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The case for Globalization.


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coolcreep



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr_Nico wrote:
Doesn't make any sense to argue with you, you are so full of it you even believe your own words.



I guess this is code for "I tried to find some statistics to back me up but I couldn't, but I don't want to admit that you are right."
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolcreep wrote:
Do you know understand what "collectiviziation" is? It is putting farms under public ownership, rather than private ownership. Public ownership of farms, which would exist under a socialist system, has lead to massive starvation both in Russia and China, during the Great Leap Forward.


That's not what it was at all under Stalin and Mao. Under both tyrants that you allude to, farm collectivization involved putting plots of land that had been privately owned by peasants both rich and poor under control and ownership of the state bureaucracy. The state bureaucracy in Stalinist systems is a stand-in for the bourgeoisie of other capitalist systems. It is the elite, the well positioned, the exploitive class. It is not the "public" in any sense of the word.

The Great Leap Forward and Stalin's 5-year plans were complete disasters in many senses, yet analogous to natural capitalist development that had occurred in the West. They were efforts by the state-capitalist bureaucracies in these nations to modernize their national economy in an effort to become economically, politically, and socially competitive with the other capitalist and imperialist countries of the world.

Don't look now, but much of the globalization you're preaching involves the very same process: the gobbling up of peasant-owned land by private agribusinesses, mines, logging companies, and factory developers in order to modernize the production capability of that land and of those people. The nuance being that the Stalinist bureaucracy did this for what they saw as the good of the nation, and therefore for their own elite class; your 'globalists' do it for profit and nothing else.

coolcreep wrote:
Meanwhile, even the very poorest in countries with economic freedom and private ownership, such as the United States, almost never starve.


Quote:
Hunger and Poverty Statistics
Poverty[1]

* In 2007, 37.3 million people (12.5%) were in poverty.
* In 2007, 7.6 (9.8%) million families were in poverty.
* In 2007, 20.3 million (10.9%) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty.
* In 2007, 13.3 million (18%) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
* In 2007, 3.6 million (9.7%) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security[2]

* In 2007, 36.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children.
* In 2007, 11.1 percent of households (13 million households) were food insecure, a statistically insignificant increase from 10.9 percent (12.6 million households) in 2006.
* In 2007, 4.1 percent of households (4.7 million households) experienced very low food security, a statistically insignificant increase from 4 percent in 2006.
* In 2007, households with children reported food insecurity at almost double the rate for those without children, 15.8 percent compared to 8.7 percent.
* In 2007, households that were more likely to experience food insecurity were households with children (15.8%), households with children headed by single women (30.2 percent) or single men (18 percent), households with incomes below the poverty line (37.7 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (22.2 percent) and Hispanic households (20.1 percent).
* In 2007, 6.5 percent of households with seniors (1.7 million households) were food insecure (low food security and very low food security), a statistically significant increase from 6 percent (1.5 million households) in 2006.

Use of Emergency Food Assistance and Federal Food Assistance Programs

* In 2007, 3.4 percent of all U.S. households (3.9 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.2
* In 2007, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 17 times more likely than food-secure households to have obtained food from a food pantry.2
* In 2007, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 19 times more likely than food-secure households to have eaten a meal at an emergency kitchen.2
* In 2007, 53.9 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs Food Stamp Program, The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.2
* Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 25 million low-income people annually, an 8 percent increase from 23 million since Hunger In America 2001.[3]
* Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to approximately 4.5 million different people in any given week.3


A perfect way to highlight the obscenity that is capitalism. It is a verifiable fact that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone on it with the rise of industrial agriculture, yet millions in even the richest country on earth find food scarce to come by each year, and millions in poorer regions of the world just simply die of starvation. This is due to capitalism's dedication to accumulation of capital.

The theory of accumulation holds that in capitalist economies, the more capital you control the more competitive you are, so therefore the goal of a capitalist economy is simply to continue accumulating and accumulating and accumulating. Marx called it "accumulation for accumulation's sake." This trend can be clearly observed in any and every capitalist economy. The goal of the production of any commodity is not for that commodity to be used, but for that commodity to yield a profit which will become accumulated capital, which will be reinvested for the sake of creating more profit. That is how capitalism functions.

coolcreep wrote:
You talk about the value of labour of the workers, however workers in third world countries could not produce anything valuable without the corporations that provide the capital investment, as outlined in the third argument of my OP. Look at the plight of the Malai, who are not working for corporations, then look at sweatshop workers who are. You will see a massive difference in pay level, quality of life, and life expectancy. If you honestly care for the workers in thirld world countries, you should be arguing for more sweatshops, not less.


I have argued neither for or against 'globalisation' as a concept. As I believe you will agree based on the logic of your argument, is the modernization and industrialization of economies in less-developed areas of the world; it brings about increased productivity, efficiency, and supposedly accompanying increases in standard of living. None of these things can be considered to be a negative thing when taken in their own context. Marx himself praised industrialization and modernization of production as heralding a new age of material wealth that held within it the potential to end scarcity.

Key to the Marxist understanding of reality is the understanding of its many and varied contradictions. This understanding requires a dialectal perspective on the universe, and dialectical materialism is the basis for all that Marx and therefore all that genuine socialists have to say about a given issue. In this case the issue is globalisation, and the contradictions that globalisation creates are many. You have, on one hand, increased productivity available at the hands of the workers and the national economies which they comprise. On the other hand, you have issues such as the seizure of peasant-owned land by filthy rich multi-nationals for their own purposes, leaving the peasants with no choice but to migrate to the cities or to work for the multi-national rather than for themselves. This creates a condition of political, social, and economic submission on the part of the landless peasants and their nations to the multi-national and its political sponsors; a loss of political, economic, cultural autonomy to the hegemony of the 'globaliser.' This is but one negative consequence of globalisation and if I were so inclined I could go much further. Suffice it to say though that it is therefore both good and bad.

As a Marxist and political socialist I therefore would argue that those employed in sweatshops, those displaced by development, those on the verge of losing cultural identity and autonomy as a consequence of this process (globalisation) must all organize against the globalisers and their allies. That they must, whenever and wherever possible, strike for improved working conditions, pay, benefits and the like. That they must, whenever and wherever possible, work to undermine and overturn the foreign-sponsored regimes imposed on their countries and to establish workers' and farmers' governments. That they must, whenever and wherever possible, defend their homes, families, and livelihoods against foreign imperialism by any means. And finally that they must topple the political and economic hierarchy imposed on them by globalisers and their allies and to turn the instruments built by capitalists on their land to use for their own benefit, and not for profit.


coolcreep wrote:
Your description of Stalinism as "state-capitalism" also shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what the system is.


On the contrary, your refusal to acknowledge it as such shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how capitalism works at all.

Stalinism involves the following:

- A stratified, hierarchical class-based society.
- Economic focus on accumulation, which I described above.
- Exploitation of labor by the dominant and minority class (the bureaucracy, in this case) for surplus value.
- An inclination towards economic and military imperialism against other nations, fueled for and by aforementioned capital accumulation.
- Political and ideological domination of the working class by the ruling class.
- The creation of an extensive state apparatus to protect property used and administered by the ruling-class.
- The use of this state apparatus to destroy working class organizations, break strikes, put down revolts, divide movements, and otherwise assert economic and cultural control over the country.

Every single one of these qualities is endemic and essential to capitalist society.

Capitalism has never been about the free market, and has existed under varying degrees of governmental control, guidance, protection, and dominance in every corner of the globe for centuries. An absolutely free market is unsustainable, has never existed, and would simply be anarchy; it is against the interests of the elites who push and steer all economies to allow a totally free market to develop. Economic Libertarianism is a pipe-dream ideology dreamed up as a means of justifying privatization by bourgeois academic agents, but never ever implemented even by those who claim to espouse it because it defies economic reality and necessity.

coolcreep wrote:
Stalin turned Russia away from the near-capitalist New Economic Policy created by Lenin, which saved Russia from being completely and utterly destitute after 7 years of war.


The NEP was a program designed to encourage and preserve the autonomy of the Russian peasantry so that they could continue producing food to feed the cities as the Russian working class (what was left of it after it was decimated by the wars) assumed full democratic control of the nation's industry. The peculiar thing about the period after the Civil War and before Stalin's consolidation of power is that the Bolshevik Party found itself as the vanguard of a class that had been completely devastated and destroyed. At the beginning of WWI Russia's proletariat constituted only 20 percent of its total population; its peasantry about 70 percent and the bourgeoisie, as always, about 10. Following the war the bourgeoisie and proletariat were both decimated (the bourgeoisie almost completely), leaving the peasantry as by far the most sizable class. The Bolsheviks, as a proletarian political party, required the loyalty of an entirely different class, the peasants, in order to maintain a stable and sustainable government so they could implement their socialist program. Farm collectivization would come, but only once the proletariat had rebuilt itself (once peasants had migrated to the cities to rebuild and then work in factories of their own accord) and the economy could strike the necessary balance between agriculture, capital production, and consumer production. The Bolsheviks instituted the NEP as a way of placating the peasants so they would continue producing food, and then trade with the urban proletariat for consumer goods that they required.

A large bureaucracy was created by the Bolsheviks to administer over the country and its reconstruction, as well as implement the NEP. This bureaucracy consisted of Bolsheviks and prominent peasants in a political alliance, but also necessarily included Czarist and former provisional-government bureaucrats out of necessity because they had experience administrating the needs of a functioning government. Stalin came to power because he had the loyalty of the bureaucracy, and was a product of the bureaucracy's coming to recognize itself as a class all its own with its own distinct interests. He ended the NEP by essentially declaring war on the peasants who benefited from it using the Red Army to prematurely force collectivization and seize food stockpiles, and he did this because the wealthy peasants or 'Kulaks' were easily identifiable pariahs that he could gather support against. The peasants naturally revolted against this and food production was therefore seriously disrupted, resulting in famine. During the time it took to readjust the economy this disruption continued and so the famine persisted.

The NEP wasn't "near-capitalist" as you suggest, but was part of the Bolsheviks' program of consolidating the gains of the Russian Revolution, and holding out until expected revolutions in Europe occurred and saved Russia from economic implosion. These revolutions were attempted but all failed for various reasons.

There's your history lesson for the day.

coolcreep wrote:
Capitalism is all about putting the means of production in the hands of private citizens, rather than the government, which makes "state-capitalism" an utterly rediculous concept to begin with.


Nope, its about the things I listed above, as clearly described by Marx in Kapital and Lenin in Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism. The hallmarks of capitalism are capital accumulation, exploitation of labor for surplus value, imperialism, commodity fetishism, the rise of states responsive to economic elites, and class society. Private ownership of capital is necessary for exactly none of these conditions to arise; it just happens to be probably the most effective way of implementing them, as proven by the defeat of the USSR-led state-capitalist bloc in 1991-92 by the otherwise-capitalist West, and subsequent reformation efforts in state-capitalist China and Cuba.

coolcreep wrote:
Public ownership of capital leads to the tragedy of commons, whereas private ownership of capital leads to rapidly increasing wealth and quality of life.


The first part of this statement is refuted by my argument about economic conditions peculiar to Russia and China at the time of their revolutions (i.e. that they sucked regardless of who was in power and what their economic program was). The second part is simply a misnomer; private-ownership isn't necessary for industrialization and the accompanying increase in wealth and quality of life - it just so happened to occur that way in the west. Industrialization did occur under state control in the Stalinist USSR, which did eventually settle out of its period of famine and experienced a similarly-rapid growth and improvement in standard of living.
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuperDelfin wrote:

What you are describing is a flawed system of capitalism created by more government intervention, not lack-there-of.


See aboveeeeeeeee.

I would like to thank the University of Pittsburgh for paying me $7.15/hr. to sit behind a desk in its library for hours schooling people in this forum.
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coolcreep



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChuckNorris wrote:


coolcreep wrote:
Meanwhile, even the very poorest in countries with economic freedom and private ownership, such as the United States, almost never starve.


Quote:
Hunger and Poverty Statistics
Poverty[1]

* In 2007, 37.3 million people (12.5%) were in poverty.
* In 2007, 7.6 (9.8%) million families were in poverty.
* In 2007, 20.3 million (10.9%) of people aged 18-64 were in poverty.
* In 2007, 13.3 million (18%) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
* In 2007, 3.6 million (9.7%) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security[2]

* In 2007, 36.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children.
* In 2007, 11.1 percent of households (13 million households) were food insecure, a statistically insignificant increase from 10.9 percent (12.6 million households) in 2006.
* In 2007, 4.1 percent of households (4.7 million households) experienced very low food security, a statistically insignificant increase from 4 percent in 2006.
* In 2007, households with children reported food insecurity at almost double the rate for those without children, 15.8 percent compared to 8.7 percent.
* In 2007, households that were more likely to experience food insecurity were households with children (15.8%), households with children headed by single women (30.2 percent) or single men (18 percent), households with incomes below the poverty line (37.7 percent), Black non-Hispanic households (22.2 percent) and Hispanic households (20.1 percent).
* In 2007, 6.5 percent of households with seniors (1.7 million households) were food insecure (low food security and very low food security), a statistically significant increase from 6 percent (1.5 million households) in 2006.

Use of Emergency Food Assistance and Federal Food Assistance Programs

* In 2007, 3.4 percent of all U.S. households (3.9 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.2
* In 2007, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 17 times more likely than food-secure households to have obtained food from a food pantry.2
* In 2007, food insecure (low food security or very low food security) households were 19 times more likely than food-secure households to have eaten a meal at an emergency kitchen.2
* In 2007, 53.9 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major Federal food assistance programs – Food Stamp Program, The National School Lunch Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.2
* Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 25 million low-income people annually, an 8 percent increase from 23 million since Hunger In America 2001.[3]
* Feeding America provides emergency food assistance to approximately 4.5 million different people in any given week.3


A perfect way to highlight the obscenity that is capitalism. It is a verifiable fact that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone on it with the rise of industrial agriculture, yet millions in even the richest country on earth find food scarce to come by each year, and millions in poorer regions of the world just simply die of starvation. This is due to capitalism's dedication to accumulation of capital.


It is not at all a "veritable fact" that the entire population can be fed. You cannot simply take the amount of food produced, divide by the number of people, and see if that is enough food to feed someone. Right now, population is held in check by the lack of food in developing countries. If everyone is fed, then more people reproduce, more kids survive, more of them grow up to reproduction age, and sinse they are healthy, they reproduce more too, until eventually there are more people than the food supply can allow for. This is pretty basic Malthusian theory, and it has been demonstrated throughout human history. You must also consider that, much like wealth, if you simply spread food around regardless of who produced it, people simply stop producing food, as they have no vested self-interest in that production. Also, notice that all your statistics talk about food insecurity, not starvation. That is the difference between privately owned farming and publicly owned farming, in one the poor use food pantries, in the other people starve. Also, "publicly owned" means state-owned, they simply dont translate to the same thing because large governments always become corrupt and self-serving, which is why a small government which does not intervene in the economy is strictly better than one that does.

Quote:
The theory of accumulation holds that in capitalist economies, the more capital you control the more competitive you are, so therefore the goal of a capitalist economy is simply to continue accumulating and accumulating and accumulating. Marx called it "accumulation for accumulation's sake." This trend can be clearly observed in any and every capitalist economy. The goal of the production of any commodity is not for that commodity to be used, but for that commodity to yield a profit which will become accumulated capital, which will be reinvested for the sake of creating more profit. That is how capitalism functions.


Capitalism is based around profit? Really? I never knew :S. Nobody is denying that the private accumulation of capital is not the driving force behind capitalism, what I am arguing is that in a free market system, if everyone is free to persue profit, everyone benefits more than a system that attempts to distribute wealth.

Also, fun fact, not everyone in the world agrees with Marx. Just thought you should know.
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolcreep wrote:
It is not at all a "veritable fact" that the entire population can be fed. You cannot simply take the amount of food produced, divide by the number of people, and see if that is enough food to feed someone. Right now, population is held in check by the lack of food in developing countries. If everyone is fed, then more people reproduce, more kids survive, more of them grow up to reproduction age, and sinse they are healthy, they reproduce more too, until eventually there are more people than the food supply can allow for.


It is, in fact, a verifiable fact that the world produces enough food to feed everyone that is alive on this planet right now, and yet millions are starving. There was more than enough food in Ireland during the Potato Famine to feed everyone there, yet millions starved. There are reasons for this: capitalism is not an efficient means of distributing goods and serving, nor is it intended or able to be by its very nature.

coolcreep wrote:
You must also consider that, much like wealth, if you simply spread food around regardless of who produced it, people simply stop producing food, as they have no vested self-interest in that production.


In a socialist society, everyone will understand from childhood on that each has an obligation to work for the good of all, just as people born in capitalist societies understand from childhood on that each has to compete in order to provide for themselves. Selflessness can be taught.

coolcreep wrote:
Also, notice that all your statistics talk about food insecurity, not starvation.


Which makes food insecurity okay I guess? The point is that in the richest, most materially abundant society in the world, people are still going hungry completely needlessly.

coolcreep wrote:
That is the difference between privately owned farming and publicly owned farming, in one the poor use food pantries, in the other people starve.


Uh you're wrong. Sub-Saharan Africa is about as free-market as it gets (because governments are in shambles there to begin with), and most arable land is privately owned. Its serving them well, as you can tell.

coolcreep wrote:
Also, "publicly owned" means state-owned, they simply dont translate to the same thing because large governments always become corrupt and self-serving, which is why a small government which does not intervene in the economy is strictly better than one that does.


Who was the state in the USSR accountable to? The answer: its own bureaucracy. There wasn't even the marginally-democratic republican system that the US employs to justify the concept of state-ownership as being public-ownership.

coolcreep wrote:
Capitalism is based around profit? Really? I never knew :S. Nobody is denying that the private accumulation of capital is not the driving force behind capitalism


You're smarter than you look then.

coolcreep wrote:
what I am arguing is that in a free market system, if everyone is free to persue profit,


That's a fallacy though. Profit can only come at the cost of exploitation of surplus labor value. There is literally no other way when you boil it down.

coolcreep wrote:
everyone benefits more than a system that attempts to distribute wealth.


In industrial circumstances, all wealth is created either directly or indirectly as a social function. All of society is the basis and wellspring of all wealth, and therefore all of society should benefit equitably from the creation and distribution of this wealth. Capitalism cannot satisfy this demand, and therefore must be replaced.

coolcreep wrote:
Also, fun fact, not everyone in the world agrees with Marx. Just thought you should know.


His observations on economics, history, and philosophy are all very hard to argue with. Even many bourgeois economists throughout history acknowledge the fundamental soundness of his conclusions. Much of Kapital comes from Adam Smith himself.

So yeah, you can disagree with Marx, but you'd be wrong.
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Dr_Nico



Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolcreep wrote:
Dr_Nico wrote:
Doesn't make any sense to argue with you, you are so full of it you even believe your own words.



I guess this is code for "I tried to find some statistics to back me up but I couldn't, but I don't want to admit that you are right."


Haha, so funny, I don't need any statistic, you'd realize how poverty is if you took your head out of your ass.

Quote:
It is not at all a "veritable fact" that the entire population can be fed. You cannot simply take the amount of food produced, divide by the number of people, and see if that is enough food to feed someone. Right now, population is held in check by the lack of food in developing countries. If everyone is fed, then more people reproduce, more kids survive, more of them grow up to reproduction age, and sinse they are healthy, they reproduce more too, until eventually there are more people than the food supply can allow for. This is pretty basic Malthusian theory, and it has been demonstrated throughout human history. You must also consider that, much like wealth, if you simply spread food around regardless of who produced it, people simply stop producing food, as they have no vested self-interest in that production. Also, notice that all your statistics talk about food insecurity, not starvation. That is the difference between privately owned farming and publicly owned farming, in one the poor use food pantries, in the other people starve. Also, "publicly owned" means state-owned, they simply dont translate to the same thing because large governments always become corrupt and self-serving, which is why a small government which does not intervene in the economy is strictly better than one that does.


Is this code for I'm a retarded redneck?
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coolcreep



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChuckNorris wrote:

It is, in fact, a verifiable fact that the world produces enough food to feed everyone that is alive on this planet right now, and yet millions are starving. There was more than enough food in Ireland during the Potato Famine to feed everyone there, yet millions starved. There are reasons for this: capitalism is not an efficient means of distributing goods and serving, nor is it intended or able to be by its very nature.


You did not address my point at all. I specifically said that while right now there is enough food production, if everyone was being fed, the population would be much much higher than it is today. This is the Malthusian dilemna, look it up.

Quote:

In a socialist society, everyone will understand from childhood on that each has an obligation to work for the good of all, just as people born in capitalist societies understand from childhood on that each has to compete in order to provide for themselves. Selflessness can be taught.


This has never been achieved on a large scale. You would require brainwashing from infancy to adulthood in order to achieve this, as it goes directly against human nature. The tragedy of the commons can be seen all throughout history. People are rapacious, capitalism simply creates a system where people's self-interest can be harnessed constructively. Trying to fight human nature is akin to fighting the tides.

Quote:

Which makes food insecurity okay I guess? The point is that in the richest, most materially abundant society in the world, people are still going hungry completely needlessly.


There are services that prevent people from going hungry, most of them heavily reliant on volunteers. When people have their own needs met in a capitalist system, then they will freely choose to help others. If people do not have their needs met, which is inevitable in a socialist system, they become completely self-interested.

Quote:

Uh you're wrong. Sub-Saharan Africa is about as free-market as it gets (because governments are in shambles there to begin with), and most arable land is privately owned. Its serving them well, as you can tell.


To call the system in Sub-Saharan Africa free market is a joke. There are no property rights, there are abusive, dictatorial regimes, all things completely opposite to the free market. Also, people like you keep the first world from signing free trade agreements with African countries, which helps to keep them impoverished. If Africa could sell its crops on European markets without backbreaking tarriffs, they wouldn't be in such horrible shape.

Quote:

Who was the state in the USSR accountable to? The answer: its own bureaucracy. There wasn't even the marginally-democratic republican system that the US employs to justify the concept of state-ownership as being public-ownership.


I am not sure how this refutes what I said at all. Please elaborate.

Quote:

You're smarter than you look then.


You have never seen me, so I can only assume this is a petty personal attack. Please keep these out of this thread. Thankyou.

Quote:

That's a fallacy though. Profit can only come at the cost of exploitation of surplus labor value. There is literally no other way when you boil it down.


You have an idea for a product that people would want. You buy what you need to build the product, you build the product, you sell the product for more than the cost of the materials you used to build it. You just made profit. I guess there is another way to make profit...holy shit.

Quote:

In industrial circumstances, all wealth is created either directly or indirectly as a social function. All of society is the basis and wellspring of all wealth, and therefore all of society should benefit equitably from the creation and distribution of this wealth. Capitalism cannot satisfy this demand, and therefore must be replaced.


Rubbish. If I toil in a field and create something, society did not create it, I did. If I design a building that is cheaper and safer than any other design, society did not design it, I did. Individuals create wealth, not society. If you take away the individual's incentive to create wealth, wealth stops being created. Again, you need only look to the tragedy of the commons to see the validity of this statement.

coolcreep wrote:
Also, fun fact, not everyone in the world agrees with Marx. Just thought you should know.


His observations on economics, history, and philosophy are all very hard to argue with. Even many bourgeois economists throughout history acknowledge the fundamental soundness of his conclusions. Much of Kapital comes from Adam Smith himself.

So yeah, you can disagree with Marx, but you'd be wrong.[/quote]

I am not even sure how to respond to something so overwhelmingly pretentious and baseless. The sooner you realize that Marxist theory isn't gospel, the better.
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolcreep wrote:
ChuckNorris wrote:

It is, in fact, a verifiable fact that the world produces enough food to feed everyone that is alive on this planet right now, and yet millions are starving. There was more than enough food in Ireland during the Potato Famine to feed everyone there, yet millions starved. There are reasons for this: capitalism is not an efficient means of distributing goods and serving, nor is it intended or able to be by its very nature.


You did not address my point at all. I specifically said that while right now there is enough food production, if everyone was being fed, the population would be much much higher than it is today. This is the Malthusian dilemna, look it up.


I actually meant to continue on this point during my last post but I had to leave work and was thus unable to finish.

Your scenario cannot explain the fact that most industrialized nations (those with the most food, and available resources in general), particularly Japan, Russia, and Northern/Western Europe, are actually experiencing rapidly declining birth rates. This is because industrialization, as Marx correctly pointed out, yields many benefits including mass education, mass production, and innovation. In this particular instance, industrialization has enabled mass distribution of birth control and mass dissemination of information about reproduction and so-called 'family planning.' Hence, lower birth rates.

Unindustrialized nations don't have the benefit of this and so their population continues to grow according normal agricultural conditions.

In a global socialist society, the benefits of industrialization would necessarily apply to all people. Its no small wonder that socialist movements in undeveloped countries throughout history have called for free mass education as one of their central planks.

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:

In a socialist society, everyone will understand from childhood on that each has an obligation to work for the good of all, just as people born in capitalist societies understand from childhood on that each has to compete in order to provide for themselves. Selflessness can be taught.


This has never been achieved on a large scale. You would require brainwashing from infancy to adulthood in order to achieve this, as it goes directly against human nature. The tragedy of the commons can be seen all throughout history. People are rapacious, capitalism simply creates a system where people's self-interest can be harnessed constructively. Trying to fight human nature is akin to fighting the tides.


Wrong. You assume an awful lot about 'human nature,' completely neglecting the fact that human beings lived in egalitarian communal societies for 95 percent of human history. We know this both through studying the anthropological record, and from observing hunter-gatherer societies that have persisted to this day. Everything is shared: food, tools, children, everything. None of the social constructs present in capitalist society (patriarchy chief among them) exist in these conditions. They behaved/behave in completely different ways and relations.

There is therefore no biological basis for the rapaciousness you describe that exists in capitalist (really all post-agricultural) society. In fact, there is a biological basis for the exact opposite condition, since these were the social relations present immediately after homo sapiens' evolution.

Human beings began to experience a shift away from egalitarianism with the advent of agriculture and the accompanying creation of an economic surplus for the first time. This surplus gave rise to the question of who would manage it, in addition to creating the possibility of a small segment of society who did not have to produce food and could pursue other things - a division of labor. This is how class-society originated. However, until industrialization, this surplus was never large enough to be meaningfully spread around effectively - we simply did not possess the productive capacities necessary.

Industrialization fundamentally changed this condition. Suddenly we could produce everything we could ever need. Yet under capitalism class-society remains a fixture, though its really an unnecessary burden. We have the material and productive means necessary to satisfy the material need of everyone - this exists even now in an epoch where only 1/3 of the world lives in fully-industrialized conditions. Yet the demands of capitalism - endless, aimless competition chief among them - prevent us from actually doing this. Therefore the capitalist system needs to be toppled and replaced by a system that places human need first and foremost. In fact, a system that does away with profit and competition permanently. That is the only way to settle the problem of poverty and material deprivation, and the only way to true freedom and democracy.

coolcreep wrote:
There are services that prevent people from going hungry, most of them heavily reliant on volunteers. When people have their own needs met in a capitalist system, then they will freely choose to help others. If people do not have their needs met, which is inevitable in a socialist system, they become completely self-interested.


These charitable services, while inherently good things, are all horribly inefficient and will never be able to solve the fundamental problems behind poverty.

With very few exceptions, those who have their needs truly met in a capitalist system do not contribute substantially to trying to eradicate poverty, as their concerns lie with remaining able to compete (remember the theory of accumulation I mentioned in the last post, which applies here on a more microeconomic level). The very goal of socialism and of socialist politics is to meet the needs of everyone. Socialism does, admittedly, require a very specific set of circumstances in order to take hold (first and foremost among them: global revolution and the establishment of a worldwide proletarian confederacy), but the material basis exists right now for its success. Its just a matter of organizing.

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:

Uh you're wrong. Sub-Saharan Africa is about as free-market as it gets (because governments are in shambles there to begin with), and most arable land is privately owned. Its serving them well, as you can tell.


To call the system in Sub-Saharan Africa free market is a joke. There are no property rights, there are abusive, dictatorial regimes, all things completely opposite to the free market. Also, people like you keep the first world from signing free trade agreements with African countries, which helps to keep them impoverished. If Africa could sell its crops on European markets without backbreaking tarriffs, they wouldn't be in such horrible shape.


Wrong again. Countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Ghana (there are many more) who are the more politically-stable nations in Sub-Saharan Africa all have substantial enumerated property rights and go out of their way to protect them (Apartheid, coincidentally, was a symptom of this). These governments are constantly trying to attract foreign investment, so their orientation is generally pro-market and pro-business to the hilt. Yet still they languish.

And its not as if there aren't a ton of trade agreements between the West and developing nations on the books already. Socialists oppose such agreements because they are always based on imperialist aims and only to benefit the more industrialized country, in effect the colonizer.

One of the biggest reasons African agriculture is unable to compete is because the governments of industrialized countries heavily subsidize their agricultural sectors. Developing nations are unable to do this because they're up to their scalps in debt to the IMF and World Bank, which are both simply tools of economic imperialism for the benefit of the industrialized states. Your inevitable reply will be "subsidies are not free-market." The answer to that capitalisms' emphasis on competition (and yes, winning competition) makes the situation such that if a state is able to help its own farmers compete and defeat competition from other nations' farmers, it will do so, and it is only logical that it does so. The system demands it.

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:
Who was the state in the USSR accountable to? The answer: its own bureaucracy. There wasn't even the marginally-democratic republican system that the US employs to justify the concept of state-ownership as being public-ownership.


I am not sure how this refutes what I said at all. Please elaborate.


The state in the USSR was not accountable to the public, therefore what it owned (most things) can not be seen as being publicly-owned. You can make that case with republican forms of government because there is at least some sort of responsiveness on the part of those governments to the "public" (though rarely does it meaningfully extend outside of the sphere of the bourgeoisie).

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:

You're smarter than you look then.


You have never seen me, so I can only assume this is a petty personal attack. Please keep these out of this thread. Thankyou.


/sarcasm. take a joke. I'm sure you're a perfectly intelligent and capable person.

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:

That's a fallacy though. Profit can only come at the cost of exploitation of surplus labor value. There is literally no other way when you boil it down.


You have an idea for a product that people would want. You buy what you need to build the product, you build the product, you sell the product for more than the cost of the materials you used to build it. You just made profit. I guess there is another way to make profit...holy shit.


What you bought was inevitably made by workers who were exploited for their labor because the products of their labor were sold by their factory's (farm's, mine's, arbor's) owner at a profit. Furthermore, by selling what you've built at greater than the cost of your materials and labor you are exploiting the consumer, which somewhere down the chain is inevitably a worker. Workers are thus doubly exploited, both in production and consumption. No way to escape this under capitalism.

coolcreep wrote:
Quote:

In industrial circumstances, all wealth is created either directly or indirectly as a social function. All of society is the basis and wellspring of all wealth, and therefore all of society should benefit equitably from the creation and distribution of this wealth. Capitalism cannot satisfy this demand, and therefore must be replaced.


Rubbish. If I toil in a field and create something, society did not create it, I did. If I design a building that is cheaper and safer than any other design, society did not design it, I did. Individuals create wealth, not society. If you take away the individual's incentive to create wealth, wealth stops being created. Again, you need only look to the tragedy of the commons to see the validity of this statement.


Individuals working together (whether they do so intentionally or with awareness or not) in society through social processes create all wealth. This is especially magnified under industrial conditions, as the means necessary for anyone to create wealth are manufactured, gathered, or provided by someone else in a very systematic (industrial) way. Furthermore industrialization by its very nature forces people to work in close tandem in order to operate both its literal and figurative machinery. It is in this way that society creates wealth. The only circumstance in which an individual would create wealth on his or her own was if they were to become a hermit, and therefore their wealth production capacity would be extremely limited.

So to answer your examples, you could build something but it would be using materials other people harvested or manufactured. You could design something but other people would mass-produce it. There is no economic process in industrialized society which is confined only to the individual.

coolcreep wrote:
coolcreep wrote:
Also, fun fact, not everyone in the world agrees with Marx. Just thought you should know.


Quote:
His observations on economics, history, and philosophy are all very hard to argue with. Even many bourgeois economists throughout history acknowledge the fundamental soundness of his conclusions. Much of Kapital comes from Adam Smith himself.

So yeah, you can disagree with Marx, but you'd be wrong.


coolcreep wrote:
I am not even sure how to respond to something so overwhelmingly pretentious and baseless. The sooner you realize that Marxist theory isn't gospel, the better.


Pretentious, maybe, but I stand by it because I believe it wholeheartedly to be correct and proven more correct every day. Baseless, hardly. The sooner you embrace it, perhaps, the better.

You ignored many of the points made in my earlier posts on this thread. Have you nothing to say against them?
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aw c'mon Creep you're no fun.
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

booooooooooooooooooooring
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