Ed Hudgins

Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers

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Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers
By Edward Hudgins

In his name, over 100 million people were murdered.  May 5, 2018 marks Karl Marx's 200th birthday, and his profound errors still smolder and threaten new conflagrations.

Marx was born into a Europe transforming into a modern, industrial society.  Individuals were leaving ancestral villages and farms for growing cities and their seemingly dehumanizing factories.  Incredible wealth was being created, but would the factory workers benefit from their labors?  What did the future of this emerging new world hold?

History as class conflict

Marx posed as a "scientific socialist," explaining the past and prophesying the future.

Marx was a radical materialist.  He asserted that history is a class conflict based on economic forces.  People's ideas, what Marx called "phantoms of their brains," are not the drivers of our destinies.  We are simply the pawns of the factors of production and distribution of wealth.  We don't make our tools so much as our tools make us.

Marx rejected the notion that the rational capacity we all share can discover objective truth.  Rather, he asserted that the structure of our minds is determined by our economic class.  Thus, there is the "proletarian logic" of the workers and the "bourgeois logic" of the middle class and capitalists.  The bourgeoisie are incapable of understanding the workers.  It's futile for proletarians to try to explain their circumstances to the bourgeoisie.  The truth of the one isn't the truth of the other.

But how could Marx downplay the influence of ideas even as he offered his own, those phantoms in his brain?  How could Marx, from a solid bourgeois background, transcend his class and understand "proletarian logic"?  Was this just his deceitful way of silencing critics?  If you ask, Marx might reply that your bourgeois brain and old-fashioned logic are incapable of grasping how contradictions can be truth.

The few rich and the many poor

Marx asserted that the capitalist owners of factories would use new equipment and efficient organization to create more and more wealth – a thousand teapots a day rather than a hundred; ten thousand shirts a day rather than one thousand.  As production and efficiency rose, capitalist owners could fire many employees and reduce the wages of the remaining ones.  The rich would get richer, and the poor would get poorer, and the latter's ranks would swell.  You might ask Marx, who will buy those thousand teapots and ten thousand shirts if everyone is impoverished?  He might answer that your limited bourgeois mind simply can't understand.

Marx asserted a convoluted "labor theory of value" to demonstrate that most wealth created in factories was produced by the workers and expropriated as profits by the capitalists... (Continue reading here.)

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/karl_marx_at_200_his_lethal_legacy_lingers.html

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Karl Marx would have done better if he had followed his wife's advice, instead of writing about capital to make some.

 

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The philosophy of Karl Marx is not yet dead. It is being kept alive by Richard Wolff, Marxist professor.

Is there any chance of a lengthy formal debate between Yaron Brook and Richard Wolff? They seem to have opposite missions, Yaron promoting capitalism and Richard promoting Marxism.

He has a whole shitload of videos on youtube promoting Marxism.

I give credit where credit is due. Richard Wolff is more articulate than most socialists I listened to. That's not necessarily saying much.

 

Here is Richard Wolff on the Peter Schiff show. Skip the first 40 seconds.

I think Yaron Brook would do better.

 

 

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Marxism is being kept alive by a whole lot of professors on many campuses. One of my points is that the more true to Marxism they are, the more they believe that it's impossible to demonstrate the truth via reason; remember that our bourgeois brains just can't understand their "logic." I think that for a lot of reasons, one of which is to free higher ed from the grip of various forms of statist dogma, we need an education revolution.

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On 5/5/2018 at 10:58 AM, Ed Hudgins said:

Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers
By Edward Hudgins

In his name, over 100 million people were murdered.  May 5, 2018 marks Karl Marx's 200th birthday, and his profound errors still smolder and threaten new conflagrations.

Marx was born into a Europe transforming into a modern, industrial society.  Individuals were leaving ancestral villages and farms for growing cities and their seemingly dehumanizing factories.  Incredible wealth was being created, but would the factory workers benefit from their labors?  What did the future of this emerging new world hold?

History as class conflict

Marx posed as a "scientific socialist," explaining the past and prophesying the future.

Marx was a radical materialist.  He asserted that history is a class conflict based on economic forces.  People's ideas, what Marx called "phantoms of their brains," are not the drivers of our destinies.  We are simply the pawns of the factors of production and distribution of wealth.  We don't make our tools so much as our tools make us.

Marx rejected the notion that the rational capacity we all share can discover objective truth.  Rather, he asserted that the structure of our minds is determined by our economic class.  Thus, there is the "proletarian logic" of the workers and the "bourgeois logic" of the middle class and capitalists.  The bourgeoisie are incapable of understanding the workers.  It's futile for proletarians to try to explain their circumstances to the bourgeoisie.  The truth of the one isn't the truth of the other.

But how could Marx downplay the influence of ideas even as he offered his own, those phantoms in his brain?  How could Marx, from a solid bourgeois background, transcend his class and understand "proletarian logic"?  Was this just his deceitful way of silencing critics?  If you ask, Marx might reply that your bourgeois brain and old-fashioned logic are incapable of grasping how contradictions can be truth.

The few rich and the many poor

Marx asserted that the capitalist owners of factories would use new equipment and efficient organization to create more and more wealth – a thousand teapots a day rather than a hundred; ten thousand shirts a day rather than one thousand.  As production and efficiency rose, capitalist owners could fire many employees and reduce the wages of the remaining ones.  The rich would get richer, and the poor would get poorer, and the latter's ranks would swell.  You might ask Marx, who will buy those thousand teapots and ten thousand shirts if everyone is impoverished?  He might answer that your limited bourgeois mind simply can't understand.

Marx asserted a convoluted "labor theory of value" to demonstrate that most wealth created in factories was produced by the workers and expropriated as profits by the capitalists... (Continue reading here.)

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/karl_marx_at_200_his_lethal_legacy_lingers.html

I wonder if Marx  ever wondered who was going to buy all of these mass produced products.  If the worker is reduced to subsistence he could buy little.  The owning-class being small could never  clear the market of the goods produce by workers running the the machines owned by the owning-class.  There is a contradiction here. 

Henry Ford  found a piece of the solution to this conundrum.  He paid his workers enough money so that in the aggregate they could  purchase their subsistence AND  the product they made from their wages.  Why did Ford do this   1. Obviously to help him self the product which his factories made   2.  He hated labor unions like poison.  He paid his workers enough so they would not likely go out on strike against him.  In a word, rational self interest motivated him to pay his workers a fair and good wage.  This was contrary the Marx supposition that the owning class  was not motivated by reason, but only by "class interests". 

 

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Ford paid his workers 5 dollars a day to drastically reduce worker  turnover. Years later his wife told him to end the strike and settle with the union which he then did.

---Brant

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On 9/15/2018 at 6:32 PM, jts said:

A game of chess played by Karl Marx.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1278768

I don't have the foggiest clue what this proves or what this has to do with the topic of this thread. 

What kind of non-Aristotlean logic did he use to play chess?

 

It is partially inductive reasoning.  It is literally impossible for a human to workout the tree diagram (directed graph) of all possible moves of a chess game. There are just too many possible legal games. So one assumes the most likely moves a player and opponent will make.  This is inductive, not deductive, but the simplification makes it possible for the human player to work out 10-20 moves in advance.  Chess playing computer programs can work hundreds of moves in advance, these days.  This is why computers are beating humans  in Chess and Go (chinese/japanese board game).   The '"reasoning"  is a combination of classical logic constrained by  the rules of the game + a Bayesian estimate of the likelihood of moves based on prior experience.  NB: Bayesian estimation and inference is the closest thing there is  to a formal logic  of induction.  Please see:  http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/research/published/philosophy_online4.pdf      and  https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/#BayeSolu

 

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