YouTube | Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul & his supporters
A fundamental disagreement I have with Chomsky is that, whereas he seems universally to recognize the authority of democracy, I do not. Chomsky reassures us that alien forces such as government are not trying to steal our money through taxation. We should rejoice on tax day, Chomsky argues, because it is only a majority of our brethren who have voted to steal our money from us for the purposes that “we” (read “they”) have agreed upon. The assumption is that we all always assent to democracy. I do not accept that assumption. The cliche to remember is tyranny of the majority. Fifty-one percent of the people have have no inherent right to the property of the other forty-nine percent. If some members of the forty-nine percent wish to waive their property rights in the name of democracy, they may. To force this waiver, however, is simply tyranny of the majority. We all know how much Chomsky hates tyranny! Read the rest of this entry »
Links for March 2, 2010: Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul Supporters, A Marxist Response to the “Mudpie Argument”, others….March 3, 2010
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Links for February 26, 2010: Consumer Advocacy Group Sues FDA Over the Right to Sell Raw Milk, Marx’s Capital gets lamer, others…March 2, 2010
- Grist | Farmer-consumer group challenges FDA authority to ban interstate raw-milk sales
Commerce Clause challenge FAIL! These people are wasting their time. Don’t they know that the Supreme Court has essentially interpreted the Commerce Clause as a grant of general authority to regulate everything everywhere? The milk does not even need to cross state lines for the FDA to have authority to regulate and control it.
- World Socialist Party (US) | Socialist Guide to Marx’s Capital (3. Labor Theory of Value)
Describing Marx’s labor theory of value begins to appear as the sprawling of a web of lies. “It is an easy thing to tell a lie,’ wrote Thomas Paine, “but it is more difficult to support a lie after it is told.” Whenever Marx is confronted with a completely disarming counter-example to his already jury-rigged theory, his solution is to invent a new term of art to describe the phenomenon, which he then “goes on to examine” in a future chapter or volume of exponentially increasing body of “work”. Here, the author of this article sua sponte offers the example of the celebrity autograph, which is often exchanged on the market at a high price, even though a negligible amount of labor went into its production. Marx’s solution, apparently, is to invent a new term of art, formal commodity, and then explain the relevance of formal commodities away through impressive feats of mental contortionism. When the dust settles, we see no explanation as to why autographs are often expensive. Read the rest of this entry »
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Studying Karl Marx’s Capital From a Libertarian Perspective, Chapter 1, Section 1: The Two Factors of a Commodity: Use Value and ValueFebruary 27, 2010
(audio source: Libravox via Internet Archive)
Marx begins Capital by describing what I would call a commodity’s “trinity of value“. The trinity consists of use value, exchange value, and value. These are all terms of art that are to be used with precision. Use value, in my interpretation, is most analogous what I would call “value”¹. It is largely subjective and impossible to quantify. An item’s exchange value, in my interpretation, is analogous to what we would today call fair market value, or market price, and is measurable in terms of what one might expect to receive for the item if one intended to exchange on the market. Ironically, the term value has no analogy among my previously-held notions of “value”. To Marx, value arises out of the “socially-necessary labor time” required to produce a commodity. To me, the amount of labor necessary to produce a commodity is irrelevant to the commodity’s “value”. Quite to the contrary, a potential item’s latent, pre-existing “value”, i.e demand, is usually what induces the labor necessary to make the item in the first place. Labor is the effect of “value”, not its cause. Nonetheless, to facilitate the proper interpretation of the term value as Marx will inevitably continue to use it, I will assign to the term value the definition that Marx has assigned it, however useless I find the concept to be. Read the rest of this entry »
Links for 2010-02-17: LAPD Harasses Sidewalk Food Vendors, Learn Marx’s Capital via Podcast, others….February 18, 2010
reason.tv | Taco Truck Takedown! Why is the LAPD harassing food carts?
Forty-five days in jail for selling hot dogs? And you thought this was a "free" country…..
LibriVox | Capital Volume 1 by Karl Marx
The real deal? Das Kapital in a free audiobook podcast.
David Harvey.org | Reading Marx's Capital
Ooh! A 13-part video podcast on Das Kapital. Can't watch now, but my comments will surely follow! Read the rest of this entry »
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