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The Republican Socialist Youth Movement is the Youth wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

What is Culture and what is Imperialism and ..

While evidence may not justify the full predictive force of Marx's theory, it can certainly repudiate it. Marx could argue for the necessity of any outcome he wished, but if that outcome does not occur as he says, then his theory will be invalidated no matter what he predicted. Let's see, then, if his claim that capitalism can exist only as long as workers do not accumulate property matches the economic evidence. If we take our contemporary condition as an example, we see at least three relevant departures from a Marxist vision: 1) The first relates to the role of government in the economy. Marx believed that government must either be laissez-faire or in complete control of the economy. We have seen, however, that government can and has intervened in the economy to the benefit of workers and business. Government has implemented a minimum wage to keep workers above the poverty line, created welfare and unemployment aid to struggling workers, and instituted labor regulations to safeguard worker well-being on the job. And while there is still some debate as to the ideal nature of these interventions, there is little doubt that they have actually advanced economic development in the long run by creating and sustaining a secure and healthy workforce, a workforce without which business could not develop. This is especially true as the physical demands of labor have decreased greatly since Marx's time. The above changes have occurred without a full scale socialization of the economy. Improving the lot of workers, then, by allowing them to acquire property has not destroyed capitalism. 2) In times of economic success, the labor market tightens, and workers often are able to chose among many employers. If they do not like the terms of employment offered by one employer, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. While this does not eliminate the possibility of conditions existing across all industries which are objectionable, it does mean the worker has more power than Marx allowed him or her. As a matter of fact, contrary to Marx, those industries which are doing the best economically are usually those with the highest paid employees. 3) Marx assumed that the only way for the capitalists to increase their markets was through imperialism. While this is the way many capitalists proceeded in the late 19th century, it ignores another alternative. An economy with well-paid workers creates a potential market for its goods amongst its workers. While this may reduce profit margins in the immediate, it provides a reliable and sustainable market for the future with a workforce eager to work for the ability to consume again. Indeed, as of late, many of these workers possess stock in their employer's company or in some other investment fund, making them part owners of the company. This kind separation between ownership and control defies Marx's analysis.

Three Books on Marxist Political Economy | A Critique …

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Returning to the condition of the wage laborer, Marx argues that "the average price of wage labor is the minimum wage, i.e. the quantum of the means of subsistence which is the absolutely requisite to keep the laborer in bare existence as a laborer" (97). The proletariat, then, is absolutely dependent on the capitalist for his very survival. He does not acquire any property because his wage must be given immediately to his own subsistence. Communists want to ensure that the laborer exists for more than merely the increase of bourgeois capital. Labor should not be directed towards the accumulation of wealth on the part of the capitalist. Rather, capital, or property in general, should be directed toward the enrichment of the laborer's life.

Marx's treatment of the charge of idleness is more interesting than his glib answer would indicate. One obvious concern is free-riders. If what you receive does not directly depend on your labor, then there is an apparent incentive to do nothing. This is a common criticism of modern welfare systems, for instance. All of this assumes, of course, that there is something objectionable about work. Marx would likely respond that this view of labor is itself the product of capitalism and so the free-rider problem will fade as the vestiges of capitalism fade. Consistent with Marx's theory of alienation discussed above, labor will become ennobling and people will not avoid it. Ultimately, it is hard to assess this claim since no such society has such existed. One would have to take Marx's conjecture on faith.