tirsdag 11. desember 2012

Quick reply to a Marxist

I think Marxists should have been extinct in 1950. Not at least after 1990, but oh well unions must have some excuse for their exploitation.

A Marxist called, Zak Drabzyk has tried to critique Hoppe`s class theory.

Some fallacies in Drabzyk argumentation:

"The only way to understand why a person acts is to understand the environment which shapes that action. Thus, time preference can only be seen as a valid explanation if you presume the legitimacy of private ownership."

No, time preference requires presuming time exists. Time would still be scarce in a communist or propertyless society, and people would prefer things sooner rather than later.

"The material conditions of depravity that pressure the laborer to sell his labor-power do not affect the capitalist who owns the means of production (aside from the obvious duty of a capitalist being to produce and sell commodities). The capitalist class is the sole class with any feasible sense of flexibility as they exclusively access the means by which one may subsist. Therefore the statement that “After all, he could also decide not to sell his labor services to the capitalist and then reap the “full value” of his output himself” is utterly nonsensical."

The point is, Zak, that the material "conditions"(I need food, housing, a car etc but they are scarce) arise out of nature not imposed scarcity. Furthermore the whole point is, Marx, tried to claim that because the capitalist didnt physically labor, then he is given an exploitative share. But the worker, could have done manual labor (as many do) directly for customers and thereby reap the "full reward". He would have to be an entrepreneur and worker at the same time (many people, again, exist in this position).

"However, to suggest that capitalism somehow uniquely proposes mutual benefit compared to previous property relations, is ridiculous. Capitalist property relations are mutual only insofar as they allow the capitalist to prosper and provide the worker with subsistence, paid piecemeal."

Two things. Why do free-market economies (not the current West) tend to have rising wages ?
Why not simply "piecemeal" ie. a the least the capitalist has to pay ?
Why are all Hong Kong workers (prior to labor legislation) being paid higher wages than in many other countries(socialist countries and even western countries) ?

Simple, reason is as the capitalist and worker all want as much as possible for as little as possible. The choice(and thereby preferences) each has in choosing each other(that is absent in slavery, feudalism, socialism) creates the lower and higher limit for wages.

He backs this up with quoting Engels:

" The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole.” – Friedrich Engels, Principles of Communism"

 Well, the capitalist engaging in business is also only secured existence if someones buys his product.

On capitalism:
"The truth is much different. The entire system of capitalism is based on a social context, an interrelated conundrum of values and productive units. In fact, exchange value, the locomotive of market interaction, is dependent on society as it is a social expression. This is because the exchange value of commodities is impossible to determine unless contrasted against other commodities."

And where do these exchange values of commodities themselves arise ?

Out of the "subjective valuation", which is largely conclusively proven by the Austrian School (that is why Hoppe does not justify subjectivism in the evaluation of goods).

"Genuine social ownership seeks to empower the worker by including him in a direct control over the product of his labor and the fixed capital he employs."

How can he reasonable own "fixed capital" that he has not produced, bought or not been voluntarily given ? Only through aggression and violence, against person and property.

"as if the property barons of today not only obtained their power through socio-economic coercion (I mean contractual agreement) but also through their own personal saving, producing, or homesteading. Such a nonsensical interpretation of capitalist accumulation really draws Mr. Hoppe’s perspective into question."

Several famous capitalists and many more (unknown) entrepreneurs , have personally produced, saved themselves into wealth. You are not arguing here, you are simply stating things contrary to fact.

"Admitting that the same bourgeois, drawn here as distinguished from the ruling class, are indeed the ruling class, would be catastrophic to Austrian theory. This is, however, the historical truth on the matter. "

The average businessman, is not part of the ruling class. But rather its victims. That is, historical fact. In fact as the state, and its marxist apologists, have been enlarged, the ruling classes domain have been enlarged at the expense of other entrepreneurs.

"The state serves to protect the interests of the capitalist class, not exploit them. A quick reading of US Presidential history will make that very clear. Even small business interests are not exactly pitted against those of the state. Many small business owners enjoy a predictable rate of profit and market stability. The state through its suppressive functions helps maintain both a constant pool of uneducated and unemployed persons, as well as a stable market environment with minimal competition. All the factors necessary for a moderately successful capitalist enterprise."

A quick reading of European tax and regulation history makes clear that, the state serves to exploit producers. Usually for the benefit of the ruling class, of idle non-capitalists (kings, politicians, corporatists, unionists).

Most, small business owners have seen unprecedent inflation, taxation etc. and cannot be said to enjoy a predictable rate of profit. Furthermore, new restrictions enter everyday (Obama for instance has created several thousands of laws the last six months).

"This[need for property protection] is why even the petit bourgeois anarcho-capitalist still supports private institutions of violence such as ‘private defense forces’ against none such institutions at all. This is because they recognize, subconsciously perhaps, the need for a violent and suppressive tool which can essentially mimic most of the functions of the modern state; only then more tailored to their preference. "

Austrian anarco-capitalists recognize that people want and need as a service, self-defense against criminal aggressors. If they do not want such a service, they are free to defend themselves or even to establish some kind of "undefended" society.

"Perhaps this is only my rudimentary understanding of modern economics speaking, but for something to be produced, must not there be a demand for it? The demand is clear and present, and my analysis has shown that this demand comes precisely from the propertied classes."

People with property have not demanded a ruling class or a state, but rather have been and are attacked by it, and constantly brainwashed by it (usually with marxist propaganda).

Secondly, no. Supply enables demand. You do have a poor understanding of economics.

"The disagreement I will draw is with the denial of the tendency for the rate of profit to fall. The tendency for the rate of profit to fall is a critical measure of understanding the internal contradictions within capitalism and attempting to denounce it in a brief conclusion did Hoppe no good. Without anymore analysis, allow me to cite some empirical evidence to the contrary:"

The Austrian Business Cycle Theory (See for example, "Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles"), also presupposes falling profit rate in the contractionary phase of the cycle.

But the graph shown, is not an example of "clean capitalism", that Marx, and Zak want to critique.

I do not think anything written here, has been able to bring Zak to the conclusion he comes to and in particular he has not been able to debunk the classical liberal/libertarian class theory that preceded Marx.

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