Which means: sure, people are not intrinsically equal---but that's no reason to allow some (a minority) to usurp all the means of production (the predicate of wage-slavery). Let each person work to their ability WHILE OWNING AN ALIQUOT SHARE OF THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION. That's socialism (properly defined): From each according to their ability, to each according to their work.*
Stoller: The free rider problem [under 'liberty in the workplace,' NOT to be confused with communism as I describe it] 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...
: : 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 equivalant (money) would develop...
: Nice potted history of the development of trading man!
I'd like to think any Marxist worth his / her salt understands the preconditions of capitalism...
: : Such as natural exchange in feudal times...
Now, I'd like to bring your attention to the fact that I have been describing simple exchange (natural economy) under special conditions: while labor becomes private property, the means of production are still accessible to all (the history of feudalism counters this possibility).
My point was not to 'disprove' communism's viability (as you may have thought I did unintentionally), but to demonstrate that the utopian, anarchist childishness that is 'liberty in the workplace' MUST evolve into individual private property AKA petty-bourgeois proprietorship. Hence anarchism IS petty-bourgeois 'socialism.'
So put the drool back in your mouth, Gee. I haven't been deconstructing communism (or socialism): I always manitain that ALL private ownership of the means of production should be abolished (even services). What I've deconstructed is petty-bourgeois 'socialism,' anarchism, whatever it's called...
: Good analogy though, except that it lacks a vital ingredient of capitalism - the keeping of private property.
Exactly! We all know that private ownership of one's individual services MUST lead to private property of the means of production---because labor = use-value (as Marx said).
* My argument against socialism is that wages remain as arbitrary as they are under capitalism (see this post). Hence the need for equal wages immediately, communism properly defined as: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. I believe that, under communist centralization and rationalization, material productivity can sustain this goal.
1. Lenin, 'A Liberal Professor on Equality,' Collected Works, Progress 1964, p. 144.
2. Ibid., p. 146.