- Capitalism and Alternatives -

You're getting to vital points

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on January 17, 19100 at 11:52:21:

In Reply to: 'Liberty in the workplace' versus job rotation posted by Barry Stoller on January 17, 19100 at 10:41:15:

: That means commodities people expect on the communal store shelves will not be there.

Where have we seen that happen before? Accepted that Russia was 'communis't without proper job rotation and with an elite statist class. The problem is universal though - unmotivated people, or those only motivated by fear of punishment, are not productive.

RD argues, I believe, in part from the above - that job rotation reduces motivation in a similar way to the assigned job scheme any statist quasi stalinist regime may entertain.

I have always based any argument with RD on the basis that his socialism would work out fine if virtually everyone were happy and motivated to make the effort not only to work but to organise work to be effective. Even then there would be problems in producing for 'needs' - especially if that rule-less forum were a discussion of 'self defined needs', whatever that may be.

Does producing for needs need to be administered as job rotation must?

: If one (even one) person wants to do only skilled work, then everyone else must take on the added unskilled work that the one shirker leaves undone... [In order to free people from having to do exclusively unskilled work, skilled work must not be appropriated exclusively.]

What about those who are more able - who are uniquely skilled in a way that is not going to be emulated. Lest not pretend that such inequality is quashed by an egalitarian education system - people are different. Will such (rare) people not be exclusively skilled by the fact of their exceptional ability?

: It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that everyone will choose to play guitar and that no one will choose to maintain sewage.

Is there a natural tendency in mankind to seek the highest result with the lowest effort I wonder? A sort of natural tendency to conserve energy? This could be a perverse outcome - that if persuaded that all outcomes will be equal then people will do that which to them is the least effort in order to obtain this equal outcome (which in reality becomes ever decreasing because of this)

: Returning to guitar playing versus sewage, what if SOME people decided, enough is enough, I'm dealing with the mess?


: The free rider problem occurs, does it not?


: Some people deal with the sewage work---while others continue to play guitar. Fine.

Bingo doubles!

: But do the guitar players get to enjoy the benefits of the sewage work? Those who did the cleaning might, logically enough, resent the guitar players who didn't contribute.

Triple Bingo prizes!

: Thus, those who did the sewage work might declare their sewage work private property.

Yippee! you've got it. Ive argued that often enough and received 'but they wouldn't' type responses.

: Taking our example further, sewage work as private property begets the primary conditions for commodity exchange. Some people do sewage work, now turned into private property, for others---but only to trade for other services or goods. Division of labor would then be accelerated. A universal equivilant (money) would develop...

Nice potted history of the development of trading man!

: Such as natural exchange in feudal times. (Will the proletariat want to risk its collective neck for that?)

An important distinction - they have no collective neck - they have their own and thats what makes the think twice - their own neck is on the line.

: Therefore, we see that 'liberty in the workplace' as a socialist concept is devoid of meaning. The idea of independent agents exchanging services freely---which is where 'liberty in the workplace' logically enough leads---is actually a theoretical construct for capitalist apologists.

Who are not apologising. Good analogy though, except that it lacks a vital ingredient of capitalism - the keeping of private property. Its like going through the motions of being in a free market but without a means of exchange or of property.

I look forward to responses from the other soci...erm....anarchists?

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