- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Marx right back at ya!

Posted by: MDG on December 10, 1999 at 20:39:35:

In Reply to: Anti-Mayonnaise posted by Chuck on December 10, 1999 at 15:05:23:

: MGD: Any ruler who rules in the name of justice and freedom, but who oppresses people, is a scoundrel, regardless of the political label they wear (or you slap on them).

: Chuck: I saw that on a BMW bumper the other day.

Well, you know those low-class lefty types who drive Beemers. Probably paid for them with welfare checks they earned while they were busy hugging whales. Every time I blow past them in my Jaguar (leather seats and Bose sound system, natch), I shake my head at their misguided politics.

: MGD: When you find common ground with someone, you ought to work to achieve it.

: Chuck: Common ground with people who advocate "some inequality"? You can count this wage-slave out. I'm tired of liberals and their bourgeois political fads.

: MGD: I guess you're talking about me with that "some inequality" remark. When did I ever advocate that?

: Chuck: How about in your next paragraph?

: MGD: Anyway, I've got news for you: as Lark pointed out in another post, you'll never get rid of all inequality. You'll never have perfection. From one wage slave to another, you'd better face the facts that human existence will be wrought with inequality and brutality and all those other things people deplore. The best we can do is minimize, as much as possible, the bad.

Stating the facts of the situation is not the same as declaring one's support for those facts. Right now it's raining and cold outside; I don't like it, but them's the facts. I hope you see the difference.

: Chuck: I'm talking about the abolition of social classes. Marx and Lenin were very clear about 'inequality' and how it will remain for some time as a defect AFTER CAPITALISM IS OVERTHROWN (i.e. the first stage of communism). Consider Marx in the "Critique of the Gotha Programme":
: But one man is superior to another physically or mentally
: and so supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor
: for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must
: be defined by its duration and intensity, otherwise it
: ceases to be a standard of measurement. This EQUAL
: right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recog-
: nises no class differences, because everyone is a
: worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognises
: unequal individual endowment and thus productive
: capacity as natural priveleges .... with an equal
: output, and hence an equal share in the social con-
: sumption fund, one will in fact receive more than
: another, one will be richer than another, and so
: on. To avoid these defects, right, instead of being
: equal, would have to be unequal. (International
: Publishers, p.8, 1986)

: Or consider Lenin in "State and Revolution":

: ... the mere conversion of the means of production
: into the common property of the whole of society
: ("Socialism" in the generally accepted sense of the
: word) DOES NOT REMOVE the defects of distribution
: and inequality of "bourgeois right" which CONTINUE
: TO RULE as long as the products are divided "accor-
: ding to work performed." .... We cannot imagine that,
: having overthrown capitalism, people will at once
: learn to work for society WITHOUT ANY STANDARD OF
: RIGHT; indeed, the abolition of capitalism DOES NOT
: IMMEDIATELY LAY the economic foundations for SUCH a
: change. (International Publishers, pp.77-8, 1985)

: So your suggestion that Marxists are utopians when it comes to inequality has no merit.

Being rather blissfully ignorant of Marxist theory, I'm sure I never said that Marxists were utopians with regard to inequality. Now, allow me to educate you with a superior form of Marxism:

From "Duck Soup" (a.k.a. "Labor Theory of Pregnancy").

Margaret Dumont: The future of Freedonia rests on you. Promise
me you'll follow in the footsteps of my husband.

Groucho: How do you like that? I haven't been on the job five
minutes and already she's making advances to me. Not that I
care. Where is your husband?

Dumont: Why he's dead.

Groucho: I bet he's just using that as an excuse.

Dumont: I was with him to the very end.

Groucho: Huh! No wonder he passed away.

Dumont: I held him in my arms and kissed him.

Groucho: Oh, I see. Then it was murder.
From "The Cocoanuts" (a.k.a. "Job Rotation for Disoriented Jugglers")

Groucho: We were young, gay, reckless. That night I
drank champagne from your slipper. Two quarts. It
would have been more, but you were wearing inner
soles. . .I could dance with you till the cows come
home. On second thought I'd rather dance with the
cows till you come home. . .Would you mind giving
me a lock of your hair?

Dumont: A lock of my hair? Why I had no idea.

Groucho: I'm letting you off easy. I was going to ask
you for the whole wig.

From "Horsefeathers" (a.k.a. "Why walk when you can Trotsky?")

Groucho: If you had ten apples and you wanted to divide them
among six people, what would you do?

Chico: Make applesauce.

Groucho: What is the shape of the world?

Chico: I don't know.

Groucho: Well, what shape are my cufflinks?

Chico: Square.

Groucho: Not my weekday cufflinks, the ones I wear on Sunday.

Chico: Oh. Round.

Groucho: All right, what is the shape of the world?

Chico: Square on weekdays, round on Sundays.

And that, my friend, is true wisdom.

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