Saturday, June 5, 2010

259: Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)

"The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products.

What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."
—(from The Communist Manifesto - 1848)

Since 1989 I read these words with a completely different understanding. The new Deity of those days , "The Proletariat", is dead. Another one, Mr. Nietzsche…

We must make a clear distinction between Karl Marx and his ideas and Marxism. During his life he was a rather obscure person, living in poverty. He must have been a driven person.

After the October Revolution in Russia 1917, in the later stages of which a left-wing splinter-group of the Second International, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, took power. his ideas got more impact.

A starting point of Marx's ideas is the claim that the central project of human history is the production and reproduction of material life.

Humans exist within nature as creatures of needs that can only be satisfied through interaction with nature, that is, through labor. The necessity of labor is a manifestation of the fact that the human condition has been one of scarcity.

According to Marx’s analysis, the wage (the price of labor power as a commodity) is determined by the value of what is necessary to keep the worker alive and able to work from day to day.

The wage does not reflect the value of what the worker is able to produce, which includes both what is necessary and the surplus.

What was important was to realize that through the process of exploitation, the worker produced, on the one hand, the wealth, privilege and power of the ruling class and, on the other, his own subordination, alienation and misery.

Marx concluded that the worker was alienated, which means suffering of a lack of understanding of one’s self in relation to one’s social world.

The individual produces goods with his labor in quantities that exceed his needs. The surplus is sold on the market by the owner of the means of production and he puts the profits in his own pocket.

This will lead to dual movements, of the capitalists struggling to keep the system going and the workers struggling

with increased understanding to overcome it, which would eventually culminate in a revolution, ending capitalism and instituting a socialist society.

The socialist society would take over the means of production from the capitalists and due to the ongoing industrialization, Marx believed,scarcity would turn into abundance.

The surpass in the production would be equally distributed over society. This eventually would lead to the communist state:

a state without (the need of) private property and a state without classes. All men will be equal then….

The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: So much on Karl Marx....
[13:21] Daruma Boa: .-'`'-. APPLAUSE APPLAUSE .-'`'-.
[13:22] Repose Lionheart: good stuff!
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: too bad it did not work
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: :)
[13:22] Daruma Boa: *GIGGLES* :)~~~~
[13:22] herman Bergson: did not work....
[13:22] Repose Lionheart: yeah, too bad...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes true
[13:22] Kiki Walpanheim: :(
[13:22] AristotleVon Doobie: If only human nature would not have intervened
[13:22] herman Bergson: And it is not so bad at all Gemma
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: because all should indeed be equal
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:22] herman Bergson: Exactly Aristotle!
[13:22] Bruce Mowbray wonders why Qwark reads so slowly . . . with all those eyes.
[13:23] Repose Lionheart: many of the fundamentals of his analysis were true though, and are still true today
[13:23] Qwark Allen: eheheh
[13:23] Repose Lionheart: alienation, for instance
[13:23] Kiki Walpanheim: Why didn't it work
[13:23] Daruma Boa: he sees too much i think
[13:23] herman Bergson: To some extend repose...
[13:23] Bruce Mowbray: ... and have been adopted by most industrialized nations.
[13:23] Repose Lionheart: hard to see over culture
[13:23] Kiki Walpanheim: Where is the rub
[13:23] Repose Lionheart: hard to see over culture's horizon
[13:23] herman Bergson: His and not only his mistake is what Aristotle said..... human nature is in the way
[13:24] Repose Lionheart: hmmm...yes
[13:24] herman Bergson: His ideas were like those of the others...Utopian
[13:24] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:24] Bruce Mowbray can't wait till we get to the existentialists -- NO human nature there!
[13:24] Repose Lionheart: wonder why he couldn't see that
[13:24] herman Bergson: And not consistent with human nature
[13:25] Repose Lionheart: hehehhe. Bruce
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: the pull of individual survival instincts will subvert collective arrangements
[13:25] Kiki Walpanheim: If avariciousness is inherent, then changing the system does not diminish it , perhaps
[13:25] herman Bergson: besides that he defines the individual mainly as a kinfd of only laborere...who wants to fulfill his material needs
[13:25] Repose Lionheart: yes, might be, Kiki
[13:26] herman Bergson: indeed Kiki....and then there is a guiding task for a government
[13:26] Repose Lionheart: true, very important thing, but not exhaustive, is economical motivation
[13:26] herman Bergson: But the communist theory forced a way of live onto people, whic is just against human nature
[13:27] Bruce Mowbray: Is Marx a philosopher or an economist - or just a very depressed man?
[13:27] Repose Lionheart: though if you look at the importance of the economy in an election in any democracy, you might think Marx was on to something ㋡
[13:27] Kiki Walpanheim: Marx was a PHD in philosophy
[13:27] Repose Lionheart: oh
[13:27] Repose Lionheart: didn't know that
[13:27] herman Bergson: he was a philosopher who used a lot of history and economical theory in his thinking
[13:28] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes he was KikI
[13:28] Bruce Mowbray: Since most of his goals in The Communist Manifesto have been adopted in one way or another, I say he WAS on to something!
[13:28] Repose Lionheart: was he one of the first to think about human society systemically?
[13:28] herman Bergson: no.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Repose...
[13:28] Repose Lionheart: oh
[13:28] Repose Lionheart: oh, right
[13:28] herman Bergson: Adam Smith John Stuart Mill
[13:29] Repose Lionheart: hmmm...yes
[13:29] Repose Lionheart: i see
[13:29] herman Bergson: The liberal theory was already there
[13:29] Repose Lionheart: think you're right, Bruce
[13:29] Alaya Kumaki: a systemically society is liberal idea?
[13:29] herman Bergson: Teh anarchists...Proudhon, bakunin...a whole list of thinkers
[13:29] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Repose Lionheart: must have been "in the air" then
[13:30] herman Bergson: No Systematically thinking about society means that you do it in a theoretical and abstract way..
[13:30] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:31] herman Bergson: Oh it was Repose ...since Scientific approach took over from religious thinking...with bacon and Newton..
[13:31] Bruce Mowbray is thinking about Plato's Republic.
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: oh, of course
[13:31] herman Bergson: Oh yes...
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: yes, goes waaay back
[13:31] herman Bergson: Civitats Dei b Augustine,
[13:32] herman Bergson: Utoopia by Thomas More
[13:32] herman Bergson: and so on...
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: But his work contained his political economics....which might have deemed him as an economist also....tho not the same concept of economists nowadays
[13:32] herman Bergson: What marx did was that he analysized society from aneconomical perspective
[13:32] herman Bergson: and from the perspective of human relations
[13:32] Repose Lionheart: have heard that Marx's utopian ideas were a secularization of Christian theology, too...
[13:33] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, the way how he defined price, money etc are quite different from comtemparory western economists
[13:33] herman Bergson: well...with if communist utopia he migt ccome close to the idea of Paradise ㋡
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hmm true
[13:34] herman Bergson: It was all about the value of Labor
[13:34] herman Bergson: and what labor produces
[13:34] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, he said it was the value of labour that determines price, rather than market
[13:34] herman Bergson: and who supplies the resources and means to produce
[13:34] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: profit is theft in his eyes
[13:35] Repose Lionheart: the market is an idea that reduces out ability to see class and class opression, i think
[13:35] Repose Lionheart: the "value of labor" not so much
[13:35] herman Bergson: if it disappears in the pockets of some body who only owns the means of production
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: after all is all boils down to the same pyramid of power, democracy is just an illusion
[13:36] Bruce Mowbray: So, the horrors of the Industrial Revolution could be transformed into a 'perfect' society, Marx thought.
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: aa yes and this is what we see very much today
[13:36] Kiki Walpanheim: he thought that during a recession, the potential of aggregate supply didn't change, but people were starving, so the problem lied within the relation of producing....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: the bosses get bonuses and the workers get nothing though they are doing the actual work
[13:36] herman Bergson: I guess that that was his idea Bruce
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: not fair
[13:36] herman Bergson: to share the profits equally among the people
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: a moral yearning for the good at the heart of his project then
[13:37] herman Bergson: I really think so, Repose...
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: suppose that's why he fooled himself about the possibility of utopia
[13:37] herman Bergson: He never had wished what happened behind the iron Curtain
[13:37] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, marx's ideas seem very moral, and promising....
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: he lived in VERY harsh times....
[13:38] herman Bergson: He was very poor himself...
[13:38] Alaya Kumaki: maybe he didnt suspect that imperialism is an attitude and not only an ideology
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: true
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Alaya...
[13:38] Bruce Mowbray: Didn't the invention of a freely-traded stock marketDoesn't participation in the stock market make "capitalists" of us all?
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: and the abuse of labor and child labor in early capitalism makes the heart ache
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: and his dedication to his career, i believe was under his belief for the good of all humans
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: Marx seems to be a purist to me and on paper this thinking is plausible
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well....what has happened with his theories and its flaws is
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: Linen an idealistic opportunist
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: and it was the belief of some generations of people also....
[13:40] herman Bergson: that countries adopted ti as their leading principles
[13:40] herman Bergson: and had to oppress the people to get them comply with the theory
[13:40] Bruce Mowbray: At the time of the Comm. Manif. publication, the United States was many years away from abolishing slavery.
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: nods at bruce....about the financial capital market...
[13:41] Bruce Mowbray nods back at Kiki.
[13:41] herman Bergson: The system broke down.....that is a fact...
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: slavery is the ultimate in capitalism, not communisim
[13:41] herman Bergson: Teh capitalist system broke down too recently
[13:42] herman Bergson: I am working on lectures to deal with these issues
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: ?
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: only the tip of the pyramid will flourish in either system
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: oh good
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: the recession?
[13:42] herman Bergson: yes...
[13:43] herman Bergson: But it is all in the making...
[13:43] Repose Lionheart: yes, slavery as the grounding economic arrangement of capitalism...
[13:43] Repose Lionheart: hmmm....
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: well....indeed marx deemed that the system evolved from slavery to feudualism , then capitalism...and eventually the slavery is for the beginning...
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: globalization has created the rise of the political/industrial complex
[13:44] Bruce Mowbray: In Marx' view, workers might have well been slaves - since their labors were not rewarded.
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes Bruce..that was his view
[13:45] Repose Lionheart: in Marx's day, very many workers were living on sub-subsistance wages
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well...I think we are done with Karl Marx ^_^
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: he thought at the ultimate of capitalism, the production would be abudent for all humans....
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: so the only problem is that they are not distributed property
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: *properly
[13:45] Repose Lionheart: oh
[13:45] Bruce Mowbray: "Globalization" in Marx's time was "imperialism." -- Conquering those parts of the world we now call "Third World."
[13:45] herman Bergson: Yes Kiki....he had a dream
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: so long as the distribution problem is solved, all humans would live happily ever after
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL, we are all third world now
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: almost ari
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: and that is the economic system unfolding as planned
[13:46] herman Bergson: Ok... I think we may conclude our discussion for today...
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: Thanks, Professor
[13:46] herman Bergson: Marx had a dream...and it still is.... ㋡
[13:46] Qwark Allen: ,-)
[13:46] Repose Lionheart: yes, the triumph of capitalism as the new imperialism, forcing the poor nation into subservience...
[13:47] Bruce Mowbray: So, do we quit our bitching and start a revolution, then?
[13:47] Repose Lionheart: hehehehe
[13:47] Daruma Boa: yes!
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: because in times like a recession, the capitals, labours dont change, but ppl still he thought the system was wrong
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:47] Daruma Boa: wir sind das volk^^
[13:47] herman Bergson: No Repose...dont call it a triumph of capitalism...
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: that property was not distributed properly
[13:47] herman Bergson: Not at all even
[13:47] Repose Lionheart: attacking the international systems is much like hitting a marshmallow
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: total anarchy, the only solution
[13:47] Daruma Boa: perhaps ari^^^
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: but make sure you are well armed
[13:48] Abraxas Nagy: no cooperation at all?
[13:48] Abraxas Nagy: impossible
[13:48] herman Bergson: I guess ..Aristotle...if it is in a civilized way ㋡
[13:48] Kiki Walpanheim: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"---this is communism
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: yes...flame throwers to melt the marshmallows
[13:48] Bruce Mowbray wonders if Jerome thinks he's a bird.
[13:48] Daruma Boa: *GIGGLES* :)~~~~
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:48] Jerome Ronzales: good evening
[13:48] Daruma Boa: hi jerome
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: if only human nature would allow civilizATION
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hi Jerome
[13:49] herman Bergson: So thank you all for participating again
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:49] Daruma Boa: they have to allow to be human
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: Herman
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:49] Abraxas Nagy: thank YOU again professor
[13:49] Bruce Mowbray: Thank YOU, professor!
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:49] herman Bergson: Not sure about next class will be..
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: will see you Tuesday I hope
[13:49] Daruma Boa: thanks herman
[13:49] herman Bergson: egalitarism I think... ㋡
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: smiling
[13:49] Josiane Llewellyn: Thanks,Professor
[13:49] Abraxas Nagy: I will be here
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: thank you professor
[13:49] Abraxas Nagy: as always
[13:49] herman Bergson: All men are equal....
[13:49] Bruce Mowbray: [`·.] APPLAUSE!! [.·´]
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: danke herman!
[13:50] herman Bergson: Class Dismissed ㋡
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: i was about to ask if we could know about the topic for the next lecture so that we could do some pre reading ;-)
[13:50] Repose Lionheart: Thank you, Professor ㋡
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: all mankind should have equal opportunity
[13:50] Daruma Boa: yes pre reading is a good idea
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye class :-) see u tuesday!
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: aaa cu
[13:50] herman Bergson: We'll fight about that next time then Aristotle
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: ok, :))
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: :)
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: wonderful to expereince it again
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: oops
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: hiya Zinzi
[13:51] herman Bergson: I am glad you enjoy it still Aristotle
[13:51] Daruma Boa: so see u next week. have a lovely weekend^^
[13:51] Zinzi Serevi: hoi Abrax
[13:51] Zinzi's translator: hi Abrax
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: ok my friends see you all next time
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: oh, I do
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: dus nu weer doei Zinzi :D
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: cu Abrax
[13:52] Zinzi Serevi: tot de volgende keer ..:)
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: c ya Bejiita m8
[13:52] Zinzi Serevi: doei prof en bedankt
[13:52] herman Bergson: Dag Zinzi ㋡

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