Is Marxism old-fashioned? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15182758
Monti wrote:
labour theory of value is only an approximation and that value depends on the rate of profit and the period of production as well as on labour time.



Okay, I'd like to see this -- how does labor value depend on the rate of profit, exactly -- ?
#15182778
Rugoz wrote:
Nonsense. The first "caveman" who spent time making a bow instead of hunting with a spear like the rest of the pack was a capitalist. He could have hunted lots of tasty animals while making the bow. He didn't even know whether the bow would work.



F.y.i.:



Common modern ball throwers (molded plastic arms used for throwing tennis balls for dogs to fetch) use the same principle.

A spear-thrower is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).[6]

Spear-throwers appear very early in human history in several parts of the world, and have survived in use in traditional societies until the present day, as well as being revived in recent years for sporting purposes. In the United States, the Nahuatl word atlatl is often used for revived uses of spear-throwers (or the Mayan word hul'che); in Australia, the Dharug word woomera is used instead.

The ancient Greeks and Romans used a leather thong or loop, known as an ankule or amentum, as a spear-throwing device.[7] The Swiss arrow is a weapon that works similarly to amentum.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spear-thrower



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Rugoz wrote:
Who said the capitalist doesn't deserve his cut? He is willing to save up and take risks. Capitalists will inevitably emerge, no matter how equal the starting point.


Rugoz wrote:
Private property will inevitably emerge even if everybody has the same labour income, which won't be the case if people are paid according to their productivity.



This is a *misnomer* and false-promise, though -- you're forgetting the cut that *capital* gets, according to its quantitative proportion -- which typically takes the *lion's share* of productivity gains (since the '70s).


Image
#15182780
Monti wrote:
3- Existence of surplus-value taken by the capitalist does not prove there is exploitation.



Yes, that's *exactly* what privately-expropriated-surplus-labor-value proves -- labor *exploitation*. (Why wasn't the revenue split 50/50 -- ?)


Monti wrote:
The capitalist is right to say that profit remunerates his useful service.



It's not so much a 'service', though, as it is the capital *itself*. Financial work, ironically, *has* been -- at least partially -- *proletarianized*, as in wage-paid white-collar job positions. Money-service, so-to-speak, is basically *finance*, and capitalists generally don't need *hand-holding*, as is the kind of 'service' implied according to your wording.

In other words the capitalist owner is in it for the *profit*, and it's the *financing* of money that's the financial 'service', within capitalism.

Also your wording erroneously implies that all profit-remunerating services in the market are [socially] useful.


Monti wrote:
Pareto, a right-wing economist, ironised that we could also say the capitalist creates the product and labourers exploit him by taking a wage.



Except that the capitalist *doesn't* create the product -- workers do. A company *cannot* be run without workers -- which is the point of labor actions / strikes -- or try running a company without capital, which *could* be done, by the workers of that workplace themselves, collectively.


Monti wrote:
Marx's exploitation rests on the central idea that as a result of LTV, only the labourer creates value. That is the reason why he is exploited by the capitalist and not the inverse. But LTV is wrong.



Again, which party is actually physically responsible for the actual *manufacturing* of the commodity product, or service -- ? Yup, the wage-workers.
#15182782
B0ycey wrote:
Your response is so fucking stupid I am going to give you a moo again.



Now you're pissing off Hindus by insulting the intelligence of cows.


= D


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B0ycey wrote:
Well this is conjecture and I suspect not even close to being true. But what we do know is that tribes didn't work or feed by themselves. They feed and worked as a collective. Very much what we understand Communism to be given I doubt a caveman understood what profit was let alone were able exploit it. The first bowman would have perhaps even shared his possession and gave his knowledge to make it for the benefit of the communal.



Rugoz wrote:
You miss the point. The question is, does he deserve to get rewarded, by whatever means? Did he contribute something to society?



Your formulation assumes 'intellectual property', or 'private advantage' of some kind -- others are trying to gently tell you that in pre-class communal living, anything that *one* person knew would be known by everyone else, too, internally to the group. No one would *leave* their group individually for the sake of *technology*, and the *use* of any given 'technology' couldn't exactly be *hidden* for very long, if at all.
#15182931
Wellsy wrote:Marx’s concept of exploitation isn’t reducible to only a ethical claim as he outlines a description of the process which is why exploitation isn’t always simply dismissed as ethical but targets the basis of his claim as true. Its not the case that descriptive facts are wholly independent ethical content. Marxs work is a critique of the political economy, not a set moral maxims. Although I’d say it isn’t without ethical implications based on an implicit sense of what is good is based in relation to human beings and their needs and development.


Jeez. You accused me of making an "ethical argument", yet I talked about the capitalist's contribution to the economy. That's not reducible to an "ethical claim" either.

Wellsy wrote:A successful risk is rewarded by the nature of production and that is what has to be considered. Because risk is prevalent but its not fleshed out why a capitalist is personally rewarded to the extent they are other than through an examination of property in production.


"to the extent they are". We would have to determine then to what extent it's deserved and to what extent not. The risk-free real interest rate is basically zero, so you have to take at least some risk to get a return.

Wellsy wrote:I am simply pointing out the kind of ideological manner in which small business owners and their characteristics are used to present the character of capitalists when they’re a different class and tend to be of different qualities. It frames the ability to become a capitalists all in a terms of striving business owners rather than of the existing capitalist class. We’re all just waiting to be in the big time i guess.


Well the distribution of business success is highly unequal, which has to do with entrepreneurial talent but also a lot with luck and chance no doubt. Of course profits (beyond paying the rentiers) are based on market power. At the same time some degree of market power is essential for innovation to occurr. At best though an individual entrepreneur can make an innovation happen somewhat earlier than it would have happened without him, but he gets rewarded for more than that marginal benefit. He's bit like the winner of a game or a sports event. The reward he gets is necessary for the game to be played, but it's not really deserved.
#15182933
ckaihatsu wrote:Image


How is the productivity of a worker calculated in this research?

For example, do the automated machine operators, inspectors, etc. get full credit of them when they actually pay much, much less effort for ensuring it running?
#15182946
Rugoz wrote:Jeez. You accused me of making an "ethical argument", yet I talked about the capitalist's contribution to the economy. That's not reducible to an "ethical claim" either.

"to the extent they are". We would have to determine then to what extent it's deserved and to what extent not. The risk-free real interest rate is basically zero, so you have to take at least some risk to get a return.

Well the distribution of business success is highly unequal, which has to do with entrepreneurial talent but also a lot with luck and chance no doubt. Of course profits (beyond paying the rentiers) are based on market power. At the same time some degree of market power is essential for innovation to occurr. At best though an individual entrepreneur can make an innovation happen somewhat earlier than it would have happened without him, but he gets rewarded for more than that marginal benefit. He's bit like the winner of a game or a sports event. The reward he gets is necessary for the game to be played, but it's not really deserved.

Well my point is thus far that the profit towards the capitalist isn't actually explained, as so it seems only like a justification. Because if it isn't elaborated upon it becomes the capitalist reaps profits because they assume risk. But I am emphasizing that risk is inherent to many things and doesn't automatically show how one is rewarded, it's left rather vague when it comes to the property relations within productions which would divide up the 'reward'.

So if there is an innovation created by a team of people in the R&D department and it really puts the company ahead, you would assume they'd be paid well for it perhaps, but their reward wouldn't be directly tied to the product as much as the decision of their employer to compensate them as such. The reaping of the rewards could still largely go to the capitalist.

But what seems to be implied is more the story of the small business man who strikes it rich because of an innovative idea that fulfills a great need and they're launched to the big leagues of business.

'How risky a business venture is in terms of actual sacrifice and potential harm to the investor, the "cost" that supposedly requires remuneration in the form of profit, is relative to the size of the rest of the investor's non-invested income. Starting a company is much riskier for your middle class entrepreneur than your billionaire capitalist, even (especially!) if the investment is the same size. The fact that the former doesn't make more profit than the latter shows that profit is not proportional to real risk.'

If we end up with a focus on the description of some real scenario and the relations of capital, then we're entering into (political) economics naturally. The point being that there is a kind of ethical standard of the economy, it's just one that many do not like because it can be brutal. The earliest works of political economy were ethical treatise.

Even with socialists who imagine the capitalist not existing would still assume some or all of the possible risks, although presumably not for the pursuit of profit, that the capitalist would. So what is in question I think becomes the relations of production if we're not simply to fall back on that the capitalist naturally is owed such and such for some unspecified risk, which typically relates to risk in the form of the investment of capital which can be picked apart further for how someone has such wealth in the first place.
I'm just saying that risk needs to be fleshed out if it is to truly be a descriptive thing but it then raises questions about an accurate reflection of economic scenarios and actors. Otherwise it becomes what is typical that capitalists are owed as much due to their risk and assumes a normative quality. Which I guess is totally justified from the perspective of a capitalist system in itself and not from a critical position.

“ However necessary and justified capitalists' revenue may be within the system of capitalism, that is hardly relevant when the issue is whether that whole system should continue or be superseded by a different system. A king may play a vital role in a system of monarchy, but that is irrelevant when debating the relative merits of monarchies versus republics. ” - Thomas Sowell

And while a critique of capitalism has an ethical element, if it isn’t to be a mere assertion than it requires the descriptive analysis to criticize how as a whole the system is essentially problematic.
#15182952
Patrickov wrote:
How is the productivity of a worker calculated in this research?



If you look at the 'Notes' section of the graphic you'll see that 'individual' worker productivity isn't a metric here -- it's the 'growth of output of goods and services less depreciation per hour worked' that's being measured, as '[total] productivity'.


Patrickov wrote:
For example, do the automated machine operators, inspectors, etc. get full credit of them when they actually pay much, much less effort for ensuring it running?



What the hell is an 'automated machine operator' -- ? Is the machine fully automated, or isn't it? (If it *is*, like an inkjet printer, then it doesn't *need* an 'operator' of its own. And if it *isn't* automated then the machine would have to be operated conventionally, by wage labor.)

Wage labor is *exploited* of its surplus labor value, every hour of every workday, everywhere in the world, due to capitalist economics.


[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

Spoiler: show
Image



Inspectors are part of the state, presumably, so that's a *government* thing, external to the business itself.
#15182954
Actually @Wellsy, you make a strong point. Another point is how much risk does the capitalist take in any case. There isn't many rags to riches stories and many of these so called risks are from people who are from wealthy families that could have been bailed them out if things fail. In Socialism at least the playing field is level - especially in regards to education and I suspect in innovation as well depending on the political structure.
#15182974
Marxism is perfectly valid.

His theories were impeccable.

I could try a point by point refutation.

Maybe later.

The fact that mainstream economics lovers feel the need to make this kind of thread is evidence that Marxism is valid.

You claim all economists know it is invalid. They are just told that. And none of them actually study Marxism.

It does need to be updated, and it is updated. The internal combustion engine, for example, wasn't a thing in Marx's time.

None of Marx's core theories have ever been disproved.

The surplus value theory with respect to labor, is accurate. But, inconvenient to capitalists.

So, to answer the question, no, it is not.
#15182979
Patrickov wrote:
My question is exactly on the accuracy of the above picture.



Okay, what's the question, then?

Keep in mind that the diagram is *illustrative* -- if you want *precision*, read the following example:



Imagine a worker who is hired for an hour and paid $10 per hour. Once in the capitalist's employ, the capitalist can have him operate a boot-making machine with which the worker produces $10 worth of work every 15 minutes. Every hour, the capitalist receives $40 worth of work and only pays the worker $10, capturing the remaining $30 as gross revenue. Once the capitalist has deducted fixed and variable operating costs of (say) $20 (leather, depreciation of the machine, etc.), he is left with $10. Thus, for an outlay of capital of $30, the capitalist obtains a surplus value of $10; his capital has not only been replaced by the operation, but also has increased by $10.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus_value
#15183277
Wellsy wrote:Well my point is thus far that the profit towards the capitalist isn't actually explained, as so it seems only like a justification. Because if it isn't elaborated upon it becomes the capitalist reaps profits because they assume risk. But I am emphasizing that risk is inherent to many things and doesn't automatically show how one is rewarded, it's left rather vague when it comes to the property relations within productions which would divide up the 'reward'.


Profit is determined by the demand for investment, the supply of savings and market structure. Those in term are affected by a variety of factors.

I agree with you that risk doesn't imply the capitalist deserves the return he gets, rather it explains why some capitalists get bigger returns than others. It's just that the real risk-free return is currently zero. On the other hand one can legitimately ask how risky the purchase of real estate or an index fund really is. Not risky at all I would say.

Maybe we should start with inheritance. I think we can all agree it is undeserved. Then you will find the capitalists among those who are willing to save/invest and/or have a higher labor income. In a way the unequal labor income is the start of the problem, because otherwise you could assume unequal capital income is due to unequal contribution to capital despite equal capacity to contribute. That presumes the saving/investment decision is a free one of course. You could also enforce it.

Wellsy wrote:So if there is an innovation created by a team of people in the R&D department and it really puts the company ahead, you would assume they'd be paid well for it perhaps, but their reward wouldn't be directly tied to the product as much as the decision of their employer to compensate them as such. The reaping of the rewards could still largely go to the capitalist.

But what seems to be implied is more the story of the small business man who strikes it rich because of an innovative idea that fulfills a great need and they're launched to the big leagues of business.


From a macro perspective I don't think the two cases are fundamentally different. In the latter case you are more likely to get a very unequal outcome. A startup is a more risky investment but potentially yields a much higher reward. It's a question of how diversified the investment is.

Wellsy wrote:“However necessary and justified capitalists' revenue may be within the system of capitalism, that is hardly relevant when the issue is whether that whole system should continue or be superseded by a different system. A king may play a vital role in a system of monarchy, but that is irrelevant when debating the relative merits of monarchies versus republics. ” - Thomas Sowell


I disagree, because any other system must make investment decisions, which is an intertemporal optimization problem, and extract the resources for investment from somewhere.
#15183508
Rugoz wrote:
Profit is determined by the demand for investment, the supply of savings and market structure.



This is a description of *finance* -- you're not mentioning that finance without actual *production* is meaningless.


[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

Spoiler: show
Image



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Rugoz wrote:
you could assume unequal capital income is due to unequal contribution to capital despite equal capacity to contribute.


Rugoz wrote:
I agree with you that risk doesn't imply the capitalist deserves the return he gets, rather it explains why some capitalists get bigger returns than others.



This is all *management*-sided, though, making it sound like it's solely *investment decisions* that determine how much profits are returned. You're again avoiding and ignoring the *production process* itself, which produces commodities (goods and/or services), for sale, for the difference between revenue and costs, known as profit.
#15183924
Crantag,
The fact that mainstream economics lovers feel the need to make this kind of thread is evidence that Marxism is valid.
You claim all economists know it is invalid. They are just told that. And none of them actually study Marxism.

If once in the future, you are in a debate with liberal economists, you have interest to find better arguments than this one ; otherwise, you will like ridiculous. You forget that the proponents of a theory must try to be convincing in front of people who think differently. Many liberal economists know Marxism better than you are aware of.

The surplus value theory with respect to labor, is accurate. But, inconvenient to capitalists.

The labour theory of value can be considered as disproved. Marx himself has been forced to notice that it does not make the price formation explicit. And exchange value does not mean anything if not the price.
Downward trend in the rate of profit has also been disproved.

None of Marx's core theories have ever been disproved.

Non-economic theories cannot be formally disproved; only scientific theories can. Nonetheless some philosophical or political theories of Marx are not without weaknesses. Even his good ideas such “the dominant ideas are the ideas of the dominant class” are often expounded in a questionable way. But I admit Marx is a great thinker and I admire him despite of my disagreements.

Marxism is perfectly valid.
His theories were impeccable.

You are the kind of person, because of whom Marx had said “If that is to be a Marxist, I am not Marxist”. I am disappointed to encounter so much dogmatism among Marxist socialists. People will yet for long sing "This is the final struggle" before it will happen. Capitalists may sleep quietly.
#15184340
ckaihatsu wrote:Okay, I'd like to see this -- how does labor value depend on the rate of profit, exactly -- ?


Here, I explained David Ricardo's vision. I admit I expressed it in a some confused way. The idea is that, according to him, labour theory of value is a good approximation. But for a more complete explanation, Ricardo introduced the concept of "period of production", later re-used by the Austrian school. Grosso modo, it is the time between the investment of capital and the moment when the product is saleable. Ricardo did not use mathematics, but modern economists have translated his theory with the following formula:
Image
Va is the exchange value of the good
Lt is the labour time at time t
r is the rate of profit
T is the period of production

The presence of r and T represents the role of capital in creating exchange value.
So, Marx was not right when he took Ricardo'theory as explaining value only by labour time.
#15184342
[quote="Monti"]Is Marxism old-fashioned?

For those who understand the French language, I have a personal site at URL https://www.eco-medie.be/.
One of the articles is a critical analysis of Marx's theories. You find it at: https://www.eco-medie.be/?p=676. The downloadable PDF is 14 pages.
I would like to translate it in English but it is much work and I do not have much time.
It is the most insightful text about Marx ever written. Oh sorry, I have forgotten to be modest.
#15184373
Monti wrote:
Here, I explained David Ricardo's vision. I admit I expressed it in a some confused way. The idea is that, according to him, labour theory of value is a good approximation. But for a more complete explanation, Ricardo introduced the concept of "period of production", later re-used by the Austrian school. Grosso modo, it is the time between the investment of capital and the moment when the product is saleable. Ricardo did not use mathematics, but modern economists have translated his theory with the following formula:
Image
Va is the exchange value of the good
Lt is the labour time at time t
r is the rate of profit
T is the period of production

The presence of r and T represents the role of capital in creating exchange value.
So, Marx was not right when he took Ricardo'theory as explaining value only by labour time.



Your formula is bullshit because it compares apples-and-oranges -- you can't determine Va, the exchange value, when the inputs are not even *in terms of* exchange value. The inputs are either timespans (labor time, period of production), or else is a *ratio*, the rate of profit -- which is a *relativistic* term.
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