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Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless

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Posted on Feb 13, 2012
AP / Evan Vucci

An Occupy demonstrator sprawls beside a police car in Urbandale, Iowa, during a protest last December outside Republican presidential campaign offices in the Des Moines suburb.

By Chris Hedges

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process. 

Counterinsurgency campaigns, although they involve arms and weapons, are primarily about, in the old cliché, hearts and minds. And the tactics employed by our intelligence operatives abroad are not dissimilar to those employed by our intelligence operatives at home. These operatives are, in fact, often the same people. The state has expended external resources to break the movement. It is reasonable to assume it has expended internal resources to break the movement.

The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal. It operates in secret. It dissembles and lies. It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names. It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence. Its physical assets honeycomb the country. It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication. It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers. And it is authorized to use deadly force.

How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons. 

All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.

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Havel, who would later become the first president of the Czech Republic, in the essay writes a reflection on the mind of a greengrocer who, as instructed, puts up a poster “among the onions and carrots” that reads: “Workers of the World Unite!” The poster is displayed partly out of habit, partly because everyone else does it, and partly out of fear of the consequences for not following the rules. The greengrocer would not, Havel writes, display a poster saying: “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient.” And here is the difference between the terror of a Josef Stalin or an Adolf Hitler and the collective charade between the rulers and the ruled that by the 1970s had gripped Czechoslovakia.

“Imagine,” Havel writes, “that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth.”

This attempt to “live within the truth” brings with it ostracism and retribution. Punishment is imposed in bankrupt systems because of the necessity for compliance, not out of any real conviction. And the real crime committed is not the crime of speaking out or defying the rules, but the crime of exposing the charade.


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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Ya, I posted my last comment both here and to that drivel you’re recommending, Ed. That author is a fraud and a fool, and anyone believing him instead of the facts is a fool.

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By Ed Romano, April 29, 2012 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Good Morning Comrades, Allow me to once again recommend the Truthdig site : Slovoj Zizeki: The Problem Is Capitalism, in case you’ve hestitated. Without this analysis we are just chasing our political tails.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

“Capitalism amplifies and drives greed to the point of consuming everything it touches, including itself”
“First, let us not blame people and their attitudes: the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system that pushes you to be corrupt.”

Absolute drivel. Capitalism is the source of all production and all life. Every time a person plants a garden but sells some of it, that’s capitalism. Every time a person extracts energy to sell to people so they don’t freeze and can make coffee, this is highly moral, anti-corruption capitalism.

The very core of capitalism is the very core of destroying fraud - it is production.
The very core of fraud is anti-capitalism - it is the nature of a human being even if no capitalism had ever existed - the desire to steal and destroy. Any time you’re not stealing and not destroying, you’re a capitalist. Any time you’re stealing or destroying you are Enemy #1 of Capitalism.

Ed - clearly Slavoj ZiZek is a propagandist and a fraud.

In the last 5 minutes of http://youtu.be/R0Gag8rvYF8 and the entire video you could re-learn your entire life of lies back into truth. All your life you have been lied to and I can only stand in the way of those lies for the benefit of all human kind as is the duty of every good person - aka capitalist.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Again, you are all very welcome that I am keeping you to the straight & narrow only to the path of truth.
http://youtu.be/R0Gag8rvYF8 Crisis of Socialism in Europe, not of Capitalism

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By Ed Romano, April 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Comrades, Let me heartily reccomend the Truth Dig Forum on….Slavoj ZiZek: The Problem Is Capitalism.
.... without this analysis all the rest is drivel.

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By Ed Romano, April 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Good Afternoon Comrades,  Today I went to the Super Market and saw a sign that read…..All Natural Chicken $1.99 lb. Navigating through the aisles I ment the manager. I stopped him and said I had seen the sign and was wondering if he could tell me what an unnatural chicken looked like. He looked a little stunned. So I left him standing there…..When I got home I saw in the paper that the USDA is proposing that it stop inspecting chickens in the US, and leave the job up to the chicken processors. So I must imagine that the market manager will know soon enough what an unnatural chicken looks like.
  Watch out for those communists. They’ll ruin the country if they get the chance.
    Justin, leave me alone.

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By Justin Case, April 22, 2012 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

“Two years ago ( April 2010 ) a tub of Olivio Margerine
was 99 cents in the local super market. Today it is $2.29. When I was in Florida last year one medium sized baking potato was a buck. I think this is the direction Butz was talking about. He was Republican wasn’t he ? “
.... Ed ....

“I don;t know if he was a Republican, but the modus operandi, namely profit by theft from the commons, certainly is a tell”
... psycho-idiot-fraud….

This is all INFLATION and OVER-POPULATION.
across the ENTIRE PLANET this is happening.

You’re about to see what’s called a CURRENCY COLLAPSE. This will lead to hyperinflation.

The day will come soon when margin is $50 and gas is $1000 at the pump.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 22, 2012 at 12:42 am Link to this comment

Ed, the prices are absurd, and they still mask the externalized costs.  Depletion and pollution of aquifers, the environmental costs associated with oil based fertilizer/pesticides/herbicides, and health costs associated with the low quality ‘factory food’ approach of Butz.  I don;t know if he was a Republican, but the modus operandi, namely profit by theft from the commons, certainly is a tell.  Nothing new, the roots go back at least to the ‘rentier class’ in Roman times.  But we weren’t taught that in history.

Case-logic: Equating garbage mining to recycling, for the purpose of supporting an argument about economics and enthalpy of garbage mining is disgustingly sloppy logic.  Some computer scientist.

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By Ed Romano, April 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Two years ago ( April 2010 ) a tub of Olivio Margerine
was 99 cents in the local super market. Today it is $2.29. When I was in Florida last year one medium sized baking potato was a buck. I think this is the direction Butz was talking about. He was Republican wasn’t he ?

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By Justin Case, April 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Gave up on your more recent failures and forgot you already #Failed completely about “garbage mining” ?
There’s a word for it, generally, “recycling”. Ya, that recycling stuff is just great nonsense, isn’t it?

Thermal depolymerization is a proven technology, proven commercially, proven scientifically.

I don’t worship any person, place, thing or concept. Nothing. Tesla is merely a powerful force from history, as is Davinci, Kondratieff and Darwin. You have to shove your head 2 feet into your asshole to come to any other conclusion based on their impacts on every facet of society and your survival they have created and taught you.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 21, 2012 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

Nothing is seen in the ‘wisdom’ underlying the economics and enthalpy of garbage mining to support claims of relative intellect.  The Tesla worship doesn’t help either. 
Nope, I’m going with ‘some classes at community college’, but too self-important to work, learn and finish, resulting in menial job relative to deluded self-image, resulting in frustration.  Outlet? Fantasy persona in blog world where desire for superiority can manifest through domination of conversation and self aggrandizement.  Pathetic.

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By Justin Case, April 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

4yrs university.
I’m smart enough to learn everything from the chemistry to quantum mechanics.
The math which stumps me is for string theory and for Rings.
I slammed my head into it and can’t get it. Yet.
There’s not a topic in this world you could learn better than me, that much I’m sure of.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 20, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Ed, what did Butz mean by that?  Bring the price of food up or down?  I thought he was promoting economy of scale and industrial vertical ‘manufacturing’.

“Comp Sci” covers everything from 2 year community college ‘how-to’ up to 4 year solid theoretical programs at major universities.  I don;t scorn it necessarily at all, but, based on what I’ve seen in Justin Cases’ arguments for the case of Tesla, I’d say he had a little at vo-tech.  He’s smart enough to know how much he is missing, but not wise enough to learn any more.

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By heterochromatic, April 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

there’s nothing to scorn about computer science, but it ain’t neuropharmacology
nor cause for preening..

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By Justin Case, April 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

For computer science you need to understand electrical engineering, chemistry and math. It’s all or none. In case you hadn’t noticed every circuit is an antenna, every material needs some very unusual chemistry in a computer and using the code actually requires not only an advanced understanding of math but also linguistics.

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By Ed Romano, April 20, 2012 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

John, Cheap food ? It was Butz who said….we’re going to bring the price of food in line with everything else by the turn of the century.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 20, 2012 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Earl Butz also said “get big or get out” (or something to that effect) regarding the sizes of farms.  Badically, he was going along with industrial scale agriculture, ‘cheap’ food, (if you neglect all the externalized costs) at the expense of smaller farms.

computer ‘science’.  pffffft.  they call garbage men ‘sanitation engineers’.

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By heterochromatic, April 20, 2012 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Who was it that said , “Food is a weapon”?
      Earl Butz
———

the veracity of this had been amply demonstrated and
Ol’ Earl had adsorbed this wisdom from great American
sages.

http://youtu.be/a4-spBDcJyk

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By Ed Romano, April 20, 2012 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

Good Afternoon Comrades, Since nobody seemed to know the answer to who it was that said….“These capitalists generally act in concert to fleece the people”.... I’ll have to reveal that it was Abraham Lincoln.
  Who was it that said , “Food is a weapon”?
          Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture
                under Nixon and Ford.
( I mean you can’t make this stuff up, folks. )

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Important: http://youtu.be/LdZBa02ihic mayday
not important: trollz be trollin http://youtu.be/Cdiz0k0Rudw

p.s. Computer science

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Don’t tell me, let me guess…......particle physicist?
Give me a hint.

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By heterochromatic, April 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

such a shallow poseur and the sort of aswipe that that transposing things from
one context to another one without a glimmer of the differences involved in the
transposition or the various connotations of the word.


just the type of fool who can use the word “turd” non-literally while being
oblivious to the irony of insisting on a rigorous sort of usage for “objectivity” in
the same comment.

vacuous

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

True objectivity is impossible in the physical universe. Schroedinger and Planck proved it so and you should read up on Feynman too.
Then again I’m a real scientist, not a 10 year old turd in mommy’s basement dungeon, John.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 19, 2012 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Wisdom requires objectivity.  Google has empowered many agenda-driven people dig up ‘facts’ that support a particular pre-conceived view.

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By heterochromatic, April 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

the truth of the case

http://tinyurl.com/justinjacket

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

“Wisdom is the ability to look at the world, assemble facts and come to a conclusion that is viable. If you ever stumble across anything vaguely resembling wisdom it will be purely by accident. “

Words of wisdom for you, Ed:

no human in all history has ever come upon wisdom by another means. It is always by accident.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

That’s okay, the stream of evidence, solid and true, presented by me is all the thanks I need.

You don’t need to additionally go out of your way to show your gratitude for the true education I have given you at no charge out of the kindness of my heart.

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By Ed Romano, April 17, 2012 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

Justin, One problem with freedom of speech is that it allows nincompoops like you to avail yourselves of it. Among the dozens of erronoeous things you’ve said here recently was attributing “wisdom” to an assemblege of facts you picked up from the internet.
Wisdom is the ability to look at the world, assemble facts and come to a conclusion that is viable. If you ever stumble across anything vaguely resembling wisdom it will be purely by accident.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 17, 2012 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

hetero….you’re right, this ones definitely going to write a manifesto someday.  In total sarcasm, perhaps he should start by making a collection of his TD comments and edit them into a personal blog of some form. 

But in all seriousness, he likely has visions of starting a cult, so why not start gathering up the curriculum?

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

http://www.endofinnocence.com/2010/04/communism-vs-free-markets-at-plymouth.html
End of Innocence: Communism vs. Free Markets at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown
“You should be very eager to know which system failed them initially, and which radically different system saved them.

According to their original governing document, the Mayflower Compact, they shared everything produced by any one of them – from each according to his ability – to each according to his need. The result was that only a small percentage of them worked hard, and the rest were freeloaders to varying degrees.”

LOOKS LIKE MARX IS A FUCK-UP.

“Then, in the spring of 1623, the surviving colonists decided to let each person keep the fruits of his labor, and the colony’s total output increased so much that they were never hungry again.

Communism was killing the colonists at Plymouth Rock, and by switching to a free market system, they became more productive and saved themselves – in a single growing season”

SO WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

“In 1623, the colonists were still growing food on parcels of land that were reassigned by random lots each year, which they astutely observed was a disincentive for each farmer to make permanent improvements to his parcel of land because in the following year, someone else would inherit the fruits of any labor he devoted to improvements. Therefore, in 1624, they adopted full property rights where everyone owned the land he worked, and the result was another productivity boost.”

Property rights & capitalism are the source of all life.

You are so very welcome for being graced with this wisdom.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/sheila-bairs-modest-proposal-fix-everything-hyperinflation

a mock-solution pointing out the blatant anti-capitalist nature of the Federal reserve central-control quasi-government

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

in other words, your comment is “la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-can’t-hear-you”

This is highly retarded.

You need to be treated for severe psychosis. Or severe ignorance.

Until you can provide any counter-example to disprove me I have stood the test of time as being absolutely correct and an educator to you.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

the good part of it is .....when jsutspin finishes breaking down completely and his
parents have to put him in an inpatient program, he;ll be able to keep himself
amused with only a pencil and a composition book or ten.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Marx, problems, for Ed Romano:

from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_marxsanalysis.html

#15 Commoditization

“As his profits shrink, each capitalist will redouble his efforts to put new laborsaving, cost-cutting machinery in his factory”

This is untrue. Every producer of every sort will seek under ALL conditions to reduce costs, to locate waste, and this is not due to competition.
Competition can spur an acceleration of the process but removal of competition can not remove the process. Nature itself induces entropy to all parts of the physical world. This means that every living thing & every tool of every living thing must reduce waste to fend off the final end-day of mortality. This mortality is assured because that is NATURE without capitalism being a conditional requirement.

A finite life-span in a finite-world with entropy can’t by any means avoid seeking energy-reduction, complexity-reduction in any process, one of which is the set of factory processes.

Even if capitalism never existed this will be true.

“It is only by getting a step ahead of the parade that he can hope to make a profit.”
Untrue.
Comparison to past personal (factory) performance is the only valid comparison - no parade need exist or is important.
For every reduction in energy cost or material cost there is a profit of “now” vs “past performance”. Adding profit is the same as reducing loss.

“Consumption dwindles as machines displace men and the number of employed fails to keep pace with output”
This is an proven assertion. Perhaps this is the fault of the author Robert Heilbroner in misrepresenting Marx.
The truth is that consumption only dwindles if there is a surplus of supply. This can mean raw over-production or this can mean external harm to the market (people) in producing something else for trade. The proper activity is prediction ahead of time of the needed output volume of products - possibly zero - so that losses are minimized (or there are no losses at all).

“There is a scramble to dump goods on the market, and in the process smaller firms go under. A capitalist crisis is at hand”
This has never happened. It is an unproven assertion.

“As workers are thrown out of work, they are forced to accept subvalue wages.”
This has never happened. The total number of workers (and their combined work-value) is always balanced to the total number of wages (in all currencies in all regions). Today there’s more people & much complaining from North Americans who have had benefit at the cost to other nations around the world. The people of other nations are getting the benefits now so this disproves the claim.

“As machinery is dumped, the stronger capitalists can acquire machines for less than their true value.”
This is untrue and incomputable.
No one can determine the true value of a machine due to the dynamic nature of market-need and innovation with the spare parts of the machines and the full machines. Human tool-use ability is so amazing that various machines & parts can be used, re-used, recycled in ways that previous owners had no imagination was possible. This is everyday market reality.

“After a time, surplus value reappears.”
It does not and has never existed.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

#16 The Gulf Between Rich and Poor

“Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labor at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument bursts asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.”

How sharply all this contrasts with earlier views!”

This has never happened.
Centralization doesn’t happen in markets.
Centralization only happens by government decree.

“But for Marx even that saving possibility was untenable. For the materialist view of history told him that the state was only the political ruling organ of the economic rulers. The thought that it might act as a kind of referee, a third force balancing the claims of its conflicting members, would have seemed sheer wishful thinking. No, there was no escape from the inner logic, the dialectical development of a system that would not only destroy itself but, in so doing, would give birth to its successor.”

If Marx can push such an argument, a strawman, he will not argue a moment against capitalism. Instead he will argue against the state.
Many who support free markets also argue the state is the problem.

#17 Beyond Capitalism, What?

“As to what that successor might look like, Marx had little to say. It would be “classless,” of course—by which Marx meant that the basis for an economic division of society based on property would be removed once society owned all the means of production of goods.”

This is nonsensical.

Human nature creates classes of people with similar net-benefit to their dissimilar work and classes of people who have lesser ability by all metrics and so can never “get ahead”. Some aren’t strong, aren’t smart, aren’t persuasive, aren’t innovative and for them life will not be so good. That’s too bad.

Society ALREADY owns all the means of production.

Property is ALREADY able to be created new from raw materials that no one wants or understands - that is the purpose of the innovator. Silicon doping, germanium CPU’s and such, are all great examples. These trace elements have extreme value in the skilled hands of those able to fashion them into faster CPU’s and other VLSI circuits with low heat output & high GHZ cycles. Amazing quantum field-effects. In the hands of anyone else these trace materials have next to no value as they are common in nature but do nothing useful outside of computing.

“During a transitional period of “socialism” there would be a “dictatorship of the proletariat”; after that, “pure” communism itself.”

Socialism need not be anything transitional. It can be permanent, layered on top of capitalism. So long as any collective group forms that already uses capitalism, and works together to invest long-term in their own future and shares resources among all participants, this is socialism AND it is capitalism.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

Evolving robots - you could actually learn something if you listened to me instead of to dunces like Marx.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/#47034299

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 12, 2012 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

John, you would murder all your neighbors’ babies then tell them it’s their fault because there’s no such thing as good & evil and claim this is proof they have no morality.

You’re one sick fuck.

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By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

JB—- whatever the fuck it is that makes justin act like such a puking pile of
punkass set in a reeking diaper is best left to languish.

it isn’t interested in doing even the small things necessary to interact as a
functioning human….so it’s best disregarded

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Execution is murder. THAT IS THE DEFINITION.
A man uses pepper spray on another man until he dies of asphyxiation, fully intentionally.

If you propose any fraud whatsoever you are TROUNCED, DEFEATED, absolutely full of lies. It matters not how much pepper spray, it matters not if it is the will of any state or any court. All murders are executions. This murder is an execution.

You need to shut your ignorant mouth.

The lot of you should be ashamed of having no greater manners, brains or life experience than twelve year olds then proclaiming yourselves wise (wo)men.

You’re the shame of all humanity and the REASON for human failure all around.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/marcus1.html
His point was correct, of course, even if humorless.

It is with the same humorlessness that I confront Karl Marx and his ideological descendents, especially the anti-capitalist “liberals” who often don’t even know the origins of their beliefs and assumptions.

Karl Marx, who invented the word capitalism, defined it as a free market and free trade based in “bourgeois property” – private ownership of the means of production. Marx’s strict definition is one that proponents of laissez faire and private property would recognize and accept as their own. But the problem is that Karl Marx didn’t stick to his own definition. As Thomas DiLorenzo says in his new book, How Capitalism Saved America, “Marxists [are] constitutionally unable to distinguish between free enterprise and special privilege.” (p. 45)

Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, is generally considered the first capitalist manifesto, though the term “capitalism” didn’t exist yet. But the system Smith was arguing against – which he called “mercantilism” – is treated by Marx as a form of proto-capitalism.
_________________
http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/11/why-marxism-always-fails
Why Marxism Always Fails
Nov 16, 2010
Elizabeth Scalia

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Whoa!  ding-ding-ding!  Justin’s imagination produced a ‘sharpened pipe to the neck’, then ‘buckshot mouthwash’, then a ‘razor dildo’? 

Hetero, you’re right.  To hell with the sick puke.  He is one of the examples I mentioned in another forum.  Obviously he’s writing for someone watching over his shoulder, and in this case it may be a fantasy.  I would normally say this is a classic juvenile, socially very mal-developed.  But there is more to it than that.  He was probably isolated as a young child, and later molested.  Seems to be acting out empowerment scenarios through domination/revenge fantasy.  He/(she?) whoa…...  this could easily be a badly battered woman.

What do you think Hetero?  Do you see the need for control and domination of the ‘conversation’?  The immediate hyper defensiveness including violent imagery, and diminishment and de-humanization of the perceived threat? 

This one’s not exactly fitting the mold of the ‘camp trained’  ‘disruptors’.  There are underlying issues.  I’m sure he/she will not succeed in rising to any position of authority in their organization…...the signs of meltdown and domination are too easy to spot, so nobody would vouch for him/her.  Even people who pretend to get along with him/her are likely secretly repulsed. 

What a mess.

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By heterochromatic, April 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

justin—- you’re too ignorant and obnoxious to bother with….unless and until I
see you post a dictionary definition of the word “execute” I can’t be bothered with
you again.


try to approach things in a spirit of argument that seeks to do more than bray “I
won”!


it’ll help you as you approach adulthood

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By Justin Case, April 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

It’s exactly the threat that I said it was and it’s still just as evil every single time.
It takes someone that murders babies to write crap like that, John. No sane person even begins to write shit like that.

And Heterochromatic you are STILL refusing to discuss it: the man was executed by pepper spray and the evidence is right there. Any murder is an execution and a police officer MURDERED, EXECUTED a man using pepper spray. Solid 100% evidence.

You refusal to accept this only proves you have a razor dildo shoved in your ass & a blind fold over your eyes.

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

justin, you dumb yet snug idiot…. I didn’t refuse to discuss it… i commented
quite specifically that you’re too damn ignorant to even understand the meaning
of “execution”

the vid shows no such thing….
now go get a dictionary .... and don’t just keep using words without knowing their
meaning.

as you did when you refused to learn the meaning of “consent decree”.

id you want to graduated high school, you’re gonna have to learn to use a
dictionary rather than trying to grad guys’ balls and giggle.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

From my post of March 15 at 4:18 pm

“But the stinkers (referring to Justin) insistence to describe good and bad in some arbitrary moral way is ego-centric.  And I will say over-simplistic, and showing a general ignorance of the range of human behaviors.  If Justin thinks himself among the ‘good’ ones, well, let’s give him a job in a political prison with the responsibility of torturing prisoners.  If he refuses, we have someone else torture his family.  Let’s see how long he resists doing bad things.”

I’m not the one who’s afraid of the truth.  You twist it sister.

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By Justin Case, April 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

I proved you wrong heterochromatic. ONCE AGAIN I bring up the pepper spray execution photo and ONCE AGAIN you now refuse to even talk about it.

You know I got you by the balls.

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By Justin Case, April 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

I’ve reviewed the record 5 times. That is what you wrote you evil psychopath, John.
Everyone else can read it too because you can’t erase it.

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By Justin Case, April 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/stocks-plunge-rare-equity-gold-decoupling#comment-2332769

DHS loading up on more ammo than used even by the US military.
Just so ya know.

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

justincase is too fucked-up to take seriously….he’s like a bratty teenager who
believes it fully when his mom tells him he’s the most special boy ever.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

“you personally wrote that I should see my family tortured so that I be forced to do evil things to people.”  No, I did not.  Review the record.  You continually lack ethics when it comes to distorting the truth.

Then you originate talk of murdered babies?  Where did that come from?  And you call me ‘psycho-boy?  Go away.  Just go away.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

” Feel free to join in ” ?  If you’re in it, Mister Deceiver, I’d sooner jump into a large nest of rattle snakes.

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By Justin Case, April 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

“I wrote out a little more of the essay I posted yesterday ( ?). Unfortunately, at the very end I hit a wrong button on the keyboard and lost the whole thing….too much to do all over again right now. Besides I’m thinking “

Ya… you had an amazing essay to show us all and put me in my place but the dog ate your homework, tech 2010’s style.
Okay, then.

That’s why my files are saved on disk & broken into 4k fragments or smaller to send here.

“Then there’s the real-time free-for-all, the good old chat-room.  Been around probably 20 years now, since the old days of AOL.”

Ya, there’s an Occupychat in paltalk too. Not sure about yahoo.

I’m an admin in the occupychat area. Feel free to join.

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By Justin Case, April 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

“but if it was ‘trounced’ like the various topics we’ve gone around on, then you have used material out of context”

There is no context and I’m not being mean. I’m being honest and others are lying. It’s actually mean to lie & the opposite of mean to tell the truth.

The claim was made that no one had been killed by pepper-spray and a demand was made that I produce evidence.
I produced the photo of the man killed by pepper spray, still tied up and soaked in pepper-spray.

You should stop being so mean.
John, you personally wrote that I should see my family tortured so that I be forced to do evil things to people.
And you’re calling me mean?

John, do you murder babies? You sound like someone who murders babies.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

String theory or dumb luck.  Let me know if you post anything.  You know TD has a function that lets you send private emails to TD users, right?  It’s through TD, so you still maintain your anonymity, but it’s essentially a private communication, well, neglecting Big Brother.  smile

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

John, In the past several years I have become fascinated by the phenomenon of coincidence ....gone into in some depth by Carl Jung. I mentioned earlier I had finally found, after years of seraching, a book I had lost years ago. It was published by The World Press. Then this afternoon you turned me onto a site where it is possible to put up a blog…..name of the site? World Press…..Ohooooo ! Strange things are happening.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

I’ll look into that Blumel book, thanks.  And formal education does not guarantee insight, remember Eric Hoffer. 

‘Traditional blogs’.....
http://wordpress.com/
The evil bastards at Google have ‘blogspot’ http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
I’m sure there are hundreds more. 

Yahoo groups isn’t a traditional ‘blog’, but you can write an occasional newsletter and it facilitates a similar back-and-forth you have here at TD.  http://groups.yahoo.com/  Again, there are probably hundreds of sites that house SIG’s (Special Interest Groups) like Yahoo.

Then there’s the real-time free-for-all, the good old chat-room.  Been around probably 20 years now, since the old days of AOL.  It doesn’t lend itself to blogging too too well unless you find one tied to a blog page with a chat window.  That would be somewhere between a yahoo group and twitter.  Chat rooms get absurd though.  For instance, have you followed the chat at the OWS website?  Go here http://occupystreams.org/ and pick http://occupystreams.org/item/occupy-wall-street-global-revolution and watch the comments go by…...

One thing that varies from site-to site is the degree of openness.  So, for some topics, it might be desirable to exclude some of the real nit-wits. 

Anyway, I think you could have a hell of a blog writing an article every so often on those various ‘illusions’. 
It’s a commitment though, and good blogs should be regular so you can satisfy ‘regular readers’, once a week, or daily if you have the time.

Who knows, you might develop a following and be the next Chris Hedges.  If not, at least it’s a place for people to exchange ideas and perhaps take steps toward organizing.  Who knows how critical mass gets organized…..they try to predict these things, but we’re in volatile uncharted waters here.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

John, I am a practical illiterate when it comes to the computer world. I don’t know what a blog is…never mind creating one. But I certainly don’t mind a little honest give and take when it comes to ideas. It’s dealing with nit wits that wastes a lot of time.
  One of the most influential books I ever read in my own education ( self ) was War, Politics and Insanity by the psychiatrist, C. S. Blumel. Years ago someone lifted it from my library and I was never able to locate another copy. This morning an in depth search of on line book stores turned up a copy for me.
So it is a red letter day for the Edster. It has given me the energy to try typing the last paragraph of Freedom and Illusion ( the whole essay is about 40 typed pages )........
  For thousands of years authority has been imposing its own power preserving illusions on the mass of humanity. In the name of God, flag and nation, people have been crucified, beheaded, hanged, burned at the stake, shot, imprisoned, exiled and black balled for darting to construct illusions that support their own individual right to existence. Some of our modern methods of imposing illusions are less barbarous then they were in the past, and this is no small step forward, but if we think we are far removed from those ancestors who constructed a vision of the world based on the shadows their fires cast upon the walls of their caves, we had best recheck our illusions….. Onward.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

sorry….. slowing down our thinking and reaction times .....

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

I’m really sorry we lost that Ed.  And I’ve done that too.  Talk about something that would piss off the easter bunny.  I routinely hilight my posts and do a ctrl-C before sending to TD. 

And yes, you are probably right to post elsewhere.  You might start a blog?  Or a yahoo group?  This way you can decide who is contributing or just there to throw bricks.  But a general caution…...many of us have short fuses, or, we just don’t fully appreciate the limited bandwidth of these posts and take things the wrong way.  This thing is a test of slowing down out thinking and reaction times to match the bandwidth of the media.  I say this just to assist in forming alliances and friends among the extreme disparity of personalities with whom we find we are now in contact.

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By Ed Romano, April 11, 2012 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

John, He’s a winner alright.Now he’s seeing far into the future.
  Folks who believe this governemnt is in need a a radical overhaul don’t often get the chance to feel good about things politically. So we take our bits of sunshine where we find them. And this morning our spirits are a little lighter because another mental defect has dropped out of the race to become the next savior to lead us over a precipice. Unfortunately, I doubt that we’ve seen the last of him. The euphoria doesn’t last long.
    I wrote out a little more of the essay I posted yesterday ( ?). Unfortunately, at the very end I hit a wrong button on the keyboard and lost the whole thing….too much to do all over again right now. Besides I’m thinking , this is not a good place to be discussing the idea.

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Justin, you don’t even understand the definition of execution.

here’s another one that fits your def.

http://tinyurl.com/case-execution

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 11, 2012 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

I didn’t follow the pepper spray incident, but if it was ‘trounced’ like the various topics we’ve gone around on, then you have used material out of context, or taken specific cases to prove a general point, or some other logical fallacy.  That particular one, making a gross generalization from a specific case is the second favorite.  The first?  Attempt to reduce the ‘opponents’ credibility by character assassination.  Oh, and let’s not ignore attempts to silence opposition by intimidation.

Your goal is obviously to be seen as ‘the winner’, and any means to that end is acceptable to you.  If you sense anything more than complete agreement and compliance, you proceed to total rhetorical warfare, unbounded by reason. 

Justin, how long have you been so mean?  Do you remember a time when you didn’t get so ‘violently defensive’?  A time when you weren’t ‘provoked’ so easily? 

Last, for whom are you showing off?  Surely you aren’t flexing those enormous intellectual muscles for our benefit?  For whos entertainment do you pummel us poor half-wits?

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By Justin Case, April 10, 2012 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

You missed nothing. All was quiet for days after I posted it with me challenging you, you reading it & then acting as if it didn’t exist.
Re-post:

Oakland police lost a 2003 lawsuit demanding forever after that the police are NOT legally empowered to use chemical weapons on protesters.
Around the world, when violence by police on the masses is “legally empowered” then the result is always the same: mass murder and mass torture by police. Destruction of all freedom, all rights, and at some point, warlords and gangsters control the entire nation.
I can demonstrate people killed by police for LESS than talking - Oscar Grant - and for talking -
http://youtu.be/9nssw1bzBic
62 year old tied up & executed using pepper spray.

This execution murder worthy of the KGH at the height of the Soviet Era means the police officer who did it should be killed by firing squad. Period. I would happily personally do it. It’s the right thing to do.
___
By Justin Case, March 31 at 2:38 pm
your response: By heterochromatic, March 31 at 3:31 pm barely an hour later:
Justin—-if you can post a court case that ruled that police are not allowed to
use chemical weapons, I’ll be quite happy to read it.


perhaps you’re mistaken about it or the case simply held that OaklandPD
illegally used the weapons in the case at issue.


There was certainly not any grand sweeping ruling debarring all police from
using tear gas or pepper spray that I’ve ever seen ofr that is in force in the
country.


but please post the link and I’ll help explain it for you so that you’re no longer
misinformed.
___

I have replied to all your challenges & in dire fire you have acted as if they do not exist and will not speak a word.

All I’m hearing is chicken-scratching from the whiner-pen & not a word to even try to prove me wrong. I have trounced every fraud thoroughly.

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By heterochromatic, April 10, 2012 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

you wanna run that “execution by pepper spray”  thing again, Brainiac?

Some of us intellectual dwarves missed that tidbit in the torrent.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

Talk about being blind….....

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By Justin Case, April 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Obviously I’ve overwhelmed the under-thinking with my precise proof of how Marx was wrong (or misrepresented in the link given here), and overwhelmed those in denial with my photo evidence proof of execution by pepper spray.

I already showed clearly that “la-la-la-can’t-hear-you” is not a real response so the chicken-shits have decided to keep quiet.

Well, I guess you lose.
It’s not that I win, for winning is not the objective. Teaching is the objective & others reading your failure to respond appropriately with any facts whatsoever will learn a lot.

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By Justin Case, April 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

“Oh John, Don’t make me do this….the idea that we all
make our way mentally in this world based on
illusions summons up a lot more furious opposition
than a defense of Marx.”

Please.

The total collection of simultaneous & sequential events that seriously impact a person’s survival and even happiness exceed the actual sensory-capacity and memory capacity of a person to handle.

Bottom line: a person’s eyes won’t see all the light that goes in & a person’s mind won’t remember all they see.

Very simple. Nothing controversial, easily proven with various tests.

This is where the illusion comes in: a person has no choice but to predict through various means, most of them subconscious (including actual optical illusions) the near-term future state of the world & to react to this prediction, not to reality. Not only does this yield survival but for some it yields innovation for those who can see much further into the future based on what has transpired so far.

Done & done.
No one really needs to make that any harder than it really is.
Did you know that people with retinal damage, blind spots, have been known to see illusions like endless-looping cartoons seen earlier in life? Yes, that’s something the mind can do.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Hey Ed, this is good.  It explains a lot of data.

This is relevant to the current discussions around the blog-o-sphere: “But since we are always dimly aware that they have no basis in fact, we try to strengthen then by forcing others to believe as we do.” 

‘dimly aware’ is an interesting phrase.  Just barely beyond consciousness for most people I suppose. 

This entire notion ties in with the need of many people to have faith.   

I’d like to read the original article.  If you haven’t already, you might relate your thinking to that of others.  As I’ve said before, you remind me of an Eric Hoffer sort of person.

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By Ed Romano, April 10, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

John, Didn’t have room, but what I wrote should not be taken to mean that we are all out of touch with reality. Some illusions touch reality in important ways, while others are , more or less removed. The point however, is that there is no absolute proof thatthe important mental contructions which drive us are based on anything “true”.

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By Ed Romano, April 10, 2012 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

Oh John, Don’t make me do this….the idea that we all
make our way mentally in this world based on
illusions summons up a lot more furious opposition
than a defense of Marx.
I’d say this is because it hits home diectly where the individual lives while Marxism is a bit more abstract to most people. A few years ago I wrote a piece titled., Freedon And Illusion. This was based on many years of thinking about the problem of how to get ordinary people to realize that those who want to “lead” us are not any more privy to enlightened thinking that the rest of us. When the people who read it became visibly agitated I knew I was on to something…... I can’t get into the entire essay here but I’ll post the opening.
    The word ‘illusion’ has negative connotations, but stripped of its prejudicial characted it is the most accuirate word to describe that mental acitivity in man which preceeds his action in the world. For urpose of this study I define illsusion as a mental construction which provides a human being with the impetus for action and gives a measure of meaning to his or her existence, but which cannot be proved to have any basis in reality. It is a belief, or system of beliefs, without which we cannot perform any of those personal or social actsthat require more than instinctand which separate us from the rest of the animal world.
  When a primary illusion which has sustained a person collapses they enter a period of bewilderment and/or despair. Others, who hold to their now
dead illusion may appear insane. For some the shock is intolerable. The Russian poet Vladimir
Mayakovsky omes to mind. Disillusioned when the revolution he championed was revealed
as an enslaving farce he committed suicide. Tolstoy, at fifty, came close to suicide when
his existence suddenly appeared to him as meaningless. He survived by constructing a new illusion which provided him with hope in the face of death and gave scope to his expansive nature.
  Man is the illusion creating animal. He has no choice. Without illusions meaningful action is impossible. A person who has lost a primary illusion
can continue to act only because he believes or hopes to discover a new one to replace the one he has lost. This hope itself is an illusion which serves to temporarily provide him with an impetusto action. But his need to discover a sustaining illusion is pressing, indeed desperate. The altenative is atrophy, insanity or suicide.
  Illusions work to put some ground under our psyhic feet in an otherwise vast, incomprehensible universe…...For example, an individual who has been shaped in childhood to doubt the validity of his own conclusions about the world will ofetn develop an illusion that the best course for all men is to submit to one or more external authorities. He will build upreasons to suppoprt theillusion and attribute the quality of truth to it. Unless he is a rare individual he will remain unaware
of the forces that gave birth to this illusion.It doesn’t occur to him thathad be been formed in childhood to be a spontaneous, self autonomous being his illusion would be of an entirely different construction.( Here there are a few examples of how illusion are formed and the purpose they serve…too long, however. )
  We need illusion as we need air. We need the illusion that worldly success has meaning for ourselves or our children, or the illusion that injustice suffered in this world
will be corrected in the after life, or that our
contribution to society has some meaning beyond personal aggrandizment.We cling to
these constructions as we do to hundreds of smaller fictions that provide us with reasons to act. But since we are always dimly aware that they have no basis in fact, we try to strengthen then by forcing others to believe as we do. This is the motivation of the missionary spirit and the fuel of every authoritarian machine….( Out of space )

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 10, 2012 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Ed, I do understand what you wrote on April 9 at 7:37 am.  Indeed, I think we have varying degrees of objectivity, non of us quite at 100%.  But you added an aside at the end about controversy, ” I have found in the course of my adult life that the idea I briefly outlined here summons up more opposition and hatred that anything else I have ever said.”  Ti which I asked, “…the sentry or the Marx?”  That is, which idea is the most controversial, and I suppose I’ll judge by the frenzy which followed you meant the Marx!

But on that ‘sentry’, that’s a complicated idea.  He explains various protections, but also the ‘optional’ or convenient ideas he allows in and out…...and I wonder if it’s all related to self-preservation, and that non of us is at all objective.  It goes with something I’ve said, which is, ‘it’s easy to be altruistic when you’re rich’.  And another…..if you want to see how big an asshole somebody is….give them power.

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By heterochromatic, April 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

let’s allow the thread to air out a bit.

http://youtu.be/jSTWy25hRiI

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Let’s start on the hard-core debunking, shall we?
___
But the laborer who gets a job does not contract to work only six hours a day. That would be just long enough to support himself. On the contrary, he agrees to work a full eight-hour, or in Marx’s time, a 10- or 11-hour day. Hence he will produce a full 10 or 11 hours’ worth of value and he will get paid for only six. His wage will cover his subsistence, which is his true “value,” but in return he will make available to the capitalist the value he produces in a full working day. And this is how profit enters the system.

Marx called this layer of unpaid work “surplus value.”
___
To what extent is this attribution in ERROR by the author? “Excerpt and condensation of Chapter 6 from The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers by Robert L. Heilbroner, 7th ed., 1999”

Is Marx being improperly represented by the author? Is “surplus value” really described in this manner by Marx in Das Kapital?

To the extent that it IS accurate I then must ask: how can Marx prove this surplus?

Any worker can reduce the productivity of work during work-hours AND that a worker can also negotiate hours to be worked per day up and down. I have done it, I have seen others do it, and that’s not even including unions. Once unions are involved with collective bargaining rights - a capitalist activity in the market - negotiating power becomes even stronger for the worker.

Detailed comment? Something better than la-la-la-can’t-hear-you?

This clearly leaves no surplus value in wages nor in labor-power. The employer has no idea what is the full level of labor-output possible from a worker employee. The employee has no idea what is the full wage possible to negotiate from the employer. The artifice of a manufactured world in which these things are limited very tightly and completely known is impossible because it requires mind-reading or some kind of “full disclosure” about all possible future offers/better offers that no one is entitled to know - or likely to give (ever).

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

As an intellectual heavyweight using only evidence, only reality, I was met with an earlier challenge.

That challenge was to prove here that anyone had been executed using pepper spray. I provided photo evidence from journalism sources.

I twice demanded the challenge be responded to.
Twice I was met with “la-la-la-la-la-la” as if it’s not real or “no longer to be spoken about”.

Shall this be yet another situation?
You realize you multiply my credibility by a factor thousands when you don’t reply after such a proper trouncing, right?

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

“Justin, I have read it. I have considered it. I have determined where it is wrong, which is just about everywhere. And I have no intention of entering your spider web where”

Face it. You’re scared. You know I’m right and you know why I’m right. You don’t have the courage to even attempt to disprove a word of what I wrote, not one, even though it was you that sent the link as if to challenge me. I met the challenge. Can you?

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

“He then denigrated Das Kapital without ever having laid eyes on a copy.”

You’re the one who sent me the link.
I said there’s a chance the author writing about Marx could have misrepresented Marx.

Are you well-read of Marx? Have you read Dad Kapital?
Did Marx actually, Ed, claim there is such a thing as “surplus value” or such a thing as a fixed value of labor? Yes or no?

Did Marx actually claim that workers are sent to the streets, over-all, when technology improves work-flow or did the author make that up?

Ask yourself Ed, who’s making shit up?

If the author accurately described the conclusions & assertions of Marx then Marx is a fraud & a dangerous one.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

http://youtu.be/rk9t6V0mE6o : end of the road, how money became worthless

Followers of Marx cast themselves in the darkness, stand alone, yet claim another pushed them in ... that other was never there. It’s all an illusion.

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Justin, Do you read what you say…what comes out of your head ?....“I am an intellectual heavyweight. I cannot be decieved”. Wow ! Move over God…here comes Justin. This will be my last communication with you, but I just wanted to point out that this “intellectual heaveyweight” reached the conclusoin he is ranting about based on a short synopsis of Marxism. He then denigrated Das Kapital without ever having laid eyes on a copy. Intellectual heavyweight indeed.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Clearly Marx is a con-man, a deceiver of the highest order. This is who Marx WANTS you to believe he’s up against - the boogeyman:
http://www.thelivingmoon.com/41pegasus/04images/Space/eye-o-sauron-03.jpg

But this is who Marx actually attacks: the strawman http://freethoughtpedia.com/images/Strawman-motivational.jpg

I am an intellectual heavy-weight. I can not be so deceived. Some time ago I saw an interview with Chris Hedges and Kevin O’Leary. Kevin’s an asshole & was rude. Chris brought up Marx and was immediately dismissed and laughed at. I thought this was more bravado & rudeness by Kevin at first. NOW I understand. Chris Hedges purports to be an intellectual and honest. By using Marx in this capacity to defend anything he has only shown himself to be an intellectual fraud - either less intellectual than he really is OR much more the fiend in actually seeking to mislead others intentionally to a path of darkness and destruction.

I had not wanted to draw such a conclusion about Chris Hedges. I had thought I could respect him. Ed, you have allowed me to question all of this, to revisit my entire world-view of Hedges & what he stands for. I had thought him incorruptible but as ever, I have been too trusting about who is “incorruptible”

Ed, I have spoken the most powerful truth there is because I have referenced economic reality from robots & genetic programming to televisions & factories for cars, wages and even agreed that if one is put out of wages so badly one can’t buy the things they make, they are being exploited.

I have been incredibly honest & thorough. I have instead been met with a chorus of “la-la-la-la-la” and “nah-uhn”. You think that’s the standard you should be judged by? Any of us?

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Justin, So you have cast me out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Thank you. Does that mean you’ll leave me alone now ?...  Your rant does more to prove what I said about you than anything I could come up with…You say,“I have spoken the most powerful truth that can exist.” This is the statement of a true megalomaniac.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Ed, I have spoken the most powerful truth than can exist.

I have simply repeated what is reality.

You have chosen to embrace fraud, deception and brainwashing.
Sorry Ed, there is no hope for you after all. I have properly and thoroughly trounced Marx and I am not the first, nor shall I be the last.

Everything Marx wrote about the value of labor, about pricing, about the very core definitions of capitalism was a lie.

Marx shall live on only in disgrace, disproved every day by his very own words. He never attacked capitalism only his completely fictional anti-capitalist world that existed only in his mind. No wonder it took him years, not weeks, to finish his paper.

He must have known that his lies were so obvious that he’d have to make 3 volumes of books so dense that few would opt to read it at all. Seriously, this is a sham and disgrace to humanity.

Sorry Ed you have chosen the path of darkness. All hope is gone for you.

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Justin, I have read it. I have considered it. I have determined where it is wrong, which is just about everywhere. And I have no intention of entering your spider web where everything I say will be just so much grist for your myopic mill….Years ago I became friendly with an Augustinian priest. His method of arguing an issue had me baffled for a time. Then I became aware of his procedure( just as you are itching to use this little story to display what you think is your vast intellectuial acumen). Augustinians are taught in seminary to agrue in a circular fashion. The nearest I can come to trying to explain the method is this…. You say something, but your opponent does not answer you directly. Suddenly, you are suprised to hear an answer coming from another direction ....an answer that only has a slight connection to what you said. So you turn your attention that to the direction that he has chosen and attempt a reply….only to find that the answer this time is coming from behind your back.
  The only reason you want me to walk into your obvious trap ( you would make a poor spider ) is so that you can use whatever I say to show off what you consider to be your superiority in the matter.
  If, for no other reason, I won’t play the game because I find it stunning that an intellectual twerp like you has the goomies to tear apart a thinker like Marx. Disagree with him-yes. Many have. But the rancourous disdain you displayed is enough to have any thinking person bow out from any further discussion….Initially, you approached me in what seemed a sincere manner ....asking me to expound on my understanding of capitalism. I was suspect, becuase I have seen you in action in these forums before. But I took a chance. Your derisive response showed me that my initial suspicion was correct. It pains me to say it, but you are not an honest person, Justin

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

“I think it would be helpful to put a foundation under this discussion. I believe we waste a lot of time in our lives arguing with people who are not willing to consider ideas that conflict with their illusions….”

PRECISELY ED.

Marx posed an illusory world, then posed illusory conditions upon it to break it, then claimed he had actually dealt with capitalism. He had in fact built only a world of illusions and those who follow in the footsteps of Marx have no choice but to live a lie - a life of illusion. Self-deception.

I have clearly explained with examples & logic how Marx was mistaken. Surely, Ed, you would consider that, read it, and determine where I have made a mistake,or determine that Marx was mistaken as I had written.

I live solely off real-world results, real-world evidence and the codified logic of mathematics. Without this foundation a person is only a puppet for the will of another, a meat-puppet.

“but it should be enough for us to size up a person who is proceeding on illusions and determine if we are wasting our time in trying to communicate with them”

Ed, sounds to me like you’re describing yourself.
I’m not trying to be hurtful, I’ve given sharp detail about where Marx was mistaken & you have not refuted me - you perhaps already know I’m right but the whip-master upon your mind is demanding that you close your eyes and turn away before you see the dawn of light.

Come out of the night, Ed, see the truth. Marx was full of shit & lead generations of people to their economic doom with his lies.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

“A free market assumes the buyer is making a rational decision about what is in their best interest. “

NO, a free market does precisely the opposite:
the market is assumed to be IRRATIONAL in a world that is IRRATIONAL. The only condition of the free market is CONSENT for participation.

“those providers of cheap labor who have been identified as suitable for ‘use’ as a labor force, have historically born a huge human cost which is not seen by the consumer”
The consumer has been very well aware from the start how it happened and has merely tried to feign ignorance.

“but the bottom line is, workers are not free to walk away from exploitative conditions.”

I’ve done it & shown others how to do it. The bottom line is that workers are ALWAYS Free to walk away unless they are physically chained slaves. For them the only hope is death or that someone else come in & kill the slave-masters.

John, you essentially defy every notion of what capitalism is then, as Marx, dress up your straw man in a suit & stick a HELLO MY NAME IS _____ to it ... and write in “capitalism”. That won’t cut it.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

“Are ‘agreed’ prices the same as ‘proper’ prices’?”
Absolutely not. The definition itself is erroneous. It’s a thing which is defied from existence under all conditions. A magical “proper price” would have to be universal across all trades, all times, all technologies, all cultures. This is impossible because even a differing of locale can change the optimal value for some people, even if there is no variance in culture, in technology or comparing different eras of history.

No, the idea of “proper price” is itself a fraud which can’t ever happen anywhere anytime.

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By Justin Case, April 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Frauds have no problem getting published! Lessons to be learned. Marx has been dismissed by experts around the world but at first I didn’t fully know why. Well, now i do know why.

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

John.  Don’t know what that means…the sentry or the Marx? I do know you have not understood what I said. But that’s alright. One of the rarest things in life is real communication between two people. God has a lot to answer for.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 9, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Ed, The thought of the idea sentry, or the Marx? 

And I do agree we all are guilty to varying degrees of pre-conceiving which positions and arguments are most self-serving.  But, I am willing to give a little of my self-serving interests if other people are too, in the hopes the total picture can be improved.  The problem is we have one big 7 billion prisoners dilemma.

All I ask of people is they not bring their personal frustrations and rudeness to the forum, but you’ll have that too.  And there is another sort I’ve seen here, I swear there is a type of poster who is showing off, not to their fellow posters, but to an outside audience they wish to impress.

There are those of us who have differing backgrounds and personalities but who are here in a good faith to share ideas and resources, and there are those who obviously disrupt such exchange.

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

John, I think it would be helpful to put a foundation under this discussion. I believe we waste a lot of time in our lives arguing with people who are not willing to consider ideas that conflict with their illusions….Human beings , with rare exception, do not conduct a search for the truth of an issue and then absorb that truth into their philosophy even it it is opposed to what they consider their best interests. What happens is…they start out with an illusion that they think is beneficial to their best interests, and because there are always at least two sides of an issue, they choose the side and those facts that most nearly coincide with what they want to believe and enshrine these in the place of “truth”..... Imagine that there is a little sentry with a whip sitting on top of such a hypnoid’s brain. This sentry’s job is not to allow anything in that will threaten the hypnoid’s illusion. This is because the mental construction or foundation on which this person stands will be shaken if a threatening idea is permitted to enter…..There is a lot more to this psychological picture than what I have outlined, but it should be enough for us to size up a person who is proceeding on illusions and determine if we are wasting our time in trying to communicate with them. ....As an aside, I have found in the course of my adult life that the idea I briefly outlined here summons up more opposition and hatred that anything else I have ever said.

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By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 9, 2012 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

First, no ‘ism’s’ exist in this world other than in the classroom as ‘pure theories’. 

That said, the statement, “....there is “no proper price” in capitalism, ....” indicates the idealistic thinking of what I call a ‘free marketeer’.  Someone who believes that the ‘free market’ will resolve the difficulties in achieving ‘proper’ prices, and we could go on for hours on what constitutes ‘proper’.  Are ‘agreed’ prices the same as ‘proper’ prices’? Let me give an example by making a hell of an assumption that we can agree a ‘proper’ price is one which causes some good of service to come to the assistance of mankind in an ecologically neutral way. 

The example would be determining the ‘proper’ price for an article of clothing by the ‘capitalist free market’. 

A free market assumes the buyer is making a rational decision about what is in their best interest.  Free marketeers consistently ignore this condition and the accompanying fact that emotion is involved, which often drives the price above the ‘value’.  So what is the value?  Some article of clothing might have a value as clothing, but also a value to the ego.  One must be seen in the latest.  And what about durability?  What about the conflict in making long-lasting vs. latest fashion sorts of apparel?  The need to design in planned obsolescence via ‘latest trend’ appeal?  What about the environmental cost the petrochemical based ‘cheap’ fabrics incur?  And lastly, and certainly not least,  those providers of cheap labor who have been identified as suitable for ‘use’ as a labor force, have historically born a huge human cost which is not seen by the consumer. 

This is a convoluted mess, but the bottom line is, workers are not free to walk away from exploitative conditions.  The so-called ‘free market’ is anything but free, and self-proclaimed ‘capitalists’ are philosophically and practically driven to make maximum profit for stockholders regardless of the overall cost to society at large.  This gives rise to obscuring the true costs of production, and externalizing costs wherever possible. 

Essentially, the practice of capitalism by self-proclaimed ‘capitalists’ has succeeded nicely in obscuring the ‘proper price’ by pushing costs on to future generations.  These are the ‘externalized costs’, and is the exact cause of all environmental degradation to date.

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By Ed Romano, April 9, 2012 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Justin, Wow !.... False, untrue, fictional, fraud, illusion, failed argument etc….I’m surprised the man was ever able to get anthing published let alone influence many millions of people, including thinkers like Mills,Becker,Lumen,Sartre,lundberg,Weber, Fraina, Heilbroner and hundreds of others .....From what you’ve had to say I can see that trying to have a dialog here would be a fool’s errand. But I’m glad I was able to give you this chance to display your philosohical muscles.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment

analysis of http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_marxsanalysis.html

#1
“We enter a world of perfect capitalism: no monopolies, no unions, no special advantages for anyone. It is a world in which every commodity sells at exactly its proper price. And that proper price is its value—a tricky word.”

problem: that is pretty much a detachment from what capitalism does. Capitalism faces a world where everyone faces inequality because that is nature & persists on not making it worse, while still allowing trade to happen. As for prices, there is “no proper price” in capitalism, and that again is why capitalism is so good. The instant a price is fixed as the “proper” price this is opposite to all nature which is why it can’t work which is why capitalism DOES work because it refuses to defy nature.

So my first critical point against Marx is that he didn’t erect a perfect “capitalism” - he erected a perfect anti-capitalism.

I’d hate to outright say “straw man” but if Marx can’t develop a real attack on real capitalism in the real world, and only can do so against a faux “capitalism” manufactured entirely by himself that does not actually resemble any real-world use OR definition of capitalism, then Marx has only attacked his own fiction, not any variety of capitalism in theory or in practice.

#2
“For the value of a commodity, says Marx, is the amount of labor it has within itself”

problem: that’s impossible. The very notion of labour and commodity is that there is no fixed value of energy or skill or number of workers to make use of the end-result or to extract the raw material. It is the very nature of the Human species to test new means of skills, differing numbers of workers and replacement commodities for specific applications. This nature is HUMAN not “capitalism”, so capitalism merely continues to work with this human nature because no part of capitalism stands in defiance of this human nature.

#2-a
“If it takes twice as much labor to make hats as shoes, then hats will sell for twice the price of shoes”
This impossible condition is deconstructed as such: the number of shoes to be sold can not be determined until the number of still-useful shoes ALREADY bought is counted. This can not even be known until one considers ALL the environments one’s shoes will face. Since every person has differing habits of scuffing, walking, working and hiking, some shoes will take a far worse beating than others. Some shoes may even be bought spare & kept for when a previous pair is ruined. Some shoes may even be repaired so that no new shoe is in demand for an extended, inconsistent period of time.
It is thusly proven that no amount of labor input to a shoe (or other product) can determine the final price or demand of that same product. Only the usage-conditions & stock-pile conditions can be determinant of this final answer. Another factor is quality: that no matter the work-effort, energy & time that goes into a shoe, if the quality is very low then the demand will be very low. If there’s a competing shoe with better quality then it will have higher price and higher sales even if MUCH LESS work & time went into that shoe.

This is core nature of all human beings. People don’t deliberately choose something which takes more work and/or has less quality. People intrinsicly seek higher quality with less work. This is HUMAN nature, not “capitalism” and as such, capitalism merely repeats this behaviour because it has no rules or tendencies which OPPOSE this human nature. Humans are efficiency-seeking tool-makers. This means that humans do not ever seek anything with less quality and/or more effort.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

#2-b
“But no matter what its form, everything is eventually reducible to labor, and all commodities, in this perfect system, will be priced according to the amount of labor, direct or indirect, that they contain.”
Absolutely untrue and part of the reason is explained in 2-a. Now in 2-b I will explain further about market-shift. A commodity replacement is possible & can cause the entire commodity to lose value. This is the case with asbestos and with PCB’s. In both cases the true toxicity was not understood at initial use & as such the value dropped sharply once people determined how deadly they can be. This also happens with many pharmaceuticals. No matter the work, energy, time, skill that went into the product, no matter the stock-piles that were ready for sale, shipping, distribution of any sort, once the contents are determined to be toxic the value drops to zero for any consumer benefit. This is a one-way irreversible function.

No matter what fiction Marx wants to seek to prove his point he has painted himself into a corner on this one. Plain & simple: the only conditions Marx can fight are “worlds” or “a world” (of fiction) in which no person is ever smart enough to determine toxicity, to determine a better replacement, and therefore continue to label something with “value” based on the “work or labor” that went into it. In short, this fictional world would contain zero humans because no human behaves like this. Even many animals don’t behave like this as they watch each other die in ambush or by poison & learn and avoid so the next generation survives.

#3
“In this world stand the two great protagonists of the capitalist drama: worker and capitalist. The worker is a free bargaining agent who enters the market to dispose of the one commodity he commands—labor power. The capitalist faces him in the arena.”

This is a strawman or false paradigm. A worker IS a capitalist. In a capitalist system there are NO participants except capitalists. Every worker, every owner, every inventor is a capitalist. Every performer, every writer, every journalist, every farmer is a capitalist. In any real capitalist system every worker bargains with other workers. Employers ARE other workers, as are property owners. Every human being in a capitalist system has a mix of non-labor physical items and only-labor skills & exerted-force to trade. From the meekest owner to the strongest farmer this is true.

If Marx can only maintain this fictional attack by ignoring this point then Marx has only shown that a false world which never existed and never will exist is his target. This false world is not a capitalist world nor a world containing pockets of capitalism. In that vein I would so far conclude that Marx either deliberately misunderstands capitalism for the reader, which is why it took him so many years to write Das Kapital to try to work around the obvious failure, or, that Marx truly believes a valid attack on a target is to construct a dissimilar target and attack that other target instead.

#4
“for in the competitive environment in which he operates, one accumulates or one gets accumulated”
This is not the nature of any capitalist system.
In any real capitalist system, and by definition, by theory, it is trade, not accumulation which is sought and is the mechanics. All of it.
If there is any accumulation or gain it is by arbitrage: misvaluation. If one who trades is unsure of the value & agrees to a WRONG number then someone will get much larger benefit later once the error is understood. If the market does not ever see the error then there is not ever a recognition & there is no net accumulation.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Modern stock markets, absent fiat currency, are in fact a series of opportunities at arbitrage or what people would refer to as “betting”. This gambling-investing which Max Keiser refers to as the “Gulag casino” subjects individuals to a vast system of inequalities with a basis of fraud to cover the stink of its own rotting anti-capitalist undead zombie corpse. What happens is that people are TEMPTED to buy into bonds, stocks or commodities at a price and told that it is “good value” based on false stats & false premises. In truth there is money to be made from poor valuations but the SELLER or MARKET-MAKER is in this case erasing all the capitalism and replacing it with fraud.

For example: people are told about BUY AND HOLD, never told about shorting. THUS one is never told there is any advantage in selling first or selling “soon” (or ever). This creates market-bias (extortion opportunity) and is not capitalist (or fully anticapitalist). NOW I will introduce the anti-capitalist element!

SURPRISE. You can’t sell based on the UNEXECUTED ORDERS of your competitors. THEY CAN.
That’s right.
If you set a stop-loss order to avoid losses, you won’t be happy if it’s hit at all, but you will be happy not to get stuck with an even lower price. THESE ORDERS ARE VISIBLE. YOUR NOT-YET-USED orders are VISIBLE to your ENEMIES.
That’s right.
You can’t see their hand but THEY CAN SEE YOURS.
That is NOT CAPITALIST. That is FRAUD. That is how arbitrage works in MODERN stock markets.
Add in that the fiat currency is ITSELF gamed again at another level so that everyone is at a loss who holds the currency EXCEPT friends of the anti-capitalist central bank, and you now have a system of anti-capitalist slavery.

So, to return to what Marx was getting at: accumulate or get accumulated. This is not ever how capitalism works. This is actually only possible in a systematic manner in a very anti-capitalist system. This is possible only when ONE party is privileged to insider information about value & about future-activity and NO ONE ELSE is. Without this key advantage no one in the world can actually determine what is the future enough to “accumulate the other” reliably (no matter how competitive) and no one is seeking to “accumulate the other guy” because the other guy may have “no value” or “insufficient value”.

As a capitalist I have no need to seek to own you or what you do because I have no idea that you and/or what you do/have is of any value to me - and that’s before considering consent, indentured servitude, slavery, and I truly want nothing to do with such nastiness.

#5
“How, asks Marx, can profits exist in such a situation? If everything sells for its exact value, then who gets an unearned increment? No one dares to raise his price above the competitive one. How can there be profit in the whole system if everything exchanges for its honest worth?”

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

This again is a false attack on a false situation. The reality is that under no circumstances can a fixed value be known because if a fixed value were known, set and HONEST then we’d live in a world in which every single item never takes differing work to produce it NOR is any item ever produced more or less in proportion to other items - be it raw commodities or finished goods - and that also means that all inventions must stop. The instant even one invention happens it can smash the entire artifice of the illusion. We are as humans, as I’ve said, an inventing tool-making species. It’s our hallmark & Marx can’t credibly construct an economic argument which dismisses this core human nature.

Take for example the modern cell phone: it tends to have a high quality digital camera - not the best but fairly good - and of course is a phone & tends to have several time-wasting games and memory card slot. Most are also an MP3 music player of sorts. Many now are taking streaming online TV. Just think of that ONE invention’s displacement of other end-products: now the value has dropped considerably for these items:

5.1 standalone music player
5.2 standalone portable tv
5.3 standalone portable game system
5.4 notebook or laptop computer that’s much bigger than any cell phone and more expensive most of the time

This further predicates that I bring up the inventions that are being displaced and what THEY displaced:
5.1.1 several design generations of music player have replaced larger models that store less, take more power & work to produce and that further replaced LIVE PERFORMANCE which itself is a good innovation & a foundation for cultures throughout history
5.2.1 portable tv’s partially displaced people hovering around a larger communal tv at work or in a pub and again those tv’s coupled with any storage+playback like a vcr, dvr, dvd, blu-ray and of course a computer all displaced live-performance of sports, visual arts, for live attendance by all observers
5.3 game systems displaced stand-up arcades and those displaced carnivals & fairs for attendance & interest (except where combined)

I’ve made my point: invention so displaces the valuation of all previous activities of entertainment, labor, skill, commodity, time-management as to re-invent the entire market and planet in swift order. Therefore any attempt by anyone (including Marx) to attack a false world in which none of this innovation happens is itself a failed argument.

#6
“For the laborer, like the capitalist, sells his product for exactly what it is worth, for its value. And its value, like the value of everything else that is sold, is the amount of labor that goes into it. “
Again, this is impossible. This follows the arrogant assertion “it is to be ideal capitalism, which will dig its own grave.”
Instead Marx has only dug a grave for his own fictional world.

In truth labor can not repeat the same value twice. Ever. Not even for the same person. One might ask “how is that so?” or one with less politeness might say “shut up you dirty Capitalist” but I digress.

“The value of a workman is the money he needs in order to exist. It is his subsistence wage. So far, so good.”
No, not so good so far. In fact, every environment yields differing outcomes for food-energy & climate-tolerance thereby changing the true cost of living for any worker anywhere in the world - before even entertaining if an economy is there, and if it is capitalism. The true value of a worker’s output (property & skill) is measured only by something external, something from another worker, in an honest trade free of error in valuation. Where there is error in valuation but it’s not fraud, mistakes will happen but hopefully nothing horrible like 2x to 400x valuation error - as in the corporate raping of lowest-level employees vs CEO wages. That exploitation is intentional. It is fraud.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

This is where the question must arise “what is money?” Is a dollar money? Is a euro? How about a yen? No. Is it gold, silver or a commodity? Only if a person has it to trade and another person has need for it. Otherwise no, it’s a physical part of the world that isn’t money. As history shows, silver is a good money for various intrinsic uses and gold is more rare while more easily identified & still has several incredible uses, so for those reasons gold & silver have been money. For now. Replace all those intrinsic uses by other means & watch that money-value plummet. CURRENCY today is “fiat” (by declaration). It has no value. it is merely a debt-token of decreasing value. All fiat currencies drop to zero just as all mortal beings die so today’s fiat currencies actually are near zero value (collapse).

If Marx can not address this issue then Marx has made no point about anything to anyone. Certainly Marx has failed to understand what is value, what is price. The true trade value of a worker is ONLY what has useful purpose to ANOTHER WORKER. The true SURVIVAL value of a worker can exclude trade value as WORK can be for SELF-sustainment from the land with one’s skills and one’s property. Some truly skilled individuals can even do this from the land with NO property. It’s harder but for those who have the skills I respect those skills.

#6-b
“The laborer who contracts to work can ask only for a wage that is his due. What that wage will be depends, as we have seen, on the amount of labor-time it takes to keep a man alive”
This is clearly not true. Our planet is now filled with endless reams of evidence of people paid wages they can’t possibly live off of. The end-result is that they get welfare or they immigrate or they die. It’s not right or fair. However, looking past what is right or fair, it is true and it is evidence that Marx got this point wrong. Anything else contingent on this point is therefore also wrong of Marx.

#6-c
“If it takes six hours of society’s labor per day to maintain a workingman, then (if labor is priced at one dollar an hour), he is “worth” six dollars a day. No more.”
Absolutely untrue. Many workers are much more productive together than apart, doing the same jobs. You get collective benefit from experience and collective benefit from some physical situations whereby many workers handling one item at a time can work faster than each alone, then do each other’s work-items in series. This collective benefit is also why Socialism works and is a very good idea, and at the same time is not in opposition to Capitalism in any such collective activity.

#6-d
“On the contrary, he agrees to work a full eight-hour, or in Marx’s time, a 10- or 11-hour day. Hence he will produce a full 10 or 11 hours’ worth of value and he will get paid for only six.”
Marx is making a blanket assertion with no proof whatsoever that this must happen, or how it happens.
For this reason he is wrong.
In reality a person can only enter this situation in 2 possible manners and not both at the same time:

6-d.1: if a person is consenting, that person is giving too much up-front for too-little compensation, up-front. Perhaps there is a reason to do this, an initial offer which will not last to sweeten a working deal, or perhaps the employer is a snake who promises higher pay very soon but then does not deliver. Perhaps all parties are honest & the wage does increase later in a manner suitable to all workers & all employers. Marx does not clarify & for that reason no one should consider Marx to have made any significant explanation of anything so far.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

6-d.2: if a person is NOT consenting, that person is a slave. That person is therefore always giving too much, getting too little, and any “contract” is merely a sham, and this is no longer capitalism. Capitalism does actually require consenting parties, not slave ownership.

“Marx called this layer of unpaid work “surplus value.” “
I can therefore conclude that everything Marx wrote about surplus value is in error because his basis for defining surplus value is incorrect.

“How can this state of affairs come about? It happens because the capitalists monopolize one thing: access to the means of production themselves.”
That is untrue. The means of production IS the worker. The capitalist can not monopolize this. All workers have right to their own skill & effort & can withhold it at any time. The means of production is the hand & the brain. Not one other means of production can be made, used or owned without THOSE means first (and continually) being involved. In THIS day & age we may finally see that change, where machines invent other machines, where machines are operating with no human input, and where capital markets will effectively cease to exist. Machines operating in such a manner are clearly not capitalist, they are merely an evolutionary change in what tools are & what their PURPOSE is. today all tools have a PURPOSE to serve humans.

THAT kind of machine will have no such purpose.

#7
“Under the legal arrangements of private property, capitalists “own” jobs, insofar as they own the machines and equipment without which men and women cannot work”
Marx is clearly wrong here again.
Workers own all their own property, all their own tools, all their own skills & some of those skills include making more tools.
No worker can claim any power by any contract over those other skills or tools not-yet-made. Therefore the worker is always free to walk away & be the freelance capitalist without another worker-employer taking ownership control.

#8
“All capitalists have profits. But they are all in competition”
This is an unproven claim.
Many capitalists make no profits, as a matter of fact. Many are not even in competition with each other. For those who toil & invent yet lose resources, lose money, that is a risk & risk is normal. For those who are not in competition it is because they are co-operating investors, sharing investment in the same company or fund. I have for example held stock in silver mining shares (not now) and at that time I was not in competition with anyone else also holding other shares. We were at that time all co-operating investors.

I can therefore conclude again that Marx is wrong because of unproven assertions compared to proven contrary evidence.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

#9
“But expansion is not so easy. It requires more laborers, and to get them the capitalists must bid against one another for the working force. Wages tend to rise. Conversely, surplus value tends to fall.”
Untrue claim. It is unproven but I can also prove the opposite.
In the computing industry and in robotics often it takes LESS workers to expand & merely advances in QUALITY of worker. Just one worker can discover a new chip-etching method or a better servo-motor or battery density thereby changing the entire industry. This is in fact STANDARD for robotics & computing. There’s less jobs, less bidding for jobs, sometimes more wages & always an increase in industry-wide quality for the same work-hour or same thermal-BTU of fuel or same gram of silver that goes into such machines.
In the realm of software this is now happening broadly with genetic programs.
These programs actually write other programs. They do so without human intervention. The end-result is even better software. It can be in various languages for various types of machines. It can be for any goal target size, big or small, some of which actually serially uncompress their contents into working memory as part of what they are evolved to do, thereby ramping up efficiency even more (if one actually has a preference for low-storage & can handle more processing without a worry).

http://www.genetic-programming.org

#10

“Capitalists meet the threat of rising wages by introducing laborsaving machinery into their plants. This will throw part of the working force back onto the street, and there, as an Industrial Reserve Army, it will compete wages back down to their former “value”—the subsistence level”

This is untrue.

10.1 : experienced workers can’t be replaced by new workers with fancy machines. No one will be better qualified to operate improved machinery than the poeple who already did the work without the machinery. Odds are good that the inventors & builders of said machines ARE the workers who didn’t have them before. Workers ALWAYS want to get more work done with less stress & less danger. Often those new machines offer stress-relief to get the same work done & SOMETIMES offer more safety - sometimes less (sadly). It is in the incentive of the workers NOT to make these machines until there is more work to be done & it is to the incentive of any employer NOT to over-deploy the machines or the EMPLOYER will be at a loss - having more product to sell than can be sold into the market.

10.2 hiring new trainees is the INCENTIVE of the employer, with new machines, to ensure none of the machines sits idle or is poorly used by anyone of lower skill / intellect or just a bad work ethic. e.g. if training can’t stop worker X from using an arc welder on a window then worker X needs to be replaced because worker X is either very lazy or very dumb. That doesn’t bring shame to the other workers nor the employer.

10.3 wage value doesn’t change based on technology out there: it changes based on population expansion. The non-capitalist non-market intervention upon societies to produce too many children, such as the Vatican telling everyone to make babies and never use contraception, actually is ASSURED to leave workers homeless & jobless because there are too many people. Capitalism has no say in this: the power of corrupt Religion is indeed mighty (and evil).

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

#11
“Now comes the crucial twist. It seems as though the capitalist has saved the day, for he has prevented wages from rising by creating unemployment through machinery”
Marx was wrong in building to this point. This point is defeated. There is no twist, there is no wage-rise-prevention, there is no rising unemployment through machinery. Every time new technology has allowed one company to employ less people it has always built entire new industries employing many more people with many more employers to continue to service those machines that were introduced. Every kind of robot, car, factory now has custom parts-makers with many more employees (and employers) than ever existed in the past without the time-saving, work-saving machines.

Bob & Jerry don’t work for Ford anymore making Ford parts. Ford buys parts from Magna, as do many other companies, and Bob & Jerry have so much experience that they became managers at Magna and supervise 20 more people each - none of whom had a job at Ford before because the market was too small to employ those people back before the machines were introduced.

#12

“In Marx’s model of an ideal capitalist world, no one makes a profit by merely sharp bargaining.”
By this point Marx has shot himself in the foot.
In all variations of capitalism, from theory to proven fact, EVERYONE benefits by sharp bargaining and EVERYONE is expected to TRY. There is no exception to this rule at any time.

Therefore the point made in the article, at first is wrong, then is wronger-than-wrong by trying to involve the already-disproven point of “surplus value” (of which there is none, and the definition itself is void).

#13
“Hence, when he reduces the number or proportion of workers, he is killing the goose that lays the golden egg.”
Untrue. What actually happens is conditional on matters NEVER mentioned by Marx. IF all workers of all related industries are paid so little they can not even buy the PRODUCT they are working to make, ONLY THEN is the worker clearly (by related price factors) ripped off & THEN the golden goose has been cooked.

The NUMBER of workers is immaterial, as is the PROPORTIONAL change in workers at any given time period. The only question is if the wage drops and/or the final retail price rises so high that workers can’t afford to buy the cars, shoes or shirts they made with their own hands.

#14
“And yet, he has to. He is only obeying his impulse to accumulate and trying to stay abreast of his competitors. As his wages rise, he must introduce laborsaving machinery to cut his costs and rescue his profits—if he does not, his neighbor will”

Already disproved. There is no wage-rise pressure by any time-saving machinery, nor by any profit-motive for an owner/employer. FURTHER, Marx has made a very large mistake: there is no impulse to accumulate, no mechanics for it AND there is only an intrinsic motive for all workers, all employers, all owners to reduce LOSS. Not to maximize profit but to actually target LOSS and turn it to zero. This is part of human nature again & actually is “accepted by capitalism” and exists OUTSIDE of capitalism.

Every living thing seeks to reduce harm, seeks to reduce heat loss, seeks to reduce energy expenditure (for any given action) and some of the adaptations are in how a body develops while others are genetic so that evolution slowly shapes the species for optimal bone density, muscle-structure & heat tolerances (and circulation).

I am at this time ending my analysis at the section starting with “Commoditization”. I will address it later. This is very good so far, showing either the dire shortsightedness of Marx OR of the author talking ABOUT Marx.

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By Justin Case, April 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Okay, sarcasm aside for you then, I’m at 35% of the document & a reply sized at 21,800 characters so far. In that I have so far 10 solid points of disproving Marx. This does however carry the caveat that this document is ABOUT what Marx wrote, meaning the author is an idiot & Marx said/intended something else ... as a possibility.

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