The more theory I read the less I understand.
The more theory I read the less I understand
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Because most of it is bullshit.
What are you, Socrates?
No, it's just really confusing.
Instead of a low quality shit thread. Let's turn this around. Ask about the things you don't quite understand, and maybe someone can help you understand.
Don't worry too much about it OP, it'll feel like that at first. The best way to reach an understanding is to take notes on your understanding of whatever you're reading about and update it whenever you have an insight or learn something.
isn't something like "value" completely arbitrary and relative in the first place? there is no surefire way of knowing the actual demand of a commodity, how can it be quantified? demand only exists when products are compared to each other in a market. People 10 years ago didn't think "damn I need a fidget spinner".
tell me where I'm getting this wrong
Fuck off muke
What sort of theory have you been reading?
No. And especially not when we define "value" as something quantifyable
Yes there is. At any given price of that commodity, all other commodities and the income of society, all commodities have a certain demand.
Eh, yes, thats the point of it. Demand is the quantities people want of a certain product at the expense of another product (where there is scarcity)
Not relevant in any way. Demand is not some abstract shit, its a definite quantifiable thing at any moment in time.
Read books about economic planning and how production could work in a society without a market. Compare this with actual data from previous socialist attempts and think about how they could be improved.
Read neoclassical critiques of planning and make sense of their mistakes.
This will make you avoid the majority of shit and useless theory. People of any political persuasion love to talk about social revolutions without any reference to the economic system, which should be a primary concern for any post-capitalist project.
Once you've got a handle on the economics, you can consider other issues.
You need to add a dimension of time. When petite-bourgeoisie talk about risk takers, they aren't completely wrong. There are immense marketing and R&D departments all busy trying to find products people want (use-values that haven't been discovered) and to create artificial demand (using advertisement to make people want something). This is to decrease this risk. The risk if of course creating products that aren't getting sold. This is how you find out demand. Someone creates a product. If it sells well, there is a high demand, if it sells poorly there is low demand. This information is used in the next production cycle. If it sold well, increase production. If it sold poorly, reduce or cut production completely. Prices are usually influenced by this because if it isn't selling, stores get desperate and start selling at lower prices. The increase in price is usually linked to scarcity. Certain products are hard to get, so they have to be sold for more, either because of transportation and preservation or because the store owner is a jerk. Even higher prices are usually once all stores are out of stock. The insanely high price created by demand only occurs when people start selling to each other rather than stores to people.
As for trying to accurately quantify demand. This is based on previous data. Certain products have different trends than others. Food, clothes, and housing behave differently than computers, toys, and fidget spinners. There is a reason why most economics classes give you an abstract graph, telling you that supply and demand affect price, but don't tell you how much. This aspect which might make it difficult to understand is due to the market being a truly social entity. Use-values change constantly based on material conditions, individual perception, and social trends. Not to mention that not everyone is willing to exchange at certain prices. The market is a place of chaos, and mainstream economists are trying their best to tame it. Often without success. Stop thinking in useless abstractions and think in real terms instead.
value does not exist in isolation, but is embedded in a cultural system of commodity fetishism. commodities can't exist without production for exchange and alienated wage labor. The difference between marxism and mainstream economics is that marx looks at capitalism as a whole, while mainstream economics starts out from a model of the utility maximising consumer and treats capitalism as if it was some sort of unchanging and self evident law of nature. Marx asks, what if another world was possible?
That's why I just watch summary videos on youtube. Reading is so last century.
As far as I understand, value exists outside of commodity fetishism, commodity fetishism is just the idea that its (exchange) value is inherent to the product and not a result of its relations as a commodity.
Expert bourgeois economics here folks
the more theory I read the more depressed I become
Demand in economics is not the same as "want" in general
But every time I think I've finally understood something, Holla Forums will tell me that I'm wrong and need to read at least eight different tomes by five distinct authors who contradict each other to get the real picture.
Well thats what happens when you study philosophy and economics (which is deduction, not science)
Theory is important to understand why the current system is flawed. A good understanding is even more important if you want to pick apart the class cucks claiming that capitalism is a good system. First you need to know why theory is important.
Production for exchange is inherent to societies where the people can't take care of themselves. They need to earn money so that they can buy food, clothes, and housing, instead of making these things themselves. They no longer have control over the means of production. They don't have land to maintain crops, they don't have land to build workshops, they don't have land to build houses. So they work for the bourgeoisie (selling of labour power). The bourgeoisie are the ones who are on control of the means of production. What capitalists don't tell you, is that the bourgeoisie took all the land by force from the serfs, and now they claim that we should respect their property rights, instead of taking it back for ourselves. They maintain this forceful relationship with police who stop riots created by unrestful workers and arrest the unemployed who have to resort to thievery. Without considering that the unrest is due to alienation (specialization + division of labour + working conditions + loss of purpose) created by the inhuman form of production and the unemployment due to market forces (reserve labour force + iron law of wages). The capitalists don't care about nature or our well being. They make us work harder and harder, while we don't get any compensation. Only because if they did, the capitalist machine would break apart (falling rate of profit + consumption problem). They exploit foreigners, who have to work under inhuman conditions. While not caring about the unemployment it causes at home (Globalisation). Instead of using all this technology for the betterment of mankind, they use it to create even more money. They start wars, incite gang wars, bankrupt entire countries, steal resources, and have accelerated climate change, only to deny it or ignore it.
the subjective theory of value is full of ideological and political implications. It is not neutral or value free. It presupposes a market system that was the exception, not the norm throughout most of human history. the methodological individualism of mainstream economics presents a severely reduced vision of human action. It completely ignores sociology, psychology, history, ethics, labor relationships for a simplified world of utility maximising consumers. Real markets are chaotic and unpredictable, a world away from the neat diagrams of economists.
Don't worry OP. That's a sign you're becoming more intelligent. What you are feeling is the effects of the Dunning–Kruger effect disappearing from your mind.
That's theory/ideology for ya. Pure bullshit. Or as Zizek put's it, "pure ideology".
There's more theory/ideology these days than a person can read in his lifetime. So we gotta separate them somehow, separate the useful from the useless, productive from the unproductive, sort it out somehow.
There's too many people who want to redistribute the wealth these days, but none who can create it. Too many critics but none who can actually make or do something. Too many theoreticians/philosophers/ideologues/intellectuals etc etc et fucking c, but almost no productive people who can keep the lights on.
Really? Should be reversed honestly.
He certainly is more accessible, but that really isn't the best metric to go off of, or we would all be posting civics assignments from elementary school here.
I know the feel. I wish I could go back 2 years ago when I thought I understood everything I needed to about Marxism.
That's a pretty common thought with market anarchists and so-called "left-Rothbardians" Like Kevin Carson, Gary Chartier, etc.