#1
Paul Cockshott says that a market economy is a reactionary institution because a computer simulation of petty bourgeois producers leads to simulated wealth inequality. One is left to thusly conclude that the most wealthy producers have the bourgeois interests of employing those available and the least welath producers will be left with no recourse but to cede their property and labor unto the developing bourgeoisie.

Unfortunately this isn't accurate since one has no a priori reason to believe that a market or the developing bourgeoisie will ever get the power to form itself as a social class. If the class which operates the state has outlawed wage labor or other bourgeois institutions, it may be a tactical impossibility for the bourgeoisie to reverse this. Where is the primitive accumulation?

Second criticism of P.C.

P.C. is in favor of a direct democracy operated by a randomly chosen selection of citizens. Justification: This is statistically likely to choose a representative sample of the population and will result in legislative decisions reflecting the class composition of society. Although this is impractical and solves a problem which is not necessarily present, the main problem is that it is not a proletarian theory. If there are citizens with reactionary interests or worldviews, a randomly selected political organization is fully in support of raising up those who continue to be reactionary. A proletarian state inevitably needs to have mechanisms for diminishing the voices of those who advocate counterrevolution. A statistical unlikelihood is not concession a worker's party can afford to make.
#2
On the one hand, Paul Cockshott believes that there is a labor aristocracy that super exploits workers in the vast majority of countries for the benefit of workers in a few countries.

On the other hand, he believes the labor aristocracy is in Saudi Arabia and that british worker is super exploited for Riyadh's oil profits.
#3
what to make of this.



which reminds me of how

marx posted:

it is nonsense to suppose that profit, not in individual cases; but that the constant and usual profits of different trades spring from the prices of commodities, or selling them at a price over and above their value. The absurdity of this notion becomes evident if it is generalized. What a man would constantly win as a seller he would constantly lose as a purchaser. It would not do to say that there are men who are buyers without being sellers, or consumers without being producers. What these people pay to the producers, they must first get from them for nothing. If a man first takes your money and afterwards returns that money in buying your commodities, you will never enrich yourselves by selling your commodities too dear to that same man. This sort of transaction might diminish a loss, but would never help in realizing a profit. To explain, therefore, the general nature of profits, you must start from the theorem that, on an average, commodities are sold at their real values, and that profits are derived from selling them at their values, that is, in proportion to the quantity of labour realized in them. If you cannot explain profit upon this supposition, you cannot explain it at all.

#4
time to poison this thread by bringing up homophobia and transphobia accusations
#5
where are they
#6
That video is possibly the worst attempted rebuttal of unequal exchange I’ve ever seen. Based on his arguments, I’m not sure if he has ever read a single theorist that he’s trying to take down. If you’re looking for resources on it, I recommend Divided World Divided Class for a full examination. This article is a shorter version:

https://monthlyreview.org/2015/07/01/imperialism-and-the-transformation-of-values-into-prices/
#7
cockshott, cockshott cockshott cockshott

#8

Acdtrux posted:






#9
paul cockshott is a former maoist who became a cryptofash computer dweeb which is why he thinks the government should be chosen by lottery and also why he hates gays. his books on SIMD and Pascal are useless turds. close thread.
#10
i dunno, if i were in a court of law i might have to give the defense a say
#11
then i'd hang them, they'd be so surprised!
#12

cars posted:

his books on SIMD and Pascal are useless turds.



#13
I've changed my mind, Mods please allow this thread to live but also move it to DYTD like all the other threads about bourgeois electoral politics in the imperial core.
#14
If it helps, OP: you don't have to engage with Paul Cockshott, a senile ex-Marxist pseudo-"Marxian" fascist who writes useless D-minus comp sci books, even more useless economics books & thinks the government should be chosen at random through an App. His opinions can simply be dismissed as incoherent and ridiculous. Please don't think that because someone has published a textbook or manual in an engineering field that he has any useful or interesting ideas about the world as it actually exists or even about the subject of the book as it exists in the real world. I can assure you from experience, at least in the English-speaking world, that there is no reliable correlation among those things, especially if the guy's book sucks.
#15

pogfan1996 posted:

That video is possibly the worst attempted rebuttal of unequal exchange I’ve ever seen. Based on his arguments, I’m not sure if he has ever read a single theorist that he’s trying to take down. If you’re looking for resources on it, I recommend Divided World Divided Class for a full examination. This article is a shorter version:

https://monthlyreview.org/2015/07/01/imperialism-and-the-transformation-of-values-into-prices/



Global capitalism increasingly polarizes the world into Southern β€œproduction economies” and Northern β€œconsumption economies.”



what the hell does this mean. this is pure metaphysics.

The main driver behind this process is unquestionably the low wage level in the South. As such, the structure of today’s global economy has been profoundly shaped by the allocation of labor to industrial sectors according to differential rates of exploitation internationally.



low wages don't necessarily mean an increased rate of exploitation. Low wages correspond inversely to the rate of exploitation when the intensity of labor and development of productive forces are constant, but not necessarily when not.

According to World Bank economist Branko MilanoviΔ‡ (see Chart 2), in 1870 global inequality between world citizens was considerably less than it is today. More strikingly still, from being predominantly driven by class (that is, in MilanoviΔ‡β€˜s non-Marxist conception, the share of national income), inequality today is driven almost entirely by location, the latter contributing 80 percent of global inequality. Thus, he writes, β€œit is much more important, globally speaking, whether you are lucky enough to be born in a rich country than whether the income class to which you belong in a rich country is high, medium or low.”4 What is not said is that the geography of inequality is the product of the economic, legal, military, and political structures of past colonialism and latter-day neocolonialism. These historical factors form the basis for the class struggle that determines what Marx referred to as the β€œhistorical and moral” aspect of wage levels.



this paragraph sounds like it is basically legitimizing an anti-materialist liberal world view. One's material relation to the means of production is different from income and welath does not necessarily correspond to the rate of exploitation.

The low level of wages in the South creates not just a higher global rate of profit than would otherwise be obtained



this is exactly the same mistake again. This isn't a tautology; they need to provide evidence for this and it isn't present.

By contrast, Marxist value theory situates the determination of prices on the production side of the economy. The cost of production, or cost price, is the stepping stone in the transition from value to market price. The cost price of a product consists of the costs of β€œconstant” capital (raw materials, machines, buildings, fixed plant, etc.) and β€œvariable” capital (that is, wages). On top of the cost price, the market price must cover at least the average rate of profit. This is because commodities need to be produced and reproduced continually, and if capitalists do not recover the cost of production plus a profit when they sell, (re)production stops. Therefore, in Marxist economics market price reflects the cost of (re)production.



this is incorrect, and Marx argued that profits are produced even by buying and selling commodities at their regular market exchange rate. Profits come from exploiting labor and not from selling products above their value.

Workers in different firms paid the same wage rates and working the same hours each day create the same sums of surplus value, that is, the difference between the time the worker spends reproducing their own labor-power and the total time they are employed. As such, we might expect more labor-intensive firms to create the most surplus value and, hence, command the highest rates of profit. The movement of capital between firms and industrial sectors, and the resultant changes in supply and demand, however, ensures that price levels ultimately settle around the point at which the rate of profit is the same in all industries.

As capital is withdrawn from industries with low rates of profit and invested in those with higher rates, output (supply) in the former declines and its prices rise above the actual sums of value and surplus value the particular industry produces, and conversely. Thus capitals with different organic compositions (the ratio between constant and variable capital) ultimately sell commodities at average prices and surplus value is distributed more or less uniformly across the branches of production according to the total capitalβ€”constant and variableβ€”advanced.



Assuming the movement of capital causes all firms to have similar rates of profit, their claim that surplus value is the same in all branches of production follows immediately from the assumption in the first sentence that wages are the same. This excerpt is simply saying that identical proportions of identical quantities are the same. However, in order to draw the final conclusion as material fact one must make equally rigorous assumptions.

Disregarding the assumption that wage rates are the same, different firms might operate different machinery and therefore might require more or less labor to produce the same value. This is because SNLT is the same regardless of the productive forces used in an individual firm. If these firms produce the same output, they will have the same total income and if the rates of profit are the same, each firm will have the same quantity set aside for wages. But if one firm distributes these wages among a larger number of working hours, the wage rates will be lower. This is exactly the method by which some workers appear to be underpaid even when all exchange is equal.

It is human labor that creates value and surplus labor that creates surplus value. However, (surplus) value is not a physical property that labor adds to goods like some kind of molecule incorporated and stored in the product. Rather, value and the transformation of value into market price is the result of social relations between labor and capital and between different capitals. It is the transformation from value to market price that ensures that the accumulation process continues on an expanded scale. This expanded circuit of capital involves the transformation of value and surplus value into profit, and the transfer of value from the South to North according to the low prices paid for goods produced in the former by the latter. Exploitation does not, therefore, occur in one particular sector of production or national economy; it is the result of the total global capital accumulation process.



If you read this closely the first three sentences are unrelated to the rest of the paragraph. These sentences are here as a distraction from the real laws that determine these dynamics. Labor produces value and it requires a certain less valuable quantity of means of consumption to reproduce the laborer in a given amount of time. The law of value describes how the price of commodities correspond to their value. So a capitalist can buy labor and receive a certain amount of value and spend less on wages. This means there is surplus value. However at no point in this transaction did anyone necessarily pay any unusually high or low price for any commodity. "It is the transformation from value to market price that ensures that the accumulation process continues on an expanded scale." Is it really? I don't think so.

Marx writes: "I repeat, therefore, that normal and average profits are made by selling commodities not above, but at their real values."


The market price of an iPad in 2010–2011 was $499, with the factory price being $275. Of the factory price, barely $33 went to production wages in the South, while fully $150 of Apple’s gross profit margin went to high design, marketing, and administrative salaries, as well as research and development and operating costs sustained mainly in the global North.14 The distribution of this β€œvalue” in wage and profits is well represented by the β€œsmile curve.”



Where is the unequal exchange? This situations involves profits being distributed to the bourgeoisie and money which will partly become wages being distributed to the factory. But the internal division of money in Apple isn't exchange.

The workers in Apple’s iPad production chain are not paid less because their productivity is lower than that of workers in the North. In fact, they are probably more productive.



have you seen the videos where paul cockshott looks into the statistics regarding this?

However, the capitalist world-economy takes the form of an iceberg. The most studied partβ€”the β€œbright value” appearing above the surfaceβ€”is supported by a huge underlying structure that is out of sight. Unlike the iceberg, the world-economy is a dynamic system based on flows of value from the underside toward the topβ€”from South to North. These flows include drains that take two forms: visible monetized flows of bright value and hidden flows that carry β€œdark value” generated by the unrecorded value of cheap labor and labor reproduction by the informalβ€”non-wage-laborβ€”sector and unpaid ecological externalities.



The discussion about dark value is irrelevant because the objective fact is that every product embodies a specific amount of value. If the global North, or an individual firm, decides to include additional environmental protections this might make it more difficult for them to produce the commodity without cutting costs but it does not immediately change the actual value of the commodity. Rather than unequal exchange this is simply a misunderstanding of historical materialism.

#16

cars posted:

paul cockshott is a former maoist who became a cryptofash computer dweeb which is why he thinks the government should be chosen by lottery and also why he hates gays. his books on SIMD and Pascal are useless turds. close thread.


cars posted:

If it helps, OP: you don't have to engage with Paul Cockshott, a senile ex-Marxist pseudo-"Marxian" fascist who writes useless D-minus comp sci books, even more useless economics books & thinks the government should be chosen at random through an App. His opinions can simply be dismissed as incoherent and ridiculous. Please don't think that because someone has published a textbook or manual in an engineering field that he has any useful or interesting ideas about the world as it actually exists or even about the subject of the book as it exists in the real world. I can assure you from experience, at least in the English-speaking world, that there is no reliable correlation among those things, especially if the guy's book sucks.



I think he's OK

#17
cockshott wishes so badly to reap the benefits of his opportunism while hiding his perversion of marx that he took a break from writing hastily formatted papers, started a youtube channel, and purchased the world's shittiest microphone so one would have to physically strain to make out his arguments. he probably never thought some faceless asshole named ZuluDFA would appear in the youtube comments and cast doubt on his whole career.

Edited by nearlyoctober ()

#18
cocks not hot
#19
bang bang my cock shot me down
#20
is he right about the economic calculation problem?

imo, since cokshott is a trained computer scientist, the theses he advances that are related to academic computer science are those that we should take seriously. or, at least, if there's something he can contribute to ongoing debates, i suspect it'll be related to that.

last time i went on a cockshott kick, what i gathered was that he thinks the entire economic calculation debate took place in an era before computation was formally defined, and so all of it was mere speculation. but now, cockshott claims, we not only have a formal definition of computation but a whole body of mathematical results of the cost of computation: i.e. given an algorithm, one can easily predict how the computational costs (in either length of computation or memory required) will vary with input size. Usually this is called the complexity class, if my noob level CS knowledge rings true. But the difference between an algorithm in one complexity class and another is the differencr between something that can compute w/ actual computers that exists vs. something that would take as many minutes as there are atoms in the universe to compute.

The upshot of this, I take it, is that there are formally provable results that can settle once and for all the actual efficiwncy of central planning.

that's what i got out of cockshott. it will be disappointing, to me, if he is wrong about the possibility of applying theoretical computer science to economic planning. sucks about his other opinions too i guess lol

Edited by radical_dave ()

#21
What I remember from watching Paul Cockshott videos is that he wrote a paper with empirical evidence for the labor theory of value, but I don't know enough about economics (I don't know anything about economics) to know how valid that work is.
#22
does my post above make sense pogfan.
#23
I stopped reading when you said it was metaphysics, scrolled down, saw a bunch of line by line argumentation, and decided I don't enjoy rehashing this argument. Maybe someone else feels like doing it. If you are genuinely interested in learning about unequal exchange theory, you should just read Zak Cope's Divided World Divided Class or Emmanuel's work. They both go in-depth on what unequal exchange is and what are the facts that support it. The first 100 pages of the 2nd edition of DWDC is Zak Cope responding to critiques like the ones above.
#24
https://paulcockshott.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/class-and-the-lgtb-lobby/ uh oh, paul just shot himself in the cock!
#25
Boom Cockshott.
#26
#27

pogfan1996 posted:

I stopped reading when you said it was metaphysics



catchprhase