- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Who do you think wil do the 'requiring'?

Posted by: Stoller on September 29, 1999 at 14:04:36:

In Reply to: Who does the requiring posted by Gee on September 28, 1999 at 13:01:48:

For those unfortunates who just joined us, the topic is job rotation...

For as soon as labor is distributed, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a shepherd, or a social critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd, or critic.
---Marx & Engels, The German Ideology, 1846.

: Who would be requiring me to do so, and what would be their means of enforcing the

Well, as I se it, initially the collective proletariat would be 'requiring' you---a representative of the bourgeois order that must be overthrown in order to smash the social division of labor---to do so. Is that clear enough?

: : Multiply your decision by everyone else's and---presto!---you have something that fairly resembles a social democracy.

: Or a fascist dictatorship, depending upon answers to the above.

No, a dictatorship of the proletariat, once they are prepared to take the power presently held by the bourgeois---which is to say the great majority of people (the working class). Today we live under the relatively inconspicuous but nevertheless very real dictatorship of the minority bourgeois. Fascism, on the other hand, is the arbitrary rule of an elite that does not clearly represent any class.

After the bourgeois has been eradicated, then the control in society would come from society, that is to say the control would be democratic. (Capitalists and their hanger-ons tend to have a problem with this...)

To simply have everyone 'do their own thing,' as the bourgeois mendaciously would have us believe is the case today, simply relinquishes conspicuous control for inconspicuous control---which, I cannot emphasize enough, is equally controlling. This inconspicuous control belongs to the bourgeoisie in the form of the 'free market.' That is what Marxists and other progressives challenge.

By the way, ever read Plato's Republic? The imposition of a firm social division of labor was the very first condition that created his Republic---a society characterized by militarism, thought control, eugenics, in short: fascism.

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