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Marxism and its influence
#1
Kinser,

I have to thank you.  You and your eclectic perspectives on things always make for an interesting read.

Further, you inspired me to break out some reading that I've not looked at for over fifty years, back when I was an undergraduate.  And even then, I think I wasn't up to the material, or mature enough to really consider it, or still too unsophisticated and too much of a backwoods boy to think about it.

I've both skimmed and carefully re-read all or part of The Communist Manifesto, Wage-Labour and Capital, Value Price and Profit, and The Poverty of Philosopy.

As a side-study I've also been reading the biography of Jean Jaures, the brilliant French socialist whose life ended all too soon, to an assassin's bullet.  One can only wonder if Jaures and his fellows could have made their influence more felt, that WW-I might have even been avoided?

Back to Marx - I'm sure that I'm not the advocate of Marx that you are, but I've found that my re-reading his stuff is fascinating.  He got a lot of it right in my opinion.  And the general theory pans out occasionally.  Of course, it seems to me that it falls way short in other areas.

In any case thanks.  I've enjoyed this detour in my reading.  Re-reading is often an excellent diversion!
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#2
A great deal of Marx is accurate, a great deal of it was inaccurate because of factors he could not foresee and some of it was wrong. One needs to also read Engels (which is hard to to get in hard copy but Marxists.org does a good job with e-versions) and also Lenin.

Naturally I would also include Stalin and Hoxha as well, particularly Stalin's work on the national question. Hoxha's work is more about late 20th century revisionism and might only hold interests to those who are already Marxist-Leninists.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#3
(05-07-2016, 10:18 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: A great deal of Marx is accurate, a great deal of it was inaccurate because of factors he could not foresee and some of it was wrong.  One needs to also read Engels (which is hard to to get in hard copy but Marxists.org does a good job with e-versions) and also Lenin.

Naturally I would also include Stalin and Hoxha as well, particularly Stalin's work on the national question.  Hoxha's work is more about late 20th century revisionism and might only hold interests to those who are already Marxist-Leninists.

But what did Marx get wrong?

1. that the Proletariat could never have a stake in the economic order. The consumer culture saved capitalism from proletarian revolution. Toilers worked to exhaustion for bare survival. This is a cornerstone assumption of Marxism.

Capitalists recognized at a certain point that they were better off getting smaller margins of profit on larger volumes of sales than gigantic margins on small numbers of sales. That required that capitalists transform workers into consumers. If one lives in barracks-like accommodations, sees one's children die of hunger and disease to which the economic elites seem exempt, and lives in crowding and filth so that elites of any kind can live in opulent splendor, then one might see almost any radical change in the political order as a cure to one's distress. But workers who have cars, furniture, and electronic entertainments and who see their kids attending school might have something to lose in the event of a revolution in the name of the proletariat.

2. He ignored the effect of technological change upon productive power.  More machines means less need for raw toil, and that much of the consequence of new technologies would be that people would have more stuff that could make life richer.

3. That proletarian revolutions would first appear in the countries with the most advanced capitalist systems as the plutocrats became more entrenched. But Socialist revolutions were more likely to appear in countries with undeniably backward economic and political systems -- Russia, Yugoslavia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The earliest stage of capitalism is always the hardest stage of capitalism, and the one in which the political order is most precarious. Working conditions are then the worst; no social welfare system aids those crippled in industrial accidents which are then more common; no relief system supports widows and orphans (the cure is simple -- put the children to work!); housing is shabby, filthy firetraps. A welfare system can alleviate much.

4. That bureaucratic elites that own none of the assets could be themselves exploiters on the scale of rapacious intellectuals (from shamans and witch doctors to televangelists and corporate attorneys), big landowners, and capitalists themselves. Those might need be overthrown if humanity is to have any dignity.

5. Once the rural peasantry gets adequate land it becomes arch-conservative. Peasant farmers in Europe and yeoman farmers in America became the core support of conservative parties. They do not want to become serfs on land that they recently owned or become employees of a state apparatus that treats them as a rural proletariat. The one Socialist state that had the most difficulty in collectivizing agriculture -- so much that it gave up (Poland) -- ended up with a strong agricultural sector capable of exporting foodstuffs to capitalist countries.

6. He never foresaw fascist reaction as a brutal suppression of the socialist tendency.

OK, he did pick the right side in the American Civil War.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#4
Quote:I have to thank you. You and your eclectic perspectives on things always make for an interesting read.


But I thought I had a monopoly on eclectic - and eccentric! - perspectives on things on this forum! LOL

Back on topic, though: Donald Trump's win on the Republican side, and Hillary's win on the Democratic side, combine to confirm that the Karl Marx vs. Ayn Rand dichotomy is dead in American politics.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#5
Your posts are more interesting than kinser's; admittedly that's not saying much, but whatever.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
If I'm right in the new thread I just started in the Theories Of History forum and the resolution of this 4T ends the entire "modern" epoch (which would then have to be renamed), there is no way that the capitalism vs. communism dichotomy can survive - any more than feudalism could survive the passage from medievalism to modernity.

Something like Sarkar's Progressive Utilization Theory could be in the offing - and the next Awakening could bring the true dawning of the Age of Aquarius, with a whole new religious paradigm emerging.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#7
So how do we deal with the end of scarcity? We produce enough as it is. Much of the profit is in practice monopoly power, crony capitalism, and questionable add-ons.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#8
Quote:Capitalists recognized at a certain point that they were better off getting smaller margins of profit on larger volumes of sales than gigantic margins on small numbers of sales. That required that capitalists transform workers into consumers. If one lives in barracks-like accommodations, sees one's children die of hunger and disease to which the economic elites seem exempt, and lives in crowding and filth so that elites of any kind can live in opulent splendor, then one might see almost any radical change in the political order as a cure to one's distress. But workers who have cars, furniture, and electronic entertainments and who see their kids attending school might have something to lose in the event of a revolution in the name of the proletariat.


But in recent decades the conservatives have gotten so greedy as to try and recreate these conditions. Which is why the "hardhats" recruited into the Republican Party during the Great Backlash against the Consciousness Revolution (and their Baby Buster and Post-Buster children) were no longer willing to play second fiddle to the Overclass, and overthrew them and took over the party for themselves. This is how Donald Trump was "created" - not by anything Barack Obama has done, as per the Overclass' preferred narrative.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#9
(07-01-2016, 07:01 AM)Anthony Wrote:
Quote:Capitalists recognized at a certain point that they were better off getting smaller margins of profit on larger volumes of sales than gigantic margins on small numbers of sales. That required that capitalists transform workers into consumers. If one lives in barracks-like accommodations, sees one's children die of hunger and disease to which the economic elites seem exempt, and lives in crowding and filth so that elites of any kind can live in opulent splendor, then one might see almost any radical change in the political order as a cure to one's distress. But workers who have cars, furniture, and electronic entertainments and who see their kids attending school might have something to lose in the event of a revolution in the name of the proletariat.


But in recent decades the conservatives have gotten so greedy as to try and recreate these conditions.  Which is why the "hardhats" recruited into the Republican Party during the Great Backlash against the Consciousness Revolution (and their Baby Buster and Post-Buster children) were no longer willing to play second fiddle to the Overclass, and overthrew them and took over the party for themselves.  This is how Donald Trump was "created" - not by anything Barack Obama has done, as per the Overclass' preferred narrative.

The "Hardhats" who found themselves with Richard Nixon simply turned against George McGovern, who seemed to pose the threat of new high taxes (skilled workers generally make above-average incomes and pay above-average taxes) while being linked to the Counterculture that "Hardhat" types could never like. They rally are swing voters, and I can easily see them voting for Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. "Hardhats" love big spending on infrastructure, which is their favored source of income.

Nobody is running on an agenda out of the Blue Awakening, unless it is the MBA culture of Donald Trump. Besides, the core support of Donald Trump is under-educated white working people generally in places where most of the white working people are semiskilled or unskilled labor. Skilled laborers may not largely have college degrees, but they are generally much smarter than unskilled or semi-skilled workers. Also, the kids of skilled workers are far more likely to get college degrees than are the kids of unskilled or semi-skilled workers.

The educational issue isn't the degree; it is intelligence that allows people to see through demagoguery and recognize its danger. If one can recognize that a promise to coal companies to promote more burning of coal and that a promise to environmentalists that less coal will be burned cannot both be achieved, then one might reject a politician who makes such a contradiction that indicates either a dangerous fool or an unscrupulous liar.  

The undereducated, semi-skilled  or unskilled white worker were offered a deal by the Republican Establishment that in return for cutting wages (to be offset with more economic opportunity and lower taxes) the GOP Establishment would outlaw abortion and clamp down on homosexuality, promote creationism, and bring back school prayer. The GOP Establishment has done everything possible to suppress or even reduce wages, but it has been either ineffective at or unwilling to bring about the 'cultural' agenda. Democrats cannot offer that cultural agenda. Donald Trump plays up racism against people that unskilled and semi-skilled white workers see as possible competitors for jobs, which does play well in rural white America, the "Real America" as Sarah Palin called it. That's the America without so many ethnic, racial, religious, and sexual minorities, college students who have no desire to return to the farm, and in general liberal and moderates.

In 2008, Barack Obama got 365i electoral votes from the not-so-real America, and got elected President. (The letter i  following 365 is a mathematical joke, if you get it. i  is the imaginary square root of -1, a non-real number that proves very useful in some forms of mathematics).

Maybe Hillary Clinton will get anywhere from 332i to 450i electoral votes, largely from the not-so-real America in the states that she wins in 2016.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#10
Here's my predicted Electoral College map:

http://www.270towin.com/maps/azBlN
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#11
(07-02-2016, 08:15 AM)Anthony Wrote: Here's my predicted Electoral College map:

http://www.270towin.com/maps/azBlN

Why don't you instead watch some episodes of The Honeymooners?

... Mine so far is Obama 2012 + Arizona + the Second Congressional District of Nebraska.

That's barring a further collapse of Donald Trump as a candidate, which would not be all that surprising because he has no idea of how to run a political campaign.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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