A question for our Marxists - Page 20 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15177229
ckaihatsu wrote:Well, it doesn't. This other paper you just introduced isn't the data that I was referring to, so it's apples-and-oranges.


How so? It includes returns of financial assets (and others too).

ckaihatsu wrote:I have to backtrack, since the stock market isn't *profits*, exactly -- here's research done on the *rate of profit* itself:


Even that doesn't show a permanent downward trend, but a leveling off at a given rate. This is in line with longer series such as the ones in this paper:

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/d ... 1&type=pdf

Also, note how the starting point matters a lot to be able to claim there is a decreasing trend - if you start at a time where they were abnormally high, of course you will have a decreasing trend at the beginning of the series. And you can surely bet the postwar recovery was abnormal.

ckaihatsu wrote:Revolutionaries like myself point out that the entire capitalist *system* creates inequality, so there's no hope of "gradually" doing a redistribution under capitalism itself. Ditto for the ongoing *income inequality* -- the entire system needs to be overthrown so that the working class can best-determine how to produce for all of society.


How do you explain then that capitalist economies have large variation in their income inequality?

ckaihatsu wrote:No, you're forgetting that there can be a *democratic* process underneath, so that managers are directly accountable to the electorate, and can be instantly recallable at any moment.

Customization doesn't require the private sector -- case management can be done by a Universal Basic Services approach.

I'll remind that profits is a *cost* to funding, so it's more cost-effective for public funding to *not* have to pay the tacked-on cost of profits to private concerns -- such are often considered a 'bribe' of sorts, since the means of production happen to currently be under such private control.


As if that stopped political clientelism to surface in Latin American countries :lol:

Venezuela for instance has recall elections in its current Constitution (from 1999) but that didn't stop PDVSA from going down the drain.

And using price controls as an example of government customization is at least strange, and in any event they often cause more problems than they solve.

ckaihatsu wrote:Yes, you're incorrect, because government deficit spending (Keynesianism), for *supply-side* causes, is *unjustifiable* since such 'trickle-down' economic theory has long since been disproven as effective:


Keynesianism isn't trickle-down :roll:

In fact, counter-cyclical policy has little to do with trickle-down at all.

ckaihatsu wrote:They *vary*, and can be quite considerable depending on how little is paid to the actual *producers* of the commodity being sold -- the more *labor exploitation*, the larger the retail markup. Apple comes to mind, in particular.


So you have no figures here. Okay.

ckaihatsu wrote:This is being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- many claimed that *slavery* would never end, and yet the norm is now the use of industrialized mechanization, over treating *people* as private property.


And that only happened due to technological change, so where's the technological change that would make a violent overthrow of the system not end in bloodshed and dictatorship?

Also, the use of executions by the Ancien Regime does not excuse revolutionary terror.

ckaihatsu wrote:This is apples-and-oranges -- what's at-stake here are the prevailing of high-risk, junk-bond-type financial vehicles, and the ongoing government funding of zombie companies, while what you're talking about is fractional reserve lending for banks which is a different thing altogether.


And capital requirements allow for banks to have a cushion to deal with the effects of such risk taking.

Also, limits on risk taking itself are also often part of regulation. A regulator may demand that a financial company limits its risk exposure and provide proof of that.

ckaihatsu wrote:My point is that public funding is *still* being used, at the rate of $120 billion a month, simply to keep insolvent companies afloat. This is pure *ideology*, and your blaming of *people* for the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage meltdown means that you're *covering* for market dynamics, and all of capitalism, making you a *market dogmatist*.


Please show the recipients are "insolvent". We know that plenty of perfectly solvent companies were simply unable to operate as a result of the lockdowns, so the burden of proof falls on you.

ckaihatsu wrote:The Allied imperialist militarist invasion was *considerable*:


Peanuts in comparison with the millions involved in the Red (5.7m), White (1.1m) and Polish/Finnish/German (1.6m) sides.

ckaihatsu wrote:The degeneration of soviet democracy, into Stalinist nationalist consolidation, wasn't about (cultural) *identity* -- it was about whether the Western capitalist class, or an internal royalist one, or an internal strongman one, or a worldwide *workers* revolution, would prevail.


Even after all internal opposition had been effectively purged. Okay :eh:

ckaihatsu wrote:And, relatedly, from before:


Yes, it's part of the Marxist fanfic view of history.
#15177347
ckaihatsu wrote:
Well, it doesn't. This other paper you just introduced isn't the data that I was referring to, so it's apples-and-oranges.



wat0n wrote:
How so? It includes returns of financial assets (and others too).



Okay, then say what you want to say here, using that data.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
I have to backtrack, since the stock market isn't *profits*, exactly -- here's research done on the *rate of profit* itself:


The US rate of profit 1948-2015

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has just updated its estimates of net fixed capital stock in the US economy. This gives us the opportunity to measure the US rate of profit a la Marx up to 2015.

I made such measurements up to 2014 in a previous post about a year ago. Last December, I summed up the conclusions from the data. “First, the secular decline in the US rate of profit since 1945 is confirmed and indeed, on most measures, profitability is close to post-war lows. Second, the main cause of the secular fall is clearly a rise in the organic composition of capital, so Marx’s explanation of the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall is also confirmed. Third, profitability on most measures peaked in the late 1990s after the ‘neoliberal’ recovery. Since then, the US rate of profit has been static or falling. And fourth, since about 2010-12, profitability has started to fall again. Finally, the fall in the rate of profit in the US has now given way to a fall in the mass of profits.”

Now that we have all the 2015 data, I have revised the results with the help of Anders Axelsson from Sweden who has produced a very handy manual for anybody to use to work out and replicate the results. Anders has also checked the 2015 data as well. short-manual-for-downloading-rop-data-from-bureau-of-economic-analysis-1

The conclusions reached last year are pretty much unchanged. In last year’s post, I updated the rate of profit as measured using the assumptions and methods of Andrew Kliman in his book, The failure of capitalist production. AK measures the rate of profit for the corporate sector only and uses the historic cost of net fixed assets as the denominator. I also used a slightly different variation of AK’s approach in depreciating profits by current costs, while maintaining a historic cost measure of fixed assets. If all this sounds technical, it is and I refer you to the already cited papers and posts for an explanation. See Anders’ manual too. And there is special appendix in my new book, The Long Depression, on measuring the rate of profit.

Anyway, the results for the US corporate rate of profit look like this.

Image




wat0n wrote:
Even that doesn't show a permanent downward trend, but a leveling off at a given rate. This is in line with longer series such as the ones in this paper:

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/d ... 1&type=pdf

Also, note how the starting point matters a lot to be able to claim there is a decreasing trend - if you start at a time where they were abnormally high, of course you will have a decreasing trend at the beginning of the series. And you can surely bet the postwar recovery was abnormal.



The line is certainly not a 'levelling-off' -- it's definitely a downward trend. If more data, for more years, is available feel free to include it here.

You'll have to make any points you want to make yourself -- including a link to a paper PDF isn't sufficient.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Revolutionaries like myself point out that the entire capitalist *system* creates inequality, so there's no hope of "gradually" doing a redistribution under capitalism itself. Ditto for the ongoing *income inequality* -- the entire system needs to be overthrown so that the working class can best-determine how to produce for all of society.



wat0n wrote:
How do you explain then that capitalist economies have large variation in their income inequality?



Some countries are less imperialist and more *regulating* of economic inequalities.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
No, you're forgetting that there can be a *democratic* process underneath, so that managers are directly accountable to the electorate, and can be instantly recallable at any moment.

Customization doesn't require the private sector -- case management can be done by a Universal Basic Services approach.

I'll remind that profits is a *cost* to funding, so it's more cost-effective for public funding to *not* have to pay the tacked-on cost of profits to private concerns -- such are often considered a 'bribe' of sorts, since the means of production happen to currently be under such private control.



wat0n wrote:
As if that stopped political clientelism to surface in Latin American countries :lol:

Venezuela for instance has recall elections in its current Constitution (from 1999) but that didn't stop PDVSA from going down the drain.

And using price controls as an example of government customization is at least strange, and in any event they often cause more problems than they solve.



Bad example -- I'm talking about a more-*granular* approach, meaning snap referenda regarding any *particular* administrator.

You'll have to expand on what your point is about 'political clientelism'.

What's wrong with having a minimum wage, or living wage -- which is a 'price control'. I think your market dogmatism is showing through again.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Yes, you're incorrect, because government deficit spending (Keynesianism), for *supply-side* causes, is *unjustifiable* since such 'trickle-down' economic theory has long since been disproven as effective:


Trickle-down economics, also known as trickle-down theory or the horse and sparrow theory, is the economic proposition that taxes on businesses and the wealthy in society should be reduced as a means to stimulate business investment in the short term and benefit society at large in the long term. In recent history, the term has been used by critics of supply-side economic policies, such as "Reaganomics". Whereas general supply-side theory favors lowering taxes overall, trickle-down theory more specifically advocates for a lower tax burden on the upper end of the economic spectrum.[1][2] Empirical evidence shows that the proposition has never managed to achieve all of its stated goals as described by the Reagan administration.[3][4][5][6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickle-down_economics



wat0n wrote:
Keynesianism isn't trickle-down :roll:

In fact, counter-cyclical policy has little to do with trickle-down at all.



It *has* been, though, empirically -- deficit spending (Keynesianism) is supposed to 'jump-start' the economy, but the *implementation* of it has typically been *supply-side* (Reaganomics), instead of bolstering government social services and consumer spending power.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
They *vary*, and can be quite considerable depending on how little is paid to the actual *producers* of the commodity being sold -- the more *labor exploitation*, the larger the retail markup. Apple comes to mind, in particular.



wat0n wrote:
So you have no figures here. Okay.



Correct. Again, I'm not here to entertain your research interests -- if you want to pursue the subtopic of retail markup amounts, go to it.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
This is being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- many claimed that *slavery* would never end, and yet the norm is now the use of industrialized mechanization, over treating *people* as private property.



wat0n wrote:
And that only happened due to technological change, so where's the technological change that would make a violent overthrow of the system not end in bloodshed and dictatorship?

Also, the use of executions by the Ancien Regime does not excuse revolutionary terror.



*Of course* it does, because what other tactic / method could possibly make the ancien regime *stop* *its* use of executions and terror -- ?

Again you're being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- bloodshed, dictatorship, and even violent overthrow are all not *necessarily* necessary. Everything depends on actual *conditions* of struggle, and the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 was actually quite bloodless, for example.

I don't think you should turn to *technological determinism*, though -- the technology of industry didn't automatically end the institution of slavery, for example, and a U.S. Civil War was necessary for that.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
This is apples-and-oranges -- what's at-stake here are the prevailing of high-risk, junk-bond-type financial vehicles, and the ongoing government funding of zombie companies, while what you're talking about is fractional reserve lending for banks which is a different thing altogether.



wat0n wrote:
And capital requirements allow for banks to have a cushion to deal with the effects of such risk taking.

Also, limits on risk taking itself are also often part of regulation. A regulator may demand that a financial company limits its risk exposure and provide proof of that.



You're *still* trying to sidestep the fundamental dynamics of supply-and-demand here, though -- ironic, since you're such a market dogmatist.

Regulators didn't require 'limitation of risk exposure' in 2008-2009, mostly because the credit risk agencies all signed-off on *fraudulent* risk assessments for those subprime mortgages.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
My point is that public funding is *still* being used, at the rate of $120 billion a month, simply to keep insolvent companies afloat. This is pure *ideology*, and your blaming of *people* for the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage meltdown means that you're *covering* for market dynamics, and all of capitalism, making you a *market dogmatist*.



wat0n wrote:
Please show the recipients are "insolvent". We know that plenty of perfectly solvent companies were simply unable to operate as a result of the lockdowns, so the burden of proof falls on you.



Bullshit -- the government underwriting of otherwise-insolvent, *zombie* companies has been going on since at least 2008-2009, and the previous period, 2000-2008, saw plenty of corporate bailouts and corporate bankruptcies like that of Enron.

I'd like to repeat that figure for the reader: $120 billion *per month*.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
The Allied imperialist militarist invasion was *considerable*:



wat0n wrote:
Peanuts in comparison with the millions involved in the Red (5.7m), White (1.1m) and Polish/Finnish/German (1.6m) sides.



My point stands that the foreign intervention on the side of the counterrevolution was economically devastating, and paved the way for Stalin's consolidation around nationalism.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
The degeneration of soviet democracy, into Stalinist nationalist consolidation, wasn't about (cultural) *identity* -- it was about whether the Western capitalist class, or an internal royalist one, or an internal strongman one, or a worldwide *workers* revolution, would prevail.



wat0n wrote:
Even after all internal opposition had been effectively purged. Okay :eh:



I'm not a Stalinist so I'm not going to defend Stalin's consolidation of personalist power.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
And, relatedly, from before:


It was Karl Marx who provided an insight into this general pattern. He pointed out that human beings have only been able to survive on this planet through cooperative effort to make a livelihood, and that every new way of making such a livelihood has necessitated changes in their wider relationships with each other. Changes in what he called ‘the forces of production’ are associated with changes in ‘the relations of production’, and these eventually transform the wider relationships in society as a whole.

Such changes do not, however, occur in a mechanical way. At each point human beings make choices whether to proceed along one path or another, and fight out these choices in great social conflicts. Beyond a certain point in history, how people make their choices is connected to their class position. The slave is likely to make a different choice to the slave-owner, the feudal artisan to the feudal lord. The great struggles over the future of humanity have involved an element of class struggle. The sequence of these great struggles provides the skeleton round which the rest of history grows.

This approach does not deny the role of individuals or the ideas they propagate. What it does do is insist that the individual or idea can only play a certain role because of the preceding material development of society, of the way people make their livelihoods, and of the structure of classes and states. The skeleton is not the same as the living body. But without the skeleton the body would have no solidity and could not survive. Understanding the material ‘basis’ of history is an essential, but not sufficient, precondition for understanding everything else.

Harman, _People's History of the World_, pp. iii-iv



wat0n wrote:
Yes, it's part of the Marxist fanfic view of history.



'Fan fiction' -- ?

Your own *technological determinism* line has argued for a *technological* cause of paradigmatic shifts in the mode of production in history, like that from slavery to (industrialized-technological) wage-labor.

So why not a *class* line on the same? That it took the U.S. *Civil War* for the U.S. to socially sort-out how it was going to exploit labor, going-forward -- ?

So, referencing the above, all that's changed is the addition of 'relations of production' [mode of production], to your own '[technological] forces of production'.


[1] History, Macro Micro -- Precision

Spoiler: show
Image
#15177352
ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, then say what you want to say here, using that data.


There is no downward trend in returns. They instead seem to fluctuate around a long term average.

ckaihatsu wrote:The line is certainly not a 'levelling-off' -- it's definitely a downward trend. If more data, for more years, is available feel free to include it here.


I can clearly see the polynomial fit (bad choice by the way, but whatever) becoming horizontal after 1990.

ckaihatsu wrote:You'll have to make any points you want to make yourself -- including a link to a paper PDF isn't sufficient.


All the plots in the paper are relevant.

ckaihatsu wrote:Some countries are less imperialist and more *regulating* of economic inequalities.


Meaning then that it's not a feature of capitalism itself, but actually a policy choice with costs and benefits.

ckaihatsu wrote:Bad example -- I'm talking about a more-*granular* approach, meaning snap referenda regarding any *particular* administrator.


Sure, so...?

ckaihatsu wrote:You'll have to expand on what your point is about 'political clientelism'.


Turning public enterprises into employment agencies for members of political parties and other interest groups.

ckaihatsu wrote:What's wrong with having a minimum wage, or living wage -- which is a 'price control'. I think your market dogmatism is showing through again.


Minimum wages can also be a failure if they are too high.

ckaihatsu wrote:It *has* been, though, empirically -- deficit spending (Keynesianism) is supposed to 'jump-start' the economy, but the *implementation* of it has typically been *supply-side* (Reaganomics), instead of bolstering government social services and consumer spending power.


Keynesianism isn't just "deficit spending". It's about countercyclical policy, and that means posting surpluses in good times.

Also, it is perfectly consistent with keynesianism to bolster social services and consumer spending power. Indeed, it's why UI exists - a Keynesian policy.

ckaihatsu wrote:Correct. Again, I'm not here to entertain your research interests -- if you want to pursue the subtopic of retail markup amounts, go to it.


Why should I believe you when you can't back your claims up?

ckaihatsu wrote:*Of course* it does, because what other tactic / method could possibly make the ancien regime *stop* *its* use of executions and terror -- ?


Why did the American Revolution succeed then? It did not have a terror like the red or the French ones. And it was definitely not a communist one.

ckaihatsu wrote:Again you're being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- bloodshed, dictatorship, and even violent overthrow are all not *necessarily* necessary. Everything depends on actual *conditions* of struggle, and the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 was actually quite bloodless, for example.


But what came after, including the actual resulting regime, was quite bloody.

ckaihatsu wrote:I don't think you should turn to *technological determinism*, though -- the technology of industry didn't automatically end the institution of slavery, for example, and a U.S. Civil War was necessary for that.


The abolitionists didn't start the war though. The supporters of slavery did, believing that slavery would eventually end through democratic means sooner or later. It's hardly a good example for your case here. Even after the Confederacy was formed, the Union did not start the hostilities either.

ckaihatsu wrote:You're *still* trying to sidestep the fundamental dynamics of supply-and-demand here, though -- ironic, since you're such a market dogmatist.

Regulators didn't require 'limitation of risk exposure' in 2008-2009, mostly because the credit risk agencies all signed-off on *fraudulent* risk assessments for those subprime mortgages.


The fact that I mention the issue of capital requirements and limiting risk taking shows I'm not a market dogmatist. And no, risk exposure was not limited but not just because of credit risk agencies. Normally, the regulator has to define the measures of risk it is interested in and force financial institutions to report them.

ckaihatsu wrote:Bullshit -- the government underwriting of otherwise-insolvent, *zombie* companies has been going on since at least 2008-2009, and the previous period, 2000-2008, saw plenty of corporate bailouts and corporate bankruptcies like that of Enron.

I'd like to repeat that figure for the reader: $120 billion *per month*.


Enron wasn't bailed out, though. And the rest is squarely due to the pandemic.

ckaihatsu wrote:My point stands that the foreign intervention on the side of the counterrevolution was economically devastating, and paved the way for Stalin's consolidation around nationalism.


Clearly not when the intervention was very limited given the amount of manpower involved in the war.

ckaihatsu wrote:'Fan fiction' -- ?

Your own *technological determinism* line has argued for a *technological* cause of paradigmatic shifts in the mode of production in history, like that from slavery to (industrialized-technological) wage-labor.

So why not a *class* line on the same? That it took the U.S. *Civil War* for the U.S. to socially sort-out how it was going to exploit labor, going-forward -- ?

So, referencing the above, all that's changed is the addition of 'relations of production' [mode of production], to your own '[technological] forces of production'.


[1] History, Macro Micro -- Precision

Spoiler: show
Image


Technology isn't the only factor, of course not. But it's what starts the process and if anything the process of technical change can often be postponed by a well organized opposition to it, particularly if it comes from the elites in place at the time, or if there is a general state of lawlessness or other similar situations.

The US Civil War would be an example of an elite, the Southern ones, that were resistant to technological change. The fact that the South was far less industrialized than the North is very well and clearly documented, and so is the fact that some entrepreneurs had tried and failed to do so prior to the war. It's also not a coincidence that one of the first things that happened during Reconstruction was the building of train lines across parts of the South (and yes, there was plenty of corruption involved in this). And without the Industrial Revolution, it's unlikely abolitionism would have been able to take off and become powerful enough to manage to impose its views electorally.

At last, class doesn't quite explain well why is it that non-slave owning whites fought for the Confederacy. It would seem that they were motivated to support slavery for other, non material reasons.
#15177402
ckaihatsu wrote:
Okay, then say what you want to say here, using that data.



wat0n wrote:
There is no downward trend in returns. They instead seem to fluctuate around a long term average.



(See the next segment.)


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
The line is certainly not a 'levelling-off' -- it's definitely a downward trend. If more data, for more years, is available feel free to include it here.



wat0n wrote:
I can clearly see the polynomial fit (bad choice by the way, but whatever) becoming horizontal after 1990.



---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You'll have to make any points you want to make yourself -- including a link to a paper PDF isn't sufficient.



wat0n wrote:
All the plots in the paper are relevant.



Okay -- the graph on page 39 shows a *clear* declining rate of profit from 1850 to 2010 (1869 to 2005), for the U.S., UK, Japan, and EU.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Revolutionaries like myself point out that the entire capitalist *system* creates inequality, so there's no hope of "gradually" doing a redistribution under capitalism itself. Ditto for the ongoing *income inequality* -- the entire system needs to be overthrown so that the working class can best-determine how to produce for all of society.



wat0n wrote:
How do you explain then that capitalist economies have large variation in their income inequality?



ckaihatsu wrote:
Some countries are less imperialist and more *regulating* of economic inequalities.



wat0n wrote:
Meaning then that it's not a feature of capitalism itself, but actually a policy choice with costs and benefits.



Yes, though much of it may also be historical inertia, particular to that country, region, etc. -- like language.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Bad example -- I'm talking about a more-*granular* approach, meaning snap referenda regarding any *particular* administrator.



wat0n wrote:
Sure, so...?



So such would be far more *democratic*, to have instantly recallable representatives.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You'll have to expand on what your point is about 'political clientelism'.



wat0n wrote:
Turning public enterprises into employment agencies for members of political parties and other interest groups.



Hmmmm -- but this is a rather *formulaic* description, and, for Venezuela especially, we need to take into consideration what those politics *are*.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
What's wrong with having a minimum wage, or living wage -- which is a 'price control'. I think your market dogmatism is showing through again.



wat0n wrote:
Minimum wages can also be a failure if they are too high.



A 'failure' by what yardstick, though?

You keep showing yourself to be an acolyte of 'the market', with all measurements and judgments derived from *that* yardstick, even when it's demonstrably not self-supporting.

I would call minimum wages / living wages a 'baseline', so that people can be truly *free* and self-determining in present-day society. All economic activity can be situated *after* that baseline, otherwise we're not really in control of our own society (collectively), and of ourselves (economically, etc.).


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
It *has* been, though, empirically -- deficit spending (Keynesianism) is supposed to 'jump-start' the economy, but the *implementation* of it has typically been *supply-side* (Reaganomics), instead of bolstering government social services and consumer spending power.



wat0n wrote:
Keynesianism isn't just "deficit spending". It's about countercyclical policy, and that means posting surpluses in good times.

Also, it is perfectly consistent with keynesianism to bolster social services and consumer spending power. Indeed, it's why UI exists - a Keynesian policy.



Earlier you said that "Keynesian", or "supply-side" fiscal policy *is* working out, but I pointed to rising income inequality (after taxes and transfers, in the U.S.) as being a *negative indicator*.

Can you elaborate on *why* you think current fiscal policy is sound, and what index or variable you're going by for your conclusions about the economy 'working-out' (or not).


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Correct. Again, I'm not here to entertain your research interests -- if you want to pursue the subtopic of retail markup amounts, go to it.



wat0n wrote:
Why should I believe you when you can't back your claims up?



You don't *have* to 'believe' me -- either do your own 'homework', or don't.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
*Of course* it does, because what other tactic / method could possibly make the ancien regime *stop* *its* use of executions and terror -- ?



wat0n wrote:
Why did the American Revolution succeed then? It did not have a terror like the red or the French ones. And it was definitely not a communist one.



I've written on the American Revolution in the past (at RevLeft, I think) -- and I mentioned that it was 'in the right place, at the right time', a confluence of ideal factors, mostly geography, that enabled it to successfully rebuff the British Empire.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Again you're being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- bloodshed, dictatorship, and even violent overthrow are all not *necessarily* necessary. Everything depends on actual *conditions* of struggle, and the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 was actually quite bloodless, for example.



wat0n wrote:
But what came after, including the actual resulting regime, was quite bloody.



This is a *facile* and apolitical historical treatment, though -- I have to remind that there was a political *paradigm shift* from Lenin to Stalin, so the country under Stalin was not the same as the initial Bolshevik Revolution under Lenin.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
I don't think you should turn to *technological determinism*, though -- the technology of industry didn't automatically end the institution of slavery, for example, and a U.S. Civil War was necessary for that.



wat0n wrote:
The abolitionists didn't start the war though. The supporters of slavery did, believing that slavery would eventually end through democratic means sooner or later. It's hardly a good example for your case here. Even after the Confederacy was formed, the Union did not start the hostilities either.



You need to *reconsider* your *ideology* in light of what I said -- you're unable to reconcile your technological determinism with the historical event of the U.S. Civil War.

In other words why didn't the entire country just embrace industrialization and turn wholesale to the use of wage labor, over slave labor -- ?

Yes. we can discuss the particulars of the U.S. Civil War, as you're introducing here, but you're skipping-over your *own* inconsistencies regarding *how* you analyze society (technological determinism and market dogmatism) with *what* your analysis is. The technology of industrialization (and the market system, in the nascent U.S.) didn't itself lead to a unified Union, as technological determinism would optimistically predict. In reality the country was in danger of *dividing*, and a civil war was necessary for mode-of-production reasons, meaning that the country had to become consistent on *how* it was going to exploit labor since the practices of wage-slavery and chattel-slavery were inherently *incompatible* and could not both coexist at the same time.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You're *still* trying to sidestep the fundamental dynamics of supply-and-demand here, though -- ironic, since you're such a market dogmatist.

Regulators didn't require 'limitation of risk exposure' in 2008-2009, mostly because the credit risk agencies all signed-off on *fraudulent* risk assessments for those subprime mortgages.



wat0n wrote:
The fact that I mention the issue of capital requirements and limiting risk taking shows I'm not a market dogmatist. And no, risk exposure was not limited but not just because of credit risk agencies. Normally, the regulator has to define the measures of risk it is interested in and force financial institutions to report them.



You're not a market dogmatist despite accepting rules-of-the-game types of financial practices like capital requirements. You're a market dogmatist because you *look to* the market as the sole valid *arbiter* for economic results / empiricism.

Where were the institutional controls that 'limited risk taking' -- to corroborate your bullshit here.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Bullshit -- the government underwriting of otherwise-insolvent, *zombie* companies has been going on since at least 2008-2009, and the previous period, 2000-2008, saw plenty of corporate bailouts and corporate bankruptcies like that of Enron.

I'd like to repeat that figure for the reader: $120 billion *per month*.



wat0n wrote:
Enron wasn't bailed out, though. And the rest is squarely due to the pandemic.



Correct -- here's a little history on Enron, and other scandals were similar in that period:



The Enron scandal was an accounting scandal involving Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas. Upon being publicized in October 2001, the company declared bankruptcy and its accounting firm, Arthur Andersen – then one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world – was effectively dissolved. In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in U.S. history at that time, Enron was cited as the biggest audit failure.[1]:61

Enron was formed in 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth. Several years later, when Jeffrey Skilling was hired, Lay developed a staff of executives that – by the use of accounting loopholes, special purpose entities, and poor financial reporting – were able to hide billions of dollars in debt from failed deals and projects. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and other executives misled Enron's board of directors and audit committee on high-risk accounting practices and pressured Arthur Andersen to ignore the issues.

Enron shareholders filed a $40 billion lawsuit after the company's stock price, which achieved a high of US$90.75 per share in mid-2000, plummeted to less than $1 by the end of November 2001.[2] The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation, and rival Houston competitor Dynegy offered to purchase the company at a very low price. The deal failed, and on December 2, 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Enron's $63.4 billion in assets made it the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history until the WorldCom scandal the following year.[3]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron_scandal



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ckaihatsu wrote:
My point stands that the foreign intervention on the side of the counterrevolution was economically devastating, and paved the way for Stalin's consolidation around nationalism.



wat0n wrote:
Clearly not when the intervention was very limited given the amount of manpower involved in the war.



The international imperialist militarist intervention was *significant*, and it helped to mobilize and organize the entire *counter-revolution*, all of which was economically devastating. Here's a description:



At the end of the Civil War, the Bolsheviks controlled Russian cities, but 80% of the Russian population were peasants.[6] Although almost all the fighting had occurred outside urban areas, urban populations decreased substantially.[7] The war disrupted transportation (especially railroads), and basic public services. Infectious diseases thrived, especially typhus. Shipments of food and fuel by railroad and by water dramatically decreased. City residents first experienced a shortage of heating oil, then coal, until they resorted to wood. Populations in northern towns (excluding capital cities) declined an average of 24%.[8] Northern towns received less food than towns in the agricultural south. Petrograd alone lost 850,000 people, half of the urban population decline during the Civil War.[8] Hunger and poor conditions drove residents out of cities. Workers migrated south to get peasants' surpluses. Recent migrants to cities left because they still had ties to villages.[7]

Urban workers formed the core of Bolshevik support, so the exodus posed a serious problem. Factory production severely slowed or halted. Factories lacked 30,000 workers in 1919. To survive, city dwellers sold personal valuables, made artisan craft-goods for sale or barter, and planted gardens. The acute need for food drove them to obtain 50–60% of food through illegal trading (see meshochnik). The shortage of cash caused the black market to use a barter system, which was inefficient.[9] Drought and frost led to the Russian famine of 1921, in which millions starved to death, especially in the Volga region, and urban support for the Bolshevik party eroded.[10] When no bread arrived in Moscow in 1921, workers became hungry and disillusioned. They organised demonstrations against the Bolshevik Party's policy of privileged rations, in which the Red Army, Party members, and students received rations first. The Kronstadt rebellion of soldiers and sailors broke out in March 1921, fueled by anarchism and populism.[9] In 1921 Lenin replaced the food requisitioning policy with a tax, signaling the inauguration of the New Economic Policy.[11]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Economic_Policy



---


ckaihatsu wrote:
'Fan fiction' -- ?

Your own *technological determinism* line has argued for a *technological* cause of paradigmatic shifts in the mode of production in history, like that from slavery to (industrialized-technological) wage-labor.

So why not a *class* line on the same? That it took the U.S. *Civil War* for the U.S. to socially sort-out how it was going to exploit labor, going-forward -- ?

So, referencing the above, all that's changed is the addition of 'relations of production' [mode of production], to your own '[technological] forces of production'.


[1] History, Macro Micro -- Precision

Spoiler: show
Image



wat0n wrote:
Technology isn't the only factor, of course not. But it's what starts the process and if anything the process of technical change can often be postponed by a well organized opposition to it, particularly if it comes from the elites in place at the time, or if there is a general state of lawlessness or other similar situations.

The US Civil War would be an example of an elite, the Southern ones, that were resistant to technological change. The fact that the South was far less industrialized than the North is very well and clearly documented, and so is the fact that some entrepreneurs had tried and failed to do so prior to the war. It's also not a coincidence that one of the first things that happened during Reconstruction was the building of train lines across parts of the South (and yes, there was plenty of corruption involved in this). And without the Industrial Revolution, it's unlikely abolitionism would have been able to take off and become powerful enough to manage to impose its views electorally.

At last, class doesn't quite explain well why is it that non-slave owning whites fought for the Confederacy. It would seem that they were motivated to support slavery for other, non material reasons.



I mean to say that there was a common, *ruling class* interest in resolving the labor question between the North and the South, or the 'Union' (of the whole country), as a shorthand.

Poor whites in the South often had false-consciousness, and so they identified with the Southern elite interests in established gentry plantations, using slave labor.

You're acknowledging that 'technological determinism' is insufficient as an explanation for the existence of *political* factors, such as North vs. South. I continue to maintain that we have to look at the *mode of production* that had to be resolved (wage labor vs. chattel slavery) within the elitist ruling class of both North and South.
#15177404
ckaihatsu wrote:Okay -- the graph on page 39 shows a *clear* declining rate of profit from 1850 to 2010 (1869 to 2005), for the U.S., UK, Japan, and EU.


I think it's worth posting the graph:

Image

I can note a few things:

1) The US had a 10-year moving average (10-MA) profit rate of around 20% in the 1870s and 1880s (makes sense, it's an effect of the Reconstruction - if anything it was likely higher in the second half of the 1860s - and also industrialization, particularly in the South since it was and still is lagging behind the North), it then fell in the 1890s to 10% and then increased to 15% in the 1910s, and has remained fluctuating around that value ever since.

2) The UK started higher, at 25%, and had a downward trend until the 1980s, where its profit rate reached as low as 5% and has been recovering ever since, and seems to be leveling off (the increase is decelerating) at around 15% too.

3) Japan started at an even higher level than the UK, at almost 50%, and has had a decreasing trend throughout the period, but may also be leveling off at 15%

4) The Eurozone started at 20% and has been decreasing ever since, but such decrease also seems to be decelerating at 10%.

Do you disagree with the above description of the graph?

ckaihatsu wrote:Yes, though much of it may also be historical inertia, particular to that country, region, etc. -- like language.


Sure, and there may also be cultural preferences regarding socioeconomic equality. More generally, in capitalist countries the level of income redistribution (measured using the difference in Gini Index before and after taxes & benefits) seems to depend largely on the country, and has generally been stable since the 1970s. You can check several countries out here:

https://fsolt.org/swiid/

ckaihatsu wrote:So such would be far more *democratic*, to have instantly recallable representatives.


That depends, actually. Usually recall elections are expensive, and you need to present a given number of signatures supporting such a measure to be able to call it - who certifies this requirement?

There is also no guarantee that such election will lead to a replacement with a good administrator either.

ckaihatsu wrote:Hmmmm -- but this is a rather *formulaic* description, and, for Venezuela especially, we need to take into consideration what those politics *are*.


It's not an issue particular to Venezuela, especially if you take it from a broader historical perspective. Didn't even the USA, for instance, have its own similar problem with patronage?

ckaihatsu wrote:A 'failure' by what yardstick, though?


Benefiting those it claims to benefit. A minimum wage that leads to employment losses or a large informal sector, which by definition will have e.g. no social security, most certainly hurts workers.

ckaihatsu wrote:You keep showing yourself to be an acolyte of 'the market', with all measurements and judgments derived from *that* yardstick, even when it's demonstrably not self-supporting.

I would call minimum wages / living wages a 'baseline', so that people can be truly *free* and self-determining in present-day society. All economic activity can be situated *after* that baseline, otherwise we're not really in control of our own society (collectively), and of ourselves (economically, etc.).


That sounds like idealism more than anything.

ckaihatsu wrote:Earlier you said that "Keynesian", or "supply-side" fiscal policy *is* working out, but I pointed to rising income inequality (after taxes and transfers, in the U.S.) as being a *negative indicator*.

Can you elaborate on *why* you think current fiscal policy is sound, and what index or variable you're going by for your conclusions about the economy 'working-out' (or not).


Sure. I think it's sound because it's preventing larger drops in GDP and employment during recessions than if no macroeconomic stabilization policy had been implemented at all.

Also, Keynesianism doesn't really have all that much to do with income redistribution. You can have a lot of it with or without a Keynesian policy, or little of it with or without a Keynesian policy. What it is about is macroeconomic stabilization, particularly using fiscal policy and even more so Government spending (although tax cuts, like Kennedy's tax cuts in the early '60s, can also be Keynesian and they can also be justified using a classical Keynesian IS-LM model).

ckaihatsu wrote:You don't *have* to 'believe' me -- either do your own 'homework', or don't.


Then I won't - your claim, you back it up.

ckaihatsu wrote:I've written on the American Revolution in the past (at RevLeft, I think) -- and I mentioned that it was 'in the right place, at the right time', a confluence of ideal factors, mostly geography, that enabled it to successfully rebuff the British Empire.


It wasn't just about that, though. The establishment of the Federal Government and the Constitution was also part of the Revolution. The American Revolution did not end in 1783, it ended in 1789 (1791 if you want to consider the Bill of Rights) when a stable system of government was formed.

Revolutions most definitely not end when the Ancien Regime is overthrown. They end when a new, stable regime has been established.

ckaihatsu wrote:This is a *facile* and apolitical historical treatment, though -- I have to remind that there was a political *paradigm shift* from Lenin to Stalin, so the country under Stalin was not the same as the initial Bolshevik Revolution under Lenin.


Pointing out there was bloodshed is a factual matter, not a political one. Maybe it was justified, maybe not, but you cannot deny there was bloodshed.

ckaihatsu wrote:You need to *reconsider* your *ideology* in light of what I said -- you're unable to reconcile your technological determinism with the historical event of the U.S. Civil War.


Of course I can. Indeed, as I said the South was not into industrialization - and that's also one reason why the North was able to keep up the war effort and why the South could not. Technology also helps to decide military matters, sometimes.

ckaihatsu wrote:In other words why didn't the entire country just embrace industrialization and turn wholesale to the use of wage labor, over slave labor -- ?


Because some parts of it 1) did not want to make the investments to industrialize, due to the short term costs they entail and 2) slavery was more than simply an economic matter for the South.

ckaihatsu wrote:Yes. we can discuss the particulars of the U.S. Civil War, as you're introducing here, but you're skipping-over your *own* inconsistencies regarding *how* you analyze society (technological determinism and market dogmatism) with *what* your analysis is. The technology of industrialization (and the market system, in the nascent U.S.) didn't itself lead to a unified Union, as technological determinism would optimistically predict. In reality the country was in danger of *dividing*, and a civil war was necessary for mode-of-production reasons, meaning that the country had to become consistent on *how* it was going to exploit labor since the practices of wage-slavery and chattel-slavery were inherently *incompatible* and could not both coexist at the same time.


But industrialization did have a crucial role in deciding who would win the war. This is something even neo-Confederates recognize nowadays, and it's one of the harshest defeats for what at the time was regarded as the slave power one could possibly conceive.

ckaihatsu wrote:You're not a market dogmatist despite accepting rules-of-the-game types of financial practices like capital requirements. You're a market dogmatist because you *look to* the market as the sole valid *arbiter* for economic results / empiricism.


It's not a dogma to point out something that should be manifest, namely, that central planning failed. Even the nominally communist countries are not using it anymore, they - like capitalist countries, mind you - use mixed systems instead, even if they have more government planning than in a standard capitalist economy.

ckaihatsu wrote:Where were the institutional controls that 'limited risk taking' -- to corroborate your bullshit here.


That's precisely the point - they weren't there. Shadow banking is one reason why they weren't there.

ckaihatsu wrote:Correct -- here's a little history on Enron, and other scandals were similar in that period:


Sure, it's a case of corruption - but one that was indeed exposed and punished.

ckaihatsu wrote:The international imperialist militarist intervention was *significant*, and it helped to mobilize and organize the entire *counter-revolution*, all of which was economically devastating. Here's a description:


How do you know that it was due to foreign intervention and not just a case of the Whites being able to mobilize 1m+ soldiers and the Poles/Finns/Germans taking advantage of the situation to push for their own interests?

ckaihatsu wrote:I mean to say that there was a common, *ruling class* interest in resolving the labor question between the North and the South, or the 'Union' (of the whole country), as a shorthand.

Poor whites in the South often had false-consciousness, and so they identified with the Southern elite interests in established gentry plantations, using slave labor.

You're acknowledging that 'technological determinism' is insufficient as an explanation for the existence of *political* factors, such as North vs. South. I continue to maintain that we have to look at the *mode of production* that had to be resolved (wage labor vs. chattel slavery) within the elitist ruling class of both North and South.


Why is it that any deviation from Marxist ideals on identity politics is labeled as false consciousness? Why don't you just accept the facts, namely, that people don't decide their political positions solely based on their class, economic or even material interests even if these are almost always very important?

Also, there was clearly not an unified ruling class in the North and South. There had always been tensions between them, all the way back to the Constitutional Convention itself.
#15177519
ckaihatsu wrote:
Okay -- the graph on page 39 shows a *clear* declining rate of profit from 1850 to 2010 (1869 to 2005), for the U.S., UK, Japan, and EU.



wat0n wrote:
I think it's worth posting the graph:

Image

I can note a few things:

1) The US had a 10-year moving average (10-MA) profit rate of around 20% in the 1870s and 1880s (makes sense, it's an effect of the Reconstruction - if anything it was likely higher in the second half of the 1860s - and also industrialization, particularly in the South since it was and still is lagging behind the North), it then fell in the 1890s to 10% and then increased to 15% in the 1910s, and has remained fluctuating around that value ever since.

2) The UK started higher, at 25%, and had a downward trend until the 1980s, where its profit rate reached as low as 5% and has been recovering ever since, and seems to be leveling off (the increase is decelerating) at around 15% too.

3) Japan started at an even higher level than the UK, at almost 50%, and has had a decreasing trend throughout the period, but may also be leveling off at 15%

4) The Eurozone started at 20% and has been decreasing ever since, but such decrease also seems to be decelerating at 10%.

Do you disagree with the above description of the graph?



As usual, you're focusing on *empirical descriptions* as a way to avoid / evade the *science*, which, in this case, is about Marx's Declining Rate of Profit.


philosophical abstractions

Spoiler: show
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Consciousness, A Material Definition

Spoiler: show
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ckaihatsu wrote:
Revolutionaries like myself point out that the entire capitalist *system* creates inequality, so there's no hope of "gradually" doing a redistribution under capitalism itself. Ditto for the ongoing *income inequality* -- the entire system needs to be overthrown so that the working class can best-determine how to produce for all of society.



wat0n wrote:
How do you explain then that capitalist economies have large variation in their income inequality?



ckaihatsu wrote:
Some countries are less imperialist and more *regulating* of economic inequalities.



wat0n wrote:
Meaning then that it's not a feature of capitalism itself, but actually a policy choice with costs and benefits.



ckaihatsu wrote:
Yes, though much of it may also be historical inertia, particular to that country, region, etc. -- like language.



wat0n wrote:
Sure, and there may also be cultural preferences regarding socioeconomic equality. More generally, in capitalist countries the level of income redistribution (measured using the difference in Gini Index before and after taxes & benefits) seems to depend largely on the country, and has generally been stable since the 1970s. You can check several countries out here:

https://fsolt.org/swiid/



Okay, so back to the *politics* -- such Gini-measured inequalities will not resolve themselves automatically, and capitalism itself can't solve inequality that's *caused* by capitalism in the first place.

The economic system -- capitalism -- shouldn't itself need *economic funding* ($120 billion / month) when it's supposed to be a mechanism, like a computer, for the sake of *humanity*, because who else *is* there?


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
So such would be far more *democratic*, to have instantly recallable representatives.



wat0n wrote:
That depends, actually. Usually recall elections are expensive, and you need to present a given number of signatures supporting such a measure to be able to call it - who certifies this requirement?

There is also no guarantee that such election will lead to a replacement with a good administrator either.



Okay, you got me -- that would be *reformist*, and is a trade-union kind of representation.

What *I* advocate, myself, is a post-capitalist political economy that makes *issues* compete against each other, instead of doing the same through any *personages* at all. Here it is:


communist supply & demand -- Model of Material Factors

Spoiler: show
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https://web.archive.org/web/20201211050 ... ?p=2889338


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ckaihatsu wrote:
Hmmmm -- but this is a rather *formulaic* description, and, for Venezuela especially, we need to take into consideration what those politics *are*.



wat0n wrote:
It's not an issue particular to Venezuela, especially if you take it from a broader historical perspective. Didn't even the USA, for instance, have its own similar problem with patronage?



Well the liberal ideal is that the nation-state itself is politically *neutral*, but that's a *fantasy*, obviously, because of the overarching existence of *class interests*.


History, Macro-Micro -- simplified

Spoiler: show
Image



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ckaihatsu wrote:
A 'failure' by what yardstick, though?



wat0n wrote:
Benefiting those it claims to benefit. A minimum wage that leads to employment losses or a large informal sector, which by definition will have e.g. no social security, most certainly hurts workers.



This is *presumptuous*, market-dogmatic, and also shows that you're vacillating on the existence of *class interests*.

The more that workers / the working class get, in wages and benefits, the greater their share of the overall economic pie.

If government *policy* is lacking, as with a dearth of benefits for the unemployed, then that's a separate thing, a matter of *social services*, and we can ask why there's been *austerity* and a lack of Universal Basic Services.

If the private sector is incapable of providing sufficient numbers of job positions then that needs to be addressed by government, in the favor of wage-earners / workers, with government subsidies for work done, for the public good (infrastructure).


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You keep showing yourself to be an acolyte of 'the market', with all measurements and judgments derived from *that* yardstick, even when it's demonstrably not self-supporting.

I would call minimum wages / living wages a 'baseline', so that people can be truly *free* and self-determining in present-day society. All economic activity can be situated *after* that baseline, otherwise we're not really in control of our own society (collectively), and of ourselves (economically, etc.).



wat0n wrote:
That sounds like idealism more than anything.



Again, we have to ask what the economy *is for* -- the fact that it's requiring *economic support* itself, as a mechanism, shows that it's not self-supporting, and certainly there are better ways to go about organizing the political economy for society that don't require economic sacrifice just to keep the mechanism in-place, and the sky from falling. The ruling classes of other civilizations in history instituted *human sacrifice*, but today it's done through economics.

It's not idealism to have a *political program* and to call for economics / societal-material-logistics to be subordinate to common *human interests*, as outlined in Maslow's Hierarchy:


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image



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ckaihatsu wrote:
Earlier you said that "Keynesian", or "supply-side" fiscal policy *is* working out, but I pointed to rising income inequality (after taxes and transfers, in the U.S.) as being a *negative indicator*.

Can you elaborate on *why* you think current fiscal policy is sound, and what index or variable you're going by for your conclusions about the economy 'working-out' (or not).



wat0n wrote:
Sure. I think it's sound because it's preventing larger drops in GDP and employment during recessions than if no macroeconomic stabilization policy had been implemented at all.

Also, Keynesianism doesn't really have all that much to do with income redistribution. You can have a lot of it with or without a Keynesian policy, or little of it with or without a Keynesian policy. What it is about is macroeconomic stabilization, particularly using fiscal policy and even more so Government spending (although tax cuts, like Kennedy's tax cuts in the early '60s, can also be Keynesian and they can also be justified using a classical Keynesian IS-LM model).



Do you have any position on *military Keynesianism* -- ?


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You don't *have* to 'believe' me -- either do your own 'homework', or don't.



wat0n wrote:
Then I won't - your claim, you back it up.



---


ckaihatsu wrote:
I've written on the American Revolution in the past (at RevLeft, I think) -- and I mentioned that it was 'in the right place, at the right time', a confluence of ideal factors, mostly geography, that enabled it to successfully rebuff the British Empire.



wat0n wrote:
It wasn't just about that, though. The establishment of the Federal Government and the Constitution was also part of the Revolution. The American Revolution did not end in 1783, it ended in 1789 (1791 if you want to consider the Bill of Rights) when a stable system of government was formed.

Revolutions most definitely not end when the Ancien Regime is overthrown. They end when a new, stable regime has been established.



---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Again you're being *presumptuous* and fatalistic -- bloodshed, dictatorship, and even violent overthrow are all not *necessarily* necessary. Everything depends on actual *conditions* of struggle, and the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917 was actually quite bloodless, for example.



wat0n wrote:
But what came after, including the actual resulting regime, was quite bloody.



ckaihatsu wrote:
This is a *facile* and apolitical historical treatment, though -- I have to remind that there was a political *paradigm shift* from Lenin to Stalin, so the country under Stalin was not the same as the initial Bolshevik Revolution under Lenin.



wat0n wrote:
Pointing out there was bloodshed is a factual matter, not a political one. Maybe it was justified, maybe not, but you cannot deny there was bloodshed.



'Maybe [bloodshed] was justified, maybe not' -- ?

Again I'm *astounded* at how quick you are to *abandon* any attempt at political analysis, at times, instead preferring to devolve to mere *empiricism*.

You're confirming that your technological determinism, and economic / market determinism, perspective is sorely *lacking* and *insufficient*, for dealing with matters of mode-of-production, particularly regarding *revolutionary leftism* and actual *proletarian revolution*, since such has to do with changing the mode of production from capitalism to that of socialist collectivism, as with soviet democracy:



Soviet democracy, or council democracy, is a political system in which the rule of the population by directly elected soviets (Russian for "council") is exercised. The councils are directly responsible to their electors and bound by their instructions using delegate model of representation. Such an imperative mandate is in contrast to a free mandate, in which the elected delegates are only responsible to their conscience. Delegates may accordingly be dismissed from their post at any time or be voted out (recall).

In a soviet democracy, voters are organized in basic units, for example the workers of a company, the inhabitants of a district, or the soldiers of a barracks. They directly send the delegates as public functionaries, which act as legislators, government and courts in one. In contrast to earlier democracy models according to John Locke and Montesquieu, there is no separation of powers. The councils are elected on several levels: At the residential and business level, delegates are sent to the local councils in plenary assemblies. In turn, these can delegate members to the next level. The system of delegation continues to the Congress of Soviets at the state level.[1] The electoral processes thus take place from the bottom upwards. The levels are usually tied to administrative levels.[2]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_democracy



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ckaihatsu wrote:
I don't think you should turn to *technological determinism*, though -- the technology of industry didn't automatically end the institution of slavery, for example, and a U.S. Civil War was necessary for that.



wat0n wrote:
The abolitionists didn't start the war though. The supporters of slavery did, believing that slavery would eventually end through democratic means sooner or later. It's hardly a good example for your case here. Even after the Confederacy was formed, the Union did not start the hostilities either.



ckaihatsu wrote:
You need to *reconsider* your *ideology* in light of what I said -- you're unable to reconcile your technological determinism with the historical event of the U.S. Civil War.



wat0n wrote:
Of course I can. Indeed, as I said the South was not into industrialization - and that's also one reason why the North was able to keep up the war effort and why the South could not. Technology also helps to decide military matters, sometimes.



Let me rephrase -- by the principle of 'technological determinism', there shouldn't have been the need for a U.S. Civil War because all capitalists, North and South, should have uniformly *adopted* industrialization, across-the-board, since it's superior to using slave labor for production.

The fact that the South wasn't 'into' industrialization proves that your 'technological determinism' line is *incorrect* and *insufficient*. You have to resort to a *higher-level* explanation of determinism, that of *mode-of-production*, which also happens to be the *correct* line of historical / political analysis.

The Southern capitalists didn't *have* to industrialize because they could simply hang onto what worked for them as the Southern ruling class -- slave labor as *their* mode of production.

What *couldn't* happen, politically / organizationally, was the cohesion of the U.S. *nation-state* with both the slave-labor and the wage-labor modes of production, side-by-side. It was the *mode of production*, wage labor or slave labor, that had to be resolved for the nation to remain intact geographically and politically / organizationally.

To your point, yes, the North benefitted greatly from its mechanization, in the Civil War, once that was underway, and some even go so far as to say that such industrial mechanization was the *decisive* factor on the side of the North, in the war.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
In other words why didn't the entire country just embrace industrialization and turn wholesale to the use of wage labor, over slave labor -- ?



wat0n wrote:
Because some parts of it 1) did not want to make the investments to industrialize, due to the short term costs they entail and 2) slavery was more than simply an economic matter for the South.



Correct -- so you're confirming that your technological / economic / market analysis is *insufficient* to explain this historical schism -- Southern capitalists could continue to benefit from their own separatist, *slavery* mode of production as long as they didn't have to organizationally / politically be a part of the whole United States, along with the North and its *competitive*, wage-labor mode of production.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
Yes. we can discuss the particulars of the U.S. Civil War, as you're introducing here, but you're skipping-over your *own* inconsistencies regarding *how* you analyze society (technological determinism and market dogmatism) with *what* your analysis is. The technology of industrialization (and the market system, in the nascent U.S.) didn't itself lead to a unified Union, as technological determinism would optimistically predict. In reality the country was in danger of *dividing*, and a civil war was necessary for mode-of-production reasons, meaning that the country had to become consistent on *how* it was going to exploit labor since the practices of wage-slavery and chattel-slavery were inherently *incompatible* and could not both coexist at the same time.



wat0n wrote:
But industrialization did have a crucial role in deciding who would win the war. This is something even neo-Confederates recognize nowadays, and it's one of the harshest defeats for what at the time was regarded as the slave power one could possibly conceive.



Sure, but you're talking about the context of the *schism* itself, which *isn't* explainable by technological determinism or economic / market determinism alone -- why didn't the entire country just follow its technological / economic interests and gradually industrialize, wholesale -- ?

The North-South schism, leading into the Civil War, is only explainable due to the mutually-conflicting *modes of production*, of wage labor, and slave labor, respectively.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
You're not a market dogmatist despite accepting rules-of-the-game types of financial practices like capital requirements. You're a market dogmatist because you *look to* the market as the sole valid *arbiter* for economic results / empiricism.



wat0n wrote:
It's not a dogma to point out something that should be manifest, namely, that central planning failed. Even the nominally communist countries are not using it anymore, they - like capitalist countries, mind you - use mixed systems instead, even if they have more government planning than in a standard capitalist economy.



Sure, and I'm not a Stalinist, so I don't defend the politics of constraining a so-called 'socialism', or 'communism', within the confines of any given *nation-state*, when socialism / communism is supposed to be about the *international working class*.

My point stands that you're all-too-willing to look to the *market* as the final judge for all matters economic, political, and social, regardless of cost and/or people-based political *input*. That's *dogmatic*.


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ckaihatsu wrote:
Where were the institutional controls that 'limited risk taking' -- to corroborate your bullshit here.



wat0n wrote:
That's precisely the point - they weren't there. Shadow banking is one reason why they weren't there.



So, with this, can you please admit that the market mechanism *superseded* all political-type oversight, to disastrous results, in the subprime mortgage crisis -- ?


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ckaihatsu wrote:
Correct -- here's a little history on Enron, and other scandals were similar in that period:



wat0n wrote:
Sure, it's a case of corruption - but one that was indeed exposed and punished.



Again I have to repeat that you're not applying *economics*, and the *market* / supply-and-demand, here, with a situation that *damns* market-based supply and demand dynamics.

When the market *soars*, as during the Trump Administration, are you lauding 'smart people', or are you lauding the *capitalist market* at that time?

And when the market *falls*, as during 2008-2009, and again in 2020, are you attributing such market failures to the *market*, or are you scapegoating *personnel* / people for simply following their economic interests within the context of market dynamics -- ?


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ckaihatsu wrote:
The international imperialist militarist intervention was *significant*, and it helped to mobilize and organize the entire *counter-revolution*, all of which was economically devastating. Here's a description:



wat0n wrote:
How do you know that it was due to foreign intervention and not just a case of the Whites being able to mobilize 1m+ soldiers and the Poles/Finns/Germans taking advantage of the situation to push for their own interests?



The foreign militarist intervention was certainly a significant political *organizing* factor, and thus very deterministic, along with being on the *same side* as the White counterrevolution.


---


ckaihatsu wrote:
I mean to say that there was a common, *ruling class* interest in resolving the labor question between the North and the South, or the 'Union' (of the whole country), as a shorthand.

Poor whites in the South often had false-consciousness, and so they identified with the Southern elite interests in established gentry plantations, using slave labor.

You're acknowledging that 'technological determinism' is insufficient as an explanation for the existence of *political* factors, such as North vs. South. I continue to maintain that we have to look at the *mode of production* that had to be resolved (wage labor vs. chattel slavery) within the elitist ruling class of both North and South.



wat0n wrote:
Why is it that any deviation from Marxist ideals on identity politics is labeled as false consciousness?



Because it's not 'identity politics' -- which denotes politics on the basis of one's own *demographic* particulars.

'False consciousness' means a self-professed politics that is not in line with one's own *best material interests*, meaning one's own *class* interests, as empirically indexed by one's objective empirical relationship to society's means of mass industrial production.


wat0n wrote:
Why don't you just accept the facts, namely, that people don't decide their political positions solely based on their class, economic or even material interests even if these are almost always very important?



Okay -- and I'll call such a phenomenon 'false consciousness'.


wat0n wrote:
Also, there was clearly not an unified ruling class in the North and South. There had always been tensions between them, all the way back to the Constitutional Convention itself.



Okay.
#15177529
ckaihatsu wrote:As usual, you're focusing on *empirical descriptions* as a way to avoid / evade the *science*, which, in this case, is about Marx's Declining Rate of Profit.


philosophical abstractions

Spoiler: show
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Consciousness, A Material Definition

Spoiler: show
Image


:lol:

That's not how the scientific method works. Refusing to accept the empirical evidence is not science, it's faith.

ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, so back to the *politics* -- such Gini-measured inequalities will not resolve themselves automatically, and capitalism itself can't solve inequality that's *caused* by capitalism in the first place.

The economic system -- capitalism -- shouldn't itself need *economic funding* ($120 billion / month) when it's supposed to be a mechanism, like a computer, for the sake of *humanity*, because who else *is* there?


Even the USSR did not have perfect equality, and indeed some capitalist countries (the Nordics) were as egalitarian as the Soviets were at some point. Your proposed system doesn't even have anything concrete to show here, and I have no interest in comparing actual, concrete realities with fanfics.

ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, you got me -- that would be *reformist*, and is a trade-union kind of representation.

What *I* advocate, myself, is a post-capitalist political economy that makes *issues* compete against each other, instead of doing the same through any *personages* at all. Here it is:


communist supply & demand -- Model of Material Factors

Spoiler: show
Image


https://web.archive.org/web/20201211050 ... ?p=2889338


Would such a system feature recalls too?

ckaihatsu wrote:Well the liberal ideal is that the nation-state itself is politically *neutral*, but that's a *fantasy*, obviously, because of the overarching existence of *class interests*.


History, Macro-Micro -- simplified

Spoiler: show
Image


Indeed, and there are also the clientelistic networks that may make such a government viable to begin with. Isn't this a problem for any sort of government?

ckaihatsu wrote:This is *presumptuous*, market-dogmatic, and also shows that you're vacillating on the existence of *class interests*.


I'd say your view is myopic, most research regarding the minimum wage suggests either decreases in employment or that it remains the same after small minimum wage increases. Large ones are less likely to be that benign.

ckaihatsu wrote:The more that workers / the working class get, in wages and benefits, the greater their share of the overall economic pie.

If government *policy* is lacking, as with a dearth of benefits for the unemployed, then that's a separate thing, a matter of *social services*, and we can ask why there's been *austerity* and a lack of Universal Basic Services.

If the private sector is incapable of providing sufficient numbers of job positions then that needs to be addressed by government, in the favor of wage-earners / workers, with government subsidies for work done, for the public good (infrastructure).


Pretty pointless if the pie gets smaller or stops growing, or if those workers just go informal and lose access to social services as a result.

ckaihatsu wrote:Again, we have to ask what the economy *is for* -- the fact that it's requiring *economic support* itself, as a mechanism, shows that it's not self-supporting, and certainly there are better ways to go about organizing the political economy for society that don't require economic sacrifice just to keep the mechanism in-place, and the sky from falling. The ruling classes of other civilizations in history instituted *human sacrifice*, but today it's done through economics.

It's not idealism to have a *political program* and to call for economics / societal-material-logistics to be subordinate to common *human interests*, as outlined in Maslow's Hierarchy:


History, Macro-Micro -- politics-logistics-lifestyle

Spoiler: show
Image


It is definitely idealism to propose a program with little real world backing and just refuse to look at the empirical evidence. This shouldn't even be a question.

If governments intervene it's precisely because the free market ideal, like that by libertarians, isn't fulfilled in the real world.

ckaihatsu wrote:Do you have any position on *military Keynesianism* -- ?


Not the greatest way to do Keynesian policy. Wars may sometimes work as a stimulus of sorts, but I don't think it's generally the most efficient type of stimulus.

And indeed, the fact that such stimulus is sometimes necessary brings up the problem of (again) clientelistic networks, which is a problem that affects governments of all stripes in one way or another.

ckaihatsu wrote:'Maybe [bloodshed] was justified, maybe not' -- ?

Again I'm *astounded* at how quick you are to *abandon* any attempt at political analysis, at times, instead preferring to devolve to mere *empiricism*.

You're confirming that your technological determinism, and economic / market determinism, perspective is sorely *lacking* and *insufficient*, for dealing with matters of mode-of-production, particularly regarding *revolutionary leftism* and actual *proletarian revolution*, since such has to do with changing the mode of production from capitalism to that of socialist collectivism, as with soviet democracy:


So you don't deny there was bloodshed?

ckaihatsu wrote:Let me rephrase -- by the principle of 'technological determinism', there shouldn't have been the need for a U.S. Civil War because all capitalists, North and South, should have uniformly *adopted* industrialization, across-the-board, since it's superior to using slave labor for production.

The fact that the South wasn't 'into' industrialization proves that your 'technological determinism' line is *incorrect* and *insufficient*. You have to resort to a *higher-level* explanation of determinism, that of *mode-of-production*, which also happens to be the *correct* line of historical / political analysis.

The Southern capitalists didn't *have* to industrialize because they could simply hang onto what worked for them as the Southern ruling class -- slave labor as *their* mode of production.

What *couldn't* happen, politically / organizationally, was the cohesion of the U.S. *nation-state* with both the slave-labor and the wage-labor modes of production, side-by-side. It was the *mode of production*, wage labor or slave labor, that had to be resolved for the nation to remain intact geographically and politically / organizationally.

To your point, yes, the North benefitted greatly from its mechanization, in the Civil War, once that was underway, and some even go so far as to say that such industrial mechanization was the *decisive* factor on the side of the North, in the war.


ckaihatsu wrote:Correct -- so you're confirming that your technological / economic / market analysis is *insufficient* to explain this historical schism -- Southern capitalists could continue to benefit from their own separatist, *slavery* mode of production as long as they didn't have to organizationally / politically be a part of the whole United States, along with the North and its *competitive*, wage-labor mode of production.


You can deviate from long term trends for a while, but these trends prevail sooner or later. For example, even today there are areas in the US with low access to the internet but I think we can agree that this is something that will change in time, even more so as remote work becomes more extended and these zones try to compete as a remote worker destination.

It's also possible the South would have been displaced by its foreign competitors sooner or later, as they industrialized, and decided to follow their lead. Then, slavery would have plausibly have been relegated to other roles, in this hypothetical world where slavery had not been abolished.

ckaihatsu wrote:Sure, but you're talking about the context of the *schism* itself, which *isn't* explainable by technological determinism or economic / market determinism alone -- why didn't the entire country just follow its technological / economic interests and gradually industrialize, wholesale -- ?


Oh, but it did eventually didn't it?

ckaihatsu wrote:The North-South schism, leading into the Civil War, is only explainable due to the mutually-conflicting *modes of production*, of wage labor, and slave labor, respectively.


Right, but such schism would have been unthinkable in a world without industrialization and also without a feudal structure. It's not a coincidence that slavery began to disappear from the West as it became industrial.

Furthermore, the issue of slavery wasn't simply about whether it's more efficient to use wage workers in an industrial setting vs slave ones in a non-industrial one.

ckaihatsu wrote:Sure, and I'm not a Stalinist, so I don't defend the politics of constraining a so-called 'socialism', or 'communism', within the confines of any given *nation-state*, when socialism / communism is supposed to be about the *international working class*.

My point stands that you're all-too-willing to look to the *market* as the final judge for all matters economic, political, and social, regardless of cost and/or people-based political *input*. That's *dogmatic*.


No, that's simply not true. If I truly believed that, I'd just be an Ancap.


I don't believe people should have the right to hire private armies, for instance.

ckaihatsu wrote:So, with this, can you please admit that the market mechanism *superseded* all political-type oversight, to disastrous results, in the subprime mortgage crisis -- ?


More than that, I'd say it was a big regulatory failure. That is, a specific view of how banking markets work prevailed, and it was a wrong one.

ckaihatsu wrote:Again I have to repeat that you're not applying *economics*, and the *market* / supply-and-demand, here, with a situation that *damns* market-based supply and demand dynamics.

When the market *soars*, as during the Trump Administration, are you lauding 'smart people', or are you lauding the *capitalist market* at that time?

And when the market *falls*, as during 2008-2009, and again in 2020, are you attributing such market failures to the *market*, or are you scapegoating *personnel* / people for simply following their economic interests within the context of market dynamics -- ?


It depends on why markets go up and down. As a general rule I try not to look too much into short term variation of financial markets, since that's pretty noisy.

In the case of the subprime crisis, there was quite evidently a market failure involved, not so much as far as the drops during the recession were concerned, but as far as how the mortgage lending market worked and also how the securities market worked. In Trump's, case, there were actually some market signs suggesting there was going to be lower growth towards the end of his administration, and they were right but not for the correct reason.

ckaihatsu wrote:The foreign militarist intervention was certainly a significant political *organizing* factor, and thus very deterministic, along with being on the *same side* as the White counterrevolution.


Was it or the Western powers were simply joining the Whites? Why didn't they commit more manpower to topple the Bolsheviks if they were so interested in doing so?

ckaihatsu wrote:Because it's not 'identity politics' -- which denotes politics on the basis of one's own *demographic* particulars.

'False consciousness' means a self-professed politics that is not in line with one's own *best material interests*, meaning one's own *class* interests, as empirically indexed by one's objective empirical relationship to society's means of mass industrial production.


That's a bit if nitpicking, and also class identity most definitely exists. It's how you can find avowedly Marxist business owners who claim to be part of the working class.

ckaihatsu wrote:Okay -- and I'll call such a phenomenon 'false consciousness'.


I'd call it just an example of Marxism being wrong.
#15177537
wat0n wrote:
Please show the recipients are "insolvent". We know that plenty of perfectly solvent companies were simply unable to operate as a result of the lockdowns, so the burden of proof falls on you.



viewtopic.php?p=15177229#p15177229




[T]he total debt of US corporations at the end of March was $11.2 trillion, equivalent to around half of US gross domestic product.

The same situation exists in Europe, where thousands of companies are being sustained only by the zero interest rate policy of the European Central Bank and its financial asset purchases, as well as direct government support.

The extent of this operation was highlighted in recent comments by the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. “We do not want to abruptly cut our support and trigger dozens of thousands of bankruptcies,” he said.



https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/0 ... s-j17.html
#15177540
That's not an example of insolvency, and the idea of supporting businesses as a result of government imposed lockdowns is a rather logical one.

It's not insolvency because the businesses are otherwise viable.
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