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    (Original post by AldrousHuxley)
    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?
    Maybe. I suppose it depends on your approach. In narrower terms, Marx predicted a problem of diminishing returns as capitalism travelled into the future, he predicted an increasing 'reserve army' of surplus labour, he predicted repeated crises generated systemically within capitalism, I also think, somewhere, he predicted an ever greater need for states to tax their citizens to prop capitalism up, he predicted dire environmental consequences of a society bent only on using nature for profit. I'm not sure if he predicted a problem of fading growth, I'd have to go look that one up.

    So, I guess it depends on what specific offerings of Marx you're looking for falsifiability (or at least verifiability) of. As I say, many in the physics community think protons decay but the rate at which they do so may make it near impossible for us to observe one in even thousands of years of experimental observations. If their belief that protons decay is somehow strongly connected to other observable phenomenon which can be falsified, or verified, then they have at least good cause for such a speculation, no?
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Well, no, not everyone can become an owner 'in the first place', firstly, and simply, because many people do not get wages significant enough for them to be able to obtain land, and secondly, and more fundamentally, because land is a limited resource, so when anyone becomes an owner others are necessarily excluded. If there was an infinite amount of land, or an amount of land that could easily satisfy everyone's direct productive needs, you might have a point, but there isn't. The very existence of a system of private monopolisation of portions of the earth means that not everyone can in actuality become owners.
    The wages argument has already been dealt with, clearly you're wrong on this. In the above scenario you assume that Land and Labour are the only factors of production. You are forgetting Capital, a highly amusing omission for a Marxist to make. More specifically what about intellectual property? How much Land do I need to invent something or create a website?

    Also in your land example no-one is prevented from buying land, scarcity just ups the price, it doesn't exclude anyone definitely, only temporary. By gaining capital you can buy land even if it is finite. The whole study of economics is about scarcity.

    What makes you think that I'm hinting 'towards an existential answer' on the matter of what is 'voluntray'? I'm merely suggesting that in the real world what is or is not 'voluntary' has a context-driven and easily scalar quality. You do at least recognise the difference between something having a 'formal' nature and a 'substantive' or 'actualisable' one, don't you? I mean, for example, you understand that 'formal' equality before the law is different from how equal people are in the resources they might bring to secure a favourable outcome? Rich people hire expensive lawyers for a good reason.

    I thought you were veering into a subjective argument on how peoples feelings, emotions, actions and thoughts would give everyone a different definition of voluntary. Apologies if I misunderstood you. What you suggest is a flaw in the legal system. I understand the point you are making but this isn't a symptom of capitalism but of corporatism and obviously you may feel you have no choice in a matter, but a choice with similar outcomes, regardless of the choice made, is still a choice and so it is still voluntary.
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    (Original post by Jampolo)
    Shouldn't they have a right to life? Capitalism has made them earn than right. In other systems they would be born with it.
    I think you are confusing the right to life with the "right" to welfare.

    Every 'ism' is as bad as the other. That's why i like Marx so much. Marxism was 'transition period' not an economic system.
    Oh dear.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    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.

    Thats a really interesting read, what do you make of China and its economic model? Its taken the benfits of the american model, even to the detriment of american economy.

    Capitalism, the strength of the American era, is currently building the next superpower and diminishing the current one, in its own way.
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    The wages argument has already been dealt with, clearly you're wrong on this. In the above scenario you assume that Land and Labour are the only factors of production. You are forgetting Capital, a highly amusing omission for a Marxist to make. More specifically what about intellectual property? How much Land do I need to invent something or create a website?

    ...
    Uh? Natural resources, and access to them, are the starting and ending point of all capital accumulation. That's right, without land, without natural resources, no TV, no Xbox, no cheesywotsits and no money. It follows that the relationships which capitalism defends in relation to those natural resources determines all other relations. I think I've fairly established as fact that the monopolisation of land and resources by some constitutes the inevitable alienation of others and thus generates a condition of exploitation (through wage-labour) when those others need to sustain their existence in the absence of any direct control over such productive needs. Arguments 'after the fact' are question begging, so please don't make me humiliate you any more than is necessary.
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    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    I think you should probably read capital (or at least read it more thoroughly), because capitalism is clearly exploitative...

    If you work longer, then you get paid more. However, you do not earn the whole value of the work you complete, surplus value is gained by the employer; otherwise, how would they ever profit from you selling your labour?

    Furthermore, third world countries are blatantly exploited, so i'm afraid your argument doesn't really stand up....
    It is clearly exploitative according to Marx. The owner's surplus or profit is in reward for the risk of their capital. The worker is paid according to the skills they bring to the production process not the value of the finished product since their labour is only one factor of production.

    Wages in different countries are dependent on the labour demand and supply in that country not the foreign investor's country. Do you believe British firms should pay the UK minimum wage to workers in India and not what their labour market suggests?

    (Original post by Relaxicat)
    A further point about Capitalism is that the means of production become owned by a small group of bourgeois capitalists, so really there isn't much freedom, nor much chance for the individual to progress, no matter how hard he works.
    This is clearly nonsense.
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    (Original post by AidyD)
    Thats a really interesting read, what do you make of China and its economic model? Its taken the benfits of the american model, even to the detriment of american economy.

    Capitalism, the strength of the American era, is currently building the next superpower and diminishing the current one, in its own way.
    I think it was probably inevitable, once the Soviet Union fell into collapse, that the 20th century projects of socialism (at least starting out as socialist projects) were going to fail in the face of the ascendancy of capitalism. I know some Marxists won't like this view, but I think this simply is capitalism's 'time', even if it is riddled with crises and generating of much misery, even as, yes, it makes some rich and others even richer. China's entry into capitalism is interesting, being highly managed by an, essentially, authoritarian regime, the Communist Party. So much for success in capitalism needing 'free markets', the idea that they are, or even can be, the same thing, should be subject to much scepticism anyway. The economic rise of China as a capitalist power, by all accounts, is inevitable, given its huge labour resources as a starting point. This century will almost certainly see the US fade as the world's economic centre - though it might be 'number two' for some time after that. It's a fascinating time, we may well see trade wars between the US and China, though not many people seem to know that China is actually heavily invested in US debt - keeping the US afloat as a consumer is important for Chinese exports (such is the insane logic of capitalism).
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Maybe. I suppose it depends on your approach. In narrower terms, Marx predicted a problem of diminishing returns as capitalism travelled into the future, he predicted an increasing 'reserve army' of surplus labour, he predicted repeated crises generated systemically within capitalism, I also think, somewhere, he predicted an ever greater need for states to tax their citizens to prop capitalism up, he predicted dire environmental consequences of a society bent only on using nature for profit. I'm not sure if he predicted a problem of fading growth, I'd have to go look that one up.

    So, I guess it depends on what specific offerings of Marx you're looking for falsifiability (or at least verifiability) of. As I say, many in the physics community think protons decay but the rate at which they do so may make it near impossible for us to observe one in even thousands of years of experimental observations. If their belief that protons decay is somehow strongly connected to other observable phenomenon which can be falsified, or verified, then they have at least good cause for such a speculation, no?
    I'm certain the physisists have good cause for speculation. However I believe Marx predicted a wide range of things, of which some have happened, others have not. He has also failed to predict a number of important events that have happened. Predicting a number of things which are quite likely to happen, others which have not happened, but people keep on hoping for them and omissing other things significant enough for a true visionary to have predicted does not convince me that all his predictions will come true.

    For the point of things fairly easy to predict there are plenty. for example the cyclical behaviour was already apparent back when he was alive, with the cycles being a lot faster and less smooth in the 19th century.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Oh yes of course, evil people implanting ideas in your brains all inception style.

    :facepalm: Don't be an idiot, people are not forced to read the media nor are the medias' opinions forced on them, it is them who CHOOSE to listen to it.
    You idiot. More intelligent people (the ones who tend to gain from capitalism) have minds of their own. The less fortunate are easily led by the media...The Sun newspaper is said to have won the 1992 for the Conservatives (not that retards like you would have a clue what I'm talking about).

    Control the media and you control minds, as Goebbels said (or something very similar)...

    D'oh!!

    Edit: I love the way you've tried to use an apostrophe after the s in "medias" to look clever, and have used it incorrectly! It's "the media's opinions", for future reference!
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Uh? Natural resources, and access to them, are the starting and ending point of all capital accumulation. That's right, without land, without natural resources, no TV, no Xbox, no cheesywotsits and no money. It follows that the relationships which capitalism defends in relation to those natural resources determines all other relations. I think I've fairly established as fact that the monopolisation of land and resources by some constitutes the inevitable alienation of others and thus generates a condition of exploitation (through wage-labour) when those others need to sustain their existence in the absence of any direct control over such productive needs. Arguments 'after the fact' are question begging, so please don't make me humiliate you any more than is necessary.
    Maybe 200 years ago when land meant wealth your argument would be more applicable but you seem to have not noticed that since then we have gone through an industrial revolution and an information revolution.

    Any GCSE economist will tell you that land is just one of the factors of production, not the only factor of production. Yes without land we would have no production, but the same can be said for capital and labour. Every product will vary in the factors it uses and in what ratio it uses them.

    Obviously, oil production is dependent on land as is farming etc but some products depend on very little land e.g. someone who creates Facebook or Google. How much land are they using, how much capital did they need to start?

    There is no monopolisation of land in a free market, why can't you understand this? Is the person with an allotment "monopolising" that land and thus making someone else starve or destined for a life of slavery as a consequence? Get real Oswy.

    What arguments after the fact?

    I must have missed the point in which you humiliated me but if you think you could improve my understanding of these issues, please don't hold back.
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    (Original post by baffled_mathman)
    You idiot. More intelligent people (the ones who tend to gain from capitalism) have minds of their own. The less fortunate are easily led by the media...The Sun newspaper is said to have won the 1992 for the Conservatives (not that someone like you would have a clue what I'm talking about).

    Control the media and you control minds, as Goebbels said (or something very similar)...

    D'oh!!
    Is that some sort of cheeky Ad Hominem/Irrational assumption you have got going on in there?
    Are you implying even stupid people can't make choices? They just happen to WANT to make those choices. They go into a newsagents and buy the Sun, the Sun is not dropped off automatically at their doorstep every morning for them to read. They have to make the effort to go out and get it, thereby implying that they have the choice, stupid or not, to pick the newspaper they read. They are making the CHOICE to go with the Sun newspaper.

    Of course, it is easier to bunch all rich people together, put on a tinfoil hat and go 'THEY CONTROL PEOPLES MINDS!!!!!' :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by AldrousHuxley)
    I'm certain the physisists have good cause for speculation. However I believe Marx predicted a wide range of things, of which some have happened, others have not. He has also failed to predict a number of important events that have happened. Predicting a number of things which are quite likely to happen, others which have not happened, but people keep on hoping for them and omissing other things significant enough for a true visionary to have predicted does not convince me that all his predictions will come true.

    For the point of things fairly easy to predict there are plenty. for example the cyclical behaviour was already apparent back when he was alive, with the cycles being a lot faster and less smooth in the 19th century.
    Sure, and to be honest I'm personally much more interested in Marx for his analysis into past and present human society. His speculations are of interest to me but I don't hang my Marxism on them, even if some others do.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    ...They are making the CHOICE...
    Do you believe in cause and effect in the physical world?

    Do you believe that human thoughts are generated only through human brain processes?

    Do you believe human brains are physical in their structure?
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    It is clearly exploitative according to Marx. The owner's surplus or profit is in reward for the risk of their capital. The worker is paid according to the skills they bring to the production process not the value of the finished product since their labour is only one factor of production.

    Wages in different countries are dependent on the labour demand and supply in that country not the foreign investor's country. Do you believe British firms should pay the UK minimum wage to workers in India and not what their labour market suggests?



    This is clearly nonsense.
    The first part of this quote paraphrases what I have already said (in terms of exploitation). So thanks for that. I might add that the second part is entirely wrong:

    The 'value of the finished product' is calculated by the necessary labour time embedded in that commodity, so in an inverse way the value of the finished product does indeed affect their pay! Would you pay someone for a rubbish finished product, no matter what 'skills' they supposedly possess? Please actually read Das Kapital.

    The second part is inconsequential; of course foreign pay is not based upon our wage system, but the fact remains that we exploit third world countries (think Primark) for cheap labour due to their lack of of local laws safeguarding the labour force from this. In this way, capitalism is clearly exploitative - we do not pay the producers of value according to the value they produce: capitalists pay them less and gain through surplus value (see wikipedia for an explanation).

    So you have not really answered, disputed, or furthered my point.

    As for the third part, for you to argue that 'it is clearly nonsense' that the means of production are owned by a small capitalist class, in Marx's argument and in actuality, shows that you really have very little concept of (or entirely fail to understand) Marx's views of capitalism. The whole point is that the working class do not own the means of production!

    Please give support for your view that it is nonsense, or otherwise you will just look more ridiculous.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Do you believe in cause and effect in the physical world?

    Do you believe that human thoughts are generated only through human brain processes?

    Do you believe human brains are physical in their structure?
    Aha, free will! I am reading through this in Blackburns 'Think' at the moment. Technically I am a soft[read: bio]-determinist, so draw your conclusions from that.

    I tend to subscribe to the 'ghost in the machine' hypothesis.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Is that some sort of cheeky Ad Hominem/Irrational assumption you have got going on in there?
    Are you implying even stupid people can't make choices? They just happen to WANT to make those choices. They go into a newsagents and buy the Sun, the Sun is not dropped off automatically at their doorstep every morning for them to read. They have to make the effort to go out and get it, thereby implying that they have the choice, stupid or not, to pick the newspaper they read. They are making the CHOICE to go with the Sun newspaper.

    Of course, it is easier to bunch all rich people together, put on a tinfoil hat and go 'THEY CONTROL PEOPLES MINDS!!!!!' :rolleyes:
    You can't really be so thick that you don't understand propaganda and its role in many societies down the years (including this one) can you?

    Sadly..I think you are that thick. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by arabcnesbit)
    ...
    Any GCSE economist will tell you...
    That's the problem, too many 'GCSE' economists at TSR

    Without land and natural resources humans do not have shelter, they do not have food, they do not have clothing, they do not have medicine. Indeed every aspect of human life is dependent upon the existence and use of land and natural resources, like water. Everything else, everything else, in human life is derived from the land and natural resources. So, if we can find inequitable arrangements in the distribution and access to land and natural resources we can find alienation and we can find subsequent exploitation. It really is that simple. Please read my previous posts where I have repeatedly spelt out just such inequitable arrangements.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Aha, free will! I am reading through this in Blackburns 'Think' at the moment. Technically I am a soft[read: bio]-determinist, so draw your conclusions from that.

    I tend to subscribe to the 'ghost in the machine' hypothesis.
    You didn't just want to answer the three questions? It's not as if they are complicated. Get back to me on 'choice' when you have answered them maybe.
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    (Original post by baffled_mathman)
    You can't really be so thick that you don't understand propaganda and its role in many societies down the years (including this one) can you?

    Sadly..I think you are that thick. :rolleyes:
    Once again, ridiculous Ad Hominems with no logical basis whatsoever.

    Propaganda works, yes, but the implication is that Mind control offers them no choice and that they are forced against their will into believing something. Which plainly isn't true, there is no direct manipulation of the thought processes of the mind, short of subliminal messaging. It influences, it doesn't 'control'. :rolleyes:

    Try harder.
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    (Original post by Ocassus)
    Try harder.
    You're not bright enough for me to bother...you give it away in several ways ! ;-)
 
 
 
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