Bolshevik Bistro: Interview with Paul Cockshott / Cockshott general

Paul Cockshott is a Scottish computer scientist and a reader at the University of Glasgow(just retired). His major areas of work include array compilers, econophysics and the physical foundations of computability.

He has written a number of books including Towards a New Socialism and more recently Classical Econophysics.

Other urls found in this thread:



Forgot to take off shitposting flag.

audio download or it didn't happen

here :

I meant the actual sound file. Clicking around shows a download menu asking to sign in with Facebook, and the website is completely broken since I haven't set my adblocker to fuckmyshitup mode.

Loved the interview, shame there wasn't any discussion on the 4th industrial revolution. But alas the rest was really insightful.

Paul was correct here when he said to push for outlawing exploitation from a human rights point of view, and make it about democracy. Majority of people will accept these decisions (I really hope Corbyn or so would introduce something like this). A slave masters rebellion would be fantastic

Maybe because it's not happening?

use soundcloud-dl if you use linux or use youtubedl.

Uh why? and I just use the word 4th but I mean the Rifkin definition of third industrial revolution

I don't know. People like to talk about it but I've yet to see anything concrete about it.

Fucking hell why do I even respond to detractors, you literally don't know shit on the topic and you still dismiss it

How am I supposed to know why it is not happening? I know it is not happening. Maybe it's because the technology is not that general purpose as some like to believe, maybe because it's because the relevant industries are already in a rate of profit crisis. People like to endlessly talk about how the next hot thing will completely transform the economy as we know it but nothing really shocked it since electricity.

Thanks. I'm unsure why the audio is so bad. I think the most plausible explanation is the Cockshott memes from here have been so terrible they cause weird distortions and compression artifacts in his speech IRL.

30 minutes in, he talks about the cellphone voting prototype Handivote (Handy is the German word for cellphone) In terms of the voting methods, it looks meh. The default is just to vote for one option of several and he also proposed a version for budget allocation and taxation, which just averages things out in your input, so when your input asks for high spending and low taxes, it balances both sides. He apparently still hasn't really bothered to read up on voting-method theory that has been published in the past 100 years.

I agree with him that shilling for direct democracy should be done early on, and not seen as something we are too cool for or that we promise for some vague and unspecified later date. Maybe I misunderstood something in the following. Around 42 minutes in, he proposes a plebiscite about the people working at a place getting MUH TRUE VALUE(TM) as some sort of stepping stone towards socialism, even though that looks like it's strongly in conflict with both Marx and Towards a New Socialism because of the necessary deductions (as Marx said in Critique of the Gotha Program, you need deductions for kids, old people, ill people, safety buffer for screw-ups and for expansion and that point is also made in TaNS), and the second issue is closely related to what he later says in the interview about syndicalism. In real capitalism different places have very different rates of profit, so that move establishes an inequality right from the start, doesn't it? Now, of course some tax could deal specifically with the super-profit issue, but this is very different from saying we need some deductions for the children or whatever. I suspect the people working in these places would easily come to see themselves as exceptionally hard-working and talented and so having in their eyes a just cause for deserving a higher income.

I wish he had said more about how he came to the estimate that in France one euro represents merely two minutes of labour.

That's hilarious, screencapping. Also nice quads.


Okay. Suffered through the hour of torture through listening.

1) I do not agree with the idea that subsidized goods (that eventually become free) are somehow not Marxist or are Khrushchev's invention.

Cockshott clearly does not make any distinction between first-phase and second-phase Communism. Only, unlike LeftComs, he defaults to first-phase being the only one there is - consequently, expecting only Socialist mode of production (to each according to his contribution) to exist. However, in Socialist State it is inevitable for Socialist mode of production to become slowly replaced by Communist mode of production (to each according to his need) - and subsidies of basic goods are a step in that direction.

2) I also do not agree with his understanding of "labour hoarding" that was happening in USSR. Though, to a lesser degree; he did not present his full argumentation there. Consequently, I am not persuaded his book - if applied - would've changed much.

3) His understanding of Soviet politics (with "intelligentsia" - not a correct term, imho - being the driving force behind the deterioration of economy and fall of USSR) is completely spot-on. Though, he lacks full context (revisionism of the 50s) there and doesn't seem to understand what was going on at the top.

"Le Pizza Hut man" was being investigated for collaborating with mafia at the time - and was praying to all gods for Socialism to be abolished (so as not to go to prison for participating in underground free-market).

he has a highly unorthodox reading of critique of the gotha program with regards to that
good interview, he talks about from each according to his need/upper stage communism at around 32 minutes on

Okay, I'm not wasting an hour of my time listening to the entirety of interview. Ergo - something might've been missed and I don't care if it was. Either way, youtube is trash-level way to present an argument.

tl;dr: It's unconvincing. Maybe, if rephrased, it would make more sense, but as is - it's another pseudo-Marxist bullshit a-la RDWolff.

First mistake is that of usual revisionist "I alone understand the meaning of Marx's words" stance. Even if we ignore the megalomania, the problem is that Marx's works are not important because they were written by Marx. They are important because they are recognized as important by many people. If said people could not assess some of Marx's works, those works do not have the same level of authority, as those that were assessed and recognized. Consequently, this is not an argument.

Second mistake is that the actual reality is ignored. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what Marx said or what anyone thought. What matters is if it was correct - if it correlated with reality. Today we have plenty of examples when enthusiasm-based labour produces socially-useful results. I.e humans do create a supply of labour that does not require remuneration. Consequently, it is only the matter of increase of productivity until this labour becomes sufficient to sustain human civilization and becomes dominant. For Cockshott labour is always in deficit.

Cockshott is a Sraffian, revionist, utopian. Praise kliman.

Does he say anything about traps?

He's probably not fond

Interesting interview. I have Towards A New Socialism (in Swedish) but I haven't read it yet.

If I understand him correctly, he doesn't believe in "full communism", as in free shit for everyone and "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". That's understandable, but he says that Marx never suggested such a thing either. Is this true? I haven't read enough Marx to know. If not, can someone quote Marx to disprove Cockshott on this?

Also, he said that things can only be distributed for free if they don't require any labour to produce. I assume he makes exceptions for things like schools, hospitals, etc., or would sick people have to spend all their labour vouchers and shit on medical treatment in Cockshott's system?

No. Also, irrelevant (see - second point)

Lenin discussing the same point:
> The state will be able to wither away completely when society adopts the rule: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", i.e., when people have become so accustomed to observing the fundamental rules of social intercourse and when their labor has become so productive that they will voluntarily work according to their ability. "The narrow horizon of bourgeois law", which compels one to calculate with the heartlessness of a Shylock whether one has not worked half an hour more than anybody else–this narrow horizon will then be left behind. There will then be no need for society, in distributing the products, to regulate the quantity to be received by each; each will take freely "according to his needs".

He mentions some basic deductions for this, IIRC.

This article really opened my eyes on gay men. Some of it is a bit off but otherwise it's truly high quality theory.

Wow someone tell the gay men in Egypt and Saudi Arabia

i used to really shill for cockschott but once i saw his shit-tier takes on lgbt issues i have to tread more carefully lol


You just couldn't resist making a bullshit claim about leftcoms, could you? For the record, most leftcoms do make a distinction between lower and higher phase communism (communisers are an exception), they just reject the stalinist conception of it.

Actually, the words "from each according to ability, to each according to their needs" taken by themselves don't imply free shit either, only that what you get is not based on a standard of productivity applied to everybody in the same way, regardless of what one could reasonably expect of you. To say that people should give according to their abilities doesn't imply this giving must be entirely based on the individual's whims. One could say that Morelly's Code of Nature is about the principle you have in quotes, and he wrote: "Every citizen will make his particular contribution to the activities of the community according to his capacity, his talent and his age; it is on this basis that his duties will be determined…" (Off-topic, but there are some, ahem, interesting ideas in there: "Every citizen will be married as soon as he has reached the marriageable age; no one will be exempt from this…") According to Cockshott, the phrase you quote is likely a reference to Louis Blanc (I believe that as well), who said the same thing and that got quoted by Proudhon and others. I don't know for sure whether Blanc meant it in a similar way as Morelly, but I expect it. If you speak French (I don't), look up Plus de Girondins and check the context around these words: "De chacun selon ses facultés, à chacun selon ses besoins."
Yes, of course. He is very fond of the NHS.


And what should this lower phase look like? Quotes/sources, please.

The word for "needs" (Bedürfnis) is the same as the "needs" in Capital that define use-value and explicitly mean subjective desires. So there is a very strong argument that they do imply "free shit".

> Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!
> Die Ware ist zunächst ein äußerer Gegenstand, ein Ding, das durch seine Eigenschaften menschliche Bedürfnisse irgendeiner Art befriedigt. Die Natur dieser Bedürfnisse, ob sie z.B. dem Magen oder der Phantasie entspringen, ändert nichts an der Sache.

Is there anything that substantiates this opinion?

Is there some article where Cockshott elaborates on this?

??? I don't see that strong argument. You have to elaborate on that. I can obtain stuff according to my subjective desires right now, within my budget.

Using the same term usually means that the meaning is also the same.

> I can obtain stuff according to my subjective desires right now, within my budget.
Exactly. You get stuff on the basis of exchange - not because you want it.

The meaning of a word depends on the context it is used in. In Capital, Marx wrote about Capitalism, and in the particular quote, what makes a commodity a commodity. In the quote from the Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx wrote about Communism. Marx and Engels talked about structures in society in a way that the structures described are not sums of inherent qualities of the labeled elements, elements that always have these unchanging inherent qualities irrespective no matter which context you rip them out of; rather the quality of a named element in a structure is strongly shaped by the structure, and the element doesn't have that much of an unchanging core content in itself. (If I recall correctly, Engels made a statement about that in the foreword of Capital Volume Three). In the bit from CV1 you quote, Marx didn't define need in itself, just what need means in the context of commodity exchange. It is silly to grab that and say: Here Marx defines what the essence of need is and it's all subjective lawl.

But let's run with that anyway and let's see what happens. If you fix the meaning of need like that, what do you make then of the beginning: "From each according to their ability…" Suppose you have a subjective-lawl need according to your own statement and I have the ability to help you there, but I don't feel like doing it, because I have a different opinion about how much you really need the thing in question, which I could easily provide for you if I wanted. Do you think this state of affairs is what Marx had in mind? Shouldn't he have written then: From each according to their spontaneous inclination/personal whims? So we end up with: From each according to spontaneous personal whims to each according to spontaneous personal whims. The problem is that production is activity in gigantic groups, so we need all sorts of agreements about what to do and when. So to get things done, we need general agreements about what we can expect from each other in terms of contributions and things that require a lot of work like a wheelchair that can climb stairs can be given away for free only in the sense that the receiving person isn't asked to contribute in exchange for receiving one, but not free in the sense that a random asshole can spontaneously grab one for nothing because they subjectively-lawl "need" one.

Which means it's not 100% certainty, but a strong argument. You need to find the same word used in different meaning before considering argument weak.

Then we do not have Communist mode of production. Should society deem my need necessary to satisfy (breathing oxygen, for example) irrespective of your desires, it will rely on Socialist mode of production.

Marx was not suggesting. He was describing things. It is obvious, that there is some amount of labour mankind produces voluntarily. It is also obvious that it is only a question of productivity to have this voluntary labour become the backbone of economy.

And your point is?

>In Capital, Marx wrote about Capitalism, and in the particular quote, what makes a commodity a commodity. In the quote from the Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx wrote about Communism.

The context is about as different as it gets, and the examples of people having different needs that get explicitly stated in CotGP are of a type socially recognized as such, not based on individuals deciding individually what counts as a real need:

Read further:
> this part grows considerably in comparison with present-day society, and it grows in proportion as the new society develops

I.e. those "real needs" are only beginning of what will be satisfied under Socialism (first-phase Communism) and will extend further and further. In no way this does not contradict needs-as-individual-desires that will be satisfied under Communism - which fully develops satisfaction of "real needs". It's just under scarcity economy only most generic (and useful) desires can be satisfied.

To elaborate, there are very few exceptions to this in some services which can be given on a person-to-person basis, in which case it really is up to spontaneous individual judgment. But for the most part, the groups involved in production are big and do not know each other on an intimate personal level, and it is usually impossible to achieve deep personal connections because of the size, and while personal connections are possible among people in leadership positions along a production chain, with flatter hierarchies these organizations will become even more anonymous. The group of people interested in a consumer item is virtually always even bigger than the group of producers and more dispersed.

It's not that there is on the one side the technical development, and on the other side human freedom, with human freedom being the freedom of the individual to do whatever in a very spontaneous way. For example, which side of the road we drive on is in a way arbitrary, but that doesn't mean that you can individually spontaneously choose which side to drive on. Likewise, the activity of collective production requires that we synchronize our activities in some way. Different human societies have had different systems of weeks, like 8-day week cycles. I don't particularly care whether we have a seven-day week with two free days or a different week cycle if the amount of free time I have in a year amounts to the same, but I have to respect the cycle that exists in the society I live in, the particular holidays and so on. Human-made doesn't imply individually made. If ability to pay is not going to be the fundamental principle in allocating things to consumers, we'll have to heavily rely on standardization and norms, and stereotypes, if you will. An example from the world today is that in Finland, pregnant women are provided by the state with a big package full of generic stuff for babies inside.

People will get more variety in experiences, but that doesn't mean that small groups will be able to produce anything like the variety in production we have today. The only way in which a big part of consumption could be allocated in a very personal way, from individual to individual, is by people gifting each other things that are their personal property they obtained via labor vouchers or via a stereotypical norm of need. It looks highly plausible that if people who obtain something (not through consumption budget but) via such a norm give that to another person, from the side of those producing that it will likely be seen as ungrateful/shady behavior.

Probably relevant, Cockshott talking about Marx on Communism:
come down to 4 points:
in a future communist system or system of 'associated producers:
( two passages in Capital, and one in the Critique of the Gotha programme).
was directly social – ie, it is impossible to force an economy of
independent producers to exchange their products exactly in proportion
to labour time.
their pay in labour vouchers to cover social security provisions ( remember
social security deductions did not exist in the real world when he wrote
this so this was a piece of real foresight ).
to need, so that as time went on the principle of payment in proportion
to labour performed could be suplemented by credits or benefits to those
in particular need due to family size, invalidity etc.
Hot take by Cockshott on page 12:

Thank you.

After all the explicit examples were of the other type. And the development of the growth of "proportion" in which needs are respected you are "reading" into this is "whatever somebody feels like". This is not a very plausible interpretation, to put it diplomatically. Take electricity. It doesn't look impossible that consumers might have some basic quantity of it supplied for free at some point and paying only for consumption above that, and if we are going to have a basic free quantity and also growing electricity production, the size of the free basic package might also grow. What is not in sight here is any point where it becomes unlimited.

Is it even such a great idea to provide free limited basic amounts of stuff to individuals, requiring payment for any excess quantity over that? – Not really. It's more like a band-aid with some usefulness while wealth distribution is extremely skewed, but since we won't have that, and everybody will have a job or get aid during disability or old age and so on, it's not a sadistic idea to let people pay for that. Consider three people: Person A consumes exactly the amount of the free basic quantity of thing X and of thing Y, person B and C added together consume twice as much of each as person A, but in individually different proportions. B consumes more of X and less of Y than C does, and vice versa for C. So A doesn't pay anything for the quantities received of X and Y, and B and C have to pay extra. Does this make any sense to you? And if B and C live near each other and have mutual trust, they may arrange their individual consumption requests in a way that they don't have to pay for X and Y, even though their real individual consumption is unchanged, only their official individual consumption changes. Again I ask: Does this make sense to you? Compare that with the situation where there is no basic amount of X and Y supplied for free, and the three people here all end up being asked to pay about the same amount (that each of them can afford).

link to article? by Gearóid Ó Colmáin
An article entirely made of Hot Takes.
You see, homosexual behavior in birds is only due to the influence of bourgeois birds, with their effeminate western-influenced chirping:
Cockshott's comment:
Cockshott presents some iffy statistical data about how common being gay is among people with different income levels. The problem with that is pointed out in a guest's comment:
Another part of what Cockshott says is a very sound argument about the costs of having kids for women, and since gay couples are far less likely to raise kids, bringing financial benefits that come with state-recognized marriage to gay couples will amount to a shift of resources towards people who already tend to be a bit better off than heterosexual couples.

this is why nobody likes you fags


you're just jelly of true anglo beauty

Outrageous! capitalism would never co-opt a movement, Fucking cishets scum!



t. person who doesn't speak German and hasn't read Capital

You are mixing up the hyper-individualistic understanding of utility in neoclassical economics with the concept of use value in classical economics and Marx. Read Capital, first chapter: Look at these statements:
The shoemaker knows what shoes are for, even if they aren't use values for him, such a formulation just means he personally has no use for them (aside from exchange). He understands the use value of the object, which is not some subjective happy-points score, it's what the shoes are useful for. Get this: They are fucking shoes, that's their use value, and we can make the description more concrete by talking about shoe size and so on. Somebody working in an Amazon warehouse can tell what an item is useful for at a glance in 99.99 % cases, basically nothing mysterious about it. The operation of simply counting multiple units of the same item as multiple instances of that use value, to say that, yes, two times as many of that thing means twice the use value of it, five units of it are five instances of that use value and so on, is not something that makes sense from your solipsistic neoclassical conception that you project back onto Marx. You as an individual don't get ten times the utility by getting nine more units of the same coat.

Copy-pasting quotes is no substitute for actually reading Marx, sweetie.

This would've been persuasive if you actually demonstrated this. Oh, wait. You can't.

I see no quotes and no sources. AS ALWAYS.

None of which contradict me:
Yes, for the purpose of economy, subjective desires that are relevant are limited to desires for existing items. There isn't anything about inherent use-value.

This simply demonstrates that you don't have to buy something to desire it.

And? Material wealth is not defined by use-value, it must have exchange-value.

Literally, irrelevant for the topic at hand.

He does not need to understand anything, you insufferable idiot. He sells shoes because someone wants to have them and can pay.

Yes. What does this prove?

> can only present one quote that might be interpreted in his favour
Such expert, much wow.

Condescending tone is no substitute for actually arguing, sweetie.

How is anyone supposed to be able to demonstrate to an English-speaking audience that you don't speak German? You quote things from German texts to appear as an authority, and despite your astronomical post count you don't participate in the German-language threads. These quotes don't support what you say. You have been asked several times whether you actually speak German, and have so far evaded giving an answer to that simple question: Do you speak German? And you are again evading a straight answer right now.

Which German language threads? On Holla Forums? There hasn't been one in months. Should I make one? Would people be willing to participate?

What do you need to be sourced here?
Just grab a standard mainstream econ book for that (the only econ you have read, if any).
As can be seen in Capital Volume One, chapter 1. You haven't even read the first chapter, you are just recycling quote-snippets from it you have seen before.
Source: this thread.
>He does not need to understand anything, you insufferable idiot. He sells shoes because someone wants to have them and can pay.
That's exactly the sophistry of vulgar bourgeois economists like Say. Difference between you and Say is that he wrote with style. In the real world, people making a product almost always have a decent grasp of what it's good for.
Since X units of an item are called X units of that use value, and since X identical items usually do not provide X times the happiness to the same individual, this proves, and you admit it to it here, that use value is a distinct concept from utility as individual desire. It proves that you haven't read Capital.

Don't try to switch topic, sweetie.

You were supposed to demonstrate that this is wrong:

You did not do it. You can't even explain how I might be wrong.

I am quoting things from German texts to demonstrate that the term that used is actually the same - because that's how it should be demonstrated. There is no other way to do it, even if it seeing umlauts triggers you for some reason.

Explain how.

Because it is not relevant, and I have aversion to anonymous morons trying to pry personal information from me instead of actually arguing.

He doesn't know German.

< just find some proof that I am right
Find it yourself, retard.

Except Marx was talking about wealth. Which implies exchange value.

You are the one who keeps quoting one and the same thing again and again.

Also, how do you reconcile your Technocratic ideas about use-value (the source of which you refuse to divulge) with the fact that prostitutes create use-value?

Do you speak German?
The topic is what Marx really meant. Given that the original text is in German, and given that you quote in German, people might get the impression that you are particularly qualified to talk about it by virtue of speaking German. Hence you get asked whether you do speak it. Do. You. Speak. German? You STILL didn't answer that simple question.
Muh dox, yeah right. That's the reason why you won't answer the question, as doing that would put you either in a group of over 90 million people or several billion. And that means a drone strike next week. Yes… If Marx had talked about use value and giving each according to their needs like you do, he would have used different phrases than he did.
giving according to muh spontaneous individual subjective feelz needs -> jedem nach Lust und Laune / den individuellen Wünschen entsprechend / dem Maßstab der spontanen eigenen Gemütslage nach, dem Verlangen des Individuums keine Schranke gesetzt außer durch die eigene Einsicht usw.
Just the word wealth by itself doesn't imply that. A thing can be a use value without being a commodity, and you can be wealthy in having such use values. Marx talks about stofflichen Reichtum, which means wealth in terms of use-values:
Corresponding English passage:
In that passage, Marx even pointed out a possible shrinkage of the pile of wealth in terms of value while in terms of material wealth, that is in terms of use value, that same pile is actually growing. So that's very much NOT talking about wealth growing in terms of exchange value.
Holy fuck. Paul Cockshott is your nemesis for life all because of muh dick, and that's why you talk shit about him. I thought that was a joke at first.

You have a very rich imagination. I accused you retards of being Technocrats a year ago, long before any Cockshott. It's just I had argued the very same point recently - and this argument was sufficient to shut the retards up.

And you did not answer my question. If use-value is a material quality, then how can service industry possess use-value?

And the method you are objecting to requires use of only one single word so as to pre-emptively deal with the possibility that similarity in English are a fluke, an artifact of translation.

And the answer is: it is irrelevant. I've already played this game with troll who started screeching that my translation is wrong, without explaining anything, nor providing correct one. But only actual German speaker would've been able to see that he is full of shit. Consequently, such arguments have no value.

< I'm going to impress you some German phrases
I'm dazzled by your linguistic provess. Write whole replies in German, if you want to. Just make them actually informative.

What makes you think that? Moreover, what makes you think I agree with the "stofflichen" (material) quality being inherent to use-value simply because you claim it to be so? Moreover, see above: if use-value is inherently material, then how did service industry manage to create use-value?

>> [quote]
Marx pointed out that exchange value of an increased amount of objects (stofflichen Reichtums; material wealth) might fall, even if each object retains the same use value (ability to satisfy desires) - i.e. the amount of desires that increased amount of objects can satisfy is increased.

I.e. this doesn't prove your point, since you can prove things only by presenting an example where Use Value-intepreted-as-Desire makes no sense.

Well, yes. But there is no "So" - you don't come to this as a conclusion, since Marx explicitly states that it is exchange value (Wertgröße) that is a subject to possible shrinkage:

Was ist denn dein Problem mein Junge, wo hakt es? Siehst du nicht ein, dass Marx deine spontan-individuell (und vor allem: kleinbürgerliche) Sicht nicht teilt? Kommunismus braucht Planung, da ist nicht viel mit der Methode Lust und Laune rauszuholen.
Du hast echt nur Scheiße im Kopf.

hahaha I gotta start using that one

Why, Cumshott, why?

I distinctly remember Marx arguing for some sort of a way public could to express their opinions directly, without someone Petit-Borgeois intellectuals determining what they should be producing and consuming. Care to remind me how was it called? I think it was not "barracks communism".

Except it is not.

Oh, no. You are not getting out of this. You explicitly clamied that Use-Value is based on material goods. Objects. Consequently, even for a moment, "inherent use-value" must be made manifest in creation (and subsequent disappearance) of "stofflichen Reichtums". If it is not made manifest, then Use Value is not tied to the "material wealth" - which was your main argument.

Desires objectively interact with real world. They exist. Not only do they consist out of neurons firing up, as well as some complex biochemicals, but are expressed through the actions of individuals - which is how they interact with economy. They have impact. This is a fact.

If anything is part of a magical realm it is this Idealist notion of "inherent use-value" that exists separately from anything and doesn't manifests itself in any way. How can you observe this "inherent use-value"? How does it affect economic exchange? It doesn't exist, it doesn't affect anything - people buy things because they want to buy them, not because things have "objective need". This is also a fact.

You try to claim that this concept was developed by someone else, and consequently cannot be Marxist - but Marx explicitly pointed out that he did not create anything new, other than dependence of social relations on relations of production.

But we are not talking about Use-Values of all objects satisfying desire of one individual brain simultaneously. We are talking about potential ability to satisfy subjective desires. For all we know, the buyer might be a collective of ten different people who are buying clothes in bulk (and getting a discount because of this).

Oh, I would love to read some texts. For example, as I had asked you several times already: wherefrom did you get the idea about use-value being objective? Do you still intend to claim that you encountered it only in Marx's writing and nowhere else?

Because Petit-Bourgeois intellectual. They are inherently prone to this, since they primarily interact with abstract ideas, not real world. Which is how it is easy for them to start thinking those abstract ideas to be real.

That's how we end up with "objective value" of things - or other nonsense that exists only in feverish imagination.


sorry but you're just butthurt

Cumshott nails the value question
if there's no objective value that you can quantitatively measure - then you can shove your value theories up your arse
plain and simple

every time some Marxist spews that value theory can't predict prices he reveals himself as a charlatan, whose impotent theories cannot explain the world around us


yeah because fags being ruling class is such a clear facet of real world geopolitics
hopefully we don't need to give you the "two consenting adults" lecture

he provided statistics showing that fag movement is a petty bourg movement
go eat a pee pee

You are a moron. What I was referring to is the belief in the inherent objective use-value. Prices are the exchange-value. Go read Marx.

Frankly, I think you've missed the point of our little exchange.

Both correspond to the "Stalinist" conception and warrant no further attention and weren't even asked about.

First and foremost, I need to clarify that it is Socialist mode of production that we are dealing with here - so as to pre-emptively refute "experts" who will expect 100% coverage of economy by this mode of production. Bordiga himself confirms this with "generally".

Secondly, the bit about "quotas" needs an elaboration. There could be two interpretations: either the actual specific products are pre-determined, or it is the labour vouchers that are given and whatever consumer goods the individual wants are acquired with those vouchers. The latter fits "Stalinist" conception of Socialism and describes Socialist period of USSR, while the former - which does contradict it - I am prepared to challenge as the non-scientific (due to being overly restrictive) interpretation of Socialist mode of production.

Bordiga's position here is absolutely correct. Exchange-based economy will degenerate into Capitalism. The problem here is that Stalin's position is the same. I need to see this "Stalin's statement" which is being referred to.

Again - correct. This describes Central Planning properly.

This bit makes no sense. Sure, Gesell's demurrage is a great idea, but what does it have to do with anything? When did it become inherent quality of labour voucher within Marxism?

Engels's quote supports "Stalinist" conception.

Full quote:
Engels here speaks about production costs not defining access to goods. Which broadly corresponds with the Soviet system: things deemed socially necessary were accessible regardless of their production costs, while those that were deemed somewhat excessive (luxury goods) had their price artificially inflated.

This system existed until Perestroika, when it collapsed after monopoly on foreign trade was revoked: goods with the price below production costs were bought-out and sold on foreign markets, creating the infamous "deficits" (usually presented asshops with empty shelves).

tl;dr: Bordiga's differences boil down to uncertainty about "quotas" and demurrage being inherent to labour vouchers.

A weird claim about Stalin's position needs to be properly explained before I'll take it seriously.

Alternatively, "loss" might not be a process (demurrage), but a binary state: labour vouchers go from full value to zero once the expiration date passes. Either way, I have problems understanding the reason for this.

Every Marxist writes about use-value as being a description of what something is useful for, not as a description of some mental state inside an individual person's mind. In that it is rather different from how modern mainstream economists talk about utility. Have all the Marxists misrepresented Marx? Are the guys who run the Marxist Internet Archive wrong in how they put it in their glossary, or is !!uLSSnt0y8Q, the guy who in this thread wrote an analysis of an interview he himself admitted to not actually have listened through fully, and who is regularly accused of not having read things he shares his opinions about, the person who is wrong?

If use-value as Marx meant it is the mental state inside an individual person's mind, how come that Marx writes about a quantity of a use-value, and that quantity simply being equal to the number of units of it? 2 coats = 2 use-values of that coat. Having the same coat twice doesn't feel to me like I'm doubling my personal utility relative to my utility from having a single coat, and I'm sure most people would also deny that about their own utility with respect to getting a second coat identical to one they already have. That can be gleaned from the first chapter.

In chapter two, Marx wrote about commodity exchange developing out of self-sustaining production: The first way in which a useful object has the potential to become an exchange value, Marx wrote, is as a quantity of use-value exceeding the immediate needs of its owner. Clearly, this is a quantity of identical objects produced in higher quantity than what the producer directly needs for their own consumption. The marginal utility from directly using it drops, and might drop to zero, but the use-value simply exceeds the personal needs, because the quantity of the use-value simply refers to the quantity of identical objects. It would be a nonsensical statement to say: "Personal marginal utility from consumption exceeds… err personal utility from consumption." That doesn't make sense and it's not what Marx meant. Ten times the object means ten times the use-value of the object. Simple as that.

It's not that every homosexual is super-rich, it's just that they are a bit better off on average. Why should anybody on the left support something that amounts to a subsidy for this group? (And let's not pretend that being against this subsidy is on par with advocating prison for homosexuals or forcing them to take medication. I understand that the anti-subsidy position gets applause from people who are advocates of these, but it isn't in itself a position I would call homophobic)

Provide actual quotes. The way you put it encompasses both Marxist and Technocrat interpretation of use-value.

Stop strawmanning, will you?

>What I was referring to is the belief in the inherent objective use-value.
Since Cockshott and Cottrell advocate for the not very creative but workable idea of allocation of individually consumed items based on individual consumer deciding within their individual budget constraints, this leads us to the question whether you have actually read TANS or decided to deliberately misrepresent it.

*have actually NOT read

< did not read the thread
We were having a very different discussion that does not involve Cockshott.

Before the derailment by rogue revisionist we were discussing the extent of needs that get satisfied under the full Communism, but what you are referring to is the post-derailment discussion on the meaning of the Use-Value: is it subjective and different for each individual, or is it objective and depends on the product in question.

This leads us to the question as to why the fuck did you feel the need to post anything.

So do you now deny that you spread misinformation about Cockshott and Cottrell recommending a system of experts determining what proper use-values are.

< let's change topic once more
Do you even read my posts?

As you said yourself:
Since Cockshott doesn't advocate for Neurath-style boards of experts determining in detail what different groups of people should consume, accusing him of something like that is uncalled for. The only alternative reading of your post was by – who read that as you denying the soundness of measuring the quantity of necessary labour time, which yielded him this comradely response of yours:
>You are a moron. What I was referring to is the belief in the inherent objective use-value.
Why are you spreading bullshit about Cockshott?

< no, I'm not reading your posts. My imagination is sufficient
Got it.

It's literally quoting you. OP is about Paul Cockshott. You literally said this about him:
This can be interpreted in two ways:
1. Some theory of a society where experts determine what and how much you "objectively" should consume that literally neither Cockshott nor Cottrell nor anybody in this thread, nor the technocrats, actually advocates. That Cockshott would advocate for rationing consumption similar to a war economy with its rationing books, and as a long term thing with self-styled experts determining what in their view people objectively require, which would be a ridiculous assumption, as it is completely at odds with what is in TANS, and elitism would be a ridiculous accusation given that he also advocates for sortition. (Technocrats have a different pricing system, but you still have personal budgets and people individually obtaining things for themselves with that.) Now you might say that you didn't claim Cockshott to have this position, as you didn't say that in that sentence, you were just talking about him in the sentence just before, and then in the next sentence, "them" was addressing a totally different group than Cockshott Gang, and you have not the faintest idea how any troll or moron could possibly misread your intelligent contributions that way, huh? Cunt.
2. The second interpretation is value as in reckoning about production cost in a sort of physical real way, how long it really takes to create something, the position that one can figure out something like that without recurring to the market. Which is a position Cockshott is "guilty" of having. It also happens to be a correct position. So what's your cunting problem, cunt?

You have very strong opinions about Capital by Marx, the true real subtle meaning of this or that phrase by Marx that only you know about, and TANS. You have been asked point-blank, again and again: Have you actually read Capital? Do you actually speak German? Have you actually read TANS? And again and again, you have avoided actually answering these questions. Are these questions somehow not relevant? Why should anybody respect what you are saying about books you haven't read, interviews you haven't watched, and so on? And if you have a strong opinion about Cockshott based on something else, what is it?



Technocrats do. And this is an inevitable conclusion if you follow through with the idea of use-value being "objective".

Who determines pricing of goods and what is produced?

And so the strawmanning begins anew.

Itt: liberals show their true colours when they put their sexuality as no. 1 priority.
Based computer guy

The use-value of an object, meant in the way classical economists and Marx wrote about it, usually refers to the function or functions it can serve due to its known physical properties. There is not one fundamental one-dimensional measure of all use-value, there are many distinct use-values. This is why the measure of a use value of a quantity of one particular product, such as a particular type of coat, is simply equal to the quantity of these identical coats. Comparing two different collections of distinct products in terms of use-value means to say in ordinary language what these are useful for. One cannot say that one of these collection is a bigger amount of use-values unless one contains the other use-values as a strict subset, and even then one can't make a statement of the size difference in terms of just a number unless the bigger collection is entirely composed of products contained in the smaller collection and for each product the increase in quantity is by just the same factor.

There are several leaps in your argument, indeed so many leaps that it's hard to tell what your argument even is. It doesn't follow from the mere definition of some word that somebody believes what you claim they believe. That is, using the term use-value described as above is not at all incompatible with believing concepts like diminishing marginal utility as a good rule of thumb. It is true that the latter concept is not contained in the former, you mix up using a concept that doesn't entail another with denying the other concept. You mix up descriptions of capitalism with endorsements. You bury everything under tons of goony pseudo-sarcasm, so you can almost always weasel out and claim you didn't mean it that way, and you have done that so often that it has become doubtful to onlookers whether you have a position on anything aside from you being very knowledgeable about these topics, even though your trouble parsing others using standard terms suggests nothing of that sort.

For a given collection of products, actual utility to people is different with different distribution patterns of that, while the description of these patterns in terms of use-values stays invariant. That's just a consequence of how that definition works, it doesn't mean that the person saying that herself can't make a distinction between these patterns or doesn't care. Capitalism ultimately doesn't have that much to do with making people happy, which is why it shouldn't come at a surprise that some term that is used in the description of capitalism and that is related to the delivery of happiness under capitalism, is somewhat barren and leaves much to be desired if you care about happiness.

Given the way you conduct yourself here, I do not believe that you are (or have ever been) active in a party or trade union or any sort of political group. If you ever try to join one, you should definitely tell them about your heroic struggle in spending several months fighting off all those morons and trolls who have tried to tell you what use-value is. You should print out these discussions and attach them to your CV.

Is this a joke?

> [not a single quote or other proof to support stated position]
Go away and don't come back.

You clearly had been. Lying through your teeth and using every opportunity to slander opponent - without presenting a shred of proof or actually engaging the arguments - seems like a second nature to you.

If you ever try to join one, you should definitely tell them about your heroic struggle in spending several months fighting off all those morons and trolls who have tried to tell you what use-value is. You should print out these discussions and attach them to your CV.

NB: Second half of the post wasn't deleted before sending.


Also !!uLSSnt0y8Q:

Which can be interpreted in two ways, see: And that post even predicted that you would claim that slander wasn't about Cockshott, just because you didn't literally repeat his name every sentence. Which sounds like a pretty paranoid claim, which looks like an absurd assumption, which would be a rather silly strategy as it would be a pretty transparent way of bullshitting and…

…it is precisely what you then did in reply to that post.

Oh, wait. It's the same troll.

Dear trip poster, where are these posts actually advocating those positions you so bravely fight against here (aside from the use-value definition, which you are plainly wrong about)? Can you point to even a single post in this thread actually advocating some dubious planning by experts in terms of "objective use-value"? I have read through the entire thread twice and I haven't found any. Perhaps Howard Scott has these views, but he hasn't posted even once in here.

so is feminism, that doesn't mean being female is bourgeois

homos aren't a race, whether someone identifies as one is a choice, even if being one is mostly pathological. so conflating sexuality and wealth with statistics is retarded. they are better off on average because financial independence means you get to tell people who disapprove of your lifestyle to fuck off
you know damn well that the arguments are largely against homosexuality itself, which is idpol, not criticism of it. the idea that being a fag is bourgeois is little more than people conflating their resentment of the ruling class with things they personally find repugnant.
the far left has better fish to fry than sexual orientation in general

We've been having this discussion on and off since 2016.

In this specific thread:

I suspect that is part of why that correlation exists, but clearly a strong reason for it existing is that raising kids is expensive and state subsidies/tax breaks for married couples don't entirely make up for that. So if these subsidies/tax breaks gets extended to groups who are far less likely to have kids, this means an increase in the inequality of wealth, which is why I am against that.
You just complained about reading too much into correlations, and now your argument for opposing a position is that this position correlates with terrible positions that assholes have. I don't think Cockshott wants to jail gays, so as long as he doesn't make a statement of that sort I'm not going to pretend that he wants that.

You are the only trip poster ITT. Would you say that Paul Cockshott has that position that you criticize? Would you say that Howard Scott has that position?
If you go on Wikipedia: you will see in the sidebar for different languages that the German equivalent of Use-Value is "Gebrauchswert". Did you perhaps mean to quote this:
>Es handelt sich um Gebrauchswert, der unmittelbar im Augenblick der Entstehung verbraucht wird. Auch wenn der Dienstleistungsgebrauchswert unmittelbar verbraucht wird, so muss die Dienstleistung doch real in der physikalischen Welt ablaufen und nicht in der zauberhaften Fantasiewelt deines Kleinbürgergehirnchens.
Would you mind giving a translation of that? Is "Dienstleistungsgebrauchswert" == "Objective Use-Value"?

So that's where you've gotten this bullshit from.

Read carefully:
> Der Gebrauchswert einer Ware kann sich von Individuum zu Individuum unterscheiden, weil sich auch die Eigenschaft eines Gegenstands oder Gutes, der Befriedigung von Bedürfnissen zu dienen unterscheidet.

Wut? It was merely to show a translation of one word. But OK, let's read Wikipedia. English version:
The footnote is: Karl Marx, Capital I, Chapter 1. German Wikipedia:
That's great advice for everybody because it's in German… Anyway, the part you quote has two sources linked, one looks like spam (some aggregator showing search results going back to Wikipedia), the other seems to be some portal for yuppies and managers (is that your homepage?). Great job, m8.

Would you mind getting a tripcode and presenting your arguments of Use-Value being objective, not subjective in a separate thread?

If no - fuck off.

But that's bourgeois, onii-chan! Would you mind getting a therapist to figure out why you think the words of an econ dictionary for yuppies in German must be a more accurate representation of the teachings of Marx than Capital in an English translation?

Here is some more for the "use-value = individual feelings" faction to chew on: Rubin wrote about use-value in
(Maybe it's the translation, but he should have written consumer product, to be more general. Anyway, you get the point.)
>while each producer of a commodity is bound to produce a use-value, to satisfy a particular social want (emphasis mine)
Do you think you have a better grasp of the issue than Rubin did?

No idea. But I have better grasp on the issue than you.

> Here is some more for the "use-value = individual feelings" faction to chew on:
Is this an official statement by the Objective Use-Value Faction that service industry does not create Use-Values?

Oh, wait. You don't do statements. You don't have any position other than "you are wrong".

"Social want" simply means the want someone else within society has (and can pay for), not the want of some magical beast known as "society". He is rephrasing Marx.
> Whoever directly satisfies his wants with the produce of his own labour, creates, indeed, use values, but not commodities. In order to produce the latter, he must not only produce use values, but use values for others, social use values.

Also !!uLSSnt0y8Q:
and comments anyway:
Paul Cockshott has been a Marxist for decades, he has has studied Marx (he also speaks some rough German), he is an avid reader of Marxist theory in general, he took part in the resistance against the Poll Tax in Britain, and he has visited gatherings of socialists such as the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Germany. But you of course know everything better by virtue of being a completely incoherent attention whore on an imageboard (muh trip means I'm a serious thinker hurr).

Why would services having a use-value somehow constitute a strong argument for the use-values being hard to ascertain / being in the eye the beholder? You seem to believe that somebody who wants to centrally plan according to something like Maslow's hierarchy of needs would suffer a major setback in their ideology when confronted with the reminder about the existence of items that perish quickly, with services of course being the most extreme case. But why do you believe that? (If you don't believe that, I don't know what you mean.)

Kapital Band III, 2. Kapitel:
My translation: "The capitalist doesn't produce the commodity for its own sake, not for its use-value or his personal consumption."
What does the "or" have to do here? Why doesn't Marx terminate the sentence after use-value? Why does he distinguish between personal consumption and use-value? Because in his writing use-value usually refers to something socially recognized as such, as it does here.
My translation: "Whether the raw material or the work equipment is cheap or expensive, makes no difference at all; if only it has the captured use-value A N D is available in the technically determined proportion to the living labour which is to be absorbed." Since Marx is writing about technical constraints on production here, using use-value in this context surely refers to rather unambiguous physical properties of raw materials and machinery.
5. Kapitel:
My translation: "Inasmuch as the constant capital enters the production of commodities, it is not its exchange-value, but its use-value, which alone matters. How much labour the flax in a spinning mill can suck in does not depend on the value of the flax, but its quantity…
The flax is an example of constant capital. Quantity of a use-value often simply refers to its physical quantity, as it does in this snippet.
30. Kapitel
My translation: "Commodity capital… As use-value it is a particular quantity of utensils, and in the moment of crisis there's a plethora of it." Once again, this supports the meaning of quantity of a use-value simply corresponding to its physical quantity, which is at odds with an understanding of use-value as individual utility (since individual utility is likely not linear, but decreasing at the margin). And this is how Marx writes about it, usually. Exceptions to that tend to be of the type that he sometimes writes about discrepancies of supplied quantities on the one side, and on the other it's a lone individual and his feelings, just kidding, on the other side it's what is socially recognized, so use-value is a collective, a social concept. The functions of the commodities tend to be broadly known, so Marx is for the most part certainly not talking about use-value being a reflection of spontaneous individual mental processes.

Cockshott is not the only one who sees it that way. See also Robert Waldmann's article: "The Critique of the Golgotha Program – on Karl Marx, Arthur Laffer and Simon Peter." (Golgotha isn't a typo, it's a shitty pun.)