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Thread: capital by karl marx.

  1. #121
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    ya it's a fancy way of saying commodification isn't it

    btw I'm also interested to hear why/how Marx is wrong (not saying he wasn't)

    sure Marxism is vastly better at critiquing than proposing a viable alternative but that problem is hardly unique to Marxism

    also hasn't most great thinkers gravitating to Marxism not really been true since at least the 80s if not earlier? even if they're only now reaching the age to retire from the academy

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  3. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    And yet many men on the hard left oppose the women-led movement to abolish prostitution.
    don't plenty of women oppose that movement too? not rhetorical, perhaps they don't

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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    don't plenty of women oppose that movement too? not rhetorical, perhaps they don't
    Obviously they do, but they're certainly not doing it from a marxist perspective.

    Probably should have specified survivor-lead movement.
    Last edited by Benny B; 23-01-2018 at 08:45 PM.

  6. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    Obviously they do, but they're certainly not doing it from a marxist perspective.

    Probably should have specified survivor-lead movement.
    I don't think it's particularly marxist to campaign to abolish a particular form of wage labour?

    Certainly the English Collective of Prostitutes is influenced by Marx (Selma James being one example).

  7. #126
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    I don't know if I would use the word 'disproven', but Marx' labor theory of value is wrong in the extent that it fails to explain the empirical reality in a capitalist society. Most significantly perhaps, that the value added by human labour has no necessary link with the price at which goods are sold, giving rise to the infamous "transformation problem" of converting the value as determined by Marx' theory into the price by which it is sold. He tries to solve this in subsequent volumes of Capital, but the lack of success in this endavour is probably why he didn't publish them.

    There is a reason why neo-classical economics and specifically the marshallian cross completely trashed the LTV. And there is a reason why nobody really bothers with it today and uses the marginal theory of value instead.

    There are also numerous plain logical issues, contradictions and circularities that are explained in both inadequate and unessecarily complicated ways, like for example the abstract and inquantifiable concept of socially necessary labour time. Not even to mention the lack of reasoning for this concept. You can easily find articles online sketching out the most important of these.

    I'm not personally anti-Marxist and Smith had a labour theory of value as well, but Marx rests a lot of really heavy exploitation arguments on top of his value theory, so I think that a lot of the critique is warranted.

  8. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment View Post
    I don't know if I would use the word 'disproven', but Marx' labor theory of value is wrong in the extent that it fails to explain the empirical reality in a capitalist society. Most significantly perhaps, that the value added by human labour has no necessary link with the price at which goods are sold, giving rise to the infamous "transformation problem" of converting the value as determined by Marx' theory into the price by which it is sold. He tries to solve this in subsequent volumes of Capital, but the lack of success in this endavour is probably why he didn't publish them.

    There is a reason why neo-classical economics and specifically the marshallian cross completely trashed the LTV. And there is a reason why nobody really bothers with it today and uses the marginal theory of value instead.

    There are also numerous plain logical issues, contradictions and circularities that are explained in both inadequate and unessecarily complicated ways, like for example the abstract and inquantifiable concept of socially necessary labour time. Not even to mention the lack of reasoning for this concept. You can easily find articles online sketching out the most important of these.

    I'm not personally anti-Marxist and Smith had a labour theory of value as well, but Marx rests a lot of really heavy exploitation arguments on top of his value theory, so I think that a lot of the critique is warranted.
    Well the LTV doesn't explain everything, certainly. But it remains a useful contribution in the context of Volume 1 (which, lest we forget, includes the caveat throughout that commodities exchange at their values).

    Why it is useful, is that it places the worker at the centre of production (and therefore value).

    People always criticise Capital either because of the caveats Marx introduces or because they fail to remember those caveats. The whole point of them is to demonstrate that capitalism, as a system, is fundamentally unstable on its own terms.

    I'm not an expert Marxist or anything but I think the reason for socially necessary labour time is fairly clear as well. If you're talking about production in general it makes sense to have a marker for how long it generally takes a worker in society to produce something. You can then make comparisons with other societies, or examine how this variable will change with developments in technology or modifications to the length of the working day.

    My feeling is that not publishing his material about the transformation problem was probably more to do with him not being able to get his notes in order before he died, but I take your point. Volume 3 is a bit of bastard if I'm honest and it doesn't all stack up. The point is not to laud Marx as a saint or dismiss him because his work is incomplete. The point is to build on what is useful and get rid of the rest.

  9. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Well the LTV doesn't explain everything, certainly. But it remains a useful contribution in the context of Volume 1 (which, lest we forget, includes the caveat throughout that commodities exchange at their values).

    Why it is useful, is that it places the worker at the centre of production (and therefore value).

    People always criticise Capital either because of the caveats Marx introduces or because they fail to remember those caveats. The whole point of them is to demonstrate that capitalism, as a system, is fundamentally unstable on its own terms.

    I'm not an expert Marxist or anything but I think the reason for socially necessary labour time is fairly clear as well. If you're talking about production in general it makes sense to have a marker for how long it generally takes a worker in society to produce something. You can then make comparisons with other societies, or examine how this variable will change with developments in technology or modifications to the length of the working day.

    My feeling is that not publishing his material about the transformation problem was probably more to do with him not being able to get his notes in order before he died, but I take your point. Volume 3 is a bit of bastard if I'm honest and it doesn't all stack up. The point is not to laud Marx as a saint or dismiss him because his work is incomplete. The point is to build on what is useful and get rid of the rest.
    Yes I agree on the last bit. And the social science in his works are useful without a question. I'm not really knowledgable in this field, but somehow I consider an authority made the claim that Marx was the most significant social scientist of the past centuries. I forgot who it was now of course, but it stuck with me.

    However, for the economics, subjective value simply provides a better framework for understanding value. Not that it's not also without it's flaws.

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  11. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    I don't think it's particularly marxist to campaign to abolish a particular form of wage labour?

    Certainly the English Collective of Prostitutes is influenced by Marx (Selma James being one example).
    My original point was simply that marxist analysis (or any type of socialism) is utterly incompatible with regulating prostitution. The reification/objectification thing that came up illustrated the double standard perfectly. Women should not be commodities that may be bought and sold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    My original point was simply that marxist analysis (or any type of socialism) is utterly incompatible with regulating prostitution. The reification/objectification thing that came up illustrated the double standard perfectly. Women should not be commodities that may be bought and sold.
    This applies to all wage labour though. We did this before, but there is a long tradition of Marxists campaigning for better working conditions under capitalism whilst also wanting to supersede it with communism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    This applies to all wage labour though. We did this before, but there is a long tradition of Marxists campaigning for better working conditions under capitalism whilst also wanting to supersede it with communism.
    Ah, so they expect women to wait for the revolution in the meantime then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    Ah, so they expect women to wait for the revolution in the meantime then?
    There is a lot to be done in the meantime, but we may disagree on what that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by entertainment View Post
    Yes I agree on the last bit. And the social science in his works are useful without a question. I'm not really knowledgable in this field, but somehow I consider an authority made the claim that Marx was the most significant social scientist of the past centuries. I forgot who it was now of course, but it stuck with me.
    If you want to explain to a 16 year old their place in the social world in the 21st century in about 5 minutes, you can use Marx easily and pretty convincingly, so he remains massively significant.

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  17. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    My original point was simply that marxist analysis (or any type of socialism) is utterly incompatible with regulating prostitution. The reification/objectification thing that came up illustrated the double standard perfectly. Women should not be commodities that may be bought and sold.
    Hang on a minute:
    Socialism is the end of commodity production otherwise it is state lead developmentalism right?

    Regulating prostitution under capitalism is still forcing women to be subjected to the commodity form, right? And, even if you argue no, how will you account for the black market and surplus population? Where do they go after further regulation? You can only produce
    so many jobs until a new period of restructuring of industry.

    The point isn't that tables or chairs or even we are inherently commodities in and of themselve that the reduction of everything to exchange value ensures that the accumulation of commodities prevails.
    Last edited by thirdform; 25-06-2018 at 08:39 PM.

  18. #135
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    basically i am a marxist in faith but i have learnt that it is mainly for white people these days cos you get called a little idpoliticer if you try to factor race into class oppression. Jacobin need to take some responsibility for this.

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