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13 Reddit comments about Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises:

u/prinzplagueorange · 13 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism

The Labor Theory of Value (LTV) precedes Karl Marx. It was the dominant theory of classical political economy. Both Adam Smith and David Ricardo adhered to it. Leftwing Ricardians built a defense of socialism out of it. Marxists debate the extent to which Marx was a critic of these leftwing Ricardians and the extent to which he was largely a leftwing Ricardian himself.


The fact that Smith and Ricardo were also associated with this theory should tip you off that it is not as dumb of a theory as you are making it out to be. Ricardo thought the prices of different commodities could be explained in terms of the amount of labor that went into making them. That's what the LTV meant; it did not mean that "labor [is] inherently valuable." The idea that prices are determined by the quantity of labor required to make them shouldn't strike one as dumb as labor is a big input in determining price. Marx modifies Ricardo's theory in the opening pages of Capital, Vol 1, but the role of the LTV in Marx's writings (whether anything important for Marx hinges on it) and whether Marx's version of the LTV holds up is debated among contemporary Marxists. One recent scholarly text defending Marx's LTV is Anwar Shaikh's Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises published by the University of Oxford Press. If this is just meaningless, it's rather odd that Oxford UP chose to publish 900+ pages of gibberish. Some other Marxists (Michael Heinrich) think Marx broke with the LTV . Others think that most of Marx's analysis is not wedded to the LTV and so could be re-phrased using the rhetoric of neoclassical economics.


Regardless, anyone who read even a page or two of Capital should notice that the basic idea that consumers value stuff is incorporated into Marx's version of the LTV. There Marx writes, "the commodity produced by its owner’s labour must above all be a use-value for the owner of the money [who buys the commodity]. The labour expended on it must therefore be of a socially useful kind.... Let us suppose, finally, that every piece of linen on the market contains nothing but socially necessary labour-time. In spite of this, all these pieces taken as a whole may contain superfluously expended labour-time. If the market cannot stomach the whole quantity at the normal price of 2 shillings a yard, this proves that too great a portion of the total social labour-time has been expended in the form of weaving. The effect is the same as if each individual weaver had expended more labour-time on his particular product than was socially necessary." Value is objective in the sense that there is a definite quantity of labor time that goes into making it; it is subjective in so far as it is "socially necessary" and is thus "useful" for others.


As I read him, Marx is not arguing that all labor is valuable, nor does he believe in "labor value" (whatever that is), nor does he say that capitalists "rob" workers. Rather, he argues that in order to make a profit, capitalists must discipline workers, and in order to be disciplined, workers must be vulnerable. Capitalism, therefore, requires a vulnerable labor force.

u/LiterallyAGoogolplex · 13 pointsr/socialism

> lmao are you telling me what I don't understand?

Yeah, basically, that's what I'm doing. :) As evidenced by your statements such as:

> incentive is needed to drive people to go to work

The incentive for people to work, across all modes of production, is to survive and make better lives for ourselves and our communities.

> If we lived in a socialist paradise where everyone will work for the same profits then there is no incentive to work.

Under socialism, everyone has direct control over all of the value that they create with their labour. Your scenario "where everybody will work for the same profits" isn't even coherent.

> If lazy bob over there earns as much money as I do then I would have no reason to work and the result is chaos.

Lazy Bob gets as much value as the labour he puts in. Of course, I advocate some baseline coverage of good and services for all people, but that doesn't mean people can't earn varying amounts of "money" (if you will) under socialism.

> The invisible hand of the market is also the defining basis of capitalism, markets determine everything and there is an equilibrium to everything. Sellers and buyers must agree to a price in order to allow the passage of the good.

Okay, sorry, but this is the point where I'm starting to think you're trolling.

> In socialism there is a state run apparatus for this

A state apparatus isn't a necessary part of socialism. Plenty of socialists think it is possible to abolish private property and the state in one swoop.

> However, this process is not efficient and often leads to shortages.

You didn't even provide a process to critique...

If you'd like a good overall (and sever) critique of orthodox economics, I'd recommend this book.

u/moh_kohn · 6 pointsr/ukpolitics

Well, the Marxian/Keynesian economist Kalecki did predict the 1970s and neoliberalism with stunning accuracy in 1943, which is pretty good going.

Anwar Sheikh has recently formulated a new Marxian economics that he claims has better empirical support than orthodox economic theory.

So one can certainly make a case for this argument. Study of capitalism tends to be obfuscated by politics.

u/Congracia · 3 pointsr/badeconomics

If you want some more material you have got this 1000 page book which I believe uses some sort of Marxian econophysics with influences from other heterodox approaches.

u/musicotic · 3 pointsr/AskEconomics

If you want an understanding of Marxian crisis theory, Wolff has a paper [here](, this is from Mandel's [book]( & Shaikh writes about it quite a bit in his [book]( There is a more ecologically focused book elsewhere (though the leftcoms despise it).

u/XasthurWithin · 3 pointsr/Dachschaden

> executive director of the Adam Smith Institute

Übrigens hing Adam Smith der Arbeitswerttheorie an und war kein Verfechter eines absolut freien Marktes.

> neoliberal subculture growing all over the internet

Naja. Es gibt zwar r/neoliberal, aber reddit war immer schon eher zentristisch/neoliberal geprägt in den meisten Subs, ich würde aber nicht behaupten dass es da eine Kultur gibt. Es gibt zwar einige Kabale auf YouTube und Twitter (Nightmare Fuel, etc.) aber diese sind eigentlich nicht zu unterscheiden von den "radikalen Zentristen" wie Sargon außer, dass sie eigentlich noch schlimmer sind (zumindest befürwortet Sargon und Co. keine ständigen militärischen Interventionen).

> What fascinates me (and convinced me to write up this article) is a trend of (left)neoliberalism becoming eerily close to social democracy. Welfarism was always held in common, but with figures such as economist and Bloomberg contributor Noah Smith and Vox founder Matthew Yglesias being embraced as neoliberal darlings, one has to wonder if both sides have finally met in the middle.

Das liegt in erster Linie darin, dass die Sozialdemokratie als Begriff derart aufgeweicht ist, dass neoliberale Politik wie die von Clinton und Obama als "sozialdemokratisch" bezeichnet werden, werden Sozialdemokraten die Sanders und Corbyn als "Sozialisten" bezeichnet werden. Wir haben es hier mit einem ökonomischen Drift nach rechts zutun.

> Neoliberals are perfectly happy to support cash-based welfare such as tax credits, Negative Income Tax or Universal Basic Income whereas social democrats would value the psychological benefit and dignity of earning your own money

UBI wurde ja auch schon von libertären und anarcho-kapitalistischen Vordenkern wie Hayek und Rothbart in Betracht gezogen. Ich bin da sehr skeptisch, ob das überhaupt zu finanzieren ist. Hier eine Kritik dazu. Letztlich kann das zur Inflation führen, Niedriglöhnen und generell eine Art festgefahrene Herrscherklasse, die den erzeugten Wert gnädigerweise zu uns nach unten wirft. Ein bisschen dystopisch.

> Neoprogressives combine a strong advocacy for the free market with a scepticism of centralisation of power, both in terms of the state and market actors.

Jeder Markt führt immer zu Monopolen und Oligopolen. Ich frage mich außerdem, wie sich diese Positionen mit einem politischen Establishment vereinbaren lassen, welches den Monopolkapitalisten sehr freundlich gesinnt ist, siehe Silikon Valley Kapitalismus u.Ä.

> We support the neoliberal argument that markets are, frankly, amazing tools to organise society and communicate resources efficiently and to the preferences of individuals.

Uuund hier geht die Ideologie los. Was bedeutet "effizient"? Akzeptieren Liberale den zweischlächtigen Charakter der Ware oder hängen sie immer noch der Grenzwert-Magie an? Märkte versagen doch ganz klar in vielen Bereichen, z.B. im Immobilienbereich wo es dreimal so viele leerstehende Wohnungen gibt als Obdachlose. Wie stehen Liberale zum Imperialismus, Sweatshops, Freihandel mit der Dritten Welt?

> free of corruption

Die beste Möglichkeit, Organisationen frei von Korruption zu machen, besteht natürlich darin, noch mehr zu privatisieren und Leute abhängig von Profit zu machen. Weil es ist ja nur korrupt wenn es illegal ist, wenn man Korruption legal macht ist es keine Korruption mehr *schwarzer Mann tippt sich auch die Stirn*

> liberal, open attitude to immigration

Labour Drain/Brain Drain für Drittweltländer.

> Our ideas of a more participatory economy come from thinkers like David Ricardo and John Stewart Mill, not Proudhon nor Marx.

Ricardo hing ebenfalls der Arbeitswerttheorie an. Und ironischerweise vertrat Proudhon etwas, was im Artikel vorher befürwortet wurde, Shared Employee Ownership.

Am Ende muss man sagen, dass der Autor versucht, eine Ideologie als ideologiefrei und wissenschaftlich zu promoten, geht aber nicht genauer darauf ein, was denn die systemischen Probleme des Kapitalismus sind. Genau diese Ideologie führte doch zu dem Crash 2008 und anderen Problemen auf der Welt. Und wieder der Begriff des "freien Markts" - einen unfassbar ideologisch aufgeladenen Begriff der wie so viele andere in dem Artikel verwendete Begriffe verschleiert, was denn eigentlich gemeint ist, und auf welchen Grundlagen diese Ideologie beruht - und hier sind wir wieder bei von Mises, Hayek, etc., die den Grenznutzen vertreten und es quasi aufgeben, zu einer Wert- und Preistheorie zu kommen, und gar nicht erst versuchen, der Kapitalismus in seiner Gesamtheit zu analysieren. Das macht Anwar Shaik in dem volkswirtschafltichen Werk dieses Jahrzehnts.

Nein, das ist nicht die Zukunft. Die Zukunft ist eine kybernetisch computerisierte Planwirtschaft im Sozialismus. Oder halt Barbarei.

u/PrimeMinsterTrumble · 2 pointsr/CapitalismVSocialism
u/vba__ · 2 pointsr/EconomicHistory

>The very birth of the marginalist school was during a period of time when the workers movement adopted the classical labour theory of value as the substance to their claim of economic justice. To construct theory in a way as to present the economy as purely technical, striving to clear in general equilibrium under the neutral aucioneer that is the market, filled an ideological purpuse for capital as strong as Marxism did for their adversaries.

How is it related to the question?


Is the labor theory of value true? No, it's not. It's bad historicizing, no amount of history can override that the labor theory of value is wrong.


You present it the way that they did it to fight with workers. Is it right in any meaningful sense? Do you have any proof of this or is it about general thoughts about class interests?


>My objection to neoclassical theory is not mainly that I dislike its political implications however, but that if you believe the economy to be a social entity, and driven, evolved and reproduced by contemporary relations of power, you can not find any answers to your questions about its motion using the neoclassical toolbox, because the theories was created to answer different types of questions (that is, questions stripped of social content).

Please present the concrete questions and people who answer them well, for our discussion they should be using quantitative methods. It's almost always handwaving and politically motivated stuff with some abstract narratives about global forces of history.


For the note, economic historians generally work on political economies and quite a big part of economic history is about political structure of society.


We can look at a star of New Institutional Economics, Acemoglu (I don't think that his stuff is really good, but it's a relevant example):




  1. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy --- Political economy
  2. Why Nation Fail --- Political economy
  3. The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty --- Political economy

    You can look at his recent articles:



    It's mostly about the economy being "social entity, and driven, evolved and reproduced by contemporary relations of power".


    Are his answers bad for you? Why? Can you show people who answer his question better than him? Why they do it?


    If you are not being fine with the notion of Acemoglu doing neoclassical economics, why do you think so?


    >It is a bit ironical btw, that the theoretical framework that removed time as an analytical variable from the study of economics became the dominant methodology in the study of its history.

    Is your remark relevant? Does it make it wrong? In which way?


    >Quantitatively, when suitable; qualitatively, when suitable, with a theoretical framework designed to answer the relevant social questions at hand, instead of a framework designed not to answer social questions at all.

    This is a non-answer. You don't answer about quantitative methods, you don't answer about theoretical frameworks. You are doing abstract handwaving on the topic.


    >Quantitatively, when suitable; qualitatively, when suitable, with a theoretical framework designed to answer the relevant social questions at hand, instead of a framework designed not to answer social questions at all.

    We talk about economic history. The framework is designed to answer a question about the economy and it answers them quite well.

    The economy is a social question and people who did economics always were social scientists, neoclassicals are too, you engage in a weird redefinition.

    Why do you think that the majority of things in economic history journals are not social questions and/or why do you think that they are failing in answering them? Please, present examples.


    >Anwar Shaikh, at The New School, is a good example of how you can write good, mathematically sophisticated, economic theory that is not neoclassical and therefor not ahistorical and asocial.

    Why do you think that he is good? What he has to do with economic history? What questions did he answer well?


    From my point of view, his entire career is about misreading results in production functions, doing theoretical and empirical stuff from IO tables to prove LTV. He mostly has nothing to do with economic history.


    I read Capitalism, Conflict, Crises. It's his magnum opus that compiles his results from his life and it's just a hodge-podge of badly fit together mostly theoretical stuff.


    In which sense his theory is social in comparison with usual economic history? In which sense his theory is historical? I didn't see him citing almost anything related to economic history, only some time-series for badly done macroeconomics and stuff about interest rates. Talking about capitalists and workers in this particular way makes things historical and social? If you don't constantly talk about them or talk about them in a different way like in a majority of economic history papers, it's not social and historical anymore?


    I don't understand why this is fine economic theory for you and why neoclassicals doing economic history is a garbage route that doesn't really tell you about how the economy was in general and why they should be replaced with a "proper historical method" there.



    If you look at (post)-Marxist, for example, Sam Bowles did more with interesting things about societies and economies. But he is a usual neoclassical economist with a lot of work in game theory, microeconomics both in theory and in practice from labs to anthropological research.


    Can you present people who do real quantitative history who are not neoclassical economists or related to them?


    At this point, it looks that you are trying to disqualify economic historians from being real historians without a particularly good reason and calling the thing they do "a garbage route". There is no reason why qualitative people or anyone else are and would be better at answering questions about the economy than current economical historians. You don't present these reasons in a meaningful way outside very abstract construction not very connected to anything I can think about.
u/mehzine · 2 pointsr/Anarchism
u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/politics

The fact that the gravy train is chugging as fast as it is, historically, is actually kind of proof that we're in for a recession soon.

If you want an in depth description of it this is pretty great.

Let's say the shoe industry is doing pretty good. There's a lot of money to be made in shoes. So what happens? Well naturally people start throwing money into shoes. It's a sure thing at the moment. Why invest in something that's not currently getting you a profit when shoes will?

The end result of everybody throwing money into shoes is that production spikes, there's more shoes than anybody can ever sell, and the price of shoes ends up collapsing. So what happens to all that money you put into shoes?



That's an extremely simplified example, but things like that happen all the time. In an economy as complex as a modern capitalist one it's even more extreme because people have money and investments wrapped up into all sorts of different shit. If an industry starts collapsing the banks who are investing in it get hit by that collapse, then people with money in that bank are impacted, etc etc. It spreads and before long people are losing money left and right, panicking, and generally trying to get the hell out of dodge and put their money somewhere "safe" (ironically making the problem worse at the same time).

Again, simplified. But what I'm getting at is that if you're in a "boom" period it is a pretty safe assumption to say that there's going to be a bust soon. Especially if the boom is as sustained as the one we're currently in. Generally speaking recessions occur at pretty regular intervals, every ten years or so. Our last one was in 2008.

To put it simply, we're due. I don't know about 2017 exactly, but everyone who pays attention to how markets fluctuate is on edge right now. We're in a bubble and everybody knows it.

Some things in this world really are objective fact, and the regularity of recessions is one of those things. It's in the DNA of capitalism and market economies. The idea that Trump, a guy who's general outlook revolves around accelerating all of this, is going to change that trend is pure absurdity. Nobody can. Much less Donald Trump.

Americans make the mistake of assuming the government somehow controls the market. That when a recession happens it is always the government's fault. In some sense that is partially true, but at their best governments are playing damage control with capitalism's own structural faults.

So yes, the market is doing great right now.

And very soon it will most likely be doing very, very bad.

u/MemeticDesire · 1 pointr/Destiny

> Secondly, I'm reading Yuval Harari's Homo Deus right now, in which he makes the claim that Marx would probably want people today to study how the modern economy works with the advent of computers, genetics research, etc., rather than reading a book that was written when steam was the coolest technology on the planet

That doesn't give you an excuse to not read Marx though, just an encouragement to read some recent stuff after having read and understood Marx. What you're implying is equivalent to "I shouldn't read Aristotle, Kant, and J.S. Mill on moral philosophy because we have moral questions now that didn't exist back in their times, like those on ethics of human cloning".


If you really want something recent to read then I guess you could read Shaikh, at least he will be better than fucking Sowell ( btw)

Shorter lecture series:

Book lecture series:

u/star_rev17 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

Come on man, what is this!

It has been a nice conversation, why do you start insulting?

No need to do it if you have good arguments.


>So "good" that people are forced to pay for them against their will even when they won't use them. In other words not good at all. Good things survive on their own merits and not through force.

We were talking about economic performances, not moral issues. This isn't the place to talk about moral judgement about socialism and capitalism. I didn't talk about morality because we are discussing something really different, how well the public sector can achieve its goals.

Out of context.


>What I pointed out was that it's economic problems were due to the ECP which you haven't refuted.

I explained why in a synthetic way because it's a complex issue. The USSR had a dysfunctional dictatorship that was against any change of the status quo of their material balance planning, that led to stagnation. It was a system that was created for an underdevolped country with the need to develop capital intensive technologies. Look at what the great Polish economist Michal Kalecki had to say about that. Great soviet economists like Leontief advanced solutions, also Kornai and the Nobel laureate Kantorovich introduced linear programming models to change planning algorithms. The lack of clear knowledge caused by the dictatorship played also a role obviously: if the law is really harsh against dissent, economic planning can't work well.

However, Soviet politician didn't follow them. They made really bad decisions during the cold war, with a great focus on capital intensive military technologies and not on consumption. The Perestroika and the destruction of the tissue of Soviet society did the rest.

This is really synthetic. The book that I linked you above is good if you want to know more.


>No, we can't, because this is how you get shortages. People do respond to changes in prices which is why we don't have such shortages in market systems.

I mean, just read what I wrote until now to have a reply to this. It's like you forgot all the discussion.


>No it isn't. This is you going full retard and where I'm done with this conversation. You lost here.

Professor Anwar Shaikh wrote a great book that can explain better why the general equilibrium theory and in general the neoclassical model fail. Here.

Actually you don't need to go deep in heterodox economics, criticism of neoclassical model are really common.


I hope that you'll reconsider your decision, otherwise thanks for the discussion.

u/slavblobzlizlok · 0 pointsr/sweden

Personally I think it's only a question of exactly when it's going to fall. History tells us that it will, and that it does so when not many in the masses expect it. I've got a decent sum in fund which bets the decline. That's my long term investment. Check out Anwar Shaikh maybe:


But yeah, isk is the way to go if you don't invest with your corporation. Hmmm i don't know why i got downvoted...