Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

25

[...] the most far-reaching and significant of Marx's assumptions concerns the unchallenged power of private property rights in both production and exchange. It is in this context that he also assumes perfect competition in the market place. He accepts Adam Smith's theory of 'the hidden hand' although he insists that the hidden hand is that of labour not that of capital. Monopoly power is assumed away. Why he adopted these assumptions is an interesting question. My guess is that Marx's primary intent in Capital is to deconstruct the utopian vision of free market capitalism that the political economists of the time were promoting. He wishes to show how market freedoms do not produce a result that is beneficial for all, as Smith and others supposed, but that it would produce a dystopia of misery for the masses and immense wealth for the propertied capitalist class.

—p.25 Capital, the Book (24) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] the most far-reaching and significant of Marx's assumptions concerns the unchallenged power of private property rights in both production and exchange. It is in this context that he also assumes perfect competition in the market place. He accepts Adam Smith's theory of 'the hidden hand' although he insists that the hidden hand is that of labour not that of capital. Monopoly power is assumed away. Why he adopted these assumptions is an interesting question. My guess is that Marx's primary intent in Capital is to deconstruct the utopian vision of free market capitalism that the political economists of the time were promoting. He wishes to show how market freedoms do not produce a result that is beneficial for all, as Smith and others supposed, but that it would produce a dystopia of misery for the masses and immense wealth for the propertied capitalist class.

—p.25 Capital, the Book (24) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
47

[...] we know from the analysis of the circulation of capital that a great deal of appropriation of value through predation occurs at the point of realisation. Increasing the minimum wage or creating a basic income will amount to naught if hedge funds buy up foreclosed houses and pharmaceutical patents and raised prices (in some cases astronomically) to line their own pockets out of the increased effective demand exercised by the population. Increasing college tuitions, usurious interest rates on credit cards, all sorts of hidden charges on telephone bills and medical insurance could steal away all the benefits. A population might be better served by strict regulatory intervention to control these living expenses, to limit the vast amount of wealth appropriation occurring at the point of realisation. [...]

he goes on to say that it's not a surprise that VCs support UBI, cus otherwise there'll be no demand for their products etc

which raises a deeper question: in such a world, where you have to jump through hoops to ensure that money circulates as a way of distributing goods, why stick to money? to think about more

—p.47 Capital, the Book (24) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] we know from the analysis of the circulation of capital that a great deal of appropriation of value through predation occurs at the point of realisation. Increasing the minimum wage or creating a basic income will amount to naught if hedge funds buy up foreclosed houses and pharmaceutical patents and raised prices (in some cases astronomically) to line their own pockets out of the increased effective demand exercised by the population. Increasing college tuitions, usurious interest rates on credit cards, all sorts of hidden charges on telephone bills and medical insurance could steal away all the benefits. A population might be better served by strict regulatory intervention to control these living expenses, to limit the vast amount of wealth appropriation occurring at the point of realisation. [...]

he goes on to say that it's not a surprise that VCs support UBI, cus otherwise there'll be no demand for their products etc

which raises a deeper question: in such a world, where you have to jump through hoops to ensure that money circulates as a way of distributing goods, why stick to money? to think about more

—p.47 Capital, the Book (24) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
61

[...] What originally appeared as a means to promote production becomes a relation alien to the producers. As the producers become more dependent on exchange, exchange appears to become more independent of them. Money is introduced as the servant of exchange but soon becomes its despotic master. Adam Smith's 'hidden hand' begins to take over. [...]

I like the analogy (aligns with mine for capitalism as a whole)

—p.61 Money as the Representation of Value (51) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] What originally appeared as a means to promote production becomes a relation alien to the producers. As the producers become more dependent on exchange, exchange appears to become more independent of them. Money is introduced as the servant of exchange but soon becomes its despotic master. Adam Smith's 'hidden hand' begins to take over. [...]

I like the analogy (aligns with mine for capitalism as a whole)

—p.61 Money as the Representation of Value (51) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
62

The irony is that the need to find a physical material representation for social values led to the adoption of an unimpeachable metallic base (gold and silver) for money that was so dysfunctional for daily use that it required symbolic representation of itself (paper and electronic moneys) to be effective. The symbolic moneys gradually became more dominant as trading expanded. Cutting out the metallic base in the early 1970s produced two symbolic systems--value and money--side by side in an awkward dialectical embrace.

can you think of value and money as being like the signified/signifier in a Saussurean view of language? or money as a Wittgensteinian language game

—p.62 Money as the Representation of Value (51) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

The irony is that the need to find a physical material representation for social values led to the adoption of an unimpeachable metallic base (gold and silver) for money that was so dysfunctional for daily use that it required symbolic representation of itself (paper and electronic moneys) to be effective. The symbolic moneys gradually became more dominant as trading expanded. Cutting out the metallic base in the early 1970s produced two symbolic systems--value and money--side by side in an awkward dialectical embrace.

can you think of value and money as being like the signified/signifier in a Saussurean view of language? or money as a Wittgensteinian language game

—p.62 Money as the Representation of Value (51) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
80

[...] debt is a claim on future value production that can be redeemed only through value production. If future value production is insufficient to redeem the debt then there is a crisis. Collisions between value and anti-value spark periodic monetary and financial crises. In the long run, capital has to confront ever-escalating claims on future values to redeem the anti-value building up within the debt economy and credit system. Instead of an accumulation of values and of wealth, capital produces an accumulation of debts that have to be redeemed. The future of value production is foreclosed.

—p.80 Anti-Value: The Theory of Devaluation (72) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] debt is a claim on future value production that can be redeemed only through value production. If future value production is insufficient to redeem the debt then there is a crisis. Collisions between value and anti-value spark periodic monetary and financial crises. In the long run, capital has to confront ever-escalating claims on future values to redeem the anti-value building up within the debt economy and credit system. Instead of an accumulation of values and of wealth, capital produces an accumulation of debts that have to be redeemed. The future of value production is foreclosed.

—p.80 Anti-Value: The Theory of Devaluation (72) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
87

Marx agreed that workers employed in circulation (e.g., in marketing) do not produce value (otherwise he would have to concede that value could be produced by market exchange). They can, however, be a source of surplus value. They are like machines which cannot produce value but whose use can increase relative surplus value by lowering the costs of wage goods and so diminishing the value of labour power thereby producing more surplus value for the capitalist. Costs entailed in circulation and state administration, Marx argued, should be viewed as deductions out of value and surplus value production. Costs of circulation in the market (other than those of transportation), no matter whether borne by the industrial or merchant capitalist, are considered as necessary deductions from potential value already produced. [...]

—p.87 Anti-Value: The Theory of Devaluation (72) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

Marx agreed that workers employed in circulation (e.g., in marketing) do not produce value (otherwise he would have to concede that value could be produced by market exchange). They can, however, be a source of surplus value. They are like machines which cannot produce value but whose use can increase relative surplus value by lowering the costs of wage goods and so diminishing the value of labour power thereby producing more surplus value for the capitalist. Costs entailed in circulation and state administration, Marx argued, should be viewed as deductions out of value and surplus value production. Costs of circulation in the market (other than those of transportation), no matter whether borne by the industrial or merchant capitalist, are considered as necessary deductions from potential value already produced. [...]

—p.87 Anti-Value: The Theory of Devaluation (72) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
94

[...] If investors seek speculative gains in price-fixing markets for assets which have no value (such as art objects or currency and carbon futures) instead of investing in value and surplus value creation, then this indicates a pathway by which value can be leached out of the general circulation of capital to circulate as money in fictitious markets where no direct value production (as opposed to appropriation) occurs. When price signals betray the values they are supposed to represent then investors are bound to make erroneous decisions. If the money rate of profit is highest in property markets or other forms of asset speculation then a rational capitalist will place their money there rather than in the sphere of productive activity. The rational capitalist behaves irrationally from the standpoint of the reproduction process of capital as an evolving totality. The result could be a deepening tendency towards secular stagnation in the economy as a whole.

a corollary of this which he explains later on: in the presence of an asset bubble, cutting taxes on rich is a bad idea cus they will overwhelmingly invest in that over true production

—p.94 Prices without Values (94) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] If investors seek speculative gains in price-fixing markets for assets which have no value (such as art objects or currency and carbon futures) instead of investing in value and surplus value creation, then this indicates a pathway by which value can be leached out of the general circulation of capital to circulate as money in fictitious markets where no direct value production (as opposed to appropriation) occurs. When price signals betray the values they are supposed to represent then investors are bound to make erroneous decisions. If the money rate of profit is highest in property markets or other forms of asset speculation then a rational capitalist will place their money there rather than in the sphere of productive activity. The rational capitalist behaves irrationally from the standpoint of the reproduction process of capital as an evolving totality. The result could be a deepening tendency towards secular stagnation in the economy as a whole.

a corollary of this which he explains later on: in the presence of an asset bubble, cutting taxes on rich is a bad idea cus they will overwhelmingly invest in that over true production

—p.94 Prices without Values (94) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
125

[...] when technology becomes an independent business, it no longer responds primarily to needs, but it creates innovations that have to find and define new markets. It has to create new wants, needs and desires not only on the part of producers (through productive consumption) but also, as we see all around us on a daily basis, on the part of final consumers. This business thrives upon and actively promotes the fetish belief in technological fixes for all problems.

—p.125 The Question of Technology (107) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] when technology becomes an independent business, it no longer responds primarily to needs, but it creates innovations that have to find and define new markets. It has to create new wants, needs and desires not only on the part of producers (through productive consumption) but also, as we see all around us on a daily basis, on the part of final consumers. This business thrives upon and actively promotes the fetish belief in technological fixes for all problems.

—p.125 The Question of Technology (107) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
147

But for fixed capital circulation to be fully effective, a number of preconditions must exist:

[...]

This requires 'a certain level of productivity and of relative overabundance, and more specifically, a level directly related to the transformation of the circulating capital into fixed capital ... Surplus population (from this standpoint) as well as surplus production_, is a condition for this.'

Capital tends, as we have seen, to produce surplus populations (an industrial reserve army) and surplus products (commodities facing problems of realisation). It thus systematically produces conditions conducive to fixed capital formation. [...]

to ponder: is this analogous to investing in education, healthcare etc (i.e., temporarily taking some capital out of circulation to invest in the long-term) and if so, are pro-capital forces who oppose those investments not just engineering their own downfall

—p.147 The Space and Time of Value (127) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

But for fixed capital circulation to be fully effective, a number of preconditions must exist:

[...]

This requires 'a certain level of productivity and of relative overabundance, and more specifically, a level directly related to the transformation of the circulating capital into fixed capital ... Surplus population (from this standpoint) as well as surplus production_, is a condition for this.'

Capital tends, as we have seen, to produce surplus populations (an industrial reserve army) and surplus products (commodities facing problems of realisation). It thus systematically produces conditions conducive to fixed capital formation. [...]

to ponder: is this analogous to investing in education, healthcare etc (i.e., temporarily taking some capital out of circulation to invest in the long-term) and if so, are pro-capital forces who oppose those investments not just engineering their own downfall

—p.147 The Space and Time of Value (127) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago
155

[...] Different productivities of labour according to natural differences (e.g., cheap food from fertile land in a favourable climate), the different definitions of wants, needs and desires according to natural and cultural situation and the dynamics of class struggles, mean that the equalisation of the rate of profit will not be accompanied by an equalisation of the rate of exploitation between countries. In the event of trade between countries, 'the privileged country receives more labour in exchange for less, even though this difference, the excess is pocketed by a particular class, just as in the exchange between labour and capital in general'. [...]

—p.155 The Production of Value Regimes (154) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago

[...] Different productivities of labour according to natural differences (e.g., cheap food from fertile land in a favourable climate), the different definitions of wants, needs and desires according to natural and cultural situation and the dynamics of class struggles, mean that the equalisation of the rate of profit will not be accompanied by an equalisation of the rate of exploitation between countries. In the event of trade between countries, 'the privileged country receives more labour in exchange for less, even though this difference, the excess is pocketed by a particular class, just as in the exchange between labour and capital in general'. [...]

—p.155 The Production of Value Regimes (154) by David Harvey 1 year, 2 months ago