Internet Marxists Who Are More Neoclassical than Austrian

There appears to be a small subset of Internet Marxists – emphasis on the words small subset – who embrace Neoclassical or Austrian ideas. Take, for instance, the Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxists, who maintain that the state is powerless to do anything to alter the level of capitalist production and employment. In the end, the state will supposedly drag down capitalists under the weight of its own “unproductive” activity or bring on a Fiscal Crisis of the State. This will be the day on which the issuer of the currency somehow runs out of its own currency.

If we are to believe this narrative, the state is a terrible burden on capitalists. When it tries to help, its actions have no effect for the better and only succeed in indebting society beyond redemption.

Well, let’s consider this idea. Imagine, for a moment, a capitalism without the state. Go ahead, capitalists. Hop to it! There’s nothing in your way now. Nothing at all to slow you down. Go!

What was that? Speak up. We can’t hear you. You’re telling us you won’t invest under these conditions? Why on earth not? You’re entirely unbridled. Come on! Make yourselves rich at everybody else’s expense. Knock yourselves out.

Huh? No security, or law and order? People keep nicking stuff? No infrastructure? You won’t invest unless everything is set up for you first, and profits are handed to you on a silver platter? An untrained workforce? You want education reduced to vocational training and somebody else to deal with that task for you as well? Oh pipe down. You really are so full of excuses.

So what you’re saying is, you need the state and all that unproductive activity that so unjustly holds you back?

This is no news, of course, to a Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxist. Sure, these state activities may be necessary. Terribly necessary. But they’re not productive.

Convenient that, wouldn’t you say?

So, why do we care about activity being productive again? Oh, that’s right, Marx inherited the notion from the most ardent of all revolutionary communists, Adam Smith.

If an activity is unproductive, it doesn’t count. If it happens to be socially necessary, that only proves all the more how very unproductive it is and how unrelentingly it is impeding those unfortunate, long-suffering capitalists.

Except that, without all that necessary but unproductive activity, capitalists would initiate nothing. Risk nothing. Do nothing; other than, perhaps, complain a lot. They are, after all, surely entitled.

So, maybe “necessary” is more productive than “productive”?

But, okay, for the sake of argument, let’s write off all state activity as unproductive. Is it, in any case, a burden on capitalists?

Since nothing actually capitalistically productive is happening in our hypothetical, stateless capitalism, and since we have admitted – however reluctantly – that a state is necessary, just unproductive, let’s introduce one. Maybe then things can actually start happening and we can see just how weighed down capitalists are by this parasitical leviathan.

A state is instituted. Imagine that the first action of its officials is to impose an exogenous tax, applied equally to every adult of working age. The total tax obligation is T. We can assume the economy is closed for simplicity.

The state officials hire themselves and some other people, paying them an amount that in aggregate amounts to G. Not at all to appease Fiscal Crisis Of The State Internet Marxists, but mostly to adhere to their own notions of Sound Finance, state officials constrain overall state spending to the level of anticipated tax revenue, balancing the budget at G = T.

The state pays its employees with its own currency, which it must issue before anybody can pay taxes. The requirement to pay taxes in the state currency will in fact be instrumental in ensuring a supply of ready labor power not only to the state but to the capitalists operating in the private sector.

The ready supply of labor power made available to capitalists arises for two reasons:

First, the role of some state employees is devoted to defining and enforcing private property rights in favor of a select group of capitalists. It would be completely possible for the state to deny certain would-be capitalists their preferred status by refusing to recognize the claims on property they believe to be their birthright. Capitalism is not so much a system of private production into which the state becomes helplessly embroiled as a system in which the state grants a particular set of favors to a select few private citizens that differs in certain respects to the set of favors granted by the state under other systems, such as feudalism or slavery. For instance, the right to exploit individuals as wage laborers is granted, but the right to buy and sell individuals as slaves is not. Once private property rights are defined and enforced, the vast majority of society finds that, in order to survive, it will be necessary to sell labor power either to a capitalist or to the unproductive state or otherwise depend upon somebody who does.

Second, the ready supply of labor power is guaranteed not just by the institution of private property, which forces many to sell labor power in exchange for a wage. It is more specific than that. The state guarantees that there is a need to obtain the state currency in order to pay taxes. The existence of the tax obligation means that workers will be prepared to accept jobs paying wages denominated in the state’s unit of account. This enables capitalists to purchase labor power in exchange for the state currency that must be in place for the state to perform its many unproductive but necessary functions largely for the benefit of capitalists.

The state calls the shots in all this. It is true that state officials under capitalism undoubtedly have a tendency to align their own interests with those of private-sector capitalists. It is up to the broader community to enforce transparency on to the state’s activities. This will be true under any system involving a state. When the broader community fails to hold state officials accountable, the revolving door performs many more revolutions per second. But the nature of this connection should not be misconstrued. Crooked state officials will no doubt extend favors to one capitalist or another in exchange for political donations or the promise of a dazzling private-sector career in the future. But it is still capitalists who rely on the powers of the state to get their wishes granted. A currency-issuing state is in no way beholden to capitalists financially. A currency-issuing state dictates the terms on which its currency is issued.

Now, what is the effect of this balanced budget, implemented to enable the various state functions that, under capitalism, pave the way for the exploitation of workers and productive activity? It is necessary, we have conceded, but surely it imposes a draconian burden on the ever “innovative”, massively “dynamic”, breathtakingly “entrepreneurial” capitalist class?

Well, actually, even if we conveniently ignore the incapacity of capitalists to get anything going on their own (the state is merely necessary, not productive, it will be recalled), the state activities cost capitalists at most essentially nothing provided there is a surplus population from which reserves (or reserve armies) of workers can be drawn. And, on that score, when has it ever been the case under global capitalism that there is no surplus population? Even ignoring the excess population at any point in time, isn’t all that dynamism, innovation and entrepreneurship of the capitalists constantly creating and re-creating a surplus population? By Marx’s own argument, there will pretty much always be unemployment, even in the absence of generalized demand deficiency, as a result of labor-shedding technical progress.

The exogenous spending of G expands the production of goods and services (productive and unproductive alike) by a multiple of itself equal to G/(1–c). If we assume for simplicity that all private consumption is induced from income, c is the average proportion of income consumed. It is less than one. The formula holds true irrespective of the stability or otherwise of c. Against this, the exogenous tax subtracts from production a multiple of itself equal to Tc/(1–c). Since G = T, the negative impact of taxes can also be expressed -Gc/(1–c). The combined effect of G/(1–c) and -Gc/(1–c) is to expand overall production by the amount G. (So that’s why they taught us the ‘balanced budget multiplier theorem’ in school …)

We can now subtract this amount G from the total level of production on the basis that all state activity is unproductive. What are we left with? Answer: the same level of capitalist production that would hypothetically occur if the state did not exist and none of its functions were actually necessary.

Even if all of G is considered to have been for the benefit of workers, not capitalists – a complete nonsense, obviously, considering that it is the state that guarantees the ready supply of labor power – the state activities will have cost the capitalists basically nothing.

Why is this? It is because state employees spend their wages on private-sector output. Under normal capitalist conditions of excess capacity, idle resources and unemployment, private-sector output will adjust to the level of demand.

But, in all likelihood, state activity will not only cost capitalists nothing, but will gift them stuff; a lot of stuff, to put it mildly.

For starters, some of the state functions are performed primarily for the benefit of capitalists, such as protection of private property rights broadly conceived and public infrastructure that, even if equally available to all (and that is far from usually the case), can only be profited from by capitalists. All those fearless Internet Entrepreneurs we hear so much about would have had nothing to profit from without the state paying not only for the basic research but, to a large degree, the lion’s share of the legwork involved in commercializing the internet. (See Mariana Mazzucato’s, The Entrepreneurial State, for a great deal more on this point.) The mythology of the much fated entrepreneur is not all (or even any) of what it is often hyped up to be. Private-sector “risk taking” is largely confined to competing over rewards that the state pretty much guarantees in aggregate, just not always (though quite often) at the micro level. Without certain guarantees from the state, capitalists will initiate off their own bat approximately diddly-squat.

And then, of course, there is the capacity of the state to spend in excess of taxes. This can be done in a non-inflationary manner provided the state’s net spending corresponds to a private-sector desire, in aggregate, to maintain a financial surplus. A given rate of saving above that of the rate of private investment can occur without causing negative income adjustments through multiplier effects provided the state is prepared to spend more than it taxes on a more or less ongoing basis. There is absolutely no need for a currency-issuing state to “balance its books” over any duration of time merely for the sake of its finances. The only time it makes sense to run a government surplus is if the non-government, in aggregate, intends to spend more than its income. The states of some small nations may face such circumstances once we allow for open-economy effects in which a nation might be running a current account surplus in excess of the domestic private sector’s intended financial surplus.

To the extent that state net spending encourages an expansion of productive capacity, private investment will be greater than it would have been in the absence of state activity. For example, if the state indicates to capitalist firm X that this year it wishes to place a large order equal to GX of its output and intends to increase this order over the next five years by ten percent each year, the firm, if already operating at normal capacity, can be pretty confident that it will be safe to expand capacity to meet the growing demand. The additional private investment will have multiplier effects of its own, adding further to capitalist production than would have occurred in the absence of the state expenditure. Not only will state activity be costless for capitalists, but capitalists will actually initiate more production and appropriate more surplus value than would otherwise have been the case. The profitability of this value creation is underpinned by state spending.

Again, all this presupposes a surplus population. But this is basically a defining and permanent feature of capitalism, not only because of demand deficiency but because of labor-shedding technical progress that, by Marx’s own argument, continually creates and recreates an industrial reserve army.

But we are yet to address the position of the State Policy Is Ineffective Internet Marxists. According to them, and some of the more extreme representatives of the Chicago School, state spending won’t affect production at all. It will just crowd out productive private investment. Maybe it could have some small effect in the short run, for saltwater types, but certainly not in the long run. Surely it is mystical thinking to imagine otherwise?

Actually, the mystical thinking is in imagining either that (i) the economy will somehow gravitate to a preordained level of activity irrespective of demand in general or state policy in particular (Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxism) or (ii) that higher state spending now requires higher tax rates later to “finance” supposedly unsustainable and profligate state spending (Fiscal Crisis Of The State Internet Marxism). A commitment to these dubious claims might have served a careerist purpose if a young up-and-coming Internet Marxist, in disguise, had been angling for a job in the economics department of Chicago or Minnesota, but otherwise it seems unwarranted. (At least the Chicago types presumably don’t actually believe what they write. That’s why they’re paid the big bucks. It would be too embarrassing otherwise. Nobody wants to look a fool, constantly defied by the data and exposed by reality. There were some really red faces at the outbreak of the most recent global financial crisis. To put up with that kind of professional embarrassment, the payoff has to be really high. What’s an Internet Marxist’s payoff?)

Quite a number of other posts on this blog have been concerned with addressing one or other of these claims. Here we will just ask rhetorically, in relation to (i), where and when has such spontaneous convergence to some preordained supply-determined level of output ever occurred in reality or even looked like occurring? It would not be enough for output merely to adjust to the full-employment level given the current labor-force participation rate, since the participation rate itself can be increased through deliberate state policies in service of capitalists. In relation to (ii), how does a currency issuer manage to run out of its own currency?

So who, exactly, is the helpless and parasitical party here? The unproductive but necessary state or, to the contrary, capitalists?

Nothing very productive, even in the exceedingly narrow capitalist sense, would actually happen under capitalism in the absence of the state. In fact, there would be no capitalism. When the state does take on necessary but unproductive functions, it is largely the capitalists who benefit. They are the parasites, much more than anyone else.

For Marx, of course, and Marxists more generally, there is nothing pejorative in the term “unproductive” when applied to capitalism. The productive/unproductive distinction concerns whether an activity is directly productive of surplus value (for capitalists) and has very little, if anything, to do with whether the activity should be considered productive in a broader sense. Plenty of so-called productive activity is socially destructive, in a broader sense, and plenty of so-called unproductive activity is beneficial.

The Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxists presumably understand this. But from this productive/unproductive distinction they appear to deduce that unproductive activity must therefore be a dead weight – to borrow a Neoclassical term – on capitalist activity. This is an incorrect deduction. There is little sense in characterizing socially necessary activity as a dead weight on capitalists. By definition, no capitalist activity whatsoever could occur in the absence of activity that is socially necessary; that is, necessary to capitalism.

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14 thoughts on “Internet Marxists Who Are More Neoclassical than Austrian

  1. Brilliant piece, Peter! It’s all about self-interest & hypocrisy for the profiteers, and only about dogmatic delusion for those at grass-level who hope they’ll one day be like their overlords.

  2. could the “Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxists” pass a biology-101 course?

    Or Sociology, or anthropology, or …. (or even learn to play a team sport)?

  3. “For Marx, of course, and Marxists more generally, there is nothing pejorative in the term “unproductive” when applied to capitalism. The productive/unproductive distinction concerns whether an activity is directly productive of surplus value (for capitalists) and has very little, if anything, to do with whether the activity should be considered productive in a broader sense. Plenty of so-called productive activity is socially destructive, in a broader sense, and plenty of so-called unproductive activity is beneficial.”

    To be fair, the same is true for Adam Smith. From Barber’s “A History of Economic Thought”:

    “He [i.e. Smith] developed the point by asserting that the ‘productive’ employment must meet two tests: (1) that they led to the production of tangible objects, a condition prerequisite to accumulation; and (2) that they give rise to a ‘surplus’ that could be made available for future re-investment.” (p. 28)

    For short, the term ‘productive’ for Smith is not laudatory. It has no moral connotation whatsoever.

    And presumably, he did not hold a negative view on unproductive workers: Smith counted himself (and the King of England) among them.

  4. Good point, Magpie. It may not have been clear from the text, but that paragraph you quote was intended to contrast the “Freshwater Say’s Law Internet Marxists” (a small subset) with Marx and Marxists more generally, not as a criticism of Smith.

    I’m not that good on framing myself, but I do wonder about the wisdom of Marx adopting the terms productive and unproductive. It is perhaps not surprising that some would begin to perceive the terms as normative judgments.

    We seem to make a habit of this kind of thing on the left. I remember as a student how, at the time, the left in Australia would refer to neoliberalism as “economic rationalism” in a disparaging, ironic way. A right-wing friend would just shrug and say, “What would you prefer? Economic irrationalism?” 🙂 (Neoliberalism doesn’t really sound so bad either, especially with the term liberal being used differently in North America than elsewhere.)

  5. I tried to capture the essential economic elements at work here: – prompted by Peter’s post – am always updating this story, so if anyone has any suggestions on how it may be improved please let me know. Open source article.

    [Adapted from Economics: An introduction to traditional and radical views, p.268. Hunt & Sherman 1981]

    Once upon a time, far out in the midst of a mighty ocean, lay a small island.

    One hundred fishermen and their families lived happily on the island, which provided them with all they needed for clothing and shelter; as did the ocean their food. The climate was simply wonderful.

    For sustenance, the fishermen fished by hand for 6 hours each day, dividing the catch at day’s end. This ancient custom was called “sharing” and served all as one.

    In their leisure time, the people had another custom, equally ancient, called “feeling good”. And it was through feeling good that they appreciated and felt gratitude for the gift of life, loved and cared for each other, learnt about living, explored what it meant to be human, and found inspiration to create beauty in their daily lives.

    One day, playing idly with some hemp fibres that grew abundantly nearby, a ‘fishing net’ idea dawned in one fisherman’s mind. After some discussion, 50 agreed to fish for 12 hours a day whilst the other 50 wove the nets. On using the nets, the fishermen discovered that it now took only half the time to catch their daily quota. This left them with 3 extra hours each day, to either maintain the nets, be creative in some way, or simply rest and ‘feel good’.

    Unfortunately, one cunning and more unscrupulous islander also had an idea. Gathering 9 of the stronger and more brutal of his friends, he explained his selfish plan. The next day, they announced that a new principle called “private property” was to be instituted. This specifically referred to all the waters surrounding the island, all of the hemp, and all of the harvested or manufactured produce such as fish, raw hemp, rope, and nets – now owned by the ten. We will have, they proclaimed “a private enterprise economy”. This they explained meant that the other 90 were free to work for them or not. Those who did would be paid a wage determined by the product of the nets that they made, or the fish that they caught. Those who did not would be paid nothing. Anybody found violating the laws of private property would be punished: – two or three of the more daring heard muttering some protest, were immediately beaten up and tied to trees for a few days to prove the point. The other islanders, seeing no alternative, had to ‘freely’ apply for jobs.

    50 caught the fish, 10 repaired the nets, and 30 made luxury goods for, or became servants of the ruling 10 who became known as ‘capitalists’. A new word called ‘profit’ was coined to account for the fish and luxuries provided to the capitalists through the sweat of others, and another ‘surplus labour’ for the employees who produced these non-essential goods and services. Islanders now no longer related to or viewed each other simply as human beings – since through a reward system they were conditioned and compelled to compete with each other.

    The capitalists announced inheritance laws so that their children would always own the means of production. Productivity and capitalists’ profits increased and the amount of labour needed to produce the essential food and nets lessened, matched with improving levels of technology. The abundance of food allowed the population to expand – although capitalist policy always regulated access to the produce and increasing power.

    Capitalists, becoming used to a life of luxury appointed ‘police’ to enforce the laws of private property, then had no function other than to grow as predators, and widen their world of property and power. However, fearing the workers greatly outnumbered the police, they decreed that each worker must be schooled in ‘social science’, and hired social scientists to devise a theory that the production of fish required both capital and labour. The system is fair and just they said, because each receives a wage commensurate with their productivity, and each is free to work or starve as they choose. Understanding what was in their workers’ hearts they sold the lie that only by competing successfully and rising up the ladder of success in property and power could workers ever regain their freedom to feel good. Children of the capitalists were sent to their own private schools to learn how to manage capital and labour.

    To the extent that the workers believed the social scientists all was peaceful and tranquil. If they did not accept this ‘theory’ and attempted to withhold some or all of the surplus from the capitalists, or empower themselves, the police moved in and punished them severely. If the more thoughtful of the workers attempted to promote memories and values of feeling good and call out for the freedom of their birth-right, the social scientists stepped in to override their theories. Meanwhile the fish stocks were becoming seriously depleted and the hemp was dying off.

    When the poor eat fish it is turned into excrement. When capitalists eat fish it too is turned into excrement! The only difference is it costs everybody else a lot more to produce it.

    Only the children, too young for social science,
    watched the Sun rise each day over the beautiful island,
    In the midst of a mighty ocean ……

    Watched, and played, and enjoyed, and appreciated, Life as it truly is in all of its beautiful abundance ….
    Their hearts for the time being full: – ‘feeling good’.

  6. “I’m not that good on framing myself, but I do wonder about the wisdom of Marx adopting the terms productive and unproductive. It is perhaps not surprising that some would begin to perceive the terms as normative judgments.
    “We seem to make a habit of this kind of thing on the left.”

    I think Marx was following what at the time was the normal practice, at least since Smith. Are we to blame him and all the others for not predicting the transformation in those terms’ meanings? 🙂

    The question of the $64K is why on earth we moderns seem to make a habit of this kind of thing?

    This morning I was pondering on that. My guess is that this may have to do with the idea, promoted by capitalism’s defenders, that Marxist socialism is based on a moral critique of capitalism (at best well-meaning but ultimately counterproductive).

    That’s a convenient myth: the critics usurp the high intellectual ground. They can sell themselves as the pragmatists, the scientists.

    Perhaps we lefties have somehow drunk the whole Kool Aid.

  7. jrbarch: Good story. Thanks!

    Bob: How long before the YouTube conspiracy theorists pronounce the megasupernuke a fake to trick us into not destroying ourselves? 🙂

  8. Peter,

    Slightly off topic, but based on your interesting, if brief, discussion of problems of “framing” among those of us on the left:

    What do you think of the use of the terminology “backed by” when discussing modern fiat currencies? I’ve recently had a debate, of sorts, regarding the idea that modern fiat currencies are ‘backed by” public/state goods and services and/or by “taxes”.

    What do you make of that idea? Has your experience been positive with it? Do people who are not already neo-chartalist/MMT ‘get’ it when they hear or read that modern fiat currencies (inherently value-less) are ‘backed by taxes’ (even ‘future taxes’) or “backed by public goods and services”?

  9. The question hangs on what “backed by” means. The accustomed meaning is that a note is worthless in real terms unless it can be converted on demand into a real (non-financial) good like gold or silver at a rate that approximates market value. The idea is that this backing drives the otherwise worthless currency.

    Chartalism holds that the currency essentially a tax credit and it is driven by imposition of tax liabilities that are only cancelled by exchange of the currency issuer’s liabilities. The alternative is being penalized. Avoiding the penalty is a non-financial good.

    People are willing to accumulate (save) tax credits in excess of one’s own liabilities to the state because others also have tax obligations and must obtain the currency through market exchange.

    It doesn’t matter whether the state backs its currency with a real good like gold if it demands settlement of liabilities it imposes in its own liabilities.

    Gold doesn’t actually “back” a currency the way people think. Even in a fiat system, the currency can be exchanged for any real goods for sale in the market including gold and silver.

    Convertibility into a real good at a fixed rate is rather a way of limiting policy space in that the government looses control over monetary policy. The government is no longer able to freely set a discretionary policy rate in an open economy with fixed rate convertibility into something that the state doesn’t control.

    In a fixed rate system, the interest rate will have to raised to protect reserves or capital controls will have to be imposed owing to the “impossible trilemma” in trade of maintaining sovereign monetary policy, free capital flow and a fixed exchange rate simultaneously. This trilemma is avoided in a floating rate system.

    Opponents will ague that a fixed rate convertible currency reduces the risk of currency devaluation through inflation or a weakening of the fx rate. But this is at the expense of imparting a deflationary bias to the currency that inhibits growth. And those factors can be more effectively addressed through fiscal policy.

    In the final analysis the argument is over tradeoffs and there are different preferences characterizing different parties to the debate. But at least the parties should under the tradeoffs.

  10. Interesting. Thanks, Magpie.

    Not to miss the point, but I did enjoy this bit of humor from DeLong:

    The rapid rise in income inequality—how can our plutocracy possibly spend in consumption what they currently earn? How many houses has Mitt Romney? Seven? How many houses did his father George Romney have? Two? Three? And John McCain? 11? They are doing their job in terms of trying not to have too-high a savings rate—they are trying to spend their money—but it is difficult.

  11. Pete,

    Yes, that was funny 🙂

    Whether he intended the irony to go deeper or not, however, he was actually channeling Malthus and — if I’m not mistaken — Mandeville.

    PS,

    Are you planning to go back to the Marx posts?

  12. Magpie, I will probably keep going with the Marx posts. Whether they will be presented as part of a “Marx & MMT” series is less certain. I need to think about that some more.

    There will sometimes be longer delays between posts now, because I have nearly reached the end of the notes I was working from.

    I feel there is a bit of a hiccup to get over at the moment when it comes to what Marx actually wrote. I don’t think this needs to change the basic theoretical approach I am considering, but it does alter the nature of the exercise.

    Whereas I might have thought before of a synthesis between the two approaches (Marx & MMT), I’m not sure that this can really be the case given Marx’s apparent view on gold. So, it becomes more an exercise of considering Marx in relation to MMT, and vice versa, rather than a synthesis of the two.

    If the posts do relate in a meaningful way not only to Marx but also to MMT, then I will keep the posts as part of the series. But if – as has been the case so far – MMT is not really playing much of a role, I might just make them standalone posts or make the rest of the series primarily about Marx.

    Partly because of this hiccup – but also because I already had pause for thought on Marx’s approach to the productive/unproductive distinction (even though I was not intending to discuss that issue in the series) – I have recently commenced a serious read through of the three volumes of Capital, and perhaps also Theories of Surplus Value and other stuff from the 1861-63 manuscripts.

    I am kicking myself for not having done this before commencing the series. Of course this is mainly relevant to “what Marx said” rather than how macro should be theorized, which doesn’t necessarily have to match what Marx wrote, as you’ve correctly pointed out in an earlier comment. This means that the thrust of the theoretical argument is unlikely to change much. But I probably would have framed the early parts of the series a bit differently if I’d properly considered these matters first.

    As indicated in another comment, it’s been a while since I have done a serious (systematic) reading of Marx’s main works. Although I have frequently referred to his works since encountering MMT, it has mainly been in relation to debates over his theory of value. I was aware, of course, that Marx had a prominent place for gold in his analysis of money, but tended to think that the more fundamental point was that the value of gold,. in any case, was an amount of SNLT, so that fiat currency really changes nothing of significance.

    As a matter of theory, I still think this. But as a matter of what Marx thought, it appears that he may well have had a different view. Therefore, those who maintain an important role for gold – even now – appear to have Marx on their side. Maybe my impression will get modified somewhat after the current serious read through of Marx, but this is my impression at the moment.

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