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  • Capitalism is Opposed to Human Happiness Debate, Volume 2

    A Debate with
    the community of PoliticsForum.org

    Part #7

    Posts #031-#035

    By Toban Black
    Image: By Krypto, CC BY-NC 2.0

    Post #31

    Red Barn...
    Date: Mon 19 Jul 2010

    lucky wrote:
    Of course they do - if they contribute labor in addition to their capital. For example, I'm a shareholder and also receive a salary. You simply don't understand the difference between dividends and wages. If they are "compensated for contributing labor", that's a wage, regardless of whether they are also owners.

    Not according to the Marxian critique of Capitalism, which is the basis of the OP's position.

    According to this system of thought, a "dividend" is exactly the same as a "wage" because it does not provide for full democratic participation by workers, and leaves the means of production plus surplus profit in the hands of owners. Profit sharing, stock options and bonuses all fall under this category of "wages."

    Post #32

    Date: Mon 19 Jul 2010

    Red Barn wrote:
    So long as this imaginary corporation is an "employer" and is able to set wages, the system is not Socialistic.

    Red Barn wrote:
    "Owners" do not receive "wages."

    Red Barn wrote:
    if eleven guys operate a business and share profits and losses equally, then they are operating as a Socialist collective

    Red Barn wrote:
    a "dividend" is exactly the same as a "wage" [...] Profit sharing, stock options and bonuses all fall under this category of "wages."

    So first you said there are no wages in socialism only sharing profits, now you're saying that dividends and profit sharing are wages. You are confused, I don't think even Marx would confuse terminology like that. Regardless, it should be obvious that being "compensated for the contribution of your labor" is not the same thing as "sharing profits and losses equally", since one is equal and the other isn't.

    Post #033

    Red Barn...
    Date: Mon 19 Jul 2010

    No, Lucky, I'm afraid its you who are confused - and I can certainly see why. I checked the current Wiki definition of Socialism (it seems to change daily) and it's pretty obvious where you went wrong. You simply chose to ignore the first two paragraphs of the entry:

    Socialism is an economic and political theory based on public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.

    In a socialist economic system, production is carried out by a public association of producers to directly produce use-values (instead of exchange-values), through coordinated planning of investment decisions, distribution of surplus, and the use of the means of production.
    Socialism is a set of social and economic arrangements based on a post-monetary system of calculation, such as labour time, energy units or calculation-in-kind.


    You see? Collective ownership and no such thing as "wages."

    Post #034

    Date: Mon 19 Jul 2010

    ^ The things you emphasized don't say "no wages". The next statement in the same article says "compensation based on individual merit or the amount of labour one contributes to society" which is by definition a "wage". You emphasized "post-monetary system" - whether the compensation is paid in cash or in chicken, it's still a wage.

    Here are a few sentences about socialism that you seem to believe:
    1. Workers get compensated for labor performed.
    2. They receive no wages.
    3. They share profits equally.
    4. They receive no dividends.
    5. Profit sharing is wages.

    1 and 2 contradict by definition of "wage", 3 and 4 contradict by definition of "dividend". 5 directly contradicts 3 and 2.

    Post #035

    Red Barn...
    Date: Mon 19 Jul 2010

    Listen Lucky, I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but Marxist analysis uses very exact terminology for a reason. The word "wages" means something quite specific in this context, and if you are unable to grasp this concept for some reason, I'm afraid there's not much more I can say.

    Perhaps you could brush up on the terminology before proceeding further? Here are a few links that I hope will be of use:


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