- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Charges of elitism dropped?

Posted by: Darcy Carter ( UK ) on January 20, 19100 at 17:14:56:

In Reply to: Warning...(better) posted by Stoller on January 19, 19100 at 23:19:20:

: You are the one defending the social division of labor.

: As I believe, hierarchy, class divisions, and the ensuing social and material inequities of class divisions result from the social division of labor.

: In short, I'm associating your defense for the social division of labor with all of its attendent evils.

: Since you defend the social division of labor (and capitalist relations in general), then comments bringing attention to basketball players with millions of dollars and health care workers who make only $7 an hour, no benefits, falls fairly upon your shoulders.

: : I was merely indicating that we are all not equal. You have not refuted this.

: If you look at this post you will see that I follow Lenin's Maxian analysis of skill, acknowledging that there is not absolute equality of ability between people. I would never be so utopian as to assert otherwise.

: However!

----------------Fine. However, my original assertion that this was the case was met with derision and hostility. Now we have come (by a very circuitous route) to the acceptance of differeing native abilities, we can move forward. It seems as if something that, as intelligent people you all know intellectually (native ability) exists, produces an instinctively hostile response because it has the ring of political incorrectness.

: This is NOT a defense of UNEQUAL access to the means of production and control over the state---which is something every procapitalist does in the name of differing levels of ability.

---------I suppose you mean that the means of production are controlled by those with capital. This is true - however, that capital can be acquired by anyone and is not inviolate. Universal education gives us all an equal a chance to acquire it as is possible without state interference in the raising of children (it is probably the attributes of our parents that are the greatest environmental influence on our development). If you are arguing for better and more equal educcation, I'm right with you. I believe that no-one should be allowed to pay for their children to be educated above the gernerally available standard.

: Returning to the basketball player and the health care worker, 'ability'---as in differing abilities---is subjective. The basketball might not be a good child care worker. The health care worker might not be a good basketball player.

: It is only MARKET RELATIONS that decides that basketball is 'worth more' than quality child care.

: Marx: 'The use of products is determined by the social conditions in which the consumers find themselves placed, and these conditions themselves are based on class antagnonism'(The Poverty of Philosophy, International n.d., p. 54).

: Furthermore: 'Production precedes consumption, supply compels demand' (ibid., p. 59, emphasis added).

: So if capitalists decide what workers want (and they have this control because they control wages), then it is capitalists---NOT consumers---who choose to make basketball players millionaires and health care workers wage slaves.

--------How does control of wages control the desires of the public? if capitalists control desires, why do commercially launched products often fail to sell? Wages are based on the value of one's labour to whomever is to pay them. Supply and demand dictates that a sought after and unusual skill (such as that of a baseball player) will attract higher wages than that of a teacher, say (which, although a skill invaluable to society a whole, is capable of being perfomed by a much greater percentage of the popluation). Most people would want to be richer (control more capital); this system therefore dictates that they will sell their most valuable skills (which exist to a large degree to to native ability). Although some people may not have particularly valuable skills to sell, society thereby benefits from the optimium exercise of individuals' skills. This is one of thre reasons capitalism has increased wealth so greatly.

----------Of course, this is subject to universal education of an equal quality being available, and on this point I agree with you.

: : I just said job sharing wasn't practical as not everyone was equal.

: Although I believe job rotation is essential to democracy at a production level, I do not assert that all people should do all jobs. I merely believe that all people should share equally skilled and unskilled work. Likewise, although I believe some people will have certain talents others do not, that does not entitle anyone to usurp all the skilled work in society. This is premised upon my central belief that no one is unable to perform some type of skilled work---especially in running the state (their own life).

-----------As stated above, everyone does have the opportunity to partake in skilled work by taking advantage of the free education that is universally available (indeed compulsory). You have still not responded to my question about how long you want everyone to be at school for, and how to make those that don't want to learn professions / skills to participate in this little scheme.

----Also, you seem to have backed off from the assertion that McD's workers / barmen etc have lost their sentience and are sub-human morons. This is not to stay social division of labour is necessarily justified because it does not render people morons. However, it is disingenuous to use such emotive ideas to support political ideas when you are not prepared to follow them through.

------------Also, do you not accept that there is universal access to education? You seem to ignore this in all your assertions. It is as if we are living in the 1800s.

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