- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Barry Stoller on December 19, 1999 at 20:56:37:

In Reply to: most social revolutionist ideas are only entertained by students posted by Vannevar on December 19, 1999 at 19:11:53:

: [W]hile you are quick to point out that these [educated] people will obviously be opposed to the Job Rotation scheme, and any revolution in general, you missed the point that this is probably the area where most support for it will be gained.

: While your proposal for a better system for all is good and as much a "flight of fancy" as some other people on this board I think that your solution will meet just as much opposition as any other, and that the enemies of your solution are not who you seem to be indicating.

Your points are certainly valid ones.

Many students DO entertain egalitarian ideas---due to their youth and exposure to egalitarian concepts in college.

And in poor countries where capitalism is just beginning to push aside the peasant traditions, students often react against capital in revolutionary ways.

Nvertheless, in fully advanced capitalist societies, students quickly abandon the egalitarian idealism of their college years when they enter the SKILLED workforce.*

This skilled workforce, primarily the circulation sphere, owes its existence to the EVER INCREASING surplus expropriation of the production sphere (where ALL value is created).

Thus, identification with the 'working class' is sharply curtailed by the middle class's NEED to exploit it in order to maintain their own skilled (i.e. privileged) positions within the circulation sphere.

This is an INTRANSIGENT contradiction.

Therefore, respecting your sentiments, I must also differ from the conclusions you draw.

My tactics have two approaches.

The first is to support revolutionary activity in countries where communism stands the greatest chance of success: developed yet immiserated capitalist nations (Russia and the former 'bloc').

The second is to agitate here (in the advanced capitalist nations) on the issue of SKILLED WORK FOR ALL.

My reasons are: agitating simply for higher pay only encourages the capitalist ideology. Plus it continues the incentive of the workers who labor in the circulation sphere (and much of this work is UNSKILLED) to exploit those (mainly overseas) workers who labor in the production sphere.

I want to bring together the UNSKILLED workers who labor in the circulation sphere and the UNSKILLED workers who labor in the production sphere.

What they have IN COMMON is ALIENATION.

The SKILLED workers (almost always laboring in the circulation sphere)---as dialogue on this debate board makes fairly obvious---, who must exploit the unskilled workers in the production process in order to keep their jobs, are GONERS.

With one or two exceptions---who will 'cut itself adrift' from the ruling class and join the proletarian struggle in which a new ruling class is forged.

The proletariat welcomes them---but NOT the next group of bureaucratic, educated 'experts' tenaciously defending rationed education and 'differential' skill in order to preserve a monopoly on power, a monopoly they will enjoy in the capitalist system.


* 'Imperialism has to tendency to create privileged sections... among the workers, and to detach them from the broad masses of the proletariat.' Lenin, 'Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,' Selected Works volume one, International 1970, p. 751.

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