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Luddite on Reddit - please comment!

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Wheylous Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012 4:59 PM

I got into an argument with a person who believes that we can remove scarcity by having government apportion resources "efficiently." Further in, he posted this on the topic on the need for labor:

 

 

I have ten people. All of them are, I don't know, dust bin technicians.

I build a dust bin robot.

It can do the work of 4 dust bin technicians. It only takes two people to build it, and one person to service it.

Now I have one dust binbot, two dustbinbot builders, and one dustbinbot mechanic.

and one guy who is redundant.

The dust binbot guys make another binbot. the mechanic has enough time to service two binbots.

Now I have two dust binbot builders, two dust binbots, and one dustbinbot mechanic. I still have two dustbinbot technicians.

And five redundant guys.

So what do we do with all the people who are no longer needed? Whose jobs have become obsolete, who have been downsized and outsourced? We've still got the same amount of stuff. In fact we keep getting more and more stuff. But now all these obsolete people can't buy the stuff. They don't have anything to buy it with. So now we have people who can't buy stuff, stuff we can't sell, and lots of binbots.

I could build a robotic grocery store. Wouldn't be very hard, even. And a robotic gas station, a robotic coffee shop, a robotic, oh, I don't know, damn near anything. One Red-Box Kiosk is an entire Block Buster Video, and it replaces all the people who work at blockbuster with a couple of technicians. The entire health insurance industry could be swept away by a universal healthcare system. They're not doing anything helpful or useful, they're just unnecessary overhead that refuses to die. Wallstreet? They actually cost us money. All the financiers and hedge fund whatevers, zoosh! Totally useless, get rid of them. Janitors? Roombas. Airline pilots? Bad idea anyway, autopilot is more reliable? Taxi drivers? Google is going to have a Johnnycab on the streets in five years. Weather forcasters? They're basically stand up comics at this point. Newscasters? Reddit does a better job for fun. Clothes manufacture? I could build a robot tailor that would fit in a retail storefront and kick out high quality clothes that actually fit you. Foxconn is thinking about replacing all it's workers with robots that don't jump of buildings. We have combines that can do the work of a thousand farmers. When someone eventually builds an automated lettuce picker the agriculture industry is going to be entirely hands-free. GPS guided robot combines can probably hoe a straigher row anyway. Soldiers? Why? We can do it better with robots, and since we don't have to worry about humans we can pack more of them into less space and do things that would be suicidal with meat troops. God, what do people even do these days? the only things that humans do because robots can't is some creative work, and we've got AIs on the way that will be able to do a lot of that.

We're kept down by this persistent, hideous fear of actually accepting the future.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Anarchism/comments/pse9y/possession_and_property_lets_hear_it_from_the/c3sc1a9?context=3

This is standard stuff, yet I have not yet typed up a response to this argument. I'm thinking of writing one and submitting it to the Mises Daily if you guys think it might be good enough.

 

Here is my approach to the idea:

 

He thinks that the economy is some separate entity that exists outside of the satisfaction of human demand. This leads to him believing that you can have all of this technological improvement in the void, outside the market process.

 

What does this mean? It means that he thinks that automated everything would just "be made", and suddenly no one has jobs.

 

Yet he never stops to think of what the purpose behind these businesses and time-saving devices is. The point is to bring a product to market. If everyone suddenly has no job and can't use the services, then all of this technology is pointless. The shops would all fail because they would have no more purpose, because no one can buy the goods. Ultimately, production exists to fuel consumption, but before any consumption can be executed, there must be first and foremost production.

The fellow making the above argument arrives at a state in the economy where there is no production by the masses. Hence, there can be no consumption. Hence, the production of even the few people left with capital becomes pointless, as there is no demand for it.

The scenario he proposes is thus absurd.

 

Am I right, here?

 

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I don't know, I think you may want to dumb it down some more. His first argument is plain wrong: Technological progress does not lead to "obsolete people". It's not like we have 50% unemployment ever since half the population doesn't have to work in agriculture any more. Labor is a resource, like iron, and iron-saving technology doesn't lead to piles of obsolete iron either. We find new uses for it: We use less, therefore it becomes cheaper, therefore new uses become profitable. The same applies to labor. This is really just elementary supply and demand econ.

You're right that he believes that technological improvement and efficiency gains exist in some sort of void. Or rather, he doesn't see the circularity of the market process. Technological progress leads to more people being freed up to build robots, which again frees up people, etc. It's a loop. But to him the market process is linear, requiring intervention at the beginning and the end. Technological progress apparently just doesn't happen because we don't want it enough. It needs to be planned by the state, because capitalists seeing all those unused resources piling up would just keep using expensive, inefficient technology instead of using some of those resources to build robots. And the droves of obsolete people, who can't participate in the economy because they have no income, would just sort of stand there scratching their heads.

The belief that Wall Street doesn't do anything and that market health care could just be replaced by government health care is typical for someone who doesn't understand that economic activity requires calculation. These people think that factories just fall out of the sky at exactly the time when it's economically reasonable for them to be built. Hence we could just do away with all those useless paper-pushers of the capitalist economy. It's essentially the venus project argument. They're saying that in capitalism we're so busy pushing around paper to decide who owns what, that we're not getting around to building enough robots. Automation could be achieved much more efficiently by some big socialist social engineering project, because it avoids the cost of calculation. And since we don't need calculation, the only reason we could possibly be against this is that we are afraid of the future!

He's not a Luddite. Actually he's quite the opposite, he's a Leninist.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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What's wrong with being a luddite/anti-tech?

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Freedom4Me73986:
What's wrong with being a luddite/anti-tech?

How did I know this was coming.  I swear the minute I saw who made the latest post in the main forum view I knew what the post would be.  Seriously Freedom4Me73986, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

 

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Malachi replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 7:14 PM
I could build a robotic grocery store. Wouldn't be very hard, even.
this individual obviously has very little experience working with robots.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 7:58 PM

"God, what do people even do these days?"

This statement is enough to display his ignorance. There's oh... You know... A few billion jobs in the world economy, so I daresay that he's going wrong SOMEWHERE if he can't describe what it is that people do. Regardless of how their doing it 

What he's talking about is indeed vaguely a possible for the future, although those who pretend like its certain are utterly deluded. They often fail to make the connection of what is happening now to what has happened in the past, which is the increasing utilization of labor-saving capital which leads to an expansion of production possibilities, which in turn combines itself combines itself with an increased need for labor, leading to a constant, if not increasing, rate of total employment. So it goes that:

Labor saving machinery is introduced and then:

1. The laborers are fired. Prices decrease, they find employment somewhere else, the number of products which individuals can buy goes up, this leads to an increase in profitable ventures from the consumption point of view because now either people can spend more on other types of goods, be they already in existence and that can be expanded, or new businesses which can now open up because of an increase in available consumer demand.

2. There's a decreas in price per unit because now the same amount of a good can be produced with the same amount of labor, either the same amount of labor can be employed and much of possibility  1 will occur, or  more labor will be employed as production expands.

However, with this said the possibility of a robotic future is somewhat disturbing. This has the ability to put the common man on the street for the first time in history. Robots could theoretically do everything that a human could except possibly better. This could theoretically push out the common man from the production process. The fact is, however, that at absolute WORST we're a good 40 years from that eventuality. A free market with a good educational system and a flexible labor market would be best suited for this, because then people could easily move to the jobs that they'd be better suited to with the radically changing demands of the market... Too bad we don't have one of those.

 

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Vitor replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 8:00 PM

"What's wrong with being a luddite/anti-tech?

Asks the guy using the internet...

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How did I know this was coming.  I swear the minute I saw who made the latest post in the main forum view I knew what the post would be.  Seriously Freedom4Me73986, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

 

 

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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:04 PM

So basically try and make people happier by depriving them of technology which they abuse because of a lack of character and self discipline. The fundamental problem: People who are mature enough to get rid of technology could use it wisely, appropriately, and in such a way that would improve the quality of their own lives.

EDIT

With this said, you still haven't asked JJ's question. I honeslty don't mean to be impolite, but why are you here when you are mocked and interrogated all the time? ....

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Malachi replied on Fri, Feb 17 2012 9:12 PM
See, I was going to make a long post about how I work with robots and I dont care if you do manage to make grey goo that destroys the earth, there is no way to make robot labor that supplants humans in certain tasks because of the meta-ness of the tasks. But when ted kaczynski here posted, I realized that I am not even sure he is human...so if they can make software that accurately replicates a white kid with a poster of bear grylls on the wall who is terrified of black people and technology, yet addicted to internet and social media, then maybe you could make a robot that designs robots that design robots who build and repair robots.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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But when ted kaczynski here posted, I realized that I am not even sure he is human...so if they can make software that accurately replicates a white kid with a poster of bear grylls on the wall who is terrified of black people and technology, yet addicted to internet and social media, then maybe you could make a robot that designs robots that design robots who build and repair robots.

Kaczynski's religion is anti-tech. Mine is not. Bear Grylls is fake propaganda made to make survialists look stupid. And I don't want to associate with blacks. Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group.

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Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group.

There's nothing criminal about it- but it is a pretty pansy thing to do.  

 

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John James replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 10:02 PM

Freedom4Me73986:
Kaczynski's religion is anti-tech. Mine is not. Bear Grylls is fake propaganda made to make survialists look stupid. And I don't want to associate with blacks. Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group.

Wow.  Just wow.

And here I thought Malachi's comment was just a good joke.

 

Bear Grylls is fake propaganda made to make survialists look stupid.

Right, because proaganda is needed for that.

 

Again, WHY ARE YOU HERE?

 

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Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group.

There's nothing criminal about it- but it is a pretty pansy thing to do.  

Give me a break. You sound like a lefty. Race exists. Racism is lying about race.

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Bear Grylls is fake propaganda made to make survialists look stupid.

Right, because proaganda is needed for that.

You know as well as I do that there's a huge amount of propaganda against self-sufficiency. The government controls the media, the schools and everything else. Living off the grid is being made ILLEGAL for God's sake.

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John James replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 11:35 PM

I find it interesting how you avoid the more important question.  One has to assume because it brings your hypocrisy to the forefront.  Also, I'm still waiting for you to admit your lie.

 

1) Are you admitting you completely made up your claims about Ron Paul being in first in New Hampshire polls?

2) Why are you here?

 

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TANSTAAFL replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 11:39 PM

Who is going to build and maintain all these robots?

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Freedom4me:
Give me a break. You sound like a lefty. Race exists. Racism is lying about race.

I think you missed my point. Which is, that I think you're a wuss for not wanting to associate with certain racial groups.

John James:
2) Why are you here?

He has fun being here- and I have fun reading his posts however I might feel about them. 

Who is going to build and maintain all these robots?

After you ask this question I think the argument goes that well even robots might become advanced enough to build and maintain other robots- which in that case I would think we've reached a utopia situation since no one ever has to work again.

 

 

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1) Are you admitting you completely made up your claims about Ron Paul being in first in New Hampshire polls?

Yes. I already told you this.

2) Why are you here?

Why not?

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Freedom4Me73986:
Yes. I already told you this.

No, you didn't.  Your exact words were "not exactly", after which you proceeded to give some nonsense about how "there was talk" about it.  You never actually admitted to anything.

 

Why are you here?

Why not?

a) because you claim to prefer living off in the woods

b) because you reject technology and claim to be "anti-tech" and Internet, computers, and this forum = tech

c) because you reject "civ" and Internet, computers, this forum and virtually everything about it = "civ"

 

Why are you here?

 

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 1:44 AM

"Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group."

It is, however, quite irrational and pointless. 

I do think that you might want to answer John Jame's question, he seems to REALLY want you to answer it, and trust me I daresay that a lot of people here are wondering the same thing...

 

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Bert replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 2:07 AM

 

Kaczynski's religion is anti-tech. Mine is not. Bear Grylls is fake propaganda made to make survialists look stupid. And I don't want to associate with blacks. Theres nothing wrong w/ not wanting to associate with a certain group.

This actually made me lol.  Also, how is Bear Grylls fake propaganda (also, how is propaganda fake)?  Just some phony reality show made to be educational when your camping trip goes haywire.  The guy's no Les Stroud, but I don't see how it's "propaganda."

You know as well as I do that there's a huge amount of propaganda against self-sufficiency. The government controls the media, the schools and everything else. Living off the grid is being made ILLEGAL for God's sake.

Thing is...you're completely full of yourself and have not done a single thing to make any of us think otherwise.  You go on and on about this stuff while you "prepare" and go on that the government is not letting people do it, but guess what?  I have friends that travel "off the grid" frequently.  I've had friends that train hopped and traveled for months (some still doing it and have been for years).  There used to be a tent city here in the woods, people living "off the grid."  Thing is, that's not enough for you, you want to go "primitive" (or whatever the hell you plan on doing).  Not sure what you have in mind, but whatever it is you're never going to do it.  You can't pull yourself away from the "grid" or anything else you claim to be against.  You read Prison Planet and Infowars and talk about survival like Dale Gribble, and sadly you are just as big as a joke as the fictional character of Dale Gribble is (for those who are "in" on the series, Dale claims to be a soldier of fortune, but when given a fake mission to raise his spirits completely screws it up).  People live off the grid everyday, and they generally don't talk about doing it on econ forums.  Maybe it's because you're some white, middle-class, "privileged," sheltered and conspiracy scared [enter age here] year old, and never actually been out on your own on the road or in the wild.  I don't know what your case is, but it's clear you're never going to go "off the grid."  Hell, you probably can't even last one night in Vegas.

So what's the deal?  Are you going to fess up and answer John James' questions and stop posting about survival and "off the grid" nonsense, or continue to be some Mises forum jester?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Why are you here?

Why not?

a) because you claim to prefer living off in the woods

b) because you reject technology and claim to be "anti-tech" and Internet, computers, and this forum = tech

c) because you reject "civ" and Internet, computers, this forum and virtually everything about it = "civ"

 

Why are you here?

Why do you think I'm here? I should ask you the same thing. Why do you believe in civ and then claim to support anarcho-capitalism and non-aggression when civ as always been statist and violent.

Tell me, what is wisdom to you? I'm on the belief that the wiser you are the more you will come to the logical conclusion that civ is a bane on the human existence. People on the right and the left become anti-civ once they take their philosophies to their logical conclusions. Every time you have civ you run the risk of having a state. There has never been a stateless civilization and never will be since it's too easy for people to take power over others and create the state.

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Bert replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 3:53 AM

Why do you think I'm here?

To unintentionally troll yourself.

I should ask you the same thing. Why do you believe in civ and then claim to support anarcho-capitalism and non-aggression when civ as always been statist and violent.

Even though it's directed towards JJ, I can't pass this up.   What do you think civilization is?  Well, from what I see theories put forth by those who support anarcho-capitalism and NAP are only putting forth a framework of how people would or could interact peacefully and productively in society, or civilization.  Thing is, civilization is the outcome, it's what is this growing product, everyone adds to it in it's forms from the arts to science and technology, it's a manifestion of the mind and spirit of it's people.  All through it's culture of customs, art, music, film, literature, food, language to it's innovations through the division of labor.  Acting individuals creating something that will be known well long after they have passed.  Civilization is a level or way of "coming into being" at it's most productive state.  The theories you find on this website are only how to produce and make civilization become even more fruitful.  What's this mean? It means everyone of those theorists was not against civilization, on the contrary they wanted to see it blossom and grow even more rich and bountiful.  They wanted progress.  Civilization is not statist or violent, but the means on how to create a more bountiful civilization have never fully been figured out; it's been a history of trial, error, and repeating the same trials and errors.  Thus, from people like Bastiat, Mises, and Hoppe they've "created" an alternative way, a more productive and efficient way of reaching a more rich civilization.

Tell me, what is wisdom to you? I'm on the belief that the wiser you are the more you will come to the logical conclusion that civ is a bane on the human existence. People on the right and the left become anti-civ once they take their philosophies to their logical conclusions. Every time you have civ you run the risk of having a state. There has never been a stateless civilization and never will be since it's too easy for people to take power over others and create the state.

Thus, all the advancements in science, technology, medicine and the arts will no longer exist to aid you in anyway possible.  Is it wise to take theorists and philosphers out of context to support your asinine theory of anti-civ?  Don't forget, they were the bourgeoisie.  When you have civilization you run risks, risks are a part of life.  If you are afraid to take risks you are afraid to live.  For your theory to work we'd have to abandon the division of labor, and all the progress in our many forms through voluntary cooperation and innovation, because we run the risk of something bad happening.  Instead, let's collectively live in reclusion, we will all be there, with all the tools to grow and advance, but never pick up the tools out of fear of someone telling us how to use them.  No, we don't have the bravery to think for ourselves, and we are scared of running the risks of doing something crazy...like living.

Again, why are YOU here?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Freedom4Me73986:
Why do you think I'm here?

Honestly I don't know.  I can only guess because you have a need to spread this primitivist nonsense and project an image that you are superior to others because you see yourself as some kind of Tarzan who can live off nothing more than his own cunning, and doesn't need or even want anything that resembles ease, fun, or comfort, to a point of claiming to reject civilization entirely...because it helps your self esteem.

That's why you haven't left "civ", because (a) you couldn't survive in the woods and (b) for you it's not even about living in the woods, it's about projecting yourself as better than others.  That's why you continue to use the technology you explicitly reject just so you can come back here and make a fool of yourself constantly by talking about all this crap you're "going" to do and spouting your "beliefs" about being against everything you actually choose to participate in every day (civilization and all its aspects), because if you actually did go off into the woods and reject all the technology and civilization you claim to be against and want to get away from, you wouldn't be able to tell anyone how much smarter you are and better prepared you are anymore.

You wouldn't be able to continue spreading your idiotic propaganda and your useless predictions about how much better off you're going to be, and how everyone should do what you keep claiming you're "going" to do.  And that would just kill you, because then you wouldn't have a way to maintain any semblance of a reason to live.  Without anyone around for you to remind how much smarter and cool Tarzan-y-er you are, there'd really be nothing keeping you from falling into a deep depression, and then, quite ironically, all this mental energy put into survival would be for naught, as you wouldn't have anything to survive for.

But, that's just my guess.  You could easily just be a sadist who comes here to troll yourself like Bert said.  I honestly don't know.

So...

Why are you here?

 

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Malachi replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 10:27 AM
TANSTAAFL:

Who is going to build and maintain all these robots?

I am keeping an open mind here. Let me say from the beginning that I think its farfetched, and here is why: We used to make 15-25 items a day by hand. Then we got a robot welder. Suddenly my job was to feed it parts, and I was making 100 items a day easily. But my job didnt disappear, it actually doubled. Because this robot requires 4x to 6x the inputs per hour that I did (production inputs, not labor inputs like wages). Someone has to cut all that steel into squares and drill and tap holes, etc. And the robot itself requires someone to program it. So, 1 man making 25 per day translated into 2 men and a robot who can alternate (covering each other breaks) and support the robot and make 125 pieces in the same time period.

so the tasks require complex motor skill and learning skills (a programmable robot has extremely primitive learning skills). The idea is that if you replace all the tasks with robots, and all the robot support with other robots (that supported each other) then you would be free to come up with a robot that would identify problems and return the system to homeostasis. And support robots would grease its fittings, so you basically have a robot ecosystem, with robots drilling oil that they load onto robot trucks, who drive to robot refineries and make robot fuel from.

aside from practical problems with this system, can someone explain to me how it is theoretically impossible?

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The critique bears some similarities to Marx. I recommend reading chapter 15 of Capital (and maybe the previous chapter on manufacture as well):

The instrument of labour, when it takes the form of a machine, immediately becomes a competitor of the workman himself. [116] The self-expansion of capital by means of machinery is thenceforward directly proportional to the number of the workpeople, whose means of livelihood have been destroyed by that machinery. The whole system of capitalist production is based on the fact that the workman sells his labour-power as a commodity. Division of labour specialises this labour-power, by reducing it to skill in handling a particular tool. So soon as the handling of this tool becomes the work of a machine, then, with the use-value, the exchange-value too, of the workman’s labour-power vanishes; the workman becomes unsaleable, like paper money thrown out of currency by legal enactment. That portion of the working-class, thus by machinery rendered superfluous, i.e., no longer immediately necessary for the self-expansion of capital, either goes to the wall in the unequal contest of the old handicrafts and manufactures with machinery, or else floods all the more easily accessible branches of industry, swamps the labour-market, and sinks the price of labour-power below its value. It is impressed upon the workpeople, as a great consolation, first, that their sufferings are only temporary (“a temporary inconvenience"), secondly, that machinery acquires the mastery over the whole of a given field of production, only by degrees, so that the extent and intensity of its destructive effect is diminished. The first consolation neutralises the second. When machinery seizes on an industry by degrees, it produces chronic misery among the operatives who compete with it. Where the transition is rapid, the effect is acute and felt by great masses. History discloses no tragedy more horrible than the gradual extinction of the English hand-loom weavers, an extinction that was spread over several decades, and finally sealed in 1838. Many of them died of starvation, many with families vegetated for a long time on 2½ d. a day. [117] On the other hand, the English cotton machinery produced an acute effect in India. The Governor General reported 1834-35:

“The misery hardly finds a parallel in the history of commerce. The bones of the cotton-weavers are bleaching the plains of India.”

No doubt, in turning them out of this “temporal” world, the machinery caused them no more than “a temporary inconvenience.” For the rest, since machinery is continually seizing upon new fields of production, its temporary effect is really permanent. Hence, the character of independence and estrangement which the capitalist mode of production as a whole gives to the instruments of labour and to the product, as against the workman, is developed by means of machinery into a thorough antagonism. [118] Therefore, it is with the advent of machinery, that the workman for the first time brutally revolts against the instruments of labour.

In the previous chapter, Marx explains how capitalist manufacture seeks to specialize workers as much as possible. A worker's labor is cheaper the less education he has. So when machines displace the workers, the workers lack the skills required to work in new industries. The individual capitalist has no incentive to provide his employees with education and skills that will help them get new jobs after he lays them off. This is why capitalism must resort to mandatory publicly-funded education. It is the means by which the individual capitalists escape the prisoner's dilemma.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Malachi replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 12:35 PM
Marx explains how capitalist manufacture seeks to specialize workers as much as possible. A worker's labor is cheaper the less education he has.
its funny how actual capitalists do the exact opposite, as in try to hire people who have no skills but willngness to learn, and then teach them the skills necessary for them to operate tools (where exactly do you draw the disntinction between a tool and a machine?) like someone whose labor costs more. it seems like you are setting up to equivocate on the meaning of "specialize."
So when machines displace the workers, the workers lack the skills required to work in new industries.
You foresee a future where machines eliminate all entry-level employment, and even though we have all this material bounty (how else could we afford to have robots sweeping the floors, taking out the trash, and polishing the gold bars?) we capitalists are too unkind to provide free education! Mwaahaaahahaaaa! Seriously? What happened to the internet in your universe?
The whole system of capitalist production is based on the fact that the workman sells his labour-power as a commodity. Division of labour specialises this labour-power, by reducing it to skill in handling a particular tool. So soon as the handling of this tool becomes the work of a machine, then, with the use-value, the exchange-value too, of the workman’s labour-power vanishes; the workman becomes unsaleable, like paper money thrown out of currency by legal enactment.
What excellent agitprop! He even subverts the metallist paradigm by suggesting that they would have to make a law to stop people from accepting paper fiats! Hahahahaha So capitalists want to hire unskilled workers, so when they replace the skilled workers with robots, the workers become nskilled and cant get jobs? If marx and engels had, you know, participated in markets instead of being the phlegmatic beneficiaries of the products of markets, i.e. The leisure class, they wouldnt have advocated this drivel. Besides, the only reason the owners of the capital goods had monopoly status was because of the intellectual property status of the means of production themselves. Capital goods require multivarious labor inputs that are exponentially harder to automate. This is an empirical fact. Attempt to explain a meaningful difference between "machine" and "tool" in this context and you will see what I mean. They are called "machine tools" in industry parlance btw.
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Wheylous replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 1:20 PM

I want to at least thank FotH for getting the convo back on topic. Any other thoughts you guys have on my response? Makes sense/doesn't?

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its funny how actual capitalists do the exact opposite, as in try to hire people who have no skills but willngness to learn, and then teach them the skills necessary for them to operate tools (where exactly do you draw the disntinction between a tool and a machine?) like someone whose labor costs more. it seems like you are setting up to equivocate on the meaning of "specialize."

That's not true. Many jobs require college degrees, for example.

You foresee a future where machines eliminate all entry-level employment, and even though we have all this material bounty (how else could we afford to have robots sweeping the floors, taking out the trash, and polishing the gold bars?) we capitalists are too unkind to provide free education! Mwaahaaahahaaaa! Seriously? What happened to the internet in your universe?

No, I don't think "free education" is going anywhere.

So capitalists want to hire unskilled workers, so when they replace the skilled workers with robots, the workers become nskilled and cant get jobs?

No, they want to hire unskilled workers (provided the industrial process has evolved to a point to function with unskilled workers) in order to cheapen their labor expenses and thereby increase their profits. The "robots" later replace the unskilled workers. The trend is this: skilled workers > unskilled workers > "robots." I'm sure they would skip directly from skilled workers to "robots" if they could. The demand for labor in the economy shifts from consumer goods to productive goods. The people who the robots have replaced are now somehow supposed to build the robots.

Besides, the only reason the owners of the capital goods had monopoly status was because of the intellectual property status of the means of production themselves.

This would certainly be consistent with Marx's contention that capitalism is predicated on "primitive accumulation."

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Groucho replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 1:47 PM

Wheylous, when it comes to arguing with Internet Luddites, the only winning move is not to play.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Malachi replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 2:27 PM
That's not true.
O rly? Tell that to the market where there are openings for unskilled laborers.
Many jobs require college degrees, for example.
I want you to sit down and think until you realize that this is not a counterexample to my point.
No, they want to hire unskilled workers (provided the industrial process has evolved to a point to function with unskilled workers)
please describe an industrial process that hasnt evolved to use unskilled labor
The "robots" later replace the unskilled workers. The trend is this: skilled workers > unskilled workers > "robots." I'm sure they would skip directly from skilled workers to "robots" if they could. The demand for labor in the economy shifts from consumer goods to productive goods. The people who the robots have replaced are now somehow supposed to build the robots.
Here in the real world, they operate and maintain the robots because they havent invented anything close to robots that can replace human workers. But in marxist fantasy-land where calculation is unnecessary, the evil capitalists have better robots, apparently.
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Bert replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 3:21 PM

I typed out a response to this, and the site messed up when I tried to post, now I only feel like paraphrasing my

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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What do you think of the Law of Life and how it relates to austrian economics and open competition?

 

 

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Freedom4me:
Give me a break. You sound like a lefty. Race exists. Racism is lying about race.

I think you missed my point. Which is, that I think you're a wuss for not wanting to associate with certain racial groups.

Are you going to force me to associate with others I don't want to associate with? Cultural marxism says race doesn't exist. Are you a cultural marxist?

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Malachi replied on Mon, Feb 20 2012 6:33 PM
I think you need to familiarize yourself with non-human counterexamples to this "law of life" like birds of prey.
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Are you going to force me to associate with others I don't want to associate with? Cultural marxism says race doesn't exist. Are you a cultural marxist?

I never said I wanted to force you to associate with anyone. I'm just telling you what I think of you as a person. I think you have no backbone, that yer yella, chicken, a scaredy cat.

What does race existing or not existing have to do with it? Race exists- you're still a wuss for not wanting to associate with blacks and I won't respect your opinion on it. That's all, no big deal. 

 

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Feb 20 2012 8:05 PM

 Law of Life

Oh, idk, viruses have been quite able to survive. I hear rodents have been around for a while as well.

Plus, humans don't even hunt any more.

Cultural marxism

I am not sure that all things "collectivist" are marxist. I thought marxism was limited to public ownership of the means of production...

Plus, it is easily arguable that "racialism" (if you wanna call it that as a politically correct word) is indeed very much a collectivist notion.

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Malachi replied on Mon, Feb 20 2012 8:12 PM
@Wheylous

Some primitivists believe that in order to function in an ecosystem, a species must compete for nutrition to the best of its ability yet refrain from waging war against its competition. Things like intraspecies territorial battles are permitted. Interspecies territorial battles are prohibited. The form of agriculture that most of the human race subsists from is a form of intraspecies war because it involves displacing competitors from territory and/or poisoning them. This is the "law of life" as I recall it from Daniel Quinn's books. I know there are factual counterexamples to this law, birds of prey (who wage interspecies war against competitors) and others and so I mentioned it.

bear in mind I didnt watch the video that Freedom4Me posted (at least this time he posted it), but I think I replied accurately anyway.

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I think you need to familiarize yourself with non-human counterexamples to this "law of life" like birds of prey.

Birds of prey dont have civilization. they can't artificially recreate their food supply.

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