- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on January 19, 19100 at 13:25:01:

In Reply to: Dense posted by Stoller on January 18, 19100 at 21:28:15:

: Stoller:There's no way an assembly-line---or even a street-paving crew---can permit the anarchist 'ad hocary' of day-to-day individual liberty in the workplace. If a worker refuses to show up or to do such-and-such a task, production will be hampered, even stopped. That means commodities people expect on the communal store shelves will not be there.

There is a difference between freedom and whimsey, the inability to distinguish is usually an authoritarian tactic - if someone wants to be on the street mending crew they will turn up to get the job done as part of that crew (social division) but they might well change the specific task they engage in from day to day (changing foreman, changing drivers, etc. - ad-hocery).

: Funny. I recall the idea of a dictatorship of the proletariat which intends to get rid of the private ownership of the means of production (presently held by capitalists and peasants). The Marxist idea is to get rid of the proletariat as a class that does not own the means of production. This is a far cry from saying that the Marxist idea is to get rid of WORK. And that is what this 'liberty in the workplace' childishness has been about.

Not get rid of work, get rid of a working class, i.e. a group of people *compelled* to work, forceably alienating their labour-power. the idea is for there to be no classes at all.
: Give me a break, RD. Who's going to willfully choose unskilled work when there's an alternative?

I have, I'm working as the office skivvy for the party for piss-poor pay. People may well enjoy such types of work - we cannot absolutise and objectify the pleasure to be gained from labour.

The difference is clear - when I went to teh job centre, I had to fill in what sort of jobs I'd be willing to do, so I wrote museum work, library work or union work - but I was told that was wrong, I had written who I would like to work for - social division - not what sort of job, commodified labour-power I was willing to supply. The distinction they made is instructive. Its not the job, its who its with/for.

: You just received a secondary education. You tell me.

I can't honestly say. I'm hopeless and sewing, and consider that highly skilled, I can't drive. I'm sure I'd be crap at dock work.

: And I'll tell you, in return, what an unskilled job is. How about ringing up sales all day long behind a cash machine?

I recall Aldi to mind, where it is skilled work (memorising prices) - plus you're conlfating unskilled with the concept of productive division - i.e. the monotonous repteitiousness of being trapped in one task, rather than a variety of tasks.

: Isn't that why you went to college? So you wouldn't have to do the sort of work I do?

No, I went to university primarilly to go to university, and only secondarilly to avoid low pay - note, not to avoid a certain type of work, but to avoid the social consequence that the wages system puts on such labour.

: If the social division of labor remains in a socialist society, then exchange

No, no exchange need exist, production is for needs, not for sale, thats the point, transfer, yes, goods will need transfering from one group to another, but exchange, i.e. conditioned transfer of equivilents will not occur.

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