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August 11, 2017


Handy Mike

I'd keep to the usual shtick of pretending objectively to have rediscovered the truth and utility of Marxism in corroborating snippets of behavioural economics and finance.
That clearly went over with a lot of people, and bagged you the odd repost on places like The Browser.
This foray into more substantive theorising risks showing people the funny little man behind the curtain.

Peter K.

"One is that higher aggregate demand would close the innovations gap."

This hasn't really been tried in advanced economies except for the post-war decades until the neoliberal counter-revolution.

My socialism = https://youtu.be/8mU8gDKN5sE

The New Seekers - Free to Be ... You and Me


Handy Mike - 'pretending objectively'?


I read somewhere that what was equally important as to who owned the means of production was who controlled the means of production.

Which is why socialism failed. Because the people who controlled the means of production, ostensibly for the public good, used them to further their own interests instead. Human nature being what it is.

Looked at that way, socialism simply shifted power from capitalists to bureaucrats, the public never saw a benefit from it.


Sorry, but I am sick of the growth/productivity crap. Stop whining over something governments can't calculate. Not every year or generation is going to find a great idea. I think the post-war era had enough "productivity" and ideas for 10 generations. The party is over. Let it go.

Increased "demand" is not going to create any "innovations". Period. Its like saying the real wages in the late 90's created a investment boom. That is dead wrong. It was the surge in debt from corporate bonds due to computerization that created the investment boom. Real wages were the after effect. When the corporate bond boom ended in 1998 and Y2K ended in 2000, investment fell. Real wages dropped.

You need both central planning and a merchant caste.

Brad Culkin

Read some god damned Steve Keen. Jesus. You twits. Non linearity. Grock it or die. We may indeed be too stupid to live.


How is a socialistic commercial organisation going to work? In principle raising the capital seems not much different. Then the allocation of profits must pay the cost of capital and provide wages. I suppose the reason for going the socialistic route is to more evenly distribute the earnings, a bit less for those managing and a bit more for those doing the work. So, in a mixed capitalist/socialistic economy there may be difficulty recruiting the kind of people who know what they are doing regarding managing and some difficulty avoiding over recruitment of seemingly well paid workers.

Then as the general economy goes up and down and the business changes over time there is the problem of getting rid of people no longer needed. I can see some reluctance in a socialistic model and some strains on how the management policies get worked out. Who decides on hiring and firing, who decides to open a new operation here and close an operation there. The capitalist model is fairly simple in this regard but the socialistic model seems a bit harder to figure out an acceptable model. We can get our minds at least halfway round the problem but 'How?' still seems to be the big question in moving to a socialist model. As ever, the devil is in the detail.

Ralph Musgrave

Capitalism is a system under which one man exploits another.

Under communism, it's the other way round.


Jeffrey Stewart

Oh for goodness sakes! Please quit your Marx dilettantism! Please! You know I despair every time I see your blog and something related to Marx because I know whatever you write will be superficial, incomplete and wrong. You're the Fred Moseley of Marxian wannabes.

"To Marx, it is our human nature to work and produce:"

Uh, wrong again! Marx wrote that labor is an eternal necessity imposed on humans by nature. Human labor must continually transform the materials provided by nature into forms suitable for satisfying our needs and wants for food, beverage, housing, clothing and many other things. Humans work to produce our the material basis of our lives. This is a fundamental historical materialist premise known as the material production of life. Geez Louise and the bees' freakin' knees!

I'm done spoon feeding you elementary historical materialism. Either learn it yourself before another inaccurate Marx post or leave him alone. You're doing the cause much more harm than good.

What's wrong with you?

Paraic Seoighe

Totally agree with M. Stewart here.

The material reproduction of life imposes on humans the necessity of labor. See Marx's letter to Kugelmann for the Marx's succinct, definitive analysis of this.



«Marx wrote that labor is an eternal necessity imposed on humans by nature.»
«Marx's succinct, definitive analysis of this.»

But old bearded Karl, who was passionate about working as much as partying, also argued eloquently that (self-directed) work is also self-realization, and that the greater criticism he made of "capitalism" was not that it was exploitative, a mere matter of degree, but alienated the proletarians from work, a far more serious matter of dehumanizing them.

Our blogger has made abundantly and explicitly clear that his main reading of Karl's multiplicitous work is the critique of alienation, and as to that I think that is very perceptive.

The mistake some people make (handwaving here) is to think that the critique of alienation was somehow "idealistic", but my impression was that in Karl's view self-realization through (non-alienated) work was part of "historical materialism", as "creation", "production", being purposefully engaged, is a material necessity of the mental health of humans. His view of "communism" seems to me that of a society in which everybody can spend a small part of their time in creating surplus value, and the rest writing technical manuals, composing music, building physics experiments, planting trees, studying hard in the British Library reading room, being passionate about the work they freely choose to do.
Perhaps "communism" as Etsy+electrification :-).

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