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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    The one i linked to was Why Not Socialism. If You're an Egalitarian is still an interesting read. TBH there just aren't many modern socialist political philosophers around (or rather, there aren't many socialist political philosophers around who aren't Liberals, especially in Anglo-American philosophy).
    I voted Liberal Democrat at the last election. I don't regret that because I'm not sure myself whether socialism or [social, as opposed to classical] liberalism is the better option -- and Hazel Blears was always going to be reëlected in my constituency anyway. But, either way, the pre-coalition Lib Dem manifesto seemed to be the most redistributive of the three major parties.
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    (Original post by Seven_Three)
    How do you efficiantly allocate goods without price?
    The static state can dispense with economic calculation. For here the same events in economic life are ever recurring; and if we assume that the first disposition of the static socialist economy follows on the basis of the final state of the competitive economy, we might at all events conceive of a socialist production system which is rationally controlled from an economic point of view
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    The static state can dispense with economic calculation. For here the same events in economic life are ever recurring; and if we assume that the first disposition of the static socialist economy follows on the basis of the final state of the competitive economy, we might at all events conceive of a socialist production system which is rationally controlled from an economic point of view
    I really don't know wtf you are on about, it was quite a simple and clear economics question.
    'Static state'? Events in economic life are never static. How does a 'static state' (you really need to define this concept) respond to a drout and food shortages? What about technological progress, that changes economics dramatically?

    Your answer is ridiculous.
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    (Original post by Seven_Three)
    I really don't know wtf you are on about, it was quite a simple and clear economics question.
    Really? I thought you'd be more enlightened.
    Well you asked about the allocation of goods (and services I guess) and its relationship to price. Thus there is an economic calculation to be made by the value of all good and services made. And this ties into the critique by Von Mises.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    Really? I thought you'd be more enlightened.
    Well you asked about the allocation of goods (and services I guess) and its relationship to price. Thus there is an economic calculation to be made by the value of all good and services made. And this ties into the critique by Von Mises.
    Lol nice sarcasm you pedantic ****.

    So how do you efficantly allocate goods without price?

    Why do I feel like I'm going to have to do some waiting on the answer to this question.
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    Oh for **** sake I thought I explained this **** already
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    So guys do you subscribe to the whole LTV-labour-is-the-SOLE-source-of-surplus-value-the-tendency-for-the-rate-of-profit-to-fall-socialism-is-inevitable kind of garbage OR are you like normal human beings with functioning brains?
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    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    Is this a mere belief, or does it have any evidence behind it?

    It merely sounds like a proclamation of what you think ... (see bit in italics)
    Well because people would act in their own interests at the detriment of others. Its not like the invisible hand of Adam Smith's theory you know.
    I was referring to this society. Chill out!
    Theres no chance that this is a Marxist Society, or ever was close to be. Marxist Parties are fringe parties as such anyway.
    So you think someone works to get a promotion just because he is the nice, loving caring type ... ?
    I think you missed my point. My point is that you misinterpreted the definition of profit maximisation. It does not exist in neoliberal capitalist societies.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    Like i say above. The later writings of Marx are in direct opposition to what these countries did. The vast majority of the nations you list above could be described as stalinist or leninist ir maoist etc..etc.. But certainly not Marxist. In Das Kapital Marx advocates the proletariat waiting out the inevitable self destruction of capitalism before taking control in the ruins.

    Marxism certainly inspired these ofshoots but to call them 'Marxist societies' just makes me think you have read none of the literature.

    I agree that we should not require absolute adherence to the 'rules' before we can call a society marxist or capitalist. But the countries you list above are so far removed from what Marx and Engels postulate that it is like calling the UK Libertarian. Or the Democratic Republic of North Korea democratic.
    Why would I waste my time reading Marx? Should I read History Will Absolve Me as well? I will never read Marxist literature as long as I live because I so strongly disagree with their fundamental belief in equality, and their elevation of class. It's retarded. Aren't you a Libertarian? Why are you pushing for Marxism so badly?
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    (Original post by Harris)
    Why would I waste my time reading Marx?
    Well because he isn't a waste of time to read. Even if you disagree with the politics of it; it is a very insightful pieceful piece of material.
    Which is why the Commununist Manifesto is still one the most respected political manuscripts of our ages
    Which is Why Capital/Das Kapital is a top Economists must read book along with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Keynes General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. Etc then we can move on to Von Mises, Ricardo, Hayek, Friedman etc. But the first three are essential. They always will in our contemporary society. It is beyond ignorant to suggest or infer that Marx is a waste of time because you disagree with him fundamentally. That's how people change the thesis with the antithesis. And that's how a conclusion is made.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    Well because he isn't a waste of time to read. Even if you disagree with the politics of it; it is a very insightful pieceful piece of material.
    Which is why the Commununist Manifesto is still one the most respected political manuscripts of our ages
    Which is Why Capital/Das Kapital is a top Economists must read book along with Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and Keynes General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. Etc then we can move on to Von Mises, Ricardo, Hayek, Friedman etc. But the first three are essential. They always will in our contemporary society. It is beyond ignorant to suggest or infer that Marx is a waste of time because you disagree with him fundamentally. That's how people change the thesis with the antithesis. And that's how a conclusion is made.
    Should I read Mein Kampf too? I don't care if it's well respect by Academic rats and their intellectual likes. So is Naomi Klein and Michael Moore. I don't like Keynes either to be honest. To say that not reading Marx makes me ignorant is a really foolish comment; I don't have to read his 300 page on Marxism to know that I don't like it.
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    (Original post by Harris)
    Should I read Mein Kampf too?
    A poor comparison at best. Mein Kampf isn't regarded as a piece of Academic brilliance; nor a greatly important piece of work
    I don't like Keynes either to be honest. To say that not reading Marx makes me ignorant is a really foolish comment; I don't have to read his 300 page on Marxism to know that I don't like it.
    I really don't care if you don't like it or care to like it. The point is that a closed mind is a simple mind. You cannot begin to challenge something you only have fragmented information about without displaying farcical levels of dogmatism. But I know you'll ignore this. It is expected anyway.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    A poor comparison at best. Mein Kampf isn't regarded as a piece of Academic brilliance; nor a greatly important piece of work
    I really don't care if you don't like it or care to like it. The point is that a closed mind is a simple mind. You cannot begin to challenge something you only have fragmented information about without displaying farcical levels of dogmatism. But I know you'll ignore this. It is expected anyway.
    So then I should read Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion...

    I have read plenty of works and columns from both sides of the spectrum, but reading Marxist literature is not required in having an 'open mind'.

    Marxism is only favoured by university students or lunatic professors who were unable to 'do' and resigned to teaching. I'd be shocked to hear you were not a university student. I've only met one Marxist adult in my life and my father destroyed him in an argument.

    I still can't believe you have to read Marx to be open minded. Have you purchased Karl Rove's new book by any chance? Or Palin's?
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    (Original post by Harris)
    Why would I waste my time reading Marx?
    For the same reason i read so much conservative literature. For the same reason i read the bible and the Quran etc..

    If anything it bolsters your argument and makes you more secure in your own beliefs.

    Wouldn't you like to move on from simply repeating 'Marxizm is for hipppies and stuff'?

    I will never read Marxist literature as long as I live because I so strongly disagree with their fundamental belief in equality, and their elevation of class.
    Well this greatly lowers my opinion of you. If not for learning, a smart individual would at least immerse himself in the literature of his opponents so he can deconstruct their arguments properly.

    Perhaps you are scared of what you might find? :iiam:
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    (Original post by Harris)
    Should I read Mein Kampf too? I don't care if it's well respect by Academic rats and their intellectual likes. So is Naomi Klein and Michael Moore. I don't like Keynes either to be honest. To say that not reading Marx makes me ignorant is a really foolish comment; I don't have to read his 300 page on Marxism to know that I don't like it.
    The comparison between Hitler and Marx here isn't such a useful one in that we know Hitler by his actions and Marx by his ideas. Having said that I don't think you have to read very much of Marx's own writings to get the central arguments. Indeed plenty of secondary summaries are enough in this respect.

    As I see it Marx's central argument was that human societies reproduce themselves (biologically, materially and intellectually) in ways that are always, ultimately, constrained and driven by the economic forces and relations of that society (humans have to find and secure food, shelter, clothing, medicine and so on, before they can do much else). Marx's approach encourages us more than most to always look at these economic forces and relations in order to understand how a society's political life is organised, how its social life is organised, indeed how its cultural life is organised. Of course there's much more to Marx (and Marxism) than this, but even at this level his orientation has proven valuable to thousands of thinkers and researchers who have come after him in many fields of study; history, anthropology, archaeology, geography and so on.
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    I've read Mein Kampf. Does that make me a fascist (or a well-rounded individual)?
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    I think you missed my point about knowledge of the universe -- it was merely an analogy that just as physicists seek to further their knowledge of the universe though they are ignorant about much more than they do have knowledge of (i.e. there are great obstacles in their way), we shouldn't let similar obstacles (e.g. holes in current theories) stand in the way of producing better political theory (and, in turn, hopefully practice). Besides, no one is truly conservative, since to be so would be never to pass a law again. (Unless we accept the paradox of conservatism that one needs to act unconservatively in a progressive state to be conservative.)
    I don't see how one can be 'ignorant' of certain things in a philosophical definition. Take individualism. Is there anything that I am lacking, in my understanding of it, without sounding arrogant?

    Anyway, besides that minor point, what do you say about the arms company that makes products valued by those with sufficient financial power that its valuing the products actually counts for something, but whose products may be lacking very much in value by those in the midst of the civil war? Is that company improving the lot of man, to paraphrase your lofty ideal?
    There is nothing lofty about that phrase at all. That is what Capitalism does. I wouldn't be a ardent defender of free-market Capitalism if I didn't fully believe that the life of the average man would improve (especially in the lower economic groups).

    With regards to companies that produce weapons. I think that was your challenge? My response is going to take a question. Do you want weapons produced if a certain country was going to attack you tomorrow? The weapon industries provide man with something he wants. Just as prostitutes provide man with another service. He may later regret it. He may be married and feel as if he betrayed the values of his wife etc ... but that doesn't change the fact that he wanted something and the market is there to provide man with his needs and wants.

    Whether or not you think it is moral to sell man weapons, is a question you must direct at a certain industry or corporation (and perhaps humanity), but not *Capitalism*! It does it's job.

    Or how about British American Tobacco, one of the biggest companies on the FTSE, which is making huge chunks of its revenue by using marketeering practices to sell tobacco to children in under-regulated third-world countries? (Often selling, for example, cigarettes individually at sweet shops so that even the poorest of children can buy.)
    This is not a question or criticism of Capitalism. This is question of how people operate. People will always steal from one-another. A government body is needed in the provision of legal courts to ensure the Rule of Law is upheld at all times.

    As it so happens, I don't see why businesses shouldn't sell cigarettes to children. This is, obviously, a volatile subject but I don't see why the government should go to a business and order them not to sell to consumers who want a product & are prepared to pay. That doesn't seem justified or moral to me. If I, Lord H, was to see a child about to go into a shop and buy cigarettes I would try to convince him otherwise (and maybe inform his parents) but by what authority can I force him (through some form of violence) to do something that I happen to think is right for him!

    Or do you believe that such children should be allowed to have the short-term high at at cost to their grim lives?
    Why not? If they want to spend their money getting high, then let them. I can either convince him to see sense and save up etc ... but I can't (and shouldn't) force him to do anything. I would be appauled at myself!

    Though I can sympathise at your being verbally ganged up on by the both of us (which is hardly surprising, this being the Marxist Society and all),
    Not at all .

    The only reservation I have, is that I seem to have intruded on your society and don't wish to be an annoying little **** moaning about socialism etc ... There are loads of threads on TSR, but not your society.

    Gremlins' point about large business in many cases artificially creating/inflating demand from which it then reaps the financial rewards is pertinent here. If I think I want a product that I, upon obtaining, realise that I didn't particularly want, can we still say that that product has added any to my life? If not, are we able to tell between "true desire" and such "false desire"?
    Lol. If you wanted something at a certain time, then the free-market must be able to meet your demand (if you're willing to pay). It's astonishing in that way!

    But what I don't understand is that, if by the sheer coincidence, your opinion changed at a later date and you wished you didn't have something, then Capitalism (by your reasoning) is the fault! No! You're the fault. You're the problem. You decided to do X. Nobody forced you. If you became a born-again Christian and got annoyed at your spending lots of money on prostitutes in the "former life", then that isn't Capitalism. That is you. Capitalism is not concerned with social problems and shouldn't be. It is a rather beautiful system of ensuring resources are allocated to the needs and wants of the people most efficiently.

    (I'll ignore your reiteration of assumptions about human nature here, which neither of us can appeal to or deny without serious psychological study. Indeed, it could logically well be that the potential of human nature in certain aspects is greater than its actual expression. Either way, talking about such stuff implies many philosphical/psychological issues with which we can't here deal [e.g. nature v. nurture, free will etc.].)
    Perhaps you are right, but I am absolutely convinced that humans are 100% selfish beings and that everything we do is actually to benefit ourselves. I also think this is one of our very few, and proper, virtues. Please challenge me on this. At best, you'd reaffirm my beliefs and, at worst, make me rethink humanity. Don't ignore it ...

    I also don't think it is possible to do a "psychological study" on humans to be able to ascertain their real motives. There would have to be some sort of selfishness scale and, let's be honest, half-the time we don't know what we're doing!

    Business can add value to human lives, and has done so greatly (I won't give examples, as I have done with capitalism's failings, as you've already given a few), but it can also devalue lives (and, again, has done so greatly), especially those of the poorest in the world.
    I don't think, for a second, that "business can add value to human lives". The values in my life come from my loved ones & friends. No business can compete. All that businesses does is to acquire the resources on the planet around-us and make something of use to my life. That doesn't give my life value. It simply improves my standards of living. I couldn't think of anything more horrible than a life valued by my material objects!

    I also don't think, for a minute, that Capitalism is the cause of suffering in the poor parts of the world. It seems, to me, that you can almost always see the government involved in these shameful deals with corporations. Both those corporations and the government are anti-Capitalist. They are driven to remove the free-market at the expense of the average man! Free-enterprise in the free-market (pure Capitalism) is a system to help and improve the lives of everyone, but especially the poorest.

    Business need not be the only source of such value, and we need not assume that it is our only goose able to lay such golden eggs. After all, we all accept that business relies on the state to some degree, since few successful businesses could operate in a environment where there were no government, or a weak one.
    Don't be absurd!

    Are you telling me that if the UK's government disappeared tomorrow, I couldn't start up a business selling chocolate bars, a restaurant, or whatever .... Come on!

    What you need to start-up a business is, of course, capital. You need investors. They are people who have acquired wealth and will risk some of it to help me. Wtf is the government going to do to me, other than tax me!

    Businesses look after the interests of their shareholders much more than those of their stakeholders (cf. the examples in the penultimate paragraph), and the nature of game incentivises their doing so.
    With respect, this is utter nonsense.

    How long do you think a business is going to survive if it doesn't look after the interests of their stakeholders (i.e consumers)? They are the most most stakeholders. They provide shareholders with returns on their risk and provide jobs for the employees of the firm.

    Shareholders have a very important role in maintaining the flow of the business with respect to their consumers. But they aren't more important. The desires of the shareholder are simply profit-maximisation, like the rest of the world, and there isn't a single thing wrong with that. Businesses also need to ensure that their employees (equally important!) are satisfied with the company. If a business doesn't listen to their work base, then they'll feel the pinch.

    Everything you have done is to point to individual businesses and people instead of Capitalism.

    If the fear of being caught is the only reason you don't steal little kids' ice creams, that's rather worrying. :rofl:
    Let's extend this example. Instead of a child, let's assume it is a rich banker's estate and the kid is a rich banker. Plenty of thieves steal from rich people where their only fear is being caught.

    We, as humans, are driven to selfish ends. You may ask me, why wouldn't I steal from the little child or the rich banker. The answer is that I think it is immoral to deprive another person of their rightful property. The existence of property rights is, in part, a consequence of a desire to live peacefully with others. And property rights is the tool to do so.
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    Well, you can certainly emit a lot of hot air. You'll make a good lawyer, Hystie. :ninja:

    You also seem to be moulding your thoughts to your ideology, rather than vice versa. (But maybe we all do that.)
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    That's clearly not the reason you don't do that. You (most likely) wouldn't take an icecream off a child even if you were sure no one was watching. Similarly, if you saw someone *else* push over a child and take something from it you'd probably intervene in some way even if the child had nothing to do with you.
    I gave a response to jismith1989 on this point .

    No, I'm saying "people do X to earn money" is actually a perfect valid statement. But whatever, it's largely semantics (although you're wrong that money is simply a means of transfer - it's more complicated than that).
    Why? Money itself has no value in life, and certainly not mine. The only value it has, for me, is what I can do with it - namely, trade. I don't understand why you think people value a bunch of coins, unless they're part of some collection ;p.

    I'll take issue with the 'best' bit but I broadly agree.
    Oh don't be a stick in the mud. Show me that there is a better system and I'll gracefully bow down.

    No, capitalism is a system of ownership (one that allows those entities to exist in the first place).
    Ha! There are many definitions one can create to define Capitalism.

    But the only ownership in Capitalism is through property rights. In a socialism, humans (and their labour) are owned by the collective. Something I rather think is immoral.

    I think I got what he said right tbh.

    You're wrong about markets Hysteria - they're crap at communicating lots of things which are important. Externalities, for example.
    Markets don't communicate. They're not entities. They are the products of Capitalism that arise from man's desire. What on Earth are they supposed to communicate anyway? People go to markets to purchase and sell things.

    The onus is on you to prove that humans are motivated solely by rational self-interest. You've just taken it as axiomatic then used that axiom to try and explain why people act the way they do.
    At some stage, everyone is going to arrive at a set of axioms (unless you believe in God). It's one's duty to prove that a certain axiom is logically and through reason justified.

    I'll try and explain it in more detail my position. I don't think I really explained it properly above. I remember watching a "Planet Earth" documentary with a certain clip of a school of fish in the ocean. They were swimming along peacefully, doing what fish do ... and a predator arrived and went into the attack. They moved as one body to evade it, it appeared. But actually, scientists have shown that each fish acts independently. They all want to swim within a certain distance from each other. And if one fish seems to move into my space, I move out of the way ... Thus, the net effect is a whole body moving together - when in fact, they act as selfish entities.

    I think this is how humans are. Our legal systems are a reflection (at least, the honest ones) of a system that allows us to live peacefully. This is obviously a selfish interest - since I desire to preserve and extend my life. Any sacrifices one does is either (1) to make me happy or (2) to improve my 'status quo' with the outside world. Someone recently challenged me on TSR with respect to the parent-child relationship. I assert that that is selfishness too. A parent will make sacrifices because they values their child (sometimes even more than themselves). It pleases them to make their child happy and improve the child's life.

    I am not sure if you want me to explain it in more detail. I think I gave a brief explanation, but feel free to challenge that position.

    How is the example ridiculous? And please do read the book, preferably all of it - it's only 80 or so pages long but it's a good introduction to modern socialism. If not, read the first chapter which basically expounds what I was saying earlier.
    I was referring to rational selfishness. That is selfishness with a rational mind. Stealing a child ice-cream is hardly a rational thinking! So I thought it was ridiculous example to counter my position on selfishness. Don't take it personally though.

    I think I might read the book. I am half-way through a book on Hamas and their history. I haven't read a socialist book in a while. Maybe one that has some stats and reason in it. I'll have a look at the review comments on Amazon for that book later and make up my mind.

    That's not an argument. Why *not* pay people according to desert rather than entitlement? Try harder.
    Desert? I have never heard that term. I am not sure what you're asking. I think people should be paid according to their market value. That is to say, according to their productive output.

    It wasn't addressed to me but the discussion was on something which interests me and which I have strong opinions about.
    Sorry for the snap. I was in a bad mood at the time.
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    (Original post by Stricof)
    Really? I thought you'd be more enlightened.
    Well you asked about the allocation of goods (and services I guess) and its relationship to price. Thus there is an economic calculation to be made by the value of all good and services made. And this ties into the critique by Von Mises.
    I don't think I understand this. Let's say I want a microwave. How does a 'static state' provide this? As I see it, the wants and desire of the economy aren't static?

    (Original post by Stricof)
    Well because people would act in their own interests at the detriment of others. Its not like the invisible hand of Adam Smith's theory you know.
    Why should selfishness be a detriment? :eek: I have explained the theory, as I see it. Perhaps, in reference to what I said above, you might explain how it can be a detriment to society?

    Theres no chance that this is a Marxist Society, or ever was close to be. Marxist Parties are fringe parties as such anyway.
    Really? No-one hunts in the morning, fishs in the afternoon, and rears cattle in the evening?

    I think you missed my point. My point is that you misinterpreted the definition of profit maximisation. It does not exist in neoliberal capitalist societies.
    Why, and how? =]
 
 
 
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