UNPUBLIC DICOURSE #12 – Marxism/Progressivism vs Libertarian-Capitalism, Labor/Subjective Theory of Value

We talk about a whole gamut of issues, and find there is more to agree with than disagree. I was prepared for more of a fundamental interpretation of Marx, so a lot of my notes didn’t apply.

There is indeed a class struggle between the Oppressors and Oppressed. Except the Oppressors is the Government bought out by Crony-Capitalists, the oppressed are small business owners and working class.

A class consciousness must be formed to fight against Crony-Capitalism. Is the end of history the elimination of government and allowing the Oppressed to have voluntary transactions among each other?

MORE DISCUSSION ON HOW MARX GOT IT RIGHT & LABOUR THEORY OF VALUE: http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-509-was-karl-marx-right-about-anything/


Ideology as a narrative of how the world came to be, how human nature is, and how society should be morally structured. Often gleaned from personal experience.


Ideology in parallel to Religion. Basic tenants by “Faith.” Worshipping our Gods, “Individualism” vs. “Society”. Has its own Prophets.


Ask questions and suggest things which are “heretical” and question basic tenants of respective “faith.”


[RANDOM THOUGHT: Lots of material. I may need to focus on the personal in nature, and move on to abstract issues.]



Clarify on whether belief in Libertarian-Socialism vs Authoritarian-Socialism


Differentiate between Libertarian-Socialism & Libertarian-Capitalism


Differentiate between Authoritarian-Capitalism & Libertarian-Capitalism


Is Capitalism necessary until we get to a high enough living standard, and then convert to Socialism?

  • Is there recognition of the immense productivity, and technological advancement due to Capitalism?
  • Explanation of rise in standard of living over multiple centuries?


SOURCE: https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2


Talk about personal backgrounds / upbringing, parents, and personal experiences, personal observations that led us toward our particular ideology.


Personal Experience with Libertarian-Capitalism


Personal Experience with Socialism

– Military


Difference between a “Principle” vs. “Practicality”


Agreements with Marx.




NATURAL RIGHTS – “natural” in the sense of “not artificial, not man-made”, as in rights deriving from deontic logic, from human nature, or from the edicts of a god. They are universal; that is, they apply to all people, and do not derive from the laws of any specific society. They exist necessarily, inhere in every individual, and can’t be taken away. For example, it has been argued that humans have a natural right to life. These are sometimes called moral rights or inalienable rights.


According to John Locke there are three natural rights:

  • Life: everyone is entitled to live once they are born.[38]
  • Liberty: everyone is entitled to do anything they want to so long as it doesn’t conflict with the first right.
  • Estate: everyone is entitled to own all they create or gain through gift or trade so long as it doesn’t conflict with the first two rights.


LEGAL RIGHTS – in contrast, are based on a society’s customs, laws, statutes or actions by legislatures. An example of a legal right is the right to vote of citizens. Citizenship, itself, is often considered as the basis for having legal rights, and has been defined as the “right to have rights”. Legal rights are sometimes called civil rights or statutory rights and are culturally and politically relative since they depend on a specific societal context to have meaning.


NEGATIVE RIGHTS – are permissions not to do things, or entitlements to be left alone. Often the distinction is invoked by libertarians who think of a negative rightas an entitlement to non-interference such as a right against being assaulted.


“That which has legitimate use of force in defense of”

“Is universal for all times and all peoples”

“Beyond the authority of any government or international body to dismiss”


  • Self-Body (Two eyes vs. one eyes)
    • Right to Suicide?
  • Justly Acquired Property (Homesteading vs Verbal)
  • Speech?
  • Religion?
  • Privacy?
  • Association?


POSITIVE RIGHTS – are permissions to do things, or entitlements to be done unto. One example of a positive right is the purported “right to welfare.”


  • Right to Vote?
  • College?
  • Healthcare?
  • Others?


THINGS WE AGREE ON? (Quick-fire, will come back to at end if time to specific issues)

    • Anger & Frustration at Establishment
    • Police Brutality
    • NSA Email / Phone Spying?
    • Mistrust of Mainstream Media
    • Corruption of government (crony capitalism)
    • Bush, Iraq War, Middle East
    • Vietnam War
    • Drug war
    • Immigration
    • Right to Bear Arms


  • The role of the State as exploitation





– Time

– Natural Resources

– Labour

– Scarcity

– Capital Goods

– Consumer Goods


– Personal Property

– Communal Property


– Proletariat = Employer?

– Bourgeois = Employee?


– Individual vs Society



  • Absolute Value vs. Price
  • Necessary Labor vs. Surplus Labor
  • Exploitation
  • Profit
  • Appropriation – to take to or for oneself; take possession of. (fruits of labor to employer)
  • Is this theory saying that morally speaking the Price should be the same as Absolute Value?


State is now exploiter if no capitalist. Two workers work one hour, one produces 3 units, the other 1 unit. Average is two. Government exploits excess surplus Labor via redistribution, and takes one for its bureaucracy.



– Time + Psychic Value

– Present vs future goods

– Marginal Utility

– Human Action

– Human Need / Goal

– Uncertainty  (imperfect knowledge)

– Need Hierarchy

– Psychic Benefit

– Risk – Uncertainty of the future


A combination of both depending on the goods in question? Exceptions to both theories.




  • Should all human labour compensated equally?
  • How would you decide what work is paid, and what is not?


  • My recording vs. other YouTube videos, same Absolute Value? What about my preparation into studying, compiling, and researching this topic?


  • How is risk calculated?
    • Example: Last Tuesday, you expressed interest in cancelling our conversation for today. We scheduled for Saturday 12PM. The next day, an ER doctor friend of mine, who’s free time is understandably scarce, had an opening in his schedule to meet up at the same time for another intellectually stimulating conversation. In addition, I realized the amount of human labor and time I’d need to do in preparation of this discussion was going to be quite significant (of which it’s probably been 20 hours or more). Suddenly, my time became scarce as I can only choose one activity at that particular time slot.

I considered the psychic value in a rare opportunity for me to record a discussion with a Socialist. I considered the psychic value I have in keeping my appointments and not reneging unless absolutely necessary (ie. family emergency).


However, due to the uncertainty of whether or not you would attempt to cancel a second time, caused me to explicitly ask your certainty of committing to the conversation between a scale of 0% – 100%. If I had received a 95% or lower “sureness” of the conversation, then I would had seriously considered cancelling the conversation depending on the degree to which you were below 100%.


To me, the deciding factor on which conversation I valued more greatly hinged on perceived risk and psychic reward, rather than purely “human labour.” Can you describe my narrative in a different fashion to fit the “labour theory of value” if applicable?


  • What about my human labour as manager in hiring the human labour and coordinating their schedules? Do I receive compensation for that?


  • What about the human labour in me coordinating the logistics of bringing all the capital and consumer goods into a hotel guest room (water, electricity, gas, sewage, shower, toilet, towels, linens, furniture, beds, lights, lightbulbs, TVs, breakfast foods, cereal, milk, etc.)?


  • What about advertising efforts, Price management, Bill Payments, accounting, capital investment, attempts to anticipate for future events


  • What about saving money for a time when I’ll be losing money after all expenses or to plan for unexpected expenses?


  • What about potential lawsuits from customers and employees?


  • What about saving money to cover hotel furniture, and other equipment at the hotel?


  • Explain process of rate management for hotel: How does this explain that room rates are much higher during busier times, and cheaper when it’s less busy? Rates are changing almost hourly (because I do it), based off of the pricing of my competitors. Generally, Price and Absolute Value remain the same.


  • Getting 10 iPhone 6s now, or one iPhone 6 every 5 years (ie. technological obsolescence, risk of death, & psychic value of certainty)


  • Depreciation calculations for used items? So pricing structure for Ebay & Craigslist items?


  • Finding Diamond vs. Mining Diamond
  • What about results / productivity?
  • What about natural resources?
  • iPhones? Software? Intellectual?
  • Micro-Transactions in Video Games?
  • Painted Art / Music (Questionable Music Artists)
  • What about all the study, preparation, and training that leads up to the moment of “production?” ie. Sports Stars, MMA Fights, etc.
  • Movie Stars? Production or Theft?
  • Do results matter?
  • What about natural talent?


  • What about the drug addict? What about the worker who doesn’t show up to work on time? What about the worker that yells at customers and co-workers in a hostile fashion?


  • Individuals providing more productive value than they are paid
  • Individuals providing less productive value than they are paid



– Is morality individual or communal? Am I responsible for the sins of a different individual? Do I receive righteousness from another individual?


– Marxism dehumanizes the “Bourgeoisie” removing fundamental human rights, but line between the two classes is fluid.




“Clean Capitalism”?


  • At what point did I go from being Proletariat to Bourgeois?
  • Restaurants / Food Trucks


  • Do you have any friends who are Bourgeois?

Can you provide the narrative by which they transitioned from one class to another?


  • How would you describe the Asian immigrant experience of limited English and no possessions, and then amassing wealth during the 1970s & 1980s to present through small business enterprise?


  • What happens if someone tries to start a small business, then fails, and goes back to working for someone else?


  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • Food Trucks


  • Landscaping company startup example. $100 lawn mower purchased, $50 from each partner. 50% ownership. Both split profits 50/50. They bill customers with payment to be received in 90 days. After a year, one partner wants to do something else, and lawn mower now worth $50. One partner buys off the other partner $25, for his share of lawn mower. Now single owner needs additional person to help. Can’t find anyone willing to put in $25 for the initial capital of the lawnmower and wait to possibly share in profits since payment is so long, but someone is willing to mow lawn for hourly rate if he can get paid immediately upon completion.


  • So if I’m building a hotel from scratch, I will operate the hotel at a loss for a little bit, and there’s a chance the entire enterprise may fail. I may not get retrieval on cash flow for many years. Is it possible that employees trade in their share of the end price for the more certain wages paid by me? And thus, lower risk, shorter timeframe, means less reward? This is contrasted with other “investors” who invest in the initial construction and startup costs, and share in my risk & rewards.


  • What about web programmers who act as freelancers?


  • What about business-to-business enterprises?


Becoming self-employed as a means to stop being Proletariat?


What about wealth building by being a landlord?


Possible to work for someone, and also be a landlord? Possible to be both classes at once?


What if you own stocks or mutual funds?




– Expropriation – The act of taking of privately owned property by a government to be used for the benefit of the public.


Do you believe in the ability of an individual in American society to say “no” to a job of a certain wage?


Do you believe in an individual’s right to vote?



Disproportionate wealth with rest of the world? True equality with all world people right now? (https://www.quora.com/Wealth-Redistribution/If-we-took-all-the-money-in-the-world-and-shared-it-equally-with-everyone-what-would-everyone-have)


Need more time with Capitalism?






  • Soviet Union
  • China: going Capitalist
  • Cuba: liberal
  • Vietnam
  • Venezuela (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortages_in_Venezuela)
  • North Korea?



  • How many different types of soaps? Diversity of products and needs?


  • Explain reconciliation of “gun control” with Marxist views









End of world situation, population depletion, new world order


Future technologies, infinite energy & infinite matter (AKA Fusion Reactors & Replicators from Star Trek)
Technology as an equalizer, making small companies easier to disrupt larger ones