Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

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Nick
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Nick » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:58 am

vicdan wrote:You people are pathetically addicted to excuse-making.
You mean taking into account all factors? Yes that is crucial to gaining a sound understanding on any issue.
vicdan wrote:When marxist predictions actually come true, kiddo, let me know.
Whether his predictions pan out doesn't really matter too much to me, I have nothing vested in it coming true.
vicdan wrote:Until then, you marxists are just another bunch of delusional faith-soaked religionists to me.
I am not a Marxist.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:56 am

Nick Treklis wrote:You mean taking into account all factors?
yeah, like the fact that marxist theory has never been empirically validated. EVER. It has failed empirical tests many times. It has never successfully passed one.

Keep the faith, bro!
Nick Treklis wrote:Whether his predictions pan out doesn't really matter too much to me, I have nothing vested in it coming true.
predictive power is the main metric of determining a theory's epistemic value. if you don't care whether they come true, then you don't care whether they are true. Buggr off then.
Nick Treklis wrote:I am not a Marxist.
Your disguise is quite good then.
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mystex
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by mystex » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:06 am

You're a handsome fellow.

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vicdan
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:49 am

I am also tall, smart, and hung; and most importantly, I am modest and humble.
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Dan Rowden
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:06 am

And the possessor of skills that make you invincible.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:12 am

vicdan wrote: The problem with labor theory of value is not even so much that it gives wrong answers; it's that it doesn't even ask the right questions. The marxist approach cannot result in efficient production, because it's ignoring the dynamic signal interaction of the supply and demand -- the needs signals sent by consumers' consumption choices, the labor signals sent by workers' employment choices, and the costs signals sent by the producers' production choices.
If anything it's Marxism that attempts to describe this "signal interaction" with all its dynamics so to say that it would ignore it, would be like saying the Bible ignores the workings of God.

What you seem to miss is how crisis [as well as fictive capital] is defined by Marx. It's not about rejecting capitalism, it's about describing capitalism as inherently unstable, so unstable that even after great successes over time it will be, because of the amount and severity of crises, abandoned.

There can't be much doubt Marx underestimated the evolutionary adaptations and 'hybrid' forms of capitalism that arose, which made the inherent instabilities [which are a reality] of economies based on capitalism manageable so far. Although a true Marxist might possibly tell you that it was only manageable through maintaining massive Wars and Third World underdevelopment. And periodically severe government interference of course.

The question if Marx's critique of capitalism is now substantially invalidated remains to be seen as his theory on this appears to be based on unspecified longer term developments - so very difficult to "empirically invalidate" at someone's whim.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:34 am

Dan Rowden wrote:And the possessor of skills that make you invincible.
Duuuude, you have no idea.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:50 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:If anything it's Marxism that attempts to describe this "signal interaction" with all its dynamics
<shrug> He totally missed the boat in doing so. His description is ludicrously incomplete and simplistic -- labor theory of value is like voltage theory of electrodynamics. It's an stillborn piece of crap.
The question if Marx's critique of capitalism is now substantially invalidated remains to be seen as his theory on this appears to be based on unspecified longer term developments - so very difficult to "empirically invalidate" at someone's whim.
Not at all. As i said earlier, what we are observing is that the real socioeconomic development has radically diverged from marxist predictions. As such, we are fairly sure that the catastrophic failure of capitalism -- the death spiral of exploitation -- will never come to pass, just as we are fairly sure pigs will never evolve wings.

If you are trying to hit a target north of you, and you shoot the arrow west, saying "I didn't specify how long it will take to reach the target" doesn't improve the odds of the misdirected arrow ever reaching it. So yeah, marxist predictions have been invalidated. This divergence occurred around a century ago AFAICT -- that was the last time when marxist analysis of socioeconomic progress looked even remotely plausible, just as pigs long ago passed the evolutionary point where evolving wings was a plausible evolutionary path.
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Leyla Shen
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Leyla Shen » Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:03 pm

VD wrote:Finally you choose to attempt engaging a point. What happened to bring about this change? you had a revelatory vision or something? :)
Multiple choice answer:

1.Fuck off.
2.It happened right after you confessed neither being possessed of clairvoyance, nor an effective scientific model for the dynamics of human thought: “Why don't you be specific about what it is exactly you want me to address?” Typical of capitalist mentality: assume sole proprietorship of the means and pay minimum wages in return for production. I got your number, old man.
3.You call THAT a point? No wonder, then, that the swine missed it and our feathered friends didn’t. :)
L: 1.Nature (as opposed to ideas) as the source of wealth (including, of course, human labour-power).

VD: BS right off the bat, unless you are so dishonest as to count intellectual labor (i.e. source of ideas) as the 'nature' in question, in which case of course the posited 'nature vs. ideas' dichotomy was never valid in the first place.

You wouldn't happen to be trying one of those dumb definitional arguments again, would you?

The key problem here is the nature of arbitrage. The value of arbitrage, of which trade is a special case, is the value of information -- ideas.
Ye fucking gods, man—you can’t be serious! That’s not the source of wealth, arbitrage and trade is the manipulation of it!
L: 2.Without production (work), society perishes. (Were you people even producing anything apart from Vodka there in the Ukraine?)

VD: yeah, little girl, Ukraine used to be the breadbasket of Europe before marxists took over.
Why don’t you be more specific? Are you talking about the good ol’ days of Kievan Rus, deary?

Funnily enough, big boy, what matters (as always) is geopolitics, in the grand scheme of which nationalism is simply a changing face.

You might be able to conflate the meaning of geography with that of nation-states and get away with it with others, but not with me! “The Ukraine” began to exist retroactively under the Russian Empire, as the glimmer in a romantic old man’s eye. It finally emerged in actuality as part of the Soviet Union—that’s right, after the Marxists.

But, please, feel free to correct me with clear, indisputable facts and save us further tedium.
BTW, in Ukraine, it's not vodka, it's horilka. A rather different drink.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:22 am

Leyla Shen wrote:
VD wrote:Finally you choose to attempt engaging a point. What happened to bring about this change? you had a revelatory vision or something? :)
Multiple choice answer:

1.Fuck off.
yeah, I expected you'd would have nothing of substance to say in defense of your bearded idol. :)
Ye fucking gods, man—you can’t be serious! That’s not the source of wealth, arbitrage and trade is the manipulation of it!
Yup, you are as dumb as I thought you would be.

Consider this simple example. What is the worth of a pile of coal, sulphur, and saltpeter to a medieval warlord? How about if the pile comes with a gunpowder recipe? Just information -- but information which radically creates value.

How about the worth of a chicken in a village full of them? how about the same chicken amidst starving village? how about a merchant who knows about both villages, and is willing to truck the chickens over?

Just information, girlie -- having it and putting it to use. Arbitrage. You are stuck in a delusion where value is an attribute of things, rather than of relationships between people and things. That's just one of your many, many philosophically naive errors.

Wealth, stupid little girl, is not things. It's what people do with things. As such, arbitrage, by creating new ways to use things and improving old ones, creates wealth by manipulating things. Things in themselves are worthless -- a pile of gold to a starving man on a desert island is worth less than a chicken. It's the ability to use things which is wealth, not things themselves. The merchant who brings the chickens over to a starving village creates wealth by simply manipulating things. You need to be able to both make things, and make good use of them -- and together, in conjunction, those two create wealth. It takes both the craftsman and the merchant. Sure, craftsman could sell his own wares, and merchant could craft his own pots, but both would suck at it. However, once you combine efficient production with efficient distribution, you get wealth.

For comparison, consider the army. A superficial, stupid view, much like yours, is that what matters at war is the soldiers you put on the field, and the command they receive in battle. However, generals through the ages have known that to be effective, an army must be buttressed by a vast logistical infrastructure -- supplies, support, intelligence, morale boosters, etc. In american army today, only about 10% of the military are actual front-line troops. Most of the rest are support. Their job is not to fire a gun, but rather to create conditions for firing a gun, much like a merchant's job is not to craft things, but to create good conditions for crafting those things; because the craftsman is here, but the down in dire need of pots is over there. A merchant to a craftsman is what support personnel is to front-line soldiers.

It's incredible. You are as dumb as a doorknob. You can't reason worth shit.
Why don’t you be more specific? Are you talking about the good ol’ days of Kievan Rus, deary?
Try a mere century ago.
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Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

Post by Leyla Shen » Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:08 am

VD: yeah, I expected you'd would have nothing of substance to say in defense of your bearded idol. :)
Apparently, each to the other, neither one of us is full of any surprises, sweetcheeks. :)
L: Ye fucking gods, man—you can’t be serious! That’s not the source of wealth, arbitrage and trade is the manipulation of it!

VD: Yup, you are as dumb as I thought you would be.

Consider this simple example. What is the worth of a pile of coal, sulphur, and saltpeter to a medieval warlord? How about if the pile comes with a gunpowder recipe? Just information -- but information which radically creates value.

How about the worth of a chicken in a village full of them? how about the same chicken amidst starving village? how about a merchant who knows about both villages, and is willing to truck the chickens over?

Just information, girlie -- having it and putting it to use. Arbitrage. You are stuck in a delusion where value is an attribute of things, rather than of relationships between people and things.

You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about and we’d fair better if you’d simply be honest about it. None of this, of course, is contrary to—let alone being a coherent argument against—any aspect of Marxist philosophy and, therefore, Marxism since Marxism itself is exactly about how value affects the relationship between people, things and other people (social relations). What it is, however, is a Straw Man, Dorothy.

Getting to the sheer balls of it, the distinction to be made between Marx and Hegel is one between dialectical materialism and dialectical idealism respectively. As far as I can tell, this has absolutely zero to do with value as an intrinsic attribute of things as you assume to imply.

The information you speak of, boy-ie, would of course be useless and couldn't even exist without the things! The thing is the reason for the information. Thus, the thing contains relative (not intrinsic or absolute) value to all concerned by or with it irrespective of whether the thing, comprised of multiple renewable and/or non-renewable natural resources or otherwise, has also as part of its makeup human thought (as in the case of your example, gundpowder). I mean, they didn't just come up with the idea in their heads as a fait accomplis and THEN pull gunpowder out of their arses, ya know! They had STUFF to work with.

Let me know when you grow up enough to discuss the actual point like a man. I might, however, be back to talk AT rather than TO you (which I don't mind; and for obvious reasons) in particular detail on the matter. At this stage, however, even a Christmas Turkey is more appealing than you are!
That's just one of your many, many philosophically naive errors.
So you keep asserting in order to escape the immediate need for relevant supporting arguments, desperate to establish and maintain a reflective veneer of rationality between you and others.

As a philosopher, you possess the depth and gaudy, impersonal character of a pauper-come-professional-gambler whose only connection to the real world and people is through asserting the virtues of hedging one’s bets in tinsel town, deliberately (but not quite so smart as to be calculatingly) aloof to the depravity required to sustain it.
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Re: Follow the Yellow Brick Road...

Post by vicdan » Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:26 am

Leyla Shen wrote:You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about and we’d fair better if you’d simply be honest about it.
Oh, I think I do, quite a bit better than you. You were the one who wrote that the merchant doesn't create value, after all.
None of this, of course, is contrary to—let alone being a coherent argument against—any aspect of Marxist philosophy and, therefore, Marxism since Marxism itself is exactly about how value affects the relationship between people, things and other people (social relations).
So do you retract your moronic quip that arbitrage doesn't create value?
Getting to the sheer balls of it, the distinction to be made between Marx and Hegel
is totally irrelevant here, dummy. I am not a hegelian. In fact, I wouldn't give a fuck about Hegel if you paid me for it. I find the continental philosophy to be largely laughable, with a few exceptions. I know you people obsess over these ludicrous battles (idealistic vs. materialistic dialectic! Watch Marx and Hegel duke it out behind the chemical sheds!), but your obsession is spilling over into the real world.
The information you speak of, boy-ie, would of course be useless and couldn't even exist without the things!
Right, girlie. Which is why I said that it takes both the craftsman and the trader to create value.

it's like software and hardware -- one without the other is useless. A dead computer is useful as a doorstop or for materials salvage. A dead operating system is useful as a creepy sort of puzzle ('what would have happened if we flipped this bit?) it takes both -- the conjunction of hardware and software -- to accomplish computation. Similarly, it takes both manufacture and trade to produce value and wealth.

If other marxists are as slow as you are, your loss becomes all that much more explicable.
The thing is the reason for the information. Thus, the thing contains relative (not intrinsic or absolute) value to all concerned by or with it irrespective of whether the thing, comprised of multiple renewable and/or non-renewable natural resources or otherwise, has also as part of its makeup human thought (as in the case of your example, gundpowder). I mean, they didn't just come up with the idea in their heads as a fait accomplis and THEN pull gunpowder out of their arses, ya know! They had STUFF to work with.
Girlie, I never denied that value depends on things; quite the contrary. You are the only one in denial here. my claim has consistently been that it takes both things and information, both manufacture and trade, to create value.

You have to go through incredible mental contortions to maintain that 'the thing contains ... value to all concerned by or with it' -- obviously it must also be those potentially concerned (such as my aforementioned warlord is potentially concerned with gunpowder, though he doesn't yet know what it is) -- otherwise the trader, by dint of actualizing potential relationships between things and people, would create value, and you denied this. It follows then that every person in the world could have different individual concern with the thing, so it must contain potential values for everyone. Of course any combination of people in the world could have different potential concerns with it, so the thing must in fact contain a thing-value pairs not just for each person, but for the powerset of people in the world -- and it must do the same for other things, because things in conjunction might possess wholly different value than things apart! And each time a new person is born or a new thing made, the size of this powerset would expand exponentially.

What marvelous things they are, these marxist relative-value-containing things!

What amazing delusions people must pursue in order to deny that arbitrage creates wealth as surely as manufacture!

What i am saying, kiddo, is that value is not a property of things, it's a property of relations (between people and things). Kinda like velocity is not a property of objects, it's a property of the relationships between objects and observers. Think of it as "The Theory of Relativity of Value". Join the fucking 20th century at least, if you can't manage 21st.
So you keep asserting in order to escape the immediate need for relevant supporting arguments
I gave you supporting arguments, but it seems you are too dense -- or too dishonest -- to understand them.
As a philosopher, you possess the depth and gaudy, impersonal character of a pauper-come-professional-gambler whose only connection to the real world and people is through asserting the virtues of hedging one’s bets in tinsel town, deliberately (but not quite so smart as to be calculatingly) aloof to the depravity required to sustain it.
It is very amusing, to be berated for insufficient involvement with the world by a marxist. It's kinda like being mauled by a vicious wild lawn flamingo. Big claws, big teeth!

You people live in a delusion.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Shahrazad » Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:23 am

Leyla,
The information you speak of, boy-ie, would of course be useless and couldn't even exist without the things! The thing is the reason for the information. Thus, the thing contains relative (not intrinsic or absolute) value to all concerned by or with it irrespective of whether the thing, comprised of multiple renewable and/or non-renewable natural resources or otherwise, has also as part of its makeup human thought (as in the case of your example, gundpowder). I mean, they didn't just come up with the idea in their heads as a fait accomplis and THEN pull gunpowder out of their arses, ya know! They had STUFF to work with.
When you use the word "things", are you referring only to material things? Or are ideas and other intangible things included?

A lot of wealth is created in our world that has little to do with "things". For example, if I am sick I go to a doctor, because I want to "buy" health. But health is not a thing that the doctor has stored in a package. The doctor examines me, asks questions, makes a diagnosis and gives me a solution (a cure, advice, meds, whatever). I pay him because he has given me a valuable service.

In summary, I don't understand this idea of yours that value could not exist without things. A huge part of work in our societies is about services. I myself make my living by providing services: simultaneous interpretation, translations, which are language / communication-related services. Is your position that services have no value? Please clarify.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by brokenhead » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:02 am

vicdan wrote:What i am saying, kiddo, is that value is not a property of things, it's a property of relations (between people and things).
Coal has less value on the way to Newcastle than on the way from Newcastle.

A brick of gold can just sit in a safety deposit box and its monetary value changes from day to day. In fact, the person who owns the safety deposit box may never have an interaction of any kind with the brick of gold - his interactions might be with media, commodity reports, professional colleagues. In fact his relationship to the thing itself - the brick - does not change, it remains one of ownership. Only when his relationship to the brick is made to change does the concept of its value take on a definite magnitude. If he uses it for collateral or sells it outright, he and at least one other party must agree on the value in some fashion. But even putting a monetary value on it is just a way of standardization so a deal can be reached. Chances are that amount carries different significance for the parties involved. In fact, if the brick of gold were not of differential "value," there would be no reason for it ever to change hands. In that case, a brick of lead would be of as much value

Bottom line is that the existence of trade itself is proof that a value cannot be an intrinsic quality of a thing.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by brokenhead » Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:05 am

Shahrazad wrote:In summary, I don't understand this idea of yours that value could not exist without things.
The massage therapist can earn a decent living without parting with material things, for another example.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Leyla Shen » Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:14 am

Shahrazad,
When you use the word "things", are you referring only to material things?
I am referring to the quantitative and qualitative material aspect of any possible thing, yes.
Or are ideas and other intangible things included? A lot of wealth is created in our world that has little to do with "things". For example, if I am sick I go to a doctor, because I want to "buy" health. But health is not a thing that the doctor has stored in a package. The doctor examines me, asks questions, makes a diagnosis and gives me a solution (a cure, advice, meds, whatever). I pay him because he has given me a valuable service.
All commodities contain material (physical) use- and exchange-value—that’s what makes them commodities, including the doctor’s consultation, the professor’s lecture, etc. When you find a good doctor (much like a good biology book resulting in the efficient treatment of disease as the result of research and further used to teach those like your good doctor), you have found someone whose labour has resulted in the satisfaction of a need. You don’t just pay him to give you ideas you can’t use—you pay him (exchange-value) to efficiently execute the treatment of disease (use-value) with appropriate drugs and medication, a physical training or dietary regime, for example.

So, the consultation people are willing to exchange the fruits of their own labour for contains tangible qualities—the physical satisfaction of needs. It is those qualities that make it a materially useful thing to you and therefore a thing with exchange value. If he doesn’t fix you and it is within your means to pay for his services, as a sane person you’re not likely to keep going back.

Now, if you’ve consulted a handful of different doctors and one of them you find to be so much more effective than the others, he can charge (and again, if within your means, you would be willing to pay) more for his services precisely because he is more skilful than average. He produces more (results) in less time.
In summary, I don't understand this idea of yours that value could not exist without things. A huge part of work in our societies is about services. I myself make my living by providing services: simultaneous interpretation, translations, which are language / communication-related services. Is your position that services have no value? Please clarify.
Of course they have value. In capitalist political economy, labour itself is a commodity. Services can have no use- let alone exchange-value without both the things they use and those they are designed to serve. Services are simply the commoditisation of labour. Take the thing “prostitute” and the service “sex,” for example. The maitre d’ is the bourgeois capitalist and it is this (capitalist) system of things and valuing, its “inner laws of motion” (so-called or implied “eternal laws of economics”) examined in Marxism that reveals proletarian class consciousness as the understanding of these “laws” as the historical form of social and economic method in capitalist society. (Which is why it's incredibly ironic that VD has the deluded audacity to claim he knows anything about Marxist theory, even at one point asserting that his so-called existence as [paraphrased] "a profiting member of the proletariat thanks to capitalism" as evidence against Marxist theory.)
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:18 am

brokenhead wrote:
vicdan wrote:What i am saying, kiddo, is that value is not a property of things, it's a property of relations (between people and things).
Coal has less value on the way to Newcastle than on the way from Newcastle.
That's called price, folks, which is set to reflect a momentary monetary value. In Marxist theory it was proposed the actual value in a capitalist system can only be witnessed during longer term fluctuations of market prices especially of commodities, looking at trend. Here's some basic Marx for beginners. Remember that commodities are usually not objects you buy in a local shop, whose pricing might be not related to the larger market space and as such doesn't affect it.
Marx wrote:What then is the relation between value and market prices, or between natural prices and market prices? You all know that the market price is the same for all commodities of the same kind, however the conditions of production may differ for the individual producers. The market price expresses only the average amount of social labor necessary, under the average conditions of production, to supply the market with a certain mass of a certain article. It is calculated upon the whole lot of a commodity of a certain description.

So far the market price of a commodity coincides with its value. On the other hand, the oscillations of market prices, rising now over, sinking now under the value or natural price, depend upon the fluctuations of supply and demand. The deviations of market prices from values are continual, but as Adam Smith says: "The natural price is the central price to which the prices of commodities are continually gravitating. Different accidents may sometimes keep them suspended a good deal above it, and sometimes force them down even somewhat below it. But whatever may be the obstacles which hinder them from settling in this center of repose and continuance, they are constantly tending towards it."

I cannot now sift this matter. It suffices to say that if supply and demand equilibrate each other, the market prices of commodities will correspond with their natural prices, that is to say with their values, as determined by the respective quantities of labor required for their production. But supply and demand must constantly tend to equilibrate each other, although they do so only by compensating one fluctuation by another, a rise by a fall, and vice versa. If instead of considering only the daily fluctuations you analyze the movement of market prices for longer periods, as Mr. Tooke, for example, has done in his History of Prices, you will find that the fluctuations of market prices, their deviations from values, their ups and downs, paralyze and compensate each other; so that apart from the effect of monopolies and some other modifications I must now pass by, all descriptions of commodities are, on the average, sold at their respective values or natural prices. The average periods during which the fluctuations of market prices compensate each other are different for different kinds of commodities, because with one kind it is easier to adapt supply to demand than with the other. - ( lecture: VI. Value and Labor)
The question is not if a commodity has an intrinsic value of "laboring power" or not. The question is if one should manipulate the price accordingly, assuming one could even calculate it correctly, or let the price adjust freely to what the market suggests it should be with its unavoidable inflation, corrections and abuses like price fixing.

It's possible that only because of socialist hybrids many capitalist economies have survived so far: i.e. government 'fixes' by wage limits, minimum prizes, subsidizing of industries, bail-outs of financial institutions, managing (inter)national interest rates, a federal reserve and so on. And we're still where we are in 2008 with vice-president Biden warning the whole economy might "absolutely tank" next year. But there's also the libertarian theory that this situation arose because of the meddling which I find interesting but remains as well near impossible to prove, like so much of Marxism.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:40 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:That's called price, folks, which is set to reflect a momentary monetary value. In Marxist theory it was proposed the actual value in a capitalist system can only be witnessed during longer term fluctuations of market prices especially of commodities, looking at trend.
Commodities are of course a trivially simple (in theoretical sense) subset of all market goods, but marxist approach is still total BS. What about commodities which show consistent price trends over time, up or down? What is their value if you can't find a given commodity's average price point which the market prices fluctuate around? What if the mean price comes out very differently depending on how long a time span you analyze?

Consider Germanium for example. A rare, and initially fairly useless, metal. As time went by, we found various uses for it; today, most notably, in making fiber-optic glass, and other high-tech uses. How would one go about determining the 'natural price' of germanium, given its decidedly dynamic market price over the years? One wouldn't. One couldn't.

The very notion of inherent value -- 'natural price' as Marx puts it -- is as BS as the notion of absolute position/velocity in physics. That people in 21st century still buy this claptrap is a testament to the human mind's amazing facility at deceiving itself.

This is the same old noumenalist delusion, the ancient assumption that things have intrinsic nature apart from their perceptible attributes. Quinn does it, Leyla does it, Marx did it, and it seems you might be doing it too.

Furthermore, Marx is batshit-nuts when proclaiming that the natural price is determined by the labor requirement. Why is oil so expensive, and will remain so for the foreseeable future? it's sure as hell not production costs. What will happen to oil price if/when fusion power goes commercial? I give you three guesses.

There is no such thing as natural price. Even simply treating labor cost as 'floor' doesn't work, precisely because there are various production costs at various sites, so if demand gets low, only the lowest-hanging fruit will get plucked (in oil case, only light sweet crude; no heavy crude or tar sands will get mined).
The question is not if a commodity has an intrinsic value of "laboring power" or not.
Actually this is the key question in understanding the failure of marxist economic analysis: is value a property of things or of rrelations (between things and people)? Marx claimed the former, and surrounded it with a Rube Goldberg scaffolding of ad-hoc assumptions to explain away the very obvious error of that approach. In that regard, marxist economic views are to the real world kinda like ptolemaic astronomy, except that ptolemaic astronomy at least managed to get correct predictions out the door most of the time.
The question is if one should manipulate the price accordingly, assuming one could even calculate it correctly, or let the price adjust freely to what the market suggests it should be with its unavoidable inflation, corrections and abuses like price fixing.
if there is no such thing as intrinsic price, then the notion of "adjusting market price accordingly" is meaningless. That's why the main question exactly is whether commodities have intrinsic value; because if they don't, then your subsequent question, about price manipulation, is irrelevant and meaningless.
It's possible that only because of socialist hybrids many capitalist economies have survived so far
I think this is pretty obviously the case. The point, however, is that Marx saw the death spiral of exploitation as the inevitable outcome of capitalist societies, and it's not. Marx's socio-economic analysis was totally, completely, laughably wrong in critical aspects. In fact, one could argue (and many have) that this outcome was the inevitable one -- laissez-faire market is a powerful wealth-creating machine, but it does create many problems as well, and once a society gets rich enough, it becomes able to afford things like universal education, welfare, healthcare, etc. In economic terms, these are luxury goods, and it's arguably inevitable that any sufficiently wealthy society will become interested in them. Thus it is the 'hybrid system', not the exploitation death spiral, that becomes the logical result of the development of free-market societies.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Ataraxia » Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:05 am

vicdan wrote:
The very notion of inherent value -- 'natural price' as Marx puts it -- is as BS as the notion of absolute position/velocity in physics. That people in 21st century still buy this claptrap is a testament to the human mind's amazing facility at deceiving itself.

There is no such thing as natural price.
That's the long and the short of it.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Leyla Shen » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:23 am

Oh my fucking god, this really couldn't get more surreal. If I may interrupt, for a second...
VD: The very notion of inherent value -- 'natural price' as Marx puts it -- is as BS as the notion of absolute position/velocity in physics. That people in 21st century still buy this claptrap is a testament to the human mind's amazing facility at deceiving itself.

There is no such thing as natural price.

Ataraxia: That's the long and the short of it.
I swear, this is the most utterly un-fucken-believable subject anyone could venture to discuss.

Marx? Like the division of labour, natural price wasn’t Marx’s idea—it was ADAM SMITH’S!!! (The Wealth of Nations.) Marx’s Das Kapital is a CRITIQUE of (capitalist) economics, as the fucking title implies! Fuck’s sake. Can you people even READ, let alone comprehend? What do you think this one line, from Diebert’s quote, means: “I cannot now sift this matter”? How about just the one word, underlined?

No wonder you can’t see the things he did predict.

When you can identify exactly what is Marx and what is not, then we might be able to discuss him. As it is, you’re just fucking wanking your own DICKS pretending you understand anything of him or the LTV!
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:56 am

vicdan wrote: What is their value if you can't find a given commodity's average price point which the market prices fluctuate around? What if the mean price comes out very differently depending on how long a time span you analyze?
Nice try but no cigar. Marx mentions provisions and exceptions in the piece I quoted. Do you really want me to go into that as well, writing pages and pages just to explain some publicly available theory to you where I've invested zero and you apparently studied the same amount in? But ask and I'll consider just for the opportunity to see you bow down yet again.

Perhaps you're just introducing the unreasonable requirement that for the theory to be true, all possible instances have to be behaving in a predictable manner? Of course there's no theory that does that or pretends that in economy.
What will happen to oil price if/when fusion power goes commercial? I give you three guesses.
Again it seems you think that Adam Smith's "true price" would always equal market price. Read the quote again oh dyslexic one: "if supply and demand equilibrate each other..."
Even simply treating labor cost as 'floor' doesn't work, precisely because there are various production costs at various sites, so if demand gets low, only the lowest-hanging fruit will get plucked (in oil case, only light sweet crude; no heavy crude or tar sands will get mined).
That's why a 'natural' price is claimed to kick in as attractor on long term averages, as it doesn't deny market or production dynamics in a functional capitalist economy. But I said that already.
Actually this is the key question in understanding the failure of marxist economic analysis: is value a property of things or of rrelations (between things and people)?
It doesn't matter if it's really there, what matters is if it materializes somehow in a market economy, when these relations are forming. If it functions in action, if one can demonstrate things do behave as they have a value that demand and supply cannot alter, then the question is not relevant in the context. I suspect the current market economy is so complex that this is near to impossible to demonstrate specifically, only by making predictions over a longer term to cut out any chaotic supply/demand/credit/debit wars. One simple Marxist prediction would be the exhaustion of labor capital that would pop the credit bubble which was artificially keeping all prices above true value, by giving the people the means to keep buying - preventing those nasty market corrections.
if there is no such thing as intrinsic price, then the notion of "adjusting market price accordingly" is meaningless.
Ah, but that's exactly what's already being done, also in a capitalist economies in the EU. For example: milk is produced by farmers and their production costs are often higher than the milk price because of market dynamics. Instead of letting the farms go to hell nationwide, the industry gets protected by correcting the price that is being payed to the farmer - the government subsidizes by adjusting market price behind the scenes: and they pay the difference to them. The whole European agricultural system seems to work like that and that's just one example. Apparently the real world uses some kind of 'intrinsic pricing' after all when they need to save a business [note: I'm personally against this agricultural protectionism, it's idiocy, but it happens].
In fact, one could argue (and many have) that this outcome was the inevitable one -- laissez-faire market is a powerful wealth-creating machine, but it does create many problems as well, and once a society gets rich enough, it becomes able to afford things like universal education, welfare, healthcare, etc. In economic terms, these are luxury goods, and it's arguably inevitable that any sufficiently wealthy society will become interested in them. Thus it is the 'hybrid system', not the exploitation death spiral, that becomes the logical result of the development of free-market societies.
Logical result in hindsight you mean :) But this is ironically also exactly what Marx argued: that a laissez-faire market was necessary, as such a raw powerful wealth creating machine would provide eventually the means, not to mention a deep seeded will, to be able to enter a transitional phase to a more 'idealistic' economy. And this is of course why the Soviet Union never could even start implementing anything, their planned economy failed quite obviously without powerful capitalist phase - they went straight from shit-ass feudal, so to speak.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:53 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Marx? Like the division of labour, natural price wasn’t Marx’s idea—it was ADAM SMITH’S!!!
yes, dummy, i know. However, economics moved away from that idea, while you fools are still stuck in the 19th century naive mechanistic view of the world.

You might as well defend an obsession with aether by citing Newton. if Newton advocated light theories based on aether, that means no scientist can gainsay modern-day aether nuts, right? Weaksauce, girl, weaksauce! You are scientifically and economically illiterate.

Smith was wrong when he advocated it in the 18th century. Marx was wrong when he picked it up in the 19th century. You silly marxist kids are completely without excuse in the 21st century. Smith's excuse was that he was a pioneer, having no vast body of sophisticated economic thought to draw upon, and the fact that he was grounded in mechanistic 18th-century thought. Marx had no such excuse.

Today, as the 21st century is gathering steam, you people, and your deluded anachronistic blather, are a shameful embarrassment to human thought. You are like the crazy uncle who spends his days in the attic trying to prove to everyone that his perpetuum mobile is the real deal.
When you can identify exactly what is Marx and what is not, then we might be able to discuss him. As it is, you’re just fucking wanking your own DICKS pretending you understand anything of him or the LTV!
Silly girl, you have nothing to say in defense of marxism, eh? is "But Adam Smith said it too!" -- a century before Marx, two and a third centuries before you -- the best you can muster? Would you like some proletarian cheese with that whine?

You are voluntarily deluded. You might as well have elected to scoop out yoyur brain with a rusty spoon.

Keep the faith, my deluded friend. Reality is obviously too tough a place for you.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by vicdan » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:31 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:Again it seems you think that Adam Smith's "true price" would always equal market price.
i think that there is no such thing as 'true price', dude. It's a meaningless, incoherent notion. I already explained to you why. if you don't understand the explanation, just say so.
That's why a 'natural' price is claimed to kick in as attractor on long term averages
But it won't, as long as oil remains even slightly scarce. Which is kinda the point -- not only can't you get a handle on the 'natural price', you can't even get a handle on the labor costs, because the labor costs are a function of supply/demand relationship as well!

What sort of 'natural price' is it if it depends on a future discovery having nothing to do with the labor costs of producing oil? The answer is that there's no 'natural price', at best it's an arbitrary number whcih people come up with post factum.

Another reason it's at best an arbitrary number, dude, is that if natural price existed and was determinable, every options trader would wet themselves betting on that! if you can determine that the natural price of oil is, say, $15/bbl, then you just buy some really long-term put option when oil is up, because you know that it will come down to its 'natural price' level eventually. But that's obviously an absurdity, no? because if that were feasible, then everyone would be doing it, and the very act of doing so would prevent the oil from reaching that price. Any discernible price attractor is immediately exploited via arbitrage, and rendered void thereby.

This, BTW, is the reason why commodities and stock prices are a semi-random walk. This is the reason why 'value traders' -- who try to pin down the 'real' price of a stock based on its fundamentals -- don't do any better than a monkey throwing darts, or 'technical traders', or any other users of a trading algorithm.
It doesn't matter if it's really there, what matters is if it materializes somehow in a market economy, when these relations are forming.
But it never materializes. What materializes is the market price. 'Natural price' is some semi-random number people come up with using some arbitrary formula. This 'natural price' has no natural relationship to the commodity it's supposed to be the price for. Rather, the price is a function of the entire economic web within which the said commodity is contextualized.
If it functions in action, if one can demonstrate things do behave as they have a value that demand and supply cannot alter, then the question is not relevant in the context.
Exactly. You have to demonstrate that natural price exists first -- and you can't.
Ah, but that's exactly what's already being done, also in a capitalist economies in the EU. For example: milk is produced by farmers and their production costs are often higher than the milk price because of market dynamics. Instead of letting the farms go to hell nationwide, the industry gets protected by correcting the price that is being payed to the farmer - the government subsidizes by adjusting market price behind the scenes: and they pay the difference to them.
Wow. You don't realize that this disproves the notion of 'natural price', huh?

First you claim that natural price can be determined by observing market behavior; but now you are claiming that market behavior doesn't in fact show us the natural price, and that the government must decide, by fiat, what that price must be. Kinda throws to hell the 'natural' part of it, huh?
Logical result in hindsight you mean :)
Well, duh. of course it's hindsight. That was just an aside. The salient point here is that marxist perdictions were totally wrong. The exploitation death spiral doesn't happen.

it's not all hindsight though. Many economists had predicted that free market will enrich the whole society, not just stratify it into the ever-more-rich and the poor-and-getting-poorer. Adam Smith recognized the grinding nature of deep poverty, both relative and absolute, and expected a growing free-market economy to pull most workers out of poverty.

The hindsight part is concerning the specific mechanisms of it.
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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Dan Rowden » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:51 pm

I love the irony of where this convo has gone: the Palestinians get forgotten about, yet again.

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Re: Palestine: from the fall of the Ottomans to Today

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:33 pm

vicdan wrote:Another reason it [natural price] is at best an arbitrary number, dude, is that if natural price existed and was determinable, every options trader would wet themselves betting on that! if you can determine that the natural price of oil is, say, $15/bbl, then you just buy some really long-term put option when oil is up, because you know that it will come down to its 'natural price' level eventually.
Well, the long-term average is $27 per barrel crude oil post WW2, corrected for inflation. It was $21.66 since 1869. see graph Peaks have always been over $60 or more since the start and often it's below $21 value. By the way, it's diving again toward the average from its peaks right now! [edit: I mean way below that value, but correcting itself toward the along-running average. And yes, the oil price also has been managed by OPEC, etc, etc].

Long term investors actually do count on this behavior and yes, they do wet themselves if they're young enough to wait 20-30 years to survive the wider peaks. Of course the game is being played by larger financial entities. Actually one of the things that happened last year was that the high price of oil initiated huge speculation on the price going down, only plummeting the price even faster! Part of this was done outside present regulation and probably illegal. But perfectly capitalist!
Any discernible price attractor is immediately exploited via arbitrage, and rendered void thereby.
Indeed, that's capitalism and that's why it keeps going up and down a lot . Just follow the graph with your finger. ;)
This, BTW, is the reason why commodities and stock prices are a semi-random walk. This is the reason why 'value traders' -- who try to pin down the 'real' price of a stock based on its fundamentals -- don't do any better than a monkey throwing darts, or 'technical traders', or any other users of a trading algorithm.
If there's indeed such a 'real' price to discern it might not have so much use to most commodity traders as you can still not predict when peaks occur or how long they'll take. Again, long term investment in commodity prices are a solid bet. It's just not interesting for 'quick rich' schemes.
You have to demonstrate that natural price exists first -- and you can't.
But long-term averages show the tendency to settle around a price in many cases. This makes me wonder. I'm not saying its evidence or a demonstration but one cannot wave it away either.
...the government subsidizes by adjusting market price behind the scenes: and they pay the difference to them.
Wow. You don't realize that this disproves the notion of 'natural price', huh?
No, you don't realize that it proves that free-market would wipe away industries, as such national capital? And that to prevent it an artificial price is being set, what would confirm the presence of this 'minimum' price to maintain the existence of the industry?

The US steel industry: protected. Car industry: protected many times and now bailed out. Electronics: for long periods protected. Reason: the capital would flee the country and massive unemployment and economic implosion nation-wide.

True free global market on a capitalist scale would destroy a lot national interests. This is why capitalism was curtailed, to prolong it. And I've no idea if that will guarantee its continuance. Actually one could derive from political events that socializing capitalism even further is the way that is chosen by the ones in charge. Now only introduce a more Marxist bottom-up approach [getting people involved in how their company's capital is actually spent] and Utopia is among us! ;)
First you claim that natural price can be determined by observing market behavior; but now you are claiming that market behavior doesn't in fact show us the natural price, and that the government must decide, by fiat, what that price must be. Kinda throws to hell the 'natural' part of it, huh?
No, it was meant to demonstrate how the government sees the price is falling below the value to sustain the labor power [production, wages]. Which probably is close to the value you call 'natural price' here. And the government then acts because they want to keep things as they were while capitalism never does.
Many economists had predicted that free market will enrich the whole society, not just stratify it into the ever-more-rich and the poor-and-getting-poorer. Adam Smith recognized the grinding nature of deep poverty, both relative and absolute, and expected a growing free-market economy to pull most workers out of poverty.
As did Marx, who leaned on Smith's work as well. This is no argument. An overly poor society after all cannot transform itself. This is something else than the instability of capitalism that people seem to think they cannot afford anymore.
Last edited by Diebert van Rhijn on Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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