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RE: Charu: your point is like Marx's point
This discussion is beginning to degenerate to the dreaded capitalism vs
socialism. I think we should take this off line.
In reply to your rather long post:
I'm not concerned how Marx, or you or anyone else defines socialism. My
concern is the type of society we are trying to design. As I've said
before, there is nothing provably "right" or "wrong" about social
theories- the rightness or its opposite is a value judgment and I
believe that a value judgment should be based on the consequences it
produces on all the people involved, but that is just a personal belief.
There are others on this group who seem to believe in immutable
principles and argue about "natural social orders" evolved over
millenia. In my view these are religious arguments and I have no way of
arguing against them any more than I could argue against someone who
claimed to have learned the truth from a burning bush that spoke at the
top of a mountain, or divine laws supposedly formulated by, someone who
managed to be the sole survivor of a global flood by riding on the back
of his giant pet fish [for those of you unfamiliar with Indian mythology
the latter is a reference to Manu the law giver who supposedly gave us
the caste system]
As an aside, I believe Marx's economic theories on capital were
groundbreaking and largely stand up to the test of time. His social
theories as implemented in Bolshevism/Leninism were totalitarian and
genocidal. I have posted views by the "mainstream" economists including
Adam Smith and I find it obvious that these theories are formulated to
serve the institutions that pay for them and are little better than most
of the drivel that issues from the likes of the heritage foundation, or
the Cato institute,
I want to point out large corporations represent a very close parallel
to the social model of vulgar Marxists:
"Dictatorship of the Proletariat" [IMO dictatorship of anyone,
proletariat or otherwise, is still plain old dictatorship] it
corresponds to the totalitarian dictatorship power held by upper
management in a corporation.
"Efficient control of the means of production" is precisely the argument
for the corporate mergers and the vertical integration that we're seeing
at an ever accelerating pace.
"The state withering away" is a stated ideal of most corporate funded
think tanks, though closer inspection of the demands of corporate power
is the use of the state to promote the interests of corporate capital at
>Ford could succeed only by
>paying his labor MUCH higher than the market wage. This is
>efficiency wage. Capitalism has a way of paying people HIGHER
>they "deserve," in order to reduce turnover, ensure loyalty,
>leakage of trade secrets.
An alternate view is that given the robot-like nature of assembly line
work, workers preferred unemployment and poverty to the debilitating
demands of working on an assembly line. It does not seem to occur to the
mainstream analysts that when an enterprise makes higher profits the
workers "deserve" to share in them. Or that such de-humanizing and
debilitating work "deserved" higher pay.
>(a) you and I can both become CEOs (if we stop wasting
time on IP,
* of course!), i.e., it is not a hereditary right.
I fail to see how that justifies you or I as a CEO being paid 1000 times
an average employee, [though this is just a value judgement].
>(b) markets punish companies where CEOs "eat" too much
* at the expense of growth of value of the company.
With golden parachutes?
>(c) the market forces have begun to pay CEOs mostly in
> and stock options. This means that the CEO can
> nothing if he does not work hard. Many CEOs draw
> a wage of $0 and get paid entirely in stock
> That is a perfect incentive contract. The market
* has automatically designed it.
I don't know where you get this data, but even if it is true, I fail to
see the desirability of rewards based on gambling with a personal stake
of a few months or a year's time, against potential rewards in the tens
or hundreds of millions.
>So, I'm much less concerned with this great wealth owned by
Neither am I. I'm concerned with the power they wield by virtue of being
able to buy political power with corporate resources.
>Serve them right for trying to violate the laws of
>economics and trying to run an "alternate economy."
I've already commented on the "laws" of economics.
They are neither provable nor disprovable, IMO they are frequently self
serving belief systems meant to protect the power and privilege of their
makers. And they are belief systems- see my post on Adam Smith's belief
that God revealed Himself through the market].
>Reverting to your points. While well taken in terms of the
concern for the
'>totalitarian' power of the CEOs, I assure you that nobody has
so far been
>able to determine a better system of organizing capital, men,
>and raw materials, to produce the kind of things you and I use
on a daily
>basis (computers, for instance).
This is the "Divine Right"/"Natural Order" argument. I've dealt with
>You must start seeing things from the
>point of view of 'standard' economists.
>I often notice that what you say,
>though always sounding very scholarly (plenty of citations you
>appears that you have ready very selectively, particularly
I suppose you're saying I need a "good" education.
There are people Orwell wrote about in his preface to
"Animal Farm" -- which was not published: it was about thought control
in free societies. He concluded that the effects were not unlike those
of the totalitarian society he was satirizing, but the mechanisms were
different. One is a good education, which instills in its victims the
understanding that there are some things it just "wouldn't do to say" --
or think, we may add.
Unfortunately, this is like studying the material on biology and
that was produced before the Renaissance.
Or, alternatively, challenging the orthodoxy in Gallilean times,
proclaiming that the Earth was not the center of the universe and it
actually moved because this undermined the notion that the dominant
power institution of the time had a monopoly on the truth.
I think my views are pretty clear at this point but to summarize I'll
say I believe we need to look very carefully at the role of corporate
power. IMO, if we don't, we're simply creating a blueprint for handing
over political power in India from thef gangsters in power now to
another set of gangsters who populate global corporate boardrooms.
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