- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Stoller on October 25, 1999 at 01:09:19:

In Reply to: I never claimed that a blue-collar background confers wisdom. posted by Frenchy on October 22, 1999 at 13:54:55:

: I happen to think that one's background in the trades, if one's alternative to Capitalism includes such things as job rotation, is important.

: For the blue-collar guys; How would you accomplish this goal? Think of all the factors involved. Would the Unions let something like this fly? What sort of reception are the journeyman going to give such a program?

That you are thinking about it at all is encouraging.

I cannot offer some comprehensive plan. Only the working class as a whole can implement job rotation. A party can assist---but the party must rotate as well...

: We had a similar put forward at one of the places I worked in the mid-eighties. Everybody would be cross trained in other trades.

'Cross training' is nothing but a management attempt to lower wages through de-skilling the trained proletariat. Please do not confuse 'cross training' with job rotation. Job rotation---for the great majority of workers---moves skills in the other direction: UP.

:The people most against it were the tradesman themselves, particularly the ones in the higher wage scales. They saw it as a threat to their standard of living.

Of course! The capitalist, when he or she has successfully de-skilled more or less all of the work force, gets to pay all of the workers LESS. That's called the Babbage Principle.

: How about rotating white-collar workers onto the job?

YES! Trotsky himself would approve of that sentiment*(1) Let's see those white-collar guys---and the intellectuals---get their hands dirty, too! That's the spirit!

* See Literature and Revolution [1924], Russell & Russell 1957, p. 11.

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