Potemkin wrote:Why should Marxism be any different?
Pragmatically speaking, Einstein's theories could be tested. Pretty much all construction depends on geometry. It's also tested. When you implement Marxist ideas, they typically produce a lot of violence and end in poor economic performance. Both Jeffersonian and Marxist thought depend on equality--political/legal or economic. These are also assumptions, which fail in reality.
Cartertonian wrote:Rather, I'm observing that whilst any 'model' - scientific and/or philosophical/political requires the acceptance of certain assumptions, it is not uncommon for models and the theories upon which they are based to subsequently be found to have been established on incorrect or incomplete assumptions.
That's indeed the case. Personally, I think it must always be the case, because even the tool set we use -- Mathematics -- contains expressions that cannot be proven or disproven. Hence, we take a lot on faith + pragmatism. Does it work? Does it have utility?
Cartertonian wrote:Can't comment on Euclid, but I think a lot of Einstein's work is going to prove ultimately to have been 'wrong' - or at least not entirely correct. That doesn't 'invalidate' Einstein either, because physics and cosmology wouldn't have got where it is today without his seminal genius, so when some future physicist dismantles Relativity, no-one is going to point a finger at Einstein and accuse him of deceit.
That's true of Isaac Newton too. His work was a great leap over the Ptolemaic system, which was good enough for agricultural civilization, but certainly not for space travel. Newton didn't accurately account for precession, but his understanding of it gave him a huge advantage over his predecessors.
Cartertonian wrote:As I intimated in the OP - perhaps too softly - there is much about Marxist philosophy that I like and admire, but then they go and spoil it all by insisting that there has to be violence and bloody revolution to achieve their goals.
There is a huge disconnect between the analysis of economies and the proposed remedies. For example, you could try out Marxism on a much smaller scale to address obesity. Simply give people only as much food as they need for survival. People who propose democratic socialism believe it would work, but I think political will would collapse almost immediately. Hence, Marxism does require extreme violence for even smaller scale projects in the absence of political agreement.
Heisenberg wrote:This isn't out of some inherent love for "violence and bloody revolution". It's out of a recognition that the current ruling class will not accept changes of the magnitude advocated by Marxists without violent resistance.
Democratic ruling classes depend much on the consent of the governed, which is why they are so afraid of people like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, etc. The ruling class could hold out on small fronts by violence alone, but not for very long without abandoning democracy as a whole. That's why 1/6 is so terrifying to the establishment. However, what Marxists propose typically doesn't have the mass popularity that is required to have people willingly accept their proscriptions. Even our current establishment is facing that prospect. How is all the effort at censorship in the US different from that of Venezuela for example? They are censoring dissent, because they are politically weak. Imagine a utopia of no fat people, as jimjam does. Do you think fat people would willingly go along with government-imposed caloric restriction?
late wrote:Marxism has never happened.
That's what makes it more of a religion than anything else.
Cartertonian wrote:one can just as readily contextualise the present as offering more opportunity than was afforded Marx et al to effect changes without recourse to violent imposition of change.
This is exactly why most Western societies reject Marx. Keep in mind, Marx was writing at the time of the revolutions of 1848 and even into America's Civil War. There were still such things as famines in those days--not so long ago. Now, if you want to see hunger, you're looking at societies that adopt Marxist ideas, like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, etc. So I don't think there is anything like an existential drive for Marxism in most modern societies, fueled by hunger. The American revolution was noted for "Give me liberty, or give me death." In 1848, it was "Give me food or give me death." It's why I say we need to rethink these issues. Like if you isolate rats, give them all the food and drink they need, and an opioid, they invariably become addicts. If you resocialize them, most then avoid the opioid. Marx dealt in strict abstractions, which often omit natural drives leaving you with a clean tidy model that bears a small relationship to the real world, and when applied often produces counterintuitive results. Opioid addicts have enough money to survive. They have enough money for opium! Yet, much of the homeless population is drug addicted or mentally ill. Do we then have to fit the opium merchant as the "oppressor" and the addict as the "oppressed"?
Since I'm dealing with computers all day long, this is why I think identifying inequality and necessarily assuming all inequalities are bad is problematic.
Potemkin wrote:Why do you think the American Civil War happened? The Confederacy should just have accepted that the slave-based mode of production was historically outmoded, and surrendered to the Union. Did they do that? No. If you want progress, you must be prepared to fight to the death for it. QED.
Today we talk of "gun buybacks." The government could have used eminent domain to purchase slaves and then emancipate them. However, they did not want to compensate slave holders. There was a peaceful solution. They chose violence.
Potemkin wrote:Empirical reality? No matter how many times we measure the speed of light in a vacuum relative to any number of inertial observers, we can never be certain that the speed of light is always and everywhere a universal constant for all observers.
Indeed. Also, the speed of light is much slower in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Neither Bose nor Einstein lived to see that, but it's quite a phenomenon.
Heisenberg wrote:This is the thing, though. For all that Marxism is derided as being the dogmatic adherence to the writings of one man - it isn't that at all. The most obvious thing Marx was wrong about is that he thought that socialist revolution would start in the First World, because capitalism was most developed there. Later analysis - based on the actual hard experience of the Russian revolution, Chinese revolution and various anticolonial struggles - demonstrated that the Third World is the primary source of revolutionary potential, and the Marxist framework has been adapted to take account of that.
Exactly. That's why it crops up in places like Venezuela from people on the outskirts who are poor and desperate. Yet, Marxism can take a resource rich country like Venezuela and make it poor.
Heisenberg wrote: It seems to me that there is a long held belief in Britain that ideology is something they do on the continent, whereas we're small-c conservatives who just "figure out what works".
Well, Britain avoided a French Revolution and 1848 as well. It lost most of North America to the American Revolution, but it was not to result in a loss of trade. So Britain was already much more pragmatic than the continent.
Heisenberg wrote:Almost immediately after decolonisation, socialist nation-building projects in the Third World came under constant economic (and often military) attack from the First World powers.
After "Marxism has never been tried", this is the other main excuse for the failure of Marxism.
B0ycey wrote: I just don't see how the Bourgeois can expect to keep their ivory towers in a world of social media and education if the proletariat are struggling to feed their families and they will demand change via the ballot box very much like how Labor got into power in 1945 despite Churchill winning the War as they had a better plan to build Britain post WW2
They ejected Trump from the White House even though he gained 12M votes, didn't they? They are quite crafty at remaining in power. It's the one thing they are good at.
Tainari88 wrote:What I think is a potential bloodbath between classes in the future is that right now in the USA they are introducing in Georgia and other states voting machines that are wired to not count votes from districts that are full of people that the far right doesn't approve of.
Which, of course, isn't happening at all. In fact, Colorado's election laws are stricter than the new ones in Georgia.
The bigger potential for trouble is when they take away the stimulus money. Look at the recent jobs report. They expected many, many more jobs than they got. GDP is booming. So why a weak jobs report? People are being paid not to work; that is, they will have less income if they go to work than if they remain on the covid-enhanced unemployment benefits and stimulus.
wat0n wrote:It would seem to me many of those assumptions were way too restrictive or simply proven false by later developments.
Right. Marx was applicable to early industrialism. Why people fear war now is because of progress. Interchangeable parts weren't a big deal yet in 1848, but Eli Whitney popularized it and demonstrated that utility by building weapons en masse. Then, Ford's assembly line lead to mass production and gluts of goods.
Rich wrote:This is important because Marxist's are constantly blaming every ill, real or imagined on capitalism. As if to reject Marxist terrorist rule we must take responsibly for the limitations of reality. Christians, Muslims and most recently Lockdown Liberals try to pull a similar trick. If you don't immediately give up every freedom, every liberty, every right and control over your own body, every ounce of power, every vestige of dignity you are responsible for every death, for every sickness in the world.
This is why Marxism goes hand-in-hand with totalitarianism. It has to. It's embedded in the DNA of Marxism.
Potemkin wrote:Marxism is, in fact, a social science (Marx is now regarded as one of the founders of social science), and as such its axioms do not have the same logical status as the axioms of a physical science or of a mathematical system. Instead, its axioms are and must be subject to revision in the light of empirical evidence, just as with any other social science; or indeed any other economic theory.
Indeed. If you dump the normative nature of Marx and deal with strict positive analysis and empirical observation, you end up with microeconomics, macroeconomics, sociology and organizational behavior. That's why it's easy to see why we had bad jobs numbers--unemployment benefits + stimulus money is > wages. So why go to work?
Pants-of-dog wrote:Discussing slow progressive changes by trade unions is far less sexy. But it is still the same dynamic: capitalism creates a situation where the rich can exploit the poor and the poor organise to stop the rich.
Again, that gets us down to assumptions. Rich = bad. Poor = good. Trade unions have problems too. First, in the United States, labor unions have a reputation for involvement in organized crime. Second, labor unions tend toward wage maximization in the same way monopolies tend toward profit maximization. This makes unionized firms vulnerable to competitors who re-invest profits in research and development. It also makes them less attractive to investors.
This happened in early street car systems. Leftists blame it all on GM and Firestone. However, the Key System in the Bay Area where I live collapsed largely because labor unions maximized wages and created a huge deferred maintenance problem, resulting in reduced ridership as a result of safety fears, finally bankrupting the firm. If you go bankrupt as a monopoly, you've seriously fucked something up. As I've noted before, I have a high school friend with a masters degree in psychology who works for BART--the successor to the Key System but built from scratch--and makes well into six figures emptying garbage cans and cleaning up bath rooms, and will retire at 55 years of age with a pension paying him a six figure income into his retirement. It's not hard to figure out why that sort of "progress" causes significant problems. In a system with competition, such practices lead to instant bankruptcy. Only government jobs can pay like that, and rely on tax payer subsidies and a monopoly. Yet, we saw so many light rail systems in the US torn up, because of labor unions.
Pants-of-dog wrote:The rich exploited the poor since the beginning of economics. Capitalism started in the 1600s in Amsterdam, I believe.
Yes, but this rings of "rich = exploiter = bad." How do you square that with someone like Bill Gates? Microsoft had to pay high wages. Programmers are not cheap, and generally are not poor. You make the assumption that being rich is necessarily about exploitation.
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