Young Master Smeet
Forum Replies Created
September 17, 2012 at 7:42 am in reply to: Materialism, Determinism, Free Will #89747robbo203 wrote:Can you please explain how “the mind is matter”? How is the thought that I am thinking right now that I fancy a cold beer and a pizza , “material”? For sure it might be influenced by material considerations – I am hungry , I am thirsty, the weather is hot etc etc – but does that make my thought , “matter” as such? What, for that matter, is “matter”?
Mind states = Brain states. We know brains are there. We know that mind states can be altered by chemical influence on brains, and by physical interference. We have no evidence, whatsoever, of a none material mind beyond the brain.September 16, 2012 at 11:18 am in reply to: Materialism, Determinism, Free Will #89733
I always thnk of free-will as being something like a coin toss. That is random, unpredictable and free.As humans, we have a working theory of mind that seems to comprehend and predict the behaviour of others. Our brains are therefore not random, and are thus subject to rational processses and determination. I should add, that I don’t actually exist, I’m merely the delusion of myself created by my theory of mind and language, whereas in fact on rational examination what i call me is a series of self regulating biological and chemical processes beyond my control. To finish, fellow robots, because I’m short of time, I’ll add that my understanding of the laws of thermodynamics suggests that matter cannot be created or destroyed. The only way free will could manifest itself would be as causeless effects, which don’t happen.September 15, 2012 at 9:58 am in reply to: The Religion word #89255robbo203 wrote:What you are saying, in other words, is that only individuals who entertain a theistic conception of god/Bob as something that intervenes actively in human affairs in contradiction to a historical materialist approach (“human beings make their own history” blah blah) should be barred membership of the SPGB . Yes?What that means, if I read you correctly, is that , according to you, people who hold a deistic notion of god ( a non interventionist freemarket kinda god) or who hold pantheistic or Buddhist views or who believe in an afterlife or even so called paranormal events (which our Mr Buick seems to be so obsessed with) should be allowed entry.
No, I’m saying conscious materialists should be allowed entry. People who might believe in a creator that buggered off (and had no pre-ordained plan for its creation, no established set of values embued in its creation) and has no practical effect or value are practical materialists. Buddhists believe in reincarnation and a value laden universe. They also believe in a pre-ordained order. As I’ve said, the religious often self exclude themselves because they are unwilling to sign up to materialism.September 13, 2012 at 7:59 am in reply to: The Religion word #89210Quote:Well, what about the compromise idea discussed earlier of allowing socialists in who hold personal religious beliefs but not those who belong to organised religions?
That approach would admit William Blake, or a Southern Baptist who doesn’t go to church. The problem isn’t just organised religion, disorganised religion is a problem as well.I think a far simpler dividing line is we accept conscious materialists, who don’t think the party is doing Bob’s work, nor that socialism is divinely ordained or part of Bob’s plan.I would, though, give a possible pass to worshipers of Glycon, especially those who make their own sock puppet.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyconhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9669000/9669590.stmSeptember 12, 2012 at 10:52 am in reply to: The Religion word #89194
Just a couple of quick points.The membership test exists to ensure that all members of the party are equal (rather than, as many other organisations do, relying on ad hoc notions of soundness).The party is a materialist party, grounded in an approach that says humans make history, and create their own institutions. this approach as a matter of course precludes any approach to the world that involves intervention by transcendent entities, be they God, D’jinn or Faeries.Now, someone who believe Bob created the universe and then buggered off and does not, cannot have any say in its workings is not necessarilly in contradiction with that position, though they may hold that there is an ideal to which the universe normitively does/should (especially should) tend and that is incompatible with a materialist approach.But, let’s not forget, that the membership test cuts both ways. We are also telling applicants where we stand, and if they feel that their religious position is incompatible with our tennets, then they don’t join. If their belief that Bob created the world is sufficiently strong that they can’t simply say: “OK, renouncing it doesn’t matter” then really they don’t want to join.The point is, in discussion, does the applicant show adherence to materialist method to such an extent that they can be trusted to vote on party policy. That is the only member benefit they gain. Else they can attend branches, speak, help out, vote for us, etc.September 6, 2012 at 9:48 am in reply to: Big Bill Haywood #89138
We have the biography of Haywood in the library. He was the leader of the Mineworkers union in the States, and also a big noise, IIRC, in the IWW. He was serially tried for murder during the violence that accompanied the typical strikes in the US mining fields, and eventually emigrated to the USSR where he lived out a quiet life, and IIRC died of alcoholism (he was an orthodox CPer by that point). Just double checked his Wikipedia article… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_HaywoodAugust 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm in reply to: Creating money out of nothing #89085Hud955 wrote:They can do it because every loan creates a deposit. (So far so good).
And herein, like says law, is the Achilles heal. Why does a loan create a deposit? What if I draw my loan out as cash? A certain percentage of loans will go out into cash and will not come back into the banks but will continue to circulate.August 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm in reply to: Debt, Money and Marx #89023
On the question of secondary exploitation, I had a half remembered quote, which I’ve managed to find.http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/housing-question/ch01.htmEngels’ On the Housing Question wrote:The distribution of this surplus value, produced by the working class and taken from it without payment, among the non-working classes proceeds amid extremely edifying squabblings and mutual swindling. In so far as this distribution takes place by means of buying and selling, one of its chief methods is the cheating of the buyer by the seller, and in retail trade, particularly in the big towns, this has become an absolute condition of existence for the sellers. When, however, the worker is cheated by his grocer or his baker, either in regard to the price or the quality of the commodity, this does not happen to him in his specific capacity as a worker. On the contrary, as soon as a certain average level of cheating has become the social rule in any place, it must in the long run be leveled out by a corresponding increase in wages. The worker appears before the small shopkeeper as a buyer, that is, as the owner of money or credit, and hence not at all in his capacity as a worker, that is, as a seller of labour power. The cheating may hit him, and the poorer class as a whole, harder than it hits the richer social classes, but it is not an evil which hits him exclusively or is peculiar to his class.
Again, if generalised personal debt becomes the norm, in order to make up for falling wages, that is in a sense the employer outsourcing a part of their exploitation, a wage of £x becomes a means to servicing a debt of £y, and the employer need only lose the surplus value of the interest to the lender (which may, through share ownership, be the employer, themself again).August 28, 2012 at 9:57 am in reply to: Debt, Money and Marx #89022DJP wrote:By the 17th century trade, mercantilism & money lending had grown and developed in Europe but these by themselves did not undermine the foundations of feudal society. The mere existence of commodity production, wage labour, merchants capital and money lenders capital are necessary but not sufficient conditions for the full development of capitalism. ‘Or else ancient Rome, Byzantium etc. would have ended their history with free labour and capital’ (Marx, Grundrisse p 506 )So it becomes a question of looking at what specific historical factors come together to create a rupture with the old social relations.
ISTR the story goes: Plantagenet kings ran up war debts, and had to find cash to repay the Lombard money lenders. their route to this became the export of Wool and Wool products. This attracted persecuted Flemish weavers, and also drove an impetus to clear peasants from land to be replaced by sheep. The value added character of this leads on (truncatedly) to capitalist mode of production, and provides part of the impetus for the revolutionary wars of the 17trh century (particularly the strains within craft guilds regarding the limitations on apprentices, later to become proletarians).August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am in reply to: Creating money out of nothing #89083
I think the simplest way to approach this is to ask: why are banks different from any other firm?You can do the “Bank creating money” story for any sort of business. A retailer could extend credit to customers (and buy its stock on credit, or even future options on not-yet existent stock), but this simply wouldn’t be creating money. Thus: I have £100 (of my own capital). I’m a good salesperson, I buy £90 worth of stock and sell it all (on credit) and keep £10 cash in till. I then buy another £90 worth of stock, on tick, which I then sell on credit for £90. I then sell another £90 worth and then place the order with my wholesaler (and arrange credit for myself). By this point I’m owed £270, so can extend my order to the retailer by another £90; but I’d better start getting some cash in soon or I’m in trouble. The only qualitative difference is that banks are hooked up, ultimately, to a mint.August 2, 2012 at 10:27 am in reply to: Tragedy of the Commons – Can Bike Share schemes ever work? #88821
Actually, the “Boris Bikes” give a sense of the liberation from property: when I hire one I can ride across town, and just leave it, whereas with my own bike I have to plan around securing it, and then getting the damn thing back home. I think in socialism we would probably most of us have a bike we regularly take home, but maybe also store houses of bikes you can just take one from and back to.There’ll soon be no need to own a car, they’ll be robot/computer driven and you’ll just ring it on your mobile for pick up, and then let it go once it’s taken you where you need to go.August 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm in reply to: The ‘Occupy’ movement #86597
I for one welcome the electoral turn of the Occupy movement: http://lukeakehurst.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/council-by-elections_27.html “The 4th was in Farringdon Within Ward in the City of London. City elections uniquely involve a business franchise as well as residential voters, and are usually contested on a non-partisan basis. This one was won by the former Tory parliamentary candidate for Tooting, running as an Independent. He took 59% of the vote. A candidate who had been involved in the Occupy movement got 13%. The remaining 28% was shared between two more independents.” Mind, that’s only 23 votes for Bryn David PHILLIPS (did well getting on the ballot paper, mind).http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/18/city-of-london-electoral-challenge?CMP=twt_guJuly 31, 2012 at 7:35 am in reply to: 100% reserve banking #86774Quote:Isn’t responding to tripe such as this part of the remit of the Media Department?
No, it’s not.July 18, 2012 at 10:25 am in reply to: NLB Minutes #88768
Adam,cheers for pointing that out. We’re 23 strong, so in the same boat as yourselves. I missed that reading, have to say. I agree, and reckon 3 for a quorum is inapproriate for a branch of that size.June 28, 2012 at 9:17 am in reply to: Islamist candidate wins election in Egypt #88648
Also:http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=28922http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=28920One blogger on the ground I’ve been reading suggests that what has happened is that, having fought to a stalemate, The Muslim Brotherhood and the Military have cut a deal, MB will have power where the military doesn’t think it will effect their interests. Essentially playing the same role as the Ayatollah’s in Iran, or the Turkish military. I think the chief hope in this situation is the abstention rate (nearly 50%) which means MB can’t be sure of their base; and the role of the unions in the revolution. Maybe some sort of autonomy for the central metropoli can allow some space to flourish, while the rural vote gives the Islamists the control of the national government.