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Thread: Race, Gender , and Class

  1. #31
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    I dunno it seems pretty simple to me.

    Acme solutions conctracts out the design, editing, and writing of a book.

    The designer, editor and writer get paid a + b + c respectively.

    There are other costs, which may also be contracted out (printing, marketing, distribution).

    The aim is to sell the book for a profit.

    a + b + c +(other costs) +(X) = projected income revenue from book.

    (X) = what we are interested in. It includes the wages of the people who hire and fire the contractors, the profits/dividends to shareholders etc.

    The designer, editor and writer do not get a share of (X).

    They do therefore have to "earn their bosses wage" and the profits.

  2. #32
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    OK, so in that case there is another company, which of course has to make its own profits, intermediate between the workers and the customer (who buys the book). But what about Vimothy's self-employed record-shop owner? Who's exploiting him? He sells for X a record that cost him Y, and his overheads average out at Z per record sold - so his profit is (X-Y-Z), right? The only two parties involved in the transaction are the self-employed worker and the customer, so there's no room for any 'exploitation' because there's no boss separate from the worker.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    OK, so in that case there is another company, which of course has to make its own profits, intermediate between the workers and the customer (who buys the book). But what about Vimothy's self-employed record-shop owner? Who's exploiting him? He sells for £X a record that cost him £Y, and his overheads average out at £Z per record sold - so his profit is £(X-Y-Z), right? The only two parties involved in the transaction are the self-employed worker and the customer, so there's no room for any 'exploitation' because there's no boss separate from the worker.
    That does complicate things - it has been (rather tritely) called "managing your own alienation" and is afaik the classic "petit bourgeois" model.

    Presumably the aim in the record store is to end up employing at least one other member of staff?

    The "record store model" is not my experience of people who are "self-employed" however - it mainly seems to be based on the model I described above.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    OK, so in that case there is another company, which of course has to make its own profits, intermediate between the workers and the customer (who buys the book). But what about Vimothy's self-employed record-shop owner? Who's exploiting him? He sells for X a record that cost him Y, and his overheads average out at Z per record sold - so his profit is (X-Y-Z), right? The only two parties involved in the transaction are the self-employed worker and the customer, so there's no room for any 'exploitation' because there's no boss separate from the worker.
    there is exploitation undertaken by the record company, record distributor, owner of building record shop is in, utilities etc.

    profit is a form of exploitation

  5. #35
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    Sorry Vim, I missed your post at the bottom of page two. I just don't think it is even theoretically possible for everyone to be sole trader like your record shop guy.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Presumably the aim in the record store is to end up employing at least one other member of staff?
    Well since it's a business the only aim (other than a sheer exuberant love of music, man) is presumably the making of money. If taking on staff facilitates that, then that's what you do, in which case you of course become their boss - but it may well be the case that it's better business sense not to.

    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    The "record store model" is not my experience of people who are "self-employed" however - it mainly seems to be based on the model I described above.
    OK, fair enough, in your example it sounds like the writer/editor/designer become 'proxy' employees of the publisher - but my point was that it's possible for people to be genuinely self-employed in a way that doesn't involve a profit-making third party. And the idea of 'self-alienation' sounds to me suspiciously like someone twisting a theory to breaking point.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt b View Post
    there is exploitation undertaken by the record company, record distributor, owner of building record shop is in, utilities etc.

    profit is a form of exploitation
    I suppose you can look at it that way. If you like.
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  8. #38

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    No, of course not. I was just trying to establish that there are possible capitalisms (forms of capitalism) that are not based on the mutual antagonism of the bosses and workers.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    No, of course not. I was just trying to establish that there are possible capitalisms (forms of capitalism) that are not based on the mutual antagonism of the bosses and workers.
    That is a model of activity within capitalism, though.

    As is being on the dole for your whole life.

    Both still rely on the game carrying on as usual for most people though...

  10. #40
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    What about cooperatives?

    Still a form of activity within capitalism, but they could in principle (obviously not next week, but then the abolition of private property doesn't look likely to happen next week either, financial crisis notwithstanding) be an organizing principle for the economy that doesn't rely on a boss / worker division.

  11. #41
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    Yeah that's an interesting one. If everyone in a co-operative gets the same wages and the same share in the profits then it maybe starts to look like something other than capitalism...

    ...except you may still have pay differentials between co-operatives?

    Would they compete with each other for work?

    I.e. if you end up with co-operatives of designers co0mpeting for work from publishing co-operatives then it is the same as my example of being "self employed" upthread.

  12. #42
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    If there are no bosses then surely wages and profit are the same thing? I.e. all takings left over after overheads go in the workers' pockets - the profit is their wage.
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  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    That is a model of activity within capitalism, though.

    As is being on the dole for your whole life
    ...and so is a boss exploiting a worker.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    ...and so is a boss exploiting a worker.
    Yeah but come on, there is no way you could have a situation where everyone was on the dole.

    Or rather - if you could (probably involving robots in some way) it would not be capitalism any more.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    Yeah but come on, there is no way you could have a situation where everyone was on the dole.

    Or rather - if you could (probably involving robots in some way) it would not be capitalism any more.
    But by that time the robots would be publishing and reading their own Robot Express which would be full of rants about 'dole-scrounging humans' and then we'd all be in the shit...



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