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Awesomelyglorious
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29 Apr 2012, 7:46 pm

Well, I am definitely not a Marxist.

The issues with Marxism aren't just uniquely issues with a state-organized economic system, but rather Marxism is more utopian than that, and looks to its vindication when capitalism necessarily collapses due to it's tendencies that are at odds with each other, and with the hope of a new organization for society after that.

The problems with the analysis are simple though:
1) Marxism relies upon the labor theory of value. The problem is that the labor theory of value is bad/false/whatever. It doesn't go in line with how the economic system actually assesses value, or how people actually assess value, it doesn't even necessarily work well with cost-accounting given that the amount of value created by a unit of labor is not a homogeneous unit, but rather varies based upon the quality of labor, the techniques used in production, even the kind of product.
2) The prediction of the end of capitalism is unfalsifiable, and we have no reason to believe it actually will work like it is predicted to. Most predictions humans make, even highly educated humans, are actually incorrect. Not only that, but the current economic system has now outlived Marx by about a century at this point, making this prediction more into the level of prophecy. Finally, the potential ways that capitalism could end at this point aren't even limited to Marxian predictions, as for all we know, capitalism could be destroyed by an AI Singularity or a transhuman species. Both seem to loom more on the horizon than a communist revolution at this point in time.
3) Marxist predictions on the labor market don't appear to be fulfilled to the spirit. In a Marxist story, increasing oppression is supposed to drive the proletariat to greater and greater desperation and enmity against the capitalist system. The problem with this story is that we've seen an increase in living standards for a very long period of time. If anything, less people are going to be willing to "fight the power" than in earlier periods of time. Maybe this is a hiccup. Maybe recent labor trends are going to fulfill Marxist prophecies, but at this point I think the rationales are kind of ad-hoc, as at some point a prediction loses plausiblity.
4) In practice, there is no clear way to fulfill the desires of Marxists. Do we just act as political terrorists? What then happens if we get into a fight and win as Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky did? Socialism in one country didn't work, and yet letting someone take the nation back is equally silly. Can we take actions that put us into a part of the existing political structure, as many Marxists did in Germany with the Social Democratic Party, or must Marxism always be revolutionary? When the new system finally comes to be, how do we manage a dictatorship of the proletariat? Democratic elections? Maintenance of the vanguard who are the most educated in Marxist doctrine and least likely to fall victim to the mistakes of the past? Can we actually move from this to a freer system? How do we even maintain an economic structure without the basic coordinating elements of a pricing system, without having our allocation problems overly coopted by politics and political corruption? Do we need a "New socialist man" to do this? Or is Marxism somehow "natural" for man?

In the long and the short, I just don't think there is a real value to Marxism. I mean, maybe there is some value to some elements of Marxian class analysis of the sociological structure, but the core of a Marxist political alignment seems dead to me.



TM
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29 Apr 2012, 7:54 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:

In the long and the short, I just don't think there is a real value to Marxism. I mean, maybe there is some value to some elements of Marxian class analysis of the sociological structure, but the core of a Marxist political alignment seems dead to me.


Communism makes sense in 2 situations:

1. Where we're speaking of a relatively small group of people similar to "normal" tribal size for the human species where the betterment of the individual is the betterment of the group and vice versa.

2. In an "end of existence" world where there is no such thing as scarcity and where the goals of humanity are similar. IE, once we get robots to do all the work, we can mine Jupiter and Mars and have a Dyson Sphere around the sun. Keep in mind that as resource consumption tends to go up with supply and that humanity cannot be trusted to check its population level, I imagine that we could mine the eternity of the universe and people would just keep breeding till there is nothing left.



peebo
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30 Apr 2012, 2:26 am

TM wrote:
Now, misunderstand me correctly here, what I'm saying is that once we've reached a level where everyone could have "The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" then socialism is the perfect ideology. However, as long as we haven't reached that level the choice is between socialism as in "everyone is poor" and "capitalism" some are rich and some are poor. I see the latter as the lesser of two evils.


ah yes, we will civilly agree to disagree here, i feel. to me, inequality and coercion are the most pernicious aspects of any system of social organisation, and they are endemic in capitalism. everyone being modestly well off/moderately poor depending on your general outlook, would be a far more agreeable state of affairs for us all as far as i am concerned...


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abacacus
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30 Apr 2012, 2:44 pm

Joker wrote:
abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:
If the vast majority of America is stupid then why do we always kick your butt at sports :wink:


Doesn't take that much brain power to play football :wink:

And note I said majority, not all.


It takes more brian power then you think all sports take brian power to play and to play them well :wink:


Eh, iunno. I used to play sports, the most complicated mental part of it is figuring out where the ball needs to go. Everything else is muscle memory.


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Vigilans
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30 Apr 2012, 2:52 pm

abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:
abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:
If the vast majority of America is stupid then why do we always kick your butt at sports :wink:


Doesn't take that much brain power to play football :wink:

And note I said majority, not all.


It takes more brian power then you think all sports take brian power to play and to play them well :wink:


Eh, iunno. I used to play sports, the most complicated mental part of it is figuring out where the ball needs to go. Everything else is muscle memory.


But did you have the power of brian on your side


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Joker
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30 Apr 2012, 2:54 pm

Vigilans wrote:
abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:
abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:
If the vast majority of America is stupid then why do we always kick your butt at sports :wink:


Doesn't take that much brain power to play football :wink:

And note I said majority, not all.


It takes more brian power then you think all sports take brian power to play and to play them well :wink:


Eh, iunno. I used to play sports, the most complicated mental part of it is figuring out where the ball needs to go. Everything else is muscle memory.


But did you have the power of brian on your side


Yes you do need the power of your brian because the brain controles every function of the body that is why it takes brain power to do anything.



Vigilans
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30 Apr 2012, 2:56 pm

:lmao:


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abacacus
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30 Apr 2012, 3:01 pm

Joker wrote:

Yes you do need the power of your brian because the brain controles every function of the body that is why it takes brain power to do anything.


I don't know about you, but I don't have to consciously think "leg up leg down turn right leg up jump" etc... that just happens :lol:


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Vigilans
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30 Apr 2012, 3:02 pm

The power of brian compels you!


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Joker
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30 Apr 2012, 3:02 pm

abacacus wrote:
Joker wrote:

Yes you do need the power of your brian because the brain controles every function of the body that is why it takes brain power to do anything.


I don't know about you, but I don't have to consciously think "leg up leg down turn right leg up jump" etc... that just happens :lol:


The brian is sending signals to the body to make that happen :wink:



Vigilans
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30 Apr 2012, 3:09 pm

:lol: stop, I laugh too hard


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Joker
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30 Apr 2012, 3:10 pm

Vigilans wrote:
:lol: stop, I laugh too hard


HAHA okay ill stop :lol:



marshall
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30 Apr 2012, 3:49 pm

My main argument against Marxism isn't the common one. I think the main problem is that allowing excess wealth to accumulate in the hands of some is a necessary evil to some degree. I person of small or modest wealth may be able to come up with a good idea, but it takes people with deeper pockets to really transform the idea into reality. In a total Marxist system the only way an entrepreneur could get anything going is to petition the government for funding. In a mixed economy you have investors willing to pool their money towards things.

The problem I see with the current economy though is investors do not necessarily pool their wealth towards productive aims. This causes speculative bubbles which are nothing more than a collective non-consciously-conceived ponzi schemes that unjustly redistribute wealth to one class at the expense of another. When the bubble bursts the negative consequences fall disproportionately on working class people who had nothing to do with causing the situation in the first place. This is why I think pure unregulated capitalism is dangerous and immoral, even though I'm not a full-blown Marxist.



NeantHumain
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30 Apr 2012, 4:10 pm

Karl Marx was a dirty, long-bearded hippie singing the International instead of Kumbaya, and instead of people all over the world getting all lovey-dovey, it was about revolution and smashing the bourgeois establishment through force of arms if need be. Same thing really. Marx's theory was flawed in that he expected whole societies to engage in violent revolution and afterwards all just get along and share with each other. WTF?

The collapse of the Soviet Union proved conclusively that communism doesn't work and that Marx was an idiot. What the Left just doesn't get is people want stuff, and they want to one-up their neighbors the Joneses. People are greedy, envious, selfish bastards, and capitalism exploits this fact of human nature while communism relies on some fantastic utopia that would take a brutal totalitarian regime to actualize. Capitalism is God ordained with Jesus Christ Himself being the first capitalist; communism, in contrast, is a godless, atheist ideology bent on crushing and perverting humanity's free will and replacing it with the will of a sadistic despot.

Some apologists for Marx like to say that the Bolshevism imagined by John Lenin was not real socialism and that something better could be implemented, preferring labels like "social 'democracy'" or "'democratic' socialism." Well, gag me with a spoon: Socialism is as a socialist does, and even if some nansy-pansy "center-left" Scandinavian or Western European hasn't brought in the Red Army and legions of faceless, Boba Fett-clone storm troops doesn't mean it isn't imminent when you put a f*ckin' bolshie pinko in charge. The UK's National Health and the Beeb, it's all just smoke and mirrors, my friends, and when the smoke clears, be ready for the gulags and famines! François Hollande of France's Socialist Party even looks like Father Joe Stalin! Tony Blair of the UK's "New" Labour would have thrown his political enemies away, lock and key, if it weren't for the marmish Queen scolding him.

At least outside the United States, the pinkos have the balls to say they're commies and socialists. Here, our pinkos cower behind the labels liberal and progressive. Bullshit! Obviously our liberals have never read Ludwig von Mises or Friedrich Hayek, or else they'd know liberals believe in freedom, not some pinko welfare state; and real progressivism died in this country with good ole Teddy Roosevelt.

It's funny anyone even bothers to call themselves a Marxist anymore.



over9000
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30 Apr 2012, 6:29 pm

I'm probably the most staunch anticommunist on this site. Communism is, at best, an ideal sprung from the mind of a drug addled hippie, at worst, it's an evil institution that deserves to be reviled as much as fascism is. @#$% Karl Marx, and may he rot in hell forever.