[Wikipedia-l] More on marxists.org

Michael R. Irwin mri_icboise at surfbest.net
Fri Aug 16 21:34:36 UTC 2002

Jimmy Wales wrote:
> I have done a good deal more reading on their site, and I find that
> virtually none of their material even comes close to NPOV.  It's
> filled throughout with standard Marxist jargon -- which is very out of
> the mainstream and treated (properly!) by most economists in the same
> way that astrology is treated by psychiatrists.

Jimbo, you beg the question by ignoring that most economists
treat each others views and models (properly in my view) the 
way most scientists treat astrology.  Why should Marxist
economics dogma be held to a higher standard than Keynesian
derived models and predictions that do not work well, if at
all, prior to NPOV'ing for inclusion in Wikipedia?  8)

Remember trickle down Reagonomics?  That debate will be
interesting when, or if, sufficient people interested show up.

Now that data is available for arithmetic evaluation
of claims will any partisans abandon their dogma?

Now that no political gain is impending will any 
partisans come forward to defend or attempt to
assist with presenting the dogma in a NPOV fashion?

> Take this section for example, from "Market Socialism":
> >Should the working class succeed in taking political power, capital
> >would be abolished but there could be no question of simply
> >'abolishing' the market. This would take time. However, the market
> >inevitably generates inequality and the accumulation of capital, and
> >even more seriously, commodity production and the day-to-day activity
> >entailed in buying and selling oneself on the market is the very
> >ground on which bourgeois ideology grows.
> There are several unstated assumptions here that are central to
> Marxist dogma but which have no place in an NPOV presentation.  For
> example, it assumes that "should the working class succeed in taking
> political power" the market *could* be abolished, but not "simply" --
> it "would take time".  That's dogma on the same scientific level as
> phrenology.

Not quite that bad.  The debate to attempt to NPOV the information
by identifying who has used what assumptions and what assertions have
working analogues in the real world should be quite interesting and
informative.   The results, if integrated well, could turn into a 
highly informative article.

For example:  Military logistics as practiced by the U.S. might 
have some bearing on whether moneyless information can efficiently 
drive distribution.  

I have been told that Arrow did some extremely interesting
Nobel Award level work on information augmenting money in market 
distribution. This could be just the opportunity to engage in a 
critical reading and dialogue with people carrying different 
implicit assumptions in their world view.  Assuming of course 
that they are as reasonable as most hard core Capitalists.

> I suppose we could try to work with this stuff by prefacing everything
> with "Marxists claim..." and ending it with "but virtually all
> economists regard these Marxists as cranks."  But that doesn't make
> for a very useful article about "market socialism".

I think we can do better than this but it will take some
time and serious interest.   Perhaps, as the Marxists trickle
in, we could send an engraved invitation to the John Birch
society that their participation would be welcome?  They
should have a few Trickle Down and anti Trickle Down adherents
hanging around somewhere, both camps confident that their
assumptions and models are better than Marxist equivalents.

The Marxists can help us sort out the Trickle Down jargon
while the capitalists help identify implicit Marxist

We could also request participation from unaffiliated critics 
and adherents to new big ideas unproven in the wild.

If all else fails, perhaps we could interest some grade
school math and science students in helping us with the 
actual arithmetic based upon actual economic data.

Mike Irwin

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