Neo-Liberalism's Addiction To Imported (Exported) Labor And Domestic Stagnant Economic Wage Growth. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14793056
This thread we're exploring the failed policies of neo-liberalism's economic globalization in the west particularly with how foreign immigration is utilized as a suppression mechanism by the established corporatocracy on domestic wages in employment. For starters since I live in the United States I'll start there and eventually I would like to overtime sample data or information from other western nations.

Another thing to add with this should be the percentages of job outsourcing overseas over a period of time.

From 2014:

There are some 58 million working-age (16 to 65) native-born Americans not working — unemployed or out of the labor market entirely. This is roughly 16 million more than in 2000. Equally troubling, wages have stagnated or declined for most American workers. This is especially true for the least educated, who are most likely to compete with immigrants (legal and illegal).

1.5 million fewer native-born Americans are working now than in 2007,yet 2 million more immigrants are working.

Anyone who has any doubt about how bad things are can see for themselves at the bureau's website, which shows that, as of November, there were 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans working than in November 2007, while 2 million more immigrants (legal and illegal) were working. Thus, all net employment gains since November 2007 have gone to immigrants.

The decline in work has particularly affected those under age 29, and the less-educated, who are the most likely to be in competition with immigrants. A study by the economist George J. Borjas and others found that immigration reduces the employment of less-educated black men. Another study came to the same conclusion. A recent analysis by Federal Reserve economist Christopher Smith (2012) found that immigration reduces the employment of U.S. teenagers.

Despite this, many members of Congress and President Obama support giving work permits to illegal immigrants and increasing legal immigration even further. Once given work authorization, illegal immigrants can compete for better-paying jobs now unavailable to them because they require background checks and valid Social Security numbers — as security guards, interstate truckers, and public sector employees. This despite a record number of adults not working and stagnant wages. Economists debate how much immigration impacts natives, but agree that the data show no labor shortage.



Because when you have unlimited foreign immigration of course there will be no labor shortage moreover when you have a labor over supply the cheaper the workforce becomes.


http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/20 ... immigrants



After Congress re-wrote U.S. immigration policy in 1965, the foreign-born population increased dramatically in an unprecedented immigration wave that reshaped the racial and ethnic makeup of the United States. At the same time, wages stagnated, increased slightly, and then fell.

Since 1970, the foreign-born population of the U.S. increased 325 percent, the Congressional Research Service found, while wages for the bottom 90 percent of earners decreased by 8 percent and their share of income decreased by 16 percent.

Workers in industries where demand for work is increasing are actually the hardest hit by continued decline in wages, reported The New York Times. One explanation for that trend, evidenced by the Brookings Institution, is that immigrants are flooding those labor markets in particular. The left-of-center think tank found in 2012 that many of the jobs in the occupations deemed fastest and largest growing by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are going to immigrants — in many of the same occupations The New York Times reported have seen the greatest decline in wages in recent years.

Harvard Professor George Borjas estimates high immigration levels from 1980-2000 lowered the wages of lower-skilled working Americans by 7.4 percent, and that current immigration rates cost American workers who compete with foreign labor $402 billion every year.

Record numbers of Americans do not even hold paying jobs.

The labor force participation rate has fallen to its lowest level since the 1970’s, when the foreign-born population began to surge and wages flatlined. Nearly 40 percent of Americans 16 or older are not working or looking for work, and the share of both men and women in the workforce has dropped.

This is not merely the result of an aging population. “The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent,” reported The New York Times in December, adding: “Working, in America, is in decline.”

All net job gains among the working-age population of the United States from 2000-2014 went to foreign-born workers, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies based entirely on federal data. At the same time, the number of working-age residents born in the U.S. increased by nearly 17 million, accounting for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population. (RELATED: US-Born Workers Lose Jobs, While Foreign-Born Find Them)

“The point is, I believe, that in this new economy, workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less,” Obama said in his State of the Union address, immediately after blaming greedy executives for stagnant wages in the country. “The rules should work for them.”

Nearly one in five U.S. residents will be an immigrant by 2060, largely because of legal immigration, not illegal immigration, a recent analysis of Census data found. If federal law is not changed, the U.S. is on track to issue 10 million green cards over the next decade — a massive new permanent resident bloc larger than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.


http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/16/signs ... s-workers/





Jobs outsourced to China have diminished American employment opportunities and have helped contribute to wage erosion since 2001, when China entered the World Trade Organization, new research shows.

Between 2001 and 2013, the expanded trade deficit with China cost the U.S. 3.2 million jobs, and three quarters of those jobs were in manufacturing, according to a report released Thursday from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning Washington think tank. Those manufacturing jobs lost accounted for about two-thirds of all jobs lost within the industry over the 2001 to 2013 period.


https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data- ... since-2001
#14793227
Ignoring the fact that the articles refer solely to low-skill immigration and low-value outsourcing:

@Joka: Since you're quoting sources that seem to uncritically reproduce Borjas' findings, I presume you can tell me why you think that those findings are more meritorious than, for example, those of Card, Peri, etc.? But anyways,

Image

I cut that out of Peri (2014), pp. 2*. Now, to be fair, Dustman et al. (2013) suggests that those in the 20 percentile might see their wages depressed - but everyone else sees wage gains, and there is a wage gain on average**, so it would seem the title of this thread is wrong. Or, at least it is for your own country.

I also find the results from outsourcing studies like that dubious*** because they only examine a partial equilibrium: they don't tell us what might have happened had the firm been unable to re-locate outside of the country. I have no idea about the specifics of the literature though - but I'd suggest that people keep in mind the consequences for labor compliments, i.e. the middle-class workers who benefit from the increase in productivity which comes from slashing the low-skill wage bill.

---

* The outlier on the left-tail is Borjas' finding, I believe :).

** Oh, and immigration tends to prompt more efficient task specialization among natives which is important for their lifetime earnings.

*** Especially when conducted by left-wing think-tanks.
#14838109
Vlerchan wrote:@Joka: Since you're quoting sources that seem to uncritically reproduce Borjas' findings, I presume you can tell me why you think that those findings are more meritorious than, for example, those of Card, Peri, etc.?



According to a comprehensive new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Groups comparable to … immigrants in terms of their skill may experience a wage reduction as a result of immigration-induced increases in labor supply.” But academics sometimes de-emphasize this wage reduction because, like liberal journalists and politicians, they face pressures to support immigration.

Many of the immigration scholars regularly cited in the press have worked for, or received funding from, pro-immigration businesses and associations. Consider, for instance, Giovanni Peri, an economist at UC Davis whose name pops up a lot in liberal commentary on the virtues of immigration. A 2015 New York Times Magazine essay titled “Debunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant” declared that Peri, whom it called the “leading scholar” on how nations respond to immigration, had “shown that immigrants tend to complement—rather than compete against—the existing work force.” Peri is indeed a respected scholar. But Microsoft has funded some of his research into high-skilled immigration. And New American Economy paid to help him turn his research into a 2014 policy paper decrying limitations on the H-1B visa program. Such grants are more likely the result of his scholarship than their cause. Still, the prevalence of corporate funding can subtly influence which questions economists ask, and which ones they don’t. (Peri says grants like those from Microsoft and New American Economy are neither large nor crucial to his work, and that “they don’t determine … the direction of my academic research.”)

Academics face cultural pressures too. In his book Exodus, Paul Collier, an economist at the University of Oxford, claims that in their “desperate [desire] not to give succor” to nativist bigots, “social scientists have strained every muscle to show that migration is good for everyone.” George Borjas of Harvard argues that since he began studying immigration in the 1980s, his fellow economists have grown far less tolerant of research that emphasizes its costs. There is, he told me, “a lot of self-censorship among young social scientists.” Because Borjas is an immigration skeptic, some might discount his perspective. But when I asked Donald Davis, a Columbia University economist who takes a more favorable view of immigration’s economic impact, about Borjas’s claim, he made a similar point. “George and I come out on different sides of policy on immigration,” Davis said, “but I agree that there are aspects of discussion in academia that don’t get sort of full view if you come to the wrong conclusion.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/


Immigration is an intensely painful topic for a liberal like myself, because it places basic principles in conflict. Should migration from Mexico to the United States be celebrated, because it helps very poor people find a better life? Or should it be condemned, because it drives down the wages of working Americans and threatens to undermine the welfare state? I suspect that my March 27 column will anger people on all sides; I wish the economic research on immigration were more favorable than it is. - Paul Krugman
https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/03/27/notes-on-immigration/?mcubz=0
#14838125
According to a comprehensive new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “Groups comparable to … immigrants in terms of their skill may experience a wage reduction as a result of immigration-induced increases in labor supply.” But academics sometimes de-emphasize this wage reduction because, like liberal journalists and politicians, they face pressures to support immigration.


From time on the same report.

Immigration has an overall positive impact on economic growth in the United States and has small-to-no effects on wages and employment for native-born workers, according to a new report.
Prepared by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the report looked at immigration trends over the past 20 years to assess the economic impact of the now more than 40 million people living in the United States who were born in other countries. It found that immigration has an overall positive long-term impact on the economy.


http://time.com/4503313/immigration-wag ... omy-study/

Plus simply highlighting a journalists vague assertion that experts purposefully lie and downplay evidence for your beliefs is not a rebuttal.

An excerpt form paul kurgman's blog is also not in and of itself a rebuttal.

Regardless why should we not allow an extremely poor foreigner a better life to protect an Americans wage? Why not make education more available, provide more job training programs, provide a better life for someone in dire need of one, and also end up with cheaper goods?
#14838141
The point is that academic capture, which is a big problem in general, has been brought up as a concern by some prominent economists on this issue in particular(it's not just conservatives that churn out politically motivated junk social science). Also, as Krugman pointed out, the claim that immigration doesn't have significant negative impact on employment and wages goes against basic economic principles and the negative conclusions of Borjas work are "fairly robust".
#14838142
Ok, lets say its true that economists are lying about the effect of immigration on wages.

That does not explain why we should deny someone in extreme poverty a better life to protect someone with more wealth than that poor person from a decrease in wages. Especially with the suggestion of offering robust retraining and educations programs.

Why should the wage of an american be more important than a poor immigrants chance to escape the extreme poverty that drove them from their home?

Purely on moral grounds, assuming everything you assert is true, we should still help people in extreme poverty escape it. With the bonus that we get cheaper goods, an increase in economic growth, and new attitudes in the US improving it's culture.
#14838149
mikema63 wrote:Ok, lets say its true that economists are lying about the effect of immigration on wages.

That does not explain why we should deny someone in extreme poverty a better life to protect someone with more wealth than that poor person from a decrease in wages. Especially with the suggestion of offering robust retraining and educations programs.


Because the result of this is not one fewer person in poverty. The result is two people in poverty and a very happy capitalist.

Why should the wage of an american be more important than a poor immigrants chance to escape the extreme poverty that drove them from their home?


Because we AMERICANS look out for each other. The only time we should help a foreigner is when it doesn't cost us much or when there is a benefit to us.

Purely on moral grounds, assuming everything you assert is true, we should still help people in extreme poverty escape it. With the bonus that we get cheaper goods,


When you don't have a source of income, it doesn't matter how cheap anything is.

an increase in economic growth,


What part of the economy will grow, exactly?

and new attitudes in the US improving it's culture.


:lol:
#14838153
Because the result of this is not one fewer person in poverty. The result is two people in poverty and a very happy capitalist.


Does it? Because from what I can tell it results in someone in terrible poverty being in a better position and someone else have a slight reduction to wages if anything and having to retrain to another job.

Because we AMERICANS look out for each other. The only time we should help a foreigner is when it doesn't cost us much or when there is a benefit to us.


I am not a nationalist.

When you don't have a source of income, it doesn't matter how cheap anything is.


We have and I fully support our welfare system. Besides a potentially small wage reduction =/= the guy being unemployed.

What part of the economy will grow, exactly?


According to available research (which is apparently all lies) the entire economy grows because reduced prices of consumer goods means that people have more relative purchasing power which then goes into different sectors of the economy through consumption and investment.

Also, I fully support getting taco trucks on every corner.
#14838185
mikema63 wrote:Ok, lets say its true that economists are lying about the effect of immigration on wages.

That does not explain why we should deny someone in extreme poverty a better life to protect someone with more wealth than that poor person from a decrease in wages. Especially with the suggestion of offering robust retraining and educations programs.

Why should the wage of an american be more important than a poor immigrants chance to escape the extreme poverty that drove them from their home?

Purely on moral grounds, assuming everything you assert is true, we should still help people in extreme poverty escape it. With the bonus that we get cheaper goods, an increase in economic growth, and new attitudes in the US improving it's culture.


That's a bit simplistic.

Corruption is arguably the biggest cause of poverty in the third world and our immigration policies relieve a lot of stress from corrupt third world societies. Instead of being forced to reform by growing discontent it allows those who would otherwise be challenging the corruption to just simply leave. And those who have emigrated send billions of dollars a year in remittances back to their home countries which takes even more pressure off the corrupt systems. Most people will never be able to emigrate to the developed world so open immigration may allow a few to escape poverty but for every one person it helps, it dooms a thousand more to perpetual oppression.

Another thing to consider is that the corruption in the third world that our immigration policies help sustain also has enormous negative environmental consequences. It's not just the lives of hundreds of millions of people being destroyed, nature is being destroyed as well and the only thing that's really going to stop that are mass social reform movements which are greatly undermined by the open immigration policies of the West.

There's also the issue of political backlash which is now painfully evident in the Trump phenomenon. As the standard of living is gradually lowered and natives increasingly feel culturally threatened and the wealth gap continues to widen(immigration is just another form of wealth redistribution), working class people begin to turn reactionary and if the trend continues things could get very ugly.

On the part of progressives at least it is well intentioned but I think the neoliberal pirates that control both Dem and Rep parties are in favor of it partly because it does provide a lot of cheap domestic labor, but primarily because it serves to help maintain the status quo in the third world which provides them with insanely cheap manufacturing and resource extraction due to the rampant corruption and the absence of environmental regulations and labor rights.
#14838267
That's a bit simplistic.

Corruption is arguably the biggest cause of poverty in the third world and our immigration policies relieve a lot of stress from corrupt third world societies.


This is simply an assertion, and would depend massively on what country someone is immigrating from. It also isn't actual an argument that we shouldn't let them immigrate unless you think it's our job to "punish" the evil corrupt countries by forcing people to have shittier lives in them.

Instead of being forced to reform by growing discontent it allows those who would otherwise be challenging the corruption to just simply leave.


Except that this is, again, an assertion of yours not based in anything. It also doesn't follow that our denying immigrants will somehow make their countries better, that is again just an assertion.

And those who have emigrated send billions of dollars a year in remittances back to their home countries which takes even more pressure off the corrupt systems.


Or, you could read it as them improving the lives of their families and pumping money into a weaker economy and improving it. It's incredibly naive to think that the remittances make people content with corruption. Mexican's for instance protest all the time about the corruption in their government and many mexicans work very hard to end it. They are the country most benefiting from remittances.

You have pulled, out of thin air, this idea that immigration will somehow magically make people content with rampant government corruption and that's simply not true and you haven't supported your position with anything but an assertion.

Most people will never be able to emigrate to the developed world so open immigration may allow a few to escape poverty but for every one person it helps, it dooms a thousand more to perpetual oppression.


And those thousand people cannot rise up because one person in extreme poverty escaped why? That doesn't even make any sense. There is literally no reason to believe this is the case.

Another thing to consider is that the corruption in the third world that our immigration policies help sustain also has enormous negative environmental consequences. It's not just the lives of hundreds of millions of people being destroyed, nature is being destroyed as well and the only thing that's really going to stop that are mass social reform movements which are greatly undermined by the open immigration policies of the West.


Again, your assertion that allowing immigration allows corruption doesn't follow. I could just as easily assert, without evidence, that emigration is a danger to the power of the people in charge of those corrupt countries and would spur them to make reforms that would make people more willing to stay. It is equally unsupported by fact but now I get to claim that we are solving corruption just like you get to try and randomly claim that the root cause of corruption is the 1 in 1000 (it's actually a lower immigration rate than that) person escaping poverty in mexico is somehow crippling the possibility of social movements in mexico.


There's also the issue of political backlash which is now painfully evident in the Trump phenomenon. As the standard of living is gradually lowered and natives increasingly feel culturally threatened and the wealth gap continues to widen(immigration is just another form of wealth redistribution), working class people begin to turn reactionary and if the trend continues things could get very ugly.


except that I don't except your narrative about how immigration effects the economy. By all evidence we have it increases economic growth and over the long run raises living standards. Just because you have decided to cherry pick a dudes blog post and assert that economic studies are lies doesn't mean I accept that. I use the best data we have available to us, which suggests that immigrants improve the economy for everyone, I do not use random suppositions like you are doing.

The only things that's true about this section at all is that white identity politics are a problem, but one part of the political spectrum being wrong does not mean I will not support or defend a position I believe to be true.

On the part of progressives at least it is well intentioned but I think the neoliberal pirates that control both Dem and Rep parties are in favor of it partly because it does provide a lot of cheap domestic labor, but primarily because it serves to help maintain the status quo in the third world which provides them with insanely cheap manufacturing and resource extraction due to the rampant corruption and the absence of environmental regulations and labor rights.


I suppose I'll go out an buy an eyepatch because you seem to be overly fond of describing positions you don't agree with as neoliberal piracy.

Both sides tend to support immigration because we have a lot of Hispanic voters that support immigration. Not because it's some conspiracy to perpetuate corruption in other countries.
#14838279
Though I see that it's not deemed as a pivotal point, this might be of interest in considering of how illegal immigrants can undermine wages and helps to focus on why some works come to opposite conclusions.
Marx on Immigration Workers, Wages, and Legal Status
I also think it is another greater example of being considerate of the manner in which we abstract about real world relations.
Spoiler: show
What the Economists Miss
Though they reach opposite conclusions, the analyses of both Borjas and Peri share a major defect: their assumption that the only factors determining wage levels are labor supply and demand and immigrant workers’ education and skill levels. In the real world, of course, there are many other forces at work. Women and African Americans are paid less than white men, but this is not due to an excess supply of women and African Americans. Likewise, it is not because unionized workers are better educated that they earn more than their non-union counterparts.

Most immigrant workers are people of color, and it is hard to imagine that racial discrimination does not affect how much they are paid. One way social scientists try to approach these questions is with the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique, a statistical method that analyzes the wage gap between different groups by identifying known factors that impact wage levels, such as education and skill levels, and teasing out the unknown factors that may be attributed to discrimination. Using a Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, a 2016 study found that even for third-generation Mexican Americans, only 58.3 percent of a worker’s wage level is explained by known factors such as education and work experience. Discrimination remains still worse for people of African ancestry; for these workers, known factors only account for 48.3 percent of the difference in wages.10

Academic economists also tend to ignore the role that legal status can play in determining wage levels, even though one-third of the country’s immigrant workers—some 8.1 million as of 2012—are undocumented, according to the Pew Research Center.11 These workers face an additional hurdle: they have been made “illegal,” and as a result live under constant threat of persecution and deportation.

Under U.S. law, undocumented workers enjoy most of the same rights as other workers, yet they do not have the right to be here: at any moment, an unauthorized immigrant can be detained, imprisoned, and slated for deportation. Fear hangs over every aspect of these workers’ employment and of their lives in general. The threat of deportation is a weapon always available to employers when unauthorized workers try to assert their rights—to ask for higher wages, report workplace violations, demand compensation for injuries on the job, and form a union. And by law these workers have no access to unemployment insurance or any other part of the frayed social safety net, so they face significant hardship if they lose their current jobs. Going on strike is risky for most workers; for the undocumented it requires a special level of courage.

Is it possible, then, to quantify the “wage penalty” that the lack of legal status imposes on undocumented workers? Several studies have dealt with this question, mostly using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. Given the sheer number of variables, these studies have produced widely divergent estimates of the wage disparity, ranging from 6 percent to more than 20 percent.12 But all agree that lack of legal status has a definite negative impact on immigrants’ pay. And this effect operates without reference to supply and demand—or Peri’s “complementarity.” Even if there is no oversupply of low-wage workers, undocumented immigrants will still be paid appreciably less than their U.S.-born coworkers, and less than immigrant workers with legal status.

This inevitably produces a substantial downward pressure on wages for U.S.-born workers in job categories with high rates of participation by the undocumented. For example, a survey in 2005 found that unauthorized workers accounted for 36 percent of all insulation workers and 29 percent of all roofers and drywall installers.13 Even if the wage penalty for these workers is on the low side—at 6.5 percent, say—it undoubtedly depresses wages for other workers in these construction jobs.


And regardless of the seperate question of how one achieves it and how realistic, there is a point also made of acknowledging the underlying problem that gives rise to such tendencies.
In his 1870 letter, Marx described what he then considered the overriding priority for labor organizing in England: “to make the English workers realize that for them the national emancipation of Ireland is not a question of abstract justice or humanitarian sentiment but the first condition of their own social emancipation.” His closing words of advice to Meyer and Vogt were similar: “You have wide field in America for work along the same lines. A coalition of the German workers with the Irish workers (and of course also with the English and American workers who are prepared to accede to it) is the greatest achievement you could bring about now.” This internationalist and class-based perspective has lost none of its good sense in the century and a half since it was written.

It emphasizes why the struggle of workers in other countries isn't just a national issue because the global economy is too connected. What happens in Mexico for example should be of pivotal concern to Americans, the response need not be limited to immigration law/policy but the exploitation of those workers through free trade agreements like NAFTA.
And this also posits a tension in methodology in how issues are approached, because some may be reductive or appear to be as such because they emphasize one thing. To which I think people often don't feel heard and so don't properly reconcile that often the different scale of things do exist and a sole focus on the bigger picture or particulars is too one sided. There can be a hopelessness in resisting capitalism, but there can also be an impotence in only advocating the most radical solutions and not acting on the more direct problems. I imagine there is meant to be an adequate conception and navigation in which one sees the avenue to more radical ends through the issues as they directly present themselves more locally.

On the issue of immigration, no capitalist class is going to not stop the benefit it gives them to have such exceptionally vulnerable workers. And there is certainly a concern around how committed some are to addressing problems that give rise to their own if their end goal is merely policy change (build the wall) and not substantive organizing of workers across the area to fuck up the capitalist class.
But then its in such conditions that the appearance of things can lead to a tension within the working class that will tear itself apart. So it can be ideal to not allow such xenophobic tendencies to gain much weight. But when ones in a country that has already lost to capitalist class introducing such workers, organizing all workers regardless of their background is the better strategy. Because even if one is able to block out such workers, which would never happen unless one already has great power against capitalist class, industries just jump ship as we've seen with automotive industry going to special economic zones in china and shit.

Need to reconcile a human morality with the socioeconomic reality.
Spoiler: show
The scientific communism of Marx, Engels and Lenin provides an internal unification for humanism and the scientific spirit which goes to the heart of the matter. This signifies that scientific communism, first of all, finds its reference point in the human being as the highest value; man understood not in an abstract manner but as the actual majority of working people. It finds its orientation in the general and fundamental interests of the working people. Scientific communism, secondly, represents, from beginning to end, a practical and concrete programme for the realization of humanism understood in precisely this sense.

Therefore humanism does not form a special “sub-system” within Marxism, nor does it represent a separate “scale of values” existing autonomously in relation to the remaining scientific system of concepts.

From this stems as well the Leninist definition of communist ethics and communist morality and its guiding principle: that which serves the building of communist society is moral. We classify as moral that deed, that way of thinking which offers support to this noble cause. Any other understanding of morality and ethics represents without fail a bourgeois lie cleverly masked to one extent or another.

In this connection we note the theoretical untenability of the attempt to create within Marxism a special (autonomous) sub-system dealing with “moral values.” The proposal to supplement scientific communism with a special “scale of moral imperatives,” with “humanistic premises” originates as a rule in the West from people who personally sympathize with communism but poorly understand the Marxist-Leninist solution of the real problem incorporated here.

This problem is particularly acute today because the struggle for authentic humanism, for communism, is precisely a struggle. It is not an easy struggle, not only an ideological struggle, but at times it is even bloody. The latter is carried on against an enemy prepared to carry out the most extreme and inhumane measures, in this struggle the old conflict between the “values of humanism” and the necessity of violating them in the name of this humanism is renewed daily if not hourly. The typical dialectical situation arises in which the authentic humanist (as distinct from the “fair-weather humanist”) is sometimes forced to apply violence against another human. Sometimes circumstances evolve in such a manner that the authentic humanist is compelled to resort to deceit and cunning (for example, during interrogations in fascist torture chambers). Once again this deceit and cunning is applied in the name of humanism, for to tell the truth in such surroundings would be to commit a far more heinous and immoral act than to lie. Here there is no theoretical problem, but merely one of personal stamina, and moral fortitude in the pursuit of high moral principles.

The real and very difficult problem, calling for a clear theoretical solution lies elsewhere. Is it admissible to interpret the formula: “that which serves the victory of communism is moral” to mean that in the name of this great cause “all is permitted,” that there are and can be no restrictions of a moral nature imposed here? Or might it be argued that even here not all is “permitted"?

Is there in general a limit beyond which a deviation, forced by extreme circumstances, from the abstract general norms of humaneness in the name of and for the sake of the triumph of a concretely and historically understood humanism is transformed into - in full agreement with the laws of the dialectic - a crime against the very goal for the sake of which the act was undertaken? To speak more to the point, can this fatal limit be determined, for it always exists somewhere or the other? In actuality this border forms the great divide between the authentic communism of Marx, Engels and Lenin and those “left” doctrines which interpret Marxist moral formula as indicating that “all is permitted.” It is one matter to understand that violence and murder are inevitable actions summoned by the extreme circumstances accompanying the deadly battle of the classes, actions to which the revolutionary must resort, recognizing fully their inhumanity. It is quite another matter, to look upon these activities as the optimal, the safest and even the only methods of establishing “happiness” on Earth. Both Marx and Lenin morally approved violence only in the most extreme circumstances, and then, only on the minimal scale, that which is absolutely necessary.

Lenin wrote that Communists are opposed to violence against people in general and they resort to coercion only when it is imposed upon them by authentic admirers of violence. The only justification for violence is as a means of opposing violence, as violence against the violent, but not as a means of influencing the will of the majority of the working people.

Therefore Communists are never the initiators of actions such as war or the “export of revolution” at the point of the bayonet. Lenin always categorically and consistently opposed “left” ideas of this type. In his understanding the scientific spirit of communism is always inseparably connected with the principle of humaneness in the direct sense of the word.

This also forms the principal difference between Lenin and those doctrinaires who allow themselves the pleasure of cynically counting up the number of human lives “worth” paying for the victory of world communism. ... As a rule such calculations in today’s world are the occupation of people characterized by primitivity both in terms of theory and in their moral profile. ‘

In order to resolve the problem of uniting high moral standards with a maximum of the scientific spirit, the problem must first of all be viewed in all of the acuity and dialectical complexity which it has acquired in the difficult and tumultuous time we live in. A simple algebraic solution will not do. The problem of the relationship between morality and the scientific spirit has been resolved only in the most general fashion by Marxist philosophy. In concrete situations, on the other hand, it will occur again and again in the foreseeable future; each time it will have a new and unexpected twist. Therefore there can be no simple or ready-made solution for each individual occurrence of the conflict between the “mind” and the “conscience.”

There can be no simple prescription or mathematical formula capable of meeting every occasion. If you run into a conflict of this nature, do not assume that in each instance “science” is correct and “conscience” rubbish, or at best a fairy tale for children. The opposite is no closer to the truth, namely that “moral sentiment” is always correct, that science, if it runs into conflict with the former is the heartless and brutal “devil” of Ivan Karamazov, engendering types like Smerdyakov. Only through a concrete examination of the causes of the conflict itself may we find a dialectical resolution, that is to say, the wisest and the most humane solution. Only thus may we find, to phrase it in current jargon, the “optimal variant” of correspondence between the demands of the intellect and of the conscience.

To be sure finding a concrete, dialectical unity between the principles of mind and conscience in each instance is not an easy matter. Unfortunately there is no magic wand, there is no simple algorithm, either of a “scientific” or a “moral” nature.

http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
Whenever Marx evaluates the moral status of an economic formation, a political system, the role of a group or collective, or the specific actions of one individual person, he does so within the context of this more abstract and universal conception of human social existence (which is in turn based on the concrete totality of human social being)20. Throughout this dissertation, I emphasize the fact that in determining what is morally required in a specific historical situation, Marx asks whether or not the action, principle, political movement, etc. in question is such as to promote or to inhibit the expansion of human powers and the satisfaction of human needs. Put differently, in order to know the moral status of a thing, one must know whether or not it is such as to help human beings to realize their nature as natural and social beings who satisfy their needs and transform their existence consciously through the labor process. However, this is no mean feat. I do not intend to make it sound obvious or apparent, simply from a knowledge of this abstraction of human essence, which human actions will fit the bill.

As such moral appeals about the plight of the Mexican immigrant whilst valid isn't enough in itself but neither is an appraisal of their effects as we must unite an understanding of what is, in order to what ought to be and ideally how to achieve it. Because those which only rely on moralism will not best serve people practically if morality is over emphasized, but a callousness to human values and people's well being is degenerate and would tarnish it's most ideal end with its inadequate means. Because merely openly borders does nothing to improve the situation, but neither would only closing borders. Clearly a substantive solution lays in things beyond just these two things. And before any possible solution is shut down by a 'pragmatic realism', the necessary conception of what underpins the problem should first be conceived.
And as long as we don't seek out substantive solutions, ones that put such matters to rest, then we are to somehow pretend to be content with our situation as that which doesn't aim to get to the root of the matter will just repeat itself within a dualism such as poles of more immigration <-> less immigration. It would seem that the solution doesn't lie within the border itself, that's not what underpins the problem. Clearly the problem is related to the economy of Mexico which motivates people to leave their own home country to pursue a better quality of life, as it is all over the world. For the British the polish are 'Mexicans', for Australia the Indians and Chinese are 'Mexicans'. The border policy doesn't seem inherently better one way or the other without putting it in relation to other parts of an overal strategy to essentially solve the economic issue of Mexico. Which then gets bigger in that Mexico's problem relates heavily to things like Structural Adjustment Programs forced upon them based on their debt by the IMF and shit. This merely sets the grounds of the issue, trying to see how we can resist it and win will always be necessarily hopeless in the purely abstract.

Good points are being made all round, but I speculate that there would be no resolution as we don't know how to actually reconcile these points and properly assess what is the correct avenue of action.
#14838284
I'm a little short for time so I can't address the whole thing but there is a thing or two I'd like to pull out and address.

What happens in Mexico for example should be of pivotal concern to Americans, the response need not be limited to immigration law/policy but the exploitation of those workers through free trade agreements like NAFTA.


NAFTA is overly maligned. While yes there have been issues due to comparative advantage overall mexico's trade rose, it's trade deficit fell, and foreign investments into it's economy went up. American agricultural subsidies (which I think we should end) and our growing trade with china have done a lot to hobble this growth, however the trade deficit was worse before NAFTA and both of these factors would still be true had NAFTA not been signed.

It's important to emphasized how badly subsidized US corn harmed Mexico. A lot of the immigration we saw (which has recently gone down to net 0) was due to the damage it caused to mexico's more traditional decentralized agricultural industry. They have however increased their manufacturing sector and in the long run, despite the damage our subsidies did to accelerate the process to a dangerous and damaging level, this transition is going to be to the benefit of mexico.

More to the point many of the criticisms of NAFTA are ultimately just criticisms of capitalism. Which is fine if you are going to just overthrow capitalism, but from within a capitalist system NAFTA is and was perfectly reasonable policy and one that Mexico wanted and pushed for at the time.

On the issue of immigration, no capitalist class is going to not stop the benefit it gives them to have such exceptionally vulnerable workers. And there is certainly a concern around how committed some are to addressing problems that give rise to their own if their end goal is merely policy change (build the wall) and not substantive organizing of workers across the area to fuck up the capitalist class.


This is a little bit of what I mean. It's all well and good that you want to promote policies that will damage capitalism, but we live in capitalist governments and I have to deep desire to see a shock doctrine approach to fundamental economic change. Transitioning from capitalism should be a long, slow, technologically, and culturally driven process. Not one that requires mass bloodshed and probable failure for trying to make the future happen now before it's time. These are the ultimate failures I see in communist movements is to attempt to socialize and centrally control the economy before the proper tools to do so existed.

For instance Now we have big data stuff that can sort of sometimes predict what consumers will want in the future (and advertise to them) and we can see how such algorithms could in the future be powerful enough to predict production and demand trends, but we don't have such tools now and a bureaucratic effort to produce consumer goods is doomed to failure without them.

As such moral appeals about the plight of the Mexican immigrant whilst valid isn't enough in itself


My argument isn't purely a moral one, there is strong evidence that overall capitalist economies benefit from immigration. The fundamental disagreement is that I'm working from evidence on effects within a capitalist society now and in the future and the other sides goal is not to strengthen but to weaken capitalist societies.

Immigration is a valuable thing, from a practical standpoint, for a capitalist economy.

Good points are being made all round, but I speculate that there would be no resolution as we don't know how to actually reconcile these points and properly assess what is the correct avenue of action.


I think we also can't come to an agreement because my position is fundamentally not to overthrow capitalism. Which is a goal of the other side.
#14838345
I should add, just to be clear, that I do not necessarily advocate for open boarders. There is definitely an upper limit, at least in principle, of immigration that will hurt more than help overall. In the absurd extreme the entire population of mexico moving into texas would be an obvious humanitarian disaster.

What that limit is, or what the maximum positive benefit level of immigration is, should be an object of study.
#14838549
Industry and business should be based upon your population.
Your population should not be based on industry and business.
What is more important humans or profit?
#14838654
Yeah, I should really learn a way to stop making connections between ideas and set out a clear goal for myself as I understand this is just terrible to be so verbose. I'm not very good of thinking in terms of boiling things down to a particular point to the exclusion to all that is seen as necessary. Rather I'm prone to see connection between things and keep expanding it infinitely.
Feel free to ignore out of prioritizing and valuing your time.
I tend to just explore things rather than reach firm conclusions in that I haven't really resolved the subject for myself. I think you've touched on valid points throughout though.
Though I would assert that it be a an agreed upon point that waged are pressed down by immigration when one considers the vulnerability of immigrants and things like status rather than more narrow economic models.

mikema63 wrote:I'm a little short for time so I can't address the whole thing but there is a thing or two I'd like to pull out and address.
...
NAFTA is overly maligned. While yes there have been issues due to comparative advantage overall mexico's trade rose, it's trade deficit fell, and foreign investments into it's economy went up. American agricultural subsidies (which I think we should end) and our growing trade with china have done a lot to hobble this growth, however the trade deficit was worse before NAFTA and both of these factors would still be true had NAFTA not been signed.

It's important to emphasized how badly subsidized US corn harmed Mexico. A lot of the immigration we saw (which has recently gone down to net 0) was due to the damage it caused to mexico's more traditional decentralized agricultural industry. They have however increased their manufacturing sector and in the long run, despite the damage our subsidies did to accelerate the process to a dangerous and damaging level, this transition is going to be to the benefit of mexico.

More to the point many of the criticisms of NAFTA are ultimately just criticisms of capitalism. Which is fine if you are going to just overthrow capitalism, but from within a capitalist system NAFTA is and was perfectly reasonable policy and one that Mexico wanted and pushed for at the time.
...
This is a little bit of what I mean. It's all well and good that you want to promote policies that will damage capitalism, but we live in capitalist governments and I have to deep desire to see a shock doctrine approach to fundamental economic change. Transitioning from capitalism should be a long, slow, technologically, and culturally driven process. Not one that requires mass bloodshed and probable failure for trying to make the future happen now before it's time. These are the ultimate failures I see in communist movements is to attempt to socialize and centrally control the economy before the proper tools to do so existed.

For instance Now we have big data stuff that can sort of sometimes predict what consumers will want in the future (and advertise to them) and we can see how such algorithms could in the future be powerful enough to predict production and demand trends, but we don't have such tools now and a bureaucratic effort to produce consumer goods is doomed to failure without them.
...
My argument isn't purely a moral one, there is strong evidence that overall capitalist economies benefit from immigration. The fundamental disagreement is that I'm working from evidence on effects within a capitalist society now and in the future and the other sides goal is not to strengthen but to weaken capitalist societies.

Immigration is a valuable thing, from a practical standpoint, for a capitalist economy.
...
I think we also can't come to an agreement because my position is fundamentally not to overthrow capitalism. Which is a goal of the other side.

Indeed it is a criticism of capitalism and industrialization is something that I believe many leftists welcome, in spite of it's inherent brutality as many aren't reactionary socialists.
A MARXIST CRITIQUE OF THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT.
And this brutality is accepted as a reality as long as we exist under capitalism, the appeals to a softer capitalism as nonsensical, the solution of course lays in overcoming capitalism. Because such problems are inherent to a global capitalist economy and so there are no real solutions to such problems as long as capitalism exists and also is ideologically accepted as unchangeable.
The post-Washington Consensus: the unraveling of a doctrine of development

To which you acknowledge that the mass immigration is a direct result of the forcing of free trade for the interests of companies in the US.
https://nacla.org/article/displaced-people-nafta%E2%80%99s-most-important-product
Economic crises provoked by NAFTA and other economic reforms are uprooting and displacing Mexicans in the country’s most remote areas. While California farmworkers 20 and 30 years ago came from parts of Mexico with larger Spanish-speaking populations, migrants today increasingly come from indigenous communities in states like Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero. Domínguez says there are about 500,000 indigenous people from Oaxaca living in the United States, 300,000 in California alone.

Meanwhile, a rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment has demonized those migrants, leading to measures to deny them jobs, rights, or any pretense of equality with people living in the communities around them. Solutions to these dilemmas—from adopting rational and humane immigration policies to reducing the fear and hostility toward migrants—must begin with an examination of the way U.S. policies have both produced migration and criminalized migrants.

Which I only want to link back to the point that one can't address immigration with a substantive solution if we're to accept such policies, but because you're right we exist under capitalism this is the tendency of what will occur. Though I take it that in your pragmatism your point is that the drive for the free flow of capital necessarily leads to such affect. And that in the end, since we have to tolerate such disruptive and destructive tendencies of capitalism, it is still reasonable to allow many immigrants in on the basis that they come from a more extreme poverty than the average American. And so in some sense it's to a greater good to a great net group. The focus then being that should find some sweet spot, but it should then be clear that the actual benefit is most clearly for the capitalist class that gets to severely exploit workers.
As I took the side that immigrants do put a downpard pressure on real wages, neither the American worker nor Mexican worker is actually being helped by having the life of the Mexican worker destroyed in the interests of capital. But then it seems that you're not concerned with this act in itself as you displace the good of such things to some long term end goal.
They have however increased their manufacturing sector and in the long run, despite the damage our subsidies did to accelerate the process to a dangerous and damaging level, this transition is going to be to the benefit of mexico.


And I think your right is that the disagreement is one in an acceptance or rejection of capitalism. Though as seen in the Marxist critique of anti-globalization, not all who oppose capital are necessarily progressive but reactionary.

Many points would indeed be indeed facile based on expressed point of not being against capitalism. Though I speculate that you have a somewhat ambivalent position on accepting capitalism, but then maybe that's just my poor comprehension of your view.
I would like to explore this attitude because you seem to acknowledge this acceptance about capitalism. But then you posit a kind of gradualism/stagism or something that seems to be your reason for tolerating it, that it'll eventually be done away with. Or at least you specifically seem tolerant or accepting of the existence of the mass immigration as a problem, to which the perceived inevitability of it leads to a rejection of the root cause and a focus on dealing with it's effect.




I'd like to make the focus a certain attitude just on the off chance that it'd be an area of interest for you. As you do seem to be a genuinely curious person and one who speaks in good faith.

This attitude...
Transitioning from capitalism should be a long, slow, technologically, and culturally driven process. Not one that requires mass bloodshed and probable failure for trying to make the future happen now before it's time.

is one comparable to that expressed by revisionist Edward Bernstein and he posited 'evolutionary socialism'.
A few things come to mind about Edward Bernstein's view and I think is one characterized by the optimism of positivists that have returned through the years in their different variations.
Firstly, Bernstein simply gave up on the relationship between means and end and it might be an interesting thought to consider whether you feel a hopelessness towards the idea that capitalism can be challenged and overturned.

I think you actually maintain a desire to do good things, but it of course has necessarily been confined to desires that only extend as far as adjusting the 'settings' of things within capitalist production and policy.
Marxist GLossary: Me - Means and Ends
Eduard Bernstein (the former collaborator of Marx and Engels, for whom the term “revisionist” was first coined) said: “To me that which is generally called the ultimate aim of socialism is nothing, but the movement is everything.” [Evolutionary Socialism] This is going to the other extreme and is equally as wrong as “the End justifies the Means.” If a movement has no “end” – an ideal or vision – which is in contradiction to existing conditions, including the movement itself, then such a movement can be nothing more than a celebration of existing conditions and a support for the status quo. The deception involved in the idea of the “movement is everything,” the rejection of any ideal which contradicts what exists, is not only incompatible with Marxism; such a reconciliation with the existing world is actually contrary to human life itself, which is always striving for something.


A concern is that one gets stuck in an alternating position between an emphasis on the values of what ought to be and a rational analysis of what is and the difficulty in reconciling the two.
Which I think is what can end up feeling nihilistic, to which Hegel's dialectics might be the way to get beyond this. THis I raise as a general issue in that I think unless we actually reach a sort of dialectical view, we likely alternate between the two or strictly adhere to one side or the other problems.

Anyway, is a useful point that there is a kind of nihilism that arises in not being able to resolve contradictions that arise out of ordinary thought, the many dualities one necessarily ends up at when exploring things. Something which Hegel's philosophical project apparently resolved in figuring out how the contradictions that arise can develop into a richer/fuller conception.
Spoiler: show
http://braungardt.trialectics.com/philosophy/philosophy-in-the-19th-century/hegel/hegels-grand-synthesis/
Put very generally, the great merit of scepticism is that it sees the contradictory character of things, that is, that any determination is conditioned by its opposite, or that any proposition is dialectically in conflict with equally compelling, opposing propositions. Scepticism is “the art of dissolving all that is determinate” (HPh 2:329), and as such it demonstrates the inherent flux and discord of reality which is so important in Hegel’s philosophy. This is for Hegel a deep insight into the unity of opposites and the insufficiency of viewing things as simple self-identities. Hence, scepticism is “the far-seeing power [of thought] which is requisite in order to recognize the determinations of negation and opposition everywhere present in everything concrete and in all that is thought” (HPh 2:365). But this “art of dissolving all that is determinate” is also the root of nihilism, and this is the great defect and danger of scepticism, that “it remains content with this purely negative result of dialectic,” just as Kant did with his antinomies and the dialectic of reason, and thus “mistakes the true value of its result” (SL -82 Zusatz). The question now arises as to how Hegel rises above this “purely negative result” — which, however negative, he calls necessary and true — and in what sense dialectic can achieve this transcendence without the simple abolishment of its insight and truth.
...
Dialectic, then, may be employed in different ways. When employed by the understanding, it results in the polarizing of mutually excluding determinations which leads to the nihilism of scepticism. When employed by reason, dialectic brings these opposing determinations together in a “completer notion” which reflects the “immanenter Zusammenhang,” the immanent connectedness {SL -81 Anmerkung), of the opposing determinations. The interesting point is that the employment of dialectic by the understanding dialectically overcomes itself and points beyond itself to the “higher sense of dialectic,” dialectic as employed by reason. For the analytic method of the understanding leads to contradictions which the understanding can neither avoid nor resolve, [73] and thus reveals its own limitations. The dialectic of the understanding, then, is a way of thinking which, in seeing only the differentiation and opposition between things, becomes burdened with a sense of discord — the “dismembered world” — without any glimmering of harmony. But this is a burden which thought is finally incapable of sustaining, and which internally collapses and transcends itself towards a rational-dialectical way of thought which sees the interconnections and mediations between opposing phenomena, and hence the harmony at the heart of discord. [74]


A point often made, is that many of the humanistic goals people aspire to that seem quite moderate would necessarily require changing capitalism so much as to not be capitalism in order to achieve it.
Though I admit I'm a bit unclear to what extent you desire things that might be argued as unachieavable under capitalism or simply not sustainable.
This is something Zizek repeats from previous thinkers about Piketty.

This is generally expressed I guess in what would be naive progressive views. But then, you seem to accurately express notions that are amicable to capitalism, so perhaps this is all misguided. But then you still made an expressed point of things gradually improving which makes me think you do hold out for some better end not yet realized.

And another concern with Bernstein's Evolutionary Socialism beyond political appeals is I think it is simply inadequate philosophically. It seems to be implicated in a kind of determinism and doesn't struggle to recognize the necessity of human agency to achieve socialist revolution.
[spoiler]http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf p. 98
One of the earliest and most influential of Marx's interpreters who have argued for combining Kantian morality with Marxist theory is the German social democrat Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein was a member of the German Social Democratic Party and wrote throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, developing his theory of “evolutionary socialism”: a reformist socialism which eschewed revolutionary activity. Bernstein interpreted Marx as an economic determinist who saw communism as the necessary result of a crisis-ridden capitalist society doomed to collapse. However, Bernstein took the relative prosperity of German society at the end of the 1800s to be proof that capitalism would continue to expand, workers' living standards would continue to rise, and therefore it was more preferable for the working class to limit its political program to gradual reforms of capitalism, than to a revolutionary overthrow of it. These gradual reforms would eventually add up to a communist society. But if communism was not inevitable, as Bernstein understood Marx to have assumed, then it would have to be shown that it was a good moral choice. Since Bernstein understood Marx's theory to be deterministic, he argued that it did not have the resources for a moral philosophy on its own. That moral philosophy would have to be lifted from somewhere—from Kant.

We can already see that there are two important errors in Bernstein's argumentation. The first is that the fact of present economic expansion, taken by itself, by no means invalidates the thesis that capitalism is inherently crisis-ridden, as Bernstein, and no doubt, everyone else in Europe found out not so long after the 1899 publication of Bernstein's Evolutionary Socialism76. Secondly, Marx never subscribed to the crude economic determinism that Bernstein attributed to him. Although it is true that Marx thought crises were inevitable, he by no means committed himself theoretically to the view that communism was also inevitable.

Marx I think believe isn't vulnerable to the attack of a strict detereminism, and a radical like MLK Jr, was able to see come to a similar conclusion in his poetic oration.
http://www2.oberlin.edu/external/EOG/BlackHistoryMonth/MLK/CommAddress.html
Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. Without this hard work, time becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right.

The point being that, change requires human agency, even the maintenance of our society requires constant laboring. History should not be seen as progressing by itself, it instead reflects the struggles of mankind against one another and the necessities of reality upon them. Though human agency is a difficult matter conceptually itself, but it's clear that what ever freedom is to be for determinant (empirical, existing real beings) is to be mediated through the real world and our psychology (hence the importance on theorizing about consciousness and ideology for Marxists).

This issue of detereminism is even a problem among self identified Marxists, who take Marx's Capital as gospel, insensitive to the incompleteness of his ambitious project.
As some suspect that Marx may have intended or at the very least left out the agency of workers within the scope of Capital. Something that seems crucial to sense that the proletariat are the agents of the revolution but most likely would've been developed later, but Marx ran out of time.
https://monthlyreview.org/press/interview-lebowitz-ozcan-erdagi/
Thus, we see the wage-labourer first as a distinction within capital, as capital’s opposite, and as the mediator for capital in achieving its goal of growth. However, we must also consider the other side, the side about which Capital is silent—the worker as a being for self. Once we consider the side of the wage-labourer in its sphere of circulation (where the sale of labour-power occurs) and in its sphere of production (where use-values are consumed to produce the worker able to re-enter the sphere of circulation), we see that the wage-labourer has her own goals and struggles to achieve them. Class struggle from the side of the worker is present once we consider the worker as a being for self. Nevertheless, as wage-labourer, capital is a necessary mediator for the worker: she is dependent upon capital within this relation to achieve her goals. The dialectical moment here is the recognition of the unity of capital and wage labour in capitalism as a whole, a totality characterised by two-sided class struggle.

Once we now consider the worker as subject, we have moved far beyond the determinism which often passes for Marxism. Now, we necessarily must bring within this theory of capitalism as a whole the way workers transform themselves in their struggle. One-sided Marxists, though, call a halt to the theoretical project and declare that whatever is in Capital is theory and whatever is not in Capital is politics or lesser levels of abstraction. They think they can take Capital by itself. As I argue in my chapter on ‘One-Sided Marxism,’ however, by failing to develop the side of wage-labour, they understand neither capital nor wage-labour; in short, they do not understand capitalism as a whole.


This sort of determinism I tend to associate with mechanical materialism, an inferior conception of materialism that's posited in the traditional materialism versus idealism duality.
https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/m/e.htm
Mechanical Materialism refers to those forms of materialist thinking which gained strength from the gains of natural science beginning from the work of Newton and others in explaining the world in terms of the action of objects upon one another according to fixed laws of nature, expressed in terms of forces. Mechanical materialism is the science of things rather than of processes (i.e. of external action rather than internal change), it emphasises exact science at the expense of holistic knowledge, and separates absolutely the subject ("observer") and object.

But this is inadequate for the flux that is inherent in reality, which I think is the point about dialectics, is that I think it's meant to be a more adequate conception of change as a process, rather than static objects that magically shift into something different.
Such a conception of time leads to the sort of contradictions and paradoxes we see in Zeno's thought experiments. Which is an interesting discussion in itself.

I also worry that you come towards things in too abstract a way, like we all abstract but a big emphasis of Marx is 'concrete abstractions' that which appropriately sees the relations that constitute things. As to abstract a thing out of it's relations leads to nonsense such as...
https://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/bukharin-on-the-subjectiveobjective-value-debate/
Because modern bourgeois theory traces a path of causality from the isolated individual to the social it finds all of the categories of modern capitalist society present in the individual. This is an abstract individual with no specific social context. Bohm-Bawerk’s examples are a man sitting by a stream of water, a traveler in the desert, a colonist alone in the primeval forest, etc. In order to deduce the laws of capital from such an absurdist starting point the laws of capital must already exist in the mentality and actions of these individuals. Thus any choice our desert traveler makes is a utility maximization which produces a subjective profit!

Bukharin rightly points out the absurdity of such a starting point since the isolated individual is the not a historical precursor to society and hence, any theoretical abstraction of the isolated individual will naturally just read modern categories into his/her mentality. In reality individual choices and actions always are conditioned by pre-existing conditions.


The concern comes from this quote, though I think my speculation is on a weak grounds off it alone...
Immigration is a valuable thing, from a practical standpoint, for a capitalist economy.

The talk of benefit to a capitalist economy reminds me of how national interests are universalized as if they're everyone's interest but they concretely reflect the interests of a capitalist class more often than that of the workers.
https://www.guernicamag.com/john_berger_7_15_11/
The word we, when printed or pronounced on screens, has become suspect, for it’s continually used by those with power in the demagogic claim that they are also speaking for those who are denied power. Let’s talk of ourselves as they. They are living in a prison.

The point here isn't that you're naive to such real world differences but that the lack of class specificity can hide the difference where many things are purely in the interest of capitalist class and at best are minor benefit to working class. Many things can be done that mean absolutely nothing for the workers of the country. Though of course it is a important point that I think you do recognize that the capitalist economy absolutely requires such cheap labor to be competitive on the world market. Which is why there will be no wall or what ever measure to stop immigrants.
Because even if it was successfully done, things would go the way of industry moving to china. Which is part of why certain reforms are unsustainable. People oppose unions and wages on the basis that it is detrimental to the capitalist class competition and then the idea is if we're not sensitive to that then we'll shoot ourselves in the foot by hurting our masters too severely.
And thus we merely engage in the same mistakes, same wars that serve not the workers of the world but the capitalist class. A slave's highest aspiration shouldn't be that one's master treats them kindly, they should be so bold as to demand and assert their right to freedom. But of course the pessimism around achieving this is also that if it doesn't flow into a world revolution, then things will simply remain or revert back to a capitalist economy, adherent to it's strict rules of value.

The point here is we should see the particularity of the capitalist class which asserts itself as universal (though it's universal are abstract rather than concrete, in that one may speak of everyone but the content of their thoughts only reflect their particularity)
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ot/zizek1.htm
The key question thus concerns the exact STATUS of this externality: is it simply the externality of an impartial “objective” scientist who, after studying history and establishing that, in the long run, the working class has a great future ahead, decides to join the winning side? So when Lenin says “The theory of Marx is all-powerful, because it is true,” everything depends on how we understand “truth” here: is it a neutral “objective knowledge,” or the truth of an engaged subject? Lenin’s wager — today, in our era of postmodern relativism, more actual than ever — is that universal truth and partisanship, the gesture of taking sides, are not only not mutually exclusive, but condition each other: in a concrete situation, its UNIVERSAL truth can only be articulated from a thoroughly PARTISAN position — truth is by definition one-sided. (This, of course, goes against the predominant doxa of compromise, of finding a middle path among the multitude of conflicting interests.) Why not, then, shamelessly and courageously ENDORSE the boring standard reproach according to which, Marxism is a “secularized religion,” with Lenin as the Messiah, etc.? Yes, assuming the proletarian standpoint IS EXACTLY like making a leap of faith and assuming a full subjective engagement for its Cause; yes, the “truth” of Marxism is perceptible only to those who accomplish this leap, NOT to any neutral observers. What the EXTERNALITY means here is that this truth is nonetheless UNIVERSAL, not just the “point-of-view” of a particular historical subject: “external” intellectuals are needed because the working class cannot immediately perceive ITS OWN PLACE within the social totality which enables it to accomplish its “mission” — this insight has to be mediated through an external element.
...
In his Introduction to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Marx already deploys something like the logic of hegemony: the emergence of a “universal class,” a particular class which imposes itself as universal, engendering global enthusiasm, standing for society AS SUCH against the ancien regime, anti-social crime AS SUCH (like bourgeoisie in the French revolution). After follows the disillusion so sarcastically described by Marx: the day after, the gap between universal and particular becomes visible again, capitalist vulgar profit as the actuality of universal freedom, etc. — For Marx, of course, the only universal class whose singularity (exclusion from society of property) guarantees its ACTUAL universality, is the proletariat. This is what Ernesto Laclau rejects in his logic of hegemony: for Laclau, the short-circuit between the Universal and the Particular is ALWAYS illusory, temporary, a kind of “transcendental paralogism.”12 However, is Marx’s proletariat really the negative of positive full essential humanity, or “only” the gap of universality AS SUCH, irrecoverable in any positivity?13 In Alain Badiou’s terms, proletariat is not another PARTICULAR class, but a SINGULARITY of the social structure, and AS SUCH the universal class, the non-class among the classes.

Things are spoken of as a benefit to the US, to it's economy, providing food, culture and such, but not much from the frame of how it helps workers as a class. Of course this is expected because that's not the goal, what ever benefit the receive is periphery. Because the focus becomes rather abstract in a focus on things such as culture and the health of the economy. Which I suppose could be drilled in on some bit of how the health of the capitalist class helps maintains a interest for workers in developed countries against others.
But their benefit is in fact the result of the deprivation of those in others countries.
http://burawoy.berkeley.edu/Marxism/Marxism%20As%20Science.pdf
Thus, Lenin, never one to ignore the importance of nationalism, anticipated that a major challenge to capitalism would come from wars of national liberation in the colonized Third World. In the core countries, on the other hand, Lenin argued that the spoils of imperialism would trickle down to the working class to create an aristocracy of labor. Therefore, certain sections of the working class had a definite material interest in imperialism. and this was the material basis of the "refo-sm" of social democratic parties and of their support for national wars. Lenin also saw how the expansion of capitalism into backward countries would uproot the population and provide a pool of cheap labor, further balkanizing the labor movement in advanced capitalist countries. In characterizing the world system in terms of core, colonized and semi-independent nations Lenin had already anticipated contemporary world systems analysis.

This is perhaps where I kind of speculate that capitalists are indeed to powerful at present, and that it'll set up conditions for the unity of such disparate groups of people as it equalizes the subsistence and deprivation of developed countries as we see with falling wages, lack of unions and labour organization. The idea is that the developed country workers are going to be on par with workers being severely exploited elsewhere. In which case, that would set conditions that make xenophobia and such meaningless for the working class and more easily united. But then, if people were helped in their own countries in opposition to things like NAFTA such as with groups like the Zapatistas or what ever, it would disrupt the interests of capital in a way that hurts people in the more powerful economies and would lead them into a crisis that wasn't as readily blamed on the foreign workers. Hmm but then there is the tendency that a xenophobia always arises in economic crisis because people are overly concerned with form/appearance and unable to see a collective interest/class consciousness due to the lack of organizations since the cold war. I've gone around in circles on the immigration issue, I don't know really what position I take because capitalist do what they do with their power and influence. And the conditions are never ideal and have to struggle around that regardless, as no matter the immigration policy, the conditions of workers will never be ideal.

eh, tangent, reset... loading...
Okay, so back to Bernstein XD
His sentiment is characterized by that which doesn't see the the relations between things and thus the tensions or contradictions between/within them.
I think this should help one's conceptualization in that it's Evald Ilyenkov reviving Lenin's attack on the positivist Machists as a sort of veiled way of criticizing the positivism that pervaded in the USSR. Because the philsophy I see underpinning the likes of Bernstein and the Machists is a view that doesn't conceive of the tensions/conflicts/contradictions in relations of things.
Spoiler: show
https://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/positive/positii.htm
The reader has probably already managed to notice how often and persistently the magical word equilibrium is repeated in the quotations from those texts. Yes, here we are dealing not simply with a word, but a genuine symbol – a symbol of faith, a fundamental and key category of the logic of their thinking. No matter where their arguments originate, or where they lead to, they inevitably begin with equilibrium and end with equilibrium.

From their works the reader discovers that equilibrium is not simply or solely an equal balance on the scales with which everyone is familiar from personal experience, but it is something much more important and universal, something metaphysical.

It turns out that this magical concept contains within it both the secret of life and the secrets of the functioning of social organisms, and even the mysteries of all cosmic systems and events. It turns out that all these mysteries, secrets and enigmas are simple and easy. One only has to apply to them the magical 'lock pick' – and they become transparent and simple.

It turns out that the entire infinite Universe strives to achieve equilibrium. Thus the history of mankind, the history of social organisms (people, lands, states and civilisations), is directed towards and yearns for equilibrium.

Immediately, everything becomes clear: both the condition of economic and political relations and the organisational principle of the living body of the frog, and the direction of the evolution of the solar system.

It is remarkable that in not one of the works of the Machists will we find an intelligible explanation of the meaning of this word. They all prefer to explain it by means of examples. But throughout the entire system of such examples, the actual meaning of this 'empirio-symbol' clearly shines through: it is first of all a state of inviolable rest and immobility. It is the absence of any noticeable changes or deviations, the absence of motion.

Equilibrium means the absence of any state of conflict, of any contradictions whatsoever, i.e. of forces which pull in different, contradictory directions. And where is this seen? You will never see such a state, even in the shop, even in the example of the scales. Even here equilibrium is only a passing result, an ephemeral effect, which is achieved at precisely that moment because two opposing forces are directed at each end of the lever: one presses upward, and the other presses downward.

In the Russian language, equilibrium means: 'A state of immobility, of rest, in which a body is under the influence of equal and opposing forces.' But according to the logic of Machism, the presence of opposing forces exerting pressure at one point (or on one body) is already a bad state of affairs. It resembles the state which is designated in Hegelian language as contradiction, as 'a body's state of discomfort', in which two opposing forces exert pressure, either squeezing the body from two opposite sides or tearing it in half.

Such an understanding of equilibrium is therefore unacceptable for the Machists. How could it possibly be that equilibrium turns out to be only the passing and quickly disappearing result of contradiction, the result of the action of opposites applied at one point, i.e. the very state which every living organism tries to escape as soon as possible, and by no means the state which it supposedly is striving to achieve.

Here then arises the concept of equilibrium which the Machists want to counterpose to contradiction, which is the presence of two opposing forces. It is a state in which two opposing forces have ceased to exist and therefore no longer squeeze or tear apart the ideal body (or the equally ideal point of their application). The forces have ceased to exist and have disappeared, but the state which they have established at a given point still remains. Equilibrium is a state of this kind. A state characterised by the absence of any opposing forces whatsoever, be they internal or external, physical or psychic.

In this form, equilibrium is the ideal. It is the ideal model of the cosmos and the psychics, the fundamental philosophical category of Machism, and the starting point of Machist arguments about the cosmos, about history, and about thinking. The aspiration to escape once and for all from all contradictions whatsoever from whatever kind of opposing forces, is the striving for equilibrium.

In addition to all the rest, equilibrium finds under these conditions all the characteristics which ancient philosophy describes with the words 'inner goal', 'objective goal', and 'immanent goal'. According to Machist logic, equilibrium is by no means a real state, given in experience, even if in passing, but only the ideal and the goal of nature, man, and being in general.

Such an equilibrium is static, complete, disturbed by nothing, an equilibrium of rest, an equilibrium of immobility, a state of 'suspension in the cosmic void'. It is the ideal model of the Machist Bogdanovian concept of equilibrium.

This also should help in the connection to mechanical materialism and a sense of forces that is deterministic and the point that things exist in tension with opposing forces.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/spirkin/works/dialectical-materialism/ch02-s06.html
The cause-effect connection can be conceived as a one-way, one-directional action only in the simplest and most limited cases. The idea of causality as the influence of one thing on another is applied in fields of knowledge where it is possible and necessary to ignore feedback and actually measure the quantitative effect achieved by the cause. Such a situation is mostly characteristic of mechanical causality. For example, the cause of a stone falling to the ground is mutual gravitation, which obeys the law of universal gravitation, and the actual fall of the stone to the ground results from gravitational interaction. However, since the mass of the stone is infinitely small compared with the mass of the earth, one can ignore the stone's effect on the earth. So ultimately we come to the notion of a one-way effect with only one body (the earth) operating as the active element, while the other (the stone) is passive. In most cases, however, such an approach does not work because things are not inert, but charged with internal activity. Therefore, in experiencing effect they in their turn act on their cause and the resulting action is not one-way but an interaction.

In complex cases one cannot ignore the feedback of the vehicle of the action on other interacting bodies. For example, in the chemical interaction of two substances it is impossible to separate the active and passive sides. This is even more true of the transformation of elementary particles. Thus the formation of molecules of water cannot be conceived as the result of a one-way effect of oxygen on hydrogen or vice versa. It results from the interaction of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Mental processes are also a result of the interaction of the environment and the cortex.

To sum up, all processes in the world are evoked not by a one-way or one-sided action but are based on the relationship of at least two interacting objects.

Just as various paths may lead to one and the same place, so various causes lead to one and the same effect. And one and the same cause may have different consequences. A cause does not always operate in the same way, because its result depends not only on its own essence but also on the character of the phenomenon it influences. Thus, the heat of the sun dries out canvas, evokes extremely complex processes of biosynthesis in plants, etc. Intense heat melts wax but tempers steel. At the same time an effect in the form of heat may be the result of various causes: sun rays, friction, a mechanical blow, chemical reaction, electricity, disintegration of an atom, and so on. He would be a bad doctor who did not know that the same diseases may be due to different causes. Headache, for instance, has more than one hundred.

The rule of only one cause for one effect holds good only in elementary cases with causes and effects that cannot be further analysed. In real life there are no phenomena that have only one cause and have not been affected by secondary causes. Otherwise we should be living in a world of pure necessity, ruled by destiny alone.

And beyond not seeing the contradictions/tensions of things, I think this leads to a sentiment of gradualism, that one progresses slowly.
And it's from this conception that it asserts itself a progressive task which in practice will be reactionary because it imagines that we'll simply progress to the better society. To which I suspect it may also, rather than alone be an issue of philosophical assumptions/ideological outlook, is also an aversion to the radical conclusion that is driven by aspiring to our highest ideals.
An aversion we see in your post
Not one that requires mass bloodshed and probable failure for trying to make the future happen now before it's time.

This is what would be dubbed in Robespierre's words, wanting a 'revolution without revolution'.
I believe that our commitment to the highest ideals inevtiability lead to radical conclusions if we're honest.
http://www.lacan.com/zizrobes.htm
To break the yoke of habits means: if all men are equal, than all men are to be effectively treated as equal; if blacks are also human, they should be immediately treated as such. Recall the early stages of the struggle against slavery in the US, which, even prior to the Civil War, culminated in the armed conflict between the gradualism of compassionate liberals and the unique figure of John Brown:

African Americans were caricatures of people, they were characterized as buffoons and minstrels, they were the butt-end of jokes in American society. And even the abolitionists, as antislavery as they were, the majority of them did not see African Americans as equals. The majority of them, and this was something that African Americans complained about all the time, were willing to work for the end of slavery in the South but they were not willing to work to end discrimination in the North. /.../ John Brown wasn't like that. For him, practicing egalitarianism was a first step toward ending slavery. And African Americans who came in contact with him knew this immediately. He made it very clear that he saw no difference, and he didn't make this clear by saying it, he made it clear by what he did. [11]

For this reason, John Brown is the KEY political figure in the history of US: in his fervently Christian "radical abolitionism," he came closest to introducing the Jacobin logic into the US political landscape: "John Brown considered himself a complete egalitarian. And it was very important for him to practice egalitarianism on every level. /.../ He made it very clear that he saw no difference, and he didn't make this clear by saying it, he made it clear by what he did." [12] Today even, long after slavery was abolished, Brown is the dividing figure in American collective memory; those whites who support Brown are all the more precious - among them, surprisingly, Henry David Thoreau, the great opponent of violence: against the standard dismissal of Brown as blood-thirsty, foolish and insane, Thoreau [13] painted a portrait of a peerless man whose embracement of a cause was unparalleled; he even goes as far as to liken Brown's execution (he states that he regards Brown as dead before his actual death) to Christ. Thoreau vents at the scores of those who have voiced their displeasure and scorn for John Brown: the same people can't relate to Brown because of their concrete stances and "dead" existences; they are truly not living, only a handful of men have lived.


Because otherwise we reveal an insulting reality to those who we profess solidarity with as it seems to express that a people's emancipation must wait.
https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

http://www.popmatters.com/review/james-baldwins-resounding-words-in-i-am-not-your-negro/
During a debate at Cambridge University in 1965, Baldwin is asked to comment on Robert Kennedy’s suggestion that the US might have a “Negro president” in 40 years. Baldwin is patient and deliberate, turning before the camera when he explains, “That sounded I suppose like a very emancipated statement to white people,” he says, reminding his audience, the white faces behind him and the rest of us, that perspectives are different, that the condescension, pain, and ignorance wound up so tightly within that suggestion (“In 40 years, if you’re good, we may let you become president”), is stunning to hear again now, in the brutality of its truth and its understanding.


And no doubt these radical notions can often be rebuked as wanting that which isn't realistic, but it's debatable about how legitimate this point is. Because whilst we must reject those that decide things purely on empty principles, it's also the case that one's ultimate aim/ideal should maintained it's radicalness, to be what one truly aspires to, although appropriately mediated by an approximate assessment of what is the existing conditions.
http://isj.org.uk/marxism-and-ethics/
A similar argument was developed by Gramsci. In an allusion to a phrase from Marx’s preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy he wrote that “the scientific base for a morality of historical materialism is to be looked for, in my opinion, in the affirmation that ‘society does not pose for itself tasks the conditions for whose resolution do not already exist’. Where these conditions exist ‘the solution of the tasks becomes “duty”, “will” becomes free’”.100

Though this would of course have to be unpacked further, but there is the inherent distinctly different world view, which isn't just a matter of what facts we share but rather the very framework we use to give meaning/sense to those facts.
And this aversion to violence makes no sense since the system of capitalism requires it, but one has to appraise why one sees certain types of violence as legitimate. When the state crushes a group of people, one could perceive the very same objective reality but believe it different in significance to another person.
But this is but the minor form of a prevalent violence that has been maintained in any society for stability and order, in which the irrationality and illegitimacy of a status quo is based on it being a fetter of a better potential.
But the larger concern should be that war is necessary for capitalism and thus can't posited itself on some moral high ground of violence, it will butcher the working class in it's pursuit.
http://burawoy.berkeley.edu/Marxism/Marxism%20As%20Science.pdf
Later in The Accumulation of Capital ([19 131 195 1) Luxemburg developed a theory of the extension of crises of overproduction to the world level. Searching for outlets for their commodities capitalists would seek out new markets through forcible incorporation (colonialism) of countries into an international capitalist order. When the whole world is divided up, capitalist countries would be forced into wars to redivide it, thereby intensifying class struggle. Luxemburg was the first to recognize the close link between the expansion of capitalism and militarism.
...
Influenced by Hilferding's classic, Finance Capital ([I9101 1981), Lenin argued that the concentration of capital took place not only in industry but also in finance. He postulated a new stage of capitalism, monopoly capitalism, defi by the rise of a financial oligarchy which bound together international finance and industrial cartels. Whereas the earlier stage of capitalism was characterized by the overproduction of consumer goods, this new stage saw the overproduction of capital, which sought "superprofits" through export to backward countries. When the whole world had been divided up among cartels and there was no further outlet for excess cavital. . , then only through imperialist wars could tenitories be redistributed among capitalist nations. The instability brought about by the uneven development of capitalism on a world scale would lead inevitably to imperialist wars among the most powerful capitalist countries. National wars would precipitate civil wars between classes as the working class realized the costs of supporting their own bourgeoisie.

Luxemburg had formulated an earlier version of this argument, but Lenin's was the most comprehensive reconstruction of the original Marxian theory of the dynamics of capitalism. It addressed a number of anomalies and made a number of predictions, some of which indeed came to pass. Thus, Lenin, never one to ignore the importance of nationalism, anticipated that a major challenge to capitalism would come from wars of national liberation in the colonized Third World. In the core countries, on the other hand, Lenin argued that the spoils of imperialism would trickle down to the working class to create an aristocracy of labor. Therefore, certain sections of the working class had a definite material interest in imperialism. and this was the material basis of the "reformism" of social democratic parties and of their support for national wars. Lenin also saw how the expansion of capitalism into backward countries would uproot the population and provide a pool of cheap labor, further balkanizing the labor movement in advanced capitalist countries. In characterizing the world system in terms of core, colonized and semi-independent nations Lenin had already anticipated contemporary world systems analysis.


I am highly skeptical of that which might posit that the capitalist class is somehow above the brutality that exists in all societies, it's dark underbelly.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/benjamin/1940/history.htm
There has never been a document of culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism.


To which I like this rheotircal question by Alfred North Whitehead.
http://www.richardcurtisphd.com/pdf/academic/Process%20Via%20Marx.pdf
He [Whitehead] has a strong materialistic sense of history: ‘The great convulsions happen when the economic urge on the masses have dove-tailed with some simplified end.' He also recognizes why 'gradualism' may be insufficient: 'It may be impossible to conceive a reorganization of society adequate for the removal of some admitted evil without destroying the social organization and the civilization which depends on it.' Can war, for example, be eliminated without eliminating an economic system that seems to require war? (History 282)

Violence isn't equal and necessarily requires value judgements which will be partisan in nature. Though there are certainly those that like to equalize violence because they like to pretend themselves objective neutral observers, but in their supposed neutrality are barbaric in their impassivity to wrong doings because they're too afraid to commit themselves or they are committed to a ideologically obscured defense of one side or the other, unable to admit their partisanship.
Bascially the violence already exists and is inevitable, because soon as one asserts ones self, becuase one hasn't been constrained within the limits of an ideology, one requires force.
Like the father or domestic abuser that shows they've lost their ideological/psychological grip of a people and so requires more direct violence, as is true of every system of control that people are mostly controlled as good people who adhere to the rules, trouble makers are made an example of violently for traversing those rules. It's generally better that the population be passive and abiding by the rules forced upon them, rather than resistant.
https://monthlyreview.org/2011/12/01/alfred-hitchcock-presents-class-struggle/
Unless its aggression is constant, capital does not get what it wants. But class aggression must meet cost-benefit analysis, like everything else. Thus, the less workers resist, the lower the costs of class aggression. In order for surplus extraction to proceed at maximum efficiency, that aggression must disguise itself. Generating and distributing illusion is a primary function of capital. It must propagate the belief that “the wealth and privileges of the few are based on natural, inborn superiority,”13 the belief that working people choose freely, that the existing system is efficient and just. Or, if not exactly efficient and just, it does not matter, because it is all there is. Thus not only is the system efficient—it is the only system. Even thinking about anything else is an invitation to chaos. Given the stakes involved, it is better for capital to erase the notion that there is a system at all. And that is indeed a common belief: there is no “system”—capitalism is simply reality, or nature, or the random workings of existence. It may not always have been there but it certainly always will be. Even the word “capitalism” must be handled with care: it is just “reality.” Since capitalism is not a system, whatever goes wrong is an accident or the result of the “bad choices” strangely popular with foolish victims.



In the end I haven't really effectively attacked some points in part because moral philosophy isn't a strong part of mine to really dissecting the nuances of the rightness or wrongness of certain policies, especially in relation to what is asserted Marx's sense of morality that isn't impotent or purely inhumane.
But I see your sense of how the severe poverty of the Mexican worker would in some felt sense work out better within an acceptance of capitalism. Which is the expected liberal compromise of ideals and reality, where not unrealistic to do open borders but not so inhumane as to think that the foreigners are without value. But then, also even if did believe in the capacity of socialist revolution and it's aims, would seem afraid of the what conclusions one might come to as necessary to reach such radical ends, afraid of the pain. Which isn't something so shameful, as I imagine most of us aren't so courageous and are often doctrinaire socialists at best.
Though in the words of 'Charlie Bronson', sometimes you got to cut off a piece of yourself, no matter how hard it hurts, in order to grow ;)

Haha, our growth is painful and if we really aspire to the greatest ideals of humanity, then we can't get it without doing the heavy lifting. Though I think a lot of good can be done in a radical sense without so directly a violent approach, but then violence within itself isn't something formally promoted or rejected but put in relation to the circumstances as they're presented. Sometimes violence is the answer, sometimes it's not.

eh, i've mused long enough. Hopefully if you've looked through this, can see some substance to spur some thoughts. It's not so direct, but I think these are pivotal things, deeper issues that underpin the divide. Philosophical matters whilst seemingly distant, are where the real changes occur as they give rise to the conclusions we have and so attacking conclusions is nonsense without trying to disrupt the sense one gives to reality.[/spoiler]
#14838727
mikema63 wrote:This is simply an assertion, and would depend massively on what country someone is immigrating from.

It's not a bare assertion, you're just denying the obvious. Institutionalized corruption in the form of state capture is definitely a major cause of poverty around the world. Most societies are poor because their governments have been taken over by multinational corporations and enact policies that benefit those entities at the expense of the people and the environment.

It also isn't actual an argument that we shouldn't let them immigrate unless you think it's our job to "punish" the evil corrupt countries by forcing people to have shittier lives in them.


It has nothing to do with punishing people. It's a pretty simple, straightforward concept that's easy to understand. It only stands to reason that if a lot of the people who would be agitating for social reform leave the country then social reform becomes much more difficult to achieve. So when we take in millions of immigrants from one of these countries we are effectively draining that society of its potential for reform.

Or, you could read it as them improving the lives of their families and pumping money into a weaker economy and improving it. It's incredibly naive to think that the remittances make people content with corruption. Mexican's for instance protest all the time about the corruption in their government and many mexicans work very hard to end it. They are the country most benefiting from remittances.


There is a reform movement in Mexico but it can easily be argued that large scale immigration to the US has deprived the movement of the critical mass it needs to be successful. Stress is what motivates people to take social action and demand change and to the extent that remittances mitigate that stress the movement is weakened. In 2015 Mexico received more in remittances($25 billion)than it did from oil revenues, remittances are now Mexico's largest single source of foreign revenue, so that likely relieves quite a bit of economic stress.

And those thousand people cannot rise up because one person in extreme poverty escaped why? That doesn't even make any sense. There is literally no reason to believe this is the case.


You'd understand it better if you gave it some thought. Movements need a critical mass in order to be successful. Most successful movements never have the support of more than small fraction of the population, so if a significant percentage of the most disaffected and motivated leave that will seriously hamstring the cause.

except that I don't except your narrative about how immigration effects the economy. By all evidence we have it increases economic growth and over the long run raises living standards. Just because you have decided to cherry pick a dudes blog post and assert that economic studies are lies doesn't mean I accept that. I use the best data we have available to us, which suggests that immigrants improve the economy for everyone, I do not use random suppositions like you are doing.


That's uncharitable and a bit dishonest, I never accused anyone of lying. Academic capture is a real thing and you should probably not be appealing to academics until you understand what it is and its implications for the reliability of the soft sciences.

"social scientists have strained every muscle to show that migration is good for everyone." - Paul collier, professor of economics and public policy in the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford

Is he accusing many of his colleagues of being liars? No, he's just honestly acknowledging that his discipline is heavily influenced by various pressures.

Does Immigration Harm Working Americans?

Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers

The only things that's true about this section at all is that white identity politics are a problem, but one part of the political spectrum being wrong does not mean I will not support or defend a position I believe to be true.


That backlash is occurring across the developed world and it's growing every year in terms of both numbers and outrage, that alone is good reason to rethink your position. This issue is fueling the rise of the extremist hard right and they are now a real threat, so even if you're right you're still following a very dangerous course.

I suppose I'll go out an buy an eyepatch because you seem to be overly fond of describing positions you don't agree with as neoliberal piracy.

I know exactly what neoliberalism is and the damage it's done. Neoliberalism is the filth of our age, it's a frighteningly depraved ideology.
http://evonomics.com/rise-of-neoliberalism-inequality/

Both sides tend to support immigration because we have a lot of Hispanic voters that support immigration. Not because it's some conspiracy to perpetuate corruption in other countries.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the cheap labor, that's probably just paranoid thinking. :roll:
#14838813
Yeah, I should really learn a way to stop making connections between ideas and set out a clear goal for myself as I understand this is just terrible to be so verbose. I'm not very good of thinking in terms of boiling things down to a particular point to the exclusion to all that is seen as necessary. Rather I'm prone to see connection between things and keep expanding it infinitely.
Feel free to ignore out of prioritizing and valuing your time.


I was a tad rude about it. I do appreciate your willingness to do a lot of in depth research and writing when you comment on a topic. I just had class. :p

Though I would assert that it be a an agreed upon point that waged are pressed down by immigration when one considers the vulnerability of immigrants and things like status rather than more narrow economic models.


Sure we can agree on that, just from a purely economic model point of view all else being equal an increase in labor supply reduces labor prices. I simply argue that this in and of itself isn't a reason to prevent all immigration. Just as increasing wages is not a good enough justification for banning women from the workforce or something equally silly. Some markets, like agricultural work, do not have enough labor however so the that effect on wages is reduced.

I also argue that the data on the overall long term effects of immigration ultimately grow the economy and drive up wages in terms of purchasing power. Paired with a robust education system and job retraining program I really do think people will be ultimately better off with some level of immigration than without. Even the people who may initially take a hit on wages.

I also agree that immigrants are far too vulnerable currently and I fully support increasing protections for them.

And this brutality is accepted as a reality as long as we exist under capitalism, the appeals to a softer capitalism as nonsensical, the solution of course lays in overcoming capitalism.


A softer capitalism, in the sense that labor isn't a commodity or in price mechanisms not existing for certain things, is indeed a silly idea. However I think we can create societal systems within capitalism that mitigate the less savory things that can come with a capitalist economy. I support, for instance, a negative income tax which would do a tremendous amount of good evening out inequality and eliminating poverty. Some on the left believe it in inherently impossible to get through these projects but I disagree. I am also skeptical of the "overcoming capitalism" thing as I don't see economic management being centralized as currently possible, though if it were it would certainly be more efficient and offer more in the way of being able to shape our values into the economy rather than having the price mechanisms value everything in ways that aren't all that appetizing.

and so there are no real solutions to such problems as long as capitalism exists and also is ideologically accepted as unchangeable.


I don't see it as an ideological issue. Ideologically I see no particular reason to support capitalism vs. socialism except that the data we have on hand suggests that a great deal of caution should be applied when making change. Sudden upheavals and pushes to entirely reshape the economy all at once have had spectacular failures or in the case of countries like china have just resulted in liberalization in order to improve economic conditions.

IMHO the problem is a technological, analytical, and data problem not an ideological one.

To which you acknowledge that the mass immigration is a direct result of the forcing of free trade for the interests of companies in the US.


It should be stated that a lot of good has also been done by globalization and trade. Even when it benefits american companies. In south east asia and africa for instance many extremely poor economies have seen massive growth due to support and trade with the west within the capitalist global system. It is absolutely possible to see growth. Over focusing on areas where turmoil resulted ignores the whole picture.

I also question whether it would be different in a communist or socialist world order. Failures in centralized controls on the economy can also result in massive economic problems and being drawn into that world order would also cause upheaval for small countries that don't have any choice but to play along with the world system.

Though I take it that in your pragmatism your point is that the drive for the free flow of capital necessarily leads to such affect. And that in the end, since we have to tolerate such disruptive and destructive tendencies of capitalism, it is still reasonable to allow many immigrants in on the basis that they come from a more extreme poverty than the average American.


This is largely accurate to my beliefs. Within a limit of course.

And so in some sense it's to a greater good to a great net group. The focus then being that should find some sweet spot, but it should then be clear that the actual benefit is most clearly for the capitalist class that gets to severely exploit workers.


I firmly support limiting abuses as far as a liberal democracy is capable of doing so. But you are right about this, within a capitalist economy capitalist benefit from any policy that causes positive economic growth. That's simply the nature of the system. It is not ideal and is not maximally efficient in terms of seeing economic growth help everyone improve by a lot rather than having one group improve massively with diminished returns for everyone else. However I do think it's an efficient way to organize the economy and produce goods, more efficient than socialism without the technological backbone required to centralize the entire economy and predict supply and demand for every product in every sector.

A capitalist class working as a more defuse organizing mechanism works, even if the benefit they receive from their function is rather more than most people are comfortable with.

As I took the side that immigrants do put a downpard pressure on real wages, neither the American worker nor Mexican worker is actually being helped by having the life of the Mexican worker destroyed in the interests of capital. But then it seems that you're not concerned with this act in itself as you displace the good of such things to some long term end goal.


To tackle this point I need to lay out a few things about my own position.

My "long term end goal" as it were is to maximize, across society, economic efficiency. Have the cost of goods, particularly necessary goods like food, shelter, water, etc. be low. Maximize peoples purchasing power across society. Support the development of more and better products, processes, etc.

I also do not believe that the end of the diffuse agrarianism in mexico is ultimately a bad thing for mexican society. It certainly hurts the people who were doing the farming, and I would have preferred to see mexico or the US take point on lifting them out of the situtation rather than just destroying their way of life and leaving them along. However the move away from diffuse agrarianism to a more manufacturing economy makes the real purchasing power of mexico's poor greater. Food is cheaper, and they have access to higher paying jobs than before.

This is a net good, ultimately, for most people in mexico. Even though it directly harmed the farmers. Change always harms someone, even under a communist system farming is better centralized and those farmers would be moved to other sectors. Since the process is more deliberate there is the opportunity to do a better job taking care of those hurt, but they not always did so in the past, and I maintain that capitalism is a more efficient system for identifying these areas and (yes, very ruthlessly) increasing economic efficiency.

The particular mexican worker who lost their agrarian farm in mexico, and the american agricultural worker who sees their wage decrease, are not helped in the short run. However ultimately the whole of mexican and american society is helped in terms of purchasing power, and I do think ultimately that same hurt mexican and american worker can see greater opportunity in the future than they did before the immigration.

Many points would indeed be indeed facile based on expressed point of not being against capitalism. Though I speculate that you have a somewhat ambivalent position on accepting capitalism, but then maybe that's just my poor comprehension of your view.


It's purely pragmatic. Capitalism works, by and large, as a system. Perhaps another hypothetical system would be just as good or better at organizing the economy and would better reflect our values as a society rather than just being a faceless mechanism that only works to improve efficiency. However what concerns me about socialist projects is that they often intend to simply take over a society and force their system onto the world and just double down when the system doesn't work as intended. Forcing ideals on reality this way is a project doomed to failure and the ultimate fate of any system that centralizes economic power like that.

People have to many limitations and biases for a small group of people to be able to organize an economy. Which is why I think the end of capitalism is technological not political or ideological. At some point we will be able to model and predict supply and demand and efficiently allocate resources with a technological system. Until then capitalism is the best system we have available to us for improving economic conditions.

The ultimate self destroying tendency of capitalism is not it's internal contradictions but that it always tries to expand the resource and production base of society towards it's maximum, and with technological growth that maximum will eventually result in such huge potential supply that many goods will become increasingly cheap to the point where they become essentially free, and capitalism can not act on such functionally limitless supply.

While you never can have an infinite amount of goods there is a limit to how much anyone can consume, and once capitalism moves the efficiency of production past that point it will begin to fall apart.

I would like to explore this attitude because you seem to acknowledge this acceptance about capitalism. But then you posit a kind of gradualism/stagism or something that seems to be your reason for tolerating it, that it'll eventually be done away with. Or at least you specifically seem tolerant or accepting of the existence of the mass immigration as a problem, to which the perceived inevitability of it leads to a rejection of the root cause and a focus on dealing with it's effect.


I'm a dirty globalist scoundrel. I believe that the world market must and will eventually be unified (which increases economic efficiency and ultimately let's every country produce what it's best at) and the labor market is no exception ultimately.

I'd like to make the focus a certain attitude just on the off chance that it'd be an area of interest for you. As you do seem to be a genuinely curious person and one who speaks in good faith.


I must, once more, go to some classes, but I'll definitely come back to the thread in a few hours and finish because this is a genuinely interesting conversation.
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Alright, from where I left off.

I'd like to make the focus a certain attitude just on the off chance that it'd be an area of interest for you. As you do seem to be a genuinely curious person and one who speaks in good faith.


Thank you. :)

is one comparable to that expressed by revisionist Edward Bernstein and he posited 'evolutionary socialism'.
A few things come to mind about Edward Bernstein's view and I think is one characterized by the optimism of positivists that have returned through the years in their different variations.
Firstly, Bernstein simply gave up on the relationship between means and end and it might be an interesting thought to consider whether you feel a hopelessness towards the idea that capitalism can be challenged and overturned.


My attitude isn't Hopeless really, I think capitalism is a necessary step in the progression of society and will eventually become a less useful tool as time goes on. In the same way that feudalism ended when conditions changed to be such that it was no longer a useful system.

My position on the whole deliberate overthrowing of capitalism with the view of creating a specific sort of system is basically the same as it would be towards a political group that existed in the middle of feudalism and wanted to overthrow it and replace it with capitalism (or what they imagine capitalism would be).

The mechanisms that would support capitalism didn't exist at the time and you couldn't simply conjure them up by overthrowing feudalism. It's an idea whose time hadn't come.

I think you actually maintain a desire to do good things, but it of course has necessarily been confined to desires that only extend as far as adjusting the 'settings' of things within capitalist production and policy.


Essentially. I'm fundamentally skeptical of the revolution being able to create socialism without whatever societal development we will need to have had to actually support such a system.

A concern is that one gets stuck in an alternating position between an emphasis on the values of what ought to be and a rational analysis of what is and the difficulty in reconciling the two.


More or less this is true. I fundamentally come at this with the attitude of what would I like to do, what are the conditions that constrain available options, and from data and study what is the best way to achieve that goal.

I also tend to have a (for lack of a better word) "conservative" approach to what path to take. Take reducing poverty. There are several possible ways to do this from raising the EITC to implementing an NIT to overthrowing the bourgeois and just forcing it. From the available options I consider what is most likely to achieve that goal with minimal risk of horrible back side effects.

EITC doesn't do enough, the revolution can turn into something absolutely unhealthy and I'm fundamentally skeptical of how successful it could be and so I support an NIT not because I think it's the perfect solution (though in this case I consider the NIT to be incredibly elegant policy) but it is a workable policy to alleviate poverty and has very little risk of negative problems.

Which I think is what can end up feeling nihilistic, to which Hegel's dialectics might be the way to get beyond this. THis I raise as a general issue in that I think unless we actually reach a sort of dialectical view, we likely alternate between the two or strictly adhere to one side or the other problems.


I approach this problem from, essentially, a scientific perspective. It's not that I dislike dialectics or devalue philosophical ways of regarding these problems, but I'm personally attracted to a more data and experimentally driven methodology wherever possible. I appreciate that ultimately when we get down to the values we organize our beliefs around it's purely the realm of philosophy, and I do appreciate the value of using marx's dialectic as an analytical tool, but I'm less convinced that it can be a prescriptive one.

Anyway, is a useful point that there is a kind of nihilism that arises in not being able to resolve contradictions that arise out of ordinary thought, the many dualities one necessarily ends up at when exploring things. Something which Hegel's philosophical project apparently resolved in figuring out how the contradictions that arise can develop into a richer/fuller conception.


It's a quandary and ultimately no amount of scientific study will get you or me out of the fundamental conflict between our values and goals and just the inherent societal architecture which constrains what we can do. It is tempting to simply philosophize some other architecture that matches your values better but this is an extremely dangerous thing to take too seriously without very deep consideration indeed. It's all well and good to speculate about what "post-capitalism" will look like and how it will work but it's quite another to take those speculations and actually enforce them in the real world.

I am more or less content to tinker with capitalism and push policies that will ultimately make it easier for parts of the economy to transition out of it as those sectors become so highly efficient and well managed that the price mechanism is no longer a useful method of organizing it. I am, in that way, rather conservative about dynamiting the whole thing and trying to implement some grand vision.

The point being that, change requires human agency, even the maintenance of our society requires constant laboring.


This is an important point. I do not think we would be benefited as a society if all the marxists decided I was right about everything all along and got with the program. We need conflict in ideas to keep us honest, to hold us to carefully analyzing our own beliefs and positions, and to consider things in a way I couldn't because of the constraints of my beliefs and values (which goes both ways of course).

It is actually a serious criticism of communism in my view (at least so far as it was implemented) that it always seemed incredibly defensive and desperate to silence all such criticism. I think communist countries stagnated and became rigid because they became so involved in the philosophy that they would accept no reality proving them wrong. Lysenkoism would be the extreme example of this. Evolution was inconvenient to the soviet conception of communist ideals and philosophy, so they rejected evolution instead of reanalyzing their own attitudes and belief. This is extremely dangerous in my view.

Anyway more to your specific point, I think it's all to the best that people struggle for their beliefs, beyond it ultimately behooving us to support these views from a societal health perspective I think struggle is what gives peoples lives meaning (in a broad sense of struggle) and it bring change, often much needed change.

History should not be seen as progressing by itself, it instead reflects the struggles of mankind against one another and the necessities of reality upon them.


I agree, and I would be loath to allow capitalism to stagnate into it's current arrangement rather than always be prodded to advance.

Though human agency is a difficult matter conceptually itself, but it's clear that what ever freedom is to be for determinant (empirical, existing real beings) is to be mediated through the real world and our psychology (hence the importance on theorizing about consciousness and ideology for Marxists).

This issue of detereminism is even a problem among self identified Marxists, who take Marx's Capital as gospel, insensitive to the incompleteness of his ambitious project.
As some suspect that Marx may have intended or at the very least left out the agency of workers within the scope of Capital. Something that seems crucial to sense that the proletariat are the agents of the revolution but most likely would've been developed later, but Marx ran out of time.


This is a little more deeply philosophical than I really feel comfortable discussing but my view is that it doesn't really matter if we have agency or not. We must live our lives and society exists as if we do and there isn't much for it.

The talk of benefit to a capitalist economy reminds me of how national interests are universalized as if they're everyone's interest but they concretely reflect the interests of a capitalist class more often than that of the workers.


If I'm reading this properly your criticism seems to be that when I say something is good for the economy it isn't necessarily good for everyone in the economy.

I don't think this is without merit but I think we have to look at every case and look at whose being helped and hurt but I think it's pretty clear that in just about all cases anything that makes a commodity cheaper, particularly vital ones like food in the case of agriculture, it gives everyone who uses that commodity more purchasing power. Which I think is a good thing. Excess resources that were tied up in these commodities and the less efficient more expensive production processes are now freed up to be put to other uses and make other commodities cheaper and grow the economy. This seems to me to be categorically classifiable as a good thing for most people.

Certainly we could imagine a case where a commodity is only used by a few people and their is some terrible human cost in bringing the price down that means on net things are worse with the cheaper commodity. I suppose blood diamonds would fall into this category, or child labor and unacceptable working conditions. However I don't think the particular case of immigration in america is one of these, though obviously many are taken advantage of and we should absolutely expand on those protections.

The point here isn't that you're naive to such real world differences but that the lack of class specificity can hide the difference where many things are purely in the interest of capitalist class and at best are minor benefit to working class.


I hear you on this, I do, but this is true of literally anything that is positive for a capitalist economy. The capitalist class always benefits from the growth of a capitalist economy and there is no policy I could proscribe that will simultaneously work well in a capitalist system and not provide some sort of benefit or extra income of capitalists. However I do think this particular policy of immigration and many of the policies I would press do benefit more than just the people who own capital goods.

Though of course it is a important point that I think you do recognize that the capitalist economy absolutely requires such cheap labor to be competitive on the world market. Which is why there will be no wall or what ever measure to stop immigrants.


Cheaper labor is good for business in the same way anything that goes into the production process more cheaply is good for business. There are a lot of factors around wages that set them and so I don't think the Marxist belief that wages will always fall is necessarily true, but I do support things like the Negative Income Tax to relieve the conflict between labor being a vital commodity whose price we cannot allow to simply inflate endlessly and destroy the system and the fact that laborers and their welfare are literally the point of any society.

Because even if it was successfully done, things would go the way of industry moving to china. Which is part of why certain reforms are unsustainable. People oppose unions and wages on the basis that it is detrimental to the capitalist class competition and then the idea is if we're not sensitive to that then we'll shoot ourselves in the foot by hurting our masters too severely.


The main problem here is not that I am overly worried about hurting our "masters" too severely it's that we live in a capitalist world economy and as you say protections here have to be calculated to protect both workers and the economy on which those workers rely on to exist and eat and everything else. Marxists may chafe at the fact that we make these considerations but they are necessary ones just as in a socialist world economy there would be it's own set of considerations around policies that protect the economy or those policies from breaking down.

And thus we merely engage in the same mistakes, same wars that serve not the workers of the world but the capitalist class. A slave's highest aspiration shouldn't be that one's master treats them kindly, they should be so bold as to demand and assert their right to freedom. But of course the pessimism around achieving this is also that if it doesn't flow into a world revolution, then things will simply remain or revert back to a capitalist economy, adherent to it's strict rules of value.


For all the nay-saying around how these considerations are just us being enslaved to capitalists capitalism has raised peoples living standards, even the living standards of the very poorest. I do think we as a society can do better by these people of course.

However from my point of view when you have a socialist economy and world system I could rewrite all these criticisms to fit it. Why must all our protections be made in the lens of preserving the power structures of the people in charge of the economy? Our highest aspiration should not be their kindness in the wages and support they give us, we should fight for our right to be free and not adherent to socialism's strict values.

The truth is we will never be free in some grand philosophical sense, we will always in some way or another be subservient to the economy, society, and political power structures. This is not a special feature of capitalism, it is an outcome of an immutable and rather unfriendly reality where we must struggle to survive and have been given no special regard by nature.

Things are spoken of as a benefit to the US, to it's economy, providing food, culture and such, but not much from the frame of how it helps workers as a class


Because the economic system and how well it produces goods is the constraint on everything else and all peoples maximum benefit in material terms. What good is a society that promises workers everything but prioritizes it over producing food?

It's all well and good to be concerned with the state of the working class, and a laudable goal to improve their conditions. But the power to improve them must ultimately come from material production. Cheaper food improves the conditions of the working class. More purchasing power improves the conditions of the working class. Ideological commitment to improving the conditions of the working class that requires an economic system that can't properly organize the economy to produce things does not help the conditions of the working class.

Of course this is expected because that's not the goal, what ever benefit the receive is periphery. Because the focus becomes rather abstract in a focus on things such as culture and the health of the economy. Which I suppose could be drilled in on some bit of how the health of the capitalist class helps maintains a interest for workers in developed countries against others.


Capitalism doesn't have a goal. It isn't a system deliberately set up to mechanistically meet some particular value like marxism. It's an emergent system which because of how it works benefits people who own capital goods but it doesn't do that because it was built to it does that because capital is an extremely important part of the operation of the system and the people who control it benefit from that happenstance.

For all your pressing this idea that economic growth being beneficial is a pure abstraction it is a concrete reality. We are as a society better off than we were a hundred years ago because the economy grew from what it was then. Economic growth is the name we give for the increasing production efficiency and capacity of the economy. More goods at lower prices is a concretely valuable thing for the working class. To dismiss this is as much to throw yourself into purely abstract considerations of class conditions as it would be for me to throw myself entirely into some abstract libertarian mindset.

But their benefit is in fact the result of the deprivation of those in others countries.


This is simply not true. Many countries in Africa and south east asia have seen tremendous economic growth that has benefited the US as well as them. Increasing efficiencies in the world economy are disruptive true, and they put people out of less efficient industries and small agrarian farms, but ultimately this is a good thing. For all that we should definitely push for things that help people get through that turmoil they and their children ultimately benefit from the higher availability of goods and services.

To reiterate an early point, for all you seem concerned that I'm blinding myself with abstractions you have taken the abstract conclusion of marxism that capitalism must always harm people in poorer countries and let that guide your beliefs when in reality our increasingly globalized economy has lifted millions of people out of dire poverty and continues to improve peoples conditions around the world.

Looking this up to check the numbers literally 1.1 billion people have been lifted out of dire poverty (>$2 a day income) since 1990. This is a real tangible improvement in the conditions of the worlds poorest people. Not an abstraction blinding me from the truth that capitalism only helps the people who own capital.
This is perhaps where I kind of speculate that capitalists are indeed to powerful at present, and that it'll set up conditions for the unity of such disparate groups of people as it equalizes the subsistence and deprivation of developed countries as we see with falling wages, lack of unions and labour organization. The idea is that the developed country workers are going to be on par with workers being severely exploited elsewhere.


This simply isn't going to happen. For all that american manufacturing jobs have gone down and we started this discussion with the particular case of unskilled immigrants the american economy produces goods that require extremely skilled labor. Our economy is geared to these high end goods and it's incredibly unlikely that you could reduce the wages of these skilled workers to be the same as unskilled people in other countries. The economy is far more complex than just looking at labor as if it's the same thing everywhere and completely interchangeable. The agricultural labor market is completely different than the labor market for engineers and cheaper agricultural labor will not hurt the wages of engineers.

Okay, so back to Bernstein XD


I need another break but I promise I'll be back to address more of the post. :p
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Okay, so back to Bernstein XD


To Bernstein!

And beyond not seeing the contradictions/tensions of things, I think this leads to a sentiment of gradualism, that one progresses slowly.
And it's from this conception that it asserts itself a progressive task which in practice will be reactionary because it imagines that we'll simply progress to the better society. To which I suspect it may also, rather than alone be an issue of philosophical assumptions/ideological outlook, is also an aversion to the radical conclusion that is driven by aspiring to our highest ideals.
An aversion we see in your post


My view isn't a purely gradualist one but I can certainly see from what I've written so far that it would be a reasonable conclusion.

I do not so much believe that capitalism ending will be a gradual affair so much as it could be if we have that as a goal and work towards it while putting out policy that allows such a transition. Left on it's own to the devises of americas current broken political system will lead to a catastrophic failure which has no guarantee of bringing us anything I would want to see.

If it came down now the most motivated political forces will create alt-right hellholes in many places in the US for instance, there simply isn't a serious marxist group that would hold any sway even if I thought they were guaranteed to be successful.

Captialism, if I am right about how eventually goods will begin to be so efficiently produced that they can not be profitable could do many things upon that time. Artificially reduce supply which would reduce purchasing power and hurt people. Concentrate all power into a totalitarian situation. Outright collapse. etc.

I want to push a policy package that begins to pave the way for spreading purchasing power through NIT programs, taxing excess consumption (consumption beyond say $100,000 a year as an example) which would reduce luxury consumption and shift production towards creating more and cheaper necesary goods that everyone uses. Creating a system that would allow (in some far future date) for the control of those goods that become so efficiently produced as to be unprofitable to other systems of control and distribution. To fund the development of science and technological progress further. To change our power grid to something more sustainable in the long term. Advance globalization and global institutions to help manage an increasingly global economy. Etc. etc.

This isn't, in my mind, a purely gradualist just let it happen sort of program. It's a deliberate set of policies to make way for a particular end goal. It simply accepts capitalism as the vehicle it is towards the development of an ever more efficient globalized economy that will let us transition to the next stage of economic management system if we do it correctly. It could also all turn into hellish shit if we screw it up.

I do, as you say, have an aversion to radical conclusions, and a lot of that has to do with my personal attitudes and methodology for looking at the world and policy. When two programs would meet the same goal I take the less risky one, when those risk differences are large enough I will even take the policy that is less ideal in outcome. Revolution, is an extremely risky thing by nature, all evidence is that ideological revolutions often fall into the same sort of rigid idealism that the USSR did.

This is what would be dubbed in Robespierre's words, wanting a 'revolution without revolution'.
I believe that our commitment to the highest ideals inevtiability lead to radical conclusions if we're honest


I do not, per se, want a revolution without a revolution. I do not see capitalism as a thing that must be overcome but the most ideal system that is possible given the conditions of the world now which will eventually advance us to a point where it is no longer a useful tool. I see the next system as a conclusion of capitalism not a reaction against it. This is not revolutionary thinking.

The same way the conditions of feudalism led to the development for the beginning conditions of capitalism is not revolutionary. It's simply the progress of economic efficiency leading to new systems being possible and better than the last. Feudalism didn't fall because serfs got sick of it and invented capitalism, feudalism invented capitalism (or more correctly the conditions under which capitalism could exist).

Because otherwise we reveal an insulting reality to those who we profess solidarity with as it seems to express that a people's emancipation must wait.


I am not offering a program of emancipation because I fully believe that in either system someone will have power over you. Whether it's organized by the capitalist who owns the factory you work in or the beuro or syndicate or whatever that runs it makes little difference. You are still benefited or not by their kindness and your life within it becomes just the values vs cost of having you labor within that system. In either case you, I, and everyone are held tightly within the political, social, and economic system that we live in.

The only progress I can offer is the progress of production increasingly making goods more available and life easier. For all we are slaves to the systems we live under at least capitalism can progress production to the point that overeating is a more serious problem in our societies than famine.

It is a point in the USSR's favor, in fact, that it was able to rapidly industrialize. That is something that would be important to me to see in a political system. However they failed to move from that initial industrialization to the more complex consumer economy that is necessary to develop production further, which is a point against it.

"I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."


That's just unfair. :lol:

I'm a massive left winger on a lot of social issues. We should always strive to improve the conditions of justice within a society. It is where someone says that blowing the system up and trying to force a material and economic ideological system on reality that I balk. It isn't that I think they must "wait another day for justice" but that we can improve the conditions of justice of people within a system that we know wont fall into the brutal totalitarianism that we saw in the communist projects of the past. Perhaps now we have some idea of how to introduce true communism that will work and wont fall into these failings, and by all means it is your right to fight for it. But I will continue to support justice in ways that I think will actually work in reality just as you will.

Justice was not served by the terrible things that happened in the USSR, or other failed socialist regimes.

And no doubt these radical notions can often be rebuked as wanting that which isn't realistic, but it's debatable about how legitimate this point is.


The point is certainly a legitimate, that's not IMO debatable. What is debatable is whether or not I'm correct. Which is why I have no intention of vanishing communists from the dialogue. I believe that I'm right but I do not know it.

Because whilst we must reject those that decide things purely on empty principles, it's also the case that one's ultimate aim/ideal should maintained it's radicalness, to be what one truly aspires to, although appropriately mediated by an approximate assessment of what is the existing conditions.


Then our disagreement is largely about what the existing conditions are, above and beyond whatever philosophical or value differences we might have.

Though this would of course have to be unpacked further, but there is the inherent distinctly different world view, which isn't just a matter of what facts we share but rather the very framework we use to give meaning/sense to those facts.
And this aversion to violence makes no sense since the system of capitalism requires it, but one has to appraise why one sees certain types of violence as legitimate.


I'm not against violence and it's not necesarily the violence of the revolution that I would oppose. Though all else being equal I prefer non-violent approaches.

I certainly agree that less than savory things get done to support the current system. Our support for saudi arabia being a prime example of one that I dislike greatly but is generally necessary because so much of what we have now relies on secure oil supplies. (though I also maintain that in the case of oil communist countries would be pushed to the same dilemmas since oil is a vital resources whatever your economic system).

The legitimacy of violence is largely pragmatic for me. It is a necessary thing that I dislike and wherever there are other options I will go for those. But so much hinges on a secure oil supply that the devastation of an unsecured one outweighs the terrible things that we allow to go on. This purely utilitarian take on violence that I have is not one many would find palatable, but it is what it is.

But this is but the minor form of a prevalent violence that has been maintained in any society for stability and order, in which the irrationality and illegitimacy of a status quo is based on it being a fetter of a better potential.
But the larger concern should be that war is necessary for capitalism and thus can't posited itself on some moral high ground of violence, it will butcher the working class in it's pursuit.


Violence is necessary for any political system at some level. Communism is by no means a non violence political system. Even ignoring the revolution it's clear that the communist project can lead to quite a lot of war and violence. The USSR was so good at it that it was an existential military threat to those same capitalist governments for whom you claim war is necessary.

Past that particular criticism, I simply disagree that war is fundamentally necessary to capitalism. The progress of capitalism has also been a progress of reduced wars. The global capitalist institutions of the post WW2 era have reduced the scope and number of wars drastically. Our economies are so tied together that even long time rivals like China and the US are afraid of actually going to war. For all the fear mongering over the south china sea neither side is interested in open conflict and I firmly believe the conflict will be solved by mutual negotiation between china and the other countries in the south china sea.

I am highly skeptical of that which might posit that the capitalist class is somehow above the brutality that exists in all societies, it's dark underbelly.


It's not, but in a unified global market their own interests are against the destabilization that war would bring in the global market. I am not positing that capitalists are more just than anyone else, they aren't. However to argue that the people with political power, or even the people in a direct democracy, would be any less prone to war is simply untrue. If the US was a direct democracy rather than a representative one with heavy interest representation of business and capital I hesitate to imagine what sort of nonsensical wars many Americans would decide to get into. Half the country seems to want to invade NK over a war of words, a literally disastrous scenario for everyone capitalist and worker alike.

Can war, for example, be eliminated without eliminating an economic system that seems to require war?


The same could be said of communism. The USSR seemed hellbent on exporting the revolution through war when countries seemed unprepared to do it themselves. However I wouldn't claim that it is necessarily true that communism requires war, anymore than I think it's fair to overgeneralize and claim that capitalism does just because at times it has. Every political system that has ever existed seems to have required war at some point or another in order to defend itself and this is no less true of communism. However I do not think that makes war a specifically necessary thing that is required to be periodically practiced for the system to exist all else being equal.
Violence isn't equal and necessarily requires value judgements which will be partisan in nature. Though there are certainly those that like to equalize violence because they like to pretend themselves objective neutral observers, but in their supposed neutrality are barbaric in their impassivity to wrong doings because they're too afraid to commit themselves or they are committed to a ideologically obscured defense of one side or the other, unable to admit their partisanship.
Bascially the violence already exists and is inevitable, because soon as one asserts ones self, becuase one hasn't been constrained within the limits of an ideology, one requires force.
Like the father or domestic abuser that shows they've lost their ideological/psychological grip of a people and so requires more direct violence, as is true of every system of control that people are mostly controlled as good people who adhere to the rules, trouble makers are made an example of violently for traversing those rules. It's generally better that the population be passive and abiding by the rules forced upon them, rather than resistant.


This isn't wrong, but this is as much a criticism of all states, societies, and political systems generally as it is of capitalism specifically. Communism required just as much enforcement, if not more draconian enforcement than you see in modern capitalist states.

One could argue that this was a matter of necessity for communist states against capitalist "elements" or whatever but that doesn't free them from having this same criticism applied to them.

It occurs to me that you may not be a communist per se but some other kind of non soviet type socialist so this criticism may not apply but it's hard for me to imagine what political system you might create that doesnt have enforcement structures within it.

In the end I haven't really effectively attacked some points in part because moral philosophy isn't a strong part of mine to really dissecting the nuances of the rightness or wrongness of certain policies, especially in relation to what is asserted Marx's sense of morality that isn't impotent or purely inhumane.


I'm no expert in moral philosophy either. I generally see most moral statements as just statements about how people feel about things and they usually don't seem all that grounded in anything hard.

But I see your sense of how the severe poverty of the Mexican worker would in some felt sense work out better within an acceptance of capitalism. Which is the expected liberal compromise of ideals and reality, where not unrealistic to do open borders but not so inhumane as to think that the foreigners are without value. But then, also even if did believe in the capacity of socialist revolution and it's aims, would seem afraid of the what conclusions one might come to as necessary to reach such radical ends, afraid of the pain.


It's not so much that I fear the pain of the revolution, it's that I'm not sure that the ideological belief in a certain economic system is possible to actually enact and I don't rate the success as high.

If I believed that via revolution there was a 100% of creating the beutific ideal that the communists claimed they could reach then I'd go for it. However real life examples show that the success rate is rather lower than that and the failed communism can be far worse IMO than the successful capitalism.

Which isn't something so shameful, as I imagine most of us aren't so courageous and are often doctrinaire socialists at best.


Indeed, the irrelevance of political Marxism in the United States is definitely a point in favor of just dealing with capitalism. If such a movement actually took root again I would reconsider, but a political revolution without sufficient supporters is just not going to happen. I generally try to treat marxism equally when doing these ideological debates but in all reality in the west its basically a dead movement right now and not really on the table as far as practical options go.

Haha, our growth is painful and if we really aspire to the greatest ideals of humanity, then we can't get it without doing the heavy lifting.


Oh I definitely think heavy lifting is necessary to moderate the excesses of capitalism.

Though I think a lot of good can be done in a radical sense without so directly a violent approach, but then violence within itself isn't something formally promoted or rejected but put in relation to the circumstances as they're presented. Sometimes violence is the answer, sometimes it's not.

eh, i've mused long enough. Hopefully if you've looked through this, can see some substance to spur some thoughts. It's not so direct, but I think these are pivotal things, deeper issues that underpin the divide. Philosophical matters whilst seemingly distant, are where the real changes occur as they give rise to the conclusions we have and so attacking conclusions is nonsense without trying to disrupt the sense one gives to reality.


I'm all for being challenged in my ideological beliefs. It would be a shame to never be challenged and never actually get a chance to consider your own fundamental beliefs.

(also: finally done! Feel free to only adress relevant points and ignore others because if we keep exponentially responding to one another we are going to crash pofo's database at this rate.)
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All the long-winded talk in this thread misses the central fact.
mikema63 wrote:Ok, lets say its true that economists are lying about the effect of immigration on wages.

We KNOW they are lying, because the empirical experiment has already been done: the Black Death removed 1/4-1/3 of Europe's population in a few years, and the result was that production declined, land rents crashed, but WAGES soared. Increasing the labor force, whether through increased participation rates or immigration, will have the opposite effect: production increases, land rents soar, but wages decline. In fact, TOTAL wages can actually decline even as total production rises: the increase in land rents can exceed the increase in production. This was all demonstrated 140 years ago by Henry George in "Progress and Poverty" -- in fact, it is a clear implication of Ricardo's Law of Rent, which was first enunciated over 200 years ago.
Why should the wage of an american be more important than a poor immigrants chance to escape the extreme poverty that drove them from their home?

Because the US government's job is to secure the rights of its own citizens, not the rights of other countries' citizens.
Purely on moral grounds, assuming everything you assert is true, we should still help people in extreme poverty escape it. With the bonus that we get cheaper goods, an increase in economic growth, and new attitudes in the US improving it's culture.

It's more complicated than that because the increased production all goes to landowners in return for nothing, not the capitalists and workers who contribute to it. This is painfully obvious. Wages have been stagnant for decades, yet landowners have had tens of trillions shoveled into their pockets while contributing exactly nothing.

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