View Poll Results: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

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  • Yes, he espoused evil beliefs intentionally

    41 23.56%
  • No, he was just misguided, and possibly loony

    43 24.71%
  • No, he was right

    54 31.03%
  • IDK/Other

    36 20.69%
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Thread: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

  1. #41
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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    It's too bad I don't have more time to critique the beliefs that have been expressed. Maybe if this thread is more active tomorrow I can do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    His opinions in relation to major economic truths, such as Labor Theory of Value and the Water-Diamond Paradox, are nothing below laughable. Marx was a statistical nightmare, and was nothing but a starry-eyed optimist.
    Almost every critique of Marx's LTV I've seen has only proven that the one doing the critique has never read a word of Marx. The Water-Diamond paradox is dealt with in the first paragraph of Das Kapital. Marx uses available of economic data to show the relation of man hours in searching for and producing diamonds to the man hours in the production process of other commodities. His argument is that the average time to find, gather, and bring to market diamonds is extraordinarily high in relation to the time it takes, on average, to produce other commodities.

    Most capitalist critics of his LTV never address socially necessary labor time (which he considered his most important contribution to the LTV) or abstract and concrete labor time. This leads most capitalist theorists to think Marx was oblivious to supply and demand, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Marx absolutely included supply and demand into his LTV, but argued that supply and demand only acted as modifiers to real value. That is, if supply and demand are in equilibrium something else is needed to explain value, and this is where abstract and concrete labor time comes into play.

    When people talk about Marx's optimism I imagine most aren't aware of his Critique of the Gotha Program. In this he said that early socialist society would need to be based on the maxim "To each according to his ability." Early socialist society would still need people to exchange their labor time for some sort of labor credit in order to buy goods. This was because every society needs time to shake away the marks of what it came from. In this sense Marx was extremely pragmatic, refusing to let his ultimate hope for humanity obscure the harsh realities of what humans had become under capitalism. Human society could only then go on to the later forms of socialism (which Lenin later labelled as communist) once scarcity had been resolved and several generations had been raised in a society that didn't value the base materialism and greed of capitalism. The later stages of socialism could only exist when people realized that they only way to distinguish themselves as individuals was through their creative labor. As is seen in embryo today, human skills and interests are naturally diverse. Thus if a society puts its primary value in the development of individual creative labor it can sustain itself materially while rigorously expanding individuality and human freedom.

    Most critiques of Marx are shamefully ignorant of his beliefs. The only other author I know of that is as misunderstood as Marx is Nietzsche (who the ignorant somehow call a father of Nazism despite his hatred of imperialistic German nationalism and constant ridicule of anti-Semites). Marx's beliefs were both exceptionally nuanced and consistent with the best relevant data he could get his hands on. Marx never predicted capitalism would end within 100 years, or within any specific time frame. What he did predict was an unprecedented instability of the capitalist system. We should seriously respect a man who predicted that well before the Great Depression, Great Recession, and the very likely collapse of Europe in the near future. The Keynesians have tried and failed to keep economies stables and the Austrians have never been able to describe how exactly a political movement will bring their system to power. Marxism is the oldest of all existing major socioeconomic theories and so far it is the only one that's predictions of capitalism, both political and economic, have been consistent with history.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    I would go much further and suggest, in addition to that, 'most people that have read Marx- do not understand Marx. And that is not altogether surprising considering the complexity of his unfinished works.

    Paul
    I think its easy to get the basics of Marxian economics, going with Kapital 1, 2 and 3 if you go through a little cliff notes (done by a actual Marxist, like David harvey for example, or Richard Wolff, or Stephen Reznick), many different Marxists have different outlooks but the basics are the same.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Marx no way "hid behind turning government into Godzilla"... Marx's vision was not a "big government"...
    Whither went the wither?
    On the outside, trickling down on the insiders.
    We won't live free until the 1% live in fear.
    Hey, richboys! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your faces, forever.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by E-M View Post

    When people talk about Marx's optimism I imagine most aren't aware of his Critique of the Gotha Program. In this he said that early socialist society would need to be based on the maxim "To each according to his ability." Early socialist society would still need people to exchange their labor time for some sort of labor credit in order to buy goods. This was because every society needs time to shake away the marks of what it came from. In this sense Marx was extremely pragmatic, refusing to let his ultimate hope for humanity obscure the harsh realities of what humans had become under capitalism. Human society could only then go on to the later forms of socialism (which Lenin later labelled as communist) once scarcity had been resolved and several generations had been raised in a society that didn't value the base materialism and greed of capitalism. The later stages of socialism could only exist when people realized that they only way to as have been consistent with history.


    But capitalism's unspoken motto is, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his greed," as in corporate patents, a significant example of which is the case where the inventor got a $30,000 bonus where his parasite bosses got $300,000,000 from his own invention! Babbling the typical ignorance of a spoiled and sheltered son of the upper classes, Marx had an upside-down view of the system he wanted to replace. Like Engels, his Daddy bought him his influence and arrogance. True class-consciousness would automatically dismiss such people. Until the natural capitalists, the inventors, take over by embezzling corporate patents, the workers will continue to be subjugated by people who didn't merit their positions above them. As with practically all the major "socialist" thinkers, most of these investor parasites also inherited their dominance. So Socialism v Capitalism turns out to be nothing but a food fight at a prep school. Those who accept the required rankings in economics would disagree because it is a sacrilege to dishonor those thinkers placed above us little people with mere common sense and real-world experience. If your head is not up in the clouds, you must be in a lower place and can only be looked down upon.
    On the outside, trickling down on the insiders.
    We won't live free until the 1% live in fear.
    Hey, richboys! Imagine the boot of democracy stomping on your faces, forever.

  5. #45
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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Marx no way "hid behind turning government into Godzilla"... Marx's vision was not a "big government"...
    I'll be honest that my knowledge of Marx's works are limited, but from what I understand, Marx directed his works toward improving the "human condition". I can't imagine he ever thought ****ers like Stalin and Mao would have turned it into authoritarian cruelty and genocide.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrometheusBound View Post
    But capitalism's unspoken motto is, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his greed," as in corporate patents, a significant example of which is the case where the inventor got a $30,000 bonus where his parasite bosses got $300,000,000 from his own invention! Babbling the typical ignorance of a spoiled and sheltered son of the upper classes, Marx had an upside-down view of the system he wanted to replace. Like Engels, his Daddy bought him his influence and arrogance. True class-consciousness would automatically dismiss such people. Until the natural capitalists, the inventors, take over by embezzling corporate patents, the workers will continue to be subjugated by people who didn't merit their positions above them. As with practically all the major "socialist" thinkers, most of these investor parasites also inherited their dominance. So Socialism v Capitalism turns out to be nothing but a food fight at a prep school. Those who accept the required rankings in economics would disagree because it is a sacrilege to dishonor those thinkers placed above us little people with mere common sense and real-world experience. If your head is not up in the clouds, you must be in a lower place and can only be looked down upon.
    There is no overriding motto for capitalism. Partially because there's too many facets to it and partially because the blind economic forces (the "invisible hand") within it are much more powerful than what anybody is saying about it. In no way is socialism simply an inversion of capitalism. Class relations aren't being turned of their head, they are being abolished. Thus no trace of the blind economic forces that enforce greed in the capitalist system will exist in socialism. What will still exist is residual cultural values, including greed. This is why socialism will surely still bare some of the marks of capitalism early on, but will shed them as individual material need is universally secured and creative individuality naturally becomes more visible as a value in society. People are naturally competitive, so when they don't have to fight to feed themselves they will still desire to distinguish themselves (this is why Aristotle believed only the ruling classes could produce intellectuals).
    ----------
    I wrote this next section first but honestly a discussion of the personality of Marx should always be secondary to that of his ideas.

    Almost all of your post was just an attack on the personalities of Marx and Engels. Neither of them denied that they were bourgeois. For most of Marx's adult life he lived in poverty, living off of writing for newspapers and whatever money Engels could provide him and his family (Engels family owned several factories). Neither of them worried about this because neither of them though ad hominem was a valid method of arguing. Marx's dominance in the major intellectual fields was certainly not bought. His father helped him into his first two universities, but was dead for a few years before Marx's first major trial in life (being forced to submit his dissertation to a different university because the University of Berlin was too conservative too accept any Young Hegelian PHD's). After that Marx was alone in escaping from the constant persecution of several European states. For the rest of his life he lived much closer to the working class than other prominent intellectuals, and after his studies he never any cushy university jobs.

  7. #47
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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Reading Karl Marx is like reading the writings of a cult leader, right away you know that this guy was nuts. Well unless you are a sucker, in that case you think that the guy was brilliant.

    It is obvious though that Marx was a man of hate and intolerance, one can learn this from reading Marx and from looking at the results of his work in the proponents of his works. Karl Marx was just a man that did not understand that people who lean Right cannot be oppressed by elaborate means at least not without violence and authoritative control. Obviously Marx hated the wealthy since he worked real hard to create a system that would not allow people to become wealthy. So i think that Marx was a bad person based on the fact that he created a theory of society that catered to his selfish wants and beliefs while persecuting anyone that disagreed with his assertions. Which is reflected in his followers as they judge everyone non Socialist as the cause of everything wrong on this planet. Proponants oif conflict are always bad people at heart and in practice and Karl Marx's entire career is solely based on conflict.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

    I don't think he was necessarily intent on evil, but he did help create the greatest evil ever produced by mankind. Socialism.
    You sure about that? You can't think of a single action or idea implemented by mankind in all of human history that rivals the abhorrent nature of socialism?

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by E-M
    Almost every critique of Marx's LTV I've seen has only proven that the one doing the critique has never read a word of Marx. The Water-Diamond paradox is dealt with in the first paragraph of Das Kapital. Marx uses available of economic data to show the relation of man hours in searching for and producing diamonds to the man hours in the production process of other commodities. His argument is that the average time to find, gather, and bring to market diamonds is extraordinarily high in relation to the time it takes, on average, to produce other commodities.

    Most capitalist critics of his LTV never address socially necessary labor time (which he considered his most important contribution to the LTV) or abstract and concrete labor time. This leads most capitalist theorists to think Marx was oblivious to supply and demand, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Marx absolutely included supply and demand into his LTV, but argued that supply and demand only acted as modifiers to real value. That is, if supply and demand are in equilibrium something else is needed to explain value, and this is where abstract and concrete labor time comes into play.

    When people talk about Marx's optimism I imagine most aren't aware of his Critique of the Gotha Program. In this he said that early socialist society would need to be based on the maxim "To each according to his ability." Early socialist society would still need people to exchange their labor time for some sort of labor credit in order to buy goods. This was because every society needs time to shake away the marks of what it came from. In this sense Marx was extremely pragmatic, refusing to let his ultimate hope for humanity obscure the harsh realities of what humans had become under capitalism. Human society could only then go on to the later forms of socialism (which Lenin later labelled as communist) once scarcity had been resolved and several generations had been raised in a society that didn't value the base materialism and greed of capitalism. The later stages of socialism could only exist when people realized that they only way to distinguish themselves as individuals was through their creative labor. As is seen in embryo today, human skills and interests are naturally diverse. Thus if a society puts its primary value in the development of individual creative labor it can sustain itself materially while rigorously expanding individuality and human freedom.

    Most critiques of Marx are shamefully ignorant of his beliefs. The only other author I know of that is as misunderstood as Marx is Nietzsche (who the ignorant somehow call a father of Nazism despite his hatred of imperialistic German nationalism and constant ridicule of anti-Semites). Marx's beliefs were both exceptionally nuanced and consistent with the best relevant data he could get his hands on. Marx never predicted capitalism would end within 100 years, or within any specific time frame. What he did predict was an unprecedented instability of the capitalist system. We should seriously respect a man who predicted that well before the Great Depression, Great Recession, and the very likely collapse of Europe in the near future. The Keynesians have tried and failed to keep economies stables and the Austrians have never been able to describe how exactly a political movement will bring their system to power. Marxism is the oldest of all existing major socioeconomic theories and so far it is the only one that's predictions of capitalism, both political and economic, have been consistent with history.
    I read this whole thing, and I was looking for one word that I never found - scarcity.

    Scarcity is the fundamental measuring stick of economics, and Marx was ignorant to its existence.

    You talked about the W/DP in relations to (what a surprise) social structure, i.e. costs involved to bring to market. At no point does Marx address value based on rarity of such diamonds and real costs.

    His version of LTV had no address for involving ability and availability when it comes to labor. He determined that labor was its own measure and its own currency, and that it was equal across the board. Sweeping the street has equal merit to solving equations or mixing chemicals. It's a scary thought, as an extreme version of that school of thought resulted in Mao slaughtering several tens of millions of people.

    Also, the Marxism school of thought is still rather nouveau in the grand scheme of economic political environment.

    And in case there's subject of argument, I actually have read Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. Been a while, but I have.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx a bad person?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hare View Post
    You sure about that? You can't think of a single action or idea implemented by mankind in all of human history that rivals the abhorrent nature of socialism?
    Fascism might be considered by some, or at least Hitlers attempts at forced eugenics which some associate with fascism, however in the terms of total cost of human lives, suffering and human misery, it doesn't really come close. It was a terrible time in human history and indeed a great evil and it should not be forgotten, but compared with the totals of attempts to implement socialism in various forms, Hitlers numbers are a small percentage of socialisms.

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