Populares posted:

Reading the Transformation of the world a global history of the nineteenth century. Reading about coolies.

I've been there it's a pretty nice dam.
i was just reading about how the bureau of reclamation roped guthrie into doing a propaganda tour to boost the grand coulee dam, to draw attention away from all the corrupt deals and lying to congress they had to do to build it by emphasizing how dang beautiful it is to see an oversized slackwater reservoir. also was reading about all the native folks whose lands it drowned & whose livelihoods it destroyed
woody guthrie is settler scum, "this land is my land" fuck you cracker
Reading hard academic Marxist writing style that begins to quote Marx and suddenly words like fat head, blockhead, horse piss, crappy shit, and junk appear before me and I begin to understand.
i'd never seen this quote from thomas piketty about marx before lol

IC: Can you talk a little bit about the effect of Marx on your thinking and how you came to start reading him?

TP: Marx?

IC: Yeah.

TP: I never managed really to read it. I mean I don’t know if you’ve tried to read it. Have you tried?

IC: Some of his essays, but not the economics work.

TP: The Communist Manifesto of 1848 is a short and strong piece. Das Kapital, I think, is very difficult to read and for me it was not very influential.

IC: Because your book, obviously with the title, it seemed like you were tipping your hat to him in some ways.

TP: No not at all, not at all! The big difference is that my book is a book about the history of capital. In the books of Marx there’s no data.


Themselves posted:

hey guys i wrote a book called capital in the twentieth century and it says that we need giant global taxes to fix the world's ills my name is thomas piketty i came to this conclusion after 2.5 million dollars of education


lo posted:

TP: No not at all, not at all! The big difference is that my book is a book about the history of capital. In the books of Marx there’s no data.

at least Keynes had the guts to plagiarize Marx while not understanding him, piketty parasitically attached himself to the popularity of a book that he hadn't even read
double post
The Illuminati pyramid, but it is different levels of people opining about Marx without actually reading him.
I mean have you seen das kapital it's like this ____________________________________________________________________ big.
On the motion of Mr. Gladstone, the House of Commons ordered, on the 17th February, 1867, a return of the total quantities of fail, aids, and fail aids, of all sorts, imported into, and exported from, the United Kingdom, between the years 1831 and 1866. I give below a summary of the result. The fail aids is given in quarters of Corn.
*reads about surveillance and smart phones*

me talking into my future phone: maybe capitalism is... bad?

*record scratch, pizza guy drops slice of pizza, all traffic in DC halts, nuclear submarine turns around, CIA meeting is abruptly suspended, bomber pilot pulls up, congress goes silent, and a drone with loud speakers appears above my head*

drone: what did you just say about capitalism?
me: uh, fail aids?
drone: false alarm folks, it's just the Rhizzone

*drone blasts through windows before disappearing into the sky*
ages ago I meant to buy or download a copy (much like I would a car if given the opportunity) of a book that was rhizonic related that was written by what I thought was an iranian author and maybe began with cyclo but now I can't at all figure out what it was

oh wait haha I think its CYCLONOPEDIA

I wasn't too far off
it always sounded like a mess of insanity but I couldn't stop thinking about the mess

theres a pdf copy if ya hit up libgen
I look forward to finding out whether the mysterious new book, “Cyclonopedia”, will be of interest to the rhizzone forums.
Here we go again..*breaks out the Solar hymns*
The Philosophy of Praxis: Marx, Lukács, and the Frankfurt School by Andrew Feenberg (2014, 1981)

cars posted:

I look forward to finding out whether the mysterious new book, “Cyclonopedia”, will be of interest to the rhizzone forums.

I get the sense I'm being mocked!!

I'm not hip ok


Dobble_Wobble posted:

I get the sense I'm being mocked!!

I'm not hip ok

we've had at least two, maybe three, different cycles of discussing cyclonopedia here, and its what brought a bunch of people to the forum, so it's just a little funny to get it brought up again.

i wouldn't mind revisiting, never really got into the weeds properly with it last time. the main obstacle is that it's written in a deliberately obscurantist mode and the first third or so isn't really useful (imho) but still needs to be read for the rest of the book to work.

You’re not really a rhizzoner until you have a barely used copy of cyclonopedia sitting on your shelf
relatedly i've been reading negarestani's new book Intelligence & Spirit off and on for a while because it's really dense & methodical.
all these years and no-one wrote up an epub and everyone seems okay with the same terrible scan

littlegreenpills posted:

all these years and no-one wrote up an epub and everyone seems okay with the same terrible scan

i have a physical copy thanks to my local library having a withdrawn sale :smugbird: :smugbirb: :pleasemakethesmugbirdwork:

Reading Wallerstein’s The Modern World-System Vol. 1, I really enjoy reading these longue duree histories of early capitalism, comparing the different ideas. It could make a good effort post to look at the different theories of primitive accumulation and the formation of capitalism of Arrighi, Wallerstein, Anderson, Federici, Amin and others.

littlegreenpills posted:

all these years and no-one wrote up an epub and everyone seems okay with the same terrible scan

the pdf I got is not that terrible scan. it's feeling like it might be an OCR'd version and it has been OK so far but I'm not sure if its going to go off the rails in quality and need referencing to the scanned original to make sense of errors.

welp that didn't last long. the cumulative tiny errors put me off and I'm back on that old scan.
so i'm wrapping up samuel t. king's thesis (thanks to constantignoble and trakfactri for bringing this up). it's a survey of the study of imperialism over the past century and an extended defense and application of lenin's conception of monopoly finance capital. the fact that king actually directly engages with lenin at length is an exceedingly rare treat. it's an especially courageous work because the group of lenin's detractors and distorters is shown to not only include easy targets like harvey, warren, and one thousand other unknown academics, but also more formidable theorists such as sweezy, baran, emmanuel, amin, shaikh, patnaik, smith, and cope.

Thus citing examples from every major imperialist power at the time, clearly for Lenin, monopoly power emanated principally from the labour process itself, just as monopoly itself had been formed out of the development of the labour process itself. This was nothing new [for the Marxist analysis]. ...

In Marx's theory, capitalism's chief advantage over pre-capitalist commodity production was superior labour productivity. This was intensified over time because capitalist competition occurred via the constant "revolutionising of the instruments of production" and thus constant improvement in labour productivity. Imperialism does not overturn this fundamental premise but shows that the process of "revolutionising", of production processes had taken on a monopolistic, higher and more powerful form due to the more social manner in which big monopoly capital could carry it forward.

This aspect of Imperialism provides the kernel to understanding what contemporary theory fails to explain—namely how the historical imperialist core countries are able continuously to reproduce their monopolistic supremacy even in the context of rapid spread of commodity production across many of the largest Third World societies. Under monopoly conditions, the position of productive supremacy is monopolised.

Lenin's outline does not constitute a full explanation of the monopolistic domination of highest labour productivity as it has unfolded in the neoliberal period, since it doesn't show the role of the state and of imperialist society more broadly in the reproduction of highest labour productivity within the imperialist core states (ch.4.2). However, it is highly prescient of contemporary competition and shows the embryonic form of what later developed.

all these stupid internet posts arguing about how china is or isn't imperialist without using the word "monopoly" once. and all of the academic works that give mystifying half-answers to the question of imperialist reproduction. reading this paper was a really helpful reorientation for me.

[account deactivated]
from a quick read, king's thesis seems hamstrung by an omission of any substantial theoretical investigation of capital export. while it's true that capital export is not the totality of lenin's argument it's nevertheless a fundamental and significant one. his few mentions of the theory behind this concept is simply to rebuke authors who frame it as lenin's central focus, which is a correct point to make but a trivial one

he later presents a brief empirical discussion relating to capital export but it's mostly just to highlight the distance between outward fdi from the prc in africa and that of the great european powers. which is an important counterpoint to the hysteria of the western financial presses, but not particularly related to the qualitative question of imperialist nature. obviously an extremely young (in king's formulation) capitalist power is going to be dwarfed by the neocolonial powers even if they were engaging in imperialist capture.

there's some later vague evasiveness of "well outgoing fdi is a feature of even the poorest nations," but if capital export is used as a mechanism of imperialist capture then there has to be a categorical distinctions between different forms and scales of fdi. and while the prc is nowhere near closing the gap with the dominant imperial powers, it's certainly unclear that its capital export would be in the same category as papua new guinea or guatemala.

king's thesis can't really address these questions because again he devotes very little time to theoretical discussion of the question, which limits its usefulness as a contemporary application of lenin's theory. and it's a very limited contribution to the debates surrounding social imperialism due to the centrality of the question of capital export in those discussions. what it does discuss is pretty valuable tho
the thing is that king's thesis provides the basis for the investigation you're requesting. imo his utility is not hamstrung by the omission of a lengthy digression into fdi. instead, his central thesis serves as the necessary jumping off point. he emphasizes the category of the third world "non-monopolistic monopoly." a nation composed of such top firms (who capture minimal profits by utilizing the high technology of decades ago, having since been outmoded by core monopoly) would have reasons to export capital that differ from the most modern, core firms and that also differ from the entirely disadvantaged nations. i haven't put much thought into this but one thing that sticks out to me using this framework is that chinese capital export (belt and road) resembles the capital export by imperialist countries in lenin's time. this "old" technique of the "export of capital [becoming] a means of encouraging the export of commodities" (lenin) would parallel the non-monopolistic monopoly's utilization of "old" labor techniques as detailed throughout king's thesis. (while the technical requirement may be the same as the early imperialist method, the effect of chinese capital export may not be the same.) another point is that the "new" technique of arm's-length outsourcing is essentially unavailable/useless to china. a small related discussion is prepared on page 242 of king's thesis with reference to marini's "sub-imperialism" in case you missed it.

Edited by nearlyoctober ()

but i don't think that addresses these concerns, in the sense that his category of "non-monopolitic monopoly" is a determination reliant on the relative capacity of firm-level value extraction from commodity production. which is of course the typical form of value extraction under imperialism but not exhaustive of it -- lenin specifically discussed the atypical position of france which was (relatively) underdeveloped and stagnant in industrial production yet maintained itself as an imperialist power through state-monopoly finance capital. which is to say there's an identification of genuinely monopolistic enterprises which are noncompetitive in terms of commodity production yet are able to leverage national income into capital export on a competitive level.

i don't see any reason to believe this is an "old" or outmoded form, and king seems to unfortunately be straying into the common mistake of confusing typical forms as their categorical limits
i'm not entirely sure what you mean by saying king is repeating the mistakes of hilferding and bukharin in making that theoretical confusion. the category of "non-monopolistic monopoly" is only introduced in his final chapter in the specific context of the neoliberal period. the "old" denomination (in relation to the export of capital) is my own so if anyone is making that mistake it's me, which would make sense since i came up with the thought as i was typing it. i just meant to apply these contemporary categories to the question of qualitative differences of capital export from nation to nation, because there's obviously a reason why it's china's BRI and not britain's, and it is obviously not the case that capital export is only "used as a mechanism of imperialist capture." just spitballing so i'm happy to be corrected.

or do you mean that king makes an error in inheriting lenin's classification of germany/usa as "younger and stronger" in relation to france and in (mis)identifying lenin's theoretical selection of the primacy of productive monopoly (over e.g. the "usury imperialism" of france)? and so in his application of the theory to the neoliberal period he misses certain modern, "atypical" forms of imperialism? if this is your point then i think this is a fair direction although i still agree with the purported primacy of productive monopoly and the purpose of this thesis.

Edited by nearlyoctober ()

yes your second formulation there is what i'm suggesting. and i agree that king's piece is valuable and seems generally correct regarding its primary concern, but again i believe it's presenting a narrow application that limits its potential in presenting a general application of lenin's theory.

and this limit is also in its ability to intervene in the debates surrounding social imperialism and the role of china -- which again have generally focused on its identification as state-monopoly finance capital operating through capital export, a category that king's narrow application doesn't let him investigate.

Edited by blinkandwheeze ()

i should get back to reading it
I just started reading that guy's thesis (so forgive me if I'm strawmanning an argument he addresses), because when it was posted a week ago I rolled my eyes after reading the subtitle, but I don't think productivity differentials and a monopoly on capital-intensive production alone can explain the size of imperialist super-profits. he hasn't actually disproven smith and cope's way of formulating unequal exchange, just conflating them with emmanuel and exposing certain flaws in the way smith makes his argument. the consequence is that he can partly do away with the labor aristocracy thesis. I think he's right to put skepticism on china's supposed rise, but I think there's a certain grain of truth that the imperialists are horrified about Huawei and ZTE breaking that monopoly and i don't know how you would explain the trade war otherwise. I also don't quite understand his hostility towards Amin because his argument seems to be one Amin would actually agree with(?) if you stripped away the other nonsense in Amin's work

Edited by marlax78 ()