Marx out of 5?

5 - Orthodox Marxist
9% (7 votes)
4 - Marx has a strong influence on your philosophy
51% (40 votes)
3 - Marx did some good
31% (24 votes)
2 - Marx is irrelevant
3% (2 votes)
1 - It would be better if he’d never existed
6% (5 votes)
Total votes: 78

Posted By

Lazy Riser
Aug 24 2005 18:44

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Mike Harman
Sep 8 2005 09:05
Lazy Riser wrote:

If I can personally own a toothbrush, why can’t I personally own a yacht?

usufruct, darling.

Lazy Riser
Sep 8 2005 09:30

Hi

There’s always a place at the captain’s table for you Catch.

One day they'll be fabricating a yacht every twenty seconds from dirt in a Swiss nano-vat. Even using its LTV price, it’ll be as cheap as chips.

Love

Chris

Mike Harman
Sep 8 2005 09:57

If everyone has their own one, where would you put them?!?!

afraser
Sep 8 2005 12:19

Am I in favour of capitalism? Depends on your definition of capitalism. My definition: capitalism is a system with:

1) private ownership of the means of production; and

2) wage labour; and

3) markets.

Since I am opposed to (1) and (2), I do not believe myself to be in favour of capitalism. However, there are a lot of other definitions of capitalism out there, and under some of them I could be seen as being in favour of capitalism. That would be especially true for anyone who thought that collective ownership of property was equivalent to private ownership.

Lazy Riser
Sep 8 2005 12:44

Hi

Quote:
If everyone has their own one, where would you put them?!?!

We could build a new planet on the far side of the Sun and teleport our boats there for the holidays.

Or, we could make them very small, but they automatically grow larger when they make contact with water. When you've used your boat, you can press a button and it turns into a pizza.

Love

Chris

MalFunction
Sep 8 2005 13:15

greets

still ploughing through "for workers power" (brinton /pallis)

here's a link to someone's recollections of their time in solidarity.

http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/disband/solidarity/recollections.html

interesting read - i then scrolled down to the email address.

looks like someone here knows more about solidarity than i realised neutral

(unless it's someone else?)

mal

Lazy Riser
Sep 8 2005 14:21

Hi

Indeed. Even though my political feet are firmly in the Castoriadis/Brinton camp, I really appreciate and respect knightrose’s insights and accounts.

Lots of love

Chris

redtwister
Sep 8 2005 16:03
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

Well that was a sound thrashing I received earlier, and no mistake. You guys are really into this “no personal ownership” thing. If I can personally own a toothbrush, why can’t I personally own a yacht? It’s only a matter of having the productive resources to support my ostentatious tastes.

Why can’t money and markets be just “things”? This “capitalism as a social relation” business is sound and true but is not carried in money or markets, which really are just tokens and a particular way of implementing consumer/producer democracy for some goods.

The reason why companies do bad things is not because they operate in a market, but because they are owned by anti-working class interests.

Nevertheless, if you dress money up as this oppressive vector, you’re right. But you’re giving dead cash false life.

Love

LR

Well, since this went from a "Rate Marx and your closeness to Marx on a 1-5 scale" to a discussion more of aspects of what is and is not of value in Marx (if anything), my response would be that Marx has the single most consistent critique of money and markets as not merely things.

But this comes back a bit to the question of the historical validity of categories.

Money and markets are terms that can refer to a lot of things. Marx is trying to understand why labor and its products take the form of Values, and in what context one can talk about Values, and what implications this has for the specific formation of class relations and for the abolition of class relations.

First issue is that money and markets go together for the obvious reason that you only need money if you are engaged in exchange (aka indirect distribution of goods.) If you throw everything into a pool or people just take what they need or it is all gifts, then there is no real exchange i.e. an exchange of equivalents. Or you can have barter, but barter is still a direct exchange of qualitative equivalents, while a market involving the indirect exchange of equivalents requires a medium of exchange, aka money. Marx discusses this in great detail in Chapter 1 of Capital.

But then what you have is the relations between people taking the form of a network of indirect relations between things, such as shoes, books, and corn (my earlier post on the relations between commodity owners A, B, C, X, L, M, etc. covered that.) In the exchanges, something has to take the form of the equivalent and this tends to eventually take the form of a universal equivalent, something that stands in for the value of all commodities and yet itself is NOT a commodity when it does so.

This is to some degree common to all commodity relations, but capital is different from other commodity relations in so far as a) commodity relations are the dominant forms of social relations, and not just a subsidiary social relation, such as in Greece, Rome, the Late Medieval world, ancient China, and basically the whole of pre-capitalist society, and b) that labor itself takes the form of commodity for sale as the general form of labor. This means that money and markets and therefore exchange relations, dominate all other social relations and in a form in which labor is alienated from both the means of producing and th products produced, in return for a wage. Hence the reason Marx argues that the working class is the first class with no necessary interest or inherent ties to the existing system of social relations because it is itself absolutely alienated from all ties to capitalist property forms.

And end result of this is that we are not dominated by this or that capitalist or even by th capitalist class, but by capital as a social relation which we reproduce by continuing to produce in this specific way. The capitalist class stand as nothing more than the human embodiment of capital, which can always find a new body (hence its parasitic quality), a new capitalist, even the state, as long as what we see is generalized commodity production and labor alienated as labor sans property (and, as abstract labor, sans properties.)

To pose money and markets in abstraction from this may allow one to keep the names "money" and "markets", but it does so at the expense of emptying those categories of any content and is a mere formalism.

This is why money and markets are forms of social relations and not merely things, and they correspond to specific social relations. Capital is, in one sense, merely the generalization of commoity relations (money, markets, Value) across all of society. To abolish capital is to abolish not merely the capitalist class or "capitalist production", but markets, money and the whole social fabric of the world in which we currently live, replacing it with the relations that grow out of our daily antagonism to the forms of social life that constitute capital.

As a side note, this does not mean that personal property ceases to exist, but private ownership of the social means of production would (which is in part why the discussion of yachts, toothbrushes, houses, cars or any personal property is somewhat irrelevant, whereas the ownership of farms, factories, mines, etc. is more to the point because it involves the employment of collective, social labor), as would the buying and selling of labor power and the production of goods as commoities, and therefore money and markets.

chris

redtwister
Sep 8 2005 16:11
MalFunction wrote:
greets

still ploughing through "for workers power" (brinton /pallis)

here's a link to someone's recollections of their time in solidarity.

http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/disband/solidarity/recollections.html

interesting read - i then scrolled down to the email address.

looks like someone here knows more about solidarity than i realised neutral

(unless it's someone else?)

mal

Interesting.

Knightrose, do you know Steve Wright? I have e-mailed back and forth, both personally and from another listserve, for some years now and he produced a fantastic book on Italian operaist and autonomist movements in Italy called Storming Heaven.

Cheers,

Chris

Lazy Riser
Sep 8 2005 17:32

Hi

Quote:
To pose money and markets in abstraction from this may allow one to keep the names "money" and "markets", but it does so at the expense of emptying those categories of any content and is a mere formalism.

A small price to pay. Well worth it, if you ask me.

Quote:
the relations that grow out of our daily antagonism to the forms of social life that constitute capital.

They sound horrible, if it’s OK with you I’ll give those relations a bit of miss. I’m pretty happy with my social relations as they stand, but I’m a bit fed up with all this economic insecurity and political misrepresentation though. Still, whatever floats your yacht.

Putting the Marxist notion of Commodity to one side, I have no problem with the frivolous production of random stuff to satisfy my fickle whims. I don’t care who currently has personal ownership of the bubble gum machine, as long as it’s there on cue when I fancy a chew.

Love

Chris

redtwister
Sep 8 2005 19:03
Quote:
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
To pose money and markets in abstraction from this may allow one to keep the names "money" and "markets", but it does so at the expense of emptying those categories of any content and is a mere formalism.

A small price to pay. Well worth it, if you ask me.

Um, the point being that you are simply saying nothing and don't have a theoretical leg to stand on, which however...

Quote:
the relations that grow out of our daily antagonism to the forms of social life that constitute capital.

They sound horrible, if it’s OK with you I’ll give those relations a bit of miss. I’m pretty happy with my social relations as they stand, but I’m a bit fed up with all this economic insecurity and political misrepresentation though. Still, whatever floats your yacht.

Putting the Marxist notion of Commodity to one side, I have no problem with the frivolous production of random stuff to satisfy my fickle whims. I don’t care who currently has personal ownership of the bubble gum machine, as long as it’s there on cue when I fancy a chew.

Love

Chris

...clearly does not matter since you basically are fine with capitalism as long as you have your goodies. This is really the over-the-top version of the saying "I wanted to be an anarchist, but my parents didn't leave me a trust fund."

chris

Lazy Riser
Sep 8 2005 19:41

Hi

This bit is right...

Quote:
you basically are fine with capitalism as long as you have your goodies

However, my "goodies" include economic security and authentic community, so capitalism has to go.

I’ll respond to your low opinion of me on “+ insults”. Your track record of success in bringing the bourgeoisie to heel speaks for itself.

Cheers

LR

redtwister
Sep 9 2005 03:29
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

This bit is right...

Quote:
you basically are fine with capitalism as long as you have your goodies

However, my "goodies" include economic security and authentic community, so capitalism has to go.

I’ll respond to your low opinion of me on “+ insults”. Your track record of success in bringing the bourgeoisie to heel speaks for itself.

Cheers

LR

My track record is sadly about as good as anyone else's, which is to say 'for shit', though like many of the rest of us, not for lack of trying.

As to insults, ok, fair enough. I'm usually a bit tart, but then again, my point and my pointedness are re: a theoretical and political approach which I hear too often on the Left and which you are just echoing: capitalism minus some of its effects, but to me that means something in how we think about revolution, about activity, about what is to be done. To me, your position would put a brake on a really thorough-going transformation, trying to salvage markets and money and then what else?

Of course the chances of any of us being more than one voice in the hurricane is prolly small, so I'm prolly just being pointlessly cranky...

Chris

ps - thanks for the info on IWCA. So far, while I like some of their stuff, I also have questions, concerns, and wonder how, if at all, something similar could be adopted here.

Lazy Riser
Sep 9 2005 10:25

Hi

Quote:
Of course the chances of any of us being more than one voice in the hurricane is prolly small, so I'm prolly just being pointlessly cranky...

Not at all. You’ve got very solid politics as far as I can see, I’m grateful for the opportunity to test my proposals. Keep it up.

Quote:
trying to salvage markets and money and then what else?

You don’t need to look at it as “salvaging” these things. They stand or fall on their own utility, and emerge through normal human activity. There’s no way I could advocate propping up existing commercial frameworks or their currencies, but if we are to advance the working class project we are going to have to propose an economic model that is at least as materially gratifying as that which prevails, plus it must make sense from a technical perspective. It’s difficult to imagine how product quality will be maintained without some kind of market, it’s even more difficult to imagine how consumers will choose between bigger TVs or louder stereos without money.

Cornucopian warehouse communism is a social configuration that could operate without money of any kind, however the technology required to approach that level of productive capacity will require several years of open market economics to achieve. Even then, markets will continue long after money is consigned to the role of a toy for poker players. Even in a science fiction style moneyless society, competing teams of engineers will present designs for spacecraft to the working class commonwealth, who will select their vessel in an open market of ideas and products.

Are you feeling floaty? Me too.

LR

redtwister
Sep 9 2005 13:25
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
Of course the chances of any of us being more than one voice in the hurricane is prolly small, so I'm prolly just being pointlessly cranky...

Not at all. You’ve got very solid politics as far as I can see, I’m grateful for the opportunity to test my proposals. Keep it up.

LR

Next time I'll just keep it simple and call you a cunt or twat or something else brilliant. I'm sure Revol68 has some suggestions...

Then again, not being a chav/scally/whatsits, it just doesn't feel quite right...

grin

afraser
Sep 11 2005 22:57

I am not sure if anyone else is following my debate with Redtwister, but in case there is, I suggest we limit the debate, for the moment, to (2): the Labor Theory of Value. I have not yet read Rubin in full (no quick task, since he was one of those authors apparently visited by the mumbo jumbo monster) so the below should be taken as provisional until then.

That said: I think we both now agree that Marx did assert an LTV. The debate has instead moved on to the idea that that LTV was not central to Marx; that Marx's real target is in the fetishism of commodities.

At root commodity fetishism is simply the dislike of markets and money. Feeling that way is perfectly understandable, makes a perfectly good target, but is a matter of opinion, so would be suitable for the basis of doctrine instead of a general theory. So it does not seem to be a suitable candidate for replacing the LTV as a base for Marx's theoretical deductions such as crises and immiserisation of the proletariat.

Also I personally do not share that particular opinion: I have no problem with either money or markets, they are not alienating. I do have a problem with capitalism, but for me the fault lies with wage-labour, with private ownership of land and the means of production, with profit, interest, rent, with the private control of money. Surplus 'value' is extracted through raw power of the boss over his workers, the landlord over his tenants, the financier over his debtors, the state rulers over their subjects. Concentrating fire on markets and money obscures the more simple, more brutal, reality of capitalism.

Also, fetishism of money is neither inevitable nor required in a (non-capitalist) market economy. Marx apparently misunderstood the role of money. Money does not, under capitalism. serve primarily as a means of commodity exchange (although that is important), but instead serves primarily as a store of capital value. Money (price) has an (often dominant) role in exchange, but many other factors also influence exchange decisions – quality, reliability, trust, continuity, business relationships - and, while (increasingly) important in capitalism, those other factors would likely be much greater in non-capitalist markets. Accumulation of money for its own sake would be unattractive in the absence of wage labour, interest, rent, profit: if you can only get rich through market exchanges by working like a maniac all your life, that would not be an attractive proposition. Money can be fetishised when it can be used to control wage labour, when it is finance capital; but not when it is a simple aid to exchange between ordinary individual members of the common people.

As an example, take peasant farming as Proudhon, Marx, and so on debated it. It involved people farming their own land, with their own labor, and exchanging the produce with their neighbours through the market. For a believer in Marxian economics that is hideous: the farmers have fetishised their commodities with everyone; become alienated; failed to see the true ‘value’ of their labor realised in its market price. But such belief has no other grounding – most all people would think that no fetishism, alienation, exploitation had taken place in any such commodity transactions. Introduce landlords, wage labouring farm hands; then it is a different story – but only then, not by the existence of market trading as such.

redtwister
Sep 12 2005 13:58
afraser wrote:
I am not sure if anyone else is following my debate with Redtwister, but in case there is, I suggest we limit the debate, for the moment, to (2): the Labor Theory of Value. I have not yet read Rubin in full (no quick task, since he was one of those authors apparently visited by the mumbo jumbo monster) so the below should be taken as provisional until then.

That said: I think we both now agree that Marx did assert an LTV. The debate has instead moved on to the idea that that LTV was not central to Marx; that Marx's real target is in the fetishism of commodities.

No, we don't agree. Marx does not have a labor theory of value, but what might be more appropriately called a value theory of labor. The former would attempt to show that labor is the source of all value, presupposing without explaining thereby why labor takes the form of value producing labor and why goods take the form of Values. Marx is not interested in measuring Value and surplus-value like an economist, but in asking why labor and production take the form of "value" and "value production" or commodity production, and what implications this has for us.

And since you can only refer to Rubin as being visited by "the mumbo jumbo monster", I can already expect a careful and attentive reading, at least as attentive as your reading of Marx and of my posts has been so far.

chris

afraser
Sep 12 2005 17:02

Rubin uses the term “labor theory of value” constantly throughout his book. I am aware his take on what it means is different from orthodox marxism, but Rubin doesn’t seem to regard the term “labor theory of value” itself as unacceptable. You do?

Marx was interested in measuring surplus value, and in a way which appears very like an economist:

Quote:
The first attempt to measure the rate of surplus-value in money-units was by Marx himself in chapter 9 of Das Kapital, using factory data of a spinning mill supplied by Friedrich Engels (though Marx credits "a Manchester spinner"). Both in published and unpublished manuscripts, Marx examines variables affecting the rate and mass of surplus-value in detail. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus-value#Measurement_of_surplus_value]

Not just Chapter 9 either, much of the second half of Volume 1 is full of that.

And Marx thought of himself as an economist:

Quote:
Being both German and economist at the same time

[https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/foreword.htm]

Peter Good
Sep 12 2005 20:13

I've been trying to follow this impressive thread but with the disadvantage of not being a Marxist scholar I've gotten lost easily. Permit me to ask a question. Where in any on Marx's writings does he address the problem of dealing with dissidents?

Thanks. Peter Good (TCA)

afraser
Sep 13 2005 13:32

I don’t think Marx ever addressed problems of dealing with dissidents. He personally didn’t have much tolerance for dissent in his political groups, but then that’s hardly unusual amongst the left sad . But this story doesn’t fill me with confidence about how a Marx led state would have treated its dissidents:

Quote:
The next month [in 1848] Bakunin and Marx met again in Berlin, and a reluctant reconciliation was effected. Bakunin recalled the incident in 1871: “Mutual friends induced us to embrace, and during our conversation Marx remarked, half-smilingly, ‘Do you know that I am now the chief of a secret communist society, so well disciplined that had I said to any member, “Kill Bakunin,” you would be dead?” ’

[http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/guillaume/works/bakunin.htm]

redtwister
Sep 15 2005 20:18
Peter Good wrote:
I've been trying to follow this impressive thread but with the disadvantage of not being a Marxist scholar I've gotten lost easily. Permit me to ask a question. Where in any on Marx's writings does he address the problem of dealing with dissidents?

Thanks. Peter Good (TCA)

Depends on what you mean. He wrote here and there about all kinds of political people and movements, much of it in his letters. Some of it was supportive, none of it was given to being uncritical, especially of intellectual ass munches and spectacular 'leaders'. His preference was for the sound good sense of workers in struggle, who even at their most confused, were not the mountebanks and charlatans the so-called intellectuals were.

chris

ps - afraser, to the best of my knowledge, only Bakunin of the two was associated with a) a secret society and b) a murderer aka Nechayev, who by their meeting in 1871 had already murdered his "opponent". I see no reason to suspect it was not a dig at Bakunin for his relationship with Nechayev.

redtwister
Sep 15 2005 20:33
afraser wrote:
Rubin uses the term “labor theory of value” constantly throughout his book. I am aware his take on what it means is different from orthodox marxism, but Rubin doesn’t seem to regard the term “labor theory of value” itself as unacceptable. You do?

Marx was interested in measuring surplus value, and in a way which appears very like an economist:

Quote:
The first attempt to measure the rate of surplus-value in money-units was by Marx himself in chapter 9 of Das Kapital, using factory data of a spinning mill supplied by Friedrich Engels (though Marx credits "a Manchester spinner"). Both in published and unpublished manuscripts, Marx examines variables affecting the rate and mass of surplus-value in detail. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus-value#Measurement_of_surplus_value]

Not just Chapter 9 either, much of the second half of Volume 1 is full of that.

And Marx thought of himself as an economist:

Quote:
Being both German and economist at the same time

[https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/foreword.htm]

While I like Rubin, i prefer to avoid a phrase that a) confuses matters, and b) was never used by Marx. Were a) not true, then I wouldn't mind the phrase, but one has to be particular at times. I don't use the phrase historical materialism either, for the exact same reasons, or the really awful 'dialectical materialism'.

As for measuring surplus-value as Marx did, he was working out an example, based on information he had from the Bluebooks. Look at any of Marx's works outside of Capital and show me where he is measuring surplus-value? As I tried to explain, even if it was a feasible procedure to somehow translate capitalist bookkeeping into value-theroetic terms, the sheer complexity of even a single industry would be overwhelming and quite innaccurate. That the market "measures" value, is the means by which "value" i smeasured, is far more important.

The example you site is a very simple situation, btw, and if Marx was really trying to do more than give a rough example, he would have to take into account all other markets and fluctuations which impacted the value of the raw materials, labor, means of production and final product.

Really, while i understand that you are taking no worse a position than most Marxists, it misses the very point of Capital which people like Rubin, Cleaver, Cyril Smith, Chris Arthur and other serious Marx scholars have tried so hard to correct. We of course do so within the limits of the time.

In 1927, I find it unlikely that Rubin, under Bolshevik power, would have considered using terminology that completely conflicted with the current milieu. It was enough to be calling lots of people wrong and basically showing that Stalin's Russia was capitalist (which would get him nixed), just as Evgeny Pashukanis faced for his work on Law. To break with the language people are used to is always to risk telling people that the received wisdom is wrong and therefore they need to rethink what they were comfortable with, not easy for either side of the equation.

And of course, Rubin missed some things that would only later get resurrected by the Italian operaists in the 60's re the non-neutrality of technical change.

Chris

redtwister
Sep 15 2005 20:40
afraser wrote:

And Marx thought of himself as an economist:

Quote:
Being both German and economist at the same time

[https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/foreword.htm]

Again, I ask, what is Marx doing? He is berating Proudhon for being inept at understanding political economy and German philosophy, and he is making a dig at his undeserved reputation. He's trash talking, and in so doing is saying "Look, take it from an actual economist and phliosopher, ie a man versed in the literature and ideas in a scholarly fashion, this guy has a very undeserved rep." Marx's way of saying it is much more pithy, however.

Do you think that is an adequate basis for ignoring when he subtitles his opus magnum A Critique of Political Economy? In other words, what is the content of Marx's thought, of his work, not poaching isolated, out of context phrases.

Chris

redtwister
Sep 15 2005 20:42

Notes to the example from Capital you cited.

[8] The above data, which may be relied upon, were given me by a Manchester spinner. In England the horse-power of an engine was formerly calculated from the diameter of its cylinder, now the actual horse-power shown by the indicator is taken.

[9] The calculations given in the text are intended merely as illustrations. We have in fact. assumed that prices = values. We shall, however, see, in Book Ill., that even in the case of average prices the assumption cannot be made in this very simple manner.

cmdrdeathguts
Sep 16 2005 01:18
Quote:
ps - afraser, to the best of my knowledge, only Bakunin of the two was associated with a) a secret society and b) a murderer aka Nechayev, who by their meeting in 1871 had already murdered his "opponent". I see no reason to suspect it was not a dig at Bakunin for his relationship with Nechayev.

except that the meeting in question took place - if it did - in 1848. it's the quote from bakunin mentioning it that dates from 1871.

EDIT: not that i rate the chances of Bakunin telling the truth of the incident at the height of his anti-marx/anti-semite years...

afraser
Sep 17 2005 22:30

OK lets drop the term "labor theory of value" and instead use "Marx's theory of value" or "value theory of labor". Few other followers of Marx feel the need to make that change of terminology, even those who don't have secret policemen to worry about, like Cleaver five years ago:

Quote:
By that time [1970's] my work on Marx had led me to be certain about at least one thing: that the labour theory of value was the indispensable core of his theory. The fact that some had set aside that theory and still called their analysis "Marxist" made no sense to me.

[http://www.eco.utexas.edu/facstaff/Cleaver/amrcp.htm]

But what others think shouldn’t worry us here, we can use the new terms in this forum. And also we can agree that commodity fetishism is a major part of Marx’s theory. So, where does that take us? Back to Redtwister’s original post (middle of page 4):

Quote:
Surplus value comes from the fact that the capitalist employs the labor power of the workers for more hours than are required to reproduce the laborer (reproduction, as afraser will get wrong….

OK, let’s see if I get it wrong. Marx believes this on the exchange-value of labor power:

Quote:
But the past labour that is embodied in the labour-power, and the living labour that it can call into action; the daily cost of maintaining it, and its daily expenditure in work, are two totally different things. The former [the daily cost of maintaining it] determines the exchange-value of the labour-power, the latter is its use-value.

[Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 7]

That statement is incorrect: the exchange-value of labor is not determined by cost of maintenance. Not by cost of subsistence maintenance, not by the cost of susbsistence maintenance plus all kinds of other socially (or otherwise) determined maintenance requirements, not by anything in any way connected to the cost of maintenance. Supply of labor does not increase as demand for labor increases; people do not go out and make more babies in response to a rise in the hourly wage; there is no factory that can manufacture people for shipment to the labor market. What applies to manufactured commodities does not apply to the people commodity. That’s a shame for Marx, because his theories of surplus value and accumulation depend on this.

Mike Harman
Sep 18 2005 13:06
Quote:

Supply of labor does not increase as demand for labor increases; people do not go out and make more babies in response to a rise in the hourly wage; there is no factory that can manufacture people for shipment to the labor market.

The enclosures of the commons, colonialism, the American Civil War, the current attacks on welfare, the raising of the retirement age, child care, immigration, outsourcing. Yeah, nothing to do with the supply of labour.

redtwister
Sep 21 2005 13:36
Catch wrote:
Quote:

Supply of labor does not increase as demand for labor increases; people do not go out and make more babies in response to a rise in the hourly wage; there is no factory that can manufacture people for shipment to the labor market.

The enclosures of the commons, colonialism, the American Civil War, the current attacks on welfare, the raising of the retirement age, child care, immigration, outsourcing. Yeah, nothing to do with the supply of labour.

Quite correct, which is exactly why Marx's critique of capital is in fact about class struggle and not merely "economics".

Not only that, supply of labor may not increase fast enough, which will increase the value of labor and all other things being equal, probably raise wages.

chris

afraser
Sep 21 2005 20:00
redtwister wrote:
supply of labor may not increase fast enough, which will increase the value of labor and all other things being equal, probably raise wages.

Yes. But that disagrees with:

Marx wrote:
But the past labour that is embodied in the labour-power, and the living labour that it can call into action; the daily cost of maintaining it, and its daily expenditure in work, are two totally different things. The former [the daily cost of maintaining it] determines the exchange-value of the labour-power, the latter is its use-value.

[Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 7 http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm]

I say - Redtwister says - that the daily cost of maintenance does not determine the exchange-value of labor power. Marx says otherwise. Who is right?

Those who have access to a good library (it sadly does not appear to be available online) could see the eleventh chapter ("The Labour Theory of Value and the Concept of Explotation") of G. A. Cohen's "History, Labour and Freedom: Themes from Marx" of 1988. I have just come across it, thanks to Redtwister, and have found it says what I have been saying in this forum, except more eloquently and in greater detail. Wiki has a little on this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Marxism.

Anarchoneilist
Sep 22 2005 13:52

As a basic critique of capitalism 5 and the state

3 or possibly 4, still I'd say Proudhion and mutualism

are more realvent to anarchism, esp. syndicalism.

In terms of building a genuine libertarian society,

the more you go into Marx the lower the marks.

(no pun intended tongue ) red n black star