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13.3.12

Marx embraced the Labor Theory of Value (LTV). This theory holds that the price of
a good will be proportional to the amount of labor that was necessary to produce the
good.
How important is the LTV to Marx’s overall philosophy? The answer is that it is
crucial to his critique of capitalism. Central to that critique is his claim that, in a capitalist
system, the workers are ‘exploited’ by the capitalists (businessmen). If one accepts the
LTV, then Marx’s argument for the theory of exploitation is persuasive. But if one rejects
the LTV, then the argument collapses.

of economic theories LTV was the worst to pick.

We know that Marx’s general economic theory is false, because he made a number of testable predictions which are now known to be false. For instance, the middle class did not shrink and disappear as he predicted; nor did the upper class
shrink as he predicted; nor do we see wages set, in capitalist countries, anywhere near subsistence level; nor has the rate of profit fallen as he predicted; and nor have capitalist economies collapsed because of their internal ‘contradictions’ as he predicted. But, on
a theoretical level, what is wrong with the LTV and the argument for it that we
summarized above? This can be understood in terms of the standard modern theory of
value.


Of philosophers, Rousseau and Hegel were also the worst to pick for other reasons.

The diehards who also say that the totalitarian police state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary: the rejection of civil society. This goes back to Rousseau -- helping to explain the Terror of the French Revolution. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes incautiously reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication. [Rousseau held that "civil society" was simply a conspiracy by the rich to guarantee their plunder.]


Marx went around picking the worst aspects of few systems of thought and making a cholent out of them--but a cholent that was and is a powerful social glue. It tells the poor they can steal from the rich and feel good about it. The thing here is that America does not have an social glue. It is becoming unraveled. So while it is important to notice that communism is a highly evil system, this still leaves the question open of what could be better. The principles of John Locke that America is founded on, are currently ignored in the USA. I would say we are at a time of crisis in Western civilization.