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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Funnily enough, I am writing an essay on just that. 'Why don't the poor rebel more often'. :p:
    Do you reckon things will change if the current capitalistic cycles continue and get progressively worse?

    Im actually doing an essay on capitalism at the moment myself

    Its easy enough to pick it apart, but much harder to offer a clear cut alternative as a positive contrast..

    I think democracy is meant to be the tool to eradicate unfairness and to direct ourselves to a better society...
    But the elite are in both parties and capitalism dictates all really..
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    The 'Capitalist, upper-class' of which you speak is pretty much gone from the western world. There are massive companies such as foxconn etc, but they are pretty much all nestled in places where cheap labour can be found. This argument can only be applied on a globalized scale, but not in western societies such as the UK or US.

    The richest in society, as I have said before, tend to be providers or intellectual services or products. Not of workers and cheap labour.

    The providers of workers and cheap labour, would be the labour force itself, i think? So yes, the providers of products (the capitalist manufacturers) are indeed the richest in society. And that is the problem.
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    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    What exactly is the intellectual part of the argument?

    The capitalist factory owner has not got there through hard work, and this is rather the point, as Marx says (capital 473):

    "Since the production and the circulation of commodities are the general prerequisites of the capitalist mode of production, division of labour in manufacture requires that a division of labour within society should have already attained a certain degree of development. Inversely, the division of labour in manufacture reacts back upon that society, developing and multiplying it further. "

    So it's a class issue. The lumpenproletariat can't 'gain through work which most workers haven't been able to produce themselves'.
    But Marx was talking in a different era?

    Say I work for Apple as CEO, and through my hard work I gained a masters in graphic design, and I graphically design and plan a beautiful machine. This is then passed onto foxconn who facilitates the building of it. I pay Foxconn a lump sum, and then make the rest of the money myself, which i then distribute to others and myself according to how much we worked respectively in this design. I highly doubt any of the workers involved in the factory could have done the same. THAT is the intellectual part of the argument.
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    (Original post by AidyD)
    Do you reckon things will change if the current capitalistic cycles continue and get progressively worse?

    Im actually doing an essay on capitalism at the moment myself

    Its easy enough to pick it apart, but much harder to offer a clear cut alternative as a positive contrast..

    I think democracy is meant to be the tool to eradicate unfairness and to direct ourselves to a better society...
    But the elite are in both parties and capitalism dictates all really..
    it is 3000 words so far, and there are tonnes of factors involved, I couldn't go through it all. :work:

    And I do disagree with you, I am a rugged individualist myself, but hey ho.
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    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    The providers of workers and cheap labour, would be the labour force itself, i think? So yes, the providers of products (the capitalist manufacturers) are indeed the richest in society. And that is the problem.
    But they aren't? The tertiary providers are? Case in point, Bill Gates. He didn't produce any products, he just produced a user-friendly OS. He didn't exploit any workers, and he is the second richest man in the world. I realise this is entirely anecdotal, but there has to be some truth in that.
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    (Original post by AidyD)
    Do you reckon things will change if the current capitalistic cycles continue and get progressively worse?

    Im actually doing an essay on capitalism at the moment myself

    Its easy enough to pick it apart, but much harder to offer a clear cut alternative as a positive contrast..

    I think democracy is meant to be the tool to eradicate unfairness and to direct ourselves to a better society...
    But the elite are in both parties and capitalism dictates all really..
    One thing worth taking note of is how there seems to be a long-term trend in the decline of profitability when considering capitalist activity as a whole. In many sectors it is getting harder and harder to make big profits (and which goes some way to explaining the increasing propensity to take big risks with capital). There is also, at least from the 1960s if I remember correctly, a problem in maintaining growth, i.e. the rate of growth in capitalism, taken as a whole, seems to be diminishing. There's also some speculation that the long-term trend in advanced capitalist countries is for surplus labour to inch upwards, setting aside the swings and roundabouts of recessions and booms, i.e. there are an ever increasing number of people looking for work who the markets do not want or need. Obviously the extent to which some or all of these trends is significant or permanent in capitalism is open to debate, but they at least highlight how we should be thinking of capitalism as an historical process, not just as a 'system', i.e. as we travel through time capitalism is changing societies and changing its own operations at the same time. Once we acknowledge this quality of capitalism as having a trajectory, or set of trajectories, we are better placed to speculate about where it is going and where it is taking us.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Marx probably underestimated the way capitalism would globalise and thus slow down (or rather make more complex) the antagonistic economic relations which were emerging within more narrowly national or regional contexts. While in Marx's day it made sense to look at economically generating class conflict in the same towns, cities and countries, this has become many times more complicated as the relationships between those who own and those who work are spread across the globe (and in ever shifting patterns).
    That had been the case, albeit to a lesser degree, in Marx's day though. International capitalism is certainly not a new thing (nor is globalisation, of which the slave trade or the British East India Company might be good examples). Engels, of course, was sent to Manchester and Salford to work for his father's German company, the profit from which funded Marx's work.

    However, it is case that capital has spread itself more widely throughout the world, meaning that large businesses are no longer so likely to be European or American. But surely that will increase competition between nations rather than between classes (since the working class of the developing world now has a greater stake in its nations' material prosperity since it surely wishes to enjoy the prosperity that we do [and, unlike before, considers it foreseeable], even if that be unequally distributed prosperity).
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    But Marx was talking in a different era?

    Say I work for Apple as CEO, and through my hard work I gained a masters in graphic design, and I graphically design and plan a beautiful machine. This is then passed onto foxconn who facilitates the building of it. I pay Foxconn a lump sum, and then make the rest of the money myself, which i then distribute to others and myself according to how much we worked respectively in this design. I highly doubt any of the workers involved in the factory could have done the same. THAT is the intellectual part of the argument.
    I suppose it's very valid to argue that we are now in a very different economic context! The point would be however that you would have to pay Foxconn, because you would not be able to roll it into production yourself. They would profit from you, even if you eventually made more money, because they own the means of production. Also, and I don't know much about these matters, would Foxconn really only accept a lump sum, or would they desire shares, or a percentage of every sale? Otherwise, once the lump sum had dissolved into production costs, they would eventually be effectively producing it for free, for no profit.

    The economic state is such that you would not be able to produce it yourself.


    BTW, please don't consider this an argument, i just like debates!
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    it is 3000 words so far, and there are tonnes of factors involved, I couldn't go through it all. :work:

    And I do disagree with you, I am a rugged individualist myself, but hey ho.
    Haha no probs dude, hey check out this thing called the Venus project, which sounds so ideallistic and improbable you will probably shrug it off.

    I found out recently that there is actually a city being built that shadows the venus project, out in the desert somewhere. Sounds quite amazing.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    But they aren't? The tertiary providers are? Case in point, Bill Gates. He didn't produce any products, he just produced a user-friendly OS. He didn't exploit any workers, and he is the second richest man in the world. I realise this is entirely anecdotal, but there has to be some truth in that.
    perhaps massive TNC's have replaced a class of individual capitalists. In this instance, Microsoft as an entity is surely richer than him
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    (Original post by AidyD)
    Do you reckon things will change if the current capitalistic cycles continue and get progressively worse?

    Im actually doing an essay on capitalism at the moment myself

    Its easy enough to pick it apart, but much harder to offer a clear cut alternative as a positive contrast..

    I think democracy is meant to be the tool to eradicate unfairness and to direct ourselves to a better society...
    But the elite are in both parties and capitalism dictates all really..
    I am not sure what difference democracy will make. If anything I envision it making the problem worse.
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    (Original post by AidyD)
    Haha no probs dude, hey check out this thing called the Venus project, which sounds so ideallistic and improbable you will probably shrug it off.

    I found out recently that there is actually a city being built that shadows the venus project, out in the desert somewhere. Sounds quite amazing.
    Yep, was posted on here.

    I know what the venus project is, and in an ideal world, it would succeed. I would dearly love it to succeed.

    But i don't see it because philosophically, it has quite a few faltering points itself, which unlike Capitalism, cannot be glossed over so easilly.
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    That had been the case, albeit to a lesser degree, in Marx's day though. International capitalism is certainly not a new thing (nor is globalisation, of which the slave trade or the British East India Company might be good examples). Engels, of course, was sent to Manchester and Salford to work for his father's German company, the profit from which funded Marx's work.

    However, it is case that capital has spread itself more widely throughout the world, meaning that large businesses are no longer so likely to be European or American. But surely that will increase competition between nations rather than between classes (since the working class of the developing world now has a greater stake in its nations' material prosperity since it surely wishes to enjoy the prosperity that we do [and, unlike before, considers it foreseeable], even if that be unequally distributed prosperity).
    Sure, the international nature of capital was well underway in Marx's time, but there was still, in many sectors, a domination of same-nation class antagonisms, i.e. relations of capital to labour. That's all I'm suggesting. To simplify; the everpresent norm in the 1840s, 1850s or 1860s was for the typical English factory-owner to employ English wage-labourers, all of which were likely to live in the same town. Please don't tell me you're looking for exceptions to prove a rule. Anyway, today globalisation (and its technologisation) has blown that conventional relationship, and thus the antagonsims between capital and labour, beyond recognition. It's not that it has 'gone away' it has just fragemented to an extent which, ultimately, strongly favours capital in its exploitation of labour and in diminishing any easy sense of class solidarity among wage-labourers. While capital has consolidated its domination with globalisation, wage-labour has mostly stayed local, or regional. Nissan can, and would, easily abandon its factory in Sunderland and build one in, say, Brazil, should their accountants confirm its profitable advantage, their Wearside workers cannot so easily relocate.
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    That had been the case, albeit to a lesser degree, in Marx's day though. International capitalism is certainly not a new thing (nor is globalisation, of which the slave trade or the British East India Company might be good examples). Engels, of course, was sent to Manchester and Salford to work for his father's German company, the profit from which funded Marx's work.

    However, it is case that capital has spread itself more widely throughout the world, meaning that large businesses are no longer so likely to be European or American. But surely that will increase competition between nations rather than between classes (since the working class of the developing world now has a greater stake in its nations' material prosperity since it surely wishes to enjoy the prosperity that we do [and, unlike before, considers it foreseeable], even if that be unequally distributed prosperity).
    My lecturers have sometimes discussed whether you might consider the bourgeois-proletariat relation to now exist on an international scale. I.e, the third world acting as a proletariat, working class, for the rich, bourgeois, nations.
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    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    perhaps massive TNC's have replaced a class of individual capitalists. In this instance, Microsoft as an entity is surely richer than him
    Well yes, obviously, but it was him who originated the idea. Companies tend to be richer than their owners if you account for their wealth vs the top brass.

    I agree that unskilled workers are exploited, but, skilled workers aren't. It is just unskilled labour is not really that common now in the UK as opposed to the old days. This is where the disparity lies.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Well yes, obviously, but it was him who originated the idea. Companies tend to be richer than their owners if you account for their wealth vs the top brass.

    I agree that unskilled workers are exploited, but, skilled workers aren't. It is just unskilled labour is not really that common now in the UK as opposed to the old days. This is where the disparity lies.
    Even skilled workers are also exploited (the doctor, etc) because of the value-surplus value disparity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus_value

    I would say unskilled labour is still quite common, if you consider most of the retail industry - people on shop-tills, etc. Builders as well, perhaps.
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    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    My lecturers have sometimes discussed whether you might consider the bourgeois-proletariat relation to now exist on an international scale. I.e, the third world acting as a proletariat, working class, for the rich, bourgeois, nations.
    Ultimately, yes. I've argued here before that what counts as the 'English working-class' is, in at least a technical sense, composed of those many thousands of low-paid former-agrarian peasants now working in Chinese factories and making all our cheap clothing, furniture, TVs and whatnots. Class relations, at least in the Marxian sense, are ultimately determined by who has what relationship to capital and labour, not where they happen to be located or even what langauge they speak.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Well yes, obviously, but it was him who originated the idea. Companies tend to be richer than their owners if you account for their wealth vs the top brass.

    I agree that unskilled workers are exploited, but, skilled workers aren't. It is just unskilled labour is not really that common now in the UK as opposed to the old days. This is where the disparity lies.
    Even skilled workers are also exploited (the doctor, etc) because of the value-surplus value disparity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surplus_value

    I would say unskilled labour is still quite common, if you consider most of the retail industry - people on shop-tills, etc. Builders as well, perhaps.

    I suppose that what defines 'skill' is probably a snobbish class perception anyhow
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Ultimately, yes. I've argued here before that what counts as the 'English working-class' is, in at least a technical sense, composed of those many thousands of low-paid former-agrarian peasants now working in Chinese factories and making all our cheap clothing, furniture, TVs and whatnots. Class relations, at least in the Marxian sense, are ultimately determined by who has what relationship to capital and labour, not where they happen to be located or even what langauge they speak.
    I would definitely agree, unfortunately! In this sense, a proletariat revolution would be truly global, and rather messy.

    I doubt this would happen, however. Thus the hegemony of capitalism.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Ok, but simply saying agency 'clearly *does* exist to some extent' is not actually an argument as to how it exists, especially given the contexts I've highlighted, such as cause and effect brain processes, socialisation and so on. You're making a statement about what you believe, not an argument about why you believe it. Let me put it another way, what specifically about human thought and action can't be most obviously, and scientifically, explained in a structuralist way? Once you start believing in 'free floating' agency you're heading for a free-will argument, imv, and that's a difficult one to defend.

    Humans are a 'natural' phenomenon like anything else that exists, so I don't see why 'naturalistic' scientific approaches are inherently impossible, or undesirable. Yes, we're complicated, so taking such a scientific approach is difficult, but that's not a reason to reject the idea.

    I'd also question the idea that Marxism is unfalsifiable. Indeed I'd question the assumption that scientific theories always, or even often, are. In many instances scientific theories are put before no more than a test of 'verifiability' as it happens. Who knows, one day an apply might just fall up into the sky I suppose it's possible that we can't falsify Marx's predictions right now in that we can't necessarily falisfy the theory that protons decay right now, if the prediction requires a set of events to have taken place which is still in our future.
    Isn't it unfalsifiable because there is no 'date' set, so regardless on if a real socialist revolution will ever take place, one cannot 'prove' one won't happen?

    PS my argument for the survival of capitalism is that we have no better alternative. Capitalism automatically gets rid of significant faults in production, due to inefficiency or a lack/excess of demand/supply of goods. It does not need a mastermind to understand what society requires and how strongly it requires x versus y. It finds the (near to) optimum by itself. Socialism/communism would not have such a 'self-rinser' working as effectively.

    Some argue that they understand the lack of efficiency in communism/socialism but that because society is more equal, they are happy to sacrifice this. However unless everyone would change at the same time, people looking out from the socialist countries will see they are lagging behind the others, and start to worry about this (one of the reasons why the soviet republic came down)

    Another important thing to note is that western europe does not employ pure capitalism, but that it 'sweetens' the deal for the worst off. This also acts as a buffer to changing course.
 
 
 
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