- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Don't forget the dialectic of historical materialism

Posted by: Barry Stoller on January 19, 19100 at 23:10:57:

In Reply to: Argh! posted by Red Deathy on January 19, 19100 at 13:25:01:

Stoller: If the social division of labor remains in a socialist society, then exchange [MUST remain to some degree].

: 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.

That's not reasoning, RD, that's a collection of bumperstickers.

Your 'explanation' fails to explain the social relations that existed in the Soviet Union (a propertyless society with a great deal of respect for the social division of labor). Different industries exchanged Dept. 1 goods all the time. Some 'made out'; others lost out. Some people received more than others.

It wasn't private property doing this. You can say it was money, but I think money (within the closed Soviet economy), not purchasing the means of production (and, with them, the ability to accumulate money), merely expressed different social ranks.

The social division of labor itself engenders disparities between different occupations. The history of the U.S.S.R. strongly supports that claim.

Why are you defending the social division of labor anyway? You know Marx and Engels considered it the fundamental predicate for classes.

Moving on...

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...

Hold on there with the ugly insinuation, pal. Remember Engels' 'On Authority'? The authority is the authority of 'the steam,' i.e. of industrialization itself---not people.

: ...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).

Yes, I totally agree.

But should it be decided by consensus (something I recall you don't like), majority vote, or use an impartial rotating schedule? If 'ad hocary' is a majority vote, are you sure that one or two workers won't always get stuck with the worst part of the task each day? If it's not majority vote...well, you tell me... but what's your objection to an impartial rotating schedule about anyway?

Lack of 'freedom'?

What about the lack of freedom a majority vote could effectuate each working day for a worker or two?

Am I insinuating that some workers may try to take advantage of other workers (after---especially right after--- the revolution)?

You bet I am.

You always seem to imply that once the revolution happens and private ownership of the means of production is gone, people will be immediately (5 minute dictatorship of the proletariat and all) transformed into fair, considerate, and co-operative beings.

On what material basis will that transformation occur?

A 5 minute event?

Get serious, RD.

The vigor and eloquence of Marx's socialism is its realistic appraisal of humans and the irrefutable truth that humans emerge out of their existing material conditions (and conditioning).

Your dalliance with Morris (and the SP) tends to make you forget that.

Socialism, according to Marx, will be built from the stuff it emerges from.

There will be disputes.

I'm sure there will be rules to settle disputes.

I'm only canvassing forfair rules.

You (and that bonehead Lark) seem to think society---right after a 5 minute transformation---will be able to do without rules.

That's not Marxism---that's utopian chldishness.

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