Thursday, February 7, 2019

David F. Ruccio — Socialism and exploitation


The older generation may not like it but the world they created and are trying to passing on, or pass off, is being rejected by the younger generation, which favorable to socialism. Why is that?

What is capitalism? Favoring capital (ownership) over labor (people) and land (environment). 

What is socialism? Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.

No-brainer unless you have been brainwashed by ownership.

Occasional Links & Commentary
Socialism and exploitation
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

See also
"Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with the majority of Republican voters."
Common Dreams
Ocasio-Cortez Says Trump Attack on Socialism Shows President ‘Scared’ of Popular Progressive Policies
Jake Johnson

27 comments:

Konrad said...

What is capitalism? Favoring capital (ownership) over labor (people) and land (environment). What is socialism? Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership. No-brainer unless you have been brainwashed by ownership.

Nicely summarized.

Meanwhile neoliberalism is the ownership society on steroids, in which a handful of oligarchs own everything and everyone. That’s the crux. All the chatter about “market based solutions” is b.s.

Attacks on socialism are basically a defense of neoliberalism.

I saw a snippet of Trumps’ state of the union address in which he said,“Today American is alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism.”

Republicans booed at Trump’s mention of the word socialism.

“America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free and we will stay free.”

Republicans gave Trump a standing ovation. He might as well have been Netanyahu.

Elsewhere in his speech, Trump said he’s against war, and then he promoted war against Iran and Venezuela.

Total buffoon.

On a different note, white nationalists whine about the USA being “cucked” by Jews, Blacks, and Social Justice Warriors.

White nationalists do not understand that in repeatedly attacking socialism, they have been thoroughly “cucked” by rich owners.

Losers one and all.

Konrad said...

One other thing.

I am not a Democrat or Republican. Regarding Trump’s wall, I say let’s end the reasons why Latinos are forced to come north in the first place.

Trump in his State of the Union Speech said that El Paso Texas, “Was considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” until it got a wall.

El Paso TX sits on the US-Mexican border, immediately across from Ciudad Juarez Mexico.

I have been to El Paso and Ciudad Juarez many times. Ciudad Juarez is much cleaner and more modern than is El Paso. The difference is so striking that people on the US side of the border go to Ciudad Juarez to shop and relax. All the media hype about Ciudad Juarez being a violent nightmare is an attempt to stop this.

I am not talking about all of Mexico; only about one city (Ciudad Juarez).

One of the problems with modern society is that people get all their information from the Internet, especially from social media. People don’t travel to physically see things for themselves.

Hence they believe whatever Trump or his enemies tell them.

Andrew Anderson said...

What is capitalism? Favoring capital (ownership) over labor (people) and land (environment).

What is socialism? Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.


What about "What is justice?"

While one may not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, nevertheless it:
1) Commands that all citizens have valuable land they cannot permanently lose (Leviticus 25).
2) Forbids interest taking from fellow citizens (Deuteronomy 23:19-20).
3) Commands that the poor have the right to enter agricultural fields, vineyards, orchards, etc. to glean.
4) Commands that foreigners be well treated.
5) Command a 3rd year tithe (10%) of all produce to be collected for the poor, including poor foreigners in the land.
6) etc.

Besides which, justice is something we should all believe in, Left or Right.

But if we don't, we are seriously, according to the Bible, testing God's patience (e.g. Book of Jeremiah, Book of Ezekiel, Amos, etc.)

I look forward to the next generation since they've had the undeniable stupidity of the present generation to learn from.

Bob Roddis said...

Hayek explains why socialism is IMPOSSIBLE. Hayek's analysis is SO OVERWHELMINGLY AND OBVIOUSLY CORRECT AND IRREFUTABLE that socialists find it essential to NEVER engage the argument. NEVER. Of course, demonstrating that bizarre non-engagement is my primary purpose in commenting here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNbYdbf3EEc

Konrad said...

Ha, ha, ha! Writing in capital letters makes an assertion more "true."

Right?

Socialism impossible? Pay no attention to public fire and police departments, plus the public military, US government-owned of land, and so on.

For the sake of mankind, I hope Roddis is sterile.

Andrew Anderson said...

Except it's stupidity on the Left that BREEDS stupidity on the Right. And vice versa.

Noah Way said...

Roddis wouldn't understand the irony of his self-contradiction if it had 18 wheels and ran him over. Repeatedly.

Magpie said...

This was you, Tom, writing about Tim Worstall elsewhere [*]

Here he [Worstall] goes again. "Zimbabwe."

Tim Worstall knows better. (...)

This is trivial. Either Tim Worstall is ignorant of MMT, or he is being disingenuous.


I have no problem with that. Indeed, I find Worstall slightly irritating.

----------

This is you here:

What is socialism? Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.

No-brainer unless you have been brainwashed by ownership.


Like Worstall, you mischaracterise. You know better. You know very well that socialism is more than simply Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.

I have explained all that to you, just like you and others have explained MMT to Worstall.

So, my question is why do you complain about Worstall and MMT when you do exactly the same thing with socialism?

You know well, David Ruccio said it in the same post you linked to, that

Both measures point to increasing exploitation—to a growing gap between what workers produce and what they receive back as their pay. And it’s that exploitation—which neither Trump nor, for that matter, “conventional American economists” want to talk about—that is generating interest in socialism today.

The only way to do away with exploitation is by abolishing wage slavery which is necessary for capitalism to survive.



[*] https://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com/2019/02/tim-worstall-zimbabwes-third-time-lucky.html

Bob Roddis said...

Of course, demonstrating that bizarre non-engagement is my primary purpose in commenting here.

And thanks again for the demonstration of non-engagement with the "Knowledge Problem".

Bob Roddis said...

In February, 2011, the American Economic Review (specifically Kenneth J. Arrow, B. Douglas Bernheim, Martin S. Feldstein, Daniel L. McFadden, James M. Poterba, and Robert M. Solow) named its top 20 articles of the last 100 years. Included therein was:

Hayek, F. A. 1945. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” American Economic Review, 35(4): 519–30.

http://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/aer.101.1.1

We have here among the socialists an endless demonstrated failure to engage the opposing viewpoint which is also endlessly entertaining.

Noah Way said...

RODDIS, your failure to engage opposing view points is almost as legendary as your ignorance.

Why don't you start by explaining "how high taxes cause inflation", as you stated in a previous comment.

Bob Roddis said...

I never said "high taxes cause inflation". I have no idea what you are talking about.

So, your only point of engagement is some lie you concocted? I'm shocked.

Andrew Anderson said...

I agree with Hayek's "socialist calculation problem" which is one reason I'm not a socialist. Another is that one size does not and cannot fit all. Another is that replacing injustice with injustice is not a lasting solution.

Not that I'm an Austrian by any means since shiny, scarce metals and/or deflation do not and cannot substitute for ethical money creation - at least as I understand the Bible*.

*e.g. Ezekiel 7:19, Matthew 25:14-30, Matthew 22:21.

Konrad said...

Neoliberal: everyone toils for the rich.

Socialist: people work for each other.

Neoliberal: rich oligarchs own everything and everyone

Socialist: the public owns the means of production to some extent (it varies with each nation).

Both sides create problems if they are taken too far. We have now reached toward the extreme of neoliberalism. But since the extreme of socialism also have problems, we must go even more toward neoliberalism. Right?

We cannot seek a balance or compromise between the extremes.

Right?

If you agree with this, then your failing is not merely intellectual.

You are a P.O.S.

Noah Way said...

RODDIS: "I have no idea what you are talking about."

RODDIS: "I have no idea what I AM talking about."

There, fixed it for you.

The thread where you said high taxes cause inflation is somewhere in the past. I called you on it then and there but you failed to "engage". Surprise, surprise.

Magpie said...

@Roddis and Anderson

Let me call your bluff. May I suggest you guys re-read for the first time Hayek’s “immortal” essay?

William Paley, the English clergyman and utilitarian philosopher, argued the necessity of God’s existence in his book Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity. His argument was that faced with a complex object such as a watch, nobody would explain its existence by natural causes. Everybody, Paley added, would consider the watch’s existence as evidence of a watchmaker, a designer.

A human eye is, the argument runs, at least as complex (if not more) than a watch; therefore and reasoning by analogy, one must conclude it provides evidence for a Designer: God.

Now, I suspect Roddis would agree (and Anderson would likely disagree) with this: today we know Paley was mistaken. There is no Designer. But even if one knows Paley wrong, one must give him this: his argument isn’t half bad, it makes sense. The man was no dummy. Still, he’s wrong.

The point is that an argument may make sense to us, that doesn’t prove it right. No amount of appeals like Roddis makes in hysterically shrieking upper case (Hayek's analysis is SO OVERWHELMINGLY AND OBVIOUSLY CORRECT AND IRREFUTABLE) changes that.

In his inimitable style Roddis writes: Hayek explains why socialism is IMPOSSIBLE.

I beg to differ. Writing in 1945, Hayek was feuding with Oscar Lange about the convenience of a Central Planning Board to control inflation. Lange believed one such body could set prices. Hayek contended that the amount of information required exceeded human individual capacities. This is how Hayek explained how he visualised the solution to the problem:

That is, the answer to the question of what is the best use of the available means is implicit in our assumptions. The conditions which the solution of this optimum problem must satisfy have been fully worked out and can be stated best in mathematical form: put at their briefest, they are that the marginal rates of substitution between any two commodities or factors must be the same in all their different uses.

If anyone re-reads that for the first time, as I suggest Roddis and Anderson to do, one notices the use of “marginal rates of substitution”. Hayek takes for granted his readers accept that notion as true and valid. Unfortunately, I don’t and I suspect most reading this don’t agree with him either.

----------

Let’s cut to the chase.

Tom Hickey, as a philosopher, should have been in a better position than your humble servant to defend his version of “socialism”: What is socialism? Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.

Roddis (and presumably Anderson) claims that Hayek explains why socialism is IMPOSSIBLE: because there are too many prices and preferences to allow anyone to set prices. How the fuck that applies to Hickey’s version of socialism? Hickey could simply say: Meh, I never said we need to establish price controls.

(To be continued)

Magpie said...

(From the previous comment)


Now let me reply as a Marxist. In 1945 When Hayek wrote his "immortal" essay the Allies had won WWII precisely by applying the impossible central planning, by producing rivers of tanks, planes, ships, guns, ammunition. They set production quotas, they established price controls. How many workers would work on this, how much investment would go to that. And they did that while feeding, dressing, and lodging their populations, while millions of healthy young men in the prime of their labor lives were away fighting in some God-forsaken place.

For an impossible that seems to have worked pretty well, uh? You guys surely ignore that, but you owe your lives to that.

What Roddis (and presumably Anderson) will discover when they re-read for the first time Hayek’s immortal essay is that the did not claim to have demonstrated that socialism was impossible. What he claimed to have demonstrated is that socialism was “inefficient”. Must I point to the dictionary definitions of those two words?

Even if one accepted Hayek's argument (and I don’t accept it anymore than I accept Paley’s much better one), why the fuck should one care about “efficiency”? Because Roddis thinks so and writes that in hysterically shrieking upper case?

Andrew Anderson said...

I did not say socialism was impossible; I said it was unjust and thus not a lasting "solution."

As for Paley, the silence from SETI is deafeningly in favor that the Earth is UNIQUE.

But let's explore all water bearing places in the Solar System and IF there is proven to be life there that is not related to Earth life then I'll conclude that life may be of natural origin ONLY.

But if not, you've got some serious re-thinking if life appears to have had a unique origin.

Noah Way said...

How is socialism unjust?

Magpie said...

I did not say socialism was impossible; I said it was unjust and thus not a lasting "solution."

Now, now. This is what you said, Anderson, verbatim:

I agree with Hayek's "socialist calculation problem" which is one reason I'm not a socialist. Another is that one size does not and cannot fit all. Another is that replacing injustice with injustice is not a lasting solution.

So, you disagree with Roddis' Hayek explains why socialism is IMPOSSIBLE but you said nothing? What is it religious people say about sin by omission? About letting falsehood being represented as truth?

And what is "just"? Oh, I get. It's in the Bible and one opens the Bible only when it is convenient.

Bob Roddis said...

Magpie:

You have taken Hayek’s quote completely out of context so that your presentation is a complete fraud. He is describing in part the analysis of Lange. What Hayek said was this:

What is the problem we wish to solve when we try to construct a rational economic order? On certain familiar assumptions the answer is simple enough.

IF we possess all the relevant information,

IF we can start out from a given system of preferences, and

IF we command complete knowledge of available means, the problem which remains is purely one of logic. That is, the answer to the question of what is the best use of the available means is implicit in our assumptions. The conditions which the solution of this optimum problem must satisfy have been fully worked out and can be stated best in mathematical form: put at their briefest, they are that the marginal rates of substitution between any two commodities or factors must be the same in all their different uses.

This, however, is emphatically NOT the economic problem which society faces. And the economic calculus which we have developed to solve this logical problem, though an important step toward the solution of the economic problem of society, does not yet provide an answer to it. The reason for this is that the “data” from which the economic calculus starts are never for the whole society “given” to a single mind which could work out the implications and can never be so given.

Tom Hickey said...

Magpie:

You know better. You know very well that socialism is more than simply Favoring labor (people) and land (environment) over ownership.

I have explained all that to you, just like you and others have explained MMT to Worstall.


Tom: Depends on the definition of "socialism." There are several, from equating it with social democracy or democratic socialism to collectivism.

Wikipedia:
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and workers' self-management of the means of production[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[13] with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.[5][14][15]

My "definition" is apt in certain ways to distinguish the usual definition of "capitalism" and "socialism" that are prevalent in the US owing to the corporate media.

Of course, there is more to the difference between capitalism and socialism but I think that my approach is useful as a start in countering the propaganda. And it is not "wrong," even though it is truncated. But as I see it, get into a deeper discussion off the bat risks and losing effect and probably a large segment of the audience. This meant to get folks thinking in terms of a different framework, namely, society as a social, political and economic system influenced by both culture and institutions rather than chiefly in terms of economics, which is the ploy of capitalism and its framing.

The first thing to accomplish is changing the framing of the debate away from "capitalism good, socialism bad." I think this is a good way to do it that most anyone can understand and many probably already agree with. How many people working for a living still buy into trickle down but aren't ready to consider ending private property either?

It seems to me they are mainly against private property becoming so concentrated that it results in neo-feudalism — vast inequality, privilege, double-standard, oligarchy and plutonomy. They are interested in fairness and social justice, on one hand, but on the other hand, a lot of people, especially younger people, view this as an existential — nuclear war, a devastated environment, and corporate totalitarianism.

continued

Tom Hickey said...

continuation

What do millennials (Generation X) and Generation Y, who favor socialism in higher percentages than Boomers and Silents think "socialism" means. I think it may be pretty close to the way I framed it, although I don't know of any studies investigating this in any depth.

Do they think, "Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and workers' self-management of the means of production[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.[12] " I doubt it. Does Bernie think that of what he calls "democratic socialism"? It seems not, for what I can tell. That's why they are impervious to attacks based on the corporate meaning of "socialism" as collectivism leading to totalitarianism, on the one hand, and severe economic contraction, on the other.

Have they thought this through? Again, I see no evidence they have, or are inclined to get into that level of detail about it — yet. Eventually they will have to, if they want to see the genuine change they apparently want.

The Wikipedia definition, although broad, doesn't reflect the way the term is used in contemporary ordinary language.

I have previously written about socialism largely in terms of the Wikipedia broad definition. My truncated definition doesn't contradict or exclude that but rather is vague enough to include contemporary understanding of the terms "capitalism" and "socialism." There can be value in being brief and succinct. I think it applies here.

end

Magpie said...

You have taken Hayek’s quote completely out of context so that your presentation is a complete fraud. He is describing in part the analysis of Lange. What Hayek said was this:

Roddis,

Don’t be ridiculous. It’s there in my quote and it’s there in your more extended quote and more importantly, it’s in Hayek’s whole essay. The context only supports my observation.

That’s how Hayek conceived the solution to the optimisation problem. There’s no reason whatsoever to believe he was just humouring Oscar Lange or Abba Lerner.

Frankly, it’s not just that you never read the essay you demand others to read, it’s that you apparently cannot read at all. Try an audio-book.

Andrew Anderson said...

How is socialism unjust? Noah Way

‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. Leviticus 19:15

Not that the poor do not have rights in the Bible nor is restitution for theft unjust and the non-rich have certainly been looted by our unjust banking model and deserve restitution.

Bob Roddis said...

Magpie:

You are still misrepresenting what Hayek said. The language and situation you quoted from Hayek would (as Hayek clearly stated) apply ONLY:

If we possess all the relevant information,

if we can start out from a given system of preferences, and

if we command complete knowledge of available means,

And we don’t. And we can’t. Hayek said this is NOT the economic problem that society faces because:

[T]he “data” from which the economic calculus starts are never for the whole society “given” to a single mind which could work out the implications and can never be so given.

Stop distorting what Hayek clearly said.

Further, this same idea is expressed over and over and over as the fundamental Austrian School insight. Because it is so devastating to socialism, it must be hidden, suppressed or misrepresented by the “progressives”.

Bob Roddis said...

Noah Way said...
How is socialism unjust?

Mass slaughter, grinding poverty and unbelievable levels of ecocide sound a bit unjust to me.