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Thread: Socialism

  1. #596
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Some degree of indigenous private property is not the same as . .

    capitalistic commodity fetishism . . .

    but I sure hope Marx was not talking about our sailboats here . . .

    Marx sees that commodities take on an almost mystical or spiritual essence that completely transcends their given use-value. The fetishistic aspect of a commodity is the result of the condition wherein individuals believe commodities are worth something on their own terms outside of their direct utility.
    I wonder whether Marx uses the word "commodity" as we now use it? Individuals do not use commodities, factories use commodities.
    A commodity is a basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other goods of the same type. Commodities are most often used as inputs in the production of other goods or services. A commodity thus usually refers to a raw material used to manufacture finished goods. A product, on the other hand, is the finished good sold to consumers.
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/commodity.asp
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  2. #597
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    And again, beware binary thinking. Private property is unavoidable, and a good thing to some degree. But it's a continuum, and the question is what degree. It's not a choice between libertarian laissez-faire capitalism and even benevolent communism; there's an infinite number of gradations between.
    Each point on the continuum is marked by the difference in the concept of property from the points on either side. The continuum has grown long enough that some points are far enough from each other to be incompatible as a basis for ordering society. To say that property still exists in both in some extremely attenuated form isn't saying much. Liberal democracy has its own concept of property, upon which it is built.

    Ironically, it could be said that by the time you get to full tilt communism, things have come full circle: like a member of a band of hunter-gatherers, all you have left is your clothes and a few tools. The group owns the rest.

    By claim of right, which is what property is. Which is why it is untrue to say that socialism is mere public ownership, without claim of right. The Post Office wasn't seized, it was built from things, labor, materials, etc. which were bought, not confiscated, from their owners; the only way anything can rightly become public property under LD except as a penalty for crime.
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  3. #598
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Sure. Both ends are, well, extremes; they're quite different from each other. But you can have moderate socialism and liberal democracy. Examples are fairly common. May or may not be the best way to organize things, but they've generally worked at least OK.

    And capitalistic liberal democracies confiscate property all the time. It's called 'taxes'. If you don't pay, armed representatives of the state will come and lock you up.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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  4. #599
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I wonder whether Marx uses the word "commodity" as we now use it?
    I believe you are correct - but I'll stick with Carlos Marx on this one: that a commodity is anything exchanged for a profit.

  5. #600
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    And capitalistic liberal democracies confiscate property all the time. It's called 'taxes'. If you don't pay, armed representatives of the state will come and lock you up.
    Taxes are general. Confiscation is particular.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

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  6. #601
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Our apologists for capitalism need to explain why the commons was a bad thing.

    And don't give us any of that Garrett Hardin junk analysis.

    (Today's fanboys of erasing what is left of our commons are all about privatizing our national and state parks and public lands.)

  7. #602
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I wonder whether Marx uses the word "commodity" as we now use it? Individuals do not use commodities, factories use commodities.
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/commodity.asp
    Using an investing site to give a definition will usually give an definition as used in investing.

    My wife buys eggs. Eggs are a commodity for her. An dozen eggs are the same as any other dozen eggs. They are fungible. That is the same property that the investing term commodity has.

    But Marx's comment
    The fetishistic aspect of a commodity is the result of the condition wherein individuals believe commodities are worth something on their own terms outside of their direct utility.
    Indicates that he is using the term commodity in the sense of commodity traders who have no interest in taking delivery or delivering. Just as a bet on the change in price.
    Life is complex.

  8. #603
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Some degree of indigenous private property is not the same as . .

    capitalistic commodity fetishism . . .

    but I sure hope Marx was not talking about our sailboats here . . .

    Marx sees that commodities take on an almost mystical or spiritual essence that completely transcends their given use-value. The fetishistic aspect of a commodity is the result of the condition wherein individuals believe commodities are worth something on their own terms outside of their direct utility.
    I find Veblen more insightful than Marx on this topic.

    In any case, I think we can agree that most, if not all, human societies since the advent of toolmaking have had some form of property.

  9. #604
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Our apologists for capitalism need to explain why the commons was a bad thing.

    And don't give us any of that Garrett Hardin junk analysis.

    (Today's fanboys of erasing what is left of our commons are all about privatizing our national and state parks and public lands.)
    I like that the same apologists blame Biden for gas prices and inflation, and then, in the same breath call him a communist. Effing idiots. I also wonder why the left and the Democrats haven't called them on this point. Can you imagine if Biden stood up there and schooled them on this fact? It would completely disarm the Republican talking point.
    In the US this perverted idea of “blood and soil” over “constitutional principles” is the most radical and anti-democratic and anti-Conservative idea I have heard in my lifetime.

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  10. #605
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    most, if not all, human societies since the advent of toolmaking have had some form of property.
    The fixation of some on this thread (not you) on the issue of private property . . .

    show that Marx was spot on about commodity fetishism.

    For so many people, they ARE what they own.

    (My spiffy sailboat excepted)

  11. #606
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Well, the critics of socialism here could talk about Marx's concepts of class struggle, alienation, surplus value, the dialectic, and much more . . .

    But they do not write about that - they write about their stuff.

    And that proves Marx was right about commodity fetishism.

  12. #607
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    The fixation of some on this thread (not you) on the issue of private property . . .

    show that Marx was spot on about commodity fetishism.

    For so many people, they ARE what they own.

    (My spiffy sailboat excepted)
    I think that's because our material culture cannot be separated from the rest of our culture. See Veblen on conspicuous consumption.

  13. #608
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I think that's because our material culture cannot be separated from the rest of our culture..
    Every human society has a material culture, but not all of them are marinated in commodity fetishism.

    I'll have to go back and read some more Veblen.

  14. #609
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    Default Re: Socialism

    At a time when our culture valorizes investment over work, and taxes investment income at a lower rate than wages earned, I think Veblen has a lot to say. He makes a distinction between productive and exploitative modes which points our that in traditional societies, women do much of the work of making things like clothing, while men of high status are more involved in predatory behavior, seizing ownership of things. He was writing during the gilded age, and we're in another one now.

  15. #610
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    At a time when our culture valorizes investment over work, and taxes investment income at a lower rate than wages earned, I think Veblen has a lot to say. He makes a distinction between productive and exploitative modes .
    Marx was all over that - check out his concepts of exchange value vs, use value

    And just for the record, that great sail I had today had nothing in common with commodity fetishism

  16. #611
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    But Marx's comment Indicates that he is using the term commodity in the sense of commodity traders who have no interest in taking delivery or delivering. Just as a bet on the change in price.
    You are way wrong on that, hombre. Marx said that nowhere.

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