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Marxist vs. Capitalist re. Means of Production and "Rents"

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Darwinism versus Marxism

"As soon as Darwinism made its appearance, the proletarian vanguard, the Socialists, hailed the Darwinian theory, because in Darwinism they saw a corroboration and completion of their own theory; not as some superficial opponents believe, that they wanted to base Socialism upon Darwinism but in the sense that the Darwinian discovery, – that even in the apparently stagnant organic world there is a continuous development – is a glorious corroboration and completion of the Marxian theory of social development."

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On 3/19/2016 at 7:31 PM, Eiuol said:

[Radical leftist position here]

I applaud your efforts. I applaud your skill at concealing your capitalist exploitation. You seem to think that providing a communal factory that you -- and only you -- make money from is some justification for your possession of the means of production. If you really had the intention to establish a communal factory, you would not have demanded payment for use. Your shallow facade may trick the locals into seeing this as a win-win situation at little cost, but I see it as an imperialist effort to impose capitalist hegemony upon this village. If only Lenin realized how easy the masses could be manipulated by a capitalist! His initial revolts would have been much more productive.

You have brilliantly established a factory by which we all contribute. But notice, you create a demand for product that we do not in fact need. You're making us believe we need flour, with your amusing but manipulative advertising to come on down to the factory, while you watch the money come in to you. Worse yet, you do not participate one bit, and make this factory only to pad your wallet. You have not produced anything except a false need for a false end -- production of flour. Flour! What, do you expect bakers and bread makers won't notice you were trying to extract free labor? If you want quick money, say so, don't pretend to be creating a setup the Inca would love to copy.

Tell me, do you really think life is better in this village because of this factory? It has commodified the village.

 

 

A Marxist would not say anything like this. Sure, on the surface, this seems vagule Marxist and uses Marxist terms, but it is utterly devoid of any actual Marxist ideas.

 

The first thing a Marxist would do is ask where the users of the factory are getting the money to pay the fee. If they must sell their labor to a capitalist in order to get a wage and pay the fee, then, since this factory does not pay wages to anyone, an economic system based on this model cannot reproduce itself and is therefore unrealistic. It therefore cannot replace capitalism, and can only exist within a capitalist framework. It has no revolutionary potential and there is no reason to consider it further.

 

Let me address Eiuols points in more detail.

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I applaud your efforts. I applaud your skill at concealing your capitalist exploitation.

Technically, from a Marxist standpoint, in and of itself, this is not a form of capitalist exploitation. The product, in this case flour, is not being sold for a profit by the capitalist. Hence, what the worker produces, the worker gets. No more no less. But since an economic system based entirely on this model cannot exist anyway, and since it can only exist within capitalism, we have to analyze it taking this context into account.

Within capitalism, the fee is really a rent. The factory owner must maximize rent rather than use-value. I could imagine that the owner would eventually figure out that the most lucarative use of the factory is selling all factory time to users who are extremely wealthy, and jacking up the fee. This factory would then deliver no benefit to the local community. In fact, since these wealthy users would most likely be flour producing capitalists anyway, (who would then sell the flour they produce to consumers) the capitalist system is using the automated aspect of the factory to eliminate labor costs, and squeeze the working class even more.

Quote

You seem to think that providing a communal factory that you -- and only you -- make money from is some justification for your possession of the means of production.

Marxist do not ask for "justification" of property relations. It is a materialist philosophy where things like "justification" are merely the ideological glue that holds an exploitative economic system together. That is, bourgeois ideology is a consequence of capitalism and not the other way around.

Quote

If you really had the intention to establish a communal factory, you would not have demanded payment for use. Your shallow facade may trick the locals into seeing this as a win-win situation at little cost, but I see it as an imperialist effort to impose capitalist hegemony upon this village.

There is no question about his intentions, the only question is about the plausibility of such a scenario. The requirement to charge a rent is forced on him by capitalist property relations and is inescapable. If anything, this example shows that anything other than a revolution will ultimately fail in destroying capitalism. The contract may in fact be win-win, as it is essentially no different than a self-serve restaurant. And this is definitely not an "imperialist attempt to impose capitalist hegemony upon this village" since imperialism is an international phenomenon and capitalist hegemony has already been imposed upon this village.

Quote

You have brilliantly established a factory by which we all contribute. But notice, you create a demand for product that we do not in fact need. You're making us believe we need flour, with your amusing but manipulative advertising to come on down to the factory, while you watch the money come in to you. Worse yet, you do not participate one bit, and make this factory only to pad your wallet. You have not produced anything except a false need for a false end -- production of flour. Flour! What, do you expect bakers and bread makers won't notice you were trying to extract free labor? If you want quick money, say so, don't pretend to be creating a setup the Inca would love to copy.

People definitely need flour.

Quote

Tell me, do you really think life is better in this village because of this factory? It has commodified the village.

No, it has not commodified the village.

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On 4/3/2016 at 10:55 AM, SpookyKitty said:

That is, bourgeois ideology is a consequence of capitalism and not the other way around.

Well, how would you advocate this devil?

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I wouldn't know what the evidence for that is. It does touch on ideas as having a cause, but is the cause suggested demonstrable?

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On 4/9/2016 at 5:39 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:
On 4/3/2016 at 8:55 AM, SpookyKitty said:

That is, bourgeois ideology is a consequence of capitalism and not the other way around.

Well, how would you advocate this devil?

 

On 4/9/2016 at 5:44 PM, dream_weaver said:

I wouldn't know what the evidence for that is. It does touch on ideas as having a cause, but is the cause suggested demonstrable?

Marx "advocated" it via Dialectic Materialism.  The multiple quotes the I've posted in this thread are from The German Ideology and are Marx's own words -- it's his essay.

You might want to read it.  The better you understand Marxism, the better you understand what it was that Rand was opposing.  She certainly understood it, probably having it crammed down her throat while in the USSR.

Yes, it is utter nonsense, but Millions died believing it.  Welcome to 19th Century German Philosophy.

I'm not sure why you two seem to be having trouble with this.  It's Marxism 101.

Edit:  SpookyKitty's break down is spot-on.

Edited by New Buddha

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New Buddha, your tying so many of your responses back to communism make me wonder if you see the difference between egoism and otherism at times. To make that distinction, I think, one needs to see it from a perspective akin to one's own mind's eye, and be wary of the fog that can cloud one's own vision.

As a former apprentice architect, I've turned to the dark side of automobile engineering/design, and have managed, somehow, through the transition, to regain an appreciation for the respective arts—like rediscovering an aspect of existence I had long ago forgotten or suppressed.

Now if I could just keep you from switching the position of your feet in your profile pic . . .

PS: After stepping outside and hearing the geese honking, it was if I were giving nature a green light to try and chase it away. What an f'n irony.

Edited by dream_weaver

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Dreamweaver,

The title of this post is Marxist vs. Capitalist re. Means of Production and "Rents".

All my replies have been towards the OP.  Your above post makes no sense.

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26 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Dreamweaver,

The title of this post is Marxist vs. Capitalist re. Means of Production and "Rents".

All my replies have been towards the OP.  Your above post makes no sense.

Then I withdraw it. my post .

Edited by dream_weaver

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On 4/9/2016 at 7:39 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Well, how would you advocate this devil?

 

I think you mean to say, how would a marxist defend the hypothesis that "bourgeois" ideology is a product of capitalism and not the other way around?

 

In Marx's theory of history a new economic system comes about as the result of inherent contradictions in the old one (by this, he is not referring to logical contradictions, but to tendencies for some aspects of an economic system to work at corss-purposes (e.g. for capitalism, driving down wages while at the same time maximizing sales)) become so great that one class overthrows the ruling class and resolves the contradictions of the old system by establishing a new one.

 

This is the "engine of history". Everything else, because the theory is based on dialectical materialism (which implies economic determinism), is the result of economic relations and never the other way around.

 

I guess the main piece of evidence for this view is that in every era of history, the dominant ideology justifies and legitimizes the dominant economic order. Is this a coincidence?

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49 minutes ago, SpookyKitty said:

In Marx's theory of history a new economic system comes about as the result of inherent contradictions in the old one (by this, he is not referring to logical contradictions, but to tendencies for some aspects of an economic system to work at corss-purposes (e.g. for capitalism, driving down wages while at the same time maximizing sales)) become so great that one class overthrows the ruling class and resolves the contradictions of the old system by establishing a new one.

This was Marx's secularization of Hegel's dialectic:

Hegel: Thesis - Antithesis -> Synthesis

Marx:  Labor Class - Capital/Owner Class -> Socialism/Communism.

Dialectical Materialism:

The concept of dialectical materialism emerges from statements by Marx in the preface to his magnum opus, Capital. There Marx says he intends to use Hegelian dialectics but in revised form. He defends Hegel against those who view him as a "dead dog" and then says, "I openly avowed myself as the pupil of that mighty thinker [Hegel]."[14] Marx credits Hegel with "being the first to present [dialectic's] form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner". But he then criticizes Hegel for turning dialectics upside down: "With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell."

Marx dispensed with Hegel's Metaphysics [Mystic's of Spirit] for Materialism [Mystic's of Muscle]. (Lexicon)  This was supposed to be "scientific" and would dispense with needless competition inherent in Capitalism.  In it's place would be scientific, centralized planning.  Dialectic Materialism is the foundation of his Labor Theory of Value.

Edit:  Marx also dispensed with Free Will and the Individual....

Edited by New Buddha

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