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June 09, 2014

Comments

Bob Smith

If the left didn't have hypocrisy what would it have? They call the right the "party of the rich" while ignoring the billionaires in their own ranks.

sk60

So too with the academic humanities, which have largely squandered the moral and intellectual capital they once possessed by adopting the roles of adversaries to, rather than preservers of, the larger culture. This, too, turns out not to be sustainable.

Also the 'radical' left in general.

David

Also the ‘radical’ left in general.

As noted previously, it’s one of the great problems for cartoon radicals such as Laurie Penny and her peers. Those who spend so much of their time threatening to “smash” bourgeois norms generally do so with impunity precisely because of those same bourgeois tendencies. And so Alexander Vasudevan can champion thuggery and the “seizure and reclamation” of other people’s property as “an act of radical protest,” safe in the knowledge that taxpayers and homeowners are unlikely to repay the compliment, barge into his office at the University of Nottingham and start stealing his stuff.

Likewise, Occupy’s “theoretician” David Graeber can indulge in adolescent chest-puffing about riots and violence and “destabilising the country” with a “vision of revolution inspired by anarchism,” knowing full well that that nice Mrs Wilson down the road – whose world he wants to upturn and leave strewn with burning cars - won’t treat him or his possessions with the same physical contempt. He and his peers act out their narcissistic fantasies while enjoying the benefits, directly or residually, of the bourgeois behaviour they denounce, and while very much counting on others holding on to such values, clearing up afterwards and picking up the tab.

These aren’t just random moral errors or anomalies of character; it’s pretty much a default conceit. And with no bourgeois culture to rail against, how could our self-imagined betters preen?

jones

Ones heart truly bleeds for Michael Moore.

Just how will he get by on what remains of his (100 million I've heard)?

I naturally assume he does not have any evasive tax practices.....Just to get by of course.

Especially if he finds himself deprived of his Pied-à-terre (linky think below).

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/07/19/article-2370378-1AE4CB25000005DC-707_634x286.jpg

Nikw211

… knowing full well that that nice Mrs Wilson down the road – whose world he wants to upturn and leave strewn with burning cars - won’t treat him or his possessions with the same physical contempt.

And then take the absence of a response from that very same nice Mrs Wilson as her unspoken support for anarchy in her name?

I clicked through to the Atlantic article (The Morbid Fascination With The Death Of The Humanities) to discover - somewhat to my surprise - that the crisis in the humanities is not a consequence of actions of anyone from within that community itself, but an entirely different crisis, artificially produced by capitalism (or something like it):

    In other words, the humanities crisis is largely a positive feedback loop created by stressing out over economic outcomes […] The very people demanding to know why English and art-history departments weren’t doing very well were often the people who’d helped drive students away from those departments to begin with […] This kind of worry-worn discourse … not only makes the crisis worse; in some sense, it is the crisis.

Ironically, the value of arts and literature asserted by the article's author are that it develops empathy and provides a language for moral discourse.

OK, fine. But aren't those precisely the same kind of qualities and benefits that heavily 'activist' focused academic courses have spent the best part of the last 50 years trying to dismantle?

Isn't it exactly on those justifications for the arts that the majority of the academic community have claimed are part of an insidious deception that makes the 'really existing' power structures of mass oppression seem 'natural' and timeless? That literature in any case, are the ramblings of rich, old, dead white Western guys?

Something about chickens and roosting … there's a proverb on the tip of my tongue there somewhere.

Minnow

Actually, it isn't contradictory to be a socialist and to get rich. Michael Moore is wealthy because he received the proceeds of his own labour. The socialist grievance would be if Michael Moore were poor while capitalists got rich off his back. Socialists are all for labour receiving the full value of its creativity. That's rather the point. of course some redistribution will be necessary but I don't think Michael Moore has avoided his taxes, has he? And there is an argument to be had with the copyright laws being designed to encourage rent seeking. I don't know if that can be fairly levelled at Moore. I wish people would lose this idea that socialists want people to be poor. They don't. They just want to stop the class exploitation of labour (usually at the point of a gun) by the rich.

Anna

socialists... just want to stop the class exploitation of labour (usually at the point of a gun) by the rich.

Snork.

David

Something about chickens and roosting

Heather Mac Donald is quite good on the humanities’ self-inflicted decline.

Minnow

The trouble is that Heather MacDonald is a tiny bit economical with the verite, perhaps (surely not!) for ideological reasons. It is true, as she says that students majoring in English at UCLA have now to take four courses in theoretical approaches, but she forgets to mention that they also have to take four courses, one each from the following topic areas, plus three other modules of a traditional sort:

Literatures in English before 1500 [Chaucer may be lurking in this one!]
Literatures in English 1500-1700 [can you name a famous English playwright who might be involved?!]
Literatures in English 1700-1850
Literatures in English 1850-Present

The shock is a bit less horrifying when you see the facts. I am sure that lit grads at UCLA will learn in their theoretical modules the dangers of accepting ideologically driven partial readings. Maybe some other people could benefit from that sort of sceptical approach? Maybe even Heather?

David

Minnow,

You may want to read Ms Mac Donald’s articles a little more closely before trolling. And regarding your claim that socialists “just want to stop the class exploitation of labour (usually at the point of a gun) by the rich,” and don’t ever “want people to be poor,” I suggest you poke about in the archives. It won’t take long to find quite a few self-defined socialists wishing poverty and misery on people about whom they know nothing whatsoever, on grounds of socialist ideals, and wishing to actively thwart the opportunities of other people’s children either by state coercion or by making their parents poor. Again, on explicitly egalitarian - socialist - grounds. All while being affirmed by a largely left-of-centre readership. In the foremost national organ of the British left.

For some, the sweetest plum.

Minnow

Oh I am not saying there are no arseholes who call themselves socialists, just that vindictiveness has no part of socialism theoretically. Socialists want labour to make more money. That is where it all starts really.

I have read Ms MacDonald and I think everything she says falls down if you look at what the students she is talking about are actually studying. And why anyone would think an English degree should necessarily include Milton is beyond me.

David

Oh I am not saying there are no arseholes who call themselves socialists, just that vindictiveness has no part of socialism theoretically.

The naiveté (if that’s what it is) is almost touching, given the frequency and enthusiasm with which such malice is rationalised.

Minnow

"The naiveté (if that’s what it is) is almost touching, given the frequency and enthusiasm with which such malice is rationalised."

I find just as much (actually rather more) vindictiveness and malice directed towards the poor and powerless from self-styled capitalists, but I don't make the mistake of thinking this is therefore necessarily essential to capitalism itself.

Patrick Brown

Minnow, the basis of socialism is the workers' control of the means of production. We'll have no more of the bourgeoisie - the factory owner and investors, the guys with the ideas and the capital who make the decisions control the overall direction of the enterprise - making a fortune while the proletariat - the guys on the factory floor, who do the actual work - only get paid a minimal wage.

Michael Moore is a film director. As the list of credits on any film will tell you, making a film requires a large number of employees, most of whom will not be paid a fraction of what the director gets. So in socialist terms, Michael Moore is the bourgeois factory owner getting rich by exploiting the labour of the proletarian clapper loaders, key grips, best boys, caterers and makeup artists.

abacab

Once again, c Minnow is arguing from a theoretical vision of socialism that does not correspond to how it has ever attempted to be applied in reality.

Minnow

"Once again, c Minnow is arguing from a theoretical vision of socialism that does not correspond to how it has ever attempted to be applied in reality."

It really has: see NHS.

David

but I don’t make the mistake of thinking this is therefore necessarily essential to capitalism itself.

Well, in my experience, from being at school and dealing with socialist teachers and their socialist methods to working with lefties and then poking through the Guardian over the last few years, there does seem to be a pattern of rationalised malice. One that seems much more common than chance would allow. Even for a philosophy premised on coercion. For every illustration of such that I’ve bothered to write about here there are many more, appearing all but weekly in the Guardian alone, making essentially the same unsavoury manoeuvres. To catalogue them all would be repetitive and tedious for everyone. But there is, I think, a pattern. An attraction for certain personalities, and a fig leaf for something unpleasant.

Minnow

"Well, in my experience, from being at school and dealing with socialist teachers and their socialist methods to working with lefties and then poking through the Guardian over the last few years, there does seem to be a pattern of rationalised malice. One that seems much more common than chance would allow."

The psychologists call this 'confirmation bias'.

abacab

The NHS that exists in your imagination, or the piss poor excuse for a management heavy behemoth of a bureaucracy that vaguely resembles a healthcare system in the UK that consistently underperforms its non Stalinist European counterparts?

David

The psychologists call this ‘confirmation bias’.

Heh. Well, possibly. But I’m fairly sure there’s nothing I could say, no argument or evidence that could humanly be mustered, however many times, that could modify your stated worldview. Not one inch. That’s not why you’re here.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"Actually, it isn't contradictory to be a socialist and to get rich. Michael Moore is wealthy because he received the proceeds of his own labour."

In the case of Moore it is, it is not as if he alone made his films by himself, so he got rich off of exploiting the labor of others; take a read of this (much of which comes from the reliably Marxist Mother Jones) and see if perhaps Herr Moore might be a tad hypocritical.

Minnow

"The NHS that exists in your imagination, "

The one we have, the one that has saved the lives of millions of poor people who can visit hospitals without having to save first.

Minnow

"But I’m fairly sure there’s nothing I could say, no argument or evidence that could humanly be mustered, however many times, that could modify your stated worldview. Not one inch."

Yes there is. Evidence will do it and has many times in the past. But 'someone said something stupid in the Guardian'? No.

David

Yes there is.

Readers who’ve attempted to change your view will, I think, draw their own conclusions.

Rick

The psychologists call this 'confirmation bias'.
Ah yes, the Soviet model. When a persons intentions were in doubt they would call in the psychologists.

Minnow

"Readers who’ve attempted to change your view will, I think, draw their own conclusions."

That blade cut both ways.

David

That blade cut both ways.

It does indeed.

MikeG81

"some redistribution will be necessary"

To use your own words, "at the point of a gun"?

Watcher in the dark

If I can glean any comfort from Michael Moore's heavily edited efforts, I am pleased to say that if they were showing one of his movies in my back garden I would close the curtains so I didn't have to look at it. He may be rich, but I have never directly paid money to see his clumsily opionionated films and hopefully never will.

abacab

"The one we have, the one that has saved the lives of millions of poor people who can visit hospitals without having to save first."

Wow. So in your mind there's nothing but a choice between a cash-in-hand healthcare system, and the NHS?

Tell me, how exactly do poor people access healthcare in France, Belgium, Germany, Swizerland, Holland and so on where there's no NHS?

Now tell me about all the (tens of) thousands who the NHS has killed unnecessarily through incompetence and an appaling rate of hospital-acquired infections, if not through active policy? Including several aged members of my family.

Also, please explain to me how the NHS represents your socialist vision, cos I'm not really seeing it. Unless you're comparing a very narrow fairytale version of "socialism" to which no real-life socialist in power has ever conformed, to a very narrow fairytale version of the NHS which is perfect and a shining beacon on the hill, the envy of the world (TM).

Pike

"I wish people would lose this idea that socialists want people to be poor."

As opposed to socialists unable to lose the idea that they want those with money they earned themselves to be made very much poorer.

The whole of socialism is clogged with an idea that all must be made level, and as it has no idea how to raise standards or improve quality it must always seek to make everything equally (and dismally) low. Though of course, this does not include its elite leaders who will continue their wealthy life-styles while the rest of us suffer.

abacab

"I wish people would lose this idea that socialists want people to be poor."

Well, actions speak louder than words, and every time it becomes a system of government, it either keeps people poor, or makes them poorer than they were before.

So please excuse our vulgar empiricism.

WTP

Sigh, the widdle minnow is back. Evidence will do it and has many times in the past.

minnow, I have been quite curious from previous thread, and especially in regard to your defense of MM here and per Patrick Brown's unanswered point, and in regard to the vagueness of your answer to my question on a previous thread and the skepticism toward your answer expressed by at least one other poster...could you please enlighten us as to just what business it was that you ran that you found was not so difficult? How long did you run it? What specific kind of business was it? Why (apparently) do you no longer run said business today?

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - I love a good argument, without disagreement there's nothing to be said other than "I agree", which is ditchwater dull. So more power to you, and here's where you're wrong:

"I wish people would lose this idea that socialists want people to be poor. They don't."

Do you wonder where people got that idea though? From observing what socialists do.

Socialism in practice keeps people poor. It was true in the Soviet Union, it was true in China before they started allowing markets, it's certainly true in North Korea and Cuba.

Free markets, private property, and all that other neoliberal stuff enriches the poor. People in Africa and Asia are getting richer and living longer and eating better. Not because of socialist redistribution. Because of trade.

No socialist central planner has ever enriched the masses remotely near as much as the average capitalist exploiter has, from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.

Men like John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates are the true champions of working people. They created more wealth and left their employees richer than when they found them.

The Vladimir Lenins, Hugo Chavezes and Barack Obamas of this world only seize wealth. They are the true robber barons. They certainly have their supporters from the favoured constituencies they bestow other people's money on. But as a remarkable woman once observed, they always end up running out of other people's money.

So socialism doesn't hold a candle to capitalism when it comes to lifting people out of poverty, and in practise it isn't sustainable as it always leads to bankruptcy.

After 100 years plus of real world experiments testing it to destruction, people who still advocate socialism resemble very silly people who joined a UFO cult and retain their belief in spite of the promised UFO turning out to be a bicycle covered in tarp and piloted by a shameless conman trying to make off with their money.

John West

What I have to say here is twice removed from the halls of academia.

Regarding the poor. I was born poor to a gambling addicted father and a narcissistic show-biz mother. We started out in a tar paper shack in Northern Canada, then other shacks and cheap apartments until I found a way out.

Meanwhile as we moved about making a me new kid in the school every year or two, I literally had to fight my way to high school. I dropped out of there and embarked on a music career that pretty much saved me. Although, I spent about ten years living in cheap motels, my car or some chicks place. Then I improved on that by opening a business ... funny how capitalism offers those escapes.

My point: I have real life experience at the very poor level. Being poor is bad enough for all the reasons you can imagine, but many people are poor because they are stupid and that is natural. Stupid people are often hard to deal with and get violent pretty easily. You may have noticed that there are very few wealthy, smart people in jail for violent crime.

Poor people of fifty or sixty years ago were not quite the same as what the 'alleged' poor are like now ... at least the adults were respectful and appeared somewhat grateful for the whatever welfare they got .... Firstly, most of the poor today are poor not because of the unfairness of capitalism, but rather because they are stupid or unmotivated or have criminal records or use drugs ... or have tattoos on their face. Now, now ... not all, but I have met many at the bottom in my life where I lived for a long time .... and few are worth much. The chief desire for most, was to get on the dole. Zero ambition.

There is little you can do with such people other than toss them meat like zoo animals. Most of them don't want to be responsible for themselves or for anyone else. That is why unions are so popular with the loser class, they take (faux) responsibility for their members, AKA suckers.

Socialists may not want to be poor, but their very philosophy dictates that will be if it is fully implemented, like it is in Cuba for example. I do not believe that the socialist underclass know what they are voting for ... free stuff does run out and then slavery ensues. The elites know that they will live in luxury with no competition and they will have many servants from the 'union' class who would be at their beck and call .... like slaves in a feudal system .... The socialist leaders always manage to live opulently.

Socialism is a failed system and that is proven over and over .. yet there are many, even wealthy people who insist that it can work if only they can steal enough money from the conservatives to fund it ..... for .... while ......

Michael Moore is a glutton and a world class hypocrite. My guess is that he smells bad too.

D

I'm confused about which capitalists capture their capital at the point of a gun. I don't recall Bill Gates employing armed militias and stealing money from poor people the way, say, the communist Mao did. Or Donald Trump confiscating land or property from other people by force of arms the way the national socialist Hitler did.

In democratic societies people become wealthy by providing services that others find useful, or through investments in things that people want. To the extent that any capitalists have used the force of arms to acquire wealth, it would have required government collusion. So the solution to a problem wherein corrupt government officials abuse their power to benefit some particular wealthy individual or group is -- to greatly expand government power and ability to interfere in private enterprise? And this same, demonstrably corruptible government is supposed to be less corrupt when given far more power than it was with less?

I've never understood this. Powerful governments killed literally hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century. Even if corporations or wealthy individuals could be found to have harmed people they can hardly have done so on such a grand scale. Socialism is bringing in a murderer to protect you from a mugger.

Thornavis.

Minnow

I could agree, for the sake of argument, that your theoretical claims for socialism are correct and accept also your critical stance on capitalist exploiters, we might even, at a pinch, grant you a pass on your fantasy health service but consider what modern socialism in the developed world has become. To the annoyance of some residual hard thinkers on the left it has degenerated into a movement of childish anger and hatred of material progress. Your claim that socialists don't wish to impoverish people falls down right there, they are anti consumerist and utterly contemptuous of the idea that the working class actually like owning stuff and living in a world of plenty. They have also aligned themselves almost totally with the deeply reactionary greens a movement with origins in upper class disdain for industrialism and trade and with a large input from fascist agrarian thinking. In the face of this to claim that socialists are in favour of enrichment is more than just cognitive dissonance, it's wilful blindness.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Re: Michael Moore.

It's no easy to get a firm handle on exactly what he believes about economics. Rather than putting forward a coherent argument he prefers a scattergun approach of attacking Republicans, bankers, and Wal-Mart while lionising unions, left-wing Democrats, and European welfare states.

But he does give us some clues. In "Capitalism: A Love Story" he wheels out some earnest, yet confused, clergymen to denounce capitalism as "evil". One of them - I kid you not - was the Catholic bishop of Detroit. His Grace saw the decline of Detroit from being one of the wealthiest cities in America in the 60's to a real-life stand-in for "Escape from New York", and concluded free trade and private property were to blame. Good heavens!

Moore concludes the film by saying "Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy."

The Internationale plays over the closing credits.

We can only guess what Moore's vision of anticapitalist "democracy" would look like. I don't think it would look very different to similar experiments in populist socialism, such as in (his old drinking buddy Hugo Chavez's) Venezuela. A country that promises equality and social justice, but can't guarantee the availability of toilet paper.

Perhaps they can use the DVD inserts from "Capitalism: A Love Story" instead.

Henry

Minnow...another reply I'm afraid but I hope you read it anyway

And why anyone would think an English degree should necessarily include Milton is beyond me

This is one thing I disagree with strongly. English literature degrees have always been about studying the development of writing in English (even the archaic form that Chaucer used), looking at the the most beautiful and inventive examples of writing in the language.

Thus Shakespeare and Milton must be first choice subjects of study in such a degree. They both invented words and phrases in abundance, so were hugely influential in the development of written English

I can only guess as to why you query this, but there's an approach to academic learning - in truth inextricable from a certain brand of left-wing politics - that simply attempts to undermine Western culture and values.

You can trace variations of this directly through several generations of Marxist/Socialist writers. Some talk of "cultural hegemony" or "cultural imperialism"; OTOH many of a left-wing persuasion in the UK ostentatiously embrace other cultures and deride that of their own country. The one thing that all variations have in common is a kind of destructiveness towards Western/"Anglosphere" culture, often disguised by much sophistry.

It has become unfashionable to say so, but I think that an Eng Lit degree - properly done, keeps alive a hugely important and beautiful part of our culture, which we should cherish proudly. It's part of the success story* of the English-speaking world.

*I know that many on the left have been taught to see our history in an absolutely negative light. I'm happy to argue this point too (though, again, do look at the archives here), but I'll note that anti-patriotism is a near religion to some on the left, argued by the same people that think that Shakespeare is "cultural imperialism" (see Emer O'Toole in the Graun)

David

see Emer O’Toole in the Graun

No, we mustn’t forget Ms O’Toole and the many, many things of which she disapproves.

Theophrastus

Socialists, like Minnow, compare their vague theoretical or ideal visions with the reality of capitalism, which is then inevitably found wanting. They never compare actual socialist societies with actual capitalist societies, because socialism is then revealed as wanting.

Spiny Norman

Oh I am not saying there are no arseholes who call themselves socialists...

Again with the "No True Scotsman" fallacy. How many times will dear Minnow fall back on that? Well, I think by now we know the answer: every single time.

Dr Cromarty

but I'll note that anti-patriotism is a near religion to some on the left

This was true 70 years ago and still true today:

“It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would be more ashamed of being caught standing to attention during God Save The King than of stealing from a poor box”
- George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn

dicentra

I am sure that lit grads at UCLA will learn in their theoretical modules the dangers of accepting ideologically driven partial readings.

Are you using the term "ideological" to mean "sophistry employed by capitalists to justify their plunder," with the implicit subtext being "said sophistry being utterly absent from the pure socialist heart"?

Because that definition is itself a vile sophistry along the lines of "heads I win; tails you're a running-dog capitalist." It's a highly convenient thumb on the scale of discourse wherein Our Side is able to perceive reality with all clarity whereas Their Side is blinkered by craven self-interest, aka, false consciousness.

The shortest path, I'm sure you'll agree, to derailing any honest attempt at dialog.

dicentra

And why anyone would think an English degree should necessarily include Milton is beyond me.

I know exactly why: Milton is a Dead White Male with no trace of Marxist thought to be had (except as it's wrung out via deconstruction and other interpretative violence). Declaring Milton to be optional for a good education in English Lit is Every So Deliciously Transgressive and therefore de rigeur.

Patrick Brown

Female feminist argues that men should not presume to have opinions on womens issues. On the Good Men Project, a men's issues blog of which she is the executive editor. Gotta love that self-awareness.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/men-we-do-want-your-help-in-the-feminist-movement-shesaid/

dicentra

A country that promises equality and social justice, but can't guarantee the availability of toilet paper.

They're now running out of DRINKING WATER. A tropical country running out of water.

Oh I am not saying there are no arseholes who call themselves socialists...

The arseholes who call themselves socialists are the ones who end up with their psychopathic paws all over the levers of power. The soft-hearted socialists lack both the perspicacity and the ability to weed out the psychopaths among them, so every — EVERY — centralization of power results in cruelty and sadism on a national scale.

Steve Jobs was likely a sociopath. To those close to him he was an emotional chipper-shredder. To the rest of us? Provider of stylish electronics. A sociopath at the head of a company does far less damage (for being highly compartmentalized) than a sociopath in the Oval Office or Downing Street.

Jobs, for example, never had the ability to restore the Taliban with their top generals, or to deprive veterans of needed care just to provide some bureaucrat with a phony bonus, or to start any kind of armed conflict in any location.

Socialism means that the government is in charge of all the details, and because the government is a political entity, all the decisions are made on a political basis, not on a "what's best for the people" basis.

Having worked in a gubmint bureaucracy, I can assure you that every decision made was absolutely insane, but nobody suffered for the unconscionable waste of money; in a private company, a screw-up hits the company where it counts: in the bank account, and so they're less likely to do stupid things.

Can you, Minnow, identify ONE weakness that socialism has, whether theoretical or in practice? Any at all?

witwoud

A 'men's issues' blog? I'm guessing it's not about how to mend a lawnmower or replace a clutch. *Shudder*.

pst314

Returning to the original focus of David's post: Michael Moore has a long history of exploiting and mistreating his employees. Ponder that, minnow.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Patrick Brown - thank you for that link. It's gorgeous! My social justice cup now runneth over, although from the eye-stinging vapours I'm guessing not with fine wine.

As witwoud guessed, sadly their "men's issues" don't include lawnmower repair. They don't include Top Gear Magazine. They don't even include attractive ladies with healthy chests who enjoy washing exotic Italian supercars while wearing high heels. And playfully splashing each other with soap and water. Then having to shower off together. Anyway...

No, their "men's issues" are feminist/social justice warrior issues. Oh man! I mean - Oh, mangina!

The first clue you're not in for a good time on their website is on their "About" page, where the manginas (what's the collective noun for manginas? A Tampax?) explain that they look for content that helps break down the oppressive gender binary

Right-o. So... no pictures of Christina Hendricks then? No, I checked. They do complain about the sort of men who admire Ms. Hendricks's soft, heaving, bountiful breasts though:

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-we-love-for-the-wrong-reasons/

...and suggest real men appreciate Michelle Obama instead. Yes - Michelle 'Manjaw' Obama. Now, I've taken a lot of cold and flu medicine today (BTW sorry for spamming your blog David, the drugs made me do it) so I had to double check this wasn't a Lemsip inspired hallucination. It wasn't.

Michelle Obama.

Ruddy. Flipping. Hell.

Here's their advice on getting more sex: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hesaid-the-unbelievable-secret-to-getting-more-sex/

It's basically one long TL;DR whinge about patriarchy, then the sort of tips that are bound to ensure you will be forever alone, or worse. Here's how they think you'll get women to sleep with you:

Fight Back Against Rape Culture - because rapeculture is real, you guys! And white knights are known for their success with the ladies. Right? Nothing gets women more excited than an awkward one-sided discussion about how much you disapprove of rape, while she nervously scans the room for exits. Right?

being a feminist ally because it’ll help you get laid - maybe if you grovel enough and constantly apologise for having a penis you'll eventually get some feminist pity sex. Maybe. But with whom? Have you seen the sort of women who call themselves feminists? Like Michelle Obama or somebody? I would quite literally rather eat my own head. I'd rather be stripped naked and forced to fight off a set of angry badgers using only my bare scrotum. I would rather be digested for a thousand years by the Sarlacc, which is what Andrea Dworkin called herself before she came to our galaxy. What I'm trying to say here is: no thank you.

Anyway, back to the ageing hagraven's instructions on what feminist manginas are allowed to do:

One of my Black male feminist followers tweeted that he had to get over the notion of being women’s ‘heroes’ as a male feminist; that’s male privilege. And heroism, in this context, feeds into patriarchy anyway.

I have to make a shameful confession here. I was raised with certain racial stereotypes about black people. We didn't have any black kids in my school or even in my town, so all I had to go by was TV and film. And sadly, TV and films led me to believe that all black guys were cool. Like Shaft, the Jacksons, or Daley Thompson cool. But no, not all black guys are cool. They can be manginas too. But they prefer to be known as Blancmanginas.

Also - Mel Brooks, James Caan, and Sammy Davis Jnr. notwithstanding - Jewish guys can be manginas as well, like this chap she quotes:

While I believe that men, including myself, are and can be feminists, we must also walk a careful line. OnTwitter, as with any public space, male voices are often heard the loudest. And, sadly, for some to hear important messages, the messenger must be a man. It is crucial to remember that sometimes the best way for men to support women and feminism is by listening or amplifying women’s voices.

Women love and want nothing more than an emasculated nodding dog who fearfully tiptoes around her. It's why those women's novels are full of shirtless male love interests who profess how much they're going to respect the heroine... respect her good and hard. I hear they're making a film version of Fifty Shades of Intersectional Feminism.

So what's a mangina (or blancmangina) allowed to do in feminism? She gives us the example of some guy called Jamie Killjoy:

One guy who often gets allyship right is Jamie Kilstein. Kilstein is a comedian, a writer and the co-host of Citizen Radio. He said, “My role is to shut the fuck up, essentially.

Sounds tempting! Where do I sign up to be a doormat?

Jamie Kilstein did a fantastic, and amazingly funny, job of this in his viral stand-up comedy set about rape culture

So, rape jokes are OK now? Good to know.

Kilstein managed to talk about women’s daily fear of being raped in a way that even the average dude could relate to.

I asked my wife if she has a "daily fear of being raped". She thought about it for a moment, looked off into the distance, sighed, and said "no".

I think that means I'm the best husband ever. Maybe I, too, can be a feminist if only I learn to shut up more.

Ed Snack

I call Steve2 out: He is Jamie Kilstein and I claim the $50 prize !

Tim Newman

In the face of this to claim that socialists are in favour of enrichment is more than just cognitive dissonance, it's wilful blindness.

Oh no, socialists are very much in favour of enrichment: of themselves. Minnow is no exception in this regard.

Col. Milquetoast

http://chronicle.com/article/Domestic-Violence-a/47940/

Above is the exchange between Christina Hoff Sommers and Nancy Lemon. Note how Sommers actually quotes Lemon's book while Lemon quotes sources without contrasting it to what she had written. It is like writing that world ended in 1997 and when questioned the response is to quote Nike wearing Heaven's Gate cult members. The citation is there and everyone can look up the quote so how can it be called wrong?

As I recall the Tenured Radical blog at the Chronicle and a disappointing number of commenters objected to Sommers being the wrong kind of person.

David

I probably don’t need to point out how entertaining feminist scholarship can be. Still, you do have to marvel at Joni Seager’s claim that, in terms of “patriarchal assumptions” and restrictions on women’s lives, the United States is no less grievous than Somalia and Uganda. A claim, incidentally, not in some unread dissertation but in the supposedly respectable Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. Though I suppose even that rather pales compared to Cheryl Ward Smith’s assertion that Romulus of Rome, the wolf-suckled son of Mars, was an actual historical figure.

Henry

Steve, mate - your icon turned red!

Yes our feminist friends, impressively devoted to equality as they are, tell us (in their roundabout way) that men can't take a leading role of any kind in their Very Equal Political Movement. (not for the first time)

I think the most stomach-churning thing is the delicate doublespeak - the evasive talk of needing to "walk a careful line".

In the snippet Steve quotes, the virtues of listening are recommended. Meaning that the atmosphere of apartheid within feminism is such that not only can men not lead - most of the time they can't even speak - except to "amplify" what a woman has said.

Strangely, feminists say all this somewhat indirectly. As though they're just a little bit embarrassed by it...

David

Steve, mate - your icon turned red!

He’s going critical. Fetch towels.

sk60

Steve, mate - your icon turned red!

This blog is like Logan's Run. When your avatar turns red the sandmen hunt you down.

Minnow

"I know exactly why: Milton is a Dead White Male with no trace of Marxist thought to be had (except as it's wrung out via deconstruction and other interpretative violence)."

We are talking about John Milton, the 17th century poet, not Milton Friedman the 20th century economist. You know, the revolutionary and defender of regicide. A Marxist reading of Milton is almost impossible to avoid as you will know if you follow the literature.

"Declaring Milton to be optional for a good education in English Lit is Every So Deliciously Transgressive and therefore de rigeur."

Milton is optional on every Eng Lit syllabus I have ever seen. I think it must be in the States that he was considered compulsory. The reason isn't because he was dead, white, or male, it was because, despite his genius, his poetry was influential only insofar as it gave the following generations a model for how not to do it. If I can't persuade you, maybe Clive James can:

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1410176.ece

You know the old joke about the literary professor and Paradise Lost: I've never heard anyoen wish it were longer.

Of course that's not to say that Milton shouldn't be studied or there is no value in him, just that there are good reasons for studying other poets of that time instead. It is obvious to me, for example, that Marvell was the better writer. To insist on Milton because he is just, you know, GREAT, is mere ideological grandstanding. You have to say why. Which is a fun argument to have and enlightening, but won't ever come to a real conclusion.

I will admit that Shakespeare is a harder case.

Minnow

"Oh no, socialists are very much in favour of enrichment: of themselves. Minnow is no exception in this regard."

You are right Tim! The only difference between us is that I don't think it should be at the expense of anyone else. My satisfaction in what I hhave isn't lessened by knowing other people have it too.

You know Thomas Aquinas thought heaven must have a means of seeing into Hell so that the saved souls could properly enjoy their status by contemplating the suffering of those down below. I think he had Tim and friends in mind.

Minnow

"in a private company, a screw-up hits the company where it counts: in the bank account, and so they're less likely to do stupid things."

The sage, serious, real-world heads in the Goldman Sachs boardroom nod approvingly. Wise words, wise words.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Henry, David & sk60 - sorry chaps, it was such a target-rich environment I got overly excited. This is why I'm no longer welcome at all you can eat Chinese buffets.

Ed Snack - If I was socual justice chortlemeister Jamie Killjoy, could I make funny feminist jokes like this:

Q) Why did the male feminist cross the road?

A) Shut up!

Q) How many cismales does it take to check their privilege?

A) Shut up, you rapist!

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "My satisfaction in what I hhave isn't lessened by knowing other people have it too."

Damn. Maybe it's just me, but my satisfaction is only increased by knowing I have what others don't.

Sometimes I sit and eat a big bowl of Sheba while my cat miaows hungrily. Take THAT, loveable fur-angel!

Our baby can't walk yet so naturally I do the Moonwalk while taunting his lack of bipedal ambulation. Shamone! Classic parenting.

Minnow

"Damn. Maybe it's just me, but my satisfaction is only increased by knowing I have what others don't."

You are not alone. There is a big literature on positional or Giffen goods.

Tom Foster

"I will admit that Shakespeare is a harder case."

In what sense a "case"? Do you mean that you'd like to dismiss him, as you do Milton, but that you find it harder to do so?

Tim Newman

The only difference between us is that I don't think it should be at the expense of anyone else.

No, you are quite happy for others to suffer whilst you get rich, and indeed their suffering is a necessary condition of your enrichment. The difference between capitalists and you is that at least the capitalists provide something of use in the process of getting rich and trampling on the poor. You think that being merely being virtuous is a substitute for producing something of value.

Minnow

"In what sense a "case"? Do you mean that you'd like to dismiss him, as you do Milton, but that you find it harder to do so?"

I mean it would be a harder to make a case for leaving him out of an Eng Lit syllabus. I don't dismiss Milton at all, by the way. As I said, I think he was a genius. But he is hard to read.Even harder than reading and understanding comments on a blog.

Minnow

The difference between capitalists and you is that at least the capitalists provide something of use in the process of getting rich and trampling on the poor."

No they don't. The useful things are made by the poor people, the workers, not the capitalists. The capitalist gets the profit and gets to do the tramping. Sometimes reluctantly (sadly, this is just the natural state of affairs, would that it were different) and sometimes with enthusiasm (Tim).

Tim Newman

No they don't. The useful things are made by the poor people, the workers, not the capitalists.

The capitalists provide capital. This enables the poor people to make useful things, and the capitalists to get rich. In your world, you provide *nothing*, get rich, and the poor die.

Nikw211


Q) How many cismales does it take to check their privilege?

A) Shut up, you rapist!

Buh-ha ha ha oh my God.

This could be a whole new genre of joke. Like the 'Jamaica?' 'No, she wanted to go' ones ...

Minnow

"The capitalists provide capital. This enables the poor people to make useful things, and the capitalists to get rich. In your world, you provide *nothing*, get rich, and the poor die."

No, in my world the workers get rich too. But that does mean the capitalist gets slightly less rich, might have to let the yellow Ferrari go, but oh no, will the red one match his shirt!

Tim Newman

No, in my world the workers get rich too.

No, sadly they don't. They die. *You* get rich. Hence this whole moral high ground you claim to occupy is in actual fact a putrid swamp.

Minnow

"Hence this whole moral high ground you claim to occupy is in actual fact a putrid swamp."

The Board of Goldman Sachs sagely nod their heads while discreetly folding a cheque for 10bn dollars recently receiived from the (ugh) state. "He's right you know, very wise."

Tim Newman

The Board of Goldman Sachs sagely nod their heads while discreetly folding a cheque for 10bn dollars recently receiived from the (ugh) state.

Yes, they are as repugnant as you are.

Nikw211

The useful things are made by the poor people, the workers, not the capitalists.

You recently said that you ran a successful business (and that it was not difficult to do) - assuming you weren't self-employed in this venture, can I ask if you had employees and how that squares with this quite strident statement above?

Similarly, you also earlier in the thread felt you had no problem with Michael Moore becoming a millionaire on the grounds that it was his own creative labour and that he deserved it more than, say, the financiers of the film (the latter is my example, not yours).

As Michael Moore is clearly not poor (at least in his pre-Divorce settlement state), how does that square with the statement above that only poor people make useful things? Are you saying his films are useless?

And moreover, if you are going to widen your definition of 'poor people' to include the likes of Michael Moore, does that make supermodel Kate Moss or footballer David Beckham 'poor' in the sense of non-Capitalists (i.e. on the grounds that they make their fortune by exploiting their own natural talents as opposed to someone else's)?

And also, conditions in sweatshops in places like China and, infamously after last year's accident, Bangladesh are genuinely appalling - but what are the root causes of those awful conditions? What is it about those countries that makes those conditions possible? Is it rampant capitalism that creates such misery or is it from the disastrous consequences of trying to force people to live their lives according to the intellectual abstractions of a profoundly self-centred German egotist from the 19th Century?

On another and entirely different point to the above, I personally agree that there are more benefits to the NHS than disadvantages notwithstanding the many and real problems that it faces and the suffering some people have experienced in its care (in fact, I often feel many of its current problems have resulted from direct government interference, especially but not exclusively, during the Blair years).

However, I find your examples of both the NHS and (from the other day) Finland as shining examples of Socialism in action highly tendentious. What pays for the NHS and the Finnish welfare system? Taxes - where does the revenue come from for those taxes? I'll leave you to ponder that one.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Minnow - "The useful things are made by the poor people, the workers, not the capitalists."

Mate - this isn't intended as an insulting question, but have you spent much time working in a typical British business?

The last thing most people want to do is their jobs. Gossiping, Facebook, fag breaks, Friday/Monday sickies, and sneaking off early take precedence over the actual "working" bit. This is why they have bosses.

Most workers only make the products or services in the same way a robot on an assembly line makes widgets. Not to belittle their labours, but that's just how it is. It takes an entrepreneur to create their jobs in the first place.

As for actually running a business, your average employee doesn't have a clue and doesn't care either. They just want to get paid and go home. Budgeting, forecasting, auditing, shareholder meetings, regulatory compliance and whatnot hold no intetest for them.

The capitalist or entrepreneur gets a bigger slice of the profit - if there is any - because he takes the bigger risks and does what others won't or can't. So who really "makes" the end product - the guy who presses a button on the assembly line, or the guy who started the business?

The answer is they both do, but one plays a more important role than the other, because he's harder to replace.

The history of worker's collectives tells us that the capitalist model works better for everyone concerned than the alternatives.

Minnow

"You recently said that you ran a successful business (and that it was not difficult to do) - assuming you weren't self-employed in this venture, can I ask if you had employees and how that squares with this quite strident statement above?"

I didn't say 'successful', not that I am saying the opposite either. But of course it squares. If you have ever managed a business you will know that, if you are using your labour productively, they are producing all the value. If you have ever answered to a board, you will know that downward pressure on pay and conditions is constant to increase profitability and that successfully paying less to others will often be rewarded in your own share of the profit.

The fact that it is the labour that produces the profit is brought sharply to mind when you have to spend a week without a substantial part of your workforce because of some unforeseen problem. Try it. See how your customers see it.

Minnow

"Mate - this isn't intended as an insulting question, but have you spent much time working in a typical British business?The last thing most people want to do is their jobs. Gossiping, Facebook, fag breaks, Friday/Monday sickies, and sneaking off early take precedence over the actual "working" bit. This is why they have bosses."

Don't worry, I am not easily insulted. I have spent some time in various working environments and I find most people mostly do a good enough job. I think you would be hard pressed to convince me that the problem with most British business is poor workers rather than poor bosses. But even if it were true, the obvious question is why the bosses don't skive off to Facebook and let it all slide. What motivates them? Why not offer the same motivation to the workers and let the bosses go?

"The capitalist or entrepreneur gets a bigger slice of the profit - if there is any - because he takes the bigger risks"

Really? If a car factory closes, who faces the biggest losses? The owner/investor, or the 40 year old machinist with a family? So who was really bearing the brunt of the risk?

Nikw211

I didn't say 'successful', not that I am saying the opposite either.

Well, I'm sorry but you did say that running a business was not difficult which can only mean that it is/was successful - if it wasn't successful then it can't have been as lacking in difficulty as you suggested the other day.

Either way, I feel as if you are evading my questions, but as human resources (wages, health insurance, training etc.) are almost always the biggest single expense that any company has to lay out is it not to be expected that there will be continual friction/tension between what employees see as their value in comparison to the company owners/directors?

I don't see that as some super structural conspiracy to oppress the working man or woman but a logical consequence of what running a business actually entails.

As for your other example about someone being absent … honestly, so what? What's your point? At no time have I ever suggested that what workers do isn't important - of course it is - they were hired to meet a business need by performing a specific function.

But that has nothing to do with the negotiations over what should be a suitable reward for the employee because those details will depend on a vast range of other factors both inside and outside the organisation.

Minnow

"Well, I'm sorry but you did say that running a business was not difficult which can only mean that it is/was successful - if it wasn't successful then it can't have been as lacking in difficulty as you suggested the other day."

Businesses can fail for many reasons, sometimes, often, just dumb luck.

"as human resources ... the biggest single expense that any company has to lay out is it not to be expected that there will be continual friction/tension between what employees see as their value in comparison to the company owners/directors?"

Yes, that is a good Marxist analysis. Even if everyone is well intentions, the relation of production will drive one class to exploit and impoverish the other as far as it is in their power to do so.

"I don't see that as some super structural conspiracy to oppress the working man or woman but a logical consequence of what running a business actually entails."

Marx agrees with you, wit the proviso that this model for running a business is not 'natural' or inevitable. Lawyers often work in partnerships, for example, as do graphic designers GPs and others, sharing all the profits among the workers.

"As for your other example about someone being absent … honestly, so what?"

So, it shows where the value of your organisation is coming from. Are your customers satisfied if you tell them that you have an excellent and well-remunerated management structure if they can't get hold of the product? No.

"they were hired to meet a business need by performing a specific function."

That is very euphemisitc. They were hired to make the things your organisation sells, so that you can sell them and keep most of the profit. They were hired so that you could exploit their labour.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Nikw211 - I did try searching Amazon for "feminist joke book" to see if there were any I could steal. Nothing came up! I was really surprised, because feminists are funny.

Minnow -"I think you would be hard pressed to convince me that the problem with most British business is poor workers rather than poor bosses. "

Eh. I've seen plenty of both. As a rule of thumb, 80% of anything is crap. That includes job performance.

"the obvious question is why the bosses don't skive off to Facebook and let it all slide. What motivates them? Why not offer the same motivation to the workers and let the bosses go?"

What motivates them is ambition/fear/money.

Why not offer the same incentives to team members? Sometimes they do offer cash incentives for better performance. Or share schemes. Or training. Depends on the industry and firm. But wages will always tend to follow productivity. If wages rise without a rise in productivity, it soon becomes uneconomic to hire more labour. Then you'd be complaining about unemployment.

"Really? If a car factory closes, who faces the biggest losses? The owner/investor, or the 40 year old machinist with a family? So who was really bearing the brunt of the risk?"

That's an easy one - the owner. A man who buys a house is not taking any risks for his employer's business, he's spending his wages on himself.

An entrepreneur who mortgages his house to start/grow a business, or an owner/investor who sinks millions into starting a new production line is taking a risk for the sake of the business.

Employees get paid either way, as long as the business is a going concern. Owners don't get to roll in the profits until profits are made. And that is never a sure thing.

present & correct

Really? If a car factory closes, who faces the biggest losses? The owner/investor, or the 40 year old machinist with a family? So who was really bearing the brunt of the risk?

hmmm, such a difficult question.
do i want my business to go tits-up & into bankruptcy, losing everything...?
or would i rather just have to go on the dole, maybe applying for other similar jobs (at another business where i also don't have any investment risk)?

Steve

Minnow,

"So who was really bearing the brunt of the risk?"

This, like the majority of your assertions, looks reasonable at a glance but is a statement which has no depth whatsoever and willfully ignores the complexities of life, work & people.

It is true that there may be the odd '40 year old machinist' who has selflessly dedicated himself to a company, refusing all temptations to jump ship to one of the other successful businesses popping up all around him because, you know, running a business is so bloody easy. In my experience, however, these people are rare and are always treasured by any reasonable business owner. The fact is that most people go to work to get money and would happily walk away from their jobs if a 'better' 'opportunity' presented itself. This may be true too of some business owners; businesses are sold, merged, closed down all the time, but, again in my experience, the decision to do any of thess things is somewhat more difficult than deciding whether to go work for Boots rather that WH Smith because you get an extra 50p per hour and one extra fag break per month.

My mate who has had the family home in which he, his wife & 6 kids reside, at risk for the past 5 years whilst trying to grow his business would, I'm sure, have a thing or two to say to you about your opinions regarding who takes the most risks for a business.

Anna

I've been an employee and an employer (and an employee again and then an employer again). But Minnow the Marxist talks about rival 'classes'.

Tim Newman

The fact that it is the labour that produces the profit is brought sharply to mind when you have to spend a week without a substantial part of your workforce because of some unforeseen problem.

The fact that it is the wheels that produce the driving force in your car is brought sharply to mind when you have to do without one of them for a mile or two because of some unforeseen problem.

Minnow

"Why not offer the same incentives to team members? Sometimes they do offer cash incentives for better performance. Or share schemes. Or training. Depends on the industry and firm. But wages will always tend to follow productivity. "

But not at the same speed as profits. If a worker can keep the full value of her increase in productivity, that is a real incentive. We don't offer it because it would not increase profits. But we could and it would work if we believe in incentives.

Minnow

"My mate who has had the family home in which he, his wife & 6 kids reside, at risk for the past 5 years whilst trying to grow his business would, I'm sure, have a thing or two to say to you about your opinions regarding who takes the most risks for a business."

But your mate is not a typical case. Most concerns that employ people are larger and liabilities are limited. The owners walk away without a business but with their accumulated private profits and assets intact. The workers are left with nothing and, often, nowhere to go. The owner of a car factory in my example, is not risking anything. While the profits roll, he is getting rich. When they stop, he sells up and stays rich. His workers lose everything.

But even your mate Steve's case challenges the 'capitalist is the risk taker' idea. The people who throw their lot in with him on his extremely risky business are paying opportunity costs that can be very high, especially if they stay for 10 years before the business folds (if it does). But they won't get a share of the profits if it succeeds, although they will share the losses. Because Steve is risking more initially, it may be fair that he is paid more initially, but that does not mean he is entitled to more when the risk diminishes for him and, proportionally, rises for his workers. Or we could just create some sort of national insurance so that enterpreneurs don't have to risk their children's futures. But that's that socialism again.

Nikw211

Yes, that is a good Marxist analysis. Even if everyone is well intentions, the relation of production will drive one class to exploit and impoverish the other as far as it is in their power to do so.

No, it isn't. The conclusion - that one class is driven "to exploit and impoverish the other" - is yours, not mine. I said no such thing, nor intended it.

Furthermore, if there is one thing that genuinely infuriates me about Marxist thinking and thinkers more than anything else is the way in which Marx and Marxism is proclaimed or asserted to be the 'prime mover' of the modern world; as if, not surprisingly, he was God or even Jesus - where Marx and Marxist theory can be found waiting for you behind every corner, every bush, every turn of the page.

Well, I'm sorry to break this to you but simply because you believe this, do NOT try to impute these ideas onto anyone else and certainly not me - it is profoundly offensive to do so and completely disrespectful.

Marx described Capitalism (from a certain point of view anyway) so it is only to be expected that some of what he wrote bears some resemblance to the workings of a free market economy - however, it is NOT a Marxist analysis to simply observe that there is an element of negotiation in the level of reward an employee receives.

I'm extremely angry at your attempt to co-opt me into your vision of the world as if I'm some poor innocent waiting to discover the light within my soul by the guiding beacon of Marx.

Tim Newman

I've been an employee and an employer (and an employee again and then an employer again). But Minnow the Marxist talks about rival 'classes'.

Plus, the same idiot talks as if the employees of a modern factory can be split cleanly between the managers/owners and "workers". Where a professional engineer, who develops maintenance strategies to increase reliability in the machinery but also manages 3 technicians who actually maintain the equipment, fits into this cretinous picture is anyone's guess.

Minnow

"But Minnow the Marxist talks about rival 'classes'."

Conflicting classes, yes. When you are in a business as a worker your interests conflict with those in the manager class. You must have noticed this, that the more they make the less there was for you? That what was good for them was often not so great for you? This is so obvious it is amazing that it is still deemed radical to say it, but then we work hard to sentimentalise these relations, to see everyone as 'pulling together' in the Ealing Comedy view of economics that saying the obvious can seem rude.

Tim Newman

The owner of a car factory in my example, is not risking anything.

That says plenty about your example but not very much about the risk of owning factories.

present & correct

Minnow.. if these 'workers' are worth the full value of their labour, why don't they skip the middleman capitalist pigdog employer, and just start up their own business, working for themselves, reaping full profits?

Minnow

"The fact that it is the wheels that produce the driving force in your car is brought sharply to mind when you have to do without one of them for a mile or two because of some unforeseen problem."

My car will do OK for quite a long time without one of its wheels, but yes, you are right, there are many kinds of productive workers and they are all necessary. What the car can always do without is the owner. As a pair of thieves proved to me a little while ago.

Minnow

"No, it isn't. The conclusion - that one class is driven "to exploit and impoverish the other" - is yours, not mine. I said no such thing, nor intended it."

That is what you said, even if it is not what you intended. You said that it was aa simple fact of business, just how it is, that the managers are motivated to drive down thee amount of profit that goes to thee workers as far as is practicable in order to increase profit for thee owners. I think you would still agree with that (calling it market level of wage or something). Marx agrees, and agrees with you that this is not wickedness or a conspiracy, just how those kinds of economic relations will make things happen. You don't want to think about these relations as exploitative but they are. You think they are natural, but I don't.

present & correct

surely minnow, in your example, the thieves become the new 'owners'... and if that car is going to go anywhere, it will still need these owners to drive it some place.

Tim Newman

What the car can always do without is the owner.

If the car is dependent on the owner for fuel, maintenance, and directions then it will soon be a rather sorry looking car - as can be seen when a car is left abandoned on the side of the road after a mere few weeks. In fact, it will soon start to look like one of your beloved workers' collectives.

Minnow

"Minnow.. if these 'workers' are worth the full value of their labour, why don't they skip the middleman capitalist pigdog employer, and just start up their own business, working for themselves, reaping full profits?"

Because they have no capital and lacking capital lack the political power to alter things.

Minnow

"Where a professional engineer, who develops maintenance strategies to increase reliability in the machinery but also manages 3 technicians who actually maintain the equipment, fits into this cretinous picture is anyone's guess."

Its not terribly difficult, she is a worker, even if she identifies strongly with management. There is a biiig literature on this sort of thing.

Tim Newman

Because they have no capital...

Ah! One would almost conclude that these capitalists, by providing capital, are serving a useful (perhaps essential) function by enabling the workers to actually work, instead of sitting about with nothing to do!

Minnow

"If the car is dependent on the owner for fuel, maintenance, and directions"

It's not. The car really doesn't care who owns it or if nobody does at all, it will still go.

Minnow

"Ah! One would almost conclude that these capitalists, by providing capital, are serving a useful (perhaps essential) function by enabling the workers to actually work"

Capital is essential. Not the people who happen to own it. It is true that workers cannot dig for gold if the land happens to be owned by someone with a shotgun,but that person is the obstacle to production not the 'provider' of capital in the sense you want to imply.

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