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Old 04-15-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Karl Marx

This was in the Michigan Tech newspaper, which I don't read often, but my instructor forwarded it to me.



The amount of attachment we have to objects is obscene. A few days ago,
my new cell phone got its first scratch from loose change in my pocket;
it wasnít a good day. Despite being personally disgusted with this
attachment, I regularly place material objects and acquisition of money
as a top priority. Maybe Iíll blame Wal-Mart or our consumer-driven
economy. Maybe Iíve been brain-washed by the bourgeoisie. Or maybe Iím
just selfish and like to have pretty things. Needless to say, Iím a
capitalist pig.
Recent discussions in a philosophy class about capitalism and its
influence on our character got me thinking about how money makes our
American world go round, for better or for worse.
We all know that money is the root of all evil. It is surprising then,
that we spend half of our lives laboring to acquire more of it. Karl
Marx had some pretty interesting ideas about the true value of human
labor. Itís a shame so many immediately associate Marx to figures like
Stalin and Mao. Although those dictators promoted a political system
based vaguely on Marxist ideals, they hardly give a good indication of
successful practice of Marxist philosophy in society. So before you
blacklist me, hear me out.
After reading some of his writings, I began examining the role of money
in our society. Marx believed that a person being paid for their labor
was alienating and degrading. At first, this idea seemed ridiculous to
me. A person who puts in time and works hard should be compensated for
it. But, oddly enough, prostitution helped put it all into perspective.
If a person had a one night stand, there is nothing too alarming about
it. At worst itís considered trashy, but it is perfectly legal and
happens all the time- not a big deal. Having one too many drinks at an
office Christmas party and waking up in your co-workerís apartment
usually wonít cause any moral outrage.
Now, if one paid 50 bucks for that one night stand, the act is perceived
entirely differently. We now call it prostitution and denounce it as an
immoral, dangerous and illegal act, unless youíre in Las Vegas. So why
does the attachment of monetary value to a personís services cause such
a dramatically different perception? Obviously, the money objectifies
that person. Their labor, which ordinarily would be done for love or
enjoyment, is now a product to be bought and sold.
So why is the attachment of money to one service deplorable while
attaching it to any other service is customary and not questioned at
all? Isnít human labor in any form worth valuing by itself? Itís
something to consider. If I want to be a teacher, I should teach because
I love it and believe it is important. How can hours spent teaching, an
incredibly important job, be quantified in a dollar amount? Surely, the
education of our children is pricelessÖlike- well, a one night stand.
Granted, Iím not sure how you would thoroughly exercise this ideal into
our society. But I donít wish to lay out a practical plan for Marxist
revolution in American. Instead, Iíd like to encourage others to examine
how monetary compensation affects their occupational choices. Obviously
money has to factor in. Otherwise weíll end up in the proverbial van
down by the river. But if income were absolutely not a factor, I wonder
what weíd all choose to do. If I wasnít being paid to write this
article, I wonder if it would have ever been written. I told you I was a
capitalist pig.
Unfortunately, where we live, what job we have and what college we go to
are all heavily influenced by how much money they will put in or remove
from our bank accounts.
Itís important to remember that in your eulogy, theyíll say the names of
your family and friends. Theyíll talk about how you liked to spend your
free time and where your favorite vacation spot was. But not once will
they mention the amount in your checking account.
Although I regret to end this article on such a sappy, clichť note, I
believe Marx (among other philosophers) is on the right track regarding
the compensation of human labor. Maybe in the years ahead, the United
States can grow up, look past the stereotype of Marxist philosophy and
use it to our benefit. Because the more I learn about capitalism, the
more its glorified, golden image begins to fade and its weaknesses are
revealed.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Karl Marx

Some goods points there about how prostitution varies in one's opinion from a casual sexual relationship
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Karl Marx

Will never happen. Way to philosophical to be applied in a globalized world.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Karl Marx also once said, "if a person consumes more than they produce, well they are useless and they should be killed" what the hell did Marx produce then? besides a bunch of idiotic ideologies.

I hate that guys way of thinking. it just doesnt work like that in todays society. we wouldnt have all the technology and be as advanced as we are now if we all just traded services with each other.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lewblue83 View Post
Karl Marx also once said, "if a person consumes more than they produce, well they are useless and they should be killed" what the hell did Marx produce then? besides a bunch of idiotic ideologies.

I hate that guys way of thinking. it just doesnt work like that in todays society. we wouldnt have all the technology and be as advanced as we are now if we all just traded services with each other.
Am I to believe that you think that it is sustainable that everyone should be able to consume more than they produce?

also what has consumption and innovation got to do with anything?

most of the world greatest innovations for example Jet engines, nuclear power... have come from times of war, and he inventors have seen no benefit what-so-ever as the innovations have been sequestered by governments. -i.e there is still innovation even when there is no reward at all to the innovators... if there was the ability to claim patents and royalties on that frank whittles family, and the guy involved in the Manhattan project would all be very rich right now! -they aren't, do you think that if they'd have known before hand that they wouldn't get very rich that they wouldn't have put in the time and effort to invent these things?

To say that if people could only consume as much as the produce and therefore there would be no innovation completely devalues all the innovations up to date as well!
think about it, a man who produces a spade, does he only produce spades, or does he produce a more efficient way of moving earth than digging with sticks and your hands? does he contribute a bit of metal, (we can calculate the value of a bit of metal simply be weight), or does he contribute a tool for a better way of doing thing?

his innovation and production may only be a flat piece of metal, but the worth of his innovation/production is great.
the idea that you should only consume the worth of what you produce doesn't mean that I didn't grow any carrots this year therefore I can't have any carrots this year.

it means that I didn't grow any carrots this year, and the reason that I wasn't able to be self sufficient in food is that I was doing other things that were useful. for example, I was fixing computers thus enabling people to complete their education and contribute to the world, (for one of our customers that's a college), I was fixing computers enabling people to find other people employment so that they could contribute to the world (another one of our customers is a recruitment agency, I was fixing computers enabling people to invest money in financial markets and help assets grow to provide for people when they've finished working (another one of our customers is a pensions management company).

Therefore I have contributed? albeit not directly? or does my work not qualify? have I not produced?

I think I have, even if my output was only to enable other people to produce in more efficient ways.

As far as I can see i'm still entitled to be able to eat carrots, just rather than going to a carrot farmer and bartering a pound of potatoes for a pound of carrots, I take a selection of money that I've been awarded based on my contribution and exchange that for goods and services that is decided by a market place based on their contribution, (their being the people selling things, be that carrots or other services).

Marx never qualified how people should produce. our society can fit in with the ideals of his philosophy without completely changing around the way that things work.


you have a completely different welfare system in the US, but consider this:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Mercedes.html

that's a family, (who lives in the same place as one of our members -don't know if the member knows them or not).
The mother of the (large) family has not contributed at all the society.
the father of the family, (note I do not say 'man' of the house) decided to give up work as he figured he could have a better life living on the welfare system than he could by paying his own way...

that's the kind of person that Marx was talking about, and in the end he's right, if all of society thought that they could just get by on a welfare system and didn't bother to work then there wouldn't be any money in a welfare system.

in our society we contribute by having a job. if we have no job, and make no contribution to society.
indeed if a persons only contribution to society is to add extra burden by only taking from the system and never contributing, then Marx was right, society would be better off without those people.

(note that I'm not talking about people using a welfare safety net as a safety net, i.e people that loose their jobs and need state benefits to live day to day whilst looking for another job and another way to contribute to society, I'm talking about people who make a concious decision that they should not work, or don't want to work, that they should not contribute and that they can live comfortably only ever taking from society/others).
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"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; The inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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I lived in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) for most of my life and this is how it REALLY is.

People work to support their family. They don't think it is degrading, they consider an honor and a privalege because good jobs are hard to find.

Before the fall of the FSU, you went to college for free ... but in the summer between classes you work for free in fields and industry. This is how you "paid" for your education.

I'll take capitalisum over socializium/maxsisum any day. A life in the FSU isn't easy. Health care is horrible, the elderly have no where to go and sometimes become a burden to their families, and sometimes they die on the streets. I know one family that has 6 people living in a small 2 bedroom apartment. One is a 3 year old child and one is old with diabedis, can't walk, and almost blind. Three people work but they make only enough money to survive.

Be happy for want you have and appreciate your country ... even though it is not perfect.

(sorry for spelling mistakes)
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Karl Marx

I obviously will defer to your knowledge, having never lived in a truly socialist country.
but I will refer to the text in the first post...
Quote:
It’s a shame so many immediately associate Marx to figures like
Stalin and Mao. Although those dictators promoted a political system
based vaguely on Marxist ideals, they hardly give a good indication of
successful practice of Marxist philosophy in society. So before you
blacklist me, hear me out.
the FSU was a socialist country in principal, kind of, same as communist china, but... they are only implementing the bits that they want to implement, not the whole deal...

I believe that care of the elderly is a problem in most if not all countries anyway. -especially firmly capitalist countries where if you haven't saved you're shit out of luck!

conversely, in more socialist countries, (like Britain compared to America), we have state pension and free state healthcare, fuel tax allowances to make it easier and cheaper for the elderly to heat their houses during the winter...

on the other hand, I believe that welfare systems of America in some ways are a lot better than welfare systems in this country.

for example I think that food stamps are a much better thing to give to a family on state benefits than money. it might be that when you go to the supermarket the amount to the same thing. but in reality, it's not.

one can be used to buy cigarettes and alcohol, the other can't...

and without being elitist about it, i've no problem in helping to feed people less fortunate through a state benefit system, but I do have a problem with providing drugs (even if it is only the legal forms of drugs) with my tax money.
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I didnít fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarianÖ
Im sick of people saying 'dont waste paper'. If trees wanted to live, they'd all carry guns.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
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OK seriously. even though Karl Marx's ways of thinking seem like they make sense. They would NEVER EVER EVER EVER work. it just doesnt happen.

and if someone didnt consume more than they produced the world would be over stocked with goods and there would be no room for anything, and EVERYTHING would be wasted because if someone had more than they made they would be KILLED!

Socialism/communism and even marx'ism DOESNT WORKKKKKK!!! its been prooven time and time again. there are too many variables. capitalism compensates for the "human effect" AKA, Humans are not and never will be PERFECT. people mess up, people lie, people steal. these are facts of life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
for example I think that food stamps are a much better thing to give to a family on state benefits than money. it might be that when you go to the supermarket the amount to the same thing. but in reality, it's not.

one can be used to buy cigarettes and alcohol, the other can't...

and without being elitist about it, i've no problem in helping to feed people less fortunate through a state benefit system, but I do have a problem with providing drugs (even if it is only the legal forms of drugs) with my tax money.
WOW. lol. if only it were that simple. people DO need stuff that EBT cards cant buy. EBT doesnt buy everything. you dont just go in a supermarket and pick out whatever you want. you cant get gas with it. so you need a little cash.

the amount of cash people receive on top of their food stamp benefits is tiny. definitely not enough to go score some blow down the street lol.

You cant make the entire system suffer just because 8% of them are alcoholic , drug addicted douche bags. people need cash, and you cant punish the whole system because a few abuse it.

kinda like the parking ban at my work, your not supposed to leave your car there for more than a day, but i see it all the time. but theres like 2000 cars in there and 1 security guard. so what do u do? shut down the garage cuz of a few assholes?
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewblue83 View Post
OK seriously. even though Karl Marx's ways of thinking seem like they make sense. They would NEVER EVER EVER EVER work. it just doesnt happen.
Yes I agree 100% and Marx didn't practiced what he preached.

lew blue in russian meanns ... love you!
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larisa View Post
lew blue in russian meanns ... love you!
haha i thought you were joking, but i looked it up. its true! thats funny
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