09 February 2013

What is the value of... anything?

In watching the course on The Moral Foundations of Politics presented by Professor Ian Shapiro at Yale as part of their Open Yale courses, I've had one of the most interesting and entertaining courses that, for me at least, help examine the Classical and Neo-Classical realm of political and economic theory.  I've been watching this via my Roku box and they are under the Lecture Kings channel.

In the Enlightenment tradition of science, that is to say the pre-Popper understanding of science, the ability of a scientific theory to explain any set of phenomena rested on repeatability (which is to say the theory will yield the same results time after time with a set of given conditions) and that it encompassed not just known phenomena but then extended into those that were not explained by current theory.  Popper would add in falsifiability, which is to say that any theory must have conditions which, if they are met, will demonstrate that the theory doesn't work  and isn't consistent, but that is a latter post-Classical addition to the scientific method.  The great movement of science in the 17th to 19th century was that it was encompassing broad swaths of observed phenomena in nature (motion, gravity, chemistry, the movement of energy, discovering gases and the laws that govern them, etc.) that nothing seemed to be outside this realm of discovery and that since everything was a result of natural phenomena, then everything can be explained by it.  This course examines a few of the major pushes towards integration (or disintegration and reintegration) of Enlightenment understanding to the realm of economics and politics.  From this the major movers and culmination of schools of thought are seen as they base their foundations on Enlightenment understanding.

The benefit of watching such a course where it can be paused while seen by more than one person is that ideas can be caught as they are presented and examined as they come up and then see where the at-home analysis goes between individuals and where the class goes.  And while there was some of that going on with the post-introductory seminars that dealt with Utilitarianism, when the class moved on to Karl Marx the amount of discussion was making a system of watching for a few minutes and then talking about each part of Marxist views as presented.  I've written about my views on Marx and socialism before and had only the background of being in a family where my parents were Scientific Socialists that tried to adhere to the First International and generally had disdain for the later International Congresses.  That gets you crunchy on the road sort of view of Marx and his ideas, not just as they were presented by himself but also as interpreted through a certain lens of understanding.  I do have a bias on Marx coming in, no doubt about it, but I can be persuaded by rational thinking that actually attaches itself to the real world utilizing scientific methodology to do so.  Marx, it was obvious, hadn't bothered to learn the scientific method or actually talk to any scientists on things like gravity, chemistry or even learn about the calculus and how infinite progressions are utilized to yield answers and that when certain equation formulations appear they can never be answered.  Plus his early upbringing in what can be described as Generation I capitalism would leave only a certain set of trends open to Marx which would be later shifted by Gen II capitalism of the late 19th century (that era in which some of what he predicted came true, but others did weird things with capitalism that would have been pure magic to Marx).

From the presentation of a few sessions discussing Marx's view of the economy and man's place in it, I've found that the non-scientific nature of Marx's methods and lack of any touchstones of real world examples to then raise issues that aren't just Third or Fourth Wave criticisms but ones that could have been pointed out to Marx in his own time, or that he could have discovered just by looking around.  Indeed if you are using the Hegelian Dialectical method and utilizing it for Materialism, then it is best to use material when utilizing the method.  And, as a side-note, Hegel was using the Thesis leading to Anti-Thesis (or reversion towards the old order) and Synthesis (arising between the change and the reaction against it to form something new) as a means to demonstrate that the pinnacle of government for man was that of the Prussian State.  It is a methodology used towards that end and even when generalized the way the methodology was created and utilized must be acknowledged as having some inward bias to it.  Marx applied this methodology (not Hegels actual argument, just the way he argued his case) to all of human history (because if the methodology had past utility in explaining events then it must have some future utility) and found that mankind was on the cusp of creating a new order that would transform from a capitalist to a socialist society and then dissolve the State in a communist society. 

In other words he uses Hegelian Dialectic methodology to come up to a conclusion that goes beyond Hegel and shows him to be wrong... unless the Prussian State of the early to mid-19th century truly is the perfect governing State for all of mankind, in which case Marx is wrong. In any event the Hegelian Dialectic has a presumption of a 'forward' motion in social change, that is to say that changes within societies have a direction over history and that changes from the norm of society then get a pull back towards the norm and the synthesis point incorporates some of that 'forward' direction.  As a method of historical analysis this form of logical argument has counter-arguments in the known post-Roman Empire Dark Age, which was known at the time, and other counters to it seen not just in the European region (the late Bronze Age collapse is another example of such a period), but in Mayan culture pre-Columbian contact or similar episode in Japan (the closing of Japan by the noble and aristocratic class) or China both of which had societal systems that did not put any real value on 'progress' outside of the military realm and even that had a limit in Japan.  Problems with Dialectical analysis of societies are immense and utilization of it as a system of analysis is one heavily fraught with the dangers that the system misses.

The methodology of Dialectical Materialism is one used to examine an end-state of society and government by using the Dialectical method and applying it to economic and political realms.  This is a key part of Marx: he is getting to a end-state, no change possible regime, aka 'the end of history'.  Utilizing the methodology of the Dialectic, then, appears to be one to reach an end-state based on what you know, without regards to what you don't know.  Thus any change that comes from outside of the realm of the Materialist utilization of the Dialectic, which is any information outside that of the writer (Marx) during the time of the writing will have unknown and unknowable effects upon the initial conclusion based on a set of assumptions or observations. 

A first major assumption of Marx is that all that is known about the economics of capitalism of his time are true, are the entirety of capitalism, and that anything that derives from this known base is a mere variation within the known structure and that there are no external factors that will play into this structure at all.  It is an end state methodology, after all.  Yes, that is part of the objective perspective that Marx brings to the table and the claim he puts forward is that those inside the capitalist system have no idea of how it truly operates and that only an objective observer can have that or that the workers will finally gain that and end capitalism once it reaches its self-evident conclusion.

There are two major parts of capitalism that Marx is examining in the use of the Dialectic and they revolve around the conception of 'value' and that the observed phenomena of the decline of profits was universal to capitalism as a system.  Utilitarian thought puts cost of something, and thus its 'value', as a marketplace concern which is met at the price point of supply and demand.  Marx tosses that out and puts forward that there is a natural value to any commodity (that is a good that can be sold) and that this 'value' is invariant.  There is a price paid for that commodity at any given time, but there is a true inherent 'value' that resides within the commodity once it is made and that is different and stable as compared to pricing at any given time.  In the capitalist system (actually in any system) there is a required amount of unrecoverable cost (be it in labor or raw materials) that once it is compensated for you can't get back which is a sunk cost which is not the same as 'value' in the Marxist conception of things but has a direct relation to his argument as a whole. 

As the capitalist system is about selling goods at a higher than production cost to gain more than that current sunk cost (and above the natural 'value' that has been put into that commodity because its current 'value' in production cost is above its future 'natural value'), the question of 'where does this excess value arise from?' comes from Marx.  This is then utilized to put forward that there is only work value in any commodity and that 'value' can only be created by work, therefore any worker is not getting their true work 'value' from the exchange of labor for a wage.  As capitalists compete with each other they cut profit to get a leg up on their competition and this is done via exploitation of the workers (and this is not done in a pejorative sense but a 19th century sense of exploiting natural resources or exploiting one's time to good ends conception).  Efficiencies are developed which are done through the realm of increased capital cost to the capitalist.  Profits decline as the number of goods rise and their price declines, therefore the wage of the worker must decline to increase profits.

Now lets step back from this for a moment and take a quick look a the Labor Theory of Value, which Marx puts into the conception that all commodities that are sold have a natural value inherent in them that is reflected by the amount of labor to get that good.  That is the true, natural value of a commodity.  There is a problem with that as this is normally defined as a sunk cost to get to that end product. 

There is a sunk cost that goes into production via the utilization of capital (which is made via labor, of course) which is purchased at a subjective value based on what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to take for that item.  A sunk cost is the paid for amount of time, energy and materials to get a produced good to any stage in its production and that cost is paid for at that time (or within increments of it as in paying a worker for a week's worth of work).  That asking price for a commodity can be equal to, higher or lower than the sunk cost in making that commodity at the instant of transaction.  The value of that commodity is then placed at that instance in a subjective manner, which is to say that the worker is paid for the work time at the instant of payment and a seller is paid a negotiated price at a similar time for a commodity. 

This is a critical weakness in the conception of an inherent 'value' of a commodity as the actual value of a created commodity can and, indeed, does change over time with the majority decreasing in value but with other items actually increasing in value.   The cost for that commodity is always an instantaneous one and encapsulates the entire chain of sunk cost up to that moment of sale.  A worker in the pin factory, to use Adam Smith's example in Wealth of Nations, gets paid for the work put in to draw out pins of a certain diameter and length and that pin, at that place in production, is not the entire pin, not useful as a pin and is only a part of the process of making a pin.  There is 'value' to that work and the worker is paid for it via the time incremental payment system.  For the object that will become a pin that is then part of the sunk cost to get it to that point in time. 

In that instant before it has been sharpened, the end pressed down, the pin head place, the pin polished, then put into a paper roll, etc. there is very little actual value to the piece of drawn wire that has been cut: it isn't a pin nor is it of much use outside of the pin factory setting.  Indeed those pieces that haven't been properly sized are put aside and sold for scrap value which is generally the open market value of the metals involved by weight.  If Marx complains about where all the excess 'value' goes for sales of commodities, then why no complaint when 'value' is lost via waste, pieces not well made and so on?  If work is the paramount achievement of creating 'value' then what happened to that 'value' when such pieces have no greater value than raw metal stock that has very little value added to them?  Even with automation there are still pieces that do not come out right, that have flaws in them that do not allow for them to be utilized and other defects that cause them to be cast aside for mere raw value or less. 

Why is the inherent 'value' of such an item less than its perfect counter-part as they both have the exact, same amount of labor time in them?  Is the labor value added to it zero?  It has a sunk cost that must be recouped as the labor has been paid for, so if capitalists magically create money out of thin air (or are stealing it out of the true 'natural value' of the work represented in a commodity) then how can the inherent value of a flawed piece lose the work value that has been imbued in it?  And if the capitalist is recouping some of that labor 'value' by raising the price of other pieces, then that is because he must then over-value those pieces to recoup the lost 'value' of pieces that cannot be sold.  A great push to move such lost pieces out via inspection and other means increases overall production cost, adds little value, and yet helps raise the number of items produced which helps to defray those incremental cost increases (all sunk costs as they now happen to the perfect and imperfect alike) via increased production of higher quality items acceptable in the marketplace.   What is the actual 'natural value' in the Marxist conception for those objects that don't make it? And if their 'value' is transferred to those that become actual commodities, then how does that labor 'value' get put in those finished pieces from out of nowhere as that was not labor performed on them but on pieces discarded and sold for less than their added labor 'value'.

One cannot even say that there is a true 'natural value' that is at some average between the high and the low for that class of object as the low is zero, the high an unknown, and the next pricing valuation will be based on a set of valuations that are not based on labor cost.   The value of labor, then, is what someone is willing to pay for it as a sunk cost to produce a commodity and is only paid in expectation of what can be gained via sale of that item.  An individual worker who gets paid at the instant for making something is not paid the value of the item, but for the value of the work done to the item with regards to how much skill is necessary to make it.  Marx, however, doesn't see it that way and prefers that there is an inherent end 'value', a 'natural value', to any human produced commodity: value accumulates to the end of work on an item and is always embodied in it.  That process of accumulating work on a commodity is seen as having the 'value' of what it takes someone to make it, but that the process of making it in smaller steps is a value cumulative one.

This is why there is a division of labor, as explained by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations, is one so that a pin making factory can churn out tens of thousands of pins a day (all set in paper, a set number per box and a set number of boxes per crate) while if each worker had to do the whole process on their own the output would be dozens not tens of thousands of pins per week.  Marx puts forward that such division of labor is alienating man from his natural self and capabilities.  What it is doing via that process, however, is allowing easily learned separate steps to put less sunk cost in per piece so that the entire amount manufactured has a lower cost associated with it.  The ability to recoup cost, add in other overhead (factory maintenance, heating, cooling, maintenance of equipment, etc.) plus some additional amount known as 'profit' to pay investors a fraction of what they have invested back for the risk they are taking, plus to pay the actual capitalist a wage or salary.

Marx is not about rewarding risk, from what I can see of his conceptualization of an end-state system, but about meeting 'needs'.  Because 'natural value' is accumulated in commodities, the capitalist system will build up a huge 'value' that then will allow for its demise as that 'value' will meet the needs of everyone.  Before the end state there is a socialist period in which the problems of politics and the State are addressed by the workers who have removed the capitalist system and then remove the basis for the State and dissolve it so that a final communist system can arise.  This system will end the division of labor and heads towards a piece in The German Ideology (1845) in Part I, A, Section on Private Property and Communism (Source: marxists.org):

Further, the division of labour implies the contradiction between the interest of the separate individual or the individual family and the communal interest of all individuals who have intercourse with one another. And indeed, this communal interest does not exist merely in the imagination, as the “general interest,” but first of all in reality, as the mutual interdependence of the individuals among whom the labour is divided. And finally, the division of labour offers us the first example of how, as long as man remains in natural society, that is, as long as a cleavage exists between the particular and the common interest, as long, therefore, as activity is not voluntarily, but naturally, divided, man’s own deed becomes an alien power opposed to him, which enslaves him instead of being controlled by him. For as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. This fixation of social activity, this consolidation of what we ourselves produce into an objective power above us, growing out of our control, thwarting our expectations, bringing to naught our calculations, is one of the chief factors in historical development up till now.

In the communist society not only is all labor equal, but everyone can do all labor equally well.  And since all of those things are labor they deserve equal consideration and equal valuation because all labor is equal and done equally well.  With this being the case all will be treated exactly alike, that is in a 'fair' way about their labor so that all can have their needs met.

Do note that the capitalist system is attempting to provide for the needs of workers via labor exchange, which is to say that the workers can garner enough from their labor value to then get food, water, clothing, etc.  Their needs are met via work through the medium of exchange of value, but the actual value is placed higher than the 'natural value' of the labor involved for a commodity.  In doing so value is accumulated via the capitalist, which then has that system overthrown and after an intermediate socialist period that capital survives to meet everyone's needs.

This leads to the famous passage in the Critique of the Gotha Programme Chapter I (1875) (Source: marxists.org) which reads as follows:

In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly -- only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

If you don't believe that thinking about fishing and fishing are equal in value, then you have a problem with Marx.  In his conception of the world that is the case, where having the idea of going fishing (or hunting, or farming) is the exact same value as doing these things.  That is because we are all so productively abundant in our co-operative creation of wealth!  Yes, by just thinking about creating wealth you can create wealth.  See, isn't that a great place to be in?  Labor has changed from a requirement to survive to a mere want that you contribute to the collective and then you get back the necessities to survive in return.  No man's work is better than any others, no man's ideas are better than any other man's ideas, and, really, if you are that far along in history there is nothing left to discover, explore or innovate since that all was done under capitalism or maybe socialism.  Remember you are at the end state of history here and back to mere necessities and needs, and wants are nice things but, really, with just a bit of wanting to survive you contribute enough to survive because of the big, heaping, left over value that capitalism has graced you with.

Sounds a bit like The Matrix, doesn't it?  Yeah its called 'dystopian fiction' for a reason.

Isn't it lovely how egalitarian mankind comes once he finds out that 'we are all workers now?'  The process of that change?  Recognition you are a worker!  Ending capitalism and putting in the temporary state of socialism!  All your needs will be met!  You shall be happy!  Don't worry about all the blood on your hands and under your feet to get to this place, you are so much more advanced for doing that.  Luckily you have all that capital for free, once you get rid of the owners, and it produces products with no oversight, no inputs, and no requirement of actual labor... of course you don't need any more of those things since you can do very well with what you have, right?  And work done by the daydreamer, the tinkerer, the baker, the surgeon, the physicist... why anyone can do that work equally well without missing a step.

And those things known as 'consumables'?  You know the stuff consumed to keep you alive, the stuff used up to keep things running, the stuff that wears out and needs to be replaced? How, exactly, is this end state society different than our hunter-gatherer forebears who actually did have to know a wealth of skills, do them better than average and actually keep themselves alive with a roof over their head?  Doesn't that also fit the definition of this communist society, as it also has goods passed down generation to generation with being able to make-do or do without when something breaks?  How quickly does wanting to hunt, fish, sew, etc. become survival requirements once the automated equipment breaks down and there are no easy to get spare parts and no one left who actually has bothered to work on those machines left over from the capitalist era?  Who wants to be the mechanic with little to do when you can be the artist, the critic, the cynic and the socialite?  Even assuming the food comes from bacteria (with yummy blue, yellow and green varieties and happy red every other Friday) as we know any and all things made of nature are bound by its laws and entropy is a leading one of those.  What is made does not last forever, stored value decays as nature reclaims it through her work upon all things.  That great pile and store of 'natural value' is stuck facing up to its own nature and ours.

To sum up this end state of mankind as seen through Marx has a number of problems that stretch into infinity.

It has a problem of what 'value' is in compared to current cost, and imputes that there is some 'natural value' of a made thing that is pure, separate and independent from the cost of making it, that the labor value is over-priced to gain profit and that profit is created by exploitation of past labor, not paid off by past and current labor (with expectations of future labor) combined.  That is if all the workers can't buy what they produce now, could they buy all that was produced, say, ten years ago?  Profit comes from a delta of past cost sunk into making a commodity, and it is paid for not just with current value but with a delta between past and present value and an expectation of future work value added into the economy as a whole.  Those payments for labor have already happened for the pure present and near present, and there is the expectation of continuation of it in the future.  You paid more for your car or house than its then current value, knowing it will actually decline in value, but paying it off with future labor.  The actual value of the item will be far less than you paid for it with extra, but you have had the use and utility of it in the mean time that helps to defray that cost and, indeed, continue your livelihood.

It has a problem of marginal cost of maintenance which, while marks accounts for it as 'social capital' it is a hand-waving gesture to acknowledge that this vast area has a cost all its own that increases with the complexity of the original cost of procurement.  You can't use the stored natural value from capitalism to keep it running, and that means that people must run it because the loss of any of those systems for even a short period means that the entire edifice will begin to crumble.  It is at the margins that great Empires first erode on the way to collapse, and no matter how egalitarian a system is, no matter how much 'value' is laying around, the present demands maintenance so you can have a future.  The reason for the hand-waving criticism is that someone, somewhere, who actually has some understanding of the vast and complex set of systems involved must be the ones to not fritter their days away with artwork, fishing, and other work 'wants'.  Very quickly those people, because of their skill and application of it, are the ones making decisions for everyone else. 

It has a further problem of convertibility of skills, knowledge, intellect and actual physical labor.  Truly if everyone can do everything, in turn, where does this repository of skills, knowledge, intellect and actual ingenuity and perseverance come from?  And as skills actually build up neural structure as they are used, what is the likelihood that anyone can pick up a skill and have equal capacity of it?  Even if you could do that, could gain all of this in an instant, what is the point of it when it is the time, energy and love one puts into gaining and honing skills that is a major reward for seeing the differential in outcome for the better over time.  It is that dedication that builds up self-worth and a value that isn't reduced to labor, yet even with the best of training, the best of repetition, the best of all possible capability that one puts into a skill they just may not be very good at it.  That entire division of labor business has a point beyond just nature granting some gifts while not granting them to others.  The actual derived value of such a gift is its self-discovery, enjoyment and utilization of it and appreciation of it from others beyond just monetary rewards, yet it is that 'starving artist' that receives the spur to create masterpieces: name the royal, noble or aristocrat that was as good as da Vinci, Picasso or Rembrandt and you will have named an anomaly, not the way of art.  Similarly Einstein's most productive year of four ground-breaking papers was marked as a 2nd class engineer at the Swiss Patent Office, and his recompense in the immediate sense was whatever the payment was for that job and the four papers.  Is that in any way a measure of the labor value he was paid for?  That inquisitive mind seeking answers may not yield immediate results, indeed it may not yield ANY results if the question just can't be answered, yet to Marx that is all productive labor value in an advanced communist system.

It has the problem of actually finding an end to science, answering all its questions, answering all questions of theology and metaphysics, and discovering literally every means there is to produce and advancing it to the highest stage of production.  These are not 'nice things to have' but are end state requirements to have communism as Marx describes it.  To date while there have been physicists who have said they think that there is a decrease in question feedback (answer one question and you get ten more questions is the concept), but that is not pointing to any short-term end of scientific discovery.  Indeed in Marx's time there were those declaring the end of science with all that was known about heat, radiation, steam power, chemistry, biology and electromagnetism, yet it didn't happen.  Creating atheistic communism is not an end to theology as the causation of all things then stands with no starting point and, even as we have seen in current science, a starting point may not even be a true starting point for everything.  Getting a coherent meaning of life to ourselves, as individuals, a great goal of the Classical movement, gets no closer by removing God from the equation as it still leaves a void in that place.  And if what we are coming across in modern physics is any indication, then that search for meaning must start taking on realms that are hard to describe or imagine, but are perfectly allowable by what is known of nature.  The questions of those artifacts of nature are things that can only be answered in the 'how' way by science, not in the 'why' way: how does it work vs. why does it work.  To get to communism all of these questions must have a definitive answer and for many we haven't even started to ask the questions or know just what it is we should be asking.

It is the problem of non-closed systems for economics, because capitalism works best with natural resources to find and utilize, and then use at the cheapest possible competitive rate and create commodities.  The Earth is not a closed system.  Nor is the Earth-Moon system.  Nor is the solar system.  Nor the Milky Way galaxy.  Nor our local cluster of galaxies.  Nor our super-cluster of galaxies.  It is at that, truly universal scale, that you might, possibly with lots of provisos, have a 'closed system'.  And we haven't even produced widget #1 from the Moon yet.  Yet.  With the groups now at work to get to the Moon for useful exploration and others to bring an asteroid into Earth's orbit to begin orbital engineering, mining, and manufacturing, we stand at the cusp of opening up the solar system.  That is why the efforts of all socialists and communists is to stop human advancement into space: it destroys the chances of ever seeing a communist system evolve in timeframes less than centuries, if ever.

Finally there is the problem of human nature, to work not for one's own good but for the good of others as the basis for work.  By getting necessities provided for there is no reason to work harder, longer, innovate or do anything to improve one's lot because the effects cannot be concentrated due to skill, luck or anything beyond corruption of the system.  Thus capital doesn't accrue, it is maintained and probably not all that well once the individual work incentive is removed.  To state that the grand recognition that 'we are all workers now!' will change mankind is akin to saying 'when Jesus arrives we will reach the Promised Land!'  It is a theological statement about something shifting the very basis of human nature by singular awakening and it can neither be proven nor disproven.  That means it isn't a scientific conclusion, but a theological one based on ideology.  As there is no precedent for such an event, no prior happening similar to it, it requires a singular event which has never happened before in history... like Ray Kurzweil's singularity promises.  Point to those, if you like, but a combination of trends like this actually has precedent at a smaller scale, in inventions and changes in how we think about things (like light and combustion) that take time to play out.  Even with the hyper-acceleration of the modern age, that is for knowledge, not wisdom nor insight into the nature of man.  Knowledge is great stuff, don't get me wrong, but wisdom it ain't.  In fact if you take a look at how leading a prudent life, not overspending, preparing for a rainy day, being a service to others as a gift not a requirement, as touchstones of wisdom and how to lead a good life, then we have actually backslid on the foundations of wisdom to lead a good life.  The Romans lost wisdom as they expanded so the very firm basis of a republic that actually allowed the Empire to form could not survive when its citizens slid into depravity and debauchery.  At the height of its power its people were no longer the force to sustain an Empire and it fell, quite hard.  If that is an antecedent to the modern age, then we are in deep, horrific trouble and nowhere near what is necessary to transform into some Marxian new man for the post-capitalist world.

Necessity is the mother of invention and when all your needs are met then it is Prudence, our handmaid of conscience, that reminds us to put away for that rainy day, to make sure you have extra in case of disaster, to prepare in case tomorrow really isn't a better day.  When we heed her influence we can be altruistic in helping others and create a better society that can sustain itself.  Marx removes necessity by bare provisioning, locks up Prudence in a dungeon, and tells you that you shall be altruistic because it is required.  Maybe Marx is right... but tens of thousands of years of human nature point to a different outcome.  And we have already seen what happens when you try to force this new man to arise, and it isn't a happy nor pretty sight, and the word tyranny doesn't do that state justice for how low it has sunk.