8 Bit Philosophy: What is Marxism? (Karl Marx + Super Mario Bros.)

While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

In before someone says "It's a nice idea in theory, but the reality of 'human nature'(tm) means it would never work."

Edit: Nevermind. I typed too fast.

RichHomieChaotic:
While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

Exactly. From what I understand that's why the system has never worked before. Everyone was always trying to game the system thinking THEY deserve more than everyone else. That's fine for average people to do. Rules and regulations can adapt to that. But it's when the people running the system do it that everything falls apart.

Not everyone is self aware, empathetic, and selfless and so communism doesn't work. Capitalism works because it plays on something we all are. Greedy. Of course Capitalism has massive problems as well with it inevitably resulting in incredible wealth disparagement. As we are seeing now here in the US.

Unions helped even things out striking a balance between the two. Ensuring that workers got their fair share of the corporate profits and fought against worker exploitation and abuse. But corporate powers lobbied heavily to get unions de-fanged and now only 11% of people are in unions compared to the 35% back in the 70s. Coincidentally CEO pay rose and wages for everyone else dropped corresponding with the slow death of unions. Now the pay of a CEO is 350 times more than the pay of the average worker of their own company. While every other first world nation it's around 30 times more.

With the death of unions the only things standing between us and corporate machinations is the government and they are blatantly bought and sold. They need millions of dollars to run an effective re-election campaign and are offered HIGHLY lucrative jobs by companies for when they leave office. It's blatant bribery. The current system we have now can't even be called Capitalism as the big players don't have to follow the rules that everyone else does because they have our politicians on speed dial.

I use to live in a small town where the only two places that paid a dime over minimum wage was a small fiber glass factory and a small chair factory. A hose manufacturer wanted to move in a build a factory. That would have created competition for jobs pushing up wages. So fiber glass and chairs called the city government and suddenly hose couldn't get a building permit to save their lives. They tried for five years constantly being blocked by red tape. They eventually gave up and chair and fiber glass's low wages were protected from competition.

Then the recession hit. Chairs shut down, fiberglass now pays minimum wage, and half the people in my home town are unemployed and almost everyone is living on welfare.

Marxism fails simply because those who control the power of the system become the oppressors. It is a nice concept but those who seek to reign over it will inevitably become corrupt and oppressive.

I like high income and corporation tax rates because they exploit greed rather than fighting it. I don't know what ideology that falls into, but I'm that.

Mid Boss:

RichHomieChaotic:
While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

Exactly. From what I understand that's why the system has never worked before. Everyone was always trying to game the system thinking THEY deserve more than everyone else. That's fine for average people to do. Rules and regulations can adapt to that. But it's when the people running the system do it that everything falls apart.

Not everyone is self aware, empathetic, and selfless and so communism doesn't work. Capitalism works because it plays on something we all are. Greedy. Of course Capitalism has massive problems as well with it inevitably resulting in incredible wealth disparagement. As we are seeing now here in the US.

Unions helped even things out striking a balance between the two. Ensuring that workers got their fair share of the corporate profits and fought against worker exploitation and abuse. But corporate powers lobbied heavily to get unions de-fanged and now only 11% of people are in unions compared to the 35% back in the 70s. Coincidentally CEO pay rose and wages for everyone else dropped corresponding with the slow death of unions. Now the pay of a CEO is 350 times more than the pay of the average worker of their own company. While every other first world nation it's around 30 times more.

With the death of unions the only things standing between us and corporate machinations is the government and they are blatantly bought and sold. They need millions of dollars to run an effective re-election campaign and are offered HIGHLY lucrative jobs by companies for when they leave office. It's blatant bribery. The current system we have now can't even be called Capitalism as the big players don't have to follow the rules that everyone else does because they have our politicians on speed dial.

I use to live in a small town where the only two places that paid a dime over minimum wage was a small fiber glass factory and a small chair factory. A hose manufacturer wanted to move in a build a factory. That would have created competition for jobs pushing up wages. So fiber glass and chairs called the city government and suddenly hose couldn't get a building permit to save their lives. They tried for five years constantly being blocked by red tape. They eventually gave up and chair and fiber glass's low wages were protected from competition.

Then the recession hit. Chairs shut down, fiberglass now pays minimum wage, and half the people in my home town are unemployed and almost everyone is living on welfare.

It's worth noting that unions weren't simply de-fanged. Some are still quite powerful in fact while others are weak by comparison and in terms of real power. IN addition to the weakening of unions, many of them became institutions unto themselves, not so much looking out for the worker's interests but for the union's interests. Corrupt or incompetent union leadership charges workers a portion of their wages for no practical gain to the worker, leading to disenfranchisement and rejection. I, like many, support the notion of worker's unions and see them in a positive light but find the reality of their workings to fall somewhere between impotent and self destructive.

Mid Boss:

RichHomieChaotic:
While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

Exactly. From what I understand that's why the system has never worked before. Everyone was always trying to game the system thinking THEY deserve more than everyone else. That's fine for average people to do. Rules and regulations can adapt to that. But it's when the people running the system do it that everything falls apart.

You must leverage whatever slim advantage you have to get ahead in this world. The simple truth is Marxism suffers from a seminal flaw. It doesn't account for the driving force behind human behaviour. The drive to be better than someone else in someway. Everyone likes to think they are better than someone. It becames ironic that people believing they are better than someone because they believe no one is better than anyone. Sort of like being proud of the fact that you are not proud of anything.

It's why we all try to get a little ahead. Sure this doesn't apply to everyone but sadly it is the fate of those those who are not to be swept under the feet of those who are.

Not everyone is self aware, empathetic, and selfless and so communism doesn't work. Capitalism works because it plays on something we all are. Greedy. Of course Capitalism has massive problems as well with it inevitably resulting in incredible wealth disparagement. As we are seeing now here in the US.

It's not even as black and white as that. We all want to survive and while we are all capable of empathy and selflessness there is a finite amount of empathy we can feel. You can't care about everyone because at the end of the day, at some point you are going to be in conflict with someone for a scarce resource. Whether it be A tin of beans, a house, a car or even the attention of particular person.

Unions helped even things out striking a balance between the two. Ensuring that workers got their fair share of the corporate profits and fought against worker exploitation and abuse. But corporate powers lobbied heavily to get unions de-fanged and now only 11% of people are in unions compared to the 35% back in the 70s. Coincidentally CEO pay rose and wages for everyone else dropped corresponding with the slow death of unions. Now the pay of a CEO is 350 times more than the pay of the average worker of their own company. While every other first world nation it's around 30 times more.

You also have to realize that unions themselves were becoming corrupted by the power they wielded and as such when a group is given power they will invariably leverage that power for the greatest personal gains of said group.

With the death of unions the only things standing between us and corporate machinations is the government and they are blatantly bought and sold. They need millions of dollars to run an effective re-election campaign and are offered HIGHLY lucrative jobs by companies for when they leave office. It's blatant bribery. The current system we have now can't even be called Capitalism as the big players don't have to follow the rules that everyone else does because they have our politicians on speed dial.

I use to live in a small town where the only two places that paid a dime over minimum wage was a small fiber glass factory and a small chair factory. A hose manufacturer wanted to move in a build a factory. That would have created competition for jobs pushing up wages. So fiber glass and chairs called the city government and suddenly hose couldn't get a building permit to save their lives. They tried for five years constantly being blocked by red tape. They eventually gave up and chair and fiber glass's low wages were protected from competition.

Then the recession hit. Chairs shut down, fiberglass now pays minimum wage, and half the people in my home town are unemployed and almost everyone is living on welfare.[/quote]

That's the problem. You see labour becomes less valuable over time. With technology and mechanization allowing one person to do the jobs of as many as 10 the demand for labour shrinks and conversely the competition for what few jobs are left drive the wages down because as the employer much like a person shopping for apples... it's in your best interest to get the most for as little as you can.

Marxism is a great idea...but like any Utopia. they greatly fail. Marxism fails because at somepoint... soime human is going to have to be given authority to decide what is 'needed' by another human. How much is a fair wage, How much is a fair allotment of grain. etc.

Question about Marxism: when it says that there is no private ownership, does that mean no personal possessions whatsoever, or just no privately owned businesses?

Also, how does it relate to things like the arts and entertainment? Because just by writing a popular book that lots of people read, you are being elevated over everyone else. Would that not be allowed or how would that work?

Marxism is why we can't have nice things, because then everyone else will have them too; it also completely eliminates privacy and personal preferences, because everything you want, do, or like will affect the commune as a whole. That's why I can see communism work on a small scale, where everyone knows everyone, but falls apart spectacularly on a greater scale.

It also completely isolates a place from everyone and everything else, because a change in the population shifts the dynamic too much.

And the dictatorial stuff happens too, I guess.

Devieus:
Marxism is why we can't have nice things, because then everyone else will have them too; it also completely eliminates privacy and personal preferences, because everything you want, do, or like will affect the commune as a whole. That's why I can see communism work on a small scale, where everyone knows everyone, but falls apart spectacularly on a greater scale.

It also completely isolates a place from everyone and everything else, because a change in the population shifts the dynamic too much.

And the dictatorial stuff happens too, I guess.

Well said. But here's a new video to indoctrinate people that marxism is powerful and inevitable, ignoring for a moment the bad things that happened to every country that embraced these ideas.

I had to laugh at the tagling:

Welcome back to 8-Bit Philosophy, where gaming makes you smart.

I wouldn't call disney versions of world impacting philosophy making anyone smarter.

Marxism doesn't address the problem of what happens once the workers have overthrown the capitalist. The whole factory shuts down because the "machine monkeys" aren't smart enough to run a business. We always note that rich people didn't get their own their own, and this is true. But a factory owner who loses all his workers can just round up any group of high school dropouts. A group of factory workers who lose there manager, however, are out of luck because none of them have the intellect and greatness to run a major operation.

Mid Boss:

RichHomieChaotic:
While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

Exactly. From what I understand that's why the system has never worked before. Everyone was always trying to game the system thinking THEY deserve more than everyone else. That's fine for average people to do. Rules and regulations can adapt to that. But it's when the people running the system do it that everything falls apart.

IMO its not as much a question of wanting to game the system, but a more instinctive drive to get the most bang for your buck so to say.

Consider that we evolved from apes that operated on a harem logic: Only the strongest male, who could fight off all the other males, got to bang around. Thus, we evolved with a drive to get the most ressources (food, shelter, fancy things to impress our peers) that we might display our superiority and thus attract a mate.

...yes, that is VERY oversimplified, but if you think about it then does make sense.

Parents always want what is best for their children - helicopter parents and tiger moms have always been a thing.

dunam:

Devieus:
Marxism is why we can't have nice things, because then everyone else will have them too; it also completely eliminates privacy and personal preferences, because everything you want, do, or like will affect the commune as a whole. That's why I can see communism work on a small scale, where everyone knows everyone, but falls apart spectacularly on a greater scale.

It also completely isolates a place from everyone and everything else, because a change in the population shifts the dynamic too much.

And the dictatorial stuff happens too, I guess.

Well said. But here's a new video to indoctrinate people that marxism is powerful and inevitable, ignoring for a moment the bad things that happened to every country that embraced these ideas.

I had to laugh at the tagling:

Welcome back to 8-Bit Philosophy, where gaming makes you smart.

I wouldn't call disney versions of world impacting philosophy making anyone smarter.

Ugh, last time is was some BS non sequitur about wanting gender to go away completely and now it's "marxism is still a powerful ideology." No, it's a fundamentally flawed ideology. I lean far left in the American political spectrum, even to a length of saying I'm PART socialist, but not once would I ever call myself an anti-capitalist or a Marxist. In fact, far leftists and left-authoritarians piss me off a lot more than the far right because of how damned militant Marxism is when it comes to demonizing people for their social identities or class.

Karl Marx never ran a company. Never held political office. Never oversaw any accounts. Never even held a job - any job. Supported throughout his life by his friend Friedrich Engles, the son of a wealthy factory owner.

Considered by many to be the greatest social, political, and economic philisopher of all time.

All applications of his theories have ended in failure.

image

Well he's not wholly wrong at least.

Capitalism does have a dark side, it can be exploitative, it can crush the average worker, even push them out of work altogether.

The mistake of Marxism is in pursuing that unrealistic utopian ideal in defiance of certain cold, hard truths of reality, and how easy it is for the system he proposes to itself be abused by those who end up organising things.

I just wish more people would be willing to see the middle road. A little bit of capitalism, a little bit of socialism, mix em both together and you might just create something approaching balance and sustainability. This doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.

Wow, good explanation!
Had this in school of course, but that wasn't quite as concise and well written ;)

Thanks again, love the series. :)

It feels like Marxism has been boiled down to marxist communism... that's a shame because Marx is much more than just a communist utopia and his idea of a communist utopia is largely obselete or transformed to the point of barely being recognizable. I really miss the fundamental aspect of critical social theory as the core aspect of Marxism. The communist utopian view is more an outcome of that way of thinking rather than the essence of marxism.

cthulhuspawn82:
Marxism doesn't address the problem of what happens once the workers have overthrown the capitalist. The whole factory shuts down because the "machine monkeys" aren't smart enough to run a business. We always note that rich people didn't get their own their own, and this is true. But a factory owner who loses all his workers can just round up any group of high school dropouts. A group of factory workers who lose there manager, however, are out of luck because none of them have the intellect and greatness to run a major operation.

I think the only thing holding back the workers is the lack of funding. Of course you have to have a set of certain skill, but it is not some god-given Destiny for Greatness. You can learn those skills like any other skills.

But that's not what Marxism is about, if I understand it correctly. Even in a Marxist Utopia, there would still be managers, but they would no longer own the factory that they are running. The factory would belong to everyone.
Hm, thinking about it, contemporary huge joint-stock corporations work like this, don't they? They have not one owner, but a commitee of Managers and Stock Holders, who can even vote and throw out the original founder. So the corporation does not "belong" to anyone but to itself, in a way.
But the workers get still exploited and screwed over ;-)

TakerFoxx:
Question about Marxism: when it says that there is no private ownership, does that mean no personal possessions whatsoever, or just no privately owned businesses?

Also, how does it relate to things like the arts and entertainment? Because just by writing a popular book that lots of people read, you are being elevated over everyone else. Would that not be allowed or how would that work?

There is a diference betwee posessions and property.

Property is means of production and infrastructure and so forth and no single person should own them, no one will come after your knick-nacks.

Obviously Marx wasn't against writing popular books, he himself is one of historys most popular authors.

dunam:

Devieus:
Marxism is why we can't have nice things, because then everyone else will have them too; it also completely eliminates privacy and personal preferences, because everything you want, do, or like will affect the commune as a whole. That's why I can see communism work on a small scale, where everyone knows everyone, but falls apart spectacularly on a greater scale.

It also completely isolates a place from everyone and everything else, because a change in the population shifts the dynamic too much.

And the dictatorial stuff happens too, I guess.

Well said. But here's a new video to indoctrinate people that marxism is powerful and inevitable, ignoring for a moment the bad things that happened to every country that embraced these ideas.

Hindsight is 20/20, it was a new concept back then, so the consequences that did happen were a bit hard to see coming. Marx was on to something, but part of his theory was very flawed, or a bit too small.

Then again, it wasn't Marx' fault things got so out of hand, Lenin is a much easier target, and Stalin is literally worse than Hitler.

09philj:
I like high income and corporation tax rates because they exploit greed rather than fighting it. I don't know what ideology that falls into, but I'm that.

Guided capitalism. The idea that the state benefits by people feeling motivated by self interest to the exclusion of collective benefit.

Blazing Hero:
Marxism fails simply because those who control the power of the system become the oppressors. It is a nice concept but those who seek to reign over it will inevitably become corrupt and oppressive.

That seems less like a Marxist problem than a totalitarianism problem. So what if the leaders are democratically elected?

Olas:

Blazing Hero:
Marxism fails simply because those who control the power of the system become the oppressors. It is a nice concept but those who seek to reign over it will inevitably become corrupt and oppressive.

That seems less like a Marxist problem than a totalitarianism problem. So what if the leaders are democratically elected?

Exactly the same thing, those who seek power over others always have a predisposition to oppress. The ones setting and overseeing the communist system are destined to become dictators. True communism is impossible to ever achieve through human hands. Never forget that two of the greatest monsters in history stemmed from the communist system, Chairman Mao and Joseph Stalin. That is no coincidence.

Every time I hear talk of Marx and communism, with a utopia world where there is no private property I can't help but think of the "Tragedy of the Commons". Which basically talks about how over fishing, hunting, and logging is often caused by this sharing of resources. That is when a resource is a community resource there is no incentive for conservation because if you don't use the resource then someone else will, the result is people take too much and leave nothing behind.

Where as if the land is privately owned it is in the interest of the owner to properly manage it so the natural resources remain and can be harvested on a regular basis, this is the mind set of most farmers. That said it doesn't mean the owner at some point won't be a short sighted fool who strips the land for short term gains. But if the land is unowned with anyone harvesting as they please then it's even more likely to be stripped bare. So the risk of a bad owner who mismanages the land doesn't negate it being an overall better system.

The other problem is I think Marx was right about people over throwing the Big Greedy Companies/Individuals but wrong about how they would do it and what would happen afterwards. As technology and communication improves it is undermining the big corporate structures that hold people under thumb. Things like Kickstarter, Patreon, and other crowd funding are allowing small start ups to get funds that would have previously been unavailable. Being a gaming site I'm sure most of you are all aware of how the Indy gaming scene has been putting out some high quality titles lately while the big studies put out Shiny Crap that strains your Gfx card but lacks any real substance.

Technology allows more people to make what they want and get it out to the people who enjoy it, compared to the soulless assembly line view of the future Marx had envisioned. Plus with more automation fewer people are needed on assembly lines so it's likely as time goes on less people will have jobs in industry and more in content creation.

Also Marx talk of how it's in the Capitalist best interest to pay the worker as little as possible is not really true, and is often viewed as correct policy by short sighted business folks. Henry Ford become one of the Richest men in American by following a counter policy...

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."
Henry Ford

He paid his workers about 3 times the going rate and was considered a fool by his peers at the time who claimed he would go bankrupt within a couple months. But Henry Ford realized that if no one could afford his product then he wouldn't have a business. So that is if companies follow the path Marx's imagines the workers, and thus population at large, won't be about to buy any of the goods and thus the business can't stay in business. This is what we see happen in developing countries who are trying to leap into the modern world. They have sweat shops that pay nothing then wonder why when they try to develop a commercial district with modern style shopping malls they are empty, because few people can actually afford the.

Today's industry seems to be based on the idea of minimal quality good, at lowest cost, paying the lowest possible wage. Which is eroding our economic strength and being short sights as companies which use to be Giants in their industry have fallen quite far due to customer's going else where. But also as poorly paid employees can only afford the essentials and not the extra luxury items they are tasked with making.

These issue stem for a common misconception regarding economics and wealth. Most talk about the economy as a pie and if one person get's a bigger slice than others get a smaller piece. But the economy is in a constant state of flux, new technologies in particular produce new products that create wealth so that not only is the pie larger but it contains stuff not previously present. So if someone creates something new the can end up with a lot of wealth but a lot of that is wealth that didn't exist the economy before, thus them getting really rich doesn't take anything from someone else.

The other misconception regarding wealth is that everything is equally divisible. Curtain items are extremely rare and this is reflected in their value. Like a rare diamond that is worth $100M can't be divided among a lot of people. So even if you give everyone the same amount of food, water, houses, and etc. then give the diamond to one person that person will be considered to be extremely rich compared to the other people even though all they have is one extra stone. Most rich people often spend their money on these extravagant items which are pretty much useless to the ordinary person because they can afford it and the rarity of such items are a status symbol.

Back to Marxism though the biggest problem is the "each according to his need". People don't actually need that much to survive. Primate tribes around the world easily survive with shelter as simply as animal skin tents and grass/mud huts. They get water from local streams/rivers. Then they hunt/farm/forage off the land. Or if you prefer a more developed life style you could look at Amish. The point is people don't really "need" most of what we have in the modern world, they simply "want" it. Because people have a natural animal instinct to establish dominance, though in modern cultures it's not physical dominance but rather dominance in social standing.

Areani:
Karl Marx never ran a company. Never held political office. Never oversaw any accounts. Never even held a job - any job. Supported throughout his life by his friend Friedrich Engles, the son of a wealthy factory owner.

Considered by many to be the greatest social, political, and economic philisopher of all time.

All applications of his theories have ended in failure.

image

To paraphrase John Steinbeck, "Lenin, Marx Engels. What humanity must realize is that these people were results, not causes".

Basically, Marx's writings only provided the intellectual basis for revolution. People were unhappy regardless, and if organized as in a union, could hold real power over the individual CEO.

Oooh, another thread of "let's bash on things we only have approximate understanding of"!

Areani:
Karl Marx never ran a company. Never held political office. Never oversaw any accounts. Never even held a job - any job.

Actually - he held lectures and regularly wrote for press. Is this doesn't count and he still "never held a job", well, then neither did Adam Smith. And neither did, like, 90% of great philosophers in history. Would that count as a fair critique of any of their works?

I also don't understand the jabs towards his cooperation with Engels. First - it means that he worked very closely with someone who did have a great share of experience with running a business. Second - anyone who actually read anything by them would know that according to Marx Communism can only come into existence in a society of final-stage Capitalism (aka Imperialism). It's not a big fire that must consume all the world, but rather merely an another step in economic organization that becomes possible when certain requirements are met, takes what the capitalism achieved and pushes it further.

And as a counterpoint to le funney picture - well, if we include the colonial genocides in Africa, India and South America, our beloved Manifest Destiny of the good ol' US of A, the trade wars, the entirety of WWI which had no other reasons to happen other than armed capitals fighting for markets... yeah, I think with capitalism, that pile of skulls would be a LOT bigger.

RichHomieChaotic:
While Marxism sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the greedy will ruin it for everyone else.

While Democracy sounds like a good concept, it can't be successful long term. Eventually human nature will kick in and the power-hungry will ruin it for everyone else. Just look what happened to Athens, or Novgorod Republic, or First Republic in France.
Case in point - if every system was completely rejected after it's first, or 10th, or 100th failure - we would still be living as nomadic tribes.

Spyre2000:

The other problem is I think Marx was right about people over throwing the Big Greedy Companies/Individuals but wrong about how they would do it and what would happen afterwards. As technology and communication improves it is undermining the big corporate structures that hold people under thumb. Things like Kickstarter, Patreon, and other crowd funding are allowing small start ups to get funds that would have previously been unavailable. Being a gaming site I'm sure most of you are all aware of how the Indy gaming scene has been putting out some high quality titles lately while the big studies put out Shiny Crap that strains your Gfx card but lacks any real substance.

And this contradicts Marx... how? According to him - proletarian revolution happens when new social organization is at the door, and old capitalistic powers have no means of countering it's development and maintaining their power other than direct enforcement of control. That means that new small powers may emerge freely, until they start being a serious threat to the status quo, at which point they enter a full-scale competition with the big players. And the moment the latter see that they can't win it the fair way, they will employ their vast capitals and political influence to halt the growth of the newcomers by laws and regulations directed against them. And here comes the bang.

Spyre2000:
Technology allows more people to make what they want and get it out to the people who enjoy it, compared to the soulless assembly line view of the future Marx had envisioned. Plus with more automation fewer people are needed on assembly lines so it's likely as time goes on less people will have jobs in industry and more in content creation.

Marx did NOT envision technology as a soulless assembly line. According to him, the technology and it's level are THE things that determine the entire structure of society - it's classes, it's morals, it's laws, it's everything. He saw technology as the one thing that takes humans and creates humanity out of them.

Spyre2000:
Also Marx talk of how it's in the Capitalist best interest to pay the worker as little as possible is not really true, and is often viewed as correct policy by short sighted business folks. Henry Ford become one of the Richest men in American by following a counter policy

For each Henry Ford I can raise you a hundred industrialists who's practices brought on the Great Depression. The capital at large DOES strive towards lower wages. It's even in the Ford's quote - the "highest wages possible" stand AFTER the "lowest cost", i.e. - "find out the lowest production cost (including the wages) that will allow you to survive, and raise the wages to that boundary".

Spyre2000:
But Henry Ford realized that if no one could afford his product then he wouldn't have a business. So that is if companies follow the path Marx's imagines the workers, and thus population at large, won't be about to buy any of the goods and thus the business can't stay in business.

UNLESS it exploits foreign markets for cheap labor or wealthy consumer. I wonder how many Chinese sweat shop workers can afford the expensive electronic gizmos they produce for American markets. I also wonder who owns said sweat shops.

This is the defining trait of Imperialism: create an entire society that can make you a product for a half-a-dime. Create another society that can give you a stack of cash for that product. Stand between them, and you are now the most powerful force on the planet. Alienation is the foundation of capitalism.

Spyre2000:
These issue stem for a common misconception regarding economics and wealth.

Sure, it comes from CEOs, director boards and entire industries understanding economy less than you do, not from them doing their job which naturally strives towards this state of affairs.

Spyre2000:

Most talk about the economy as a pie and if one person get's a bigger slice than others get a smaller piece. But the economy is in a constant state of flux, new technologies in particular produce new products that create wealth so that not only is the pie larger but it contains stuff not previously present. So if someone creates something new the can end up with a lot of wealth but a lot of that is wealth that didn't exist the economy before, thus them getting really rich doesn't take anything from someone else.

No. It doesn't work like that. Not just by Marx, but by the First Law of Thermodynamics. You cannot create something out of nothing. Wealth is not magically pulled into existence by the Force of Creativity. All the wealth - like, for example, our currencies - is an equivalent of labor. You cannot create something noteworthy for society without an input from society, i.e. - without the labor of a lot of people. It's your and their work that creates wealth, that bakes the pie, and all the wealth in the world is a function of labor by technology. Problem with the capitalism is - the distribution connection between the two in it is universally ineffective. It's a system where one using wealth created by the others as his own is the natural state of the system to which it aspires.

Which is not that fatal - totally tolerable for quite awhile for it's advantages. Like, say, Chinese are fine with working for almost nothing, as it gives them at least SOME work and brings hi-tech industries and therefore education into country. But as technologies develop, economic situation improves - producing wealth IS what capitalism good at - and our demands change, it becomes less and less acceptable, and requires more and more regulations. Until one day the whole system is just unsalvageable, and is still only there because the Old Guard won't let go of it's throne. At which point people will tell them to go. Theoretically, the system then will be succeeded by some form of Communism. Or something else - we can't know until we see it, and Marx was a philosopher, not a diviner.

Spyre2000:

The other misconception regarding wealth is that everything is equally divisible.

This here is an argument between the marginal utility and the labor theory of value. You can read on them yourself, I don't have three days to discuss it here.

Spyre2000:

Back to Marxism though the biggest problem is the "each according to his need". People don't actually need that much to survive. Primate tribes around the world easily survive with shelter as simply as animal skin tents and grass/mud huts. They get water from local streams/rivers. Then they hunt/farm/forage off the land. Or if you prefer a more developed life style you could look at Amish. The point is people don't really "need" most of what we have in the modern world, they simply "want" it.

This is actually not the problem, but one of the foundations of Communism. Yes, exactly - people don't need most of the shit they are fed by the society of consumerism. Without the culture nurturing them to chase status objects and overpossession, but with society still meeting their basic needs, they can dedicate themselves to other pursuits. Non-monetized creativity, self-development, science, pushing of the frontiers - that sort of things.
This is actually the theory of New Soviet Man almost word to word.

Blazing Hero:

Olas:

Blazing Hero:
Marxism fails simply because those who control the power of the system become the oppressors. It is a nice concept but those who seek to reign over it will inevitably become corrupt and oppressive.

That seems less like a Marxist problem than a totalitarianism problem. So what if the leaders are democratically elected?

Exactly the same thing, those who seek power over others always have a predisposition to oppress. The ones setting and overseeing the communist system are destined to become dictators. True communism is impossible to ever achieve through human hands. Never forget that two of the greatest monsters in history stemmed from the communist system, Chairman Mao and Joseph Stalin. That is no coincidence.

Except who would re-elect a leader who oppresses them?

And your 2 great monsters seem very anecdotal. Explain to me why communism, inherently more than any other system, leads to dictatorship, because I don't see any reason for it. I'm not saying communism is a good system, just that the fundamental flaw is economic, not political.

 

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