Home > political-economy > Division by Zero as a Metaphor for the Collapse of Academic Marxism

Division by Zero as a Metaphor for the Collapse of Academic Marxism

Wikipedia describes the division by zero problem in mathematics this way:

In mathematics, division by zero is division where the divisor (denominator) is zero. Such a division can be formally expressed as a / 0 where a is the dividend (numerator). Whether this expression can be assigned a well-defined value depends upon the mathematical setting. In ordinary (real number) arithmetic, the expression has no meaning, as there is no number which, multiplied by 0, gives a (a≠0), and so we say that division by zero is undefined. Historically, one of the earliest recorded references to the mathematical impossibility of assigning a value to a / 0 is contained in George Berkeley’s criticism of infinitesimal calculus in The Analyst (“ghosts of departed quantities”).

In computer programming, an attempt to divide by zero may, depending on the programming language and the type of number being divided by zero, generate an exception, generate an error message, crash the program being executed, generate either positive or negative infinity, or could result in a special not-a-number value.

Academic Marxism has a divide by zero problem. The biggest failure of academic Marxists is their inability to grasp that the dollar is a valueless scrap of paper, and nothing more than an instrument of class dictatorship. Because they failed to understand the dollar, academic Marxists like Moseley, Kliman etc., contribute to the ongoing failure of the Left in general.

As money, the dollar is a worthless scrap of paper, but as an instrument to compel labor from society, it beats the Soviet planning system. It is the ideal instrument for extracting surplus value in an open globalized economy. Anyone looking critically at a dollar bill has to notice immediately that it contains no socially necessary labor time. The value contained in a dollar bill, is on par with monopoly money — this much is obvious even to someone just learning Marx’s theory. So how do you extend an analysis of society based on the labor theory of value with an object containing itself no value!

How do you explain why this thing having no value is the basis for determining the socially necessary labor time of society?

Simple, you just import some dumb shit from neoclassical or Austrian economics into your theory and call it Marxism. Okay, perhaps this is an innovation; perhaps, academics have creatively applied Marx’s theory to 21st Century conditions. After all, evolutionary theory is not the same after the discovery of the double helix as it was in Darwin’s day. The real impact of any social analysis is what it says about the present state of things, how it changes our view of historical events and what it offers as a guide for future action.

So, we have two arguments: the first states the dollar is a worthless scrap of paper, and an instrument for compelling labor out of society. The second argument says although the dollar is a piece of paper it acts just like gold or any other commodity money will in the economy. Now, we no longer are counting angels on the head of a pin; we have two opposing predictions that can be empirically verified or disproved. If the dollar functions in the economy the same as gold, we should be able to compare what gold says about economic data versus the dollar.

As I have shown, a sample of economic data using US gross domestic product (GDP) figures from 1929 to 2009 looks very different depending on whether you use ounces of gold or dollars as your measuring unit. It would not take Andrew Kliman or Fred Moseley ten minutes to verify my findings — not ten minutes. In fact, I believe Kliman already has. But, to this date, neither has even admitted a discrepancy. Instead, Kliman has accused me of deliberate misrepresentation of Marx’s theory — as if my misrepresentation accounts for the fact that gold and dollars send two very different views of US GDP.

Even if I misunderstand Marx’s theory (and I definitely am not an expert) gold says we are in a depression equal to the 1930s, and dollars disagree.

We have had a 71% fall in gold denominated US GDP since 2001

Gold says we have experienced two depression events since World War II, but dollars show no evidence of such a thing.

According to gold, depressions occurred in the 1970s and currently since 2001

Finally, gold says a fully communist classless, and stateless society is feasible right now, but dollars say otherwise.

According to gold the material prerequisite for abolition of labor, classes and the state already exist

So, even if I am completely lying about Marx’s theory and engaged in wholesale distortions of it, Kliman still has to explain the data! Fuck me, I am a nobody — just a head on an avatar on Twitter. But, the fucking data is still there, and Marxists need to explain it.

I am going to pound on this issue like an open, pus-filled gash on the body of Marxism until some Marxist academic explains it! I am not going to let up, because, if it cannot be explained, Marx’s theory is dead and must be buried!

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