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Europeans blame Jewish people for the financial crisis
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Author Topic: Europeans blame Jewish people for the financial crisis  (Read 23394 times)
Psy
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« Reply #120 on: February 25, 2009, 22:38:15 EST »

My better judgement is telling me not to. But apparently I'm a sucker for pain.

Quote from: Andrei
3) By the 16th century, serfdom was practically phased out and most peasents became free farmers.
Wrong, it was not phased out till the 1760's with the enclosures.

*game show buzzer sounds*

Enclosure was a successful attempt by the state to grab more power. Although towns usually farmed as a community, each farmer, just before enclosure, owned strips of land in the common fields. They were paid out of the common harvest according to how many strips of land they owned in the field that was harvested.

Enclosure, then, was the separating of these common fields into individual farms. The "state ... grab[bing] more power" bit comes in here: the state put up fences and charged for them. People who couldn't pay for the fences were forced to sell the land, usually to the state. Who would then turn around and sell them for more to lords.
And your point?

Prior to the enclosure the commons was a way that feudal lords didn't have to pay for labor or pay to maintain labor as unlike slaves the feudal lords could simply get peasants to work on their land then peasants were expected to work the commons to sustain themselves 

Strike two. Read Andrei's posts for the long version of "why".

Villages at the time were not owned by lords. See, funny thing is that England, just before enclosure, was a lot more like communism on a large scale than anything else I've heard of. The major difference being the complete lack of abundance.
While some villages were not owned by lords the lords still were able to get free labor, you have to remeber the French revolution of 1789 was against French feudal lords and fedualism as French peasants were tired of being tied to the land.


I wouldn't call it communism since in the larger sense commons were a way for lords to not have to give any expenditures to their labor force. 

Strike three: you've jumped over to France when we're discussing the English enclosure policy. You're out.
We were actually talking about fedualism in Europe.  You also ignored my argument that the commons were a way for lords to not have to give any expenditures to their labor force and their existence was a sign of feudal production. 


Quote from: Medivh
Quote from: Medivh
Quote from: Medivh
I think I figured out where the disconnect is. Psy is referencing Marx as an authority on economics, whereas the rest of us dismiss him offhand.

Yeah, well... Getting Psy to see that Marxism is at fault and not reality is something of a trick. Whenever you make a soundly devastating point, he does the creationist thing and restates the point as if you haven't just thumped it good and hard.

Psy: that shit gets old, real quick.
Yes this shit is getting old, we are arguing not about Marxism we are arguing if capitalist invest money into commodities to sell for more money and if feudal lords that used forced labor invested money into commodities to sell for more money.   You guys are doing the creationist thing as you keep saying M-C-P is Marxist when it is from Adam Smith you ignorant boobs.
Yeah, that's like saying that Darwin was wrong. No shit, we've moved on from there. Free hint: profit is not a motivation in and of its self to most people. Not even many capitalists are motivated by profit alone.
Profit is the motive for capitalist production, the whole point a capitalist invests money into commodities is to get more money back, capitalists don't argue this point and Marx was mostly just parroting Adam Smith over these points.

That's because Smith and later recognised that they don't understand people. They saw the profit as the end for the purposes of economics. However, capitalists are consumers. They go on to spend that profit on commodities that are then used for no reason other than personal satisfaction.

Clearly not all of the "M1" factor gets used thus; most capitalists rely on reinvesting some profit to get more profit. This "more profit" is then split between getting another round of "more profit" and commodities that get used up.

It's not as simple as M-C-M1. Repeat it again, and I'll assume you're reading nothing.
That does not debunk M-C-M1 or M-C-P since at this point we are looking at capitalism so abstracted that P (or M1), Marx did take a closer look to show where M1 goes but that is not necessary to differentiate fedualism from capitalism.
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Medivh
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« Reply #121 on: February 26, 2009, 00:18:17 EST »

Skroable blooble scunct. Afasio blagooga malafiescet apprend farfortunious.
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And if i catch you comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- "Seven Nation Army", The White Stripes

So what you're telling me is that LTV's fudge factor means more than it's independent variable?
Yes...
wodan46
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« Reply #122 on: February 26, 2009, 00:39:05 EST »

Skroable blooble scunct. Afasio blagooga malafiescet apprend farfortunious.
Great, Medivh broke.
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The plural of "anecdote" is "anecdotes". Not "data".
Andrei
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« Reply #123 on: February 26, 2009, 09:15:59 EST »

For the sake of completeness...

I never said M-C-P-Q?-whatever was true or false, I said it was irrelevant.

I won't re-state my point since I did so three times in a row, each time with different wording and in more detail. And three times in a row, your reply was basically the same:
"M-C-P proves feudal lords weren't capitalists."

Your point (I guess) was that feudal society was never a modern capitalist society (true) and that land-owning nobility existed throughout it (true again), which somehow shows W.Europe had the same economic system from ~500 AD to ~1750 AD (complete and utter horseshit).

And that's assuming you read my posts, tried to understand my point, and wrote something which -though irrelevant- should have been connected to it. I must say I am unconvinced on both accounts...

If you'd wanted to be taken seriously:
1) Read my posts and at least try to understand them.
2) Drop the false dichotomy I explained above
3) Give actual historical references rather than vague bullshit
4) Give detailed explanations for your logic so as to avoid unjustified leaps
5) Own up to your claims. You claimed no private land ownership outside of the nobility during the middle ages, I showed monasteries holding land and free farmers holding land as much as noblemen did, you neither retracted nor replied...

P.S.
I currently have a landlord to whom I pay monthly tribute, which generates commodities (he owns a small plot of undevelopped land he turned into a garden) and even forces me to do labor (I have to carry my own garbage to the garbage can as throwing it out the window is frowned upon).

Oh my God! I live in feudalism!
___________________________________________________________ ____________

Quote from: Medivh
Villages at the time were not owned by lords. See, funny thing is that England, just before enclosure, was a lot more like communism on a large scale than anything else I've heard of. The major difference being the complete lack of abundance.
It's not a coincidence.

The early middle ages were... surprisingly communistic. The village structure grew out of the roman villa (notice the similar words, and the similarity to villain), and in fact early medieval villages were just this side of being forced labor camps.

With time, it became more efficient to have different villagers farm different parcels of land and only have them collaborate when they needed heavy machinery they might not have had (like plows) or farm animals.

Flash forward to the 15th century and you'll find villages about 50-50 between free men and villains (a distinction Psy never understood), and even villains working more time on their own land than on the noble's.

It was basically a transition from a corvee-based system of taxation to a property tax-based system of taxation.

When taxes became monetary, the whole system was chucked out of convenience. It was easier, cheaper and more efficient to hire labor than to force serfs to work for you. That's why, by the 17th century, sefdom was practically out.

This is why Psy's position strikes me as remarkably idiotic. W.Europe went from a controlled economy to one of private property, and the importance of trade boomed sowing the seeds for a future free market. Despite the traditional belief that the middle ages were static, they were surprisingly dynamic times.

Incidentally, I remember in a book I read on rural medieval life circe 1250 (Life in a Medieval Village, very easy to read and enjoy), they discussed at length whether village economy at that time was closer to communism or capitalism and came to the conclusion that it was a 50-50 proposition, but moving in time decidedly towards private property.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 09:31:09 EST by Andrei » Logged

He looked severely at me for awhile, then, grabbing his moustaches, he said:
- Boss, with all due respect, you are naive and pedant.

"Alexis Zorba", by Nikos Kazantzakis (translation mine)
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« Reply #124 on: February 26, 2009, 10:51:05 EST »

Only if you can afford to move countries, otherwise you're a serf.

It is not you that is owned, it is the land, you just happen to come with it.
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Psy
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« Reply #125 on: February 26, 2009, 11:49:05 EST »

For the sake of completeness...

I never said M-C-P-Q?-whatever was true or false, I said it was irrelevant.

I won't re-state my point since I did so three times in a row, each time with different wording and in more detail. And three times in a row, your reply was basically the same:
"M-C-P proves feudal lords weren't capitalists."

Your point (I guess) was that feudal society was never a modern capitalist society (true)
M-C-P is not a abstraction of just modern capitalism but capitalism period.  Lets take the classical lemonade stand example, you start with money, you invest in what you need to make, make and market your lemonade, then you sell the lemonade.  This is M-C-P, yes you can be more exact but this level of abstraction describes any capitalist process.

Quote from: Andrei
and that land-owning nobility existed throughout it (true again), which somehow shows W.Europe had the same economic system from ~500 AD to ~1750 AD (complete and utter horseshit).
You are not looking at fedualism like an abstract production system (basically you are looking to closely at the details), yes the economic system changed fedualism but it also changed under capitalism. 

Quote from: Andrei
P.S.
I currently have a landlord to whom I pay monthly tribute, which generates commodities (he owns a small plot of undevelopped land he turned into a garden) and even forces me to do labor (I have to carry my own garbage to the garbage can as throwing it out the window is frowned upon).

Oh my God! I live in feudalism!
But how do you earn money to pay the land lord.  In fedualism waged labor didn't exist, you didn't see people payed for their labor while their employer took the output of their labor, what you did see is employers paying workers for output for example a private farm paid hands to bring in the crops rather then paying them an hourly wage and trying to get them to bring it in as quickly as possible so they can pay them as less as possible.

Quote from: Andrei
Quote from: Medivh
Villages at the time were not owned by lords. See, funny thing is that England, just before enclosure, was a lot more like communism on a large scale than anything else I've heard of. The major difference being the complete lack of abundance.
It's not a coincidence.

The early middle ages were... surprisingly communistic. The village structure grew out of the roman villa (notice the similar words, and the similarity to villain), and in fact early medieval villages were just this side of being forced labor camps.

With time, it became more efficient to have different villagers farm different parcels of land and only have them collaborate when they needed heavy machinery they might not have had (like plows) or farm animals.

Flash forward to the 15th century and you'll find villages about 50-50 between free men and villains (a distinction Psy never understood), and even villains working more time on their own land than on the noble's.
Efficiency does not change the economic system.

Quote from: Andrei
It was basically a transition from a corvee-based system of taxation to a property tax-based system of taxation.

When taxes became monetary, the whole system was chucked out of convenience. It was easier, cheaper and more efficient to hire labor than to force serfs to work for you. That's why, by the 17th century, sefdom was practically out.

This is why Psy's position strikes me as remarkably idiotic. W.Europe went from a controlled economy to one of private property, and the importance of trade boomed sowing the seeds for a future free market. Despite the traditional belief that the middle ages were static, they were surprisingly dynamic times.
Private property does not equal capitalism, you could argue that there was a transitionary economic system between fedualism and capitalism.

Quote from: Andrei
Incidentally, I remember in a book I read on rural medieval life circe 1250 (Life in a Medieval Village, very easy to read and enjoy), they discussed at length whether village economy at that time was closer to communism or capitalism and came to the conclusion that it was a 50-50 proposition, but moving in time decidedly towards private property.
Again private property does not equal capitalism, Trots have pointed out not only is possible to have capitalism without any private property but that was what the U.S.S.R was since the U.S.S.R fit into the M-C-P description for the state thus the U.S.S.R was was a state-capitalist economy were the state was the sole capitalist.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 12:01:20 EST by Psy » Logged
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« Reply #126 on: February 26, 2009, 13:30:59 EST »

Psy is mostly talking rubbish here.  It's worth clarifying a few things though.  I won't spend long here, since everyone is arguing with me in every other thread.

There are difference between the "modes of production" that Marxists talk about.  These distinctions are drawn from the work of Classical economists before Marx.  Modern economists still use some of them.  Read the following very carefully....

To start with the "means of production" are the things necessary for work.  The stock and capital equipment, etc.

In a "barter economy" people exchange products for other products.  The means of production may be owned in many different ways.  They may be owned by those who do the work, or they may be owned by others.  The limitations of barter means that such economies are often small and primitive.  Individuals produce to sustain themselves.

In a "money economy" people exchange products for money.  For example, a farmer may grow only grain, some of which he uses.  The remainder he sells.  He buys other products with the proceeds.  Marxists label these transactions M->C and C->M.  So, for a particular purchase one party does M->C the other does C->M.  There is nothing particularly inaccurate about this, except that money is often also a commodity.  A Marxist would label a barter C->C similarly.

Something worth noting is that Marxists call things exchanged in trades "commodities".  Normally a commodity means something homogeneous, like coal or grain.  Things which are not homogeneous may also be traded though, good or services, or products.  This can be confusing.  When I mean products in this post I mean services or goods, and goods includes commodities.

Generally "things" may be split into two different catagories.  There are man-made things and their are things of nature.  The latter economists call "land" (things that come out of land, like oil are also "land" by the economists definition).

In a money economy there are several sorts of activities.  An individual (or household) who owns means-of-production may use these for his or her own purposes.  That is they may not trade.  Alternatively they may take part in the larger economy by selling their labour for example, these are normally the interesting cases.

An individual may own her means-of-production and use these to make products which she sells.  Such a person buys those materials, the means-of-production or they may already exist, and sells the products for money.  That money she then uses to renew the means of production and to supply for herself.  To do this she converts the money into products.  This is what Psy means when he says C->M->C.  This is the way a small craftsman works for example.  Notice that the person involved may buy the means of production at the start.  We could label a process of that sort M->C->M->C.

Another possibility is that an individual owns means-of-production but others do the work.  The means of production are purchased or are already owned.  Workers are paid to work with them, products are made and sold.  The owner intends for these products to be sold at a price above the price paid for the means of production.  The owner then makes a profit or in Marxist terms a surplus that he can spend.  This profit may be invested in other investments or to supply the owners wishes.  This is what Psy means when he says M->C->M'.  Notice that in this case the owner must spend the proceeds to enjoy them, they must be turned into products.  So the whole process would be M->C->M'->C.

Notice that in my examples the Marxist-style flow charts don't really stand up to much scrutiny.  The first step of the smaller producer's action is missing in "C-M-C", and in "M-C-M" the last step is missing.  Add those steps and both are essentially similar.  There remains though some important differences.  When a person owns their own means of production there is no difference between wages and profits.  The individual decides how much of their proceeds to reinvest and how much to spend on consumption.  When the means of production are owned by a separate party things are different.  The owner takes a part of the profits and pays wages, there is a split.  The owner intends to make more money from the investment than he started with.  If he thought this wouldn't happen he would stuff the money in his mattress.  This demand for profits though it not so different for the small businessman's behaviour.  If selling products did not result in enough money to renew the means of production and to leave a remainder for consumption then the small businessman would not work.

The key distinction here is really in how work is organized.  A worker can work using means of production she owns, or using those owned by another.  Marxists object to the latter, but they don't put the distinction this way.  They talk about M-C-M' processes inaccurately.

The labels attached to an owner of the means-of-production vary.  Classical economists knew that land was "the non-produced means of production".  Those who own land they called landlords.  To the classical economists those who own "the produced means of production" are Capitalists.  Marxists don't talk about landlords much, or about land.

It is with landlords that their definitions become very confused.  For example in some places a dark age landlord was like a taxman.  He took a cut from his tenants.  As I understand it sometimes this was taken directly in grain.

In later times money was involved and things were much more complex.  A person could buy land employ others to work on it and take a profit.  This is quite obviously what a Marxists mean by Capitalism, but they don't say that.  This was prevalent from quite early times in some places, such as England.

Due to this confusion Marxists refer to everything before ~1760 as "feudalism" as though it was all the same, which of course it wasn't.
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Psy
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« Reply #127 on: February 26, 2009, 14:41:28 EST »

Psy is mostly talking rubbish here. 
Gee tanks

Quote from: Current
It's worth clarifying a few things though.  I won't spend long here, since everyone is arguing with me in every other thread.

There are difference between the "modes of production" that Marxists talk about.  These distinctions are drawn from the work of Classical economists before Marx.  Modern economists still use some of them.  Read the following very carefully....

To start with the "means of production" are the things necessary for work.  The stock and capital equipment, etc.

In a "barter economy" people exchange products for other products.  The means of production may be owned in many different ways.  They may be owned by those who do the work, or they may be owned by others.  The limitations of barter means that such economies are often small and primitive.  Individuals produce to sustain themselves.

In a "money economy" people exchange products for money.  For example, a farmer may grow only grain, some of which he uses.  The remainder he sells.  He buys other products with the proceeds.  Marxists label these transactions M->C and C->M.  So, for a particular purchase one party does M->C the other does C->M.  There is nothing particularly inaccurate about this, except that money is often also a commodity.  A Marxist would label a barter C->C similarly.

Something worth noting is that Marxists call things exchanged in trades "commodities".  Normally a commodity means something homogeneous, like coal or grain.  Things which are not homogeneous may also be traded though, good or services, or products.  This can be confusing.  When I mean products in this post I mean services or goods, and goods includes commodities.

Generally "things" may be split into two different catagories.  There are man-made things and their are things of nature.  The latter economists call "land" (things that come out of land, like oil are also "land" by the economists definition).

In a money economy there are several sorts of activities.  An individual (or household) who owns means-of-production may use these for his or her own purposes.  That is they may not trade.  Alternatively they may take part in the larger economy by selling their labour for example, these are normally the interesting cases.

An individual may own her means-of-production and use these to make products which she sells.  Such a person buys those materials, the means-of-production or they may already exist, and sells the products for money.  That money she then uses to renew the means of production and to supply for herself.  To do this she converts the money into products.  This is what Psy means when he says C->M->C.  This is the way a small craftsman works for example.  Notice that the person involved may buy the means of production at the start.  We could label a process of that sort M->C->M->C.

Another possibility is that an individual owns means-of-production but others do the work.  The means of production are purchased or are already owned.  Workers are paid to work with them, products are made and sold.  The owner intends for these products to be sold at a price above the price paid for the means of production.  The owner then makes a profit or in Marxist terms a surplus that he can spend.  This profit may be invested in other investments or to supply the owners wishes.  This is what Psy means when he says M->C->M'.  Notice that in this case the owner must spend the proceeds to enjoy them, they must be turned into products.  So the whole process would be M->C->M'->C.
Hold up, M-C-M' is an abstraction, what M' is used for is not specified.  Also that would be M-C-M'-C' and the end goal for capitalist is not ever greater amount of commodities you can see that in modern capitalism where capitalist have far more money then they could every hope to spend yet they still invest their money to get more money because they want more money not to consume more but simply to have more money.

Quote from: Current
Notice that in my examples the Marxist-style flow charts don't really stand up to much scrutiny.  The first step of the smaller producer's action is missing in "C-M-C", and in "M-C-M" the last step is missing. 
Smaller producers (that follow C-M-C) start with commodities not money they either use their labor to get those commodities or acquire them through other means but they don't buy them with money.  And there are capitalists that have enough money that they could have everything and still have more then enough money yet they still accumulate money since that is their goal not commodities.

Quote from: Current
Add those steps and both are essentially similar.  There remains though some important differences.  When a person owns their own means of production there is no difference between wages and profits.  The individual decides how much of their proceeds to reinvest and how much to spend on consumption.  When the means of production are owned by a separate party things are different.  The owner takes a part of the profits and pays wages, there is a split.  The owner intends to make more money from the investment than he started with.  If he thought this wouldn't happen he would stuff the money in his mattress.  This demand for profits though it not so different for the small businessman's behaviour.  If selling products did not result in enough money to renew the means of production and to leave a remainder for consumption then the small businessman would not work.
You assume a ever expanding market meaning every production cycle there is going to be more demand thus every production cycle the means of production has to be expanded.  In this crisis we are seeing what happens in capitalism when there is abundance and idle capital can't be mopped up be investing in greater productive forces.   We are seeing that when there is no need for more production rather then capitalists being stratified with no profits and capitalism automatically becoming M-C-M that production is contracted till there is once again there is scarcity so production can be expanded once again so M-C-M' can continue.   

Quote from: Current
The key distinction here is really in how work is organized.  A worker can work using means of production she owns, or using those owned by another.  Marxists object to the latter, but they don't put the distinction this way.  They talk about M-C-M' processes inaccurately.
M-C-M' is an abstract and Marx did go into greater detail.

Quote from: Current
The labels attached to an owner of the means-of-production vary.  Classical economists knew that land was "the non-produced means of production".  Those who own land they called landlords.  To the classical economists those who own "the produced means of production" are Capitalists.  Marxists don't talk about landlords much, or about land.
That definition is far too vague, it would mean in a hunter gather tribe the hunters that owned the weapons were the capitalists.  Capitalists are those that convert money into commodities for more money.

Quote from: Current
It is with landlords that their definitions become very confused.  For example in some places a dark age landlord was like a taxman.  He took a cut from his tenants.  As I understand it sometimes this was taken directly in grain.

In later times money was involved and things were much more complex.  A person could buy land employ others to work on it and take a profit.  This is quite obviously what a Marxists mean by Capitalism, but they don't say that.  This was prevalent from quite early times in some places, such as England.
Marx explained why land owners that employed workers were not capitalists, it was because the workers were not paid a wage and rather paid to perform a task (meaning the workers were selling the output of their labor not their labor) thus if the workers finished early they could leave early while getting paid the same thus workers were not variable capital but constant capital.  Another issue is that land lords were not transforming money into commodities in order to get more money as Marx said the land lords greed was limited to what they could physically consume while the capitalist's greed is endless as their goal is not to accumulate commodites but money itself.

Quote from: Current
Due to this confusion Marxists refer to everything before ~1760 as "feudalism" as though it was all the same, which of course it wasn't.
Capitalism now is drastically different then capitalism of even the 1960's, meaning just because there are differences doesn't mean the overall economic system has changed.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 14:46:48 EST by Psy » Logged
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« Reply #128 on: February 26, 2009, 23:57:26 EST »

Current:
As a minor fiddly bit, most of what we used to consider barter economies seem to have something which fulfilled the role of currency, even if not denoted as such.  The question is what one considers pure currency and what is a "barter item", but yeah, even in pre-writing societies people quickly figure out hauling around shitloads of goods just doesn't cut it so they some other means of denoting the value.

Of course, we may even have vague credit systems before any formalised system of money.  It just seems to be something we do as a species.  If you have always given me 2 handfuls of teeth for every hatchet, I know something is up when you try to give me only one.  We also see societies where we give each other X goods seasonally (South Amerika and Irak represent!) with the understanding there will be pay back, such goods haven't been extracted into a monetary form, but most Big Men/Religious Leaders could have told you that a handful of metal is more important to them then a handful of grain.

From there, we're a hop and a skip away from being able to sort and value.
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« Reply #129 on: February 27, 2009, 04:49:48 EST »

Current:
As a minor fiddly bit, most of what we used to consider barter economies seem to have something which fulfilled the role of currency, even if not denoted as such.  The question is what one considers pure currency and what is a "barter item", but yeah, even in pre-writing societies people quickly figure out hauling around shitloads of goods just doesn't cut it so they some other means of denoting the value.
Yes.  Grain in some cases, salt in some cases.  According to Carl Menger's theory of money these are really money economies.  I'd generally agree with that.
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