- Capitalism and Alternatives -

as always Barry, a pleasure hammering out our differences

Posted by: Krasny ( Internationale, All Countries... ) on January 20, 19100 at 11:32:19:

In Reply to: Gerontocracy? posted by Barry Stoller on January 19, 19100 at 23:23:17:

: : 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.

: Well, job rotation would end private property.

*That just has the ring to it of putting the cart before the horse. The dialectic is undoubtably at work here, but really. Do you honestly believe you cannot have job rotation in a private property setting? Many companies subscribe to the concept of self-directed work teams already wherein workers are multiskilled and interchangeable... and before you haul off (I know I would if someone as tauntingly annoying as me were needling an idea *I* held dear...) and say it's not the same thing, I would argue that it is in most practical day to day essentials... including in the matter of its practicability in the work place.

Now it will be that once private property is abolished, you have to find a new way for people to relate to things - as producers and as consumers... and job rotation may be one of those new ways. You still have many obstacles as I see them. Not the least of which is who rotates through the brain surgeon's job when the brain surgeon is making widgets... doesn't fairness and equality demand an answer?

On the whole, I think it's a terrific idea... eliminating or rotating through the least desireable jobs on an egalitarian basis.* --K

: And ending private property is the essential goal of communism.

*Four-O good buddy!* --K

: Plus, as Marx and Engels pointed out repeatedly, classes spring from the social division of labor---and abolishing classes is another (concomitant) essential aim of communism.

*I think you are correct to concentrate on production here. As I have come to understand Marxism, class divisions come entirely from the division of labor, which itself is reflective of property relations. Like a row of dominoes, you tip over the hegemony of private property and this leads to the elimination of the bourgeois division of labor which leads to the classless society. For my part, that's what makes these discussions so bloody interesting... we're actually trying to peer ahead and get a glimpse of what the actual revolution can/should look like.* --K

: So, my 'fetishistic' concern with it, I believe, has some merit...

*LOL! Nice to meet up with a comrade who has a thick skin. So many these days are of the hot-house rose variety. You have been defending your position for a long time now in the face of a great many ill-reasoned attacks, so it's understandable.* --K

: : 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?

: I see the dictatorship of the proletariat as the 'method for transitioning from the bourgeois (private) division of labor => full blown job rotation.'

*I see it as more of a vehicle for change. The changes themselves, *especially* without a firm statement of principles and rigorous enforcement of those principles, are an open question (I'm thinking here of the Constitution [Fundamental Law] of the USSR... wonderful document - completely ignored by the Party which originated it). There is nothing sacred or inherently correct in the actions of any class - especially one as broad as the working class. I know I've said it before, but just to reiterate, I'm all for trying out the concept of job rotation in a big way... as Lenin said, we should 'experiment in everything.' This implies a scientific approach of trial and error with these issues.* --K

: : 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?

: This is not exactly a new idea.

: Owen was big on it, so was Shaw.

*Come to think of it, wasn't it in Shaw's "A Woman's Guide to blah, blah, blah..." I think I read this one a long time ago and wasn't very impressed (I'm at work right now... I'll check at home)... it was very Fabian in its POV as I recall.* --K

: My problem with gerontocracy is that it would provide a justification for adults (of a certain age) to take charge of the state (after the revolution)---without having the perspective of the younger workers who will be expected to do the unskilled work.

*I'm not so sure that has to be the case. So long as the age for participation in the state and participation in the economy are the same. However, even if that were the case, they would have the younger workers perspective insofar as they were once those younger workers themselves - it's a quantum leap in the right direction I should say, compared to the total lack of perspective enjoyed by the bourgeosie today in such matters... shareholders whose only concern is turning a profit and whose only connection to the work process is a quarterly financial report... still, I understand and respect your perspective.* --K

: I believe this would be a problem: when people make decisions that they are NOT personally affected by, then corruption is possible.

*Concur.* --K

: That's the core belief behind my support of job rotation.

*OK then... as always Barry, a pleasure hammering out our differences* --K -

"The same hammer which shatters the glass, forges the steel." --Russian Proverb

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