of thin-air by the central banks, etc.I claim it is founded on the same ground as Marxist economics, namely, labor-power, or “more specifically and more broadly speaking” upon creative-power.[twc: Consequently he is actually claiming that it is founded on different grounds from Marxist economics]The ruling enterprising-networks of capitalism establish values, prices and wages arbitrarily.[twc: Consequently he is actually claiming that the central banks, etc. create value out of thin air].

    So Michel Luc Bellemare rebuts the SPGB Forum by affirming the SPGB Forum!Such blindspot delusion betrays the crank who neither detects nor prevents himself contradicting himself to save himself.Bellemare wants to base economics, “more broadly” than Marx, upon creative-power.The virtue of creative-power as value is that it is unquantifiable.  It is value that has no value, that lacks value, that is valueless.As a foundation for comprehending a social mode of production, nebulous creative-power is indistinguishable from “central banking thin-air”.  It cannot support a social system in the way that quantifiably expended labour-power is inescapably condemned by natural necessity to.  At most creative-power can only found non-economics.Any imaginative talent can create the fiction it seeks, by any means he/she “theoretically” desires, upon the rock-solid [sic] foundation of valueless value.The appropriate way for any talent to proceed “theoretically” with the rarefied thin-air of creative-power is by expending equally rarefied hot-air on it — the vaporific literary drivel that Marx spent his entire scientific life opposing.Forget Bellemare’s vapid creative-power for unravelling the complexities and the constraints upon the capitalist class’s carve up of the surplus-value it extracts from the working class.Let Bellemare first demonstrate that he can tackle some difficult economic problem and provide a uniquely creative-power based non-obvious solution.Until then his unquantifiable creative-power “economics” rightly languishes as a virginal fantasy — pristinely crank economics grounded in its author’s creative imagination.

    somehow that seems relevant to a project I'm working on I'm called "the hours equals price project". It's basically a sliding scale price tag that charges more to rich people than to poor people.  One hour of your personal time is used as a unit of measure and if you make more then a  1 hOursEqualsPrice charge on a coffee and bagel then you pay more or less based on your hourly wage or anual income or wealth.  Surprisingly this makes money for the retailer in many markets, but it's underused in comercial business because it's inconveneint to charge a sliding scale price for something like a coffee at starbucks.  Miy project is to make it convenient and ubuiquitious to buy things on a sliding scale and expand into many more markets.  Effectively the maximum theoretical result wouild be 50% of all economic transactions wouild be made in hOursEqualsPrice.coin and I think it changes the nature of capitalism price competition sufficient to warrant a socialist critique and attention.  My project is an out of the box idea and considered crank money by a lot of people and I almost get banned for promoting it here. BUT if any of you see the similarities to my project and the one you are discussed I invite you to find out more by watching a 10 minute slideshow and filling out a 5 minute reader response interview survey to get started learning more about my all volunteer and 100% open to the public project I'm promoting to the public at hackathons.  if that sort of thing seems worth discussing and looking at then I appreciate your time and please don't block me for a solicitation of your opinions and on a topic relevant to you and this discussion.  https://goo.gl/forms/twXR4Tj4QwNzwaa13 

     The project of the month club

    #128117
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    twc wrote:
    Alan, I respect your intention.However, I write in conformance with our Declaration of Principles in pursuit of our Object.I embrace Clause 7, and do not embrace “alleged labour or avowedly capitalist” opponents.It is impossible for a Socialist to “resolve” [= get mutual agreement on] Socialism with someone who disagrees with our Declaration of Principles and Object.It is impossible to demand that others will always “follow and understand discussion”, even with personal effort.In honouring your intention, I submit to the Forum moderator in conformance with Forum rules.  In return I expect not to chafe under personal micromanagement in an open Forum.

     I second the motion. It is very difficult to deal with evangelical of the capitalist economy. They will always  deny that workers are the ones that are producing everything in this society, and that money are resources in the pockets of the capitalists belong to the working class, therefore they are our class enemies.When it comes to the class struggle I am not a romantic person. Right or wrong when it comes to decide between Marxian economic and bourgeiose economy I do incline myself toward Karl Marx. He was a thinker and defender of the working class which is my class I do not flirt with the capitalist class

    #128118
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Just to comment on competition and monoplies (and duopolies, oligopolies, and whatnot). Trusts and cartels are not new and has always been a bugbear for capitalism which it repeatedly tries to deal with through legislation and regulation. And of course for the right-wing, nationalised state-run industries for a monopoly that hinders competition. Michel mentions OPEC where even nations forms a monopolistic structure to determine prices via output and taxation but generally nation-states are rivals. It is a subject that has interested economists since Hilferding. And in modern day we have many who critique intellectual property ownership as a tool of monopolies. Marx identified a built-in tendency under capitalism towards ‘oligopoly’, though he called it the concentration and centralisation of capital, a trend which has been amply borne out as, through mergers and take-overs, the number of firms in all sectors of industry has become fewer and fewer.  The concentration and centralisation of industry corresponds to the logic of capitalism and cannot be overcome by government action. But no government is going to try to break up the oligopolies into smaller, more competitive firms despite the Roosevelt anti-trust legislation that simply re-aligned the cartels in a different manner. They were enabled to do so by the connivance of the Government. The SPGB isn'tsocialists aren't much bothered which activities of capitalists actually comply with its own laws or not, except perhaps to draw attention to the inconsistencies of the system and to show how it doesn't even live up to its own ideology: the “free” market just doesn't do what it says on the tin.  The real battle has never been one fought between capitalists, but rather, against them and their system.  

    Quote:
    Gates’ wealth is less than one percent of US economic output, whereas John D Rockefeller’s net wealth was nearly two percent of US economic output at the time. The robber barons all despised competition, as it reduced their profits, and were able to acquire valuable patents and enforce vastly-profitable monopolies. For instance, Vanderbilt controlled all the railway lines into New York, while by means of a cartel Rockefeller owned nearly all of the oil-refining business. Morgan’s US Steel made tremendous profits by buying up other steel companies, eliminating competition and keeping prices high…there is no basis for claims that capitalism used to operate by means of a free market with unfettered competition, with this having been replaced by crony capitalism, where the state provides licences and protection for some companies. There has always been state interference with the workings of the capitalist economy, and competition has always been limited in various ways.

    In some  countries the capitalist class as a whole have dealt with the all too powerful monopolies by nationalising them, while the Americans have gone on a rather different line, choosing to leave a lot of monopolies in private hands, but to have them operate under Federal Government regulations.In one of our educational articles we explained that

    Quote:
    Surplus-value is not created by trading transactions, even by cartels or monopolies. A manufacturer may corner a market and grab the lion’s share of the profit to the detriment of other capitalist groups. But no monopoly can create surplus value. In any case, goods have to be produced before they can be sold, and the producing capitalist would expect to make a profit apart from his trading partner’s profit. The only possible explanation left to us is that surplus-value comes from labour-power…It is not our concern to take sides in disputes which occur from time to time between sections of the capitalist class …It is sufficient for our purpose to show where surplus-value comes from and not its final destination. We know it doesn’t go to members of the working class.

     It may seem to be then that throughout the large units of industry the margin between costs and selling price can by agreement among the various groups be so arranged as to realise a profit above the average or norm. It follows then that if the ability to affect prices so as to obtain an above the average profit, or what is known as maximum returns, characterises extant capitalist society, then maximum profit must constitute a profit norm. But it is a Marxist axiom that the distribution of profits can of itself add nothing to the sum of values produced by the social labour force. Ruling out that the extra profit is a deduction from working-class wages, the extra profit of some concerns can only come out of the pockets of other concerns. There can be then no such thing as a prevailing law of maximum profit, for it is fairly evident that as the power to raise prices spread from point to point of the economy, what some capitalists gained on the "selling" swings they would lose on the "buying" roundabouts. The net result would tend towards an equalisation of profit, even though the price structure of the economy would be distorted. It is true that firms do use monopolistic advantages to seek monopolistic gain. But if that be the measure of this "mutation," then mercantilism was a greater mutation than present society. It is the nature of capitalists to seek maximum gain. Even in laissez-faire capitalism they sought maximum gain, through any device or resources which gave them superior competitive power. Because the accumulation of capital is the most compulsive feature of capitalist society at any time, capitalists will use all available means to produce and reproduce their capital. That monopolistic practises have become one of these means in their attempt to do so, is itself a normal and logical development in capitalist society. Big monopolies compete against each other. Also the power of these big monopolies acts as a restraint on any one of them seeking abnormal returns. And even if a monopoly does seek to obtain super-profit, it faces the danger of other giants entering the field. Even those concerns that are suppliers of particular products often meet with fierce competition from substitutes.Again, powerful organisations of sellers bring into being powerful organisations of buyers, and strenuous price-haggling results. Not only do big buyers play one supplier off against another, but they are prepared to "roll their own" if the prices of supplies are too high.It is true that big monopolies make big profits, but in relation to their huge capital turnover, their rate of profit may be no more, even less, than that of many smaller concerns. Cartels chief function is to combat price-cutting in times of bad trade. Even so, there are always temptations for some firms to sell below the cartel price. Also price-cutting takes place in cartels by the granting of long-term credit facilities, quantity discounts, free delivery, etc.Neither does it necessarily follow that restriction of output and price manipulation by cartels allow of extra profit because restriction of output can keep low-cost firms back and preserve high-cost ones. Thus the spread-over cost will be considerable and profit margins correspondingly reduced to approximately competitive levels. In times of good trade the rules of cartels will be much less stringent and in some cases ignored. This is an alternative to price-cutting by the use of effective selling methods, although even then price-cutting takes place in the form of adding extras and variations to the product. Monopolistic competition confers, however, no power on firms to affect their own profit levels. The SPGB made this analogy  

    Quote:
    To say that a variation of competition from the cut-throat to the monopolistic is a transformation of Capitalism is like saying; that if knuckle fighting is replaced by boxing gloves with horse shoes in them, fisticuffs will be mutated, although the participants will still be mutilated.

    I'm not too versed on Marxian  economics but i thought the above was necessary to mention for the benefit of visitors to this topic thread since you raised this aspect, Michel

    #128119
    robbo203
    Participant
    MBellemare wrote:
       A side note to my recent previous comment, I'd like to add a quick comment on competion,i.e., the coercive laws of competition.  It seems to me that for product costs to steadily go down and for prices to steadily go up across a sphere of production or pertaining to a specific commodity, competition between producers must be short-circuited.  

     If it is the case that production costs are steadily going down and prices are steadily going up then it must also be the case that the rate of profit must likewise be going up.  That does not appear to be borne out by the facts which if anything suggest a long term decline in profit rates.  See for example this working paper  http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1098&context=econ_workingpaper

    #128120
    robbo203
    Participant
    MBellemare wrote:
     Come on Robbo, that  I somehow misconstrue Marx, is the last rung on the critique ladder. You cannot go anywhere with this line of argument. It ends up by me stating back unto you that you have misunderstood Marx. There is not a fundamentally true understanding of Marx, there are interpretations of Marx.  The holy grail of Marxian truth does not exist its full of nuances.  Most certainly Marx, founded his science on scientific quantification. That's what he wanted to do, a scientific understanding of capital and surplus value, what regulates capital flows etc. The law of motion is measurable and quantifiable and expresses itself as the regulatory mechanism of socially necessary labor-time. By the simple fact Marx uses the word "labor-time", means he corrolates labor-power and the commodity-form in general to time segments, measurable time segments. There is no getting out of that one. Now, whether these time-segments, embodied in a commodity, are valorized/realized in circulation is another matter all together. What did Marx say in Volume 3: Total Value = Total Price. Once again price is a numerical number sitting-in for the nebula of value. However, in our everyday lives  value is both measurable and immeasurable. That's why in reality, and I think Marx, states this, value and price do not equate. They oscillate. Well that's because value cannot be reduced to absolute quantification, there are values outthere essential to the production process, that are not scientifically quantifiable. 

     This is slightly confusing.  You seem to be both agreeing with what I am saying ( "there are values out there essential to the production process, that are not scientifically quantifiable.")  and disagreeing.  I urge you to read again, carefully, the passage  I quoted.  Value I asserted, is not something that you can dirctly measure with a stop watch and Marx never suggested that it was.  Value is rather a constantly shifting potentiality that reveals itself ONLY in market exchange –  in exchange value or the ratios in which commodities exchange and then only in an average sense over the long run.  So, one pair of boot exchanges for ten pairs of socks such that the socially necessary labour time to produce a pair of socks is said to be – in theory – one tenth of that required to produce a pair of boots by virtue of the former being one tenth the price of the latter.   However, . insofar as  the price (which is indeed quantifiable) of a pair of boots is 20 dollars and the price of each individual pair of socks is 2 dollars this will be due to factors quite other than just  the socially necessary labour time that went into making the respective commodities in question.  Notably, it will be influenced also by the supply and demand for these commodities which is why I say it is only in the long run  and in an average sense, due to the tendency of markets to equilibriate which allows us in theory, to discount the influence of supply and demand on prices such that the ratios in which commodiities exchange can then be said to reflect their value content.  However, markets NEVER achieve a state of equilibrium and this is why, in practice, trying to measure value is like the search for the holy grail Moreover, note the point that Pilling makes in the quote I provided:  And it is only when the producer of a product tries to sell this product on the market that he discovers its real, objective value (if any). During periods of capitalist slump the piles of unsold goods signify that the concrete labour embodied in them was socially unnecessary. Such labour cannot, through the market, be transformed into abstract labour and therefore creates no value. But the owner of capital can never discover this beforehand, even though he may be armed with the latest ‘market research’ techniques and may even have read Capital. The essence of capitalist production here is that he can only discover whether the labour incorporated into his products was socially necessary at the end of the process. Our task is not, therefore, to seek some measuring rod for the processes of capitalist production There is no guarantee under capitalism that the commodity you produce will be sold.  That being so how can you measure the value of something when you cannot be sure there will anything to measure in the first place?  

    #128122
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    In this thread I have not read anything new that has not been said or written by all the  anti-Marxist, anti-communists, right wingers,  and bourgoise economists. What is the new  contribution to this forum ? We have a lot of articles in our website which cover most of the ideas that has been said. Robbo already rebutted all these wrong conceptions about Marxian economic

    #128121
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     There is a lot to digest here. Many diverse lines of thought going in different directions. (I am having difficulty keeping up) All signs of healthy debate. I'll say a few words on abstract labor.   According to Marx, as I understand him, a diversity of labor activities, i.e., weaving, shoe-making, coat-making etc., etc., etc. can all be reduced, or in Marx's own words, can be abstracted to the level where they all share the same thing in common. What is this commonality, once again, it is labor-time, quantifiable labor expenditures measured in segments of clock-time. Of course, these segments of clock-time to produce certain goods are averaged out across a sphere of production, Presto! Chango! Ergo you have socially necessary labor-time, the average labor-time expenditures for certain goods across a sphere of production, which regulate the production process within a sphere of production for certain goods, it also prompts ever-increasing technological innovation, automation, constant re-organization of the labor-process etc. etc. etc.And, then, Marx, begins his logical narrative of those producing below socially necessary labor-time, those producing above socially necessary labor-time etc., How super-profits are arrived at? And how over time, there is the equalization of the rate profit etc., eventually, culminating in the ever-increasing falling rate of profit, eventually leading to the death of the capitalist mode of production.    How scientific of Marx, the scientific method being applied to economics. He uses all the buzz words of science, such as "laws", "time-measurement" etc. etc. etc., this is so Victorian of him. It is a beautiful scientific, logical, apparatus he outlines in his Das Capital series. (It is absolutely, from an aesthetic perspective, a beautiful system of thought and understanding). I think of Newton's clock-like universe, when I think of Marx's Das Capital series, including the clock winding down to a dead stop, bring forth the end of capitalism. So why has the death of the capitalist mode of production not come to pass, with all the devastation of the 20th century, which were the direct of result of capitalism and its insatiable drive for the extraction and accumulation of surplus value/profit, ad infinitum? If anything, had Marx hit a home-run, capitalism would have ceased to exist (this is why he was writing Das Capital).  In my estimation, the problem lies in human nature as being both predictable and unpredictable, i.e., the ability to mix things up. To be both quantifiable and unquantifiable in our productive activities. Creative-power is both quantifiable labor-power and unquantifiable labor-power. Creative-power can produce both quantifiable values and unquantifiable-values. Like Marx, structural-anarchism posits the human species as the fount of value and unlike Marx, structural-anarchism acknowledges the production of unquantifiable values.   1. Structural-Anarchism is in agreement with Marx, the human species is the fount of value. Marx is dead-on here. However, he reduces this beautiful, plentiful, fount to scientific quantification, quantifiable segments of labor-time. Structural-Anarchism does not do this. It acknowledges those values that are unquantifiable.2. Its true, for Structural-Anarchism, the human species is the fount of value and that this fount has a quantitative element to it. However, contrary to Marx, this is not the whole story. This fount of value has unquantifiable elements to it as well. These elements feed into production, consumption and distribution etc., improving the capitalist system, yet, go unacknowledged or are labelled unproductive via the ruling capitalist ideology.     3. Writing a book is full of unquantifiable labor-power expended in its production which goes unacknowledged and unrewarded.4. If anything, the greatest strength of capitalism is that it has brainwashed us to think in its narrow parameters of scientific quantification, labor-time, quantifiable value and productive/unproductive activities, its own ideological definitions. Its own definition of value. In reality, the human species is far-more productive, far-more value producing, via its creative-power, than the capitalist system gives it credit for. Humans give so much labor for free in order to sustain capitalism, and capitalists. So much human expenditures go unacknowledged and unrewarded. Its no wonder so many humans struggle under capitalism, the parameters to function and thrive under capitalism are so narrow, limited and soul crushing, only those, with a religious fanaticism for profit, thrive and succeed. Humans have to castrate a part of the themselves to fit-into the narrow confines of capitalist socio-economic processes, and even then it is never enough.


    On another matter, someone asked, what happens to the rate of profit, when, I state, prices rises even when costs of production fall.Lets have fun and set-up an economic scenario:1. According to Marx, (Volume 3)          The rate of profit is:  Surplus Value/ Constant Capital + Variable Capital. (very basic formula)2. Lets take a unique economic phenomena, perfectly full automation, (machines creating machines, plus commodities), across a sphere of production.     First Cycle:                        Surplus Value/Profit = 250          ( Price is artificially machinated by a ruling network)                                Constant        = 500                                Variable          = Nil  (Oh! No! Value/Profit is created out of thin-air, there is no labor-power. Well, what is being produced let us say is a necessity, it satisfies an essential need people cannot do without. People do not rebel and continue to consume the essential product to human life. They manufacture an unquantifiable value that is not in reality there in their own minds, when they purchase the product, that has no labor-power embodied within.)250 divided by 500 = 0.5 or a Profit rate of 50%.  (No exploitation of labor, using Marx's logic, as there is no labor-power within production)- How can an economic scenario like this exist across a sphere of production? Only if all major firms and/or capitalists get together, within a specific sphere of production, and decide to limit competition between themselves by setting-up a network-organizational-form, i.e., a set of rules, both written and unwritten, by which to live and do business by, these sets of rules govern the industry. How unquantifiable of them, how creative of them to do this. This is priceless and unquantifiable. Once, this is achieved it is all about product distinction, product placement, convincing the public one's product is cooler than the other etc. Stuff like this occurs.3. Shareholders place pressure on these companies and/or capitalist to augment profits, annually. So out of the blue or via group agreement, one of the nodes of the network will raise his or her prices, thus profits as well, slightly over time. It may be only a few dollars here and there. They label it inflation, and there maybe some inflation involved, but what stops a capitalists from raising prices, other than the network in general he or she belongs to, inflation plus a little more is nothing. The public won't even notice, its the price of doing business. My competitors, who are not really competitors, due to our mutual networking set of rules, feeling the same pressures will raise prices, accordingly, thus raising profits, across the specific sphere of production. Why would they do this, when they could lower prices and undercut their adventurous competitor? They do this so as not to trigger the coercive laws of competition, which are bad for everyone across a specific sphere of production.4. Second Cycle                  Surplus Value/Profit = 300.                            Constant        = 525.   Lets say there is some inflation, but not enough to off-set profit accumulation                            Variable          = Nil.       300 divided by 525 = 0.57 or a profit rate of 57% -Where does the exploitation go, when there is no exploitation of labor in a specific sphere of production, it is pushed into other spheres of production and across society in general, they foot the bill for rising profits. Hence, under post-industrial, post-modern bourgeois-state-capitalism you have general exploitation across the sum of society, which ebb and flow, here and there, and back again, unto all spheres of production.*****In this example, the rate of profit rises, when cost-production falls/or rises slightly/or don't rise at all.  The profits rise higher than production costs, which is the same as production costs falling as profits/prices rise.*****5. Another example, due to a dwindling market, low sales, a ruling network within a specific sphere of production can lower prices consciously, by instantaneously shutting off a segment of their productive machinery or simultaneously introducing an improvement in technology, which significantly reduces production costs. Thus, despite a shrinking market, the rate of profit continues to rise. 6. Third Cycle:             Surplus Value/profit = 200                      Constant         = 300         (The capitalists in a production sphere shut off some machinery)                       Variable          = Nil.200 divided by 300 = 0.66 or a profit rate of 66%,  (Despite a significant reduction in market size and actual profits). *** Network-Control over value, price and wages, gives capitalists the ability to short-circuit Marx's law of the falling rate of profit and his law of value.**** (But some form of network-control is necessary within a sphere of production to do this.)7. These examples are not always instantaneous there are crises involved, but as a general rule, through what I have come to call  conceptual-commodity-value-management, the conscious network management of price, value and wage within one's business and across one's industry, can circumvent the law of value and the law of the falling rate of profit. It can suspend them, indefinitely, over time and space. To the point, where it is virtually non-existent.8. Where does the value come from in this scenario. It comes from conceptual-perception, people continue to buy an essential product that is totally produced via full automation and is thus devoid of labor-power. Conceptual-perception manufactures an unquantifiable value unto commodities that in reality have no value or labor-power/labor-time embodied in them. This is unquantifiable, yet, is produced by human beings, thus the concept of creative-power. Creative-power embodying both quantifiable and unquantifiable forms of labor-power. Nietzsche used the term in the will to power, I believe, as a term that sits in for the will to power, in abreviated form.    9. Where does crises come from in such a fully automated sphere of production? One area, but there are more, where crisis comes from, is when networks are slow to react or the relationship among the different ruling nodes are strained, due to personal, commercial, and/or small financial differences/organizational differences. Or, most importantly, through conflicts between capitalists and the general population and/or segments of the population.  Hence, the importance of antagonism or class antagonism. Michel Luc Bellemare

    #128123
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Michel, others on this forum will verify that when Marxian economics comes down to equations and mathematics, my mind blurs into a blank. My apologies for getting lost on that last post.Just to take something that we can possibly agree upon

    Quote:
    If anything, had Marx hit a home-run, capitalism would have ceased to exist (this is why he was writing Das Capital). In my estimation, the problem lies in human nature as being both predictable and unpredictable, i.e., the ability to mix things up.

    The SPGB has never been an economic determinist party that ever argued that capitalism would inevitably collapse because of its inherent contradictions and we are quite unpopular during times of recession and slump when we explain that it take human agency – a conscious working class to end capitalism. And we upset fellow Marxist economists to ascribing crises not to the tendency for the rate of profit to fall or over-production/underconsumption – but to disproportionality/disequilibrium in the production and market process of capital. We weren't the catastrophists the Left love to portray themselves as. Ignoring the lapse of your language (ie human nature and not human behaviour), this means we are engaged in an ideological battle, a war of ideas with the ruling class's prevailing accepted thinking, to undermine what Gramsci described a hegemony. No small feat considering the power of capitalist culture. So insidious is this dominating aspect, it does seem like the working class is its own worse enemy when they act against their own interests. Marx equated universal suffrage with a liberatory process. Little did he think that once they got the vote our fellow workers would succumb to the siren calls 0f the employing class and continue to put into office pro-capitalist parties. Why they do so is an entirely different debate. 

    Quote:
    Its no wonder so many humans struggle under capitalism, the parameters to function and thrive under capitalism are so narrow, limited and soul crushing, only those who with religious fanaticism for profit, thrive.Humans have to castrate a part of  themselves

    It is as you say. The cash nexus is one that we have been deceived into thinking as part of our DNA.  And yes, we all suffer the consequences of estranged labour.

    #128124
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Michel, others on this forum will verify that when Marxian economics comes down to equations and mathematics, my mind blurs into a blank. My apologies for getting lost on that last post.Just to take something that we can possibly agree upon

    Quote:
    If anything, had Marx hit a home-run, capitalism would have ceased to exist (this is why he was writing Das Capital). In my estimation, the problem lies in human nature as being both predictable and unpredictable, i.e., the ability to mix things up.

    The SPGB has never been an economic determinist party that ever argued that capitalism would inevitably collapse because of its inherent contradictions and we are quite unpopular during times of recession and slump when we explain that it take human agency – a conscious working class to end capitalism. And we upset fellow Marxist economists to ascribing crises not to the tendency for the rate of profit to fall or over-production/underconsumption – but to disproportionality/disequilibrium in the production and market process of capital. We weren't the catastrophists the Left love to portray themselves as. Ignoring the lapse of your language (ie human nature and not human behaviour), this means we are engaged in an ideological battle, a war of ideas with the ruling class's prevailing accepted thinking, to undermine what Gramsci described a hegemony. No small feat considering the power of capitalist culture. So insidious is this dominating aspect, it does seem like the working class is its own worse enemy when they act against their own interests. Marx equated universal suffrage with a liberatory process. Little did he think that once they got the vote our fellow workers would succumb to the siren calls 0f the employing class and continue to put into office pro-capitalist parties. Why they do so is an entirely different debate. 

    Quote:
    Its no wonder so many humans struggle under capitalism, the parameters to function and thrive under capitalism are so narrow, limited and soul crushing, only those who with religious fanaticism for profit, thrive.Humans have to castrate a part of  themselves

    It is as you say. The cash nexus is one that we have been deceived into thinking as part of our DNA.  And yes, we all suffer the consequences of estranged labour.

    Bourgoise econmic is based on Econometric. It is like running a business enterprise. Richard Wolf one time said that he never learned anything about Economy while he attended Harvard and Yale, he only learned mathematical calculation, He said that he learned real econmics when he studied Marx Political Economy. Capitalism is only viable for the capitalists, it is not viable for the working class, it does not make any difference how many times the Economist try to take it to the Beauty Parlour. It must be uprooted

    #128125
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The so called human nature it is just a bourgoise conception used  to justify the logic of this unnatural economical system. Capitalism does exist because it is one of the. class economical system that survives due to support provided by its own exploited.Das Capital is just a critique to the political economy, even more, Marx himself cnsidered  that capitalist  Political economy was a trash.Under a socialist society we are not going to need an economcal system, economists or econometrists, it is going to be a social production, the unification of human being with nature, it is going to be a natural system.We do not know that because we are politically ignorant, and we have been influenced by our own exploiters, we are mental and physical slaves.During the XIX century workers used call it : Their system, and now we are calling it  our system. We have a lot of defenders of the capitalist class

    #128126
    twc
    Participant
    MBellamare wrote:
    I will comment on creative-power…Much of what is going on [in our ‘post-modern’ capitalist society] is transpiring outside or beyond the Marxist definition  labor-power and the law of value (to me, that’s the problem in a nutshell).

    That’s how capitalist society appears to everyone:  price and profit motivate everything;  value and surplus-value motivate nothing, and the theory of capital is inapplicable in our ‘post-whatever’ society.It’s no different from how capitalist society showed itself to Marx himself, although he refused to adopt the vulgar criterion of l’art pompier and mistake the appearance, or sign of the beast, for the beast itself.Capitalist economics is the ‘science’ that revels in the capitalist world of appearance.There you’ll discover your own ‘novel’ perception enshrined in two of its three commandments, namely that (1) human behavior is driven by perceived outcomes, which (2) motivate profit maximizing.Capitalist economics quantifies the “unquantifiable”, because it faithfully mirrors what its quantifying practitioners actually manage to do in practice, and they are perfectly capable of transforming anything into a desirable possession that can be price-tagged and traded for profit.In capitalist economics — a ‘science’ effectively written by the diarists of capitalist practice — you’ll find your own ‘novel’ creative-power conceived as a quantifiable ‘commodity’ called intellectual capital, and codified as human, structural and relational capital.The sign on the beast may read “unquantifiable”, but the profit-seeking capitalist estimates it and sells it nonetheless.The sole activity left for a critic trapped inside the capitalist conceptual world, is to protest loudly over the perceived ‘injustice’ and ‘immorality’ of established market practice that has long since been enshrined as ‘just’ and ‘moral’.The real answer emerges from Marx’s Capital, but that requires a lengthier article.  For the meantime, read the Wikipedia entry on “Fictitious Capital”.

    #128127
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    MBellemare wrote:
     3. Shareholders place pressure on these companies and/or capitalist to augment profits, annually. So out of the blue or via group agreement, one of the nodes of the network will raise his or her prices, thus profits as well, slightly over time. It may be only a few dollars here and there. They label it inflation, and there maybe some inflation involved, but what stops a capitalists from raising prices, other than the network in general he or she belongs to, inflation plus a little more is nothing. The public won't even notice, its the price of doing business. My competitors, who are not really competitors, due to our mutual networking set of rules, feeling the same pressures will raise prices, accordingly, thus raising profits, across the specific sphere of production. Why would they do this, when they could lower prices and undercut their adventurous competitor? They do this so as not to trigger the coercive laws of competition, which are bad for everyone across a specific sphere of production.

     You claim that you are not like the currency cranks who can create money at a stroke, however this passage from your notional scenario betrays you. If one group of producers raise prices, in a system where there is a finite amount of currency in circulation, this has the impact that there is less currency to be used for the purchase of other commodities, therefore the amount of other commodities being purchased or the price paid for these purchases will fall.  The Price/value equilibrium will be maintained across the economic activities. Prices cannot be raised without impact, just as a man cannot pull himself of the ground by his own boot straps and you cannot pull price up without reference to value.Perhaps you should read, or re-read this:https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/value-price-profit/

    #128128
    Anonymous
    Inactive

      Well said Alan. I believe we do have common ground between us. And having read your core principles, I do agree to varying degrees on them. All I am attempting to do is outline, possibly a way out, of the impasses that lay, in my estimation, in Marx's thought. That's why I align more with anarchism, then marxism. However, I do see the intellectual strenght in Marxism, which many anarchists do not.   And there are things happening in the economy with value, price and wage, that defy Marxist analysis. All the best,Michel Luc Bellemare 

    #128129
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    TWC, I've only glanced over your response quickly but I find myself agreeing with much of what you say. And I quote your excellent quote: "The sign of the beast may read "unquantifiable", but profit-seeking capitalist estimates it and sells it nonetheless". Beautifully stated!  There is the capitalist ideology here being applied to anything, which like a machinic processor (CPU) always regurgitates, advantageous price, which are then normalized on us via ruling networks, ruling manners of exchange and capitalist institutions etc. However, it is up to us, in the last instance, to accept these fabrications.Individual and group struggle, is at the core of value, price and wage-determinations. What constitutes productive and unproductive labor, is, in the last instance, based on individual and group struggle. Capitalist ideology has a tendency to reduce the plurality of the world, to the narrow confines of what it deems to be worthy, when, in reality, not everyone can fit into such a confining ideological space and such a confining  global economy. Capitalism, for all its bravado, as somehow a celebratory monologue of global inclusion, is fundamentally very exclusive. The so-called winners tend to be religious-profit-fanatics, micro-fascists as I call them, little tin-pot dictators ruling absolutely over their miniture totalitarian corporate empire, where its not about how smart you are, its about how much you fit-in, obey and cluck the mantra of the CEO or corporate mission statement! Capitalism is not one large dictatorship, it is a litany of micro-dictatorships, functioning according to the profit maxim. We, the people, are free, we are free to shop, according to the dictates of capitalism, free to work, according to the dictates of capitalism etc. etc. etc., We are free to starve in the streets or in poverty, if we don't play by or fit-into the rules of the capitalist game, which is no choice at all, a pseudo-choice. The business suit is the S.S. uniform of the 21century.     Fictitious capital, fits-into what I am talking about. In the last instance, people have to accept the fiction of artificial price, value and wage, in order for such fabrications to function as real.Cheers,M. Bellemare

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