Socialists Question Time AKA 'Ask a Socialist' Watch

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Collingwood
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#3141
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#3141
(Original post by Aeolus)
This is why basing your idea of Marxism on a google search is a bad idea.
Not google search, a direct quote from The Communist Manifesto, which I have read in its entirety. I really don't see any way you can worm out of this: he explicitly stated what policies he saw as progress. Not an end goal, but as better than the free market. And they turned out to be far far worse than the free market.

This doesn't address the problem at all. Once again you revert to faith in the continuing establishment of 'new industry' that the rest of the population can be employed in when the demand for labour in existing industry shrinks or moves to cheaper enviroments.
Not faith, but economic science. The theory goes that labour, as a useful commodity, will always be demanded at some or other price. There will be full voluntary employment (minus friction and the effects of govt policies) when the price of labour is at the market rate. Increasing productivity increases the value of labour and pushes up the market rate. That is, it pushes up the wages at which there is full employment.

Does the theory match the evidence? In terms of productivity increasing wages, yes:



And in terms of unemployment staying relatively constant, again yes:



While there are fluctuations due to transient recessions, and to changing government policies, there is no long term upward trend correlating to increasing productivity.

You really don't have an argument here, and you'd know that if you studied some economics from the right century.

This generic argument is so utterly boring. For you to blanket socialist ideology...
Whatever was intended, that is what happened. I wouldn't tar the few socialists who genuinely seem to be in favour of freedom with that brush (eg. mutualists), but the vast majority of socialists also want increased state power.

With your reasoning I would be justified in describing a laissez faire capitalist utopia as Pinochet's Chile or the more authoritarian aspects of Thatchers administration. Like I say above, if this is boring, generic route you want to take the discussion then I am not interested.
So not interested, you just had to make the argument anyway. Well, I'm not going to agree to some sort of argument trade here, because this is simply not threatening to my position at all. I can quite happily accept that Pinochet and Thatcher had better economic policies than their competition, without endorsing non-libertarian things that they did. For the socialist, though, the harm was caused by the exact policies they advocate.

If you had actually read my post you would note with humility that I mention the square mile of sea water, now correct me if I am wrong (I am no science student) but isn't that classed as energy? And no I do not mean the LHC but the unwarranted condescension is noted and revealing. I am talking of course about reactors such as the JET and the ITER. Strange that a physics student doesn't immediately think of these very high profile project when the hear the words fusion and reactor. :hmmmm:
ITER isn't part of CERN. You didn't use the word fusion. For just interest's sake, there isn't much reason to think that fusion will be spectacularly cheap (or even cheaper than present sources). But idk what it has to do with anything, the market doesn't have a problem charging little for cheap stuff.

Yes but unfortunately for you and your short sighted ideology land and water are both finite resources and your argument is entirely dependant on individual situation. You reduce the available amount of water or land and the price skyrockets ensuring that these things become available only for the rich. Thus your talk about 'freedom' becomes mere waffle. Liberty maybe, but freedom in your society is only for the rich.
If the maximum possible production of water became less than the minimum amount needed to sustain all humans alive today, the problem is independent of what system is used to distribute it. While in practice a free market in water makes it far less likely that such a shortage will occur - just like free markets have eliminated famines while socialist systems produce them.

Anyway, what does this have to do with anything? It's possible some hypothetical society might exist in which land value is a huge fraction of the economy, but it isn't the one we live in, or one we are likely to live in.
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Oswy
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#3142
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#3142
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
Blah, blah, blah...I agree with your first point...blah, blah, blah...I also agree on two.
Right, so, setting aside your feelings and all, you agree with my two points. Well done!
Lord Hysteria
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#3143
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#3143
(Original post by Oswy)
I see you can't deny the truth of my statements.
Would you like to see humans build roads with their hands, and dig ditches with hand-shovels etc ...? The employment would be very high. That would be heaven for you, wouldn't it?
Norfolkadam
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#3144
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#3144
(Original post by Oswy)
Right, so, setting aside your feelings and all, you agree with my two points. Well done!
:facepalm2:

This thread is called 'Ask a Socialist'. If you can't answer the questions don't post.
username202682
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#3145
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#3145
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
My disdain is not so much for socialists but for simpletons. You can't just draw a line down the world's population and say these are capitalists, there are workers. Capitalists are bad. That's not how economics works.
Sorry, can you expand on the highlighted point? Thanks
Oswy
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#3146
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#3146
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
Would you like to see humans build roads with their hands, and dig ditches with hand-shovels etc ...? The employment would be very high. That would be heaven for you, wouldn't it?
Don't get all red-faced there, this is only the internet :p:

I'm simply trying to establish some common facts upon which debate could more resonably take place. If we don't agree on any facts then there's usually no more to discuss.

Ok, so I'm positing as fact that the aim of the capitalist is to maximise profit, not to provide employment. In many cases, of course, the capitalist must employ people, but it's a very important distinction - in my view - that the employment of labourers isn't what the capitalist actually wants to undertake. Indeed, as I've suggested several times now, the capitalist wants to pay for as little labour as can be had relative to his opportunities to maximise profits. This explains why, for example, in many sectors work once undertaken by humans is now undertaken by machines and computers. It also explains why capitalists move their activities from one part of the world to another where labour and/or resource costs are cheaper. None of this is controversial but you're so desperate to dismiss what I have to say that you leap on every word, it's laughable.
Norfolkadam
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#3147
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#3147
(Original post by Stricof)
Sorry, can you expand on the highlighted point? Thanks
:nothing:

The population of the world cannot be divided into Capitalists and Workers. The more you generalise economics the greater the error and Socialism generalises economics to the hilt and beyond.
Norfolkadam
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#3148
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#3148
(Original post by Oswy)
I'm simply trying to establish some common facts upon which debate could more resonably take place. If we don't agree on any facts then there's usually no more to discuss.
And once you've established these common facts it doesn't seem like you want to debate either nor do you want to even discuss the assumptions you've ascertained these facts from.

It's a real toss-up between you and SciFiBoy as to who's a worse debater.
username202682
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#3149
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#3149
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
:nothing:

The population of the world cannot be divided into Capitalists and Workers. The more you generalise economics the greater the error and Socialism generalises economics to the hilt and beyond.
So you don't agree that there isn't a contrast between the producers of wealth and the owners of wealth? It isn't an economic generalisation.
Norfolkadam
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#3150
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#3150
(Original post by Stricof)
So you don't agree that there isn't a contrast between the producers of wealth and the owners of wealth? It isn't an economic generalisation.
No offence but it's tricky to argue these kind of things because it's just common sense. In 2010 you cannot sit down and equally divide the world along the lines of bourgeoisie and proletariat. There is a class system but it's not black and white it's tens of millions of shades of grey.
Lord Hysteria
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#3151
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#3151
(Original post by Oswy)
Don't get all red-faced there, this is only the internet :p:

I'm simply trying to establish some common facts upon which debate could more resonably take place. If we don't agree on any facts then there's usually no more to discuss.

Ok, so I'm positing as fact that the aim of the capitalist is to maximise profit, not to provide employment. In many cases, of course, the capitalist must employ people, but it's a very important distinction - in my view - that the employment of labourers isn't what the capitalist actually wants to undertake. Indeed, as I've suggested several times now, the capitalist wants to pay for as little labour as can be had relative to his opportunities to maximise profits. This explains why, for example, in many sectors work once undertaken by humans is now undertaken by machines and computers. It also explains why capitalists move their activities from one part of the world to another where labour and/or resource costs are cheaper. None of this is controversial but you're so desperate to dismiss what I have to say that you leap on every word, it's laughable.
I will elaborate on these points - which I already did earlier - but before I do that, please answer my question. I think it would be really interesting to discuss:

Would you like to see humans build roads with their hands, and dig ditches with hand-shovels etc ...? The employment would be very high. That would be heaven for you,* wouldn't it?
Oswy
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#3152
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#3152
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
And once you've established these common facts it doesn't seem like you want to debate either nor do you want to even discuss the assumptions you've ascertained these facts from.

...
Actually, it's surprising how reluctant and pained some are (libertarians in particular) in accepting simple factual statements which are rather obvious, only because such facts have been offered up by socialists.
username202682
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#3153
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#3153
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
No offence but it's tricky to argue these kind of things because it's just common sense. In 2010 you cannot sit down and equally divide the world along the lines of bourgeoisie and proletariat. There is a class system but it's not black and white it's tens of millions of shades of grey.
None taken. I never said there was a clear black/white contrast so I take what you say with agreement. However the producers of wealth and the owners of wealth does not extend mere to the classical terms of bourgeoisie and Proletariat but a far wider perspective.
Oswy
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#3154
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#3154
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
...
Do you accept the statements I've made, I've lost track?
Norfolkadam
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#3155
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#3155
(Original post by Oswy)
Actually, it's surprising how reluctant some (libertarians in particular it seems) are pained in accepting simple factual statements which are rather obvious, only because such facts have been offered up by socialists.
:broken:

You can't choose to debate only on your terms and choose to completely ignore the person challenging your views until they agree to poorly constructed "factual statements" after which you then ignore any points they make about the wording or factual status of these "factual statements".

So I've already stated that I rather tentatively agree with your statements and tried to engage you on the sentiment behind them but was ignored. I'd like to rephrase them to see if you'd agree with them.

(1) The individual will seek to maximise their economic activity.

(2) The individual will do this rationally.
Norfolkadam
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#3156
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#3156
(Original post by Stricof)
None taken. I never said there was a clear black/white contrast so I take what you say with agreement. However the producers of wealth and the owners of wealth does not extend mere to the classical terms of bourgeoisie and Proletariat but a far wider perspective.
The economy wouldn't work if you didn't have producers and owners though? That's Socialism (perhaps Communism) and that's a whole other barrel of fish.
username202682
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#3157
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#3157
(Original post by Norfolkadam)
The economy wouldn't work if you didn't have producers and owners though? That's Socialism (perhaps Communism) and that's a whole other barrel of fish.
Thats not what I inferred either. What i meant is that there is a rather broad, but clear contrast in the two groups. Obviously it is more difficult to show as you have said - Some say its because of the arising 'Mondeo Man' or Lower Middle Class.
Norfolkadam
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#3158
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#3158
(Original post by Stricof)
Thats not what I inferred either. What i meant is that there is a rather broad, but clear contrast in the two groups. Obviously it is more difficult to show as you have said - Some say its because of the arising 'Mondeo Man' or Lower Middle Class.
You're talking about the gap between rich and poor? Yes, I suppose there is but that's natural, as long as the people who are the poorest aren't living in abject poverty then I think it's only to be expected. I don't really see a great problem with people getting rich and although I think there should be a minimum level of income I don't think the state has a responsibility to make poor people rich.
Lord Hysteria
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#3159
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#3159
(Original post by Stricof)
So you don't agree that there isn't a contrast between the producers of wealth and the owners of wealth? It isn't an economic generalisation.
The distinction between worker and owner is a stroke of political propaganda. It isn't based on economic reality.
username202682
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#3160
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#3160
(Original post by Lord Hysteria)
The distinction between worker and owner is a stroke of political propaganda. It isn't based on economic reality.
I've attempted to explain this above. I never inferred this.
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