200 years of Karl Marx

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Toby » 06 May 2018, 10:28

A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Pansy Puff » 06 May 2018, 11:07

Article in this week's New Statesman (I've not read it yet):

On the bicentenary of his birth, it's not Marx's vision of historical forces but his surprising faith in the individual that makes him a key thinker for the age of automation.

I'm looking forward to reading it.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Copehead » 06 May 2018, 12:04

Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.


Explain
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Toby » 06 May 2018, 19:23

Well, the classic Marxian rebuttal to the somewhat compelling evidence of his ideas having failed is that "the right conditions haven't been met yet". For such a great writer perhaps he should have been clearer.

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby PENK » 06 May 2018, 20:11

Copehead wrote:
Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.


Explain


In the simplest terms, he was hopelessly overoptimistic.

Everyone living and working and sharing together is a nice idea, but only plausible if you have never actually encountered another human being.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Copehead » 06 May 2018, 21:26

Toby wrote:Well, the classic Marxian rebuttal to the somewhat compelling evidence of his ideas having failed is that "the right conditions haven't been met yet". For such a great writer perhaps he should have been clearer.


More detail please.

Didn't explicitly say that Communism would be a disaster in an undeveloped economy like Russia?
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Copehead » 06 May 2018, 21:35

PENK wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.


Explain


In the simplest terms, he was hopelessly overoptimistic.

Everyone living and working and sharing together is a nice idea, but only plausible if you have never actually encountered another human being.


Well unless you lived before the concept of landownership of course, which was for about 99% of human history.

You need to think about the majority of human history.

I don't think hopelessly overoptimistic is correct.
I think he thought communism needed to develop in an advanced economy.
I think he didn't get the timescale correct.

I think Capital will always dominate Labour until the costs of Labour become nothing.

I think we can see that time approaching now with computer design and production and 3D printers etc.

So what becomes important then is resources, and if they become infinite then goods become worthless and so does capital, to a large degree.

Scientific, engineering and computing progress will probably make the conditions for economic communism right because goods will become worthless.

I should imagine Kapital/Wealth will try to find other ways of retaining control, but essentially his economic ideas are right he just had the time scale wrong and he couldn't have forseen the successful ways that Capital retain control over Labour, mainly through owning the the means to disseminate information.

He was undoubtedly a visionary historian, one of the most important ever, and a very insightful economist, although one who will forever be tarnished by being coupled with movements that he thought would be disastrous.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby echolalia » 06 May 2018, 23:42

Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.

So where was he right?

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby John aka Josh » 07 May 2018, 00:09

echolalia wrote:
Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.

So where was he right?






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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby echolalia » 07 May 2018, 01:07

John aka Josh wrote:“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.”

I can’t disagree with that!

All this stuff about Marx being irrelevant/outdated/obsolete is kak. He was a philosopher and philosophers’ questions never go away! Unlike Jacob Rees-Mogg, thank goodness.

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby PENK » 07 May 2018, 08:40

Copehead wrote:
PENK wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Explain


In the simplest terms, he was hopelessly overoptimistic.

Everyone living and working and sharing together is a nice idea, but only plausible if you have never actually encountered another human being.


Well unless you lived before the concept of landownership of course, which was for about 99% of human history.


Yes perhaps, but it's widely believed that early man actually moved out of Africa due to competition for resources after the invention of weaponry which made conflict lethal. So even the hunter-gatherers were squabbling over consumer goods. In an advanced economy with more and more stuff, there are always people who want more than others.

I suppose that Stalin's ultimate aim was a return to this kind of society where it was egalitarian because the only things anybody had were some old shoes and a potato so there was nothing to fight over.

Maybe in some utopian future robots will do all the work for us and jealousy, greed and pride will no longer exist and we will all live happily side by side and nobody will want to tell other people what to do.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Pansy Puff » 07 May 2018, 09:08

It does seem, and the New Statesman article I mentioned backs this up, that there is a marked difference between what Marx believed and what we see as 'Marxism' looked at through the lens of Engels, Stalin et al.
Seems like his Paris Manuscripts, not published until 1932, set out his belief in individual freedom and how communism was not the goal of history, but the likely form of society once the need for work disappeared. (eg automation).
Soviet academics surpressed these writings, as they felt Marxism should be about the class struggle above all else, rather than a humanistic philosophy.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Rayge » 07 May 2018, 09:48

It's a long time since I read any Marx, or commentators on him (you couldn't do a degree in sociology in the 1960s and not read them), but what always struck me, and what I tend to cleave to, is not the ponderous impenetrability of Das Kapital or the Engelian call to arms of the Communist Manifesto, but his concept of the impact of industrial processes on the individual, concerning the alienation of labour, essentially a Romantic proposition about the individual opposed to the social dressed up in philosophical and economic clothing.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Copehead » 07 May 2018, 10:03

PENK wrote:
Copehead wrote:
PENK wrote:
In the simplest terms, he was hopelessly overoptimistic.

Everyone living and working and sharing together is a nice idea, but only plausible if you have never actually encountered another human being.


Well unless you lived before the concept of landownership of course, which was for about 99% of human history.


Yes perhaps, but it's widely believed that early man actually moved out of Africa due to competition for resources after the invention of weaponry which made conflict lethal. So even the hunter-gatherers were squabbling over consumer goods. In an advanced economy with more and more stuff, there are always people who want more than others.

I suppose that Stalin's ultimate aim was a return to this kind of society where it was egalitarian because the only things anybody had were some old shoes and a potato so there was nothing to fight over.

Maybe in some utopian future robots will do all the work for us and jealousy, greed and pride will no longer exist and we will all live happily side by side and nobody will want to tell other people what to do.


I don't think competition for resources, or even conflict, precludes the idea that for most of human history humanity has lived in collaborative groups working together and sharing everything to keep the group going.

I the idea that someone owned the group and the others had to work to keep him fit and happy would obviously be considered absurd even now.

And yet that is essentially what we do and have done since we came up with the idea of ownership of land residing with individuals, in the UK many of those individuals haven't changed in nearly 1000 years.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Toby » 07 May 2018, 11:44

Rayge wrote: his concept of the impact of industrial processes on the individual, concerning the alienation of labour, essentially a Romantic proposition about the individual opposed to the social dressed up in philosophical and economic clothing.


This is what Marx got right.

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Pansy Puff » 07 May 2018, 12:06

Toby wrote:
Rayge wrote: his concept of the impact of industrial processes on the individual, concerning the alienation of labour, essentially a Romantic proposition about the individual opposed to the social dressed up in philosophical and economic clothing.


This is what Marx got right.

It's the central spine of his arguement. Nothing more important I think.
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Toby » 08 May 2018, 11:08

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Copehead » 08 May 2018, 18:39

Toby wrote:Image


Nice list of countries that mostly have zero to do with socialism
Do you get special lessons on lying when you become very right wing?

Aren’t we talking about Karl Marx or is this shitting on the table an admission that that one didn’t go too well?
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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 09 May 2018, 12:14

Copehead wrote:
PENK wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Explain


In the simplest terms, he was hopelessly overoptimistic.

Everyone living and working and sharing together is a nice idea, but only plausible if you have never actually encountered another human being.


Well unless you lived before the concept of landownership of course, which was for about 99% of human history.

You need to think about the majority of human history.

I don't think hopelessly overoptimistic is correct.
I think he thought communism needed to develop in an advanced economy.
I think he didn't get the timescale correct.

I think Capital will always dominate Labour until the costs of Labour become nothing.

I think we can see that time approaching now with computer design and production and 3D printers etc.

So what becomes important then is resources, and if they become infinite then goods become worthless and so does capital, to a large degree.

Scientific, engineering and computing progress will probably make the conditions for economic communism right because goods will become worthless.

I should imagine Kapital/Wealth will try to find other ways of retaining control, but essentially his economic ideas are right he just had the time scale wrong and he couldn't have forseen the successful ways that Capital retain control over Labour, mainly through owning the the means to disseminate information.

He was undoubtedly a visionary historian, one of the most important ever, and a very insightful economist, although one who will forever be tarnished by being coupled with movements that he thought would be disastrous.


A fine post, Copehead.

Indeed: it is terrible that so many people nowadays link his family name to the dreadful regimes that abused it. In some aspects, the West itself has turned into a political-economic system not unlike that of the USSR in its final years.

We've become a hyperrational, technology-driven, highly polluting and extremely wasteful, slow and monstrously big bureaucracy, with scant respect for human rights, equality, social justice; and our mass media are just as trustworthy as the Tass and the Pravda of yesteryear.

But we do have Ed Sheeran - I'll admit to that.
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wallenpaupack.

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Re: 200 years of Karl Marx

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 09 May 2018, 21:19

echolalia wrote:
Toby wrote:A brilliant writer and thinker without doubt. But mostly wrong.

So where was he right?


The form of wood, for instance, is altered if a table is made out of it. Nevertheless the table continues to be wood, an ordinary, sensuous thing. But as soon as it emerges as a commodity, it changes into a thing which transcends sensuousness. It not only stands with its feet on the ground, but, in relation to all other commodities, it stands on its head, and evolves out of its wooden brain grotesque ideas far more wonderful than if it were to begin dancing of its own free will.


Example:
https://reverb.com/item/2933713-gibson- ... ndard-1960