Marxism/Socialism/Communism

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Indon » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:The 19th century called, they want their deterministic Newtonian universe back.

Don't try and speak for 'science' unless you know damn well what you are talking about. You do not.


Feel free to inform me on how any scientific field describes any phenomenon outside of causality or probability. Since you seem to know "damn well what you are talking about".
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Vaniver » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:15 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:The number of people starving is increasing. You can pick and choose your metrics to make things look rosy, but you can't really get away from the fact that more people are dying through hunger (and thus indirectly through poverty) than ever before. Just because something contradicts your dearly held beliefs, doesn't make it 'ridiculous'
That's because modern economies can feed so many more people, and thus the number of people in the world has dramatically increased. The percentage of people starving is incredibly low by historical terms, and we've reached a point where obesity is an epidemic in the developed world instead of a unique identifier of the rich.

If starvation is the sole evil you want to focus on, capitalism (and its products) appear to be the most powerful anti-starvation tool in the world. As Yakk pointed out some time ago, the places where starvation is rampant are the places where capitalism is weakest.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

qbg wrote:Going back to the quote that started this: "Under the standard model, a firm is happy to pay the exact amount (ok, arbitrarily close to the exact amount) of an input's (including a worker's) marginal productivity." But because sum of each worker's marginal productivity does not equal the sum of each worker's wage, the firm is not paying each worker arbitrarily close to the their marginal productivity. (Quoting Wikipedia, "In heterodox economics, the economic surplus denotes the total income which the ruling class derives from its ownership of scarce factors of production, which is either reinvested or spent on consumption.")


I think you're forgetting that the manual labor isn't the only work being done. If you view the worker apart from the modern economy, he is incredibly unproductive - if he attempted to make a house, the best he could come up with would be a hut made of sticks. The diference between him and the modern construction worker is due to organizational differences and an advancement in technology, progress that is not created through manual labor but intellectual input from businessman and scientists who can invent and create billions of bricks and many tons of mortar (not to mention the tools to use them, clothing for the worker, food, etc). Each workers' input is essentially a commodity, bought and sold based off of supply and demand. A factory with ten workers still needs a manager and someone to design a products, and ultimately each one is paid based on risks they take and the value of skills they bring to the table. I'd agree at times this is skewed due to the presence of old money, but for the most part old money doesn't have a huge effect in America (I realise this would be diffrent in some European countries) and is ultimately a taxation discussion, not a reason for social revolution.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby qbg » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
qbg wrote:Going back to the quote that started this: "Under the standard model, a firm is happy to pay the exact amount (ok, arbitrarily close to the exact amount) of an input's (including a worker's) marginal productivity." But because sum of each worker's marginal productivity does not equal the sum of each worker's wage, the firm is not paying each worker arbitrarily close to the their marginal productivity. (Quoting Wikipedia, "In heterodox economics, the economic surplus denotes the total income which the ruling class derives from its ownership of scarce factors of production, which is either reinvested or spent on consumption.")

I think you're forgetting that the manual labor isn't the only work being done.

I'm not.

Some also believe that "brain workers" who before had the luxury of not being in the same of spot as manual laborers did are slowly finding themselves in the same situation.
If you view the worker apart from the modern economy, he is incredibly unproductive - if he attempted to make a house, the best he could come up with would be a hut made of sticks. The diference between him and the modern construction worker is due to organizational differences and an advancement in technology, progress that is not created through manual labor but intellectual input from businessman and scientists who can invent and create billions of bricks and many tons of mortar (not to mention the tools to use them, clothing for the worker, food, etc).

Yes, labor is social. Just because someone is stuck with manual labor does not mean they cannot be creative an inventive.
Each workers' input is essentially a commodity, bought and sold based off of supply and demand. A factory with ten workers still needs a manager and someone to design a products, and ultimately each one is paid based on risks they take and the value of skills they bring to the table. I'd agree at times this is skewed due to the presence of old money, but for the most part old money doesn't have a huge effect in America (I realise this would be diffrent in some European countries) and is ultimately a taxation discussion, not a reason for social revolution.

Yes, there is a need for managing workers and engineers. I don't really see how this relates to what I said.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:36 pm UTC

Can we not do this all over again? Bubbles, you're arguing with communists by objecting that owners of capital deserve to extract economic rent. This is one of those points where you're going to have to agree to disagree, at least for the sake of argument.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby AmpleDestruction » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:05 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
qbg wrote:Going back to the quote that started this: "Under the standard model, a firm is happy to pay the exact amount (ok, arbitrarily close to the exact amount) of an input's (including a worker's) marginal productivity." But because sum of each worker's marginal productivity does not equal the sum of each worker's wage, the firm is not paying each worker arbitrarily close to the their marginal productivity. (Quoting Wikipedia, "In heterodox economics, the economic surplus denotes the total income which the ruling class derives from its ownership of scarce factors of production, which is either reinvested or spent on consumption.")


I think you're forgetting that the manual labor isn't the only work being done. If you view the worker apart from the modern economy, he is incredibly unproductive - if he attempted to make a house, the best he could come up with would be a hut made of sticks.

Face it, most work these days is co-operative. You don't get one worker building a house, you have many.

The diference between him and the modern construction worker is due to organizational differences and an advancement in technology, progress that is not created through manual labor but intellectual input from businessman and scientists who can invent and create billions of bricks and many tons of mortar (not to mention the tools to use them, clothing for the worker, food, etc).

Which is the use of capitalism. It was a necessary stage of human development. On the other hand, who's working the machine?

Each workers' input is essentially a commodity, bought and sold based off of supply and demand. A factory with ten workers still needs a manager and someone to design a products, and ultimately each one is paid based on risks they take and the value of skills they bring to the table.

Without the other workers, a single worker would be useless. Work is co-operative, not individual. If the workers need somebody to manage them, they may elect a worker to take on necessary managerial duties, but he deserves no more than any other worker for the final product.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby SpiderMonkey » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:43 am UTC

TheStranger wrote:I was unaware of a plausible theory of Free Will, perhaps you can enlighten me (plus the 90s called, they want their joke back).


There are many theories of free will. The theory that there is no free will at all depends on the universe being deterministic. It is quite clearly not.

Doesn't Communism treat people as machines just a Capitalism? Only instead of acting perfectly in a selfish manner it seems to operate on the idea that people will act in a perfectly self-less.


Which is what I said at the start (although to be exact, Marx doesn't assume people always act selflessly, merely towards the interests of their class)

I believe that the point was: South Korea is Capitalist, North Korea is not (and is an attempted implementation of Communism). It's like saying that Democracy doesn't work because people in non-democratic states cannot vote.


No, its like saying that elections are irrelevant because both North Korea and South Korea hold them, which is true.

The number of people, or the percentage of the population (a very important distinction in my book)? Even so, how many of those people (and what percentage of the population) live in functioning Democracies with a Capitalist economy?


Aside from a few pariah states, all economies are capitalist now. And yes, it is the absolute number not the proportion that is going up. Shame the real world has an increasing population not a static one.

Though people will work together most individuals will also seek the maximum benefit to themselves.


This is bullshit. See my other thread.

Are those people starving as a direct result of Capitalism, or is it related to political instability that prevents a stable economy (of any type) from forming? Does the number of starving people compose a significant portion of the population in stable Capitalist states (the US, EU, etc...) or is it a fringe? Would a practical application of a Communist economy be able to feed those people without detrimental impact on the rest of the population?


There is a global economy. What happens on the 'fringe' is linked to what happens in the 'core'.

But of course, whilst starvation in the core is very rare, food insecurity is not: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7106726.stm

That is an example, right in the 'core' of global capitalism, of purely market forces denying people access to food by making it too expensive for them.

I've yet to see a good demonstration of how Communism would be 'better' then Capitalism... so far all that's come across is a criticism of Capitalism (I've always found Marx to be more interesting when seen as a critique of Capitalism, and it's inherent risks, then a rival economic system).
[/quote]

Never said it was. You are just simplifying what I've said because apparently your universe can consist only of Capitalists and Stalinists.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:20 am UTC

qbg wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:
qbg wrote:Going back to the quote that started this: "Under the standard model, a firm is happy to pay the exact amount (ok, arbitrarily close to the exact amount) of an input's (including a worker's) marginal productivity." But because sum of each worker's marginal productivity does not equal the sum of each worker's wage, the firm is not paying each worker arbitrarily close to the their marginal productivity. (Quoting Wikipedia, "In heterodox economics, the economic surplus denotes the total income which the ruling class derives from its ownership of scarce factors of production, which is either reinvested or spent on consumption.")

I think you're forgetting that the manual labor isn't the only work being done.

I'm not.

Yes, there is a need for managing workers and engineers. I don't really see how this relates to what I said.


You argued that a workers marginal productivity does not equal wage, but you're ignoring that marginal productivity is not equal between all workers - the "brain workers" have a significantly higher marginal productivity than a simple laborer, and are paid accordingly. There's room for argument as to whether or not pay should be distributed according to marginal productivity and the value of worker ownership, but your argument that somehow workers are intrinsically exploited because they aren't paid the "full value of their labor" falls flat; the question at had is whether having a greater economic role deserves greater compensation (and if so, to what degree), not whether different workers contribute more or less. Granted, some portion of total revenues will go toward expanding the enterprise, but no matter what economic system you are under successful businesses will require additional infrastructure as to get more goods to more people. As I believe it was mentioned earlier, all owners contribute management to some degree and are sometimes grossly overpaid for their input and yes, not according to their managerial marginal productivity, but people with old money do not come close to owning all enterprise so again I ask is it somehow worth a full-scale revolution to unseat the handful of people who do live off of it?

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby TheStranger » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:12 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:There are many theories of free will. The theory that there is no free will at all depends on the universe being deterministic. It is quite clearly not.


Doesn't communism, in assuming that everyone will operate in the best interests of their class, make the same assumption (no free will)?

SpiderMonkey wrote:Which is what I said at the start (although to be exact, Marx doesn't assume people always act selflessly, merely towards the interests of their class)


If people always act towards the interests of their 'class' (a social distinction that don't believe exists as Marx framed it) then why do people leave their classes (going from Pro to Ber)? People act in their best interest, which often aligns with the interests of their economic status.

SpiderMonkey wrote:No, its like saying that elections are irrelevant because both North Korea and South Korea hold them, which is true.


But are they really 'elections'? If the choice is "Dear Leader" or "That guy shoots you in the head" can we really call them elections?

SpiderMonkey wrote:Aside from a few pariah states, all economies are capitalist now. And yes, it is the absolute number not the proportion that is going up. Shame the real world has an increasing population not a static one.


Capitalism does not function in a vacuum, it requires a stable/open political and legal system to bring the full benefits to everyone.

And it is the percentages, not the raw numbers, that are important here. If you tell me that 10 people out of a population of 15 died one day that would be a big deal, 10 out of 100000 lacks the same impact.

SpiderMonkey wrote:This is bullshit. See my other thread.


Seen it, and I don't follow your logic. People will act to maximize their personal happiness (which is a vastly complicated calculation).

SpiderMonkey wrote:There is a global economy. What happens on the 'fringe' is linked to what happens in the 'core'.


Yes, thats true... however if a food shipment to the fringe is intercepted by the local warlord that is a political issue (not an economic one). The global population has expanded immensely in the past few generations, and it takes time for the global infrastructure to match (this is made nearly impossible by political instability in the fringe regions... you cannot build a road if your workers keep getting shot). But that is not a 'Capitalist' problem (a Communist system would face the same issues) it is a political one.

SpiderMonkey wrote:But of course, whilst starvation in the core is very rare, food insecurity is not: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7106726.stm

That is an example, right in the 'core' of global capitalism, of purely market forces denying people access to food by making it too expensive for them.


Which Communism would fix with a snap of the fingers?

Capitalism makes no claim to solving the worlds problems (unlike Communism), it just keeps plugging away like a massive distributed computing scheme. Each individual performing his own little value calculations... from the very small (what I had for lunch yesterday) to the very massive (Construction of a new road network). Any economic system has inherent instabilities, and Capitalism makes no claim to eliminating them (as was pointed out above, you just 'ride it out').

SpiderMonkey wrote:Never said it was. You are just simplifying what I've said because apparently your universe can consist only of Capitalists and Stalinists.


Have there been large scale implementation of Marx Communism?
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby qbg » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:02 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:You argued that a workers marginal productivity does not equal wage, but you're ignoring that marginal productivity is not equal between all workers - the "brain workers" have a significantly higher marginal productivity than a simple laborer, and are paid accordingly.

That is besides the point.
There's room for argument as to whether or not pay should be distributed according to marginal productivity and the value of worker ownership, but your argument that somehow workers are intrinsically exploited because they aren't paid the "full value of their labor" falls flat; the question at had is whether having a greater economic role deserves greater compensation (and if so, to what degree), not whether different workers contribute more or less.

Remuneration is an interesting problem. For an artisan/business with only one person it is easy to determine because income doesn't need to be split between multiple people.

The communists usually dodge the problem by not going with remuneration, noting that labor is social and so should be rewarded socially and not individually. The marginal productivity vs wage problem would probably still exist with remuneration even if labor got the full value of their labor (if you could ever individually determine such a thing).
Granted, some portion of total revenues will go toward expanding the enterprise, but no matter what economic system you are under successful businesses will require additional infrastructure as to get more goods to more people. As I believe it was mentioned earlier, all owners contribute management to some degree and are sometimes grossly overpaid for their input and yes, not according to their managerial marginal productivity, but people with old money do not come close to owning all enterprise so again I ask is it somehow worth a full-scale revolution to unseat the handful of people who do live off of it?

Transitioning to another economic system would be a revolution so it would be worth it if the new economic system was better (how better?) than the old.

An anarchist would consider it to be worth it because changing to the appropriate economic system plus getting rid of the state would result in a society with what they consider to be a (much) more optimal power structure.

TheStranger wrote:
SpiderMonkey wrote:But of course, whilst starvation in the core is very rare, food insecurity is not: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7106726.stm

That is an example, right in the 'core' of global capitalism, of purely market forces denying people access to food by making it too expensive for them.

Which Communism would fix with a snap of the fingers?

Money is a form of rationing. Depending on who is implementing communism, everyone would receive equal rations at the minimum. (Essentially a form of welfare).

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Question to the various socialists in the thread: How do you think compensation for labor should be handled in a socialist system?

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Yakk » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:29 pm UTC

everyone would receive equal rations at the minimum. (Essentially a form of welfare).

If everyone is getting equal rations, then nobody is getting any more or less than anyone else, and there is no method for punishment/reward for doing right/wrong behavior.

Or did you mean "everyone is receiving a minimum equal ration"?

Note that if you don't reward someone for being productive, you have to punish for failing to be productive, or accept that many if not most people won't choose to be productive in ways that other people wants them to be. This tends towards leading to shoot people who don't work when you say they should work.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

One of the main problems with Communism is the effect of the "Monkeysphere"—you don't really care about people beyond a certain limit. That's not to say that you want them dead or that you can't be concerned about their welfare in a general sense, but on a deep emotional level, you it doesn't have nearly the same impact on you (and you wouldn't be able to function if it did) if some guy in China starves as when your cousin gets killed in a car accident.

Similarly, Communism (or really, collectivism) can work in small environments like communes, kibitzes, and space colonies because you know Joe from the commune. He is in your daily life; if you see that he's not doing well with his cattle (or whatever), you make sure that you make as much grain as possible to help him out. But if you're in a society with millions of people, and you manage a grain farm, you don't know the cattle farmers. You might try to not let them starve, but you're not going to work 16 hour days trying to maximize efficiency, are you? And what about farmers in Africa, that aren't even in your country? Obviously, you don't care that much about them, otherwise you'd be a relief worker right now.

If the government gives you an order to make X units of grain, you'll try to get that quota in if you can and you feel like it. But what's going to make you feel like it? Are they going to take away from your equal property? Lock you up? Shoot you? This is why Communist governments tend to become authoritarian; there's really not too many other ways to make sure a job gets done.

Capitalism takes this into account. It doesn't try to make you care about the people starving on other continents on the same level you would a friend. You just work at your job, trying to get as much money as you can. You then buy some products from major corporations, and those corporations use that money to open up new factories, which pay the starving people in return for their labor. And some of that money goes into people's pockets along the way who don't need it as much, but that's fine because that is the incentive that gets them to get up and go to work every day when they don't feel like it.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:44 pm UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:Similarly, Communism (or really, collectivism) can work in small environments like communes, kibitzes, and space colonies because you know Joe from the commune.

You assume that humans cannot act logically, only emotionally. That's a pretty reasonable assumption, considering how well most humans fit. Yet, it can be done.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:25 pm UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:You assume that humans cannot act logically, only emotionally. That's a pretty reasonable assumption, considering how well most humans fit. Yet, it can be done.

Not on a large scale without creating the New Soviet Man. And since Lamarckism is a bust, that means eugenics.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:14 am UTC

Silas wrote:Not on a large scale without creating the New Soviet Man. And since Lamarckism is a bust, that means eugenics.

No, it means finding a way to raise children to be logical.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:20 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:
Silas wrote:Not on a large scale without creating the New Soviet Man. And since Lamarckism is a bust, that means eugenics.

No, it means finding a way to raise children to be logical.

All right, I'll leave the cheap shot behind and point out that it's not necessarily logical to care as much about a starving peasant in Africa as you do about Joe from the commune. You have common cause with Joe because of your unique connection- not so much with Rra Makutsi.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Yakk » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:51 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Which of the following acts would you make illegal:
1> Taking resources allocated to you for consumption, and trading them with other people.
2> Taking resources allocated to you, and not using them immediately, and instead using them later.
3> Taking resources allocated to you, and making a deal where someone else can use them, but they have to pay you back later with something different (which may be 'worth' more).
4> Taking resources allocated to you, use them to increase your own productivity, and keep the results of your increased productivity.
5> Taking resources allocated to you, and make a deal with someone else to increase their productivity, and each take a share in the resulting increase.


Ah, now I get the "which was illegal under Feudalism".

All of them are illegal under Feudalism or Despotism, because you have no property rights.

If you have a resource, and attempt to trade it with another person, your Duke, King, Baron or Bishop can simply take the resources from you.

If you try to save, your savings can be taken from you.

If you make a deal for someone else to pay you back later, there is no effective enforcement of that deal.

If you increase your own productivity with your own resources, you don't own your own productivity, and your Duke, King, Baron or Bishop can simply take it from you.

A deal involving increasing someone else's productivity cannot be enforced, as there is no real functioning enforcement mechanism at your level.

Without any property or ability to enforce contract rights, attempting to build surpluses and invest them in producing even larger surpluses at an individual level becomes effectively impossible, as everything you own is up for grabs to the nearest strong-man (Duke, King, Baron or Bishop) at a whim. Even if you are the local strong-man, there is almost always a stronger-man who has similar power over you. Under Feudalism, some strong-men have limited freedoms against the stronger-men, but the typical "citizen" has none.

Charter cities and increasing power of the commons led to increased property rights for individuals, leading to the rise of the merchant class with the industrial revolution, and the beginning of the exponential take-off of capitalist market productivity.

Sorry -- I didn't understand what you meant by 'which of the above was illegal' -- because if you can do the above, you have the seed of capitalism, so pre-capitalism at least one of them must have been impossible. I hope that clarifies that.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:51 am UTC

Silas - It makes sense for humans to favor themselves, then the people around them, then the people farther away. It also makes sense for logically-motivated people not to behave in a way that does a great deal of harm far away for a little benefit close by, etc., etc..

Of course, a whole nation full of logical people would probably come up with a system that works better for them in practice than any ideal of capitalism or communism.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:10 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:It makes sense for humans to favor themselves, then the people around them, then the people farther away. It also makes sense for logically-motivated people not to behave in a way that does a great deal of harm far away for a little benefit close by, etc., etc..

You're starting to get fuzzy. "Logically-motivated" doesn't have a widely-accepted formal meaning. Do you mean perfectly rational egoists? Because if you do, I can work on constructing a model where it's advantageous for people to form cliques and try to injure one another (this will essentially be a convoluted prisoner's dilemma).

But you seem to be of the opinion that logic precludes strict egoism. This is not an uncontentious position.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Kachi » Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:54 am UTC

I'm a pseudo-socialist. I think that many things should be socialized, such as military, education (K-PhD), healthcare, and management of natural resources/land. A country is in many ways a business, and a business without good management is economic anarchy. An entirely free market to me is the equivalent of an entirely free society without a police force or military. There will be rampant abuses of the weak by the strong.

Without further digression on the "evils of capitalism"-- I think that capitilastic incentives are very valuable and crucial. People who work harder and/or are more productive should be more highly rewarded. However, I don't think anything anyone does, save curing cancer, AIDS, things of that nature, are worth some of the bloated revenue that many of the wealthy are able to attain. At the very least, they owe a great deal of their success to the opportunity that a strong government affords them. So you reap, so should you sow, you might say. i.e., exponentially higher taxes for those with incomes of, let's say, 200k or more per year. Working harder should still result in more profits, but at some point, we all have to acknowledge that people with ridiculous incomes make that much because they can, not because they provide a uniquely invaluable service. My grandfather was a good businessman who made millions, but some young stud out of business school with little prior experience could be trained to take over his position relatively quickly and with little loss of productivity. He just wasn't "entitled" to it (until they bought him out). Hell, I have no experience with that industry and I could easily see where the man was losing thousands and thousands of dollars from his own shortsightedness.

Now in retrospect, wherein he made many millions far beyond what he'll ever reasonably spend, he could have spawned 39 other millionaires who would have lead very comfortable, though not abundantly wealthy, lives. That's an oversimplified hypothetical, of course, but the point remains that at some point, it is beneficial to the whole for certain individuals to have the incentive to step down after reaching a certain level of wealth.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby AmpleDestruction » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

I'm a pseudo-socialist. I think that many things should be socialized, such as military, education (K-PhD), healthcare, and management of natural resources/land. A country is in many ways a business, and a business without good management is economic anarchy. An entirely free market to me is the equivalent of an entirely free society without a police force or military. There will be rampant abuses of the weak by the strong.

You're not a 'pseudo-socialist', you're a reformist.
And are you implying that working harder currently gives you more of the surplus labour?

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

Silas wrote:You're starting to get fuzzy.

Yeah, I am. So what? Nothing with a precise meaning applies to humans very well.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:53 pm UTC

I just asked you to clarify your meaning. Is that not something you can do?
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby SpiderMonkey » Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:33 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:If people always act towards the interests of their 'class' (a social distinction that don't believe exists as Marx framed it) then why do people leave their classes (going from Pro to Ber)? People act in their best interest, which often aligns with the interests of their economic status.


This is going to be very difficult if you don't actually read what I write. I never said I agreed with Marx. His model of humanity is as limiting as the one put forward by (most) capitalists. Neither gives room for free will, which I believe is the most influential factor in human history and the reason why consistent theories of history have not emerged.

But are they really 'elections'? If the choice is "Dear Leader" or "That guy shoots you in the head" can we really call them elections?


Please, read the discussion again. You are obviously missing what I am saying.

SpiderMonkey wrote:Capitalism does not function in a vacuum, it requires a stable/open political and legal system to bring the full benefits to everyone.


If a country brings full benefits to everyone, its workforce can't be as easily exploited and thus much labour moves on to somewhere that does allow the workforce to be exploited.

And it is the percentages, not the raw numbers, that are important here. If you tell me that 10 people out of a population of 15 died one day that would be a big deal, 10 out of 100000 lacks the same impact.


You are essentially saying 'The death of one is a tradegy, the death of millions is a statistic' here.

Seen it, and I don't follow your logic. People will act to maximize their personal happiness (which is a vastly complicated calculation).


Stating something doesn't make it a fact, and saying you don't follow my logic doesn't make my argument wrong. You could just be too dumb to understand it.

Yes, thats true... however if a food shipment to the fringe is intercepted by the local warlord that is a political issue (not an economic one). The global population has expanded immensely in the past few generations, and it takes time for the global infrastructure to match (this is made nearly impossible by political instability in the fringe regions... you cannot build a road if your workers keep getting shot). But that is not a 'Capitalist' problem (a Communist system would face the same issues) it is a political one.


When corporations lobby the US government to overthrow a foreign government (which does happen) then the political issue is an economic one. The idea that you can seperate the two, given how nuts people get when there is power and/or money involved, is pure naivety.

Which Communism would fix with a snap of the fingers?


The assumption that any complaint about the inability of capitalism to provide a decent standard of living must come from a Stalinist is a sign of someone deeply entrenched in ideology or lacking imagination. I have not once advocated communism. You are simply trying to find an angle to attack from, because the system you are trying to defend is fundamentally indefensible.

Capitalism makes no claim to solving the worlds problems (unlike Communism), it just keeps plugging away like a massive distributed computing scheme. Each individual performing his own little value calculations... from the very small (what I had for lunch yesterday) to the very massive (Construction of a new road network). Any economic system has inherent instabilities, and Capitalism makes no claim to eliminating them (as was pointed out above, you just 'ride it out').


The idea of economic equilibrium is generally considered weak these days. Practical experience simply doesn't bear it out; humans don't behave like little economic computers they behave like humans. \

You are wrong, however, that capitalism makes no claim to solve the worlds problems. Such claims are made constantly and vocally and used to justify both foreign intervention and mass privatization. Both usually end disastrously.

Have there been large scale implementation of Marx Communism?


I exclude capitalist and Stalinist and you assume I am a trotskyist? Your attempt to pigeonhole me in place of providing a decent argument is getting tiresome.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby TheStranger » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:55 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:This is going to be very difficult if you don't actually read what I write. I never said I agreed with Marx. His model of humanity is as limiting as the one put forward by (most) capitalists. Neither gives room for free will, which I believe is the most influential factor in human history and the reason why consistent theories of history have not emerged.


It sounds like you are agreeing with me... that human nature cannot be easily defined in an economic theory. The difference is that while Communism requires everyone to act in accordance with their theory at all times Capitalism makes no such requirement for its existence.

As the old saying goes "An Economist is one who looks at something that works in practice and wonders if it would work in theory"

SpiderMonkey wrote:Please, read the discussion again. You are obviously missing what I am saying.


Then we are both missing each other. What I am saying is this "Problems that exist outside of Capitalist systems (North Korea) are not problems with Capitalism."

SpiderMonkey wrote:If a country brings full benefits to everyone, its workforce can't be as easily exploited and thus much labor moves on to somewhere that does allow the workforce to be exploited.


So there are NO services / goods that can be provided locally?

Factory labor is rapidly going out of style among the more developed nations (why pay 50 people to assemble something when you can either export the labor or have one person run a machine to do the work of those 50 people). What is needed are incremental improvements, increased wages (comparative to the local economy) and improved conditions.

It is a problem with a Capitalist system, but not an insurmountable one (see how the quality of life for people in India and China has been increasing over the past few years).

SpiderMonkey wrote:You are essentially saying 'The death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic' here.


More people die every year in car accidents then there were people 15000 years ago, should we abandon cars?

If the percentage of people starving is going down then I consider that a good thing, even if the base numbers are increasing. That means that the system is delivering more food to more people then it was before.

SpiderMonkey wrote:Stating something doesn't make it a fact, and saying you don't follow my logic doesn't make my argument wrong. You could just be too dumb to understand it.


I could be... but it's doubtful.

Maybe you are just unable to explain it clearly enough for someone of my limited intelligence to understand. Though just saying that your idea is beyond my comprehension is not really a good way to get people who don't understand you on your side.

Though considering how I keep correcting your spelling in my replies... (its separate, not seperate)

SpiderMonkey wrote:When corporations lobby the US government to overthrow a foreign government (which does happen) then the political issue is an economic one. The idea that you can seperate the two, given how nuts people get when there is power and/or money involved, is pure naivety.


Another issue with a Capitalist system, but not (again) one that cannot be overcome. Haven't I been saying that "Capitalism does not exist in a vacuum"? A free society and a functioning Capitalist system go hand in hand.

SpiderMonkey wrote:The assumption that any complaint about the inability of capitalism to provide a decent standard of living must come from a Stalinist is a sign of someone deeply entrenched in ideology or lacking imagination. I have not once advocated communism. You are simply trying to find an angle to attack from, because the system you are trying to defend is fundamentally indefensible.


What a strange assumption for me to make... in a thread about communism?

It seems that we both agree that Communism is not the answer here (though we disagree about Capitalism).

SpiderMonkey wrote:The idea of economic equilibrium is generally considered weak these days. Practical experience simply doesn't bear it out; humans don't behave like little economic computers they behave like humans.


Since supply and demand is not stable then how can "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' be calculated?

My bit about the distributed computing was a metaphor, not a description (though I think it is an apt one). When an individual goes to buy a product they do perform a calculation, based on their own perceptions as to the value of the product. This is not a perfect calculation, as no consumer has perfect knowledge (note that is is 'consumer' in a very general sense... it can be an individual, a government, or a corporation). It the aggregate of those calculations that forms the basis of value of a product.

SpiderMonkey wrote:You are wrong, however, that capitalism makes no claim to solve the worlds problems.


That IS what I've been saying, though there are some individuals who seem to think otherwise. Yet Capitalism has been a powerful for for improving the lives of people across the world.

SpiderMonkey wrote:I exclude capitalist and Stalinist and you assume I am a trotskyist? Your attempt to pigeonhole me in place of providing a decent argument is getting tiresome.


Then, what are you arguing for? Or should we just keep playing 20 questions?
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Yakk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:33 am UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:Please, read the discussion again. You are obviously missing what I am saying.

Express yourself clearly. When multiple people misunderstand you, and when you respond to the misunderstandings not with clarifications but rather with "reread what I wrote", you are giving plenty of evidence that you are not trying to make yourself clear.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:21 am UTC

TheStranger wrote:
SpiderMonkey wrote:This is going to be very difficult if you don't actually read what I write. I never said I agreed with Marx. His model of humanity is as limiting as the one put forward by (most) capitalists. Neither gives room for free will, which I believe is the most influential factor in human history and the reason why consistent theories of history have not emerged.


It sounds like you are agreeing with me... that human nature cannot be easily defined in an economic theory. The difference is that while Communism requires everyone to act in accordance with their theory at all times Capitalism makes no such requirement for its existence.

As the old saying goes "An Economist is one who looks at something that works in practice and wonders if it would work in theory"


Capitalism does make such a requirement. It parcels up all existence into properties and thus forces people to play the system in order to survive. It promotes paranoia and



Factory labor is rapidly going out of style among the more developed nations (why pay 50 people to assemble something when you can either export the labor or have one person run a machine to do the work of those 50 people). What is needed are incremental improvements, increased wages (comparative to the local economy) and improved conditions.

It is a problem with a Capitalist system, but not an insurmountable one (see how the quality of life for people in India and China has been increasing over the past few years).


Only for a minority of Chinese.

More people die every year in car accidents then there were people 15000 years ago, should we abandon cars?

If the percentage of people starving is going down then I consider that a good thing, even if the base numbers are increasing. That means that the system is delivering more food to more people then it was before.


Thats a stupid analogy, and I think its wrong for you to be an apologist for this level of human suffering. There is enough food production to provide everyone with enough to eat. About 11 million a year starve to death. That is your wonderful economic system.

I could be... but it's doubtful.

Maybe you are just unable to explain it clearly enough for someone of my limited intelligence to understand. Though just saying that your idea is beyond my comprehension is not really a good way to get people who don't understand you on your side.

Though considering how I keep correcting your spelling in my replies... (its separate, not seperate)


I am not really bothered about getting people on my side at this stage, mainly stopping people misrepresenting my views to fit into their black and white, logically flawed, world views. Going after my spelling is just petty.

Since supply and demand is not stable then how can "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need' be calculated?

My bit about the distributed computing was a metaphor, not a description (though I think it is an apt one). When an individual goes to buy a product they do perform a calculation, based on their own perceptions as to the value of the product. This is not a perfect calculation, as no consumer has perfect knowledge (note that is is 'consumer' in a very general sense... it can be an individual, a government, or a corporation). It the aggregate of those calculations that forms the basis of value of a product.


You have no idea what people think when they buy things.

That IS what I've been saying, though there are some individuals who seem to think otherwise. Yet Capitalism has been a powerful for for improving the lives of people across the world.


Tell that to the starving ones.

Then, what are you arguing for? Or should we just keep playing 20 questions?


Why must I have some specific personal utopia in mind to make criticisms?

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Kachi » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:43 am UTC

You're not a 'pseudo-socialist', you're a reformist.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but reformism is a type of socialism. It's not one that I strictly adhere to either.

I haven't really gone in-depth enough on my position to be squarely placed yet, if that is even possible, nor do I really intend to.

And are you implying that working harder currently gives you more of the surplus labour?


I'm not sure I understand the question, but if I do, then yes, in many instances, though I am referring more to working longer than harder.

It is every nation's (often unrecognized) ideal that the work load on individuals be minimized or nearly so, meaning less labor demand is better for the nation. That is, until that labor is monopolized by the people who want a lot of labor, whether because they enjoy it or simply because they want more pay.

To sort of demonstrate what I'm saying, as a nation becomes more industrious and efficient, the status for what constitutes full time/over time could be adjusted accordingly (less hours for full time in a more efficient system), ensuring that everyone still gets a piece of the labor pie.

I don't know if that addresses your question at all. :lol:

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Yakk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:49 pm UTC

I'll address one point directly. The rest of your points where dealt with elsewhere. By simply rereading the discussion, you can see how you are incorrect.

Only for a minority of Chinese.

For a growing minority you mean. As opposed to the previous state, where a larger majority was all equally suffering.

If your problem is that market forces aren't solving the problem fast enough, then you are right -- market forces cannot instantly cause an infinite blooming of wealth in every corner of the globe.

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Footnote: the opening paragraph is an example of why it is extremely impolite to say "you are so dumb, you cannot even read the stuff that says you are wrong". It is a debating tactic, and not even a good one. If you had already addressed something, point out where you said it instead of saying "I already addressed this. If you where literate, you would have read it before."
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby TheStranger » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:45 pm UTC

Just a few points here, as we seem to just be circling...

SpiderMonkey wrote:Thats a stupid analogy, and I think its wrong for you to be an apologist for this level of human suffering. There is enough food production to provide everyone with enough to eat.


Sure, but all that food is useless if it cannot get to the people who need it. As it stands now it is exceptionally difficult to get the right food to the people who need it (just giving people grain isn't the answer).


SpiderMonkey wrote:About 11 million a year starve to death. That is your wonderful economic system.


That is tragic, but what about the few billion who did not starve? Besides you already know what my answer is going to be... more capitalism.

SpiderMonkey wrote:You have no idea what people think when they buy things.


Not specifically, but then sometimes I'm not even sure of the exact reasons why I buy something (like why I sometimes chose to have a burger for lunch, just because I'm in the mood for a burger).

What I can talk about is broad generalizations. When picking a product there are numerous variables that go into making the final choice. The person then uses some internal process by which these variables are weighted, then makes a final decision. Every person uses a different process, using a different set of variables (though there are common ones, such as "do I have enough money to pay for this product").

SpiderMonkey wrote:Tell that to the starving ones.


I'd gladly do so.


SpiderMonkey wrote:Why must I have some specific personal utopia in mind to make criticisms?


If you are just here to criticize Capitalism then perhaps this thread would more to your liking.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:09 am UTC

qbg wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:You argued that a workers marginal productivity does not equal wage, but you're ignoring that marginal productivity is not equal between all workers - the "brain workers" have a significantly higher marginal productivity than a simple laborer, and are paid accordingly.

That is besides the point.


Like hell it is, you have made the arugment multiple times that workers are being exploited because they aren't being paid according to their marginal productivity, and you always presume that marginally speaking they should all be paid equally. While management will occasionally take more than is merited to them according to their productivity, for the most part these businesses will be outcompeted by those who do not.

qbg wrote:Transitioning to another economic system would be a revolution so it would be worth it if the new economic system was better (how better?) than the old.

An anarchist would consider it to be worth it because changing to the appropriate economic system plus getting rid of the state would result in a society with what they consider to be a (much) more optimal power structure.


Well, by removing most existing management you have to expect that in the short term the world economy would largely collapse for at least a period (I'm assuming a universal revolution) and in the intermediate stages of reoorganizing a Communist government shortages would be widespread... if you somehow manage to get some form of communism working, I doubt the capital you'd come out on the other side would come close to what you would have had under the current system, even if you take out what the "bourgeoisie" owned from the equation. As to "power structure," I'd bet at least 98% of the population at least doesn't give two shits about it when the more equitable version means less for them.

qbg wrote:
TheStranger wrote:
SpiderMonkey wrote:But of course, whilst starvation in the core is very rare, food insecurity is not: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7106726.stm

That is an example, right in the 'core' of global capitalism, of purely market forces denying people access to food by making it too expensive for them.

Which Communism would fix with a snap of the fingers?

Money is a form of rationing. Depending on who is implementing communism, everyone would receive equal rations at the minimum. (Essentially a form of welfare).


You have to admit that no matter how you look at it, eventually the population will grow too large for the planet to sustain it unless it is somehow controlled. How do you propose budgeting Earth and maintaining a form of leftist anarchy simultaneously?

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby VannA » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:29 am UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
TheStranger wrote:I was unaware of a plausible theory of Free Will, perhaps you can enlighten me (plus the 90s called, they want their joke back).


There are many theories of free will. The theory that there is no free will at all depends on the universe being deterministic. It is quite clearly not.

[


Bwahhahahahhaha. *cough*

You can have randomness, I'll concede randomness. But randominity =/ free will.

There is no mechanism for Free Will within our knowledge of sub-atomic or quantum-physics. Ignoring for the moment that there is no real evidence the brain can even effect those states.

All off topic.. but don't spout crap after declaring somebody else ignorant. You can choose to argue free will. There are certain unfalsifiable areas when I will acknowledge more than an abstracted illusion of free will, but they are essentiall 'Turtles all the way down' problems.

Your anarchistic idealism is flawed. We moved past it.. to a communisitic principle. We moved past it again, to capitalism. We embraced segements of each, now, and move forwards again, likely to a melding of all 3 major schools.

But there are basic biological facts. People care less about people they don't know, than people they do. There are empirically demonstratable hard limits to how many people you can meaningfully care about.

Which is why, as far as I am concerned, the end goal for most of these systems is tiered govermental structures consisting of small-city-states that in turn consist of community groups of like-minded individuals.
The world is becoming a place where the geographical closeness is not as required.

For a more eloquent understanding of the style of system I'm referring to, see Michael Marshall Smith's "Only Forward"
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby qbg » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:25 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
qbg wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:You argued that a workers marginal productivity does not equal wage, but you're ignoring that marginal productivity is not equal between all workers - the "brain workers" have a significantly higher marginal productivity than a simple laborer, and are paid accordingly.

That is besides the point.

Like hell it is, you have made the arugment multiple times that workers are being exploited because they aren't being paid according to their marginal productivity, and you always presume that marginally speaking they should all be paid equally. While management will occasionally take more than is merited to them according to their productivity, for the most part these businesses will be outcompeted by those who do not.

I was presuming (otherwise) equal workers in the marginal productivity line of discussion; two workers can have different marginal productivities, and so if they were paid by that they would have different wages.

Also, in socialistic thinking, exploitation more comes from the value of their wages being below the value of their labor (however one computes that in most cases).
qbg wrote:Transitioning to another economic system would be a revolution so it would be worth it if the new economic system was better (how better?) than the old.

An anarchist would consider it to be worth it because changing to the appropriate economic system plus getting rid of the state would result in a society with what they consider to be a (much) more optimal power structure.

Well, by removing most existing management you have to expect that in the short term the world economy would largely collapse for at least a period (I'm assuming a universal revolution) and in the intermediate stages of reoorganizing a Communist government shortages would be widespread... if you somehow manage to get some form of communism working, I doubt the capital you'd come out on the other side would come close to what you would have had under the current system, even if you take out what the "bourgeoisie" owned from the equation.

1) The whole world might not/will not experience revolution at the exact same time.
2) If the revolution develops through dual power, there would a system to fall back on once the main one is gone.
3) (WRT capital) It has been said (as propaganda) that the workers built the world and that they can do it again if they need to.

For historical data, the Spanish Revolution of 1936 would be relevant for anarchism on a large scale. It would have been interesting to see what it would have developed into if it had not been crushed by force.
As to "power structure," I'd bet at least 98% of the population at least doesn't give two shits about it when the more equitable version means less for them.

EDIT: The is of course that it would also mean more for them
qbg wrote:
TheStranger wrote:
SpiderMonkey wrote:But of course, whilst starvation in the core is very rare, food insecurity is not: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7106726.stm

That is an example, right in the 'core' of global capitalism, of purely market forces denying people access to food by making it too expensive for them.

Which Communism would fix with a snap of the fingers?

Money is a form of rationing. Depending on who is implementing communism, everyone would receive equal rations at the minimum. (Essentially a form of welfare).

You have to admit that no matter how you look at it, eventually the population will grow too large for the planet to sustain it unless it is somehow controlled. How do you propose budgeting Earth and maintaining a form of leftist anarchy simultaneously?

In most developed countries the population has stopped growing or is mainly growing due to immigration; if the same thing continues to happen under (global) anarchism (and the globe is developed), then population would be stable or grow slowly. There is also technology, which should continue to develop and should (hopefully) allow the population to live comfortably. And if the population grows too large for the earth, we can look up and wonder.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:07 pm UTC

qbg wrote:I was presuming (otherwise) equal workers in the marginal productivity line of discussion; two workers can have different marginal productivities, and so if they were paid by that they would have different wages.

The problem is, this (bolded) simply isn't true. Each (identical) worker doesn't have his own marginal productivity; if you think they do, you're not understanding the concept.
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby qbg » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:33 pm UTC

Silas wrote:
qbg wrote:I was presuming (otherwise) equal workers in the marginal productivity line of discussion; two workers can have different marginal productivities, and so if they were paid by that they would have different wages.

The problem is, this (bolded) simply isn't true. Each (identical) worker doesn't have his own marginal productivity; if you think they do, you're not understanding the concept.

Sorry, I mean non-identical workers if it isn't clear. (Removing a worker trained in car manufacturing to a programming team probably isn't going to drop the total productivity that much as removing a programmer would)

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Silas » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

All right- I was afraid you were thinking of workers 1-7 in the hypothetical pen factory: that the third worker should be paid more than the seventh. I'm glad to see that's not the case.

Do we agree that, where workers have different marginal productivity, their wages should differ by exactly that ratio, such that the marginal productivity of one dollar, applied to hiring each, should be equal? That is, if one extra hour of the engineer's time increases overall production by six units, and one extra hour of a factory worker's increases overall output by two, then the engineer should be paid three times the factory worker's wage?
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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby SpiderMonkey » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:45 am UTC

VannA wrote:Bwahhahahahhaha. *cough*

You can have randomness, I'll concede randomness. But randominity =/ free will.

There is no mechanism for Free Will within our knowledge of sub-atomic or quantum-physics. Ignoring for the moment that there is no real evidence the brain can even effect those states.


Don't try and use scientific language to conceal your philosophical ignorance. You seem to be blissfully unaware that in conceding randomness you have conceded free will; because we are nothing more than the sum of the matter in our brains, the random development of that matter comes from us and thus is the free will you idiotically claim does not exist. Unless, of course, I am wrong in my materialism and there does exist a human soul separate to the physical universe - in which case, free will exists anyway.

I find it quite cute how you think you are smarter than me :)

Your anarchistic idealism is flawed. We moved past it.. to a communisitic principle. We moved past it again, to capitalism. We embraced segements of each, now, and move forwards again, likely to a melding of all 3 major schools.


So I am an anarchist now? I love these labels you people keep throwing around when you can't figure out how to pigeonhole someone.

But there are basic biological facts. People care less about people they don't know, than people they do. There are empirically demonstratable hard limits to how many people you can meaningfully care about.


First physics, and now biology must be bastardised to push an argument related to neither. Stop making broad generalisations about humanity without evidence. It is utterly retarded.

Which is why, as far as I am concerned, the end goal for most of these systems is tiered govermental structures consisting of small-city-states that in turn consist of community groups of like-minded individuals.
The world is becoming a place where the geographical closeness is not as required.

For a more eloquent understanding of the style of system I'm referring to, see Michael Marshall Smith's "Only Forward"


Must be nice decided how the entire human race should live. But then again, it isn't surprising you should do this seeing as you don't believe in free will :roll:

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Kachi » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

You can have randomness, I'll concede randomness.


I wouldn't. Just because there are phenomenon that appear random to us, does not exclude the likely possibility that they are simply determinable phenomena which we lack the ability/perception to determine.

You have to bear in mind that science is limited in its reliance on our observations, and many things escape our perception. You can't therefor conclude that there are random elements in physics based solely on our inability to percieve their determining factors. Hypothesize, sure.

I know that's not what's in vogue in modern physics, but randomness as an explanation is just a clever way of conceding that we don't actually understand how it works. Maybe it is random, unlike every other scientific observation ever, but more likely we just can't observe the cause, because we're humans with finite senses and methods.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Gunfingers » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:33 pm UTC

While i can't claim to understand the physics behind it, i have been assured that randomness on the sub-atomic level is real randomness. Things happening without any causality. It's, like, mathematically proven or something.

VannA is right, though, this has no pertinence to free will. Electrons randomly changing their valence (or whatever) can't really do anything for our thought processes. Causality holds true at the level at which we function.

Of course i don't believe that causality means lack of free will. I take in information, process it, and perform an action. The fact that that can be broken down to a very minute A->B->C->...->Z1,000,000 doesn't change the fact that everything i do is done by me.

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Re: Marxism/Socialism/Communism

Postby Kachi » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:48 pm UTC

Oh, well as long as you've been assured. Pardon the sarcasm.

The fact that that can be broken down to a very minute A->B->C->...->Z1,000,000 doesn't change the fact that everything i do is done by me.


That's not free will, though. There's nothing free about it. It's wholly dependent on the preceding circumstances.

What you've just suggested is akin to saying that if I push someone into you, and you fall as a result, you still fell of your own free will.


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