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By froggo
#15168738
All my life I have been informed that capitalism has contradictions within itself that will lead to its inevitable collapse. Marx believed that socialism would follow this and gradually transition to a communist society.

But what if that is not the only possibility?

What if we developed a technology which could consider all macroprudential regulative certainties and some kind of world agreement was reached where everyone abided by this technological system? And it became a system that was forever balancing itself out, because it knew how to not tilt too far one way or too far the other way, and if individual corporate entities failed to abide by the commands of this machine, they would be revoked the privilege to participate in the economic system.

So the mode of production would not be in the hands of workers (ever!) but it would have technological oversight with collective human undersight.
Last edited by froggo on 23 Apr 2021 15:34, edited 1 time in total.
By late
#15168741
froggo wrote:
All my life I have been informed that capitalism has contradictions within itself that will lead to its inevitable collapse. Marx believed that socialism would follow this and gradually transition to a communist society.

But what if that is not the only possibility?

What if we developed a technology which could consider all macroprudential regulative certainties and some kind of world agreement was reached where everyone abided by this technological system? And it became a system that was forever balancing itself out, because it knew how to not tilt too far one way or too far the other way, and if individual corporate entities failed to abide by the commands of this machine, they would be revoked the privilege to participate in the economic system.



As I see it, there are two paths. The minimalist version is to make global agencies, one crisis at a time. For example, a global agency that would regulate carbon.

The alternative is to make the UN (or some new version of it) an actual government, with all the powers (like taxation) that a government has.

This goes against the grain of the way humans think, either way. We naturally have circles of decreasing priority, family, local institutions, nations. By the time you get to humanity, there isn't much left.

It's a great idea. But even if we gave a group the authority to do a global constitutional convention, it would be tricky as hell to pull off.
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By Rancid
#15168742
It's certainly possible. It is also certainly possible that capitalism does not collapse and simply adjusts itself. In fact, this has been the case since the industrial revolution.
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By froggo
#15168744
late wrote:it would be tricky as hell to pull off.

I believe that pulling off a socialist revolution nowadays would be just as tricky as hell ;)

I am just positing that there are alternatives now to the 'inevitability' of communism arising prominently on the world stage.

Some possible ways of which this could come about;
-a gradual consensus in the aftermath of a future major world war.
-the technological aristocracy seizing power in an authoritarian manner and implementing these policies.
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By Wellsy
#15168752
1. http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
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.
...
Willis H. Truitt, in his 2005 book, Marxist Ethics: a short exposition, wittily describes this state of affairs regarding the critical reception of Marx's historical materialism, remarking, “it is odd that the issue of determinism in Marx should be brought up at this late stage of the development of Marxist thought. One might even suspect that all these years of academic anti-Marxist indoctrination which teaches that historical materialism is a deterministic system has worked”108. However, it is an oversimplification to understand Marx's comments about the role of economic laws in shaping the prospects for and likelihood of communism as though they simply, with greater or lesser success, take part in a balancing act between the twin poles of deterministic inevitability and abstract moralistic voluntarism.

What Marx describes when he addresses the way in which economic laws play a role in determining the actions of human beings, are tendencies of members of various social groups to act in circumstances shaped through those laws, and not iron-clad predictions for particular individuals. Howard Sherman, in his 1981 paper, “Marx and Determinism,” puts this point very nicely when he writes:

Marx pointed out that one can find regularities of human behavior, that on the average we do behave in certain predictable ways. This behavior also changes in systematic ways, with predictable trends, in association with changes in our technological and social environments. At a simpler level, the regularities of human behavior are obvious in the fairly constant annual numbers of suicides and divorces (although these also show systematic trends). If humans did not, generally, behave in fairly predictable ways, not only social scientists but also insurance companies would have gone out of business long ago. Any particular individual may make any particular choice, but if we know the social composition of a group, we can predict, in general, what it will do. Thus, on the average, most large owners of stock will vote in favor of preferential tax rates for capital gains; most farmers will favor laws that they believe to be in the interest of farmers109.

As a rule, a capitalist will tend to maximize his profit irrespective of the social repercussions. A bourgeois intellectual will tend to develop theoretical justifications for the continuation of capitalism, often in spite of the glaring social contradictions.

Continuing this point that Marx was no crude determinist or voluntarist, he instead emphasizes the role of social groups in changing the conditions of life and thus changing people whose essence is constituted by their participation within those conditions.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/determinism.htm
Whatever your definition of ‘cause’, human action is not caused. Marx’s aphorism is incontrovertible:
“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” (Marx, 18th Brumaire, 1852)

People “making their own history” means people, in whatever social position they occupy, taking action for reasons which are generally well-founded given the circumstances they find themselves in. The conditions in which you find yourself may mean that there is only one rational thing to do, but you still have to choose to do that, you don’t have to. A defence of free will must also respond to the fact that one’s needs and desires and the concepts by means of which one grasps them are among that which is given and transmitted from the past, but this still does not mean that human action is caused. It is merely subject to constraints.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Article_on_Teleology.pdf
The sociologist Anthony Giddens claimed that the predictability manifested in social life is largely ‘made to happen’ by strategically placed social actors, not in spite of them or ‘behind their backs’. Far from people being driven to do what they do by remote or invisible ‘structural forces’, Giddens showed that “all explanations will involve at least implicit references both to the purposive, reasoning behavior of agents and to its intersection with constraining and enabling features of the social and material contexts” (1984, p. 179). Giddens’ research shows that individuals are generally well aware of the possible consequences of their actions, and are experts in the often lamentable situations in which they find themselves. Sociologists use Game Theory to study the various traps which confront people when are deemed to act as isolated individuals and they do gain certain insights into social problems. However, human society is not an aggregate of isolated atoms, and all manner of collective action from neighborhood solidarity to government action create and change the arrangements within which such ‘rational actors’ act. The situations in which the individuals make their decisions are the products of policy of strategic institutions. The rationality at work in the creation of institutions and customs is not a ‘univocal’ reason, but reflects a diversity of social interests and identities.

Any given social arrangement has an inherent ‘logic’ which constrain the actions of all the particular actors; no-one ‘forces’ any actor to act in a certain way (indeed they would not be actors at all if they were forced), but the social arrangements constrain them in what can be called ‘logical necessity’: “You don’t have to do X, but look at your options. You’d be well advised to do X.” But it does not stop there; people endeavor to change arrangements which do not suit them. Responses to institutional arrangements are a kind of practical critique of the concept on which the institution was based. Institutional arrangements will be changed in response to such critique and the changes decided upon by rational deliberations, however imperfect, will respond to the practical critique explicitly in the form of thinking and argument. Institutional change in modern societies is not like crowd behavior, but takes place according to what is found to be necessary in the circumstances. Institutions try to do what they have to do according to their concept, rather than simply striving to maintain a status quo.

The above speaks of a kind of logical necessity rather than causal necessity, such that history is rational even while humans themselves may behave irrationally at times, even collectively.

2. The idea of how communism comes about has always been a point of having to emerge from the ground up, that one cannot create the conditions fo communism as a bestowment of charity, because those with the power to do as such cannot simply give up that power because for it to be weilded you need the strength to have taken it in the first place or you're still dependent.
To which I have to question what your idea about consensus you're expecting and why a consensus could even be achieved or anything as a consensus tends to have decision making implications and conditions that reflect an existing group belonging or sense of we that could emerge from a group that would establish play a part in establishing condition for communism but as a whole world, that seems to already assume a sense of 'we' that may or may not be achieved within communism itself.
https://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/ported/faculty/upload/Blunden%20review.pdf
Although Blunden does not say so, if we picture the “germ cell” of consensus as he asks us to do,
we can easily see the affinity between consensus decision making and the idea of prefiguration
(11). In the sensory intensity of a consensus meeting, the world outside the meeting pales in
contrast with the people inside, an experience that invites participants to imagine the future they
seek as nothing more than an enlarged repetition of their present actions. Supporters of
prefigurative politics would probably say “nothing less than,” but “nothing more than” seems
more apt: prefiguration collapses the distinction between means and ends, trapping the future in
the present. Seeing the present as an advance image of the future, a prefigurative group (which is
generally also a consensus-based horizontalist group, as Blunden notes [viii, 11]) turns in on
itself—not in the sense that its members do not want to change the external world, but in the
sense that they experience the face-to-face equality of their group as the changed world they are
seeking. Prefiguration is a “what you see is what you (will) get” principle; consensus is a “what
we decide is who we are” practice: it is no surprise that the two tend to go together.

In majority decision making, however, the decision makers tend to turn their attention to the
world outside their meeting room and to the future. Here, again, Blunden’s story of origins helps
us understand how the decision making paradigms function. He notes that majority decision
making arose in groups formed to make decisions about matters like trade rules and craft
apprenticeships, funeral expenses and sick relief (44), and were later adopted by trade unions
interested in organizing a broad membership for collective action in the face of employers’
power. Where membership in horizontalist groups, from SNCC to OWS, has characteristically
been limited to volunteer militants who already share a worldview, membership in groups that
practice majority democracy characteristically carries with it a feeling of having been, as it were,
drafted into the group by one’s circumstances. Guilds and trade unions alike deal with issues that
their members must confront, alone if not together. The members of such groups do not
necessarily share a worldview. What they have in common—what mediates their commitment to
one another—is a concern with certain problems that are happening, or will happen, outside their
meeting room. One consequence of this mediated commitment is that groups like guilds and
unions use majority decision making because it is more conducive to large-scale, inclusive,
collective actions. Blunden writes that majority decision making within trade unions has, “over
generations, managed the conflict between opposing social and political currents,” allowing
union members to “act as one despite often deep political and ideological differences within their
own ranks.” For unions, “nothing is more alien…than the idea that compliance with a strike vote
is a matter of individual conscience. Once the question is put to the vote, [the majority] decides.
Anything else spells the end for a trade union” (111).

To reiterate the utopian character of consensus decision making in changing the world by projecting the present into the future...
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/Virtue%20and%20Utopia.pdf
In fact, the mere posing of socialist society as an end is misconceived. It is not a
question of bringing means and ends into conformity at all, and any attempt to do so can
only lead to a barren utopianism by subordinating our means, that is, our organizing
practices of today, to an absolutely imaginary utopia ‒ a world in which the socialist
ethic has been universalized. In fact, when I do this, what is actually happening is that:

I begin with my spontaneously adopted ethics; I then project them on to a future society, and I then deduce the ethics with which I actually began, but now with the illusory justification that it prefigures our shared end, socialist society.

In other words, it is a fraud. No, the socialist ethic has to be justified in terms of the exigencies of organizing here and now, in the light of the wisdom we have inherited from our shared tradition. ‘Socialist society’ has no determinate content other than the generalization of the socialist ethic. But the socialist ethic is not something for the future: it is now. The means of our activity, including the consciousness of our activists, are in fact elements of the capitalist society of which we are a part and which is the very object which we are trying to change. This is where the identity of means and ends is located, in the subjectivity of the social strata which are thrown into opposition by the development of capitalism itself.

To outline consensus as a mode of collective decision making: https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/collaborative-ethics.htm
Consensus fosters certain duties and virtues which are not fostered by Majority. The ethic of Consensus is above all inclusion. Discussion will continue until every point of view has not just been heard, but taken account of in the proposal. Even laissez faire supports inclusion in that multiple actions are an alternative to pressing on for actual unity. Consensus does not foster solidarity however, because the dissident minority is free to go their own way and is under no obligation to support the majority in their decision.

Consensus expresses respect for others, for the different. Whereas in Majority, the dissident is tolerated, because after all, the collective can always move to a vote. In Consensus, this option is not open; the collective must continue discussing until the dissidents’ point of view has been incorporated. This can lead to intolerance for persistent nonconformity, but at the same time it denotes respect for the different opinion.

I don’t believe that equality is an ethical principle which is relevant to Consensus; different persons are considered incommensurable rather than equal. Abstract decision making by the counting of votes is discounted in favour of exhaustive efforts to find a creative solution to differences.

There is a serious problem with Consensus however, which has ethical implications; this is the paradox of the status quo: if there is no consensus, then the status quo ante is the default decision. Let’s suppose someone can’t hear what is being said in the meeting and proposes that the air conditioning be turned off; if anyone refuses to agree, then the air conditioning stays on. But let’s suppose the complainant had simply turned it off and then left it for someone to propose that it be turned on – it would remain off. Let us suppose that all the employees in a privately owned firm meet with the owner with a view to transforming the firm into a cooperative; everyone agrees except the owner; so, under the paradigm of Consensus, the firm remains in private hands. Clearly social transformation cannot be achieved by Consensus, because participation in a social order is compulsory, and there is no possibility of opting out.

Further, the absence of solidarity in the ethics of Consensus means that it is impossible to accumulate property, and apart from the Quakers, history has confirmed this truth. If you want a leaflet printed or premises for the night, find a trade union or socialist group to help you out.

Rawls and all the discourse ethicists assume that when ethical principles are derived by dialogue between participants they presume that Consensus is the mode of collective decision making to be used. I believe that this is the reason that discourse ethics invariably arrives at liberal conclusions. But Majority is also flawed because of its reliance on the right question being asked. Thus Discourse Ethics inevitably fails in its project at least insofar as it does not explicitly take account of collaborative projects as mediating the relations between individuals.

ANd what change actually occurs within society due to consensus? Because when one thinks of civil rights, John Rawls' liberal theory struggled to properly account for it within his system because the struggles which were waged were illiberal struggles in civil society. Civil rights activists do not find a consensus with white supremists, they're essentially oppoed and Marx would emphasize that there are essential oppositions that can't simply be overcome without clear struggle for one side or the other.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/rawls.pdf
Clearly the Abolitionists and Civil Rights activists resorted to illiberal means and Rawls cannot bend his conception of liberalism to include the use of illiberal means ‒ civil war, non-violent resistance, boycotts, intolerance towards slavery and racism ‒ to overthrow the dominant consensus and institutionalise a new conception of Right. Liberalism is simply a description of a mode of compromise within an established way of life. The fact is that a new consensus was not established through reasoned argument; reasoned argument came into play only once the goal posts had already been moved. In our times, dynamic justice is the norm. That is, it is generally recognised that the series of new claims to recognition and established social practices which will be called into question is indefinite. Rawls’ liberalism solves nothing in this respect.
...
By committing itself to the domain of fact and seeking overlapping consensus by excluding counter-factual appeal to comprehensive doctrines, political liberalism does not just tolerate such practices but must actively place itself in opposition to emancipatory projects of this kind. Contrariwise, all emancipatory struggles are illiberal. That is a fact.


No state can save us and real political power is always the groups in civil society. A politician without a movement to pressure people into support of what they wish to achieve is impotent. Without the public's support, then how can you change things? Politicians don't create movements and often they take the wind out of their sails if a movement identifies with particular politicians in pursuit of their end instead.
And communism may come only from challenges within institutions themselves rather than a state take over with top down directives, because you need cultural change, which a state can be supportive of but isn't the source of.
By B0ycey
#15168764
froggo wrote:All my life I have been informed that capitalism has contradictions within itself that will lead to its inevitable collapse. Marx believed that socialism would follow this and gradually transition to a communist society.

But what if that is not the only possibility?


Well it isn't the only possibility and that's for sure. A government in charge can dictate any outcome it likes. Which is why a democratic government with a mandate which it follows given to it by the electorate in a free fair society has the best chance of working towards Marx's vision I would say.

As for Capitalism, IMHO it will remain until we give up on it because our standard of living has dropped significantly. There are many contradictions that have been played out throughout history and each time it resolves itself one way or another. In other words it corrected itself. So the biggest danger with Capitalism right now is the destruction of the financial market with people unable to pay back debt, high inflation causing mass unemployment or perhaps the end of the Petrodollar due to the reserve currency falling off a cliff. But given the first two at least has occurred in history before and we still have Capitalism, I would say it is going to take a lot for people to demand the end to Capitalism actually. That isn't to say it won't happen, but I wouldn't expect it to happen.

As for the rest of your post, I don't really understand how your technological macroprundancy would work given the aim of capitalism is to make profits which is the cause of an unequal society today. Any regulation body (or technology) which was trying to make investment or production prudent is ignoring that it is abundance that causes profits. This in turn would counter self interest and as such drives down innovation. A system of prudence could work if you organise production in according to need rather than profits. But that is basically how Socialism would work as the government would be the organiser who happen to control the means of production. I don't see how any other economic system could do that. Also, you would never get national consensus for a technology running your economy given people don't trust technology... or more importantly than that the people who program it. I doubt China would trust an American programmer writing a universal economic program the same way America wouldn't trust a Chinese programmer writing it either.
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By froggo
#15168782
it is an oversimplification to understand Marx's comments about the role of economic laws in shaping the prospects for and likelihood of communism

I confess, I may have assumed a will-towards-an-ideal when I heard various Marxists speaking.
I guess Marx's greatest contribution was the way to look at society, and the notion that communism is the end-goal of Marxist thought is false; though communism may historically align itself as an accurate conclusion.

A bourgeois intellectual will tend to develop theoretical justifications for the continuation of capitalism, often in spite of the glaring social contradictions.

Is this a jab at me? :D

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.

Human action is not caused, it is the inevitable result of response or lack of response--- this does not rule out the possibility that humans may entrust machines in managing their affairs one day.

The rationality at work in the creation of institutions and customs is not a ‘univocal’ reason, but reflects a diversity of social interests and identities.
... Institutional arrangements will be changed in response to such critique and the changes decided upon by rational deliberations, however imperfect, will respond to the practical critique explicitly in the form of thinking and argument.

Until people should opt to concede the greatest practical critique comes from a machine which could predict with precision all the variables (I'm still obviously hazy about how the social aspect of humanity could be determined by the machine, but I am sure the deliberate nature of human actors would not be too difficult for an advanced machinery to figure out--- even today we can see how algorithms can create a desired response in human conduct, but I am not positing that in my little scenario the machine will be applied to determine human conduct; it will focus entirely on managerial aspects of an economy.)

that one cannot create the conditions fo communism as a bestowment of charity, because those with the power to do as such cannot simply give up that power because for it to be weilded you need the strength to have taken it in the first place

I know it is unlikely that something which has taken power would give it up, but its also not impossible. I don't see how that argument determines it cannot necessarily be so.

To which I have to question what your idea about consensus you're expecting

I feel bad here, because I think consensus was a bad choice of wording on my part, and you got really into it!

I begin with my spontaneously adopted ethics; I then project them on to a future society, and I then deduce the ethics with which I actually began, but now with the illusory justification that it prefigures our shared end, socialist society.

So this I guess is just confirming that an ideal future is never as certain as a materialist future, but does an ideal get turned into historicity after it's enactment is realized?

No state can save us

In this technological application scenario, the intention is not to save us; I'm not even saying that this scenario is the optimal conclusion; I present it as a plausible unfolding based on where I see technology leading us to.

A politician without a movement to pressure people into support of what they wish to achieve is impotent.

When I earlier stated my suggestion of "a technological aristocracy authoritatively seizing power and implementing this procedure" the primary support this person would have would be 'cult of personality' combined with means and support from the educated elites.

And communism may come only from challenges within institutions themselves

If this technology were to prevail, it seems rational to conclude that the machine's system would challenge itself and gradually leads us towards an advanced state.

b0ycey wrote:I don't really understand how your technological macroprundancy would work given the aim of capitalism is to make profits

Initially the technology would exist within the capitalistic sphere, it would provide room for the corporations to maneuver but it would highly regulate such movements, to determine if too much imbalance were apparent in other sectors removed from that corporate body. The primitive capitalism-for-profit would be replaced by a capitalism-for-profit-balanced-by-social-consciousness (and not a social-consciousness as branding technique, but one that was part of the contract of establishing that corporation)

This in turn would counter self interest and as such drives down innovation.

The corporation could still enrich various people for a time; so long as they were co-operating with the commands of the machine. Innovation could also perhaps be prioritized in the realm of academia, and collegial esteem might drive the innovative force in such a way where wealth-esteem once had.

A system of prudence could work if you organise production in according to need rather than profits. But that is basically how Socialism would work as the government would be the organiser who happen to control the means of production.

I guess you are right here; what's to say that this system would not be socialism?


Also, you would never get national consensus for a technology running your economy given people don't trust technology

Yet. :D

I doubt China would trust an American programmer writing a universal economic program the same way America wouldn't trust a Chinese programmer writing it either.

I believe that this would probably occur when Nationalistic pretensions had diminished. (Perhaps that notion is more Utopian than any notion I have presented here!)
By B0ycey
#15168795
froggo wrote:Initially the technology would exist within the capitalistic sphere, it would provide room for the corporations to maneuver but it would highly regulate such movements, to determine if too much imbalance were apparent in other sectors removed from that corporate body. The primitive capitalism-for-profit would be replaced by a capitalism-for-profit-balanced-by-social-consciousness (and not a social-consciousness as branding technique, but one that was part of the contract of establishing that corporation)


I don't really know how I can explain this better than just pointing out the obvious. Capitalism works by self interest. Any restriction in the market is counterproductive for a Capitalist and as such they call for the free market to be... well free. Regulation is perhaps acceptable for most but what you are calling for is something that would bring despair to the Bourgeois, you are asking them to be prudent! That is take no risk for the benefit of society and as such reduce their profits. That is basically handcuffing the invisible hand to a lead weight, it won't work. Another thing that won't work is humans being rational. People bend twist and break rules now to make money. You think people will follow a computer program to be prudent?

I guess you are right here; what's to say that this system would not be socialism?


Well it can only work under Socialism actually. Once you take out the drive for profits and self interest, production for need is the only outcome given there is no need to mass produce an abundance of shit.
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By froggo
#15168811
BOycey wrote:I don't really know how I can explain this better than just pointing out the obvious. Capitalism works by self interest. Any restriction in the market is counterproductive for a Capitalist and as such they call for the free market to be... well free. Regulation is perhaps acceptable for most but what you are calling for is something that would bring despair to the Bourgeois, you are asking them to be prudent! That is take no risk for the benefit of society and as such reduce their profits. That is basically handcuffing the invisible hand to a lead weight, it won't work. Another thing that won't work is humans being rational. People bend twist and break rules now to make money. You think people will follow a computer program to be prudent?


You're viewing capitalism as a pure principle, or, as-it-is-seen-today. I'm viewing it more as how it would respond to future technological innovation. (capitalism, through technology, transforms itself into something other than itself, hence, not a collapse of capitalism, but a transformation to a new form)
The bourgeoisie brought despair to the aristocracy.
You are right to point out (but this is a minor point, when I am looking at a larger picture) that my scenario does not consider how it would respond to corruption and ethical misconduct. I think it would be hard to determine at this point, because the judicial practices whether they be fascist or discipline-based or taking in an ethos of rehabilitation-oriented goals, could be varied and yet you could still apply the scenario. I feel as though there is a tendency towards more transparency regarding all conduct; so that it seems in the future it might be harder to get away with stuff, but again this isn't really what I am trying to figure out in this thread.
#15169004
Yes. a COLLAPSE is INEVITABLE!

This is because Captalism will inevitably hold on to power too long, and then ACC, aka GW, will cause a collapse.

This collapse will be world wide and likely will end civilization for 100K years.

We were warned many times, and we ignored the warning every time, including "you" ignoring me now. [If 'you' are.]
.
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By Wellsy
#15169815
froggo wrote:I confess, I may have assumed a will-towards-an-ideal when I heard various Marxists speaking.
I guess Marx's greatest contribution was the way to look at society, and the notion that communism is the end-goal of Marxist thought is false; though communism may historically align itself as an accurate conclusion.

Well if you're interested, there is a tension around those that try to present an ideal of what a socialist or communist society would look like based on the present world conditions and conservative force that simply focuses on how we move from our present means closer to such an ideal.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/index.htm
Here is the controversy between two Marxist heavy weight theoreticians, where DeLeon and I think Babel made claims about what a socialist society would look like. Connolly emphasizes that socialism only aims to address the economic problem, but how society struggles to determine how to deal with problems will still be determined within the new economic condition and not strictly determined by the economic base. The economics is the preconditions for certain possibilities but not a particular outcome.

Also I might mention this in the sort of liberal Frankfurt school of communicative theorists about the role of an ideal.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/index.htm
Regulative ideals are the “utopian” images of society which allow us to make sense of ethical propositions. A regulative ideal is the abstract generalisation of an ethic, how the world would be if an ethical principle were to be generalised. Laissez faire, the idyllic village community, the socialist utopia, are examples which demonstrate that regulative ideals need to be used with care. Nevertheless, I believe they have an important place in ethical political struggle.
...
Karl-Otto Apel put it well:
“... ethics seems to be fundamentally distinguished from
utopia in the following manner: ethics, like utopia
commences from an ideal that is distinguished from
existing reality; but it does not anticipate the ideal
through the conception of an empirically possible
alternative or counter-world; rather it views the ideal
merely as a regulative idea, whose approximation to the
conditions of reality - e.g. discourse consensus formation
under the conditions of strategic self-assertion - can
indeed be striven for but never completely assumed to be
realizable.”
“... the most basic connection between ethics and utopia -
and that also means, between reason and utopia ... is
evidently one that is embedded in the “condition
humaine” as unavoidable. Human beings, as linguistic
beings who must share meaning and truth with fellow
beings in order to be able to think in a valid form, must at
all times anticipate counterfactually an ideal form of
communication and hence of social interaction. This
“assumption” is constitutive for the institution of
argumentative discourse;” [Karl-Otto Apel: Is Ethics of
the Ideal Communication Community a Utopia? ... in The
Communicative Ethics Controversy, ed. Benhabib and
Dallmayr]
In other words, the regulative ideals by means of which a person organises their norms and values ought not to be taken as a future state of the world at which history must one day arrive. One can be a Christian without believing in the Second Coming, a Communist without believing in a future world lacking in all social conflict and a liberal without believing in the end of history - that is in fact precisely what it means to be an “ethical Christian,” an “ethical communist” or an “ethical liberal.”


Is this a jab at me? :D

No, that section is a point against a strict economic determinism in people's ideological beliefs but defending that there is a trend or tendency for people to conform to certain outlooks based on their position in society and thus experiences of it. But it's not possible for someones class position to not really be synonymous with their political outlook and actions. I mean there is a shit tendency to simply dismiss someone because of their clas position or to assert the class character of their ideas but not actually illustrating the social basis of such ideas. So Marxists should avoid such tendencies as its more a way of shutting down discussing amidst power struggles.

Human action is not caused, it is the inevitable result of response or lack of response--- this does not rule out the possibility that humans may entrust machines in managing their affairs one day.

Machines might be able to streamline the efficiency in running things but I would put a qualifier that I don't think machines are going to be ones to form the judgements necessary in dictating how we change the condition of our society. Basically they are part of that economic precondition in the functioning of our everyday lives, but they won't be the political force of people.
It'd be a long time until machines may even be competent of such judgements and I have a resistant tendency to such cybernetics.
I infact find appeal in Ilyenkov's struggle against cybernetics in the USSR where he asserts that machines as followers of formal logic, cannot adequately deal with contradiction and such an ordering of life would be destructive.
http://libelli.ru/works/idols/2.htm
He presents it in the form of a story.
For a summary: https://www.radicalphilosophy.com/article/the-philosophical-disability-of-reason
In fact, this disjunction between input and output, as generating incomputable infinities within the network, was already revealed by Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts in the early 1940s. When trying to deduce ‘how we know what we know’, they suggested getting information about the inside of the brain in order to emulate the neural diagram of how perception evolves. As Slava Gerovich relates, McCulloch and Pitts constructed for this an artificial neural network that could represent logical function, and where, conversely, any logical function could be translated into a neural network. By this they wanted to prove that knowledge has a neural construction and that any logical function can be implemented in formal neural networks. In a nutshell, they sought to deduce the brain’s input, the ‘black box’ (the imprint of facts about external world inside the brain), from its outputs (our perception). Yet, the epistemological ambition of their project failed. As Gerovich writes, McCulloch and Pitts were thus forced to acknowledge that ‘from the perceptions retrieved from one’s memory, it was not possible to deduce the “facts” that caused those perception’. 18 Nonetheless, McCulloch and Pitts continued to deny this failure. Instead, they simply contended that ‘the limitations of their formal model of the brain confirmed fundamental limitations of our knowledge of the world’. Meanwhile the only discovery obtained through the experiment was that ‘even if we cannot know the world, the nervous system can at least compute infinite numbers as a universal logical machine’. 19
...
Similarly, in The Mystery of Black Box, 33 a pamphlet published in 1968, Ilyenkov created a technocratic dystopia in which there is a total supercession of reason and thought by machinic intelligence. The text is readable as seeking to reveal those parameters of dialectical logic that cannot be hijacked by algorithmic ratiocination. The Mystery of Black Box touches, in this way, upon some of the most crucial issues which are at stake today, I would argue, in the inquiry concerning what reason is. What are those components of human reason that cannot be emulated by any machinic intelligence? Is machinic intelligence able to become a sovereign autonomous autopoetic Subject, the epistemic nature of which is different from the human mode of speculation, or does it remain a complement of human reason? In other words, precisely those questions that Negarestani and Parisi claim to answer in their recent texts.
In the story told in Ilyenkov’s 1968 pamphlet, a cybernetic scholar Adam Adamich decides that the human brain possesses no essential differences from machinic computation. Being sure that a machine has more chances to augment its intelligence than the very slowly developing mind of man, he invents an artificial intelligence intended to accelerate thinking processes. It emulates thinking more efficiently than the human brain. All those arguments about the qualitative difference of human intelligence from machinic intelligence, as represented by such categories as reason, will, the ideal or the sublime, are rejected by Adam Adamich as so much obsolete mythology; a mythology which was once mistaken for philosophy. The machine of augmented intelligence created by the scholar gradually proliferates into a broader neural system, allowing each machine to acquire the capacity to autonomously implement self-learning and self-improvement.

A problem however arises when one of the most advanced machines – ‘a thinking ear’ – reaches its ultimate goal: it ‘learns’ to hear everything on the planet; but since there are no sounds in the cosmos, its further perfection becomes unnecessary, whereas the algorithm of amelioration inscribed in its coding incessantly instigates the machine to develop further. This situation creates a contradiction: perfection is an unending capacity of an artificial intelligence, but there is no need in it. Eventually, in order to resolve such contradiction, the neural system establishes the authority of a ‘Black Box’: a meta-intelligence machine, which simply neutralises all contradictions, and in which all excessive data can vanish when not needed. Thus, when any other machine starts glitching because of contradiction, the Black Box immediately neutralises the problem. The Black Box becomes, in other words, a device to ingress and devour the excesses of algorithms and data that were not logically necessary, but that had to proliferate as a consequence of the infinite capacity of algorithmic outputs – quite similar, that is, to the incomputable as described by Parisi.

In The Mystery of Black Box, ultimately, the inventor of the system, Adam Adamich, is blamed for excessive thinking; the machines decapitate him and substitute his head with a device for data memorising. The didactic conclusion is that the perfection of computation has been reached, but the infinity of production that was inscribed in the machine became unnecessary. So, paradoxically, infinity, when it stops being a category of thinking and dialectics, and is regarded as a mere flow of data, cannot manifest its true nature, which should be dialectical and contradictory. In the search for the guaranteed limit to infinity, machines reach the condition of the absolute end of thought, which coincides with the permanent blankness of the Black Box.

Despite the fact that The Mystery of Black Box was written in the late 1960s in the very different context of Soviet academia, the principal technical remedies in the augmentation of mind that it features are actually very similar to those found in current theories of computation. These might be summarised as follows:

1. A capacity for self-perfection, acceleration and self–learning by the machine.

2. The discrete character of algorithmic tasks and the eviction of any blurred, contradictory inputs, which might block the output.

3. The infinity of those discrete data.

4. The total division of activities and hence of labour, as a consequence of the extreme discreteness of algorithmisation.

5. The autonomy and autopoeisis of machinic intelligence.

While doubt and contradiction (or the ‘disability of philosophy’) diminish the efficiency of reason and make it powerless in post-philosophical theories of mind or of the brain, for Ilyenkov it is precisely these traits that construct thought. The mind’s ‘disability’ is inscribed into the mind’s ability. This disability is surpassed not by means of an augmented storage of knowledge or of cognised data and thought’s functionality. Rather, it is an awareness of the disability of human reason in its treatment of the contradictions of reality that is able to redeem such disability. Moreover, thought’s inevitable disability, perishability and its bond with human neoteny – that is, the retention of protective capacities for surviving in natural environments, as a condition in which the existence of the human species is grounded – does not contradict its quest for the Absolute. 34

As Ilyenkov often repeats, philosophical and dialectical phenomena are spiral-like or snowball-like – constantly on the move and hence indiscrete as selves. The common good, labour, reason or culture are, as such, not autopoetic, but realise themselves as ‘other-determined non-selves’. Autopoiesis implies that the organism remains the self, even in the surrounding of an environmental outside and in exchange with it, whereas the above-listed phenomena – common good, labour, reason, culture – presuppose one’s positing as non-selves. ’The other self’ in this case is not simply an outside of the self, but the formative principle of the self as of the non-self, of non-identity. From this perspective, it is impossible to algorithmicise thought, since thinking is not confined to the moves in a neural network, or within the brain alone, but evolves externally including the body with its senses, its involvement in activity, engagement in sociality, and other human beings of all generations and locations. Consequently, if one were to emulate an artificial intelligence or thought digitally, one would have to create an entire machinic civilisation (one that would, additionally, be completely autonomous and independent from the human one). 35 At the same time, the very idea of programing a human consciousness or a thought as input is unimplementable, since there is not a single moment when a human being and her reason would have a stable and discrete programmatic interface that could be used as an input. As Ilyenkov argues, if there is any function of thought, it is in surpassing that function. As such, even if computation inscribes within itself the incomputable as its autopoetic potentiality, it would not be able to pre-empt the concrete paths for dealing with contradiction, as the requirement of algorithmic logic is in either solving or neutralising the paradox, rather than in extrapolating it. 36 As Boris Groys puts it, the sovereignty of thinking procedure is possible only when it is defunctionalised and miscommunicated. Moreover, a truly interesting (artistic) computer would be the one that ‘always produces the same result – for example zero – for any and all computations, or that always produces different results for the same computational process’. 37

Until people should opt to concede the greatest practical critique comes from a machine which could predict with precision all the variables (I'm still obviously hazy about how the social aspect of humanity could be determined by the machine, but I am sure the deliberate nature of human actors would not be too difficult for an advanced machinery to figure out--- even today we can see how algorithms can create a desired response in human conduct, but I am not positing that in my little scenario the machine will be applied to determine human conduct; it will focus entirely on managerial aspects of an economy.)

I am skeptical of a machines ability to determine all variables, seems like a wish for a kind of practical God with absolute knowledge. I of course would reiterate the above on ideas of the ability of machines and what I think is often a lack of attention to the specific qualities of human thinking in it's social totality, rather than simply confining human thinking to the procedures of latest technology as has been true in psychology for some time to conflate the tools of psychology with the structure of consciousness.
I am also suspect of the attempt fo the centralized dictation of the economy in that I think there is a strength in markets sort of anarchistic chaos and decentralized approach that must be taken advantage of but on the grounds of not value but ethics.
The ability to predict such an elaborate and complex system of society is dubious, in part because of the human actors involved. But such a predictive certainty should not be the goal.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/help/value.htm
Anyone genuinely familiar with Marx's critique of political economy will know how powerful is his analysis of commodity production and the labour theory of value which is at the heart of that analysis and the many great insights that this analysis has given us about the essential nature and historical trajectory of capitalism. However, whatever the claims, I do not know of a single Marxist who can claim, hand on heart, that they have done better than a capitalist think-tank in predicting the ups and downs of capitalism in the short or long term. And complexity economics shows how desperately inadequate bourgeois economics remains.

The "labour theory of value" disappears with value itself, as soon as people stop exchanging commodities. We do not need a new theory of value. We will demonstrate our values when we can decide how to spend our time and the sooner we can decide what to do with our own time, the better. So long as we still want something in exchange, so long are we enslaved. So long as we have to spend out time doing one thing in order to get something else in exchange, so long are we enslaved.


I know it is unlikely that something which has taken power would give it up, but its also not impossible. I don't see how that argument determines it cannot necessarily be so.

Because you can't make someone less dependent on you in trying to free them, ultimately the best you can do is support their independence. If I continue to make decisions for my child and don't give them the space to do things on their own and be increasingly independent, then my actions do not create the change needed.
Your point would be a kind of charity rather than solidarity in which people are assisted in their struggles, how does one dismantle ones self? This seems a practical impossibility to me.
For power to be given up there must be someone for which the power is being taken. Like a leader under threat who must peacefully remove themselves but they can't simply go, power to the people, I dissolve my office and things just work.


I feel bad here, because I think consensus was a bad choice of wording on my part, and you got really into it!

Consensus decision making is quite influential and must be considered in how it is implicated in the future of te political landscape.

So this I guess is just confirming that an ideal future is never as certain as a materialist future, but does an ideal get turned into historicity after it's enactment is realized?

Indeed, ideals motivte people who then objectify those ideals in the changes and practices which they institutionalize. The ideal becomes material.
This might help in providing a simple example of how a problem becomes identified such as racism or sexism which then posits the ideal of a society without it, and is sought through things like anti-sexism legislation or what ever the movement wants to actualize in society.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/concepts-activity.htm
I am avoiding a discussion of Hegel's connection of the universal, particular and individual in being moments or parts of a concept which aren't identical but interconnected.
But basically an example would be the universal is unionism, the particular is the existing social practices such as a particular teachers union in the US, and the individual being the union member. Universals are the realization of the particular social practices but are impossible unless enacted by a collection of individuals.

In this technological application scenario, the intention is not to save us; I'm not even saying that this scenario is the optimal conclusion; I present it as a plausible unfolding based on where I see technology leading us to.

I am less optimistic about the ability of technology to be the primary factor in the organizing of society. I guess I see it as a possible precondition for certain things but mostly in the productive capacity to meet people's basic needs efficiently as organized by people. Because machines are fast but they're really stupid. An analogy being how easy it can be for a machine to fuck up a task like making a sandwich unless you outline in great detail everything it needs to do and the contingencies it has to adapt to.

When I earlier stated my suggestion of "a technological aristocracy authoritatively seizing power and implementing this procedure" the primary support this person would have would be 'cult of personality' combined with means and support from the educated elites.

Might that be like China with its politburo of engineers?

If this technology were to prevail, it seems rational to conclude that the machine's system would challenge itself and gradually leads us towards an advanced state.

A self-perfecting system?

Initially the technology would exist within the capitalistic sphere, it would provide room for the corporations to maneuver but it would highly regulate such movements, to determine if too much imbalance were apparent in other sectors removed from that corporate body. The primitive capitalism-for-profit would be replaced by a capitalism-for-profit-balanced-by-social-consciousness (and not a social-consciousness as branding technique, but one that was part of the contract of establishing that corporation)

Yeah this sounds like the USSR dream of the proper regulation of the capitalist economy but I think is a fetishism of economics rather than an effort to fundamentally challenge the qualitative nature of markets in which exchange value dominates over use value.
This is basically a social democratic platform really, and it basically denies the inherent contradictions in capitalism, calling jut for enough regulation that it has a human face missing Marx's point of how the gap between use values and exchange values is a fundamental contradiction which develops into the larger problems that underpin the repeating capitalist crises.
We're of different minds.
The corporation could still enrich various people for a time; so long as they were co-operating with the commands of the machine. Innovation could also perhaps be prioritized in the realm of academia, and collegial esteem might drive the innovative force in such a way where wealth-esteem once had.

You might like the thunderhead scifi book of benevolent AI.
Not sure why corporations would submit to anything which interferes with trade and profit.
#15169838
froggo wrote:All my life I have been informed that capitalism has contradictions within itself that will lead to its inevitable collapse. Marx believed that socialism would follow this and gradually transition to a communist society.

But what if that is not the only possibility?


It's not, and Marx considered many types of data, without really prescribing a very specific program, so many kinds of "communism" would be possible. The only central idea is that "production" is completely centered on the common good, and making sure everyone gets enough resources and does enough work. That's it. Many systems have modeled themselves as "Marxist" with very different institutions.

What if we developed a technology which could consider all macroprudential regulative certainties and some kind of world agreement was reached where everyone abided by this technological system?

A technology wouldn't be necessary. A state could just summon all its citizens to participate in a constructive way in formulating public policy for the public good.

Thinking that "a tech will save us" is how we got nowhere with all our gadgets and chemicals we already have. What might save us would be better community organizing and far less consumption and waste.

I agree with the problem you state, but disagree that a tech is the answer (again).

(And thanks to Wellsy for all the text support for this thread)
User avatar
By Julian658
#15169855
froggo wrote:All my life I have been informed that capitalism has contradictions within itself that will lead to its inevitable collapse. Marx believed that socialism would follow this and gradually transition to a communist society.

But what if that is not the only possibility?

What if we developed a technology which could consider all macroprudential regulative certainties and some kind of world agreement was reached where everyone abided by this technological system? And it became a system that was forever balancing itself out, because it knew how to not tilt too far one way or too far the other way, and if individual corporate entities failed to abide by the commands of this machine, they would be revoked the privilege to participate in the economic system.

So the mode of production would not be in the hands of workers (ever!) but it would have technological oversight with collective human undersight.


I have been telling the socialists for a very long time that the natural culmination of capitalism is socialism. We can observe how this is happening if we pay attention. Once a nation becomes wealthy there is a natural tendency to fund social programs and UBI. Sure , that is not socialism, but it is a start.

We can also observe how technology becomes cheaper over time. The first cell phone the Motorola DynaTAC was priced at $3,995 in 1984, its commercial release year, equivalent to $9,831 in 2019. Today you can get a better mobile phone for free if you get a basic plan. Most homeless people have free cell phones. In less than 40 years what was only available to the elite is now available to poor people due to technology.

Technology plus the ability of capitalism to create wealth should lead to socialism once the wealth becomes redundant. In fact for many billionaires the wealth is already redundant and they plan to only keep 5% of what they made. Bill gates is the most important socialist in the world. He puts his money where his mouth is meanwhile the average socialist contributes nothing.

Bill and Melinda Gates have given $45.5 billion to charitable causes, including the eponymously named Bill & Melinda Gates


Buffet and Bezos also have redundant wealth. When the wealth of the world becomes redundant then the poor will get everything they ever dreamed about and they will not have to work. However, there is a good chance this may lead into a bizarre dystopic world where the average person has NOTHING to do.
Last edited by Julian658 on 29 Apr 2021 02:32, edited 1 time in total.
#15169908
Julian658 wrote:Once a nation becomes wealthy there is a natural tendency to fund social programs and UBI.

The USA "became wealthy" in the 18h Century. But rather than "introducing social programs," it just imported mercenaries and genocided its way to the Pacific Ocean.

And in the 20th century when it became "the wealthiest society on earth," the USA started killing its social leaders, which is the opposite of "introducing social programs."

So this "social program introduction" thing that you mention doesn't seem to be "automatic." The Rich can foment and harnass "public racism and other hate" to increase their fortunes instead.

► Show Spoiler
User avatar
By Julian658
#15169911
QatzelOk wrote:The USA "became wealthy" in the 18h Century. But rather than "introducing social programs," it just imported mercenaries and genocided its way to the Pacific Ocean.

And in the 20th century when it became "the wealthiest society on earth," the USA started killing its social leaders, which is the opposite of "introducing social programs."

So this "social program introduction" thing that you mention doesn't seem to be "automatic." The Rich can foment and harnass "public racism and other hate" to increase their fortunes instead.

► Show Spoiler


You are correct! It is a slow process. MAN is a barbaric beast, but things have improved and will continue to get better. I know you are inpatient , no worries.

You still judge the past with present day views. That is a prescription for bitterness and resentment.

pres·ent·ism
/ˈprezenˌtizəm/
noun
uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts.

Definitions from Oxford Languages
#15169915
Julian658 wrote:You still judge the past with present day views.

Not at all.

But you have posited that "a natural process towards social programs" is part of a rich nation's evolution, and yet this doesn't seem to be the case with the USA historically.

Do we have to *erase all knowledge of history* for your theory to be credible? :lol:
User avatar
By Julian658
#15170049
QatzelOk wrote:Not at all.

But you have posited that "a natural process towards social programs" is part of a rich nation's evolution, and yet this doesn't seem to be the case with the USA historically.

Do we have to *erase all knowledge of history* for your theory to be credible? :lol:

History needs to be interpreted in context. Imagine that you are judging your grand mother as a young woman with today's viewpoint.
The natural progression is favorable to you. As capitalism reaches a point of redundant wealth you will get your share.
Last edited by Julian658 on 30 Apr 2021 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
#15170076
Julian658 wrote:History needs to be interpreted in context.

The context was pretty grim if you know why most immigrants came to the USA. And it gets grimmer when you find out what they were asked to do to make a living.

And that these "European Christians" basically lived off genocide and pillaging almost up the present - provides the missing context of our empty historical memory.

Imagine that you are judging your grand mother as a young women with today's viewpoint.
The natural progression is favorable to you. As capitalism reaches a point of redundant wealth you will get your share.

My grandmother had more free time, and a more independent mind than my parents or my own generation. My generation, and even moreso the current ones, work all day and buy things all weekend and have very undeveloped human interaction skills. "Today's values" means very little as a way of justifying the deterioration of human societies.

And what do you mean by "today's viewpoint?" That we should consider today's trends "the best values ever?" I don't, and am acutally more interested in judging social behavior from all periods using universal values. That's why the genocides of the First Nations, for me, guaranteed that whatever "state" arose would be a Nazi-like one with a fake history and plastic commercial culture.
User avatar
By Julian658
#15170087
QatzelOk wrote:The context was pretty grim if you know why most immigrants came to the USA. And it gets grimmer when you find out what they were asked to do to make a living.

And that these "European Christians" basically lived off genocide and pillaging almost up the present - provides the missing context of our empty historical memory.

Perennial grievance and resentment is not advisable. It is like personally taking poison and expecting your enemy to die. The truth is that the people that did those things no longer exist and you were not around that era. In 1800 more than 97% of the population was poor and that includes most white people. Your grievance is directed to the top echelon and fail to realize most white people were quite average and poor.

You are judging average white people on the basis of the actions or achievements of a tiny minority It is like a feminists saying: "Among the top 20 CEOS there is only a woman, how unfair is that." It sounds great on paper but is all BS. The chance of an average man to earn more than 50 million a year as a CEO is as low as that of an average female. The average man should not be judged on the basis of the 20 top CEOs.

My grandmother had more free time, and a more independent mind than my parents or my own generation. My generation, and even moreso the current ones, work all day and buy things all weekend and have very undeveloped human interaction skills. "Today's values" means very little as a way of justifying the deterioration of human societies.


That is your perception and your perception may not be reality. The average number of hours worked per week has been declining over time.

Image
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annu ... per-worker


And what do you mean by "today's viewpoint?" That we should consider today's trends "the best values ever?" I don't, and am actutally more interested in judging social behavior from all periods using universal values. That's why the genocides of the First Nations, for me, guaranteed that whatever "state" arose would be a Nazi-like one with a fake history and plastic commercial culture.


OK, it was wrong, but you should include the context. This is not a white thing. All humans from all parts of the world were barbaric and that includes the Africans, Asians, Islamists, Inca Empire, etc. BTW, no one had more tribal warfare than Africa. In fact it continues today.
Last edited by Julian658 on 30 Apr 2021 16:56, edited 1 time in total.

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