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Case against Hierarchy Comrade 08/04/2020 (Tue) 11:32:58 No. 2866 [Reply] [Last]
Appealing to nature as an argument for hierarchy is a reactionary point of view used by many societies to make its underclasses tolerate their plight. There is a common misconception that natural selection always acts for the good of the species, therefore we should not bother changing anything about ourselves. Natural selection does not produce organisms perfectly suited to their environments. Social hierarchy typically runs counter to the needs which human beings have and creates conditions under which people become alienated from the valuable capacities that they possess. If we want human beings to thrive and realize their potential, we ought to meet their essential needs. Since hierarchy runs counter to these needs, it ought to be dismantled whenever possible. Human nature, far from being an argument against anarchism is a strong case for it, as a non-hierarchical society creates conditions under which human beings can unleash their true potential. Capitalism is one of the most dehumanizing forces in the world. It dehumanizes workers and bosses because it is a system that is inherently anti-human nature and human needs, forcing people to act more like robots who never get sick, rarely desire vacations, and never desire self-actualization, all to turn a higher profit. I think Marx's theory of alienation is spot on. Capitalism alienates humans from their own humanity, and it turns sacred things into commodities. The conditions of social hierarchy in which people are subjected to control from above, and in which people are encouraged to compete with one another for power and resources, creates an environment in which the needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy are not met, resulting in ill-being and alienation. Subordination to authority undermines autonomous motivation, reduces our intellectual and creative faculties, and ruptures our relationships with our peers. A human nature argument for anarchism can begin with something called the self-determination theory. Initially founded by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, SDT posits that human beings have three key psychological needs: competence, relatedness, and autonomy. In a nutshell, we need to feel that we are effective in dealing with the environment around us and that we are good at what we do. We need to feel a sense of connection with the other human beings around us and that we are cared for by others. We need to feel that we have some sense of control over our lives, that we aren't just pawns on a chessboard, and that we are acting in accordance with our integrated sense of self and the values that we have developed over time. According to SDT, these essential needs are not learned but are inherent to human nature, and exist across all societies and cultures. Remember the human need for relatedness and consider that cooperative conditions are far more suited to meeting this need than competitive ones. As anarchists, we promote cooperation over competition precisely because we see cooperation as being fundamentally more in line with our human need to feel connected to others. To the extent that these needs are met, well-being is enhanced, and to the extent that there are thwarted, we can expect people to become ill and alienated. The model of human nature that SDT supports is, in my opinion, a stable base that lends itself well to anarchism. SDT shows that we call for anarchist forms of organization, because the core needs and drives we possess as human beings require it, and because social hierarchy runs counter to these needs and drives. A 2003 study published in the *Journal of Personality and Social Psychology* found support for the notion that we have a need for autonomy, and that this need is cross-cultural. >We found that whatever cultural practices one is considering, there appears to be a positive relation between more internalized or autonomous regulation of those practices and well-being, as measured through both hedonic (happiness) and eudaimonic (self-fulfillment) indicators (Ryan & Deci, 2001). Specifically, we found that whether one's behavior and attitudes are individualistic, collectivistic, horizontal, or vertical in nature, more autonomous enactment is associated with greater well-being. These findings support SDT's position regarding basic psychological needs and, more specifically, the controversial idea that autonomy is a basic human concern. >However, when considering horizontal versus vertical dimensions, we see more reason to hypothesize differences in the degree to which each can, on average, be more fully internalized. Specifically, we see the very nature of vertical social arrangements as more inherently conflictual, vis-à-vis SDT's postulated basic needs for autonomy and relatedness. Vertical societies frequently require individuals to forgo autonomy and to subordinate themselves to heteronomous influences. In addition, vertical societies place boundaries around those with whos intimacy and connectedness can be established. >In sum, this study shows that, across diverse cultures, the issue of autonomy can be similarly understood and that, across diverse practices, autonomy is associated with well-being. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275714384_Differentiating_Autonomy_From_Individualism_and_Independence Another study by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan looked at the well-being of workers in state-owned companies in Bulgaria, and compared this with workers in a United States corporation. They found that, >The degree of autonomy-supportiveness of the work climate did predict overall need satisfaction in each culture, and need satisfaction in turn predicted both task engagement and well-being. Thus by showing that satisfying these needs promotes motivation and mental health across cultures, results of the study are consistent with the view that these needs are universal. https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/SDT/documents/2001_DeciRyanGagneLeoneEtal.pdf Autonomy is also an important need not just for adult workers, but for young people in school. A study looking at adolescent satisfaction with life in school found a relationship between support for autonomy and well-being across different cultures, particularly Denmark and the United States, >To the extent that adolescents felt that their parents and teachers understand their perspectives and allowed them to make their own choices, adolescents positively perceived their lives and their experiences in school. In contrast, when adolescents felt controlled by their parents and teachers, and felt that these authorities treated the adolescents' own experiences and choices as relatively unimportant, they reported lower satisfaction with life in school.

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>>2866 Human beings have an innate need to have control over their lives, and also to feel as if the people around them facilitate the sense of control. As an anarchist, I believe that, for example, workplaces ought to be owned and run democratically by their workers, because this kind of economic arrangement, called workers self-management, meets the human needs of the workers for autonomy. It seems very unusual to suggest that meeting the innate human need for autonomy is somehow contrary to human nature when we have reason to believe that people having autonomy is associated with positive psychological outcomes. Being trained for compliance not only undermines people's autonomy but also reduces their creative and intellectual faculties. Another study found that the use of controlling teaching methods makes children more prone to helpless behavior, and this interferes with their performance. We can look further at her hierarchy affects people by considering the impact of competition on human relationships. Hierarchical systems, by their very nature, create centers of power. These centers of power may or may not be treated as scarce resources that people have to compete with each other to obtain. Indeed, capitalist societies valorize the notion that individuals ought to compete with each other for the acquisition of wealth and resources. Alfie Kohn writes, >In the workplace, one tries to remain at friendly terms with one's colleagues, but there is guardedness, a part of the self held in reserve. Even when no rivalry exists at the moment, one never knows whom one will have to compete against next week. Edward Deci contrasts autonomous motivation and controlled motivation as follows, >Autonomous motivation really means to do something with a full sense of willingness, volition, endorsement of the activity. It's having a sense of "this is what I want to be doing now. This is what I choose to be doing now". The experience that goes along with what we call controlled motivation is that I'm feeling pressured and intense about it. "Those forces are operating on me and making me do this", for instance. One study looked at the relationship between autonomous motivation, controlled motivation and the outcome of interpersonal therapy for recurrent depression. It found that, >In the entire sample, both the therapeutic alliance and the autonomous motivation predicted higher probability of achieving remission; however, the relation differed for those with highly recurrent depression compared to those with less recurrent depression. For those with highly recurrent depression, the therapeutic alliance predicted remission whereas autonomous motivation had no effect on remission. For those with less recurrent depression, both autonomous motivation and the therapeutic alliance predicted better achieving remission. Controlled motivation emerged as a significant negative predictor of remission across both groups. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/014466509X479186 Autonomous motivation is also a predictor of something called flow. Flow describes a state in which a person becomes fully immersed and focused on an activity. They are completely engaged, they have a full and thorough appreciation for what they're doing, and this brings them intense feelings of enjoyment. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychologist, identified a number of characteristics of flow states, which includes but is not limited to, <Complete concentration on the task <Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback <Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down of time) <The experience is intrinsically rewarding, has an end itself

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>>2866 Teresa Amabile has conducted multiple studies looking at rewards and creativity and found that young creative writers wrote less creative poetry when made to focus on rewards. Children and adults making collages and inventing stories also had their creativity undermined from the use of rewards, and professional artists did less creative work when being rewarded. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9996/34fe436693098794345956923ec2c635c1d0.pdf A study by Sam Glucksberg found that offering people rewards for a task, involving the use of creative thinking to solve problems, actually resulted in them taking longer than those not being rewarded. The effect of offering someone a reward for doing something is to diminish that person's creativity. When people are made to do things in order to get rewards, the rewards interfere with their performance. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1963-00469-001 A 1971 study with high school students found that people being promised rewards did a poorer job on a variety of tasks than people who weren't. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1971.tb00066.x A 1981 study by Richard Fabes, James Moran III, and John McCullers found that undergraduate students had a lower level of intellectual functioning when they were rewarded for their scores on the more sophisticated parts of an intelligence test. In fact, in *Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us*, Daniel Pink argues that rewards ought to be used when the task itself is menial or requires very little thought or creativity. Morton Deutsch argues that rewards work best for those who are alienated from their work, that is for people doing tasks that seem pointless, or a drudge, where there isn't any intrinsic interest to be found in the activity itself. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1422251 Alfie Kohn writes in *Punished by Rewards*, > Rewards usually improve performance only at extremely simple – indeed, mindless – tasks, and even then, they improve only quantitative performance.

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>>2866 I highly recommend reading *Punished By Rewards* and *No Contest* by Alfie Kohn because of the insights that they offer into human nature when it comes to things like rewards and competition.

Is math invented or discovered? Comrade 07/31/2020 (Fri) 07:24:37 No. 2780 [Reply] [Last]
Is mathematics invented, discovered or both?
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>>2859 this is just talking about CS though, not math.
>>2782 /thread Math is riddled with platonists and science is riddled with scientism and brainlets. Pop scientists are somehow many times worse. Here's a hot take though. Math is a set of games with different axioms and rules. Philosophy is the same, a game of words, except with informal logic and words.
>>2860 It was written for CS researchers but is is about proving things in mathematics. Just read it, it's short and easy to understand.
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invented. it has no objective basis in reality. it's simply an abstract mental construct used to describe reality.

BOOKS, THEORY, VIDEOS, DOCUMENTALS ABOUT CENTRAL AMERICA Comrade 08/04/2020 (Tue) 02:50:17 No. 2862 [Reply] [Last]
NICARAGUA COSTA RICA PANAMA HONDURAS EL SALVADOR Frankly I wanted more info and knowladge about these part of the world.
You want something cringe and fucking. See this documentary about the chief defender of child molestors visiting Nicaragua https://invidio.us/watch?v=RAFSwv_5Uc8

Adorno Comrade 08/03/2020 (Mon) 15:00:52 No. 2855 [Reply] [Last]
Were his works a coping mechanism because dialectics failed?
No because it was based on Adorno’s misunderstanding of dialectics in the first place. If you actually pay attention to Hegel you’ll see that Dialectics and Negative Dialectics are pretty much the same.

Which of these books do you recommend? Anonymous 04/04/2020 (Sat) 21:46:37 No. 767 [Reply] [Last]
And which should I skip?
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>>767 Read 2666. Read the Savage Detectives. Read everything Bolaño wrote.
>>786 >Do not start with this for Faulker. I did and I loved it. English is not even my first language. I used a reading guide though.
>>2749 I'm reading it right now. I think it has an entertaining style, feels very magical realist. You have kind of fantastic elements mixed in with an everyday setting in Moscow. But I was very skeptical of the book going in because it is so highly praised in its historical context (as a satire by a persecuted literary genius or whatever), and that this seems to typify which soviet writers are elevated. It is almost always somebody who was decrying Stalinism or something. It seemed in the early scene with Pontius Pilate that Bulgakov was trying to suggest that the jew coming to meet Pilate was a stand in for the USSR, because Pilate yells at him why he would let a murderer go and not allow this delusional holy man to go around preaching peace. Even if he is a competent writer, I imagine by the end of it I will still feel like this book was simply exalted for political reasons.
>>767 Bruh are those even books? Looks like something children and liberals read. I only read theory, history, political-economy, science or philosophy books
>>2849 it makes me extremely sad some people actually act like this though

/lit/ Comrade 04/12/2020 (Sun) 10:02:55 No. 808 [Reply] [Last]
What is your favorite book? What book influenced you the most? What do you like about books? what are you planning to read? What are you reading now? Saw this in /hobby/ but thought it fit more here
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>>808 can u post more of her feet
>What is your favorite book? Fatal Strategies by Baudrillard, or almost anything else by Baudrillard, because he starts from the premise that everything is utterly fucked yet also finds ironic reversals in that. Doomers would be cured if they just read some Baudrillard (avoid Simulacra and Simulation though, that one is very mediocre compared to the rest). >What book influenced you the most? Hard to single out one book, but starting to read philosophy and sociology in particular was the biggest shift in not only thinking but just in the general attitude to everything. >What do you like about books? - reading is slow, long, painful, and submissive. Exactly what we need in the age of hyperactive and narcissistic hedonism. - you get way more out of it compared to other forms, at least when it comes to theory books. Theory can't be done in any other way than in language, any other form is at best a showcase of theory, not theory itself. - language is inherently poetic and seductive because it plays with both the writer and the reader, it's simply evil >what are you planning to read? Mary Douglas - Purity and Danger. I don't expect much from it, it's just because of the book I'm reading currently. Then I plan on (re)reading some anthropology classics like Malinowski, Mauss, Bataille, Lévi-Strauss. >What are you reading now? Jean Cezaneuve - "Sociology of rituals: taboo, magic, holy". Kinda dry and repeats itself too much, but it tries to rationally explain something deemed irrational. It's similar to Freud in this sense, only applied to social relations instead of an individual's psyche. And like Freud sometimes it reduces its object to banality, at other times it elevates the theory to the strangeness of its object (like "death drive" in Freud).

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Does anyone have pdfs of the The Lord Of The Rings trilogy? As an offering I provide The Hobbit
Here's a little effort post someone made on /leftytrash/ a while ago about the character Holden from Catcher in the Rye
Oh you like reading, eh? Name every book.

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Rafiq/Ecology Discussion moo 07/20/2020 (Mon) 22:46:11 No. 2532 [Reply] [Last]
So some of you may have read the quite popular pdf where Rafiq dunks on eco fetishism, in that thread he references a previous thread where he had spent a lot of time focusing in on eco-fetishism, however this thread has been lost from Revleft. It's available on internet archives but to preserve it I've made this in the style of the previous popular pdf. Hope you guys enjoy! This thread could serve to discuss this work if anyone ever dedicates the time to read it, or we could debate the place of ecology in modern day Marxism. To provoke discussion: does nature have any value outside how it immediately serves human interests?
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Also similar to the 'concrete' meme I have people tell me it's a very "capitalist" mindset to dominate nature in a smug manner. Anyways I was thinking about this the other day. So let us assume that animals can suffer in a way akin to human suffering. This would mean after we all become vegan, as every human sees the light after full communism is achieved and no human goes hungry, we would look to reduce the suffering of animals. How would we do this? Would ever cow get an acre of glorious grass, in thousand story buildings stacked up for their pleasure, with an infinite lab-grown-cow-milk supply? Would we stop cats from raping each other? Or even more radically, would we stop cat sex altogether since by nature it is painful for the female? Most green-people would say that this is silly and that we should 'leave nature be', but this leads to the fact that we should restore cows back to unsheltered open fields where they lay completely vulnerable to attack from predators, to be fully aware that a painful rape occurs, yet do absolutely nothing about it. You can see how another avenue opens here towards eco-fascism...
>>2833 >the fact that we should restore cows back to unsheltered open fields What do you mean "back"? Cows don't exist in the wild, they're a product of human genetic engineering.
>>2834 Not genetic engineering, artifical selection, but yeah.
>>2834 Exactly it is an impossibility, The logic is inconsistent.
>>2833 Exactly, this is the animal rights idea taken to its logical conclusions. It just doesn't make sense, if we project human feeling on to animals then every animal copulation is a rape, every predatory killing is a murder and so on. Do the animal fanciers not have a brain cell between them?

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Comrade 07/22/2020 (Wed) 01:18:54 No. 2647 [Reply] [Last]
why do leftists generally dislike Althusser?
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>>2801 he's unironically a great mathematician and programmer. I just find it annoying when people shill him on anything philosophy related.
>>2788 Can a mod or someone reach out to him and have him do an AMA here on a pinned thread? That would be cool
>>2811 Zizek is a fucking joke and the fact that you cite him favorably in a thread like this speaks volumes.
>>2820 Oh really? Compared to a non-theorist blogger? Zizek has serious work other than cultural takes.
>>2827 You're a silly person and I'm ending this here.

Comrade 07/22/2020 (Wed) 22:50:08 No. 2678 [Reply] [Last]
is there a literary historian that gives a structuralist reason as to why the Soviet Union fell without blaming "revisionism" or "totalitarianism"?
I guess Cockshott in "How the World Works". I described this take before quite a few times on /leftypol/ over the last month, so I am a bit tired of re-writing it here. The gist is this: >Falling rate of growth kicks in once the economy matures and all the labor available is mobilized from rural jobs into industrial ones >This causes a stagnation in economic growth >This causes real wage growth to slow down to a crawl >This pisses of the middle class, which is becoming envious of their western counterparts that have yet to experience the start of the death of the capitalist middle class >This, over the course of Brezhnev's premiership, ferments a political crisis of sorts >Different factions arise to solve the problem, mainly neo-Stalinist hardliners, Centrists and Reformists. >Statistical chance lands the power in the hand of reformers in 1985 >Their policies, while having some good points, accidentally also wreck the command economy, only deepening the crisis, while the decision to make the country more "democratic" lets reactionaries like Yeltsin, as well as nationalists, get more influence >This sets of the first few secession, causing more instability, which reactionary forces, specifically having influence in the army, use to seize power >USSR is undemocratically dissolved
>>2741 In this scenario what should have been done to solve the crisis? Was stagnation inevitable and just apart of socialism or was the solution just computerization like Cockshott proposes?
>>2678 repost from my posts at /his/ The problem of socialist economy was not output distribution, but input allocation. During 1930s, while the victory in economic front was significant, there was a sign of problem. With the appearance of new production sectors (due to completion of industrialisation), came the problem of fighting for input (funding and manpower). For example, the fight between Stalin and Trotsky was the precursor of that kind. Behind the ideological struggle was actually an economic problem. Trotsky wanted to turn USSR into an full military-industrialised country (similar to Nazi) in order to carry out world revolution (expansionist), while Stalin wanted to focus on building a robust autarkic economy that could survive the onslaught of enemies (isolationist). But why didn't they combine both approaches, wouldn't it be better than adopting only one approach? The answer was because of limited resources. If we thought of Stalin faction and Trotsky faction as two socialist enterprises, then it's actual a fight for funding. Another example was the fight between Lysenko school and Western genetics school in biology. Actually, nothing prevented both directions of research to cooperate with each other, but why they didn't? Because in a condition of limited of resources and manpower, if the Lysenko school gained a new researcher, it meant the genetics school lost a researcher (researchers as rare resources). The winning of one faction meant the losing of another one, in the condition of limited resources. As Lenin had said, we need to see the real economic struggle behind every ideological struggle, without doing so, history is still a picture shroud in mysteries. In the late 1950s, the problem was even more grave. With the advent of many new important economic sectors (nuclear, plasma, advanced agriculture, computing, rocket, space, etc.) the fighting for funding and input came to new level. Every sectors were important, but who would receive the most funding? After the disastrous failure of Khrushchev in his agriculture experiment, everyone was aware painfully that much resources thrown into a project didn't automatically mean success. The question of how to allocate resources raged fiercely. Eventually, the Kosygin's reform returned a mechanism of capitalism, that is, funding would be allocated accordingly to the PROFIT indicator. Of course, there were exceptions (military science, education, healthcare, etc.) but it's a beginning step for turning USSR (and also Russia) into oil-exporting country. In the 1980s, the oil crisis threw USSR into a crisis (which was understandable because they were socdem capitalist economy then). Due to the 2nd world nature of USSR (no colony), social welfare system and evenly distributed economy, it made USSR the bottom in the hall of fame of profitability. What to do, what to do? What happened was history, but I think everyone understand what I want to say here. What happened to USSR in 1985-2000, was a giant profitability crisis similar to the great 2010s crisis, the solution was also similar, disbanding most of social security system (a profit drain), discarded all unprofitable sectors (deindustrialisation) and finally turned USSR into a oil needle (the most profitable sector) As Engels had said, mankind made history, but the result most of them didn't turn out to what they wanted

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Marx on "Arbitrary Profit" Comrade 07/15/2020 (Wed) 23:19:26 No. 2478 [Reply] [Last]
In Section VI of Wages Price and Profit, Marx explains that prices approximate the true value of a commodity, but only over time as supply and demand average out. Having established this, he goes on to argue against the fallacy that profit is obtained by selling commodities above their value: >If then, speaking broadly, and embracing somewhat longer periods, all descriptions of commodities sell at their respective values, it is nonsense to suppose that profit, not in individual cases, but that the constant and usual profits of different trades spring from surcharging the prices of commodities, or selling them at a price over and above their value. The absurdity of this notion becomes evident if it is generalized. What a man would constantly win as a seller he would as constantly lose as a purchaser. It would not do to say that there are men who are buyers without being sellers, or consumers without being producers. What these people pay to the producers, they must first get from them for nothing. If a man first takes your money and afterwards returns that money in buying your commodities, you will never enrich yourselves by selling your commodities too dear to that same man. This sort of transaction might diminish a loss, but would never help in realizing a profit. Marx's argument against a fallacy rampant in the present day seems like it would be incredibly useful to learn, I cannot for the life of me parse what he is talking about. Thus, instead of ignoring this aside I come to /edu/'s help in making sense of it. To break it down: <What a man would constantly win as a seller he would as constantly lose as a purchaser. If every transaction in capitalism can be understood abstractly as buyers and sellers entering a marketplace - representing supply and demand by changes in stalls, shoppers, and salesmen, for instance - then each transaction with an arbitrary percentage of profit x applied would even out. This is what I assumed this sentence to mean at first. But even if this were the case, could each successive capitalist in the line from raw material to finished product not add a surplus onto the successively increasing true value of the increasingly complex commodity? Marx might say that the competition between capitalists (ignoring supply and demand, which self-cancel) would force this arbitrary "profit" to increasingly diminish to almost nothing if it were to ever exist at all, and force them to reduce the labor cost of their commodidies by increasing their productive forces. But I don't see a point where this bastardization of Marxist theory would reach a contradiction, resolving itself into the correct understanding. Where is the error here? Either way, it turns out the rest of the paragraph seems to have nothing to do with any of this. <It would not do to say that there are men who are buyers without being sellers, or consumers without being producers. It feels like it ought to be phrased the other way around - sellers without being buyers - when talking about a business making profit during sales, which must of course buy raw materials, land, and the MoP from another source. But I ignored this as a stylistic deviation, until the next sentence: <What these people pay to the producers, they must first get from them for nothing. "These people"? Who? The capitalists? The sellers of labor power? Who are the producers? Why is there a dual-transaction taking place here? <If a man first takes your money and afterwards returns that money in buying your commodities, you will never enrich yourselves by selling your commodities too dear to that same man. This sort of transaction might diminish a loss, but would never help in realizing a profit. This is the point where the absolute abstraction loses me entirely. Is the man "taking my money" another capitalist, who makes a profit off of me in selling me raw materials but loses his profit as he buys from me? Would this really even out, if you were to take it to its logical conclusion mathematically? It seems this cursory, metaphorical refutation is much harder for me to grasp than a refutation in the form of a full analytical explanation of how the system actually works, which makes up the rest of the text. If someone could put it to me in plain terms I would greatly appreciate it, and I would hope other anons could use it to teach others as well.
you faggots really don't know the answer to this? this is considered one of the easiest marxist works and you don't get it? back to /leftypol/ then.
>>2819 The reason no-one answered is precisely because its so easy, idiot.
>>2819 It's a dead board man; I don't know what you were expecting


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