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February 10, 2019

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Ben Philliskirk

Of course, nothing is more conservative than 'regime change', motivated as it is by reinforcement of the geopolitical and economic supremacy of the established global hegemon.

Phil

Bloodworth is conflating two questions, I suspect without realising it: whether "the Left" in Britain should align with anyone in another country apart from that country's ruling oligarchy, and whether "the Left" in Britain should endorse calls for regime change backed by the British state. The first question is silly, of course: the Left has never aligned with Orban in Hungary or Bolsonaro in Brazil, and has no trouble at all recognising opposition forces in those countries as its allies. The second is key. The Leninist answer, whose currency Bloodworth laments, is "no, never, on principle". Personally I'm happier with the realist answer ("no, hardly ever, it almost always makes things worse"), but in practice there's not much difference between them.

The Communist Manifesto proposes making secondary education compulsory and banning child labour, incidentally. These ivory-tower revolutionary dreamers...!

Calgacus

Similarly, if full employment policies such as a job guarantee lead to a profit squeeze and falling investment, we might ask how to circumvent this by socializing investment or by using coops, perhaps in a Meade-Weitzman style to overcome the tendency for rising wages to squeeze profits and hence depress employment.

This is an entirely imaginary problem.
Ex hypothesi, the profit squeeze etc will not depress employment. There is a job guarantee, remember. A job guarantee already socializes investment - by treating the whole society what it always was - a co-op.

georgesdelatour

“The policies he proposed in the Communist Manifesto were social democratic ones, which were to a large extent enacted by 20th century governments.”

As early as 1869, Michael Bakunin, the revolutionary anarchist and contemporary of Marx in the International Workingmen’s Association, predicted what would happen if a future revolutionary government attempted to implement all Ten Points of the Communist Manifesto. His commentary reads like a prophecy of Stalinism:

“The reasoning of Marx ends in absolute contradiction…. To appropriate all the landed property and capital, and to carry out its extensive economic and political programs, the revolutionary State will have to be very powerful and highly centralised. The State will administer and direct the cultivation of the land, by means of its salaried officials commanding armies of rural workers organised and disciplined for this purpose. At the same time, on the ruins of the existing banks, it will establish a single state bank which will finance all labour and national commerce.”

“It is readily apparent how such a seemingly simple plan of organisation can excite the imagination of the workers, who are as eager for justice as they are for freedom; and who foolishly imagine that the one can exist without the other; as if, in order to conquer and consolidate justice and equality, one could depend on the efforts of others, particularly on governments, regardless of how they may be elected or controlled, to speak and act for the people! For the proletariat this will, in reality, be nothing but a barracks: a regime, where regimented working men and women will sleep, wake, work, and live to the beat of a drum; where the shrewd and educated will be granted government privileges; and where the mercenary-minded, attracted by the immensity of the international speculations of the state bank, will find a vast field for lucrative, underhanded dealings.”

georgesdelatour

Marx’s eighth policy, the one calling for the “establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.” - which governments have attempted that in peace time? The USSR in 1928, China in 1958; any others?

Marx’s ninth policy - especially the part where he calls for the “abolition of all distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country” - Cambodia 1975?

georgesdelatour

Marx’s last major work is the “Critique of the Gotha Program” of 1875. The Gotha Program united the Social Democratic Worker’s Party of Germany (which Marx supported) with the General German Worker’s Association (which Marx opposed) into one party, so as to pursue a kind of Paul Mason style evolutionary road to socialism through democratic parliamentary means. Marx didn’t like this at all, because it effectively meant abandoning more direct forms of revolutionary action.

Some of the Critique can come across as rather petty - at root it’s a supporter of the People’s Front of Judea attacking the Judean People’s Front, after all. But it still reveals Marx’s undimmed belief in revolution: “Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”

A previous poster here has insisted that Marx’s “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat” really means the “revolutionary democracy of the proletariat”. But the Critique includes lots of sneering at “vulgar democracy” and “democratism”. Back in 1875 the concept of dictatorship was well enough understood, even if the worst examples of the concept were to appear half a century later. Marx chose to use the word “dictatorship” when the word “democracy” was available.

It’s legitimate to criticise Marx’s choice of words. For instance, in Marx’s famous “opium of the people” writing on religion, Marx specifically calls for religion to be “abolished”. He could have said that he hoped religious belief would simply recede of its own accord, but he still chose to use the “abolish” word. Okay, maybe if he’d been alive in Moscow in 1931 he’d have asked Stalin not to blow up the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. But maybe he wouldn’t.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Marxism is one of four instances of Derponomics
Comment on Chris Dillow on ‘In defence of conservative Marxism’

Economics is a failed science. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent, and all got the foundational concept of the subject matter ― profit ― wrong.

As a result, since Adam Smith/Karl Marx economic policy guidance NEVER had sound scientific foundations.#1 This, of course, holds also for Marxism.

• Marx’s profit theory is provably false.#2
• By consequence, the concepts of exploitation and classes are false.
• Marx lacks the concept of cross-over exploitation.#3, #4
• Because the foundational concepts are false, Marx’s whole analytical superstructure is false.
• Because the theory is defective, Marxian economic policy guidance was bound to fail from the very beginning.
• After-Marxians have not spotted Marx’s foundational blunder to this day.#5
• Marxians are scientifically incompetent just like non-Marxians and all together are only employable as clowns and useful idiots in the political Circus Maximus.

Forget the whole Capitalism/Socialism thing. Neither left-wing nor right-wing economists ever knew what profit is and how the actual monetary economy works.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Karl Marx, fake scientist
https://axecorg.blogspot.com/2017/08/karl-marx-fake-scientist.html

#2 Profit for Marxists
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2414301

#3 Capitalism, poverty, exploitation, and cross-over exploitation
https://axecorg.blogspot.com/2018/04/capitalism-poverty-exploitation-and.html

#4 If we only had classes
https://axecorg.blogspot.com/2018/10/if-we-only-had-classes.html

#5 Economists simply don’t get it
https://axecorg.blogspot.com/2018/08/economists-simply-dont-get-it.html

Robert S Mitchell

"we can ask how to reorganize production to be less dependent upon rent-seekers."

Yes, move rent-seekers to the financial sector and virtual goods while provisioning is provided by those who want to do it, and self-provisioning technology is encouraged by public policies because business is more interested in selling subscriptions than developing standalone tech that will require no further market interaction.

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