- Capitalism and Alternatives -

...with good reason

Posted by: Stoller on December 20, 1999 at 18:02:07:

In Reply to: Barry gets irate... posted by Red Deathy on December 20, 1999 at 13:54:48:


[I]t is true that, to the mode of thought of the educated classes..., it must seem monstrous that in time to come there will no longer be any professional porters or architects, and that the man who for half an hour gives instruction as an architect will also push a barrow for a period, until his activity as an architect is once again required. [Sarcastically:] It is a fine sort of socialism which perpetuates the professional porter!

: Income should be divorced from work, work should be entirely voluntary.

This is where you go wrong. To promise 'voluntary work' or to expect it is utterly utopian. As this debate board AMPLY DEMONSTRATES, some people will 'voluntarily' do ALL the skilled work and 'voluntarily' leave all the shit work for someone else.

AD HOC labor? Is that anything like 'liberty in the workplace', by any chance?

: No, its the liberty to work where and when you want, feel or need to. It implies that ad hoc division of labour may occur (i.e. that someone may porter for teh day, as needed, rather than have to take turns at portering...).

What I'm concerned with is that NO ONE should porter 'for the day.'

: I for one would refuse to take a turn in the abatoir...

I'm sure you would. And so would Lark, and so would MDG, and so would...

No, my misinformed friend, the SOCIAL DIVISION OF LABOR is what's anti-humanistic.

: Why? Socially divided labour still retains the fullness of human engagement with life-activity, a professional porter - such as worked at our college halls - is a multi-facetted and skilled task, that engages mind and spirit, particularly if the subject is willing [dream on]. To rotate jobs is to replicate the fractioning of the human spirit of productive division of labour. Not everyone can be a doctor.

Arguing against detail divison in the shop to argue FOR the 'productive' social division of labor is opportunism and elitism, RD. I'm ashamed of you. Under the axiom 'not everyone can be a doctor' falls the understanding that MANY PEOPLE become (only) housewives, janitors, cashiers, etc., etc. You entertain the notion that someone will be a 'career' porter (like at your college) because portering is a 'multi-facetted and skilled task.' That is reprehensible! Please stop calling yourself a Marxist in public!

Without job rotation, specialized elites will form (such as 'representatives').

: Only if you have political structures that allow them: but if we break the link between work and income, then professionalisation would not matter.

Heard that one from the CP before, no thanks. One guy gets $10 an hour to program computers, another guy gets $10 an hour to mop floors? Fuck that, pal.

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