December 21, 2021 at 8:10 am #225166
alanjjohnstone wrote: “Isn’t value as described by Marx an abstraction…socially determined as LBird says but unable to quantify?” [my bold]
Bijou Drains wrote: “Although I don’t always agree with our feathered friend (glad to see that you are still out there and pecking corn, LB), much of the capitalist system is based on various belief systems, rather that physical entities.” [my bold]
These statements are the closest that you’ve come to Marx’s ideology of ‘idealism-materialism’, lads!
There is no ‘matter’ or ‘physical entities’ ‘to quantify’, but only ‘socially determined’ ‘belief’.
These require an active consciousness which can change its own products, a productive subject which creates its own objects, and can thus change them, employing social theory and practice, which for socialists must be democratic.
There is no ‘reality-in-itself’, no ‘material’, no ‘matter’, which makes any human have a ‘belief’.
The ‘metaverse’ is our ‘reality-for-us’, just like the ‘universe’, and we can change them.
Whilst socialists wait patiently for ‘matter’ to do its work on the masses, the capitalists will continue to create ‘reality-for-them’, because they actively create their world, which as alan’s Dragons make clear, will always benefit them (whether we call it ‘universe’ or ‘metaverse’).
‘Materialists’ patiently wait for a saviour, an active separate minority, as Marx said in his Theses on Feuerbach. The ‘materialists’ will continue to wait.
December 21, 2021 at 8:58 am #225168
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by LBird.
Yes, stocks are “shares” that bring in a fixed income but that does not mean that their price does not change. They too are bought and sold. In fact, the fixed income is a key factor influencing their price especially when the general rate of interest changes.
I don’t think it is unreasonable to compare things in the “metaverse” with shares as the same separation exists between something and its representation, with the representation being subject to buying and selling apart from what is represents. In fact the distinction is clearer as in many cases what it represents can also be bought and sold and quite independently.
It’s all to do with speculation of course, in the case of digital representations not for a future income stream but for a capital gain.
I think it is a bit of a scam actually, promoted by dealers who exchange fiat money for cryptocurrencies and the other way round. You have to pay for your digital representation in a crytocurrency and, if you haven’t any, you have to convert fiat money into it. Naturally the dealers take a commission on this. The same if you want to sell it, to realise any capital gain and use it to buy things in the non-digital world. Again the dealer takes a cut as their commission.
The whole thing is a also misuse of blockchain technology. But, then, what do you expect under capitalism.December 21, 2021 at 10:54 am #225170
‘So, for instance you own 20% of a manufacturing company, you cannot simply take 20% of the land, or 20% of the stock and say that “that’s mine”.’
But I thought that’s exactly what happens if a company goes into bankruptcy and all of its assets go into liquidation – the owners of stocks and shares get part of the money specifically because they ‘own’ some of the assets.December 21, 2021 at 11:04 am #225171
It doesn’t surprise me that LBird rejects Marx’s LTV along with his theory of historical evolution – one wonders by what perverse stretch of his wild imaginings he believes himself to be a Marxist since he rejects all of his discoveries. Just as the laws of nature are not affected by the beliefs and needs of humanity so are the laws of capitalist economics – they are independent of the desires of governments and other groups. That’s why it’s called ‘the materialist conception of history’.December 21, 2021 at 1:18 pm #225172Bijou DrainsParticipant
Wez, the point I was making is that during the normal operation of the company (i.e. when the company is solvent and is trading), individual share holders cannot simply say I want my 10% of all the assets of the company, 10% of the machinery, 10% of the land, 10% of the cashDecember 21, 2021 at 1:53 pm #225174
Wez wrote: “It doesn’t surprise me that LBird rejects Marx’s LTV along with his theory of historical evolution…”
You’ll have to point out just where I supposedly did those things, Wez.
But on the contrary, I can point out dozens (hundreds?) of examples where ‘materialists’, rather than debate what has been said, make up stories about Marxists who adopt Marx’s democratic social productionism.
Anyway, to rebut your made up story – Marx’s LTV (being a theory (‘T’)) requires human consciousness, and does not emerge from matter and enter passive humans through their biological senses; and his ‘theory of…’, err…, I think this is pretty obvious, too.
Marx believed that ‘conscious activity’ (ie. ‘labour’) socially produced our world, and thus we can change it.
Materialists, like you Wez, deny this, as when you claim “…the laws of nature are not affected by the beliefs and needs of humanity…“.
I’ve quoted often from Marx and other Marxists, to show that any ‘laws of nature’ that we know, we have produced, and have changed. The ‘laws of nature’ are socio-historical.
If you’re going to respond to my posts, please respond to what I write, and please don’t make up stories, to help hide your own defenceless, outdated 18th century ideology.
December 21, 2021 at 2:06 pm #225176DJPParticipantDecember 21, 2021 at 2:18 pm #225177
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by LBird.
Wez wrote: “Just as the laws of nature are not affected by the beliefs and needs of humanity so are the laws of capitalist economics – they are independent of the desires of governments and other groups. That’s why it’s called ‘the materialist conception of history’.”
Since Marx never used the phrase ‘materialist conception of history’, your ideology is nothing to do with him.
If all these things are ‘not affected by’ and ‘independent of the desires of’ humanity… who changes them?
As Marx argued, the only logical response to your ideology is to ask, ‘if not humanity as a whole, democratically’, and since humans are not passively awaiting ‘stuff’ to do things for us, which elite will make changes?
Your ideology, Wez, is that of Lenin. This is not an insult, but is proved to anyone by reading Lenin’s works.
Lenin and Wez have no time for the belief that humanity can democratically change its own world. They are both waiting for non-human ‘laws’ to work their magic. [well, according to Marx, they’re not really, and will substitute a conscious minority (an elite of party or experts) to effect their changes – I think Marx has been proved correct].December 21, 2021 at 2:20 pm #225178
DJP is another ‘materialist’ who can’t have a debate, and soon turns to insults. It’s the ‘materialist method’, as displayed by Lenin, in his Materialism and Empiriocriticism.December 21, 2021 at 2:37 pm #225179
I suppose it might be interesting to record what Marx had to say on this, even if he was only expressing a commonly observed fact. Here are some extracts on the nature of stocks and shares from chapters 29 and 30 of volume 3 of Capital:
“The stocks of railways, mines, navigation companies, and the like, represent actual capital, namely, the capital invested and functioning in such enterprises, or the amount of money advanced by the stockholders for the purpose of being used as capital in such enterprises. This does not preclude the possibility that these may represent pure swindle. But this capital does not exist twice, once as the capital-value of titles of ownership (stocks) on the one hand and on the other hand as the actual capital invested, or to be invested, in those enterprises. It exists only in the latter form, and a share of stock is merely a title of ownership to a corresponding portion of the surplus-value to be realised by it.”
“The independent movement of the value of these titles of ownership, not only of government bonds but also of stocks, adds weight to the illusion that they constitute real capital alongside of the capital or claim to which they may have title. For they become commodities, whose price has its own characteristic movements and is established in its own way. Their market-value is determined differently from their nominal value, without any change in the value (even though the expansion may change) of the actual capital. On the one hand, their market-value fluctuates with the amount and reliability of the proceeds to which they afford legal title. If the nominal value of a share of stock, that is, the invested sum originally represented by this share, is £100, and the enterprise pays 10% instead of 5%, then its market-value, everything else remaining equal, rises to £200, as long as the rate of interest is 5%, for when capitalised at 5%, it now represents a fictitious capital of £200. Whoever buys it for £200 receives a revenue of 5% on this investment of capital. The converse is true when the proceeds from the enterprise diminish. The market-value of this paper is in part speculative, since it is determined not only by the actual income, but also by the anticipated income, which is calculated in advance.”
“Titles of ownership to public works, railways, mines, etc., are indeed, as we have also seen, titles to real capital. But they do not place this capital at one’s disposal. It is not subject to withdrawal. They merely convey legal claims to a portion of the surplus-value to be produced by it. But these titles likewise become paper duplicates of the real capital; it is as though a bill of lading were to acquire a value separate from the cargo, both concomitantly and simultaneously with it. They come to nominally represent non-existent capital. For the real capital exists side by side with them and does not change hands as a result of the transfer of these duplicates from one person to another. They assume the form of interest-bearing capital, not only because they guarantee a certain income, but also because, through their sale, their repayment as capital-values can be obtained. To the extent that the accumulation of this paper expresses the accumulation of railways, mines, steamships, etc., to that extent does it express the extension of the actual reproduction process — just as the extension of, for example, a tax list on movable property indicates the expansion of this property. But as duplicates which are themselves objects of transactions as commodities, and thus able to circulate as capital-values, they are illusory, and their value may fall or rise quite independently of the movement of value of the real capital for which they are titles.”December 21, 2021 at 3:28 pm #225180
I take the warning above and this will be my final feed for the Bird. As usual he deliberately misunderstands me. As even he must know Marx regarded socialist consciousness as the FIRST time in history where we are aware of material reality in terms of the evolution of the economics of private property and that this is what will enable us to change social relations rather than the evolution of economic relations that have changed us! At the moment the laws of capitalism are independent of the wishes and intentions of governments etc. because they have no understanding of the materialist reality of their own economic system and the need to replace it.December 21, 2021 at 5:14 pm #225181
Wez wrote: “As usual he deliberately misunderstands me. As even he must know Marx regarded socialist consciousness as the FIRST time in history where we are aware of material reality…“.
I’m not ‘misunderstanding’ you, Wez. I can read and understand exactly what you’re writing.
My objection is that your claim about Marx is not true.
For Marx, humans produce their ‘material reality’, which implies we can change it.
Humans always have done this, and always will. What’s revolutionary in Marx is that he claims that the building of socialist consciousness and its practical implementation will be the first time in history where humanity democratically controls its own production and products.
Whilst our production is not democratic, an elite minority create a ‘material reality’ which serves their interests, needs and purposes.
December 21, 2021 at 5:25 pm #225183
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by LBird.
This Wikipedia entry about “non-fungible tokens” throws some useful light on the subject we are discussing here.December 21, 2021 at 7:51 pm #225184Bijou DrainsParticipant
L Bird “For Marx, humans produce their ‘material reality’, which implies we can change it.”
Not that I accept your argument. However your reasoning is false.
Just because a human produced their material reality, there is nothing to imply that those humans can change it.
Human beings with schizophrenia have their own reality which is often very different from the reality of most other people, this does not mean that they can change their reality.December 22, 2021 at 7:19 am #225192
Bijou Drains wrote: “Just because a human produced their material reality…” [my bold]
Your claim is nothing to do with Marx, BD.
Marx’s views start from the assumption (which is political, philosophical and ideological) of ‘social production’, which involves ‘social individuals’. This is a fundamentally socio-historic framework, not one based upon isolated, biological individuals.
Your statement regarding ‘a human’ is based upon a mythical non-social, non-historical biological being – otherwise, you’d have to make clear the specific society and place in time in which your ‘a human’ did their ‘production’.
Bijou Drains wrote: “…there is nothing to imply that those humans can change it.”
But the whole point of Marx’s views is that he did believe that the ‘producer’ could change their ‘product’. If you don’t agree with Marx on this issue, that’s a valid point to make, but then we should discuss your differences with Marx. I, for one, agree with Marx on this issue, as it’s the whole basis of his democratic politics.
Bijou Drains wrote: “Human beings with schizophrenia have their own reality which is often very different from the reality of most other people, this does not mean that they can change their reality.”
Once again, you are starting from a isolated, socially damaged, individual, and not from a mode of production that produced them.
On the contrary, if a society produces schizophrenia in some of its social individuals, that society can change that production, and both prevent that production in the first place, and do something to help those damaged people who have been produced in the past.
For Marx, the active subject who produces, is a social entity, not an isolated, biological individual. Which is why the socio-historical product ‘matter’ can’t be determined, as Dr. Johnson claimed, by simply ‘kicking it’. Johnson was a bourgeois ideologist, and wanted to encourage a non-thinking, individual biological senses’ reaction to an existing world, which can’t be changed. ‘Matter’ is the equivalent in bourgeois physics to ‘Property’ in bourgeois economics. Neither concept is meant to be under our democratic productive control.
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