>From: Max More <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: Marxism (was: Commie Nonsense)
>Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 16:15:46 -0700
>between workers and capitalists strongly suggests to me that he did not
>appreciate the nature of human capital. Capital to him was material stuff
>accumulated by a capitalist class. If he did have the notion of human
>capital, how could he make such a radical distinction between worker and
>I'm not saying that Marx was an idiot for this. It's reasonably
>understandable at the time of his writings, during the late Industrial
>Revolution, that he didn't appreciate human capital--knowledge, innovation,
>coordination, exploration, etc. But, combined with his mistaken labor
>theory of value, it produces disastrous errors in his economics. (His labor
>theory of value also attributes all value to physical labor, ignoring the
>role of knowledge, coordination and other forms of human capital.)
One could almost wonder if perhaps Marx secretly spent a lot of time
studying in China. His view of human capital - or lack thereof - is pretty
much in line with the traditional - and current - Chinese business view.
The only thing that matters, long-term, in that culture, for the majority of
people, is one's personal, and most especially family relations (as in "la
familia," or "la cosa nostra"). Everyone else is fair game, and naive if
they think otherwise.
Workers with key knowledge and essential skills requiring months or years of
experience are treated with as much contempt by management as newbies right
off the farm. To do otherwise would be to upset their power structure,
which is what they absolutely depend on. The workers accept this as natural
and good business, but at the first opportunity they take revenge, or
secretly sabotage, or sell the key information to the competition.
It's hardly surprising that Marxism would have such an attraction in a
culture where it really did model reality to such a degree. Of course, it
only made things worse - out with the old boss, etc...
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