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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Changing times interesting and older material

The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labour produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally.  
Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844)

Criticism - Predictions and theories
While many Marxist concepts are still of importance for modern social science, some specific predictions Marx made have been shown to be unlikely.[7] Marx is often criticised for expecting a wave of socialist revolutions, originating in the most highly industrialised countries,[158] to overturn capitalism. However others, pointing to Marx's encounter with late 19th-century Russian populism and Marx and Engels's preface to the second Russian edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1882), have argued that Marx evinced a growing conviction in his late writings that revolution could in fact emerge first in Russia.[159] Marx predicted the eventual fall of capitalism, to be replaced by socialism, yet since the late 20th century state socialism is in retreat, as the Soviet Union collapsed, and the People's Republic of China shifted towards amarket economy.[160] Additionally, his argument that profits are generated only through surplus labour has been challenged by the counterclaim that profits also come from investments in human capital and technology.[7] Marx predicted that over time, inequality would grow (correctly[161]) but also that this would mean growing impoverishment of the growing worker class, increasingly exploited by the capitalists.[7] The latter has also come true; as in the developed world, through liberal reforms, trade unions won many concessions, improving the situation of the workers (something that Marx considered very unlikely); in the more populated parts of the world such as Africa, India, and China the populations continue to grow and all the industry is moving there if it hasn't already established itself in the last two decades. Worldwide poverty has increased since the end of the 19th century especially considering that the richest are richer than ever but the poor have remained at the same level and the percentage has risen in the last 30 years...[7][162][163][164] (It should be noted that scholars have debated whether Marx's comments about the proletariat can be analyzed in the context of the working class).[165] In addition to specific predictions, certain of Marx's theories, such as his labour theory of value, have also been criticised.[3][116] However, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008 some thinkers like Terry EagletonDavid Harvey, and David McNally have given renewed impetus to the debate on whether Marx was right that capitalism inherently tends towards crisis (which Marx discussed as the "contradictions of capital").[166]  - from

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