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OfflinePhred
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Marxist theory
    #892070 - 09/18/02 10:05 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

In a thread titled "Federal Reserve Questions...", Lallafa writes:

there is only one common ingredient in all commodities: human labor

Correct. Human existence is impossible without human effort. No one who thinks about it for more than a few minutes can dispute this. All that is left to decide is WHOSE effort supports WHOSE existence.

there is a whole section in capital debunking supply and demand

Debunking? Hardly. Only a Marxist would believe that the value of a given commodity is determined by anything other than what a buyer is willing to exchange for it.

no one having grown up in the 20th century in a western country leading a "normal life" could possibly get anything out of reading das kapital.

I beg to differ. The identification and study of the root cause of mass folly has enormous value.

the concept of social labor is entirely foreign to people accustomed to proceeding with their analysis from the surface of society

It's not that it's foreign, it's that it's almost irrelevant. The concept of "social labor" has extremely limited value. In a free society, it is pretty close to being a null concept.

"Classical Political Economy borrowed from every-day life the category "price of labour" without further criticism, and then simply asked the question, how is this price determined?"

The price of labor is determined by what a buyer of labor is willing to pay for it. Some buyers are willing to pay more than others, depending on the circumstances they are dealing with at a given moment.

"It soon recognized that the change in the relations of demand and supply explained in regard to the price of labour, as of all other commodities, nothing except its changes i.e., the oscillations of the market-price above or below a certain mean. If demand and supply balance, the oscillation of prices ceases, all other conditions remaining the same."

Correct.

"But then demand and supply also cease to explain anything. The price of labour, at the moment when demand and supply are in equilibrium, is its natural price, determined independently of the relation of demand and supply."

This is only partially correct, and only if one recognizes that the "natural price" is determined by the buyer. But the buyer, in DECIDING the price he is willing to pay, must realistically be aware of the supply of labor at the moment. To any given customer in the market for labor, the DEMAND for labor is not directly of concern to him, what matters to him is the SUPPLY. If he can find the three laborers he needs at a price he is willing to pay, it doesn't matter that others are having difficulty fulfilling their labor needs.

"What economists therefore call value of labour, is in fact the value of labour-power, as it exists in the personality of the labourer, which is as different from its function, labour, as a machine is from the work it performs."

If by "the personality of the labourer" he means that some laborers are more competent than others, then he is correct. This is why many employers prefer to pay by commission, or by piecework, rather than by hourly wage.

when we say labor we mean "a productive expenditure of human brains, nerves, and muscles" (Marx, Das Kapital Volume 1 Chapter 1)

Yes, that is indeed what Marx said. It's a pity that almost no Marxists remember that. This is why we see so many people insisting in this forum that the businessman is a parasite, and that his wealth is produced by the labor of others. "A factory owner contributes nothing, the workers do it all." What rot. Even Marx knew better than to pretend that.

agreed that all human labor is *social* rather than *private*, at least in the sense that the individuals labor contributes to the reproduction of any society?

No, not agreed. The labor I perform may or may not "contribute to the reproduction (?) of any society", whatever the hell THAT means. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I labor not to benefit society, but to continue my existence. If the work I do happens to be of benefit to society as a whole, then that's icing on the cake.

How does the labor performed by a rave DJ contribute to the "reproduction" of society? A novelist? A shoeshine boy? A dress designer? A cigar roller? A dog walker?

pinky


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InvisibleLallafa
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Phred]
    #892186 - 09/18/02 10:58 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

what


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my tax dollars going to more hits of acid for charles manson


Edited by Lallafa (05/16/10 09:09 PM)


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InvisibleLallafa
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Phred]
    #892203 - 09/18/02 11:08 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

all go to heaven with the shovel of the coal clap hands


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my tax dollars going to more hits of acid for charles manson


Edited by Lallafa (05/16/10 09:10 PM)


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Lallafa]
    #892253 - 09/18/02 11:41 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Lallafa writes:

reproduction is the wrong word, but guess what? you knew what i meant.

Actually, I DIDN'T know what you meant. You use some words differently than other people do. You certainly use "capitalism" differently. You make up statistics, then later claim that you didn't mean them literally, that they were just to illustrate a point. Well guess what? I am not clairvoyant. I either take what you write at face value or make it plain that I am uncertain of your meaning. Would you prefer that I just make my best guess at some of your cryptic comments and head off down a wrong trail?

if you want to learn marxist theory, you should read marx.

I read Marx before you were born. For several years I was a shop steward in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which at the time had a large Marxist-Leninist faction. I have read and discussed Marxist theory with card-carrying members of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada and gone on marches with them. There is even a photo in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper circa autumn of 1976 that shows me holding one post of a streetwide Marxist-Leninist banner.

Hard as it may be for you to believe, it is possible for someone to read Marx, to understand Marx, to sort mail 40 hours a week beside committed Marxists, yet still recognize the flaws in his reasoning.

i am tired of arguing with you.
more and more i see this forum as an utter waste of time.


Does that mean you won't answer Evolving's questions about counterfeit currency? Damn! I was really looking forward to that.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Lallafa]
    #892323 - 09/19/02 12:28 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

Lallafa writes:

my goal is to prove that humans are capable of continuing EACH OTHERS existence, through an organized, democratic, and supportive network

I have no doubt they can do so. Humans are capable of all kinds of things, and have managed to survive under some pretty screwed up social systems. But SHOULD they do so?

i believe that virtually all human behavior is learned.

As do I.

there is absolutely no justifiable reason to conclude that the capitalist model is the only way to accommodate "human nature"

Capitalism is the only system under which the individual rights of all members of the society are respected. When the structure of a society routinely allows (in fact, REQUIRES) the majority to force peaceful members of that society to act against their will, even for a purportedly "just cause", that society is by definition acting immorally.

The ends do not justify the means.

pinky


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InvisibleLallafa
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Phred]
    #892619 - 09/19/02 07:04 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

exactly


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my tax dollars going to more hits of acid for charles manson


Edited by Lallafa (05/16/10 09:10 PM)


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InvisibleSenor_Doobie
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Lallafa]
    #894265 - 09/19/02 08:07 PM (15 years, 2 months ago)

I have virtually no knowledge of economic theory, but what you are saying about labor determining value just doesn't seem to make any sense to me.

Is a communist state requisite for this to be the case or does it exist regardless?

If it exists regardless, explain this scenario. I go to an NFL game on Sunday and buy the last pair of tickets available for the game. I pay $150 for the pair. I turn around to the guy in line behind me and charge him $300. He is a die-hard fan and pays.

Now, you would argue that my simply turning around and inventing a number in my head is some how equivelant to a brick layer laying bricks for ten hours?



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"America: Fuck yeah!" -- Alexthegreat

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”  -- Thomas Jefferson

The greatest sin of mankind is ignorance.

The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. --Salena Zeto (9/23/16)


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Offlinefoghorn
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Re: Marxist theory [Re: Senor_Doobie]
    #895202 - 09/20/02 08:48 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)

"You use some words differently than other people do"

there is a lot of wisdom in that statement


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