What were the mistakes of Marx?

Marx wasn’t a mediocre thinker, but a person of 19 century could not understand the economy of 21st century. Here is a list of economical mistakes of Marx:

  • Marx thought that money are “gold in documents”. That was proved wrong by the US government that detached dollar from gold in 1971, but it would still be assumed to be partly right (“money is economical resource in documents”) until appearance of BitCoin that proved that money is a reliably calculated, stored, and transferable number (that is difficult to obtain). In the past such numbers were stored as weight of gold and transferred in Sea ships. Now we store them in blockchains. (In addition to these well known properties of money, I would give an additional defining trait: to be truly money the number should have a linear dependency with its buying power. Shekels and dollars, for example, are not money, for example, because registering an NGO takes a big spent before the buying power of these fake documents reaches zero.)
  • This makes me no doubt that Marx’s assumption that money will be excluded from economy is wrong: this would mean economy without counting that is clearly impossible.
  • Marx’s opinion that people will work not for a monetary compensation is partly right: The future economy cannot exists without UBI (free money to people) what implies that people don’t need to work to receive traded goods and so will need to work for a monetary compensation less than before. By “cannot exist without UBI” I mean that I am quite sure that unless people kill themselves by something like a big nuclear war, the probability of no significant UBI in the future is nearly zero.
  • It also looks like that Marx’s opinion that people will live not spending money is partly right (because of UBI and a growing number of free merchandise and free services).
  • Marx’s opinion that Capitalism will end is coming true: after several unsuccessful attempts to end Capitalism, the first truly non-Capitalistic (or partly Capitalistic, dependently on how you choose meaning of the word Capitalism) blockchain is expected to be released just in a few months.
  • “Crisis in Capitalism” is an obvious truth.
  • Class-less society is coming true in a significant degree: the border between commerce and work for hire is definitely much blurring.
  • “Marx… that laborers could come to harm as capitalism became more productive.” – partly true: the participation of laborers in money and money governance often felt significantly, but also often the living level of laborers grew.
  • “We see… surplus-value… is general social labour… the mere quantity of necessary labour, which creates value.” (referring to Adam Smith as a truth) I’d say that’s stupid even for 19th century. We know that people receive salaries not only on the quantity of labour but also on expertise (or often their distorted social image of expertise). But that’s partly true: often the work is paid by hours and reality of qualification is ignored.
  • Marx’s opinion that surplus value is labour seems strange for me: How could a materialist not foresee appearance of robots that would at least partly replace humans in labor? Or he just thought that robots will appear in a very far future and for now we could ignore them?
  • Marx’s opinion that “the value of a commodity is the socially necessary labour time invested in it.” seems weird for me: How did Marx not understood that the work of an inventor is often millions time more valuable (and sometimes not only in added value but also in his/her bonus) than the work of a windows cleaner? Well, again he is partly right (and in much degree).
  • “Marx offered a theory of how a relative surplus population in capitalism tended to push wages to subsistence levels.” I still don’t know whether this will be true in the future.
  • “an increase in profit came at the expense of a reduction in wages.” Not always true: higher salaries often motivate better produce bigger profits (and they may attract better workers, obviously).
  • “Marx… criticized two features of “bourgeois economy” he perceived as main factors preventing full realization of society’s production power: ownership of the means of production, and allegedly irrational operation of the economy, which leads to “disturbances” and surplus.” No doubt that’s true, but Marx’s methods to solve these problems are too much “straightforward”, as violence usually leads to opposite results than ones planned.
  • “Socialization of the means of production” – I think, it’s now obvious that this is partly true and apparently becomes increasingly true, but won’t be nearing 100% socialization (business secrets are not going to disappear).
  • “If we conceive society as being not capitalistic but communistic the question then comes down to the need of society to calculate beforehand how much labour, means of production, and means of subsistence it can invest, without detriment.” That’s is (partially) kinda prophetic! This blockchain presents Future Salaries collective planning system that estimates these things (but contrary to Marx estimates by trading contracts for the future on a bursa, not by a government department).
  • “Primitive Communism – Slave societies – Feudalism – Capitalism – Socialism – Communism”. Marx knew the future, seriously? He knew that there will be communism? That is called a pseudoscience. Well, I also try to predict the future, but I try to predict my blockchain for like 10 of years, not for hundreds.
  • “The worth of a commodity can be conceived of in two different ways, which Marx calls use-value and value. A commodity’s use-value is its usefulness for fulfilling some practical purpose; for example, the use-value of a piece of food is that it provides nourishment and pleasurable taste; the use value of a hammer, that it can drive nails. Value is, on the other hand, a measure of a commodity’s worth in comparison to other commodities.” Ugh, many modern people and even economics PhD don’t understand this obvious thing! If they understood, people lived much better. But Marx stupidly missed the third kind of value: the costs (BTW, of different kinds: there are for example intellectual and political costs) of production.
  • “The only relevant thing that is, in Marx’s view, common to all commodities is human labour: they are all produced by human labour.” I can enumerate some other things common to all commodities: amount of carbon produced, influences on the global economy (different kinds of influences calculated in different ways), degree of “mobility” (how easy they are transferable).
  • “In order for it to hold, the commodity must not be a useless item”. NFT tokens holding a reference to a publicly published image are a counterexample.
  • “Marx’s contention was that commodities tend, at a fairly general level of abstraction, to exchange at value; that is, if Commodity A, whose value is “V”, is traded for Commodity B, it will tend to fetch an amount of Commodity B whose value is the same, “V”. Particular circumstances will cause divergence from this rule, however.” Marx was quite exact: Consider the well known (true) story of a staple exchanged (through several immediate stages) for a house.
  • “Marx held that metallic money, such as gold, is a commodity, and its value is the labour time necessary to produce it (mine it, smelt it, etc.)” Is the value of Bitcoin proportional to human labor to produce it?
  • “Relations of production are the relations human beings adopt toward each other as part of the production process. In capitalism, wage labour and private property are part of the relations of production.” Understanding economy as human relations around production is quite a big step forward compared to understanding it as just labour and production.
  • value=mp+lt” – how much stupid one needs to be to think that a simple formula will work in all cases of human relations?
  • “Under Capitalism… the value of a given item tends to decrease, because the labour time necessary to produce it becomes less.” – mostly true in our epoch, but what’s about growing price of gold?
  • “Technological advancement tends to increase the amount of capital needed to start a business”. Sometimes: you need a giant amount of money to make a genetic pharma business. But now you, if you have talent and luck, can become a multimillionaire blogger having just food and a phone.
  • Marx didn’t foresee scarcity and black economy in Marxian countries.
  • “The commodity form, the money form, the capital form etc. have to be systematically deduced instead of being grasped in an outward way as done by the bourgeois economists.” That means that Marx wanted the theory to prevail over experiments and watching of events? We need both!

Politics

  • Why has Marx decided (he called it “base and superstructure”) that the History is controlled by “material” things rather than by interrelations of “rough” non-living matter and information processing systems such as human brains, both taking significant influence on relevant things sometimes? The answer seems clear: He had the desire to deny that ideas can influence to avoid possibility of the idea that there is an universal “idea” of God that controls everything. I don’t see any other mode of reasoning that would bring Marx to that stupid conclusion.
  • “As forces of production (i.e. technology) improve, existing forms of organizing production become obsolete and hinder further progress.” Much true. But sometimes holding the tradition is useful: Consider increase of sexual diseases caused by production of certain new chemicals. Marx saying applied to blockchains is much true: Both traditional jurisdictions and irrational fears of switching to blockchain-based accounting often harm.
  • … “Then begins an era of social revolution.” Marx is relevant: Blockchain technology is in many relevant aspects a typical social revolution.
  • “Social change occurs as result of the struggle between different classes within society who contradict one another”… or with a release of a new blockchain software by one person, for example. Or with realization that the “class” of all people “contradicts” to itself in their carbon production.
  • “Capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, therefore capitalism will inevitably lead to a proletarian revolution.” I see two errors here: 1. What if (e.g. in a particular country) will either be very tolerant to capitalists oppressed not very much and wouldn’t start a revolution? 2. If this blockchain project goes as expected, we will have socialism without a revolution. So why they would want a revolution?
  • “In a socialist society, private property—as the means of production—would be replaced by co-operative ownership.” This blockchain is a clever technology of co-operative ownership. So, Marx’s prediction is coming true.
  • “A socialist economy would not base production on the creation of private profits, but on the criteria of satisfying human needs—that is, production for use.” My kind of socialistic blockchain does not deny private profits. But Marx is somehow right: In my system private profits and the criteria of satisfying human needs seems to tend to coincide rather effectively! So, it is to be based on the criteria of satisfying human needs.
  • “Socialist… through revolution by workers”. I instead predict that social economy will be build through this blockchain (by software authors and scientists mainly).
  • “Sum total of the forces of production accessible to men determines the condition of society.” That’s stupid. Didn’t Marx know that different counties may have about the same economical values but much different modes of living? Marx had a very strong tendency to fit everything in simple schemes (to “see patterns” as modern psychologists say).
  • “Bourgeoisie and their economists were promoting what he saw as the lie that “the interests of the capitalist and of the worker are … one and the same.”” These idiots in power still promote the same lie. That stupid Capitalism ideologists’ idea is now often masqueraded under words like “fine living”, “success”, “prosperity”.
  • “The power of one social class to control the means of production enables its exploitation of other classes.” I feel that now exploiters exploit mainly by controlling the means of marketing.
  • “Marx distinguishes social classes on the basis of two criteria, i.e. ownership of means of production and control over the labour power of others.” Mind control is another relevant criterion.
  • “… prostitutes… without any political or class consciousness”. False now.
  • “… awareness—of itself and the social world—that a social class possesses as well as its capacity to rationally act in their best interests.” False, because you can’t reach your prosperity on your own without rationality of my economical system.
  • “Through working class revolution, the state (which Marxists saw as a weapon for the subjugation of one class by another) is seized and used to suppress the hitherto ruling class of capitalists and (by implementing a commonly owned, democratically controlled workplace) create the society of communism”. I instead supose that through this blockchain marketing and adoption the state will gradually become less important in economy, most capitalists won’t be suppressed but will get high paid useful jobs in Future Salaries that makes the Internet a commonly owned, democratically controlled workplace creates the society of rather stable socialism, with no communism ever, but gradually growing “degree” of “communisation” of socialism (without giving up individuality and individual work).
  • “An economy based on co-operation on human need and social betterment, rather than competition for profit of many independently acting profit seekers, would also be the end of class society”. That this blockchain is an economy based on co-operation on human need and social betterment seems to be true. The end of class society is coming in the sense that it will becoming easier to change to another “caste”, but classes are not going to disappear: there will be traders, developers, workers.
  • “Through common ownership of the means of production, the profit motive is eliminated and the motive of furthering human flourishing is introduced.” Should this Marx’s idea be called a religion? The usual source of attempt to motivate people is a religion or a cult-like organization. In my system profits are not eliminated but are attempted (in a novel way) to be coincided with furthering human flourishing.
  • “Because the surplus produced by the workers is the property of the society as a whole…” That’s about my blockchain.
  • “State… it will wither away as its conditions of existence have disappeared.” My blockchain eliminates the economical functions of the state (maybe not entirely) as it provides for common goods on its own, it makes taxes not needed. I think, if a state wishes to exist longer, their economy should become a part of my blockchain.
  • “Post-capitalist society—positive humanism, socialism, Communism, realm of free individuality, free association of producers.” These collocations (except of Communism) would be used to describe the society of users of this software.
  • “Socialist society is far better for the majority of the populace than its capitalist counterpart.” Yeah, my blockchain is better than Capitalism.
  • Oh, there is dialectic expropriation in my blockchain! 🙂 You can at a low cost copy an existing currency and modify it. (Yes, you can withdraw from somebody’s other account in your copy of the currency. It remains to market it as a better mean of payment to finish exploiting the exploiters.)

Dialectics

  • Finally, I to note that dialectics is in many aspects stupid from the position of modern science: Consider for example that accordingly most modern physicists there are metagalaxies where there is no what we could call time, so which “change” it would be about? Well, Marx unknowingly reasoned about our metagalaxy, not other parts of the reality, but he unfounded claimed it to be an universal principle of existence. A better science-trained 19th century person could understand stupidity of over-application of dialectics.
  • Moreover from dialectics follows denial of mathematics, because mathematics is unchangeable and therefore dialectics would be misapplied. This kind of an anti-science, thought never admitted by committed Marxists, does sometimes influence their practical thoughts.

To fact-check my understanding of Marx’s opinions, you may refer to Wikipedia on Marxian economy a Marxism in politics.

P.S. I invented a precise mathematical formulation (yet only for a very limited class of mathematical systems, not yet including our 3-dimensional space) of the Marx’s (or is it Hegel’s?) idea (called “the transition from quantity to quality”) that reality splits into several distinct levels: physical, chemical, biological, etc. Now after having a precise formulation, we may prove or disprove the theorem about (non)existence of such a sharp distinction. The essence of this mathematical conjecture is whether a higher level (e.g. chemistry) could be derived by a finite amount of calculations from a lower level (e.g. elementary particles physics).