Marx Was Right

A college undergrad at Liyang’s Crazy English said he was studying marketing. What he really said was Mǎ Kè Sī 马克思 Marxism. At the time my Chinglish vocabulary was limited to Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) and Xin Be Ke (Starbucks). Being a recovering Yankee trying to find expat gold in China, I dropped the Q&A right there, not because Communism was a taboo subject but I didn’t really know anything other than the usual refrain Commie-Pinko-Bastard.

I started my seventh year in China with bi-monthly sojourns to South Korea where I proceed directly to the Itaewon bookstore for three weekly issues of the Economist. The store lacks the ambitious selection of Page One in Hong Kong but it did have four choices for Marx. I came away with The Communist Manifesto and The Essential Marx edited by Leon Trotsky and two hours later I was in complete agreement on Marx’s theory of Capitalism.

C – M – C  

M – C – M1

M1 = M + ∆M = surplus value

The disagreement with Marx comes about with his Communist philosophy but his 150 year old Econ 101 course is equally valid today.

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population.” Karl Marx

New York Times on July 22, 2014, the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent”

Like Marx, Thomas Piketty, the economic North Star of a new generation, has proscribed an international wealth tax of 80% to do away with private property.

Marx’s C – M – C equation from the dairy goat farmer’s perspective:

(C) Stands for a COMMODITY in our case a gallon of goat milk.

(M) Means MONEY, $15 at the farmers’ market.

(C) The new COMMODITY, whatever the buyer turns it into; most people drink it but others make kefir, cheese or soap.

M – C – M1

(M)  MONEY is needed to produce the (COMMODITY) in our example it costs us $5 to produce one gallon which begat $15 of new (M1) MONEY. Marx calls this transaction exchange value.” The next step in the process is defined as “surplus value” where:

M1 = M + ∆M = $10 of “surplus value”

Bill Gates, the bourgeoisiest guy on the planet, thinks philanthropy is the answer but he wants to give it away, his way. In 1998, Gates’ net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars.

Adam Smith’s 1776 Econ 101 text book, Wealth of Nations declares that “Agriculture, the Produce of the Land, is the SOLE or the PRINCIPAL Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country.”

In the 500 years of American farming, the individual farmer only made M1 MONEY from 1865 when Lincoln freed the slaves, ending subsidized agriculture to the end of WWI when Henry Ford’s ‘Farmall’ tractor forced the self-sustaining bourgeoisie agrarian entrepreneur off the land and into the cities to become a labor-power slave proletarian.

Marx was right, Piketty proved that Marx was right but Gates put his (M1) MONEY where it was needed SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP in the support of agriculture in Africa and India. I observed the Agricultural Cooperative Development International’s ‘Small Farmer Production Project’ in Egypt in 1985, I know a millennia ago, but it was a USAID sponsored form of Social Entrepreneurship. Last year in Ethiopia, while Jane Marie climbed a mountain to view the falls of Bahir Dar, I interrogated a USAID dairy coop farmer and the collection station boss. The farmer got a buck a gallon which is similar to the $1.10 the US proletarian farmer, only a buck in Ethiopia makes the farmer a member of the “bourgeois” class.

Marx Was Right

A college undergrad at Liyang’s Crazy English said he was studying marketing. What he really said was Mǎ Kè Sī 马克思 Marxism. At the time my Chinglish vocabulary was limited to Mai Dang Lao (McDonald’s) and Xin Be Ke (Starbucks). Being a recovering Yankee trying to find expat gold in China, I dropped the Q&A right there, not because Communism was a taboo subject but I didn’t really know anything other than the usual refrain Commie-Pinko-Bastard.

I have started my seventh year in China with bi-monthly sojourns to South Korea where I proceed directly to the Itaewon bookstore for three weekly issues of the Economist. The store lacks the ambitious selection of Page One in Hong Kong but it did have four choices for Marx. I came away with The Communist Manifesto and The Essential Marx edited by Leon Trotsky and two hours later I was in complete agreement on Marx’s theory of Capitalism.

C – M – C  

M – C – M1

M1 = M + ∆M = surplus value

The disagreement with Marx comes about with his Communist philosophy but his 150 year old Econ 101 course is equally valid today.

“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population.” Karl Marx

New York Times on July 22, 2014, the “richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent”

Like Marx, Thomas Piketty, the economic North Star of a new generation, has proscribed an international wealth tax of 80% to do away with private property.

Marx’s C – M – C equation from the dairy goat farmer’s perspective:

(C) Stands for a COMMODITY in our case a gallon of goat milk.

(M) Means MONEY, $15 at the farmers’ market.

(C) The new COMMODITY, whatever the buyer turns it into; most people drink it but others make kefir, cheese or soap.

M – C – M1

(M)  MONEY is needed to produce the (COMMODITY) in our example it costs us $5 to produce one gallon which begat $15 of new (M1) MONEY. Marx calls this transaction exchange value.” The next step in the process is defined as “surplus value” where:

M1 = M + ∆M = $10 of “surplus value”

Bill Gates, the bourgeoisiest guy on the planet, thinks philanthropy is the answer but he wants to give it away, his way. In 1998, Gates’ net worth was valued at $50 billion. By October 2014, that number had increased nearly 60 percent to $79.3 billion, despite his having given away tens of billions of dollars.