- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Freedom as the Recognition of Necessity

Posted by: Krasny ( Internationale, All Countries... ) on January 19, 19100 at 11:02:23:

In Reply to: Persistent. posted by Red Deathy on January 14, 19100 at 15:39:17:

[Stoller Opined:]

RD is even on the record as saying that 'a professional porter... is a multi-facetted and skilled task, that engages mind and spirit.' Lark, of course, has had his share of similar bloopers.

[RD Countered:]

Why is that a blooper? Further, if someone finds portering to be a pleasant job, who am I to stop them doing it? No-one would be forced to porter, if they did not please to do so.

*I'm frankly struck by the similiarity in this position RD and someone whose response to (by any objective measure) the sh!tty working conditions suffered by immigrants in this country is 'no one is forcing them to come and work here. Who are you Leftists to take away their freedom to work for less than minimum wage?'

Is this not a 'freedom' too? Are not these immigrants who pick our lettuce 'free' to return to Mexico any time they (or their bosses; or the INS) please?

The answer is 'yes.' It is the type of freedom best expressed in Hegel's famous maxim, "Freedom is the recognition of necessity." These folks live their lives as veritable slaves because they perceive a need to do so. Is this the sort of freedom socialists should aspire to? Of course not.

I'm not so convinced as our erudite Mr. Stoller here when it comes to the issue of job rotation, but clearly if job rotation is to be put into practice on any meaningful scale, it will have to be made compulsory... otherwise, oppression will, as in the case of slaves who were 'freed' in the post-antebellum South and who 'freely' chose to go into share-cropping for their landlords, likely find new means of expression.

If I may be frank Mr. Stoller, it is the fetishistic quality of your postulated job rotation that rankles with me. And it is this notion that socialism somehow flows from the very concept of 'job rotation' that your opponents are using against you. Since it is clear to me that you see the concept of job rotation as the preferred method for bringing relationships involving production, in line with the new social (political-economic) relations inherent to socialism, can you see any other method(s) in which this might be achieved... or perhaps some method for transitioning from the bourgeois (private) division of labor => full blown job rotation?

Would, for example, limiting the total time spent in undesireable work (as defined by who?), either yearly, or even in a person's lifetime, be one such alternative method? Right now, most Captains of Capitalism would claim (speciously of course) that minimum wage jobs are performed by teenagers seeking entry level positions... but what if that really were the case under nascent socialism and no one need work beyond a certain age in such employment? As this new generation becomes accustomed to the new approach and comes to see the value in limiting exposure to mindnumbing labor, they in turn can take the next steps: job rotation on a systematic basis and the elimination of as much time spent in undesireable labor as possible... given the limits of human ingenuity and technology.

Anywho, just blue-skying here of course... --K

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