• Shawn
    11.7k


    But, here's the thing that you or Marx missed out on. Namely, that advancements in technology and resulting productivity increases via automation, AI, and the rest would cause the same luxurious lifestyle of the bourgeoisie, to be available even with the income of a proletariat worker, given enough time and possibly credit... So, essentially this renders class struggles as irrelevant. This has been happening for a great while already.

    So, following this logic, there will be some point at which productivity increases saturate. I mean, they can't just keep on rising indefinitely. Therefore, when that sort of scenario happens, is when socialism becomes a viable alternative.
  • Shawn
    11.7k
    This may come off as an incredibly bland question; but, didn't Marx consider the deleterious effects of competition on "surplus value"?

    How did he address this glaring fact that anyone would spot out?
  • Theologian
    160

    I've only been seriously studying philosophy for a little over a year. There are some hard choices I need to make as to which of the many dense tomes that are ahead of me I invest my time and energy in - and in what order. I always try to be upfront as to the limits of my own knowledge, and one of the reasons why I engage here is that I figure I might actually learn a thing or two from people who are a bit ahead of me. Or at least know more about certain things than I do. If you want to be contemptuously dismissive of that, then fine. But I think that says more about you than it does about me.

    I would also point out that so far at lest I am the ONLY person on this thread to make the effort to back up ANYTHING I've said with any references at all. And I have backed them up: with two instances in which Marx explicitly claimed that his predictions would "inevitably" come to pass, and one reference to an authoritative secondary source which said exactly the same.

    By contrast, your main response at this point seems to be ridicule. Ridicule is not a valid argument form, and I do not find it persuasive.

    There are also serious problems with the things the two of you are saying.

    First of all, @Maw, let's put the quote I gave and the line you added immediately after together, so everyone can see the whole thing.

    ""The analysis of history and economics come together in Marx’s prediction of the inevitable economic breakdown of capitalism, to be replaced by communism."

    You claim:
    the following sentence literally refutes that:Maw

    The which being:

    "However Marx refused to speculate in detail about the nature of communism, arguing that it would arise through historical processes, and was not the realisation of a pre-determined moral ideal."

    Clearly, this doesn't refute the preceding sentence. Refusing to speculate on the nature of communism, or exactly how it would arise, is not the same as not claiming that it is inevitable.

    I can claim that the sun will inevitably explode while refusing to specify exactly how, or describe the exact nature of the explosion. You might not be very impressed by my claim. You might even consider my failure to give any details to be a serious flaw in my whole sun exploding theory. But my refusal to provide the details does not change the fact that I did say that the sun would inevitably explode.

    There is no refutation here.

    Now, @Bitter Crank, let's look at your post. You begin by saying:

    Obviously, the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital are not the same kind of book.Bitter Crank

    Well, you've got me there. But up until now, no-one mentioned either. It doesn't change the fact that Marx said what he said. In both works.

    Moving on, I claimed that Marx said that certain things were inevitable. To which you replied:

    Marx described the reasons for class conflict (between the proles and capitalists) and that the proles would win--not because it was his preference, but because the exploited class would eventually achieve a level of development where they could, and would, dispossess the exploiters. Of course, they (WE) don't have to win -- now or at any time in the future.Bitter Crank

    And this is... supposed to show that I am wrong? Because it seems to me that you alternate between making my argument for me:

    "Marx described the reasons for class conflict (between the proles and capitalists) and that the proles would win--not because it was his preference, but because the exploited class would eventually achieve a level of development where they could, and would, dispossess the exploiters."

    And then immediately contradicting yourself:

    "Of course, they (WE) don't have to win -- now or at any time in the future."

    Does that seem internally consistent to you?

    To say nothing of the fact that all of the above, all of it, is left at the level of raw assertion. You provide not one shred of evidence to support your claim that this is what Marx actually said.

    Finally, you end with:

    Karl Marx didn't lay out a time table.Bitter Crank

    The thing about this is that while it may mean that Marx's theories were never scientific, and I was wrong to say that they were (and so was he, by the way -- I'm not the one who coined the term "Scientific Socialism"), it certainly doesn't mean that they are scientific now.

    Absent some kind of timetable, or account of the circumstances under which it will inevitably come to pass, no prediction is scientifically valid. It's like the old joke: "This serum could provide immortality - but it will take forever to test!"

    There's always tomorrow.

    My knowledge of Marx is, I admit, derived from secondary sources. But so far at least, I think I have put together a vastly better referenced and more coherent argument than either of you. Or even, dare I say, than both of you put together.
  • Theologian
    160

    Reading this, I can't help but think of two quotes: one from Bill Gates, the other from The Buddha.

    "640k ought to be enough for anyone."
    ~Bill

    "Like a thirsty man drinking salt water, desire can never be satisfied."
    ~Buddha.

    PS (So far the Buddha seems to be winning! :gasp: )
  • Maw
    2.5k
    I've only been seriously studying philosophy for a little over a year. There are some hard choices I need to make as to which of the many dense tomes that are ahead of me I invest my time and energy in - and in what order. I always try to be upfront as to the limits of my own knowledge, and one of the reasons why I engage here is that I figure I might actually learn a thing or two from people who are a bit ahead of me. Or at least know more about certain things than I do. If you want to be contemptuously dismissive of that, then fineTheologian

    I've been seriously studying philosophy for nearly a decade. @Bitter Crank, who is over 70 years old, has been studying philosophy and Marxism in particular for much longer than that. What I find "dismissive" is someone who has not read an iota of Marx and yet has already passed judgement on Marxism because of secondary sources, de-contextualized readings from a political pamphlet, and a citation-less online encyclopedia, which while useful is not a substitute for doing the actual readings.

    Using the Communist Manifesto as the crux of Marxist thought is problematic for two reasons, 1) it was hastily written propaganda to influence readers during political upheavals of 1848 and 2) it was written during Marx's youth, which is notably different than Marx's mature years. The Communist Manifesto is an interesting text, but it's not vital in understanding Marxism, which is better understood as a critical analysis of Capitalism anyway, as oppose to laying a path towards Communism or Socialism, or what have you.

    Throughout Marx's Capital, his most important work, he goes through great pains to avoid any deterministic language, preferring instead to characterizes processes and relations in more ambiguous terms such as "appears" or "seems to" or "tends to", etc. For Marx, the historical process works through dialectics between various factors, including technological advances, the social relations between people, modes of production, mental conceptions of the world and prevailing ideologies etc.. How these interact and play out is not causally circumscribed. Surely, there are those who interpret Marx as a historical determinist who believed that Communism was a historical inevitability, but I think a fair reading of Capital should dismiss that view as an overly simplistic portrayal of Marx's thought, which is otherwise quite complex and rich. This is why I recommended David Harvey as a guide, who persuasively argues for such an interpretation (and he has been teaching Marx for over 40 years).

    If you want to better understand how we can transition from Capitalism to Socialism, it is helpful to read critical analyses of Capitalism in order to pinpoint alternatives, and Marx essentially laid the foundation for analyzing Capitalism, so that's a more appropriate place to start. Given Marx's influence in both philosophy and economics, I think he's more than worthy of committed investment.
  • ernestm
    1k
    But, here's the thing that you or Marx missed out on. Namely, that advancements in technology and resulting productivity increases via automation, AI, and the rest would cause the same luxurious lifestyle of the bourgeoisie, to be available even with the income of a proletariat worker, given enough time and possibly credit... So, essentially this renders class struggles as irrelevant. This has been happening for a great while already.Wallows

    While that's sometimes claimed, that's not quite what Marx thought, and most of the misunderstanding of Marx is due to the same problem, a misinterpretation of the word 'proletariat'

    This was a very old concept, since Roman times in fact, of a class of people who have rights to vote in a democracy but who are illiterate. It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie to limit education, and therefore over time the class of illiterate increases until its decisions dominate the republic. The proletariat are easy to manipulate, and therefore do not vote in their favor. Some may argue that the process is well underway in the USA, perhaps for good reason.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    I've only been seriously studying philosophy for a little over a year. There are some hard choices I need to make as to which of the many dense tomes that are ahead of me I invest my time and energy in - and in what order.Theologian

    I confess: Back when I was an English major (shortly after Adam and Eve moved out of Eden) I too had to decide which long boring books I would skip. Sometimes the skipped books were important. But... there are only so many hours in a day, and one's brain can absorb and process only so much. I admit it: The thought of reading all of Shakespeare is still horrifying. Or any of Thackeray and Trollope. It's not going to happen, and I still call myself an English major.

    I believe in evolution, but I didn't read Darwin. Instead I've read lots of bits and pieces about evolution. Over the intervening 50 years, I've managed to fill in some of the deeper gaps left over from my undergraduate time. For those of us with average brains and average education, that is about the best we average souls can do.

    Get a room full of Marxists together and you will run into one of two things (depending on the flavour of the marxists present): Either you get doctrinaire agreement or you get a fight. I prefer the fighting types.

    For a quicker read, you might try Marx's short "Value, Price, and Profit"; it's available as a PDF from several sources.

    I am a lot less confident in the socialist eschaton [the final event in the "divine plan"] than I was once, maybe 30 or 40 years ago. Now I think we'll be lucky to make it through a few centuries of global warming.
  • ernestm
    1k
    Now I think we'll be lucky to make it through a few centuries of global warming.Bitter Crank

    You do have a point there. Most people confuse Marx with Engels and Lenin. Marx was more of a theoretician. Engels and Lenin were more practical. I drew this about Marx's thought as pictures are easier to understand.

    marxism.jpg
  • Shawn
    11.7k
    While that's sometimes claimed, that's not quite what Marx thought, and most of the misunderstanding of Marx is due to the same problem, a misinterpretation of the word 'proletariat'

    This was a very old concept, since Roman times in fact, of a class of people who have rights to vote in a democracy but who are illiterate. It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie to limit education, and therefore over time the class of illiterate increases until its decisions dominate the republic. The proletariat are easy to manipulate, and therefore do not vote in their favor. Some may argue that the process is well underway in the USA, perhaps for good reason.
    ernestm

    Well, I'm just going to come off as trite here; but, the US is a classless society. The only discriminating factor you get in the US is an educational achievement. But, the poor get a free ride in terms of accessibility to cheap subsidized loans provided by the government. The situation with college loans is really skewed to say the least, once you pass the threshold from economic poverty to affluence.
  • ernestm
    1k
    The only discriminating factor you get in the US is an educational achievement.Wallows

    While that might have had some truth in the past, the educated are now dismissed as 'elitist' unless they also have money.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    Well, I'm just going to come off as trite here; but, the US is a classless society.Wallows

    Thou prole, the only thing you're going to come off with that statement is wrong.

    The United States has always had a class structure, and it has one now. In the first century of our glorious Republic, the class structure was organised along these lines:

    The Ruling Class (always a small percentage of the population)
    • Land and slave owners (not just a garden plot, but large tracts of land, both developed and not)
    • Bankers, financiers (large capital providers)
    • Rentiers (owners of rented land)

    The Middle Class (substantially larger than the Ruling Class, much smaller than the Working Class)
    • Merchants (wholesalers)
    • Manufacturers
    • Farmers (large farms)
    • Retailers
    • Successful Tradesmen

    Working class (the Proletariat) (by far the largest class--90% of the population)
    • Wage earners (everyone who depended on working for a wage to survive)
    • Very small tradesmen, dirt farmers, etc.
    • Wage Slaves (working class people who are broke if they miss a pay check)
    Lumpen Proles
    • long-term unemployed
    • very poor
    • homeless


    These elements of the class structure are still in operation, but have changed. The propertied Ruling Class may be smaller now than in the past, but is far richer, and more powerful. Some elements of the Middle Class have shifted to the Upper Class. High level professionals, most highly educated, have joined the Middle Class, and occasionally (Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell) serve in the Ruling Class, as long as they remain useful. Merchants, small to medium manufacturers are Middle Class.

    The Working Class are all still wage slaves. What has changed greatly, and this especially for the Working Class, is the DELUSION that they are "middle class" -- something better, higher, more sophisticated than mere wage slaves. This DELUSION, perpetrated by the running dog lackies of the PR industry for the Ruling Class, has been quite successful. So successful, in fact, that intelligent people like yourself think class has disappeared.

    Class has not disappeared. It is as deterministic and pervasive as ever. It is just that this thin fabric of falsehood has been thrown over the class structure and obscures class perceptions. The wealth and power of the Ruling Class are kept hidden and/or obscured. Working Class people are, by and large, never in a position to observe the great wealth and power of the Ruling Class first hand. If an investment fund owned by several extremely wealthy people decide that 3M or GE or Boeing are not making enough profit, they can put intense pressure on the management of these companies to cut labor costs. Suddenly you are out of a job, and you will never know that several unknown people meeting in New York made decisions that have put you on Unemployment, and maybe long-term joblessness.

    Class interests among the Ruling Class and (real) Middle Class are carefully looked after. The Ruling and Middle Classes understand that their privileged position in society depends on keeping the very large working class under control.
  • Theologian
    160

    I confess: Back when I was an English major (shortly after Adam and Eve moved out of Eden) I too had to decide which long boring books I would skip. Sometimes the skipped books were important. But... there are only so many hours in a day, and one's brain can absorb and process only so much. I admit it: The thought of reading all of Shakespeare is still horrifying. Or any of Thackeray and Trollope. It's not going to happen, and I still call myself an English major.

    I believe in evolution, but I didn't read Darwin. Instead I've read lots of bits and pieces about evolution.
    Bitter Crank

    Thank you, Bitter Crank. That's pretty much where I'm coming from. The practical reality, I think, for all of us, is that if we limit ourselves only to those thinkers whose work we have the wherewithal to read directly, our intellectual horizons would shrink drastically. There's just too much out there. As our American friends might say, sometimes we need the CliffsNotes version.

    Now, @Maw:

    What I find "dismissive" is someone who has not read an iota of Marx and yet has already passed judgement on Marxism because of secondary sources, de-contextualized readings from a political pamphlet, and a citation-less online encyclopedia, which while useful is not a substitute for doing the actual readings.Maw

    But how dismissive have I been really? Yes, I start out with the view that Marx says that the fall of capitalism is inevitable. Based on the secondary sources I've seen to date, I had no reason to believe that to be controversial. But once that view was challenged, I acknowledged the limits of my own knowledge, and I think have been pretty open to the possibility that I what I thought I knew may have been wrong.

    If you want to talk lack of citations, frankly, look to the beam in your own eye. But speaking of, my own list of secondary sources now include this:

    "Ultimately, according to Das Kapital, the 'capitalist class becomes unfit to rule, because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery.' Consequently, the capitalist system collapses, and the working class inherits economic and political power."

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Das-Kapital

    I still make room for the possibility that Das Kapital says no such thing. It's not like I consider Britannica to be infallible. But I do consider it a little more authoritative than a random person I just met on the internet. I want to stress that I don't mean that to be a slight or an attack on anyone present. I acknowledge that any of you could with equal validity describe me in exactly the same terms. Absent some pretty compelling argument or evidence, if I said one thing and Britannica said the opposite, can anyone here honestly say that they'd believe me?

    Absent some previously earned credibility, pointing at a very thick book and saying "Oh, it agrees with me" doesn't count for very much. Because, as we all know, no-one can read all the thick books. Including you, Maw.

    Whether you care enough to put in the effort to unpack it a bit more is up to you.
  • Shawn
    11.7k
    These elements of the class structure are still in operation, but have changed.Bitter Crank

    Class has not disappeared. It is as deterministic and pervasive as ever.Bitter Crank

    Yes; but, let's not kid ourselves. Class structure may as well still exist; but, not in the same manner as when Marx was describing the socio-economic's of Germany or England some 152 years ago.

    The situation of our current proletariat is dramatically better than back then, many thanks to education and the rungs of the social ladder being not as far apart. Despite the outcries of liberals today of stagnant wages and lesser social mobility than say the 1950's, we do have a pretty progressive tax system, low-cost education for the poor through subsidized loans, a generous package offered by the military if one wants to go down that route, and a booming economy.

    Economic downturns are inevitable, one has to accept that fact under a capitalist socio-economic system.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Where was it tried?Valentinus

    Where has socialism been tried? Let's see...

    Russia, China, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Cuba, Cambodia, North-Vietnam (Vietnam), Mozambique, Angola, Laos, Afghanistan, Benin, People's Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, North Korea, Mongolia, Somalia, South Yemen, Nicaragua, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Sudan.

    Among others.

    And then there has been the socialist revolutions, uprisings and proxy states not being very successfull either:

    The Paris Commune (18 March–28 May 1871)
    Strandzha Commune (18 August–8 September 1903)
    Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders of Naissaar (December 1917–26 February 1918)
    Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic (28 January–29 April 1918)
    Odessa Soviet Republic (31 January–13 March 1918)
    Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic (12 February–May 1918)
    Alsace Soviet Republic (9–22 November 1918)
    Free Socialist Republic of Germany (9 November 1918 – 11 August 1919)
    Commune of the Working People of Estonia (29 November 1918 – 5 June 1919)
    Saxony Soviet (November 1918–14 March 1919)[52]
    Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (17 December 1918 – 13 January 1920)
    Free Territory (1918–1921)
    Lithuanian–Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (27 February–25 August 1919)
    Hungarian Soviet Republic (21 March–6 August 1919)
    Mughan Soviet Republic (March–June 1919)
    Bavarian Council Republic (6 April–3 May 1919)
    Limerick Soviet (15–27 April 1919)
    Crimean Socialist Soviet Republic (28 April–26 June 1919)
    Bessarabian Soviet Socialist Republic (May–September 1919; 15–18 September 1924)
    Slovak Soviet Republic (16 June–7 July 1919)
    Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (9 June 1920–September 1921)
    Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (8 July–21 September 1920)
    Hunan Soviet (9 September 1927–October 1927; succeed by Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet and then Chinese Soviet Republic)
    Guangzhou Commune (Guangzhou Soviet) (11 December 1927 – 13 December 1927)
    Shinmin Prefecture (1929–1932)
    Nghệ-Tĩnh Soviet (1930–1931)
    Chinese Soviet Republic (7 November 1931 – 22 September 1937)
    Socialist Republic of Chile (4 June–2 October 1932)
    People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China (22 November 1933 – 13 January 1934)
    Asturian Socialist Republic (October 5–18, 1934)
    Anarchist Aragon (21 July 1936 – 1939)
    Revolutionary Catalonia (21 July 1936 – 1939)
    Finland Finnish Democratic Republic (December 1939–March 1940)
    Political Committee of National Liberation of Greece (10 March 1944 – 28 August 1949)
    Second East Turkestan Republic (12 November 1944 – 20 December 1949)
    People's Republic of Korea (6 September 1945–February 1946)
    Azerbaijan People's Government (November 1945–December 1946)
    Republic of Mahabad (22 January–15 December 1946)
    Provisional People's Committee for North Korea (February 1946–9 September 1948)
    Marquetalia Republic (1948–1958)
    Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam (8 June 1969 – 2 June 1976)
    National Revolutionary Council of Gambia (30 July 1981 – 5 August 1981)
    Democratic Republic of Yemen (21 May–7 July 1994)

    BUT OF COURSE... nobody from any of these countries or these revolutions etc. GOT IT RIGHT! :razz:
  • ssu
    4.6k
    So, I may have been using the terms too broadly. I still feel as though the logic is sound in the OP, according to Marxist economics.Wallows
    As Slavoj Zizek has said, Marx many time said that history/events can go the other direction he envisioned them going... and that typically was the way how things went.

    Like (if I remember my Marx correctly) that the Proletariat can choose just to want higher pay and not opt for a revolution and communism. Which actually is a smart observation.
  • ssu
    4.6k
    I would say "It is better to be live in a well run capitalist economy than in a socialist economy run by jackasses. Similarly, "It might be better to try socialism than put up with a ruinous capitalist system run by jackals, even if socialism has not been proven to work."Bitter Crank
    Well, jackals and jackasses aren't great as leaders in ANY society no matter who owns the capital.

    The fact is, capitalism is not proving itself compatible with a liveable future. The oil companies (capitalists all) clearly plan to suck up the last profitable drop of oil and burn it. By the time they get done doing this, a liveable future will likely be impossible. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like our democratic institutions are going to be able to control the economic powers.

    I'm not sure there will be any sort of socialist revolution. But I'm pretty sure capitalism is offering a no-win future. Socialism seems worth a try.
    Bitter Crank
    The Social Democrats, the Ex-Communists (the Leftist Alliance), the Green Party and the Centrist Party are making a bold new effort here in my country now. The conservative Party is in the Opposition after being 12 years in power.

    But if there's democracy, there's a safety valve called elections, so I'm not afraid of what is to come. Try as hard as they want. (And the new administration already backtracked from the most extreme left-wing ideas... :up: )
  • ritikew
    12
    I've only been seriously studying philosophy for a little over a year. There are some hard choices I need to make as to which of the many dense tomes that are ahead of me I invest my time and energy in - and in what order. I always try to be upfront as to the limits of my own knowledge, and one of the reasons why I engage here is that I figure I might actually learn a thing or two from people who are a bit ahead of me. Or at least know more about certain things than I do. If you want to be contemptuously dismissive of that, then fine. But I think that says more about you than it does about me.Theologian

    haha don't take it personally son, Maw is a veteran on these forums and on the previous one. He is an outspoken leftist (not Marxist though, as he leans more towards anarchism/left wing libertarianism), a bit insecure, hence his 'contemptuously dismissive' comments and a bit autistic when it comes to social interaction. Nevertheless, he is incredibly well read and is, so far from what I have seen here, pretty much correct on Marx's work.
  • Theologian
    160

    haha don't take it personally sonritikew

    As for the "son" part, I may be a little older than...
    I've only been seriously studying philosophy for a little over a year.Theologian
    ...may have lead you to believe! :wink:

    What I said is, true, but I never said I hadn't done anything else. Though I am definitely not up there with Bitter Crank!

    As for the
    so far from what I have seen here, pretty much correct on Marx's work.ritikew
    ...part, feel free to make the case. I'm certainly not here claiming to be any kind of expert on Marxist theory myself.

    I just don't find it persuasive when someone's entire argument is "Hey, I've read the book, so I know." Especially when it's a long and complex book, and it seems that there are plenty of other folks who've also read the book and "know" differently.
  • ritikew
    12
    Norway's government owns over 70% of the nation's entire wealthMaw

    This is such a Chomsky move lol. But it is also the reason why he lost my respect that I had for him. Like Chomsky, you are an intelligent bloke Maw. And like Chomsky, you cherry pick some misleading facts and must deliberately dance around facts that would demolish the notion you try to put forward.
  • Theologian
    160

    I have mixed feelings about Chomsky. But I was very unimpressed by the description he gave of Skinner as a "Nazi." Which he bravely did after Skinner was dead and so could no longer sue for libel.

    Maybe one day I will start a thread on methodological behaviorism...
  • Theologian
    160
    you cherry pick some misleading facts and must deliberately dance around facts that would demolish the notion you try to put forward.ritikew

    On a completely different note, I am afraid I don't know what the facts are that would demolish what Maw said here. Could you expand on this point a bit?
  • ritikew
    12
    Sure, Norway is mostly privatised. With Tax-to-gdp ratio of around 38% and one of the highest (private) home ownerships in the world and most of the 'state wealth' is Sovereign wealth fund, also known as "oil fund".

    Norway's tax structure is quite close to OECD average:

    BBXxCCc.png

    Not quite the "socialist" country that people like to portray...

    Maw is referring to this article: https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2018/03/14/the-state-owns-76-of-norways-non-home-wealth/

    Leaving aside that the phrase "entire wealth" is blatantly wrong, even provided the incredibly misleading article, which is a politically motivated piece of junk. The statistic "non-home wealth" is ad hoc defined to serve a political agenda.
  • Theologian
    160

    Ahh, yeah. Okay. Makes sense. Thank you for the comprehensive reply. :smile:
  • Bitter Crank
    9.8k
    Oh, oh... the spectre of a knowledgeable Philosophy Forum member operating under a new name is haunting our philosophical playground! I'd better be careful.

    It's hard to tell how old someone is here. A member who recently left in a justified huff because he felt abused by the moderators, said he was 83--probably one of the older members here. Nothing about his writing style gave away his age.

    Some people write their age, and some people don't.
  • Maw
    2.5k
    But I do consider it a little more authoritative than a random person I just met on the internet.Theologian

    I told you that this reading of Marx stems primarily from David Harvey who has been teaching classes on Marx and Capital for around 40 years. Which is more "authoritative" to you: a professor who has been teaching the subject for 40 years or an excerpt from an encyclopedia article written by.....? You can cherry pick statements online all you want, but I'm not even asking you to simply believe me, I'm asking you to read the actual work before crystallizing your judgement on an author you haven't read. Marx is unfortunately a much maligned and misunderstood thinker, so I recommend reading him yourself, and if that is too demanding for you at this time, then I would recommend holding judgement. But given the undeniable prominence of Marxist philosophy within the last 200 years you'll have to grapple with him eventually.
  • Maw
    2.5k
    haha don't take it personally son, Maw is a veteran on these forums and on the previous one. He is an outspoken leftist (not Marxist though, as he leans more towards anarchism/left wing libertarianism), a bit insecure, hence his 'contemptuously dismissive' comments and a bit autistic when it comes to social interaction. Nevertheless, he is incredibly well read and is, so far from what I have seen here, pretty much correct on Marx's workritikew

    lol who is this?
  • ssu
    4.6k
    Excluding wealth from home-ownership, Norway's government owns over 70% of the nation's entire wealth, which is notably more than the percentage of wealth in China that's owned by it's government. The state owns over 70 companies, including the largest financial company, telecom company, and oil company. That sounds like a successful and workable socialized ownership of capital to me. Additionally, other models that socialize capital such as worker co-operatives are successful alternatives to traditional company models.Maw
    That is your argument for socialism? I don't know if I should laugh or be genuinely happy, perhaps I'll do both.

    Norway is a capitalist country. No way around it. None. You could argue that it's a mixed economy, I could agree with that. But just think WHY Norway's government owns over 70% of the nation's entire wealth. There's a simple reason for that.

    It's that they not only had nationalized their oil wealth like many oil producing countries have done, but (unlike the UK with the North Sea oil revenue) didn't use the oil income to finance government spending. What they made was an enormous Sovereign Wealth Fund and used only the interest from the fund to finance the Welfare State, and this is the reason WHY the government wealth is so high in Norway. So your prime example of large government owned wealth is because of a 1 trillion dollar wealth fund investing in over 9 200 companies globally just tells the state where socialism is now. In denial. Because these kind of schemes are quite ordinary in Nordic countries, which aren't socialist. As if we mean by socialism the thing it used to mean in the 20th Century, not that it's just a derogatory word for some and something that differs from the present US for others.

    But as a Cuban card carrying communist said to me in 1989, the objective of socialism in Cuba is to become a Sweden.

    And Sweden of course, is still a capitalist country.
  • ritikew
    12
    Lmao, trying hard to make Marx appear to be a legendary philosopher whose mere name should make the earth tremble under our feet in awe of the almighty.

    edit: In fact, when I studied philosophy, Marx was portrayed as a minor young Hegelian, with little to no original contributions to either philosophy or economics. He has done great for the field of sociology though.

    edit(2): f*ck, I make so many typo's it's embarrassing. It's late and I am tired..
  • Maw
    2.5k
    I didn't say that Norway was a socialist country. You stated, "socialism didn't work anywhere it was tried", and yet we have an example here of a country, within which there are free and fair elections, i.e. democratic contra authoritative, and the government owns the majority of the wealth and controls several key companies which are vital to the economy. This certainly seems to me like a step in the direction of a workable socialism. Regardless, I don't see socialism as a finished end goal, but, pace Eduard Bernstein, a commitment to principles and policies which include a democratic control of the economy and investing capital back into public goods and social services. The Nordic system, along with worker cooperatives, etc. etc. being a step in the right direction.
  • Maw
    2.5k
    Not quite the "socialist" country that people like to portray..ritikew

    is a specific tax policy sufficient for doing a socialism now?

    The statistic "non-home wealth" is ad hoc defined to serve a political agenda.ritikew

    The article doesn't hide the percentage of national wealth owned by the state when homeownership is factored in, which is nearly 60%. What's the problem?
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