This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: Is Marxism Coming Back?

Tyler Durden's picture





 

 

Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

Is Marxism Coming Back?

It is true that as the financial and economic crises roll on, as more and more disasters accumulate, as more people are thrown into unemployment and suffering that more and more of us will question the fundamentals of our economic system. It is inevitable that many will be drawn to some of the criticisms of capitalism, including Marxism.

The Guardian today published a salutary overview of this revival:

In his introduction to a new edition of The Communist Manifesto, Professor Eric Hobsbawm suggests that Marx was right to argue that the “contradictions of a market system based on no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’, a system of exploitation and of ‘endless accumulation’ can never be overcome: that at some point in a series of transformations and restructurings the development of this essentially destabilising system will lead to a state of affairs that can no longer be described as capitalism”.

 

That is post-capitalist society as dreamed of by Marxists. But what would it be like?It is extremely unlikely that such a ‘post-capitalist society’ would respond to the traditional models of socialism and still less to the ‘really existing’ socialisms of the Soviet era,” argues Hobsbawm, adding that it will, however, necessarily involve a shift from private appropriation to social management on a global scale. “What forms it might take and how far it would embody the humanist values of Marx’s and Engels’s communism, would depend on the political action through which this change came about.”

Marxism is a strange thing; it provides a clean and straightforward narrative of history, one that irons out detail and complication. It provides a simplistic “us versus them” narrative of the present. And it provides a relatively utopian narrative of the future; that the working classes united will overthrow capitalism and establish a state run by and for the working classes.

Trouble is, history is vastly more complicated than the teleological narrative provided by dialectical materialism. The economic and social reality of the present is vastly more complicated than Marx’s linear and binary classifications. And the future that Marx predicted never came to fruit; his 19th Century ideas turned into a 20th Century reality of mass starvation, failed central planning experiments, and millions of deaths.

Certainly, the system we have today is unsustainable. The state-supported financial institutions, and the corporations that have grown up around them do not live because of their own genius, their own productivity or innovation. They exist on state largesse — money printing, subsidies, limited liability, favourable regulation, barriers to entry. Every blowup and scandal — from the LIBOR-rigging, to the London Whale, to the bungled trades that destroyed MF Global — illustrates the incompetence and failure that that dependency has allowed to flourish.

The chief problem that Marxists face is their misidentification of the present economic system as free market capitalism. How can we meaningfully call a system where the price of money is controlled by the state a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where financial institutions are routinely bailed out a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where upwards of 40% of GDP is spent by the state a free market? How can we call a system where the market trades the possibility of state intervention rather than underlying fundamentals a free market?

Today we do not have a market economy; we have a corporate economy.

As Saifedean Ammous and Edmund Phelps note:

The term “capitalism” used to mean an economic system in which capital was privately owned and traded; owners of capital got to judge how best to use it, and could draw on the foresight and creative ideas of entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers. This system of individual freedom and individual responsibility gave little scope for government to influence economic decision-making: success meant profits; failure meant losses. Corporations could exist only as long as free individuals willingly purchased their goods – and would go out of business quickly otherwise.

 

Capitalism became a world-beater in the 1800’s, when it developed capabilities for endemic innovation. Societies that adopted the capitalist system gained unrivaled prosperity, enjoyed widespread job satisfaction, obtained productivity growth that was the marvel of the world and ended mass privation.

 

Now the capitalist system has been corrupted. The managerial state has assumed responsibility for looking after everything from the incomes of the middle class to the profitability of large corporations to industrial advancement. This system, however, is not capitalism, but rather an economic order that harks back to Bismarck in the late nineteenth century and Mussolini in the twentieth: corporatism.

The system of corporatism we have today has far more akin with Marxism and “social management” than Marxists might like to admit. Both corporatism and Marxism are forms of central economic control; the only difference is that under Marxism, the allocation of capital is controlled by the state bureaucracy-technocracy, while under corporatism the allocation of capital is undertaken by the state apparatus in concert with large financial and corporate interests. The corporations accumulate power from the legal protections afforded to them by the state (limited liability, corporate subsidies, bailouts), and politicians can win re-election showered by corporate money.

The fundamental choice that we face today is between economic freedom and central economic planning. The first offers individuals, nations and the world a complex, multi-dimensional allocation of resources, labour and capital undertaken as the sum of human preferences expressed voluntarily through the market mechanism. The second offers allocation of resources, labour and capital by the elite — bureaucrats, technocrats and special interests. The first is not without corruption and fallout, but its various imperfect incarnations have created boundless prosperity, productivity and growth. Incarnations of the second have led to the deaths by starvation of millions first in Soviet Russia, then in Maoist China.

Marxists like to pretend that the bureaucratic-technocratic allocation of capital, labour and resources is somehow more democratic, and somehow more attuned to the interests of society than the market. But what can be more democratic and expressive than a market system that allows each and every individual to allocate his or her capital, labour, resources and productivity based on his or her own internal preferences? And what can be less democratic than the organisation of society and the allocation of capital undertaken through the mechanisms of distant bureaucracy and forced planning? What is less democratic than telling the broad population that rather than living their lives according to their own will, their own traditions and their own economic interests that they should instead follow the inclinations and orders of a distant bureaucratic-technocratic elite?

I’m not sure that Marxists have ever understood capitalism; Das Kapital is a mammoth work concentrating on many facets of 19th Century industrial and economic development, but it tends to focus in on obscure minutiae without ever really considering the coherent whole. If Marxists had ever come close to grasping the broader mechanisms of capitalism — and if they truly cared about democracy — they would have been far less likely to promulgate a system based on dictatorial central planning.

Nonetheless, as the financial system and the financial oligarchy continue to blunder from crisis to crisis, more and more people will surely become entangled in the seductive narratives of Marxism. More and more people may come to blame markets and freedom for the problems of corporatism and statism. This is deeply ironic — the Marxist tendency toward central planning and control exerts a far greater influence on the policymakers of today than the Hayekian or Smithian tendency toward decentralisation and economic freedom.

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:17 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

Marxism appeals to all the lazy fucks that don’t want to work and are willing to kill other people to get out of working for a living.  Usually the under 100 IQ class but also lots of appeal to the over 130 IQ crowd who think other people should give them all their wealth.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:23 | Link to Comment jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Amerikkka is being decimated by Marxism and Fascism. Read my post about MonSatan and the corruption they are pulling off right in front of your eyes! THIS SHIT HAS GOT TO END!!

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:28 | Link to Comment Precious
Precious's picture

Yes.  Marx went to hell, and the devil said "There is a God, so get your ass back out there and finish the job."

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:38 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

After socialism was defeated both on scientific grounds and on empirical grounds, all socialists turned to fascism in a way or another. Fascism is much more insidious and is winning. It already has the support of socialists, and is winning over lots of non-socialists only because it promises so much stuff without the responsibilities, and still gives the illusion that people can get rich. The 'right people', that is...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:39 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

The main economic problem with Marxism is the whole theory is based on the trading of one unit of capital for one unit of labor.  Any poor slop on ZHers will tell you the trade off have an infinite amount of possibilities depending on the industry, economy, country, even the local store. 

Just another “economist” who never had a clue about economics.  He belongs with Keynes, Samuelson, Krugman, and all the other crackpot “economists” who are clueless.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:52 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

sooner or later you run out of other peoples money to spend... (even & especially as it applies to future generations of other peoples money)...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:26 | Link to Comment 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

If it means rocking mega awesome facial hair then I for one welcome our new Marxist overlords!!

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 21:00 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

I dunno, Marx always reminded me of a baboon with that beard.

Odd fact of the day (well, not so odd at all) Engels was Marx's financial backer. Marx and his family lived in poverty relying on the charity of others as he "worked" on his lunacy.

However, Engels didn't trust Marx with money. He used to cut pound notes in half and send them separately to Marx & his family.

At the core of the Engels-Marx financial relationship, was the understanding of a monetary rationng to a spendthrift welfare client.

How odd is that? ;-)

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:53 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Marx wasnt dumb. He wrote at a time where all workers were living in poor conditions, working 80 hours a weak for little until they broke their body. He failed to see long term, just as most human beings fail to see above their lifespan. So he did not recognize that this was a necessary step towards greater prosperity for the masses. He saw a relationship between production and exploitation/poverty, instead of production being the source of wealth. He gave words to what most people feel.

Capitalism is hard to grasp. It requires to have faith in the unknown, to have a long term vision, and to accept that we cannot understand nor agree with all its processes. I don't think it stands any chance against the hopium-fueled short-term hope offered by central planning.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:56 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

I am sure his IQ was over 130 but as history shows the most intelligent people in the universe can be completely and totally clueless about the world in which they live in. 

It must suck to have a 130 IQ and have the emotional capacity of a 4th grader.  The times they are a changing. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:03 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

We can agree on that, but I fail to share your apparent obsession with IQs...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:37 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

It’s my attempt to be politically correct.  I am really, really, trying to be sensitive.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:05 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Well, cheer up bunky; you'll never have to face the "problem" of having an IQ of 130.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:46 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

I bet your boyfriend ask "is it in" every time your intimate.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:09 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Faith is a required component of capitalism. Well put. I'll go say a prayer to the Most Holy Invisible Hand.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:22 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Hello rational socialist. And while you're at it, don't forget to also say a prayer for Mother Nature and her mystical ability to self-organize.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:14 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

So many gods to pray to. I just don't see how anyone has the time to hit them all. Enjoy yours.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 22:34 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

\hattip

This might be one of the pithiest posts ever on the Hedge....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:45 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

At some point society demands justice.  And contrary to what a few people think, new laws won't be needed at all.  Our society hasn't failed due to too few laws, it has failed because of selective enforcement of those laws, two sets of rules, depending on how many lawyers you can or cannot afford.

One new law I would like to see though, is the banning of usury (aka Compound INTEREST).  Simple interest is fine, it can be understood by a large % of the populace, but compound interest just seems to be the bane of humanity, and beyond the reckoning of the average man (esp. politicians, it would seem).

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:58 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

Having banks issue currency backed by 100% gold is how you solve the banksters rip of scam.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:16 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

So placing fraudulently induced already existing debt onto an inanimate mineral, thereby increasing its 'price', is the solution?

That sounds like justice. You must be, like, grieved at hubris and criminality of those 'banksters'.

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:42 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

Backed by 100% gold means the end of fractional reserve banking and the monetary expansion of credit.  Banks issuing their own currency means an end to the banking cartel reinforced by central banks.  Banks issuing their own currency also eliminates the government expansion of currency and credit.

Trust me it worked in the past and would work even better today.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:08 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

People who have simple minds live in simple worlds where there are only simple answers.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:59 | Link to Comment ChubbNut
ChubbNut's picture

Compound interest is easy to explain and understand....so I don't know what you are talking about.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:57 | Link to Comment Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

For you and me, yes.  But a look at credit card debt statistics indicates its not the case for the general populace.   The Rule of 72 has made some people rich, and A LOT of people bankrupt.  There's a reason usury was illegal in the Middle Ages.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:12 | Link to Comment diesheepledie
diesheepledie's picture

THe bleating sheep who runs up all his credit cards, then takes out a 2nd mortgage on his house to buy a new boat, goes bankrupt, and then complains about how the banks screwed him with "complicated things" like compound interest NEEDS TO DIE!!!

Or better, bleed them and make them into slaves until they kill themselves. I don't see why the thinking human beings should not be allowed to exploit those who would otherwise die through natural selection. Harvesting moron orc sheep (a.k.a banking) is an old an noble profession.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 19:09 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

+1 for wearing your soul on your face.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:31 | Link to Comment BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

This is all planned.  The Club of Rome, Tri-Lateral Commission, Milner Group, Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of international Affairs, etc... are all Marxist to the core.  An Elite on top and a iron control grid below.  Fold in control of the planet's natural resources, and you have 'everything according to plan'.

Ignore this fact at your peril.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:23 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You would not know a Marxist if he was skull-fucking you....

Based on your avatar, you strapped that collander on your head for too long....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:25 | Link to Comment BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

And where do you happen upon this opinion dear sir?  Since I offered absolutely NO editorial on Marxism per se, it is most difficult (if not impossible) to glean my understanding (or lack thereof) of same. SO... please entertain us all with some more parlor tricks of mind reading and other vulgar amusements.

 

Meanwhile, please leave the discussion at hand to the adults.

 

Should you care to take a stab at contradicting me, I suggest you stick to my point, which is (for the hard of thinking): the banking-controlled and financed power circles of NY and London have throughout history embraced Marxism (PER SE) and have made no secret that a blend of the Soviet and American system would be ideal.  Some may call it a Fascist Kleptocracy... I say Tomato you say Tomatoe.  You're still a troll.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:48 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You accused the Cliub of Rome of being Marxist....this statement demonstrates that you do not have clue what you are talking about....

Whatever CoR is, it is not Marxist...

I think you should look up the difference between Statist, Marxist and Fascist...  You might learn something...

I think you are rightfully angry, but your indiscriminate use of word salad only announces that you are easy prey for the propangandists and the people really manipulating the system,,,

Oh, you really do need to loosen the chin straps...

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:03 | Link to Comment BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

http://clubofrome.org/cms/?p=2118

 

See #3.  From there, you can do your own digging (for knowlege, not a bigger hole for yourself to crawl into).  

 

And, to be fair, you have a valid point in that (like everytthing else), the string pullers have subverted classic Marxism to serve their own ends.  So to keep the peace, I will re-phrase my assertion thusly:  "Although not classic Marxists, the string pullers are big fans of Carl Marx"

 

Better?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:28 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Re: #3  You really don't understand what Marxism is, do you?

Or for the at matter,  any awareness of the correlation between GINI ratios and human exploitation and/or violent social upheaval....

You get the last word....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:17 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Clearly you've never heard of Cultural Marxism. That is the state-of-the-art delivery system for Marxism in modern society. The Club of Rome's approach is consistent with Cultural Marxist theory. You might want to educate yourself before casting aspersion on others.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:32 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So that is what narcissist Libertarians refer to empathy, altruism and a respect for the limitiations of this planet as.....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:20 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

Ah so now I understand comrade! Your god Stalin killed millions of Ukrainian Christians out of "empathy, altruism and a respect for the limitations of this planet!"

Next lesson: "The compassionate leader of the century: Pol Pot"

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:03 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

See my comment below about "naive and/or brainwashed".... Get back to us when you figure out which one you belong to...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:46 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

Why would I check out any of your comments? I have yet to see a single comment by you with any meaning or point whatsoever except to defend Communism as an ideal, and Marx as some kind of pure philosopher.

He, along with Lenin, was a bloodthirsty monster who wrecked Russia and half of Europe for the better part of the last century. Actually what he did was probably fatal to Europe and European culture. I salute your victory comrade, you have eradicated my people from the face of the Earth!

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 20:10 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Ah... the asshat speaketh...

I'll defend Marx's critique of capitalism. Commumism is clearly a dead end..An idealized socio-economic system based in as much reality as the Liberation wishful thinking that passes as gospel here...I find the irony delicious, the two extremes that both deny basic human nature...

Marx was dead in 1883, I think you need a history lesson. Wrecked Russia? Russia was a disaster waiting to happen, the fact that Lenin, Trotsky et al. took over so easily should give you an idea of how fucked it was....

And if you do think people were killed in the name of Karl Marx and that is a sin to be laid at his feet, you should add Jesus to the list of your bloodthirsty ideologues...

Keep posting, everytime you do, you display a more broad ignorance of history than the last....I'm curious to see how far you can go...

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:07 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

The communists/socialists/fascists are still trying to get it down to a real science...body counts, cronyism and endless sovereign debt mean nothing to getting "their vision" just right.

Of course "the vision" sets up its own brand of super rich oligarchs and enabling politburos at the state level which never seems to deter them on their quest.

Now to inflame the passions of socialists & statists everywhere ;-)

"The one constant was Keynes' faith in the elite.

He generally believed that almost any problem could be solved by getting together young men who had been schooled at Cambridge and asking them to take over. He even wanted Cambridge men to run America, because he didn't think anyone in the U.S. was smart enough. He also didn't like Jews, the French or the working class.

Keynes wrote that these Cambridge-led government boards should do everything from running individual companies to determining how many babies should be born and, cryptically, of what quality. Keynes was, after all, on the board of directors of the British Eugenics Society."

Now you know.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100018973

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

"The system of corporatism we have today has far more akin with Marxism and “social management” than Marxists might like to admit. Both corporatism and Marxism are forms of central economic control; the only difference is that under Marxism, the allocation of capital is controlled by the state bureaucracy-technocracy, while under corporatism the allocation of capital is undertaken by the state apparatus in concert with large financial and corporate interests. The corporations accumulate power from the legal protections afforded to them by the state (limited liability, corporate subsidies, bailouts), and politicians can win re-election showered by corporate money."

 

I love that quote.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:30 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Stating the obvious to economics9698 - neither you nor Aziz have actually read Marx and I don't mean a paragraph here or there.

John "I said dialectical so I know what I'm talking about" Aziz ought to do a tiny bit of research other than copy-pasting British newspapers. Pure drivel..

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Precious
Precious's picture

Easy boy. The Clozaril is right there on the shelf. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:43 | Link to Comment THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

I agree. I mean, I'm not a fan of Marx even in the slightest-- I want free markets all the way--, and you can bet your sweet bippy I'll be voting for Ron Paul... but seriously, these guys have not read Marx. And they don't understand the situation presented by him. Marx was a fatalist, not a communist: capitalism will turn out a certain way because of how it works. I don't remember any advocation... only analysis. But maybe he was wrong.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:27 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

"capitalism will turn out a certain way because of how it works"

And it pretty much has.

However, Marx wasn't merely a descriptive theorist and Bakunin didn't just go his own way for shits and giggles.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:19 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

You need to get smart about Cultural Marxism. It's been the preferred delivery system for Marxist ideology since the 1950s, once it became clear that the traditional methods (Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism) were doomed to failure.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 01:43 | Link to Comment THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

And Marx himself had nothing to do with this. Have a nice day.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:58 | Link to Comment Aziz
Aziz's picture

James.

I've read everything Marx has written, and most of what Lenin has written. When I was eighteen (seven years ago) I used to hang around with a lot of Marxists. 

The thing that began to put me off — and through which I began to understand why Marxism is evil — was democratic centralism. The idea that the party elite would meet, argue about policy, and then act on that policy with one front — no disagreements, no dissent, no further debate. Just dictatorship. No respect for the individual, no concept of individual freedom, or individual civil liberties, or economic freedom.

And that's the problem with Marxist politics. At it's core — even if we ignore all the Hegelian nonsense — it's about centralisation and control and force. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:03 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

@Aziz

You're exactly right... Especially here "The idea that the party elite would meet, argue about policy, and then act on that policy with one front — no disagreements, no dissent, no further debate. Just dictatorship. No respect for the individual, no concept of individual freedom, or individual civil liberties, or economic freedom."

The other day I was watching a documentary on FUTURE FARMING... If anyone wants to spend an hour on it, here's the link...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhVWNwCRpKg&feature=related

The bottom line (expressed at one point in the documentary), was that MODERN FARMING works exactly in contrast to the laws of nature... That if nature were to work properly, then basically the forest would claim back all of the land and create which was actually a perfectly fertile ec0-balance...

That essentially, all modern farming techniques create DEAD SOIL (which cannot produce crops & in fact, would create DESERTIFICATION), if not primed regularly with man crafted fertilizers from fossil fuels... (But as we speak, humans manage to subsist on this inefficient system due to convenience &/oe perceived abundance or incorrect assumptions as to sustainability)...

The analogy to MARXISM is almost perfect...

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:59 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

OK I will take you at your word that you've read Marx, then why mischaracterize him so much? 

First the most obvious: where does Marx propose the system you discuss in your comment "The thing that began to put me off — and through which I began to understand why Marxism is evil — was democratic centralism. The idea that the party elite would meet, argue about policy, and then act on that policy with one front — no disagreements, no dissent, no further debate. Just dictatorship. No respect for the individual, no concept of individual freedom, or individual civil liberties, or economic freedom."

Cite this in any Marx written piece please. 

Marx famously never proposed a specific framework, a lot of his writing was a critique of the current capitalist system and exploitation of labour. Others (after his death generally) took his ideas and used them as an excuse to implement what you write of, but clearly Marx would be strongly against this.

"It provides a simplistic “us versus them” narrative of the present."

Simply not true. 

"The chief problem that Marxists face is their misidentification of the present economic system as free market capitalism."

Clearly a straw man argument with no basis in fact. First you have a big problem right up front, what constitutes a Marxist?

From that you go to:

"How can we meaningfully call a system where the price of money is controlled by the state a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where financial institutions are routinely bailed out a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where upwards of 40% of GDP is spent by the state a free market? How can we call a system where the market trades the possibility of state intervention rather than underlying fundamentals a free market?"

Where in the article were any of these claims made? What "Marxists" are making these claims?

"Both corporatism and Marxism are forms of central economic control; the only difference is that under Marxism, the allocation of capital is controlled by the state bureaucracy-technocracy,"

Untrue, unless you accept a system like the USSR as someting Marx would support (and having read Marx you understand that's not possible).

"The fundamental choice that we face today is between economic freedom and central economic planning."

Nonsequitor. 

"Marxists like to pretend that the bureaucratic-technocratic allocation of capital, labour and resources is somehow more democratic, and somehow more attuned to the interests of society than the market."

Whatever "Marxists" you are imagining maybe, but not Marx. 

"Nonetheless, as the financial system and the financial oligarchy continue to blunder from crisis to crisis, more and more people will surely become entangled in the seductive narratives of Marxism."

Let us hear these seductive narratives from the mouth of Marx. 

 



Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:16 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well said...

Based on the rhetoric the author should have said Marxist-Leninismbut since we know that ism is deader than dogshit (rightfully so)  he had to twist things to try and score ideological points with the people that do not know the difference.....

PS I once had a summer job in a flour mill on the bagging line, I grasped Alienation almost immediately, BTW, the pay was not that bad ($9 in 1980)....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:26 | Link to Comment Aziz
Aziz's picture

Democratic centralism is a Leninist concept but it evolved out of Engels:

"...And the victorious party (in a revolution) must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries. Would the Paris Commune have lasted more than a day if it had not used the authority of the armed people against the bourgeoisie? Cannot we, on the contrary, blame it for having made too little use of that authority?..."

Who evolved out of Marx:

"[The working class] must act in such a manner that the revolutionary excitement does not collapse immediately after the victory.  On the contrary, they must maintain it as long as possible.  Far from opposing so-called excesses, such as sacrificing to popular revenge of hated individuals or public buildings to which hateful memories are attached, such deeds must not only be tolerated, but their direction must be taken in hand, for examples' sake."

"Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims.  They openly declare that their ends can only be attained by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions (e.g. bourgeois democracy)."

"The arming of the whole proletariat with rifles, guns, and ammunition should be carried out at once [and] the workers must ... organize themselves into an independent guard, with their own chiefs and general staff. ... [The aim is] that the bourgeois democratic Government not only immediately loses all backing among the workers, but from the commencement finds itself under the supervision and threats of authorities behind whom stands the entire mass of the working class. ...As soon as the new Government is established they will commence to fight the workers.  In order that this party (i.e., the democrats) whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the first hour of victory, should be frustrated in its nefarious work, it is necessary to organize and arm the proletariat."
The kind of society Marx wanted to build:

"1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. 5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. 6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. 8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of  the population over the country. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production" 

In other words, violent revolution, in the interests of collectivisation and placing the means of production, communication, credit, transport, agriculture into the hands of the state. 

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:11 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Trying to slice & dice degrees of Marxism is mental masturbation...

~~~

It's like trying to decide whether to plant poseys or petunias the day before the sun blows up into a red giant...

It's an exercise for pseudo-intellectual fuckwads who think re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic is a worthwhile use of their time...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:24 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

In the largest possible sense you are correct. However, it is critically important to KNOW YOUR ENEMY.

Marxists don't sit still, they adapt, like any other malignant organism. How Marxism is implemented is just as important as Marxist theory itself.

Marxists are, basically, insane. They won't stop trying to implement their insane ideas, but they aren't stupid enough to try the same methods of implementation over and over again.

Unfortunately, where Lenin, Stalin, and Mao failed, the Cultural Marxists are getting some definite traction. It is terrifying to me that so few people are even aware of the basic tenets of Cultural Marxism.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:48 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

as long as someone else is picking up the tab, they'll be happy to order another round for the house & be the big hero...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:58 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Interesting quotes considering you did not cite where they are from. I searched around for some citations.

For instance:

"The arming of the whole proletariat with rifles, guns, and ammunition should be carried out at once [and] the workers must ... organize themselves into an independent guard, with their own chiefs and general staff. ... [The aim is] that the bourgeois democratic Government not only immediately loses all backing among the workers, but from the commencement finds itself under the supervision and threats of authorities behind whom stands the entire mass of the working class. ...As soon as the new Government is established they will commence to fight the workers.  In order that this party (i.e., the democrats) whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the first hour of victory, should be frustrated in its nefarious work, it is necessary to organize and arm the proletariat."

From Karl Marx, Address to the Communist League (1850).  Cited in E. Burns (ed.), A Handbook of Marxism (1935), p. 67. 

^ Notice the date?

Here's a translation of the Marx text:

"2. To be able forcefully and threateningly to oppose this party, whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the very first hour of victory, the workers must be armed and organized. The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible – these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising."

The second translation being somethng I'm sure most ZH readers would fully endorse.

When you bring up the Communist Manifesto you need to mention Marx' conception was an end to the state and in your quoted bit he postulates how the state could function alternatively to the present ruling class (1850s) in order to dissolve itself eventually. Worth underlining - Marx was not a statist. The next bit after what you quoted is this:

"When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class."

And here is a look at something Engels actually wrote about the state:

Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy

The traditional conception, to which Hegel, too, pays homage, saw in the state the determining element, and in civil society the element determined by it. Appearances correspond to this. As all the driving forces of the actions of any individual person must pass through his brain, and transform themselves into motives of his will in order to set him into action, so also all the needs of civil society — no matter which class happens to be the ruling one — must pass through the will of the state in order to secure general validity in the form of laws. That is the formal aspect of the matter — the one which is self-evident. The question arises, however, what is the content of this merely formal will — of the individual as well as of the state — and whence is this content derived? Why is just this willed and not something else? If we enquire into this, we discover that in modern history the will of the state is, on the whole, determined by the changing needs of civil society, but the supremacy of this or that class, in the last resort, by the development of the productive forces and relations of exchange.

...

If the state even today, in the era of big industry and of railways, is on the whole only a reflection, in concentrated form, of the economic needs of the class controlling production, then this must have been much more so in an epoch when each generation of men was forced to spend a far greater part of its aggregate lifetime in satisfying material needs, and was therefore much more dependent on them than we are today. An examination of the history of earlier periods, as soon as it is seriously undertaken from this angle, most abundantly confirms this. But, of course, this cannot be gone into here.

...

The state presents itself to us as the first ideological power over man. Society creates for itself an organ for the safeguarding of its common interests against internal and external attacks. This organ is the state power. Hardly come into being, this organ makes itself independent vis-a-vis society; and, indeed, the more so, the more it becomes the organ of a particular class, the more it directly enforces the supremacy of that class. The fight of the oppressed class against the ruling class becomes necessarily a political fight, a fight first of all against the political dominance of this class. The consciousness of the interconnection between this political struggle and its economic basis becomes dulled and can be lost altogether. While this is not wholly the case with the participants, it almost always happens with the historians. Of the ancient sources on the struggles within the Roman Republic, only Appian tells us clearly and distinctly what was at issue in the last resort — namely, landed property.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 01:04 | Link to Comment critical tinkerer
critical tinkerer's picture

Should google or wiki 'titoizm' and Mondragon cooperative

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 03:13 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers.

______________________________________

A opportunity to seize to try to understand what US citizens call centralism, central authority etc

This extract does not differ much from US citizen leitmotiv based on communauty spirit, which should lead to local militia.

But as examplified by this US citizen author in the OP, the exhibition of local tendencies has to be associated to centralism.

What is centralism for US citizens? Again, US citizens are well known for their double standards and therefore it would be unsurprising that they qualify centralism a situation they would qualify elsewhere as decentralism, but is there something more to US citizens than their usual double standard showing up?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:04 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Salamander expeditions decorate former oppression of lemons, boulders expatriate on green ease.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:21 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Marx famously never proposed a specific framework..."

I guess the Communist Manifesto doesn't count.

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 19:55 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

How about reading it before commenting on it? Manifesto was a means to an end, not a framework for a functioning communist society. Aziz was referring to an idea of governance not from Marx and Aziz acknowledge this in his response and then cited Engles saying Lenin developed the idea after reading Engles (Also supplied a quote which did not support this connection but whatever).

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 20:51 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

So you say, a means to an end (author Marx, confirmed by Engels as "mostly") does not result in any framework to a functioning communist society...or any society...yeah, I think everyones got that part of it down pat.

To me, its like nouveau art...not economics, not reality, not practical...just a dream, an unworkable vision placed on canvas for statists to oooh & awwwh over.

In fact, what we have here, is a spoiled rich brat with too much time and his fathers money on his hands (Engels) sittin around gettin drunk with what is essentially, a bum (Marx) who would rather sit on his ass all day and get paid (by the rich Engels don't forget) than go out in the real world and pull his family out of the poverty he surrounded it with by his actions.

That about right?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:12 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Marx studied as a philosopher and most of his writing is in that vein, he wrote a lot of interesting ideas on a variety of subjects. You don't read Hayek as a ready-made guide of how to structure a society and so you shouldn't read Marx in that way and that's not a failing because it's not the point.

And the people most threatened by Marx during his life were statists - he was regularly censored, silenced and thrown out of countries for his writing. The last thing the ruling powers wanted was Marx telling people not to pay their taxes and arm themselves for the fight against the powers that be. 

I would disagree with Marx on a lot of things but I think he was pretty spot on with where capitalism was headed and the need for the working class majority to join together against the ruling class minority (whether that be gov or whatever).

Either way it's just annoying when people so predictably mischaracterize Marx, if you're going to write about Marx at least argue his actual ideas not a vague straw man. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:25 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Tadaa!!

Don't worry if it doesn't seem to be sinking in James, I'm guessing their livelihood depends on it not.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:44 | Link to Comment James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Reminds me of:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.

Upton Sinclair

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 00:52 | Link to Comment Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Marx was an occultist working for his Luciferian handlers. Look into Marx and the Thule Society for starters. Take a look at some of the occultist influences on him like Blavatsky. Then you might know a bit better why and how it's "evil" as you describe it. :)

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 06:12 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

hats off to you sir if you be 25 years of age! You are well ahead of the curve in that respect! bravo! whatever our differences.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:00 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

I studied enough Marx in college to get sick and vomit.  Does that count?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:14 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

No, and neither do the comic books you liked so much.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:31 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

That was funny.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:01 | Link to Comment potlatch
potlatch's picture

Isn't that a Santorum quote?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:14 | Link to Comment jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

How much Marx do you need to read?   After enough reading do you suddenly "get it"?    It's crap, and it doesn't take much reading to realize. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:42 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Governement ethos:  If Fascism doesn't work try Socialism.  If Socialism doesn't work try Communism.  If Communism doesn't work try a Plutocracy.  If a Plutocracy doesn't work try and oligarchy.  If an oligarchy doesn't work try Fascism. 

Got it?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:46 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

Yep.  Need to get back to banks issuing their own currency backed by gold.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:00 | Link to Comment Diet Coke and F...
Diet Coke and Floozies's picture

And that is exactly why humanity = fail.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:46 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

Awesome avitar.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:15 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Awesome spelling. you really are a  moron.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

That's pretty rich coming from you combined 800. I have never seen one single interesting or intelligent post from your dumb stupid pretend smart ass. You may be the stupidest person on the entire internet, but that Chinese fuck has probably got you beat.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:34 | Link to Comment economics9698
economics9698's picture

It’s a close contest between 800 and the regional Indian. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 20:30 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

This Prole fellow has at least earned Honorable Mention in the Blowhard category....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:17 | Link to Comment Chump
Chump's picture

"The chief problem that Marxists face is their misidentification of the present economic system as free market capitalism. How can we meaningfully call a system where the price of money is controlled by the state a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where financial institutions are routinely bailed out a free market? How can we meaningfully call a system where upwards of 40% of GDP is spent by the state a free market? How can we call a system where the market trades thepossibility of state intervention rather than underlying fundamentals a free market?"

Declare it by fiat?  ;)

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Both capitalism and socialism disregard the notion of free markets...  I'm not sure what vacuum you've been watching a free market operate in, but as soon as the bubble is popped, the market participants seek to profit until faced with the normalization of profit...  at this, or any point pre-emptively, they seek to avoid the normalization through any means necessary.  We talk a lot about the free market on this site, but I've never seen one...  or at least not for very long.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:49 | Link to Comment Chump
Chump's picture

"I'm not sure what vacuum you've been watching a free market operate in..."

I haven't been.

"We talk a lot about the free market on this site, but I've never seen one..."

Neither have I.  Kids can't operate a lemonade stand without paying for a permit and licensing fees, nuff said.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:04 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

directed at OP...  sorry for the confusion

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:54 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

There you go again....

There is no Free Market as you fantisize about because basic human nature precludes one...

History has shown someone always rises to corner the market or dies trying...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:16 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

There you go again ...

There is no statist government-of-angels as you fantasize about (nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be) because basic human nature (more specifically, the inherently sociopathic nature of those narcissists and psychopaths most drawn to the positions of concentrated power which only governmental office can provide) precludes one ...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:54 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Akak,

     we have been through this before.... there is no perfect way out of the conundrum except to have an active educated populous and a proper means to dealing with sociopaths...

People parading one side or the other are merely displaying their naivety or their level of brainwashing...

Hey, have your non-statist nirvana, it will be low-tech agrarian society where self-sufficiency is the rule and by definiation it will be very egalitarian... It would likely be closer to classical Communism than many here could stomach....

Likewise, I habour no illusions about a "Compassionate Dictatorship",,,,,

However, the moment technology exists that allows the manipulation of information for ideological gain, your anarchist dreams vanish in a puff of smoke,,,,

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:11 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I agree with you that a well-ordered society of responsible and long-term thinking individuals demands that they consist of a well-educated population, something that we are sorely lacking today (and from which we are increasingly moving away).

It is probably MUCH more pertinent and important, though, that the study of Ponerology become prominent and much more widely accepted.  Until we as a worldwide civilization begin to actively study and learn how to identity, and deal with, true sociopaths (who, I repeat, are naturally those MOST drawn to positions of power), then we will collectively just be spinning our wheels.

Constantly expanding the coercive power of government, and then expecting that this awesomely concentrated power will NOT tempt and draw in those most willing to exercise it, abuse it and profit from it, is more than just naive --- it is the criminal enabling of evil itself.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 20:35 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Akak spake:

Constantly expanding the coercive power of government, and then expecting that this awesomely concentrated power will NOT tempt and draw in those most willing to exercise it, abuse it and profit from it, is more than just naive --- it is the criminal enabling of evil itself.

If you amend this to read "coercive power of government and corporations", I'll throw in an 'Amen"

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 21:02 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I will make that amendment, with the understanding that The ONLY coercive and unfair powers that corporations have and wield are those granted to them by government.

(But since corporations as we know them today are almost exclusively extensions of government in the first place, and owe their existence to government, that perhaps goes without saying).

For what it is worth, I believe that the giant, trans-national corporations that we know and loathe today are NOT a natural product of the free market (to the extent that it has been allowed to function in the first place), but are in reality products of, and creatures of, the State.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 22:22 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nope... in some places and times the Corps call the shots, some times its the gubbmint....funny how grey things can get...

Yes, they are a creation of the free market, in a free market where is the mechanism to stop mutually beneficial collusion?? You are the one with blinders on. The multinationals  become tools and means for the people to become more powerful, no different than a seat on a Senate Committee....Ironically, the third leg that in theory can balance the corps and goverment is universally reviled here.....

Sorry Akak, the state will rise unless you want to live like Amish and, in their case, you get to subsume yourself to the Church....All you need for the state to rise is for one ideologue to get a substantial following, which is easy depending on the promises that you make and how convincing you are.... To argue otherwise is naive and flies in the face of 5000  years of history...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:04 | Link to Comment Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Libertarian philosophy is only possible in a society where a powerfull enough force exists to enforce it's ideaology.  Libertarian philosophy is impossible where such a force exists.  

 

They'll never get it. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:45 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, a very succinct way to phrase it....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:53 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Actually, that was as wrongheaded and idiotic a smidgen of gibberish as I have ever read --- worthy of our Chinese troll friend AnusAnonymous himself.

But statists, being congenitally unable to conceive of ANY significant social construct or interaction not based on institutionalized coercion and naked force, must be forgiven for being unable to realize that.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 00:30 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You were just starting to get reasonable and look at what you have gone and done...so much effort and goodwill gone to waste....

If your brand of Librertarianism was so right and natural, how come it hasn't spontaneously popped up everywhere? It hasn't because short of simply shooting any suspected sociopath I know of no demonstrated system for limiting the downside due to  their influence...And as much as I don't like to admit it, a class of sociopaths also helps drive things forward...  

Look, anarchism in its forms is a very admirable ideal, but so were some of the elves in Lord of the Rings and most of us have to live in a real world....

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 01:12 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

One could also have equally argued in 1700 that because chattel slavery had always existed, and because no non-slavery-condoning society had ever existed up to that point, that such a thing was "impossible" and "against human nature".  Yet here we are.

"My brand of libertarianism" has not spontaneously popped up everywhere partly, and precisely, for the reason you gave: because of the existence of sociopaths, and due to the almost ubiquitous social and intellectual apathy down through the ages that has tolerated, condoned and even advocated coercive rule by thugs and the institutionalization of violence, a.k.a. government, as right and proper.  Only when enough people are willing to accept that this is NOT the natural order of things, and that humans can do much better than that, will we witness the social evolution and revolution that will make true liberty possible.  I do not say it is a guaranteed thing, but I have my hopes that it will come, although almost certainly not in my lifetime or yours.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 03:11 | Link to Comment GernB
GernB's picture

How much power does government need to make sure freedom is protected. Answer: a lot smaller than what we have now, probably by an order of magnitude or more. Sorry, but you can't convince me that it would take a larger government than is needed for a war on drugs, wars in the middle east, social security, medicare, our current insane regulation of banking, drugs, education, etc. You live in a dream world if you think it take more than 40% of an economy to enforce liberatarian ideology. Sorry I'm just not buying it.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 09:52 | Link to Comment Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

You mistake my argument that libertarianism as an impossible dream as "pro statist".  Try realist.  This gov. will collapse on its own, and without a fundamental shift in human nature, it will be replaced by different gangsters.   Please point out where I was trying to convince you we need a larger gov.?

 

Your thinking, like most on this site is binary.  

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:28 | Link to Comment TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

And why does someone always try to corner the market?  Simple, so they can get something for nothing, same thing marxism promises.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 23:28 | Link to Comment GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:19 | Link to Comment financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

what a load of crap

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

Who Runs the World ? – Network Analysis Reveals ‘Super Entity’ of Global Corporate Control

http://planetsave.com/2011/08/28/who-runs-the-world-network-analysis-reveals-super-entity-of-global-corporate-control/

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:19 | Link to Comment financial apoca...
financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:41 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

I know you did son

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:20 | Link to Comment Bobby Lee
Bobby Lee's picture

I always thought that Groucho was the better market theorist.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:20 | Link to Comment spdrdr
spdrdr's picture

Isn't your description of "corporatism" exactly that of "fascism"?

Either way, a true left-wing totalitarian corruption of capitalism.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:29 | Link to Comment Thorny Xi
Thorny Xi's picture

Line One - "Isn't your description of "corporatism" exactly that of "fascism""? - One vote UP

Line Two - "Left wing?"  As if the bankers are all left wingers?  Oil companies?  Anybody making $1MM or more a year who's buying politicos? Please.  One vote DOWN.

 

 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:41 | Link to Comment spdrdr
spdrdr's picture

Ahh.  Thank you, but I would submit that you are as confused by the "political compass" as is Aziz.

The political  compass flows from left-wing to right-wing, but was corrupted by Communst thought contol (through revisionist history taught in all schools) in mid-last century, so as to give the impression that communism was diametrically opposed to fascism. 

The true political compass starts at the left-wing of complete totalitarian control over the masses (be it communsm or fascism), through socialism, conservatism, libertarianism, and anarchy, a lessening degree of political control and authoritarianism from the "left" to the "right '.

Essentially there is no difference between communism and fascism (or "corporatism") as Aziz defines it.  That's why I think he flounders with his definition.

An yes, banksters are of the Left, using the uncorrupted political compass of the right/left dichotomy.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:47 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Agreed.

All we do is bounce from each point of the compass, without ever actually getting to the point.  Neither capitalism nor socialism are mutually exclusive, they're just different points on the timeline... 

Unless humans devise some form of stasis, we'll always bounce back and forth...  one screws up, we go the other way for a while until it blows up...  by then we've forgotten what a miserable failure the other was so we're right back at it...  repeat...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:20 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Your compass only has a North and South?  Weird.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:20 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

The hopelessly limited (if not false) "left-right political spectrum" is a broken statist compass which only points in one direction: down.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:03 | Link to Comment Liquid Courage
Liquid Courage's picture

was corrupted by Communst thought contol (through revisionist history taught in all schools) in mid-last century, so as to give the impression that communism was diametrically opposed to fascism.

Yes! Now you're talking ... but, ask (as the Romans did) who really benefits the most from said corruption? Surely not so much communists as those who find themselves smack in the center of the so-called "political spectrum" ... the Social Democrats, or soft Socialists, no?

And of course by defining anyone of Libertarian or Laissez Faire beliefs as being to the right (far right!) of conservatives and thus verging on Fascism, leads to the false and patently ridiculous conclusion (or confusion) that:

Freedom = Slavery

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:47 | Link to Comment potlatch
potlatch's picture

people get confused when their boxes don't work anymore :(

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:21 | Link to Comment midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

Aziz blows billionaires for nickels thus proving the market is always right.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:50 | Link to Comment Aziz
Aziz's picture

A free market is just the sum of society's economic preferences.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:03 | Link to Comment midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

Using marx for a hot button while lacking a basic ideaological understanding is poor journalism at best. The premise of is marxism coming back? is a sham because it has never been practiced (much like your free-market religion is ivory tower flavored tripe).

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:11 | Link to Comment Aziz
Aziz's picture

I'm talking about Marxism as an ideological movement, and in terms of the things that ideological movement advocated — state control of industry, revolutionary violence, the dictatorship of the proletariat, or as Hobsbawm put it "a shift from private appropriation to social management", which of course was very much practised.

As for ideological purity, I don't think there will ever be a pure manifestation of any ideology, but certain states and periods embody different ideologies better than others, and the USA for certain periods in its history has been the freest and richest nation on Earth, and also the closest to a free market.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:13 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I'm talking about Marxism as an ideological movement, and in terms of the things that ideological movement advocated — state control of industry, revolutionary violence, the dictatorship of the proletariat...

This proves the point that you are clueless.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:08 | Link to Comment Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

"The premise of is marxism coming back? is a sham because it has never been practiced"

You go and try to whisper that into the ear of a soviet ex-pat who managed to escape the gulags...

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:21 | Link to Comment midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

from wiki: The dictatorship of the proletariat refers to the absolute power of the working class. It is governed by a system of proletarian direct democracy, in which workers hold political power through local councils, known in the Russian Revolution as "soviets".

 

Marxism never advocated state control or direct dictatorship of the 1%. Look up "commune" in the dictionary sometime.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:36 | Link to Comment Aziz
Aziz's picture

"No great movement has ever been inaugurated Without Bloodshed."

-Karl Marx 

He dressed it up as direct democracy. What he was really for was bloody revolution and coercive violence against the borgeoisie. Every Marxist nation turned into a bloody mess. Why? In my view because that was the nature of the revolution Marx advocated.

Marx's intent was probably pretty good. But I judge him by his fruits.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:45 | Link to Comment critical tinkerer
critical tinkerer's picture

How is that you still do not understand what  'contradiction of a market system' means?

Employees are customers too. Constant need for higher profits makes a kapitalist search to reduce costs of production and in times of crisis it gets the reduction in payroll cost, paying his workers,  who are buyers of his products and services, less and less. Pay your workers less and in enough time you won't have any customers. Workers are customers too.

Last 30 years there was no increase in real wages so kapitalist customers compensated with debt. Debt reached it's limits and it's game over. Now you can sell less and less domesticaly and more only to foreign markets.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:08 | Link to Comment midgetrannyporn
midgetrannyporn's picture

the borgeoisie had/have it coming. marxism was a sham used by soviet dictators to cover up bloody repression of the proles the same way democracy is a sham used by the kleptocrats to cover up their murderous repressions (don't make me cite examples) over the years. communism in its pure form has been practiced successfully by small groups from the beginning of time. Capitalism is always and everywhere corrupt.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 17:39 | Link to Comment Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

The Iroquois Nation and the Duwamish tribal group in the Pacific NW are both examples of successfull "commies".   Other tribes were more warring, but these tribes lived in resourse riches and their populations didn't rise to ever strain them.   Or I'll put it this way, when I was a kid, wading out into a Salmon run, you had to kick them out of the way and they were constantly bouncing of your legs.  They would knock you down if you lost your balance.  Allocation of capital?  What capital.  Allocation of resources?  Walk over and grab some.  Tide goes out, go grab a bunch of crabs.  Capitalim is on it's deathbed, because it ate everything.  

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:37 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

Mind boggling distortion.

Capitalism may be on its deathbed I'll give you that, but it's because Marxists like Hitlery and Obomba on this side of the pond and VaN Rumpboy and Baroso (as in Baroso, the frigging Communist Baroso) on that side of the pond have somehow gotten themselves in power like life-destroying human cancer parasites always seem to do (Lenin/Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot/the Dear Leaders)

Your Iriquis surrendered or were displaced from their country, and now my tribe is showing itself to be ten times stupider than any indian tribe ever was in their eagerness to commit suicide as rapidly as possible.

Christians: The stupidest imbecilic fuckers ever to spawn on the Earth and it is basically proven by everything they say and do.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:51 | Link to Comment Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

Distortion?  No, just an example agreeing with tranny porn.  

 

Fully functional and successful societies, until a conquering force showed up and brought along their vampire squid.  You can down vote me all you want, but the fact remains that superior fire power doe's not equal superior social structure.  And US govt. was initially based on that social structure.

 

The west never copied shit from Aftrica, now did they? 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:02 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The west never copied shit from Aftrica, now did they?

______________________________

US citizens steal from everyone. US citizens are the greatest copy cats in world history.

US citizens have even stolen cultural achievements from anyone, any people.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:18 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

 

US citizens steal from everyone. US citizens are the greatest copy cats in world history.

Make me laugh!

Oh the hypocrisy, the lies, the offuscationalizationing, the insanitation, the blobbing-up!

Yes, Americans are the copycats ---- right!  That is why there are so many pirate American businesses producing and marketing black-market copied Chinese-designed and originated products!  That must be why so much American industrial espionage targets Chinese manufacturing!

See the pot, the 1,300,000,000 woks calling the kettle black!  Not even, as the kettle is not even close to black!

Tell me, do Chinese Citizenism citizens understand difference between window and mirror?

 

 

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:23 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Others steal but noone matches the excellence of US citizens.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 13:28 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Others shit in public, but none match the roadside fecal output of Chinese Citizenism citizens, whose roadside-shitting nature is eternal.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:22 | Link to Comment TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous boasted:

Others steal but noone matches the excellence of US citizens.

As US citizenism founding father, this is what you take pride in? The Byzantine hooligan nature of AnAnonymousity reveals the eternal nature of Chinese citizenism.

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 15:14 | Link to Comment TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, founding father of US citizenism, said:

US citizens steal from everyone. US citizens are the greatest copy cats in world history.

Confucius say: "Asymmetric placement of blame on US citizens reveals the boastful larceny of Chinese citizenism AnAnonymousity."

US citizens have even stolen cultural achievements from anyone, any people.

As the number one US citizenism patriot worldwide, will AnAnonymous admit to any theft?

No, of course not, don't be silly. You can't have self indiction in Chinese citizenism. A Chinese citizenism citizen will flee to France or Greater Britain before self indiction of any sort.

French citizens and Greater Britannic citizens need only look to their roadsides for evidence of Chinese citizenism evasion of self indiction.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:29 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

if it ever existed since Caesar's days... we would have known it. Robinson Crusoe was probably the only free marketeer, as producer and consumer, without need of intermediary and currency!

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:03 | Link to Comment THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

What if society has been woefully retarded by television? Is it not my right to be protected from their horrible choices, influenced by the interface of Wall St. and Madison Ave.? I'm just saying... it's not that simple. Americans chose to buy foreign schlock and send all our money and jobs and factories overseas. No one forced them to-- they just couldn't pass up the deal. Free markets take advantage of stupidity (and why not) but more than just the stupid are affected by the bursting of a bubble, or some other emergent behavior of the free-market complex system. I wish I could rely on humanity to do the sensible and restrained and well-guided thing... its just, you know... all of history tells me I shouldn't.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment agent default
agent default's picture

Yeah well good luck getting me to get off my ass for anything other than cold hard cash, or gold for that matter.  Yes I am driven by naked self interest.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:45 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

If everyone were just like you we could have a great country with a great ecomony and -- basically a land of plenty.

Unfortunately a large segment of (this lost country) everyone who 'works' for the government, is driven by naked lust for power over other men, dominance and control. Not to mention the desire to steal their wealth forever to:

A- Stuff in their already bloated pockets

B- Spend the entire fruit of mens' labors on eternal wars

C- Plunder this nation's wealth forever to send it to a special little country, our true democracy ally? (I forget the name)

We are basically the Ukrainians but we still have guns and they haven't gotten to the outright genocide yet.

Anyone who calls this a Capitalist country is a muther fucking LIAR. We are mercantilist at best, an outright Soviet Socialist Republic more accurately, Comrades.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment Colonel
Colonel's picture

"and the financial oligarchy continues to plunder from crisis to crisis..."

 Fixed it for ya.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Re: Marxism, I surely hope not....

From my perch, it looks like corporate feudalism....

That being said, Marx nailed the deficiencies and long term problems of capitalism...

Here is exhiibit A:

Cheaspeake’s 1% Tax Rate Shows Cost of Drilling Subsidy

Chesapeake Energy Corp. made $5.5 billion in pretax profits since its founding more than two decades ago. So far, the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer has paid income taxes on almost none of it.

Chesapeake paid $53 million over its 23-year history, or about 1 percent of the cumulative pretax profits during that period, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s less than half of Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon’s compensation, for example, in 2008 alone.

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

So what?    If this is so easy and you want to make a point ---  Take your money (or raise it in the capital markets if it doesn'rt upset your constitution) , hire engineers, hire people, invest in  equipment and go drill for natural gas.   Hope you find lots of it.    Then, After paying for all of your expenses, if you have any money left over - mail it to the fucktards in Washington to spend for you. 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:46 | Link to Comment potlatch
potlatch's picture

lol, that was one bitter post my friend.  Take a breather after that one.  You earned it ;)

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:47 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

If you are not deeply offended by this state of affairs, you are either paid to think otherwise or completely oblivious to how this country got sold out....

As I have said, the subsidies for the fossil fuel industry dwarf those of renewables and it should be clear that a good chunk of those FF subsidies are being pocketed by the corporate officers... Sorry, but I call that a kleptocracy....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:48 | Link to Comment prole
prole's picture

Eliminate all tax then Comrade and you won't have to weep bitter tears about the tax money you didn't get to stuff in your pocket.

I celebrate every tax dollar you don't get to steal from the private economy to support your parasitic lifestyle and bloated pension

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment Chump
Chump's picture

Pffft.  This is chump change, and I should know.  Just take all their pre-tax profits, period, since their inception.  Take all $5.5 billion over 23 years.  The feds blow through that about every 12 hours so it's a big win towards balancing spending against revenue, right?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

So you are in favour of corporate kleptocracy?

This is only one example of many... Do you recall the last outgoing EXXON CEO and what his package was? Hint: ~$350,000,000

Go back 40 years and check out what fraction of government revenues were corporate taxes and what fraction of GDP was corp. profits...then and now....

This is fascism of the highest order and its morphing into corporate feudalism.... 

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:59 | Link to Comment Chump
Chump's picture

Yes, clearly I am for whatever you think is bad simply because I added some information for perspective.  And you still don't include federal spending in your analysis.  Do you honestly think we're running a $1.7 trillion deficit thanks to lower taxes??

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:12 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

No, no one so naive to believe that is the only problem... throw in a few wars and concurrent tax cuts and you are well on your way....

Having followed your posts, it is apparent you consistently see the world through an immature manichean prism.... living in some kind of libertarian purgatory of false dichotomies...

I think you secretly wish you could be a corporate kleptocrat. Afterall it is the fantasy of  most teenagers that read Ayn Rand....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 15:24 | Link to Comment Chump
Chump's picture

Lol??  I suppose I should be flattered for my following, but that just came off kind of creepy, especially since you seem to have such a wrong view on where I stand.  It's like you wrote all that just to address anyone who dare question you rather than what they actually say.  I think argumentum ad hominem is the proper term, but since I'm an Ayn Rand-reading teenager wannabe corporate kleptocrat libertarian what do I know?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 16:20 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Sorry, but you showed your colors when you couldn't recognize a kleptocracy and even worse, could be taken to approve of it....

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 14:44 | Link to Comment potlatch
potlatch's picture

"Corporate Fedualism" -- that'll do for me.  So, the corporations hold the fiefs, and to whom then to the fiefs pay fealty in this new global fiefdom?  Good lord, is it really.... just the printing presses?

 

This is starting to sound like a bad Star Trek episode.  Don;t we eventually discover a computer behind a wall that has gone haywire and is causing this but Kirk can cause it to crash by seducing it or something?

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:58 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

"50 billion quatloos on the fiesty newcomer in the green shirt!"

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!