Commodity Production

How does commodity production stop a society from being socialist.

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Commodities are produced for exchange. I don't know much about the soviet economy, but I thought they actually did stop at least most commodity production. I'd imagine they still produced commodities for international trade, but within the USSR wasn't most production supposed to meet the needs of the people?

Then again, I guess that logically doesn't follow. People were employed by the USSR to produce surplus for the purpose of international trade, and I figure that would not be an insignificant portion of production. So it's probably the case they produced quite a lot of commodities. But this is inevitable in a socialist country existing in a capitalist world. The only way to destroy commodity production is to have a self-sufficient economy, such that all raw materials and industrial products are being extracted, manufactured and allocated for specific plans based on need. Only then is production for use, and most likely based on the needs of the workers producing them.

it doesn't.
what matters is that whether the commodity production is done for exchange.

Sorry, tangent.

From what I know commodity production doesn't necessarily stop a country from being socialist, since everyone always says "socialism is worker ownership of the means of production". It would seem the working definition doesn't include ending the market or ending commodities.

Commodities are produced for exchange by definition, from what I know. Commodities have use-value and exchange-value. Something produced for use has no exchange-value, since it is not being produced to be exchanged. This disrupts the law of value.

A commodity is something produced for exchange. Commodity production means production for exchange.

all commodities are produced for exchange.

Muke will be a leftcom by 2018 screencap this

you will be a liberal by tomorrow screencap this.

For Marx's sake, read a book.

I'll do my best to answer this but I'm not an expert by any means.
From Capital:
>It is one of the chief failings of classical economy that it has never succeeded, by means of its analysis of commodities, and, in particular, of their value, in discovering that form under which value becomes exchange value. Even Adam Smith and Ricardo, the best representatives of the school, treat the form of value as a thing of no importance, as having no connection with the inherent nature of commodities. The reason for this is not solely because their attention is entirely absorbed in the analysis of the magnitude of value. It lies deeper. The value form of the product of labour is not only the most abstract, but is also the most universal form, taken by the product in bourgeois production, and stamps that production as a particular species of social production, and thereby gives it its special historical character. If then we treat this mode of production as one eternally fixed by Nature for every state of society, we necessarily overlook that which is the differentia specifica of the value form, and consequently of the commodity form, and of its further developments, money form, capital form, &c.
In other words, what differentiates Marx from the political economists is the fact that he treats commodity production as a historically specific part of capitalism, not as a transhistoric part of all societies.

Not any commodity production stopped, whatsoever. This is a non-controversial point. Even Stalin agreed in 'Economic Problems of Socialism'. The disagreement is not about whether commodity production went on in the USSR but whether socialism has commodity production, in other words whether the USSR was socialist. That seems like an ill-posed question to me. If we are within a Marxist framework, a society that has commodity production can only be capitalist.
Yes. And the same is true of all capitalist economies — people's needs are met via the mediation of the commodity. In other words, people meet their needs by trading labor power for money, and money for other goods. This was the case in the USSR as everywhere else.
I recommend anyone who wants to know more listen to this lecture by Kliman:

Quoting Capital! Subarashii user-kun!!

Stay in your containment thread.

I think I understand that. Commodities are produced for exchange, which is ultimately for use in the sense that people buy commodities to use them. But I make the distinction about use/need in order to say that production of goods for their uses by the workers (which, if it were to be an industrial scale economy, would have to involve planning or some kind of coordination across industries of specialization) differs from production for exchange in the way that the goods produced have a specific purpose which ultimately is being designed to fit the needs of the workers who are running the production process. Ultimately this should be a democratic process of deciding what is to be produced and why by those workers. Production for exchange, while it fulfills needs since all commodities have use-values, is directed by the law of value which can be seen (to some extent) through the relationships of a group of exchange values.

I think we agree on this though? I'm just trying to write it out to see if the way I am expressing it makes sense.

I haven't read capital. Might be a braillet. But if I understand it correctly, commodity production = production for exchange, and that undoubtably existed before capitalism. Capitalism is generalized commodity production, right? So if commodity production (in some form) has existed before capitalism, I don't see how you could expect commodity production to not exist in some form, to some extent in the early stage of a post capitalist society.

Also, if you're not 100% self sufficient and isolated, literally how would commodity production be abolished before the entire planet is communist? Is it possible? What could the USSR have done to be muh real socialism?


You are forgetting an important part. Even though commodity production existed, these commodities existed only for subsistence, and not for capital expansion. A blacksmith trades his wares for coins, which he then uses to buy food. While the capitalist trades his money for input resources, tools, and labor power to create commodities and earn more money by selling those. Then he also reinvests that money into expanding his factory. Aside from that. The amount of commodity production was fairly small during feudal times. Farmers, which made up a large majority, still lived off their own food production, while trading wares on markets once every one or two weeks.
This is the difference between C-M-C and M-C…P…C'-M'. And then again look where those societies ended up, as proto-capitalist and finally and fully fledged industrial capitalist. Here it is also important to mention that forcing people to work for wages played a key role in keeping the capitalist expansion going. You obviously do this by making subsistence farming and work impossible (take away the means of production). This way people are both forced to create and buy commodities.

As for your question about whether it is possible. If the entire world is communist, yes. If a large part of the world is communist, possible, but difficult. If one country is communist, close to impossible. Aside from dealing with the transition and the almost guaranteed shortages of special resources, they would also have to deal with outside capitalist propaganda and intervention. The country/countries which would want to transition into communism would have to remain as the dictatorship of the proletariat until they are internally self-sufficient and doesn't have to fight bourgeois influence. If the entire world is communist, they would become self-sufficient, since most trade relations and production secrets wouldn't be an issue. It would just be a question of efficient central planning.

Dosen’t that describe comodity production in a socialist country for export to a capitalist worls, only the socialist country does it on a larger scale.

from my understanding of Marx his critique was that while commodity production did exist in history it was capitalist industrialization that made it so that capitalists could mass produce these commodities for profit rather than for utility. Under capitalism you have to keep manufacturing more and more commodities without end in order to make money to invest in your business so you can make even more money ad infinitum.

Commodities are literally products produced for their exchange value as opposed to being produced for their use value. If you produce for use value, then you're not making commodities, just products.

That's not true, because before capitalism there was also commodity production as Marx said. Cycles C-M-C and M-C-M' are different.

some commodity production was halted but by '22 almost all of russia was back in commodity production

The blacksmith has to buy materials or to replace broken, missing or stolen tools. Marx had no problem with capital; his problem was with "capitalists" because he was angry with his father. His writings were exercises in misplaced aggression.

It's possible he simply wanted to keep up with increasing demand because failing to do so would bring shame to his reputation, or because he sincerely believes that his style of blacksmithing is needed. Communists impugn selfish (in a zero-sum way) motives to personal ambition and this is where it limits its economic potential.

Leftcoms are children.

Commodity production existed well before the capitalist mode of production began proper.

Very few "Marxists" seem to understand that you can have elements of a mode of production without HAVING the mode of production itself. The primary factor is the ruling class.

that is still only subsistence, his goal isn't accumulation of capital in itself
Marx' writings were at large a critique of bourgeois society as a whole, rooted in an analysis of production, not a critique of capitalists as individuals.

You are misinterpreting Stalin there. The consensus in the USSR was that socialist commodity production existed, not capitalist one. That means commodity production wasn't for profit, it was mostly for use even, but due to the conditions the USSR found itself in, as in, competing with the capitalist world, they couldn't already be done away with commodity production in some sense that their economy was emulating production for exchange. Industrial development and global competition demanded it but there was no drive to push down wages or increase working hours. In any case the commodity production in the USSR was of a different form than commodity production in capitalism. This issue was actually heavily debated amongst the Bolsheviks and both sides had good arguments so they agreed that commodity production did exist but the underlying laws of it didn't operate.

WRONG, non capitalist societies had commodity production, what characterizes capitalism is GENERALIZED commodity production

I agree.

Could someone please explain what the generalized part means?

it means u r wrong XDD

It means that it is the dominant form of production.

That it is present everywhere. For example under feudalism: the baker still produced for profit (compared to say a blacksmith, whose resources and time lead more to production for consumption). It's just due to automation of production and the excess of labour caused by the second agricultural revolution that allowed for the extraction of resources and labour necessary to utilise said resources that allowed for production for profit. As such due to the excess of production we hit the boom-bust cycle caused by excess production that characterises capitalism.

Sure. I was using inexact language. But we all agree that the USSR had generalized commodity production, no?

Commodity production only existed in the cooperative farms.
All of this is pointless semantics anyways.

Holy shit. Is this ironic shitposting or have we reached post-ironic shitposting?
The same goes for farmers during the feudal age, and they still do not farm for exchange.
Capital means money and invested money, so there is your first mistake. Marx admired the technological advancement which happened during the Capitalist mode of production. This didn't mean that he saw capitalism as a positive thing, there is your second mistake. Although capitalists are often greedy, there is a different type of capitalists. Those who are controlled by the capitalist mode of production. They believe that they can do the right thing within capitalism. Just look at the Elon Musk and Bill Gates types. They exploit workers, while later spending huge sums on humanitarian projects. Somehow they believe this makes up for the systemic violence created through the capitalist mode of production. This also shows that it truly is capitalism which is at fault and not only capitalists.
Hitler had an inferiority complex because he only had one testicle. I too can make a completely pointless analysis which can't be verified or falsified.
Your reading comprehension is failing. Capitalists expand their factories to increase productivity and as a result of that their capital. The blacksmith makes his workshop bigger, to make more and better weapons. There is still an immense difference between C-M-C and M-C-M'. The motive is completely different. And the logical conclusion is different too. M-C-M' is investing money to get more money in return. C-M-C is creating to get something else in return. I am fairly certain that no blacksmith lived like a king. And if once you get a blacksmith which hires other blacksmiths to do his work for him, he has become a capitalist.
Reformulate into a sentence that makes sense. How do assuming motives limit economic potential? The idea is that capitalists rely on the majority of the population having to create commodities, and the entire population having to consume commodities. This is done by coercion. Private property, the state, police forces, every occupation being paid in money, laws that prevent you from building on unused/unowned land, without first paying money. These are all real things, which have been implemented during and after industrial capitalism became the mode of production. Claiming that this is some sort of obscurantism, just because a blacksmith might want to create the best wares possible, doesn't refute anything, nor explain why it is limiting economic potential.

"people that never read marx nor lenin and have never studied the soviet economy" would fit for both

My point was that you can't impugn motives having relied only on "dialetical" spectacles. You have to approach the person and directly ask him, "Are you doing this to get filthy rich at the expense of your workers?" Anything short of that is illogical.

Captial also includes other things.
You mistakenly make no distinction between capital, capitalist and capitalism
There's no formal definition of "capitalist." It's just a slanderous word for people who have a lot of money. Nobody really cares how he got it, they just want some for themselves.
Bill Gates is a control freak. He keeps most of his wealth is tied up in investments rather than sticking dollar bills in the bank. He wouldn't be left with very much of his billions if the shit hit the fan right now.
Suppose you knew a very rich man who got rich from slave trading. Would you accept his apology and his money? This is how the early socialists got funding for their "organs."

Marxists would rather not discuss Marx's personal life as vehemently as they discuss their personal impressions of his writings. This proves that Marxism != Marx

What about non-capitalists who expand their production?
So if he expands his shop while clutching at the heaviness of his heart, is that what makes him a socialist?
What if he simply is no longer confident in his own abilities? This is a more convenient arrangement than what happened during medieval times by the way. The apprentice might have cared for his mentor in old age or moved him in with the family. During times of famine his wife might have breastfed the old man.

Attaching negative connotation to a particular behavior (e.g. production expansion) encourages punishment.
It's entirely possible to engage in voluntary exchange using money as a medium. To assume that the exchange is part of a larger scheme to horde resources is, again, impugning motives.
In ancient times violence was the only way to settle property claims. And the wars never ended because somebody always wants to avenge his brother's death. The difference is that under socialism violence is prepetrated by armies from far away who probably have no stake in the property claim. At least under capitalism an average worker can save up money to buy land. Under socialism this is impossible; land has to be assigned to you by bureaucrats regardless of any claims by tradition.

What matter is his intentions?

What are you on about? He is comparing a pre-capitalist blacksmith to a capitalist, socialism is not even the subject.
What the fuck? Whether a person is a capitalist or not is not at all related to his feelings, it is a description of his material position in the productive process.
A capitalist is like a wage-worker in this sense. If you work for an hourly wage you are a wage-worker regardless of your feelings and intentions. It is an observation of your material reality.
You claim to be all-knowing about Marx' personal hatred for capitalist, yet you obviously know jack shit about anything he wrote, as you seem to think being a capitalist is some sort state of mind.

The pretty much is proof that you can keep your socialist card by refusing to expand to the point where you need to hire workers.

He expanded production, but he swears on a stack of Mao books that it wasn't to horde capital (the interrogators then tighten the leg irons).

Should he sacrifice his accustomed lifestyle because he is physically no longer able to work (especially after the interrogation)?

The material reality is that the blacksmith's services are in increasing demand. How does he serve more clients without damaging his social capital either as a skilled blacksmith or as a supporter of the revolution?

Apparently the requisite state of mind is a desire for capital accumulation "for its own sake."

Let's break down the disagreement.
I never used a current day blacksmith as an example. I used a feudal age blacksmith as an example.
The discussion, before you disrupted it with your own presuppositions, was about commodity production, and how they differ from pre-capitalist and capitalist societies. The difference is in motive and mode of production. The pre-capitalist blacksmith creates commodities himself, he does this because it is an occupation, he has to work and sell his commodities. With the money he earns, he then buys other commodities on a marketplace. He works for taking care of himself. Aside from that. He doesn't work for a wage, he gets the value he works for. Upgrading his workshop will not change this. He will still have to work, he will not necessarily earn more either. There is also no accumulation of capital (which means a return on investment).
The capitalist motive is exactly because there is an accumulation of capital in a capitalist mode of production. If the work of a single blacksmith during this time is only enough to earn a living for a single person, then capitalists aren't interested. Which means that these jobs aren't done or even facilitated by capitalists. They have to be profitable. Profitability is a cause of money problems. Think of a formula where capitalists are FORCED (yes, really) to maximize profit. If they don't competition will destroy them and they have to close down the factory (which means people lose their jobs). Unluckily for workers, they are always in this formula, meaning that if capitalists want to seek maximum profit, they need to adjust work hours, wages, working conditions, and the number of employees. You get three guesses how those variables are adjusted when trying to get maximum profit. This means that workers are always screwed over no matter what. The profitable companies usually exploit their workers more, and those who don't are less profitable and run the risk of having to close down. This is why there is an inherent problem with M-C-M' which is capitalist production.
C-M-C is harmless in small amounts. But if everyone has to sell and buy commodities, it will lead to the same problems of profitability and competition, although less severe (this is why co-ops aren't a long term solution). This means that if everyone would be a feudal blacksmith, then we would run into the same problems. The key is again that during the feudal age there was only a small percentage who created commodities. This is also why self-sufficiency and redistribution of items are more important to communists than being able to produce and exchange.
I am a communist, not a Marxist. That means that I don't care about who Marx was, I care about what he wrote. I wasn't defending Marx, I was stating that writing bullshit on the internet is not an argument.

It doesn't. It means money and money invested (tools, machines, resources, factories, employees). Look it up you nigger.

I was passing no moral judgement on the blacksmith, and I didn't say he was ever socialist. We are merely talking about a transition from a self-employed blacksmith to a capitalist.
A capitalist != a defender of capitalism

If the butcher runs out of assorted meats the worker is not getting that value in a reasonable amount of time.

What if he expands to serve more clients?

What about the capitalist mode of production in society? If a self-employed individual barely breaks even does he get kicked off the island or is his capitalist card revoked?

This is simplistic. There are ways to create perceived value besides reducing price. There is such a thing as having prices that are too low. Factories can agree not to compete against each other especially when it's unfeasible for them to serve overlapping markets.

By "adjust" I assume you mean "negatively accelerate." You can get more productivity out of workers by improving their lifestyle to a certain extent. There are studies showing that skilled creative work (the type where we see actual gender wage gaps) suffers when you pay too much. If an employee can command extremely high prices relative to production costs, employees could recover more than 100% of their labor value. This happens more often in le corporations than I'm sure you'd care to admit.

None of this explains the lone blacksmith who doesn't hire any assistants because he is extraordinarily talented.

Under communism there is also the problem of the most efficient producers being having a natural competitive edge. They are able to stockpile more product or accumulate more labor power in a given amount of time.

I'm not sure what specific commodities you're talking about but everyone had to pay rent to the landlord and tithes to the church.

Self-sufficiency is counterrevolutionary, and redistribution is dictated from the top.

I am a communist, not a Marxist. That means that I don't care about who Marx was, I care about what he wrote. I wasn't defending Marx, I was stating that writing bullshit on the internet is not an argument.
You have a short memory but I will let this go.

No shit, this is an imageboard, do you expect me to write every little thing down. This also doesn't mean that it is false.
You activated a trap card. This would imply that capitalists would not backstab each other. And seemingly from the falling rate of profit, this is indeed the case. Nice how one can use empirical data to support claims. But let's assume that if what you said is true, then people within an economy can work together for the betterment of all (the capitalists). If you can expand this to all people in general, you would create a framework where communism is possible without top down controlled centralization. Not to mention that suddenly the profit motive which drives innovation suddenly wouldn't be true either. Then there would be no reason to keep capitalism because it just impedes progress due to corruption and collusion. So your own ideology isn't consistent.
Not inside a framework of industrial production. This has nothing to do with what we were discussing. And only accounts for a minuscule percentage of GDP regardless.
This kind of ideology is what happens when you apply classical ideas to modern economics. Value is realized during the exchange, which means when it is sold. How would they have known that they could sell it for higher than the production costs? they might have tried. then what if they didn't sell?
I live on a farm so I know how this works. You compete with other blacksmiths, so you have to exploit yourself. You need to keep production costs low, you need to work extra hours, you need to make sure not to break anything to keep repair costs low.

It is a false dichotomy ("either pay impossibly-low wages or the company is annihilated").

It would be against their best interests to do so if they couldn't manage a new factory in a far-away market.

Aren't you Marxists supposed to be inclusive and intersectional? You don't want violence to be visited upon skilled creative workers, do you?

I'm saying that there are plenty of cases where a commodity is sold for much more than "equilibrium value" and the workers are paid more than what their labor power could afford under Marxism.

Is this the case when a new blacksmith moves into town or vice-versa?