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Re: [ox-en] Copyfarleft: Response to Stefan Meretz

On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 00:36:21 [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Stefan Meretz <stefan.meretz>

thanks for responding and using first person instead of third. However,
I don't like your ranting. Arguments will be better than just presuming
orthodoxy, giving-no-reasons, absurdness and stuff like that. Boring.

Stefan, I certainly do not intended to bore you, and I'm happy that you
seem to 
believe your contributions are more entertaining than mine, but I do
believe you 
depend on vague orthodoxy in place of reason, and thus feel it relavant to
say so.

Many of your arguments are simply absurd, which I have not simply claimed,
in my opinion demonstrated with reasoning, reasoning you are more than
to refute, which would be much more productive than simply labeling it

I think compared to our friend Karl Marx I've been rather restrained
in the face of absurdity, I have not once, for instance, used the 
phrase "insipid childishness," ... well .. except in quoting Marx.

In any case, my advice is you give up worrying about my style and focus on
demonstrating your arguments logically, especially that from the start so
manny of you
"arguments" where based upon mine being "wrong," "bourgious,"
"capitalist", "neoclassical," etc. Which are mere labels such as "absurd,"
the difference
being I explained logically why I believe your arguments are absurd, you
rely on 
allusions and unsubstantiated assertions.

You have missed the point completely, the point is not to improve
_capitalism_, but to change society starting from
_actually existing_ society, which is the only place from
which we can start.

Ok, you don't _want_ to improve capitalism, but with your proposals you
do. This is the main thing I want to address. Your ranting rejections
shows me that I hit some nails on the head.

That you see "ranting" in the parapgraph you quote is just a cover for your
lack of
willingness to accept your arguments have thoroughly been refuted, 
so you have no course left.

My proposal in no way "improves capitalism."

Then you have no hope of every creating any change, as our
ability to change the world is directly proportional to how
much wealth we can accumulate towards affecting such a change.

However, you are identifying wealth and money in your argumentation.
This is capitalist ideology: wealth is only what is appearing in form
of money.

Yet another absurd argument, neither wealth nor money are definitive
elements of Capitalism.
Wealth is the accumulated surplus of human labour, money is simply memory,
nothing more. 

You are playing word games for lack of any logical basis.

Capitalism is a mode of production in which "owners" of productive assets
appropriate the
products of the direct producers and control their circulation.

Emancipation must be achieved, not merely longed for. Achieving
any progress requires understanding the real world and the real
politic economic context in which we work for change.

Agreed. Our difference is only: within in current framework or by
building a new framework.

You can only build a new framework within the current society, and you 
in order to acquire the wealth required to build anything, you must engage
exchange relations withing the current framework.

You are unable to build anything, because you are unable to explain where
will get the wealth from to build and sustain your "new framework."

You mean solutions for labour at the cost of capital? This is the
only way. Helping the robbed inevitable costs the robber, it you are
unwilling to cost the robbers, then you need not have typed more than
6 words in the above sentence.

No, I mean it as general as I wrote it down. There is no natural
enemy, which just has to be kicked out. This (orthodox;-)) approach has
proven wrong in history many times. Don't try it again and again (even
when not tried by branches like trotzkyian etc. -- thanks god, that
they didn' get a trial).

Who is ranting here?

I made a simple statement: to defend the robbed you must cost the robber, 
you make bizarre allusions to trotskyism, and continue to use employ banal
fallacies like "proven wrong in history many times."

Capitalism is not self-organizing, but built by State violence,
granted by State privilege, and guaranteed by State force and can
only oporate with non-free control over productive assets.

Capitalism is self-organizing,

This continues to be absurd no matter how many times you repeat it.

state is not the extraordinary cause, but the normal mode
of daily operating.

If the State is required for "normal mode of daily operating" then it
is not self-organizing. Please try to understand this simple fact.

Also, the State is not the cause, but the effect, of class stratification, 
as the classes who gain control of circulation consolidate their power in 
State formation. The State establishes a monopoly on the legitimate use
of violence in order to mediate between the classes, maintaining the class
structure according to the interests of the ruling class.

"Wrong" is a label, not an argument. If you where able to, you would
demonstrate why this is wrong, you have not, and most likely can not.

This is not true. I gave a lot of reasons why it is wrong. You cutted
them away to give a false picture. Bad guy.

No, you have not, if you gave reasons please quote them. 

You can compare it with a machine: When a capitalist buys a
machine, then the "production power" is paid. However, the
difference between workers and machines is, that workers can
produce _more_ than their (already paid) labour power is worth. A
machine can only transmit its value (which is paid, see remark
above) to the products (and not more).

Yes, I have heard this orthodoxy many times. Simply repeating it
doesn't make it relevant to what is being discussed, nor true in the
sense that you seem to mean it.

Ok, when this Marxian explanation is simply orthodoxy, then you think
Marx is wrong at this point? Or am I repeating Marx wrongly?

Your comments above where a claim, not an explaintion. You claim a
productive output can not be greater than it's cost.

It is the machine's price that can not sustain a return greater than it's
(competition drives price toward cost), unless the provider of the machine
capture rent on natural or artificial scarcity, in which case price is
driven towards
utility (productive output or "capital yield").

Yet you are not claiming that price can not be greater than cost nor that
will not be lower than utility, but bizarly, that capital yield can not be
than price.

Once again, you are confusing use-value and exchange-value. Are
claiming that a machine's price is automatically it's output while a
Haman's is their subsistence-cost? Why is this so?

Three reasons.

First, because workers can't sell labour (the "done"), because they
don't have means of production to produce something to be sold.

Yes, I understand the Iron Law, which you employ here and elsewhere 
while also denying you believe it.

I agree that worker's have an output greater than their subsistence cost,
and that
this is the source of surplus value, which is a component of exchange

I also understand the distinction between labour and labour-power, so I am
sure why you bother explaining it here once again.

Yet, you have still not answered the question, why do you believe that
can not produce yield that is greater than it's price?

And most importantly, other than illustrating for us your knowledge of
information, you have not addressed how this information is "it relevant to
is being discussed," as I asked.

This IMHO is original Marx. While rejecting these arguments, do you
accept, that these are Marx' arguments?

AFAIK, Marx never believed that a machine's yield could never be greater
than it's cost, 
only that the "owner" of the machine, when not the direct-producer, has no
just claim on
any yield beyond cost, and therefore when the "owner" of the machine
appropriates the prodouct
and controls it's circulation his income is derived from exploitation.

In any case, I am not so much interested in arguing over what Marx did or
did not believe, 
but what you or I believe and can demonstrate logically.

If somebody give me a machine
for free does that mean that the value it produces is 0?

Don't make too simple: This "somebody" paid the machine. However,
remember, all arguments are only valid for the societal average, not
for a single case. In the societal average, "there is no free lunch"
(machine etc.), even when looking "free" (paid by others).

Yes, that simple example illustrates the flaws in your claims.

As explained, the price of the machine is equal to it's yield only
when the "owner" of the machine can capture scarcity rent. Otherwise the
of the machine will be a function of what it cost to create such a machine,
not it's yield.

The yield however is never limited by it's cost, not in the single case, 
nor in any case.

Both Capital and Labour have costs and productive output.

Hu? Capital has a productive output? What may this be?

All productive output is the result of labour applied to Capital, both the
producer and
the productive assets together create output. 

What is meant by Capital yield is nto that Capital produces alone, but that
Capital has a different contribution, for example labour may produce more
product with
a tractor than a shovel, thus the capital yield of the tractor is the
differance in
what is produced. 

I agree that Capital alone can not create output.

Further, I blieve that the "owner" of Capital has no claim to the yield of 
capital beyond it's cost.

However Capital can not
experience dis-utility, and therefore does not need to be compelled
to contribute to production, unlike people, and therefor does not
require compensation beyond it's cost. Thus, Labour is the source of
all _exchange value_ (dis-utility must be compensated), while Capital
and Land can only create use-value.

Is this Gesell?

It is simple logic, variations on which can be found throughout
political economic discussions.

Do you agree or will you try to refute it?

You continue to be very confused here, investment and competition are
not definitive components of Capitalism,

Are not??

No, they are not, development of productive assets requires investment in
system, as it requires a surplus beyond immediate consumption. 

Competition is incompatible with Capitalism, which depends on _withholding_
assets from labour and sustains it's class structure by way of scarcity

Here is a simple syllogism which may help you understand:

As competition drives the return to Capital to it's cost, so therefore no
class can
sustain itself though owning capital alone.

...unless they can restrict competition.

as with free exchange
Capital (Interest) can not capture any more than it's cost, thus
"capitalism" depends mainly upon rent, which is only achieved by
_eliminating_ competition by way natural or legal scarcity.

Then good luck by eliminiting competition, while competition eleminates

When you have the force of the State behind you, you don't depend on luck.

This does not in anyway obscure anything, in fact it is exactly
incomes that helps us understand exploitation, as in a "free society"
there could be no alienated Interests and Rents. However, a worker
could certainly "profit" by way of labour (Wages).

This is Gesell. In german these approaches are called "money botching".

Why do you keep looking for a higher authority like Marx, Gesell, etc, why
respond logically to the argument being made?

Please note that "money," botched, or otherwise was not mentioned in the
passage you quote, what exactly about understanding the ecnomic distinction
among incomes is "money botching?"

who want to obscure incomes in order to justify the absurd
belief that an exploitive class system can maintain itself in a
context of free exchange.

The goal of having a really free exchange system is the goal of the
orthodox neoclassical approach (like Hajek and others). Right?

Wrong, the goal of the neoclassical economists is to claim that _property_
compatible with free exchange and to thereby obscure the role of
rent when looking at incomes attempting to claim all incomes, including
rent, is a just return to productive contribution.

"Vulgar" (mostly neoclassical) apologist for capital, do, however
agree with you that "Capitalism" is based on free choice and want to
obscure it's basis in violence, coercion and privilege.

So, you agree, that you are arguing neoclassical, except that you are
emphasizing violence as the basis, right? Without violence capitalism
will be ok, right?

Are you even reading what you are responding to or have your resorted to
typing random sentences now?

Capitalism can not exist without privilege based upon violence, because
Capital can only earn
a return greater than it's replacement cost when granted privilege backed
with State force.

You appear to be unwilling to know what "Capitalism" is, and this leads you
make the
same absurd statements over and over again.

The essential component of neoclassical economics is "marginal utility"
thoery, which
disputes the labour theory and the iron law, both of which I employ.

Lumping all incomes into "Profit" leads one to hold absurd beliefs
like thinking that when a worker engages in free exchange it is

Yes, again a neoclassical argument. Slowly I understand the picture.

Slowly I am starting to understand that are not intersted in actually
learning anything, 
but appear to enjoy making absurd, demonstrably false, claims.

My arguments employ _classical_ heterodox economics, which is what
economics attempts to refute with highly specious arguments.

You are clearly uninterested in knowing the difference, no matter how many
times I try to explain it, and are more interested in employing orthodox

All exchange is governed by contract, whether explicit or implied,

That's true. No difference between employed and self-employed concerning
the relationship to capital?

No, the difference is who appropriates the final product and thereby
controls it's circulation.

A socialist mode is one where Interest and Rent are not alienated
from the direct-producers.

Ok. I would call this the normal capitalist mode, though in my view.

Your view is demonstratably false, you hold on to it only by refusing to
know the basic facts presented.

Capitalism depends on the theft of surplus value, which is impossible
alienating Interest and Rent appropriated from direct producers.

IWW are mistaken. Capitalism won't go away by organizing its logic
using its means.

A great example of an orthodox point of view: simply insisted, not

You insist and give no argument against my central argument,
that "capitalism won't go away by organizing its logic using its

That is not an argument, that is an empty claim. You have failed to
demonstrate that I am
employing or proposing "capitalist means," nor in what way these
"capitalist means" impede changes to the mode of production from happening.

You simply repeat your unsubstantiated belief as a religious mantra.

Please give us a short summary of the transitional course you
propose. Saying "Read Archives" is not enough.
I'll do more translations (but not here being too tired).

Just a few sentences is enough, how do you propose we organize the new
without entering exchange relations of any kind, either endogenous nor

Exactly, they fund it because they employ it in production and thus
are ale to capture a return by controlling circulation of the
resulting product.

The resulting product does not have added value, because free software
is free of value.

You continue to be unable to distinguish value (use-value) from price

Free software has use value, and thereby when used in production can
generate exchange value
However it can only be used in production when one has access to property.

How many times will you continue to repeat the same defeated arguments?

The question was how does it _challenge_ exploitation, given that
workers can neither sustain themselves nor accummulate wealth with
it, unless they have access to property.

Ok, I understand. My answer: Only by building up an alternative
framework of cooperation outside the value/use-value framework beyond
exchange, money, state and the other capitalist forms.

This is meaningless. If it is useful, it has use-value. 

If you have specialized labour at all, you have some form of circulation
and exchange, if you have any scarcity at all you have have allocation,
which requires consumptive memory, therefore money. And the State wont go
away until after we have created a free society, it wont just vanish.

Please explain how free software will eliminate specialized labour,
circulation of scarce resources and the state.

The use value of free software can certainly help us build the new society,
but only to the degree that we are able to develop the production and
sharing modes that free society requires, which we can only do by
understanding exchange, money, and rent and employing this knowledge in the
production of actual goods and service, and not just sticking our heads in
the stand expecting some pseudo-messianic transformation will magically


Contact: projekt

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