- Capitalism and Alternatives -

No, you're right.

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on July 13, 1999 at 11:10:12:

In Reply to: Apologies... posted by Red Deathy on July 12, 1999 at 14:58:34:

: : SDF: RD was horridly inspecific about the C-M-C transaction of the working classes. In real life, the first C is WORK-TIME.

: Although in my mind I was thinking 'C=Labour Power',

SDF: Yeah, that's more accurate.

: I have to admit that there are reasons for the inspecificity, because, we should also include artisan producers in the C-M-C complex, instead of selling their labour time, they sell their produce direct (such people now are rare, but plumbers, and some craftsfolk still remain at such status).

SDF: Anyone whose labor is a commodity?

: Technically shopkeepers come here as well (Small ones anyway), since they are selling to buy their means of living, and to replace their stock, the shift comes when money is invested to make more money.

SDF: So what distinguishes one as a capitalist is that one is "caught up" in the accumulation of capital? Hmmmm, sounds interesting, have to think about it...

: In such sense the formula for Capital is more important, because the working class can be designated as 'not-the-capitalist-class', we can be specific about the people who live as M-C-M, and anyone who isn't, has a different interest.

SDF: Or so we revolutionaries would like to dream. But do you remember that quote I gave awhile back from Craig Calhoun's THE QUESTION OF CLASS STRUGGLE -- Calhoun showed that as capitalism evolved, the working class saw its lot thrown in more and more with reformism, whether this was the best course for it, or not. He also left the door open for some OTHER spark of revolutionary interest, some other brand of what Paulo Freire called utopian dreaming, than the sort of revolutionary interest described in E. P. Thompson's THE MAKING OF THE WORKING CLASS IN ENGLAND.

Maybe the utopian dreamers can be found in Brazil, where the aura of Freire still lingers, where there's a PT to work for, where the people are desperate for something new. Have you thought of going there? Know how to speak Portuguese? (I don't.)

My own suspicion is that the doors might open when the era of cheap oil ends, and the phony utopianism of bourgeois society crumbles as people dawningly recognize the true danger that capitalism poses to itself and to the rest of us. It shouldn't be long.

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