star_wraith [he/him]

  • 61 Posts
Joined 4 years ago
Cake day: August 2nd, 2020


  • I haven’t been involved in Vol 1 since it had been a while but I wanted to follow along still. But, I just finished Vol 2 so I really want to get involved there. I missed ch 1-4 but here I am.

    Ch 6 is an absolute beast. It’s confusing and Marx isn’t clear in a number of areas. Even David Harvey I think got some conclusions wrong (no fault of his own, he’s never worked in accounting in a manufacturing setting like I have so it’s understandable).

    That said, I think it might be one of the most important if not the most important chapter in the book, certainly in its relevance for modern capitalism. The idea that value is created only in the production sphere is ground breaking and the implications for an economy that has hollowed out its own productive capacity (like the US has) are profound.

    Ch 6 is a struggle. I read it through and was really confused, so I sat down and took like 20 pages of notes (I write big though) and committed to not moving on until I finally grasped it. It was a ton of work but I’m at the point now where I think I get it.

    If you’re struggling to understand what kinds of cost add value and which do not, I found that thinking about modern production is only going to confuse you. Instead, think about a grain farmer. For a grain farmer, storage adds value because grain, by its very nature, MUST be stored. Otherwise you can’t just have everyone eat grain for a month and starve the remaining 11 months. Likewise transportation costs must be productive because farms are far away from cities.

    I highly recommend checking out Ian Gough’s paper Marx’s Theory of Productive and Unproductive Labour in conjunction with chapter 6. I’ll try and summarize my notes as best I can but probably easier if I try and answer questions as they come along.

  • Because the market processes all information at a speed that makes regularly beating the market impossible; and literally every investor on earth is looking for an “edge” at the same time. The stock market is “efficient” from the standpoint of, any profit you can make by trading on new information vaporizes in a nanosecond.

    I use quotes around the word “efficient” because I’m NOT implying the stock market is efficient from a Marxist or resource allocation perspective. Just that today’s stock prices reflect the sum of all information that we have about a given stock up to the moment.

    The outperformance of index funds is largely due to their lower expenses and the fact that money managers, just by trying to beat the market, often do the wrong thing.

  • grossly mismanaged the pandemic (killing a lot of people), did horrible stuff for the environment, passed a bunch of shit laws, including repealing net neutrality, deported a bunch of ppl for no reason, and he supports isreal

    All that is literally and precisely what Biden has done, too (except net neutrality I guess, but you’re also leaving out Biden signing off on the biggest expansion of the surveillance state since the Patriot Act).

    He fucked over queer people in the us

    Lots of queer people on Hexbear, ask them if the barest crumbs Democrats throw to queer people (i.e. doing nothing to stop anti-queer actions, but not being the ones to propose the laws) is worth supporting genocide.

    increased the federal debt by 7 trillion

    Imaginary number doesn’t matter.

    You seem well-meaning, so let me put my cards on the table: I don’t believe in validating the invalid dictatorship of the bourgeoisie by voting for anything beyond the local school board and various propositions, so it’s not like I’d be voting for Biden anyway. But what I don’t get about when libs push leftists to vote for Biden is… at what point does someone committing heinous acts mean that not voting for them is the only moral action? If Joe Biden murdered my daughter, would I not be in the right to say I wouldn’t vote for him? Even if in this weird scenario Trump also would have murdered my daughter… at what point do we measure someone by what they do and not what the other person would have done? And it doesn’t matter if my kid isn’t actually involved, I have seen enough death and sadness from parents and children in Gaza that the fact that it’s not my kid is totally and completely immaterial to me.

  • While I do like the LotR movies, the worst thing about them is one very specific directorial choice made by Jackson that isn’t in the books: to show the “good guys” as being reluctant to fight and downplaying the threats faced.

    Theoden is portrayed as unwilling to fight at first. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen reactionaries on Twitter reference Aragorn’s line about “open war is upon you, whether you would have it or not” when talking about tRaNsGeNdEr iDeOLoGy or something. Theoden has to be convinced to fight. Likewise, Treebeard and the Ents initially refuse to fight until Merry delivers his Sorkin-esque speech about how they’re a part of the world, so they have to fight for it.

    But none of that is actually in the books!

    Theoden and Treebeard are not indecisive. They immediately join the fight without hesitation. Everyone recognizes the threat posed by Sauron and they join in. The Hobbits, while they are Little Englanders, are more in an isolated bubble far away from trouble, so it’s more that their courage is never tested until the Scouring. They are unaware of what’s happening in the world, not that they know about it but don’t want to fight.

    This seemingly small change has been latched onto by liberals and chuds alike for 20 years now. Because no one reads books anymore, we just assume the movies are the books. I doubt Ferguson has read the books any time recently.

    And for as long as LotR has been published, everyone wants to interpret their own allegories into the story. It was very popular to read Mordor as Nazi Germany, which Tolkien had to always push back against. While Tolkien was the first to say things like his experiences in war and his religious faith influenced the books, he absolutely and in no uncertain terms was NOT writing anything to be allegorical to the real world. And to any fan of the books, it’s offensive to try and read allegory into it when you understand that act of story telling and world building - and not allegory making - was central to the writing process for Tolkien.