View Poll Results: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

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Thread: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

  1. #341
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by sawdust View Post
    Your definition picks nits. Capitalism only works as designed in free markets.
    Capitalism is simply an economic system where the means of production, trade, and industry are controlled by private owners. In of itself, it has little to do with a free and open market. The modern term 'capitalism' is associated with Marx who described the current system. When pressed, any libertarian will acknowledge the fact our economy is not open and free.

    Kevin Carson goes on: A wide range of thinkers, from the free market anarchist Lysander Spooner to the Marxist Immanuel Wallerstein, have pointed out historic capitalism’s continuities with feudalism. Capitalism, as a historic system of political economy, was really just an outgrowth of feudalism with markets grafted in and allowed to operate in the interstices to a limited extent.
    Center for a Stateless Society “Free Market Capitalism” is an Oxymoron


    I have no idea what a freed market is.
    I like to add the 'd' to distinguish between a truly open market system compared to what we have now (which some like to erroneously call a 'free market.')

    You are trying to draw a distinction where there is none.
    When vulgar libertarians continuously defend the current system as if we live in a free(d) market then it is far from a nonissue.
    Last edited by Geoist; 05-23-14 at 12:58 PM.
    "Men did not make the earth ... it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property... Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." -- Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice
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  2. #342
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Although, at this point, I don't know that this observation is necessarily true for all cases, I think it is certainly true with regards to capitalism. Specifically, the idea is that the manner in which surplus value is extracted from the ruled by the rulers, effects the nature of the state.

    The specific economic form in which unpaid surplus labor is pumped out of the direct producers determines the relationship of rulers and ruled, as it grows directly out of production itself and in turn reacts upon it as a determinant. But on it is based the entire formation of the economic community growing out of the productive relations themselves, and therewith its specific political form likewise.

    It is always the direct relationship of the owners of the conditions of production to the direct producers – a relationship whose actual form always naturally corresponds to a definite stage of development in the ways and means of labor and hence its social productive power – which reveals the innermost secret, the hidden foundation of the entire social structure and hence also of the political form of the sovereignty-dependency relationship – in short, of the specific form of the state in each case.
    To see this idea in practical terms consider this



    The money and reach of this organization are completely unique in American politics. Filings show that the network backed by the Kochs and their donors outspent all other independent conservative groups in 2012, and it even matched the spending of the national coalition of labor unions. The difference between the Kochs' network and the labor unions, however, is that labor unions aren't nearly this sneaky with the source of their political donations.

    According to an analysis of tax returns by the Post and the Center for Responsive Politics, the 17 conservative groups you see above have pretty deep pockets. In 2012, they raised at least $407 million and funneled it to conservative campaigns across the nation. This surpasses even Karl Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads, which raised a comparatively paltry $325 million.

    Because the donors are unknown, it's unclear how much money comes directly from the pockets of the Koch brothers and how much comes from outside sources. But we do know where it is going.

    Most of the money flows through two non-profits that essentially function as banks that feed the money to other conservative organizations. The biggest of these faux banks is the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which brought in nearly $256 million in its first year alone according to WaPo. Because Freedom Partners is structured as a business league, the majority of that money came from "dues" paid by its 200-ish members, and these members only have to disclose their affiliation if they feel like it.

    Freedom Partners and TC4 Trust — a similar organization that is now defunct — funneled most of their funds to national conservative organizations. They left some funds to run through yet another intermediary, the Center to Protect Patient Rights, which then spread the money around to even more organizations on the right.

    Essentially, this is an (evil?) genius scheme that allows anyone to make massive anonymous political donations as long as they are OK with not picking the specific conservative organization that receives their money — and it's completely legal.
    Show This Chart to Anyone Who Thinks the Koch Brothers' Political Influence is Overstated - PolicyMic

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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Marx was surely correct in this observation

    Contradiction in the capitalist mode of production. The workers are important for the market as buyers of commodities. But as sellers of their commodity - labor-power - capitalist society has the tendency to restrict them to their minimum price. Further contradiction: the periods in which capitalist production exerts all its forces regularly show themselves to be periods of over-production; because the limit to the application of the productive powers is not simply the production of value, but also its realization. However, the sale of commodities, the realization of commodity capital, and thus of surplus-value as well, is restricted not by the consumer needs of society in general, but by the consumer needs of a society in which the great majority are always poor and must always remain poor.

  4. #344
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Marx was surely correct in this observation
    No. He wasn't.

    Free market capitalism means that you get to decide for you and I get to decide for me. When I choose the things that are in my best interest and you do the same we have the best possible self-organized outcomes. When the collectivists get involved we end up with a mess.

    Marx was a prolific, very smart, idiot.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    No. He wasn't.

    Free market capitalism means that you get to decide for you and I get to decide for me. When I choose the things that are in my best interest and you do the same we have the best possible self-organized outcomes. When the collectivists get involved we end up with a mess.

    Marx was a prolific, very smart, idiot.
    Decisions that are made under coercive conditions are not free. For example, Alan Greenspan testified before Congress once that wages were not rising because of increased worker insecurity. So although the workers may have felt that higher wages were in their best interests, out of fear of losing their jobs, i.e. coercion due to fear of job loss, they accepted lower wages. That is not a free decision.

    Another example. I remember one person who used to work at a plant that sold and serviced Caterpillar machines, told me a story of how the workers there decided to go on strike for higher wages. The owners of the plant were brothers who were millionaires many times over. One of the brothers came to the picket line and told the workers that he and his brother did not need money because they were rich. He said that the workers had a choice, they could either get back to work for their current wages, or he and his brother would close the plant and they would be without jobs. The workers went back to work and that was the end of the matter.

    The point is, these are choices that are made under the threat of coercion, and cannot be said to be choices at all.

    The problem with this position is that it assumes that there is a parity of bargaining strength between workers and the possessors of capital, and that is simply not the case.

  6. #346
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Decisions that are made under coercive conditions are not free. For example, Alan Greenspan testified before Congress once that wages were not rising because of increased worker insecurity. So although the workers may have felt that higher wages were in their best interests, out of fear of losing their jobs, i.e. coercion due to fear of job loss, they accepted lower wages. That is not a free decision.

    Another example. I remember one person who used to work at a plant that sold and serviced Caterpillar machines, told me a story of how the workers there decided to go on strike for higher wages. The owners of the plant were brothers who were millionaires many times over. One of the brothers came to the picket line and told the workers that he and his brother did not need money because they were rich. He said that the workers had a choice, they could either get back to work for their current wages, or he and his brother would close the plant and they would be without jobs. The workers went back to work and that was the end of the matter.

    The point is, these are choices that are made under the threat of coercion, and cannot be said to be choices at all.

    The problem with this position is that it assumes that there is a parity of bargaining strength between workers and the possessors of capital, and that is simply not the case.
    All collectivists believe as you do.

  7. #347
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    All collectivists believe as you do.
    Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobie View Post
    Masterful post.

  9. #349
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by US Conservative View Post
    Masterful post.
    Thanks.
    Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

  10. #350
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    Re: Was Karl Marx Right About Capitalism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    No. He wasn't.

    Free market capitalism means that you get to decide for you and I get to decide for me. When I choose the things that are in my best interest and you do the same we have the best possible self-organized outcomes. When the collectivists get involved we end up with a mess.

    Marx was a prolific, very smart, idiot.
    You didn't read the actual quote from Marx did you ...

    READ BEFORE YOU POST!

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