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Occam's Stubble

The problem you're going to have with politicians is that progressives, most Democrats and some Republicans, think it is their job to tinker with society trying to create their vision of Utopia. This idea of giving everyone an equal stipend and leaving the rest to the free market is not going to go over well with a lot of them.

Kartik Gada

Occam's Stubble,

Perhaps. The key is international competition. In Chapter 10, I describe 4 candidate countries that can use their small size to their advantage and outcompete larger countries, while simultaneously proving the effectiveness of this approach.


Good stuff.

I'd be happy if I just didn't have to pay taxes (I live in Massachusetts, so taxes suck here.)

Ross Pike

As a millenial investor focusing almost solely on disruptive innovation, and politically a Marxist myself (it's complicated), I must say I agree with almost everything up until now -- and certainly agree on all the broad strokes and conclusions you've drawn.

Not that my agreement is worth anything, of course. I just find it evocative that much of the same conclusions I've independently arrived to, as a result of reconciling my reformist Marxist and effective altruist inclinations, are non-trivially similar to your own. My assessments are infinitely less concrete, eloquent, backed up, verifiable, or convincing as yours, mind you, but I chalk that up to a wide dirth of age, experience, and obvious insight.

Also, you said "This solution transcends both socialism and capitalism," and I must add a caveat. I doubt you've read much Marx but it should be noted that there is resoundingly more similarity between his writings and conceptions, and what I've read of ATOM so far, than between that of the traditionally accepted economic explanations of neoliberals and the ATOM. Speaking not of his ideological conclusions and their dictats -- which arise from his economic model when paired with his psychology and cultural environment of the time and individual choices -- but purely of his full conception of historical materialism and his progression of human history through to capitalism and beyond.

The "and beyond" part pertaining to technological advancement and its impact upon capitalism especially, but certainly not exclusively.

I'm not joking nor exaggerating, but I must say I'm thrilled to have discovered such a salient overlap from such starkly different perspectives. I will certainly be re-reading Capital again after I finish reading the rest of the ATOM chapters, infact.


What is it with you millennial Marxists? You are aware that the political system you espouse doesn't work? I mean, not only doesn't it work over the last 100 years, but resulted in the deaths of 100 million people? Read Red Holocaust (2010) some time. Or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Koestler, Howard Fast, the Killing Fields....this has all been extensively documented. It's not a matter of tweaking the system. Every possible Marxist tweak was tried and failed. The idea you can "reform" such a catastrophically flawed theory is like someone claiming to be a reformed Nazi, or a reformed KKK member, or a reformed cannibal. It's odious concept.

No..the ATOM has nothing whatsoever to do with Marxism, and the concept that it does is utterly preposterous. Marx's economic models are laughable, and bear no resemblance to our modern economy. For example, Marx believed that under the Marxist paradigm, the state would wither away. Weirdly the exact opposite happens every time Marx’s thought has been tried in actual society. Marx was also a determinist, assuming people thought a certain way because of class. And because of that people couldn’t be reasoned with. The problem is that if people can’t be reasoned with, they can and must be be bullied.

Worse still, he misunderstands capitalism. In a nutshell, it is very simple - goods and services exist in finite quantities. How do we determine the best mode of distributing those goods and services? Where is the greatest ROI?
Capitalism sets up, essentially an auction. Those that need or want the goods and services bid up the price. That auction creates an emergent intelligence (AI) with the processing power vastly in excess of any individual. Marxism assumes that people are making decisions - they are not making decisions any more than the cells in your brain are individually making decisions. The emergent AI is making decisions. Because ROI is maximized, ultimately, there is a vast increase in goods and services. This increasing flow of goods and services is logarithmic. 2 becomes 4, 4 becomes 8, and so on.

Marxist don't like the decisions the emergent AI makes, but being stupid Marxists, they have no concept that it is the AI calling the shots, not individual people. So they decide, heck, with better people making the decisions, everything will be better. Unfortunately, individuals are not smart enough, fast enough, and don't have sufficient information, to make good decisions. The ROI collapses, spectacularly. Again, being stupid Marxists, they assume the cause of the collapse is saboteurs, Kulaks, whatever, and devolve into totalitarianism to prevent the mythical enemy from succeeding. That usually when the killing starts in earnest.

I expect, like most Marxists, you'll claim everything good is related to or predicted by Marx, and everything bad is somehow a corruption of Marx. Please don't waste anyone's time with such sophomoric pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo. My other favorite Marxist excuse is "bad" people hijacked Marxism and humuna humuna it would work if we had better people in charge. But that doesn't square with the emergent intelligence of capitalism which basically says no one is actually in charge, and putting someone, anyone, in charge is the main problem.

Kartik Gada

Thanks, Geoman, for your comment.

It is true that young people who believe in 'Marxism' want to fit everything into a binary designation of 'proves Marxism is good' or 'incompatible with Marxism', when the ATOM thesis actually requires a 0% income tax (and eventually a negative income tax for humans), which of course is the complete opposite of Marxism.

Anyway, 19th century thought really can't grasp ATOM concepts, as there was just virtually zero actual data available from which to draw the appropriate conclusions.


Marx was a product of his own time. He lived not all that removed from monarchism, from serfdom. It's not even that his ideas were even wrong - just hilariously outdated. Like Lysenkoism.

I apologize if I'm coming on too strong.

Kartik Gada


It is not too strong at all. The amount of indoctrination happening in schools and universities is extreme.

Everyone is talking about 'higher taxes' without any mention of tax complexity as the real villain. Even the screeching about Trump's tax cut is over just a 2% cut. In reality, the trend should be towards much bigger reductions, then 0%, then negative tax rates (also called ATOM-DUES).


You hit the nail on the head there - tax complexity. Flatter tax schemes with no deductions are actually much fairer to everyone involved, and cheaper to collect. The flattest being some sort of VAT tax. But the impulse to try and control the economy is too strong, so we generate a maze of deductions, exemptions, and favored status.

Oddly large corporations and Marxists are often allied in favor creating complex taxes, rules, and regulations. Whenever you see a thick stack of regulations know that the largest players in the game all had a hand in crafting them, and did so with a purpose.

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