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View Diary: Marx for Dummies 1 (193 comments)

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  •  Marx would agree with (11+ / 0-)

    you on the role that education plays.  This is what he calls "ideology" and what Althusser would later call the "ideological state apparatus" (ISA).  These are mechanisms that both form workers and that make capitalism seem "natural" and like the only possible system.  That said, you can't simply explain these things by schools, media, mistaken beliefs, etc.  People have to live.  In order to live they must eat.  In order to eat, they must work.  Most of us have no other option but selling our labor to live.  It would be nice if we could just wave all this away by properly educating people and correcting their beliefs, but that's only part of the story.  Changing beliefs might lead people to organize, but you still need a production and distribution system to meet the needs of consumption.

    I would suggest that your being uncharitable in your criticism here.  This is a post that is a couple thousand words designed to make Marxist thought accessible.  There have been thousands of pages written on these things and entire forests of trees killed responding to the points you make.

    •  Here is where Marx's materialism plays (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian Democrat, JosephK74

      a key role. In Marx's scheme, ideas arise from material conditions. Consequently, one must consult with material realities before attempting form ideas for coping with them. The test of any theoretical system is in how accurately it comports with material realities. Unfortunately too many ostensible Marxists have stood this principle on its head.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 02:02:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  First of all, love the diary....secondly, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dustin Mineau

      I just wanted to contribute one interesting note about labor, food, unemployment, and monetary systems.
      According to many prominent MMTers (modern monetary theory subscribers).....the whole notion of unemployment is necessarily a monetary phenomenon.  Before modern (plausible time scale of perhaps ~5,000 BCE) monetary systems, there could not really be any unemployment (in the modern sense of actively looking for work and not being able to find it) as without a money system everyone contributed to feeding, clothing, housing the clan, group, etc.  Once you introduce a monetary system and especially when you apply that system through force and taxation....only then could we have the phenomenon of looking for work that pays in a particular currency and not be able to find it.  
      This is why MMTers, generally, presume that the natural rate of unemployment is basically zero, and any unemployment is the result of the monopoly supplier of the currency (generally a state run, with private bank help enterprise) not providing enough currency to provide for people's savings desires + the ability to consume every ounce of production that society is capable of at full capacity=employment.....just a thought on the nature of unemployment and labor

      "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

      by Auburn Parks on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 07:06:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And even more (0+ / 0-)

      trees responding to the counterarguments you make.

      But you're right. I'm being uncharitable. I actually like Marxism (even though I'm not a "follower", like I said) and I think there are good insights. What I don't like is absolutes. We're not "doomed to sell our labor". A very poor construction worker from a slum probably is. A well-educated middle-class person with car debt and lots of hobbies is not.

      I know it's a sensitive topic in DailyKos, but I'm just arguing for non-black & white thinking.

      And yes, I loved the article and plan on sharing it.

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