Race, Gender , and Class

john eden

male pale and stale
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.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
...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.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
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...



:eek:
 

vimothy

yurp
Yeah but come on, there is no way you could have a situation where everyone was on the dole.
Which is probably true -- however, you might be able to have a form of capitalism where one class isn't by necessity exploited for the benefit of another...
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Which is probably true -- however, you might be able to have a form of capitalism where one class isn't by necessity exploited for the benefit of another...
I don't think we are going to agree on this (or probably more importantly what constitutes exploitation) but feel free to throw me a model of that.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
Which is probably true -- however, you might be able to have a form of capitalism where one class isn't by necessity exploited for the benefit of another...
Even if you could accomplish this obviously herculean feat, you still wouldn't have a form of capitalism where labor itself is not exploited.
 

waffle

Banned
that is exactly what you are doing. deifying capitalism as some evil alien force which invented itself out of nothing, divorced from the social realities which lead up to, gave rise to it, made it possible.

THAT, my dear waffle, is a-historical.
No, I'm doing the opposite: capitalism was not 'inevitable'. I'm arguing that capitalism is itself contingent, is dependent for its reproduction and perpetuation on primarily a social antagonism that is manifested in class division. This class division can be abolished; it is those who believe otherwise who are 'deifying capitalism.' You are deifying it by positing some unchanging, eternal force underlying all of history ("power over others" - patriarchy, a fixed symbolic order?). That is why your argument is ahistorical, because you invoke a limit to all historicisms. But patriarchy is also contingent, and, in fact, capitalism can and indeed does undermine and abolish it too.
 

vimothy

yurp
But there's lots of different stuff here -- need to try to disassemble...

I reckon we could agree on a definition of 'exploitation' -- or at least some common definitions. Self-employed labour does not seem exploited in a technical, Marxist sense (cannot be, because there is no boss), but might be in a general sense.

??
 

waffle

Banned
But there's lots of different stuff here -- need to try to disassemble...

I reckon we could agree on a definition of 'exploitation' -- or at least some common definitions. Self-employed labour does not seem exploited in a technical, Marxist sense (cannot be, because there is no boss), but might be in a general sense.

??
Everyone is exploited under capitalism. The petit bourgeoise ('self-employed', whether plumbers, solicitors, 'artists', the 'small businessman', etc) concede to self-exploitation, becoming even more enslaved to capitalism (they're also, as a result, always the far right's biggest constituency [eg Nazism was orchestrated by Germany's petit bourgeoise, including Hitler himself]).

Indeed, more and more companies, having de-unionized, are 'converting' employees into the 'self-employed'. Walmart, for instance, calls its workers self-employed 'associates', demanding unconditional flexibility, so denying them all access to normal company benefits (security of employment, sick leave, health benefits, pension scheme, union rights, the list goes on). Most employees today don't even know who their 'boss' is ... it's capital itself: they don't anymore have a boss, just a position in an impersonal structure.
 

waffle

Banned
Zhao said:
power, which is to say power over others, already existed for thousands of years prior to capitalism. and only with this given, this precondition, was capitalism, admittedly a radical shift, possible.
What do we usually mean when we say "power over others"? Larval Subjects has some interesting remarks below on the metaphysics attached to such Oedipal or patriarchal social structures:

Take the example of Deleuze and Guattari. Anti-Oedipus is not so much a critique of psychoanalysis– though it is that as well –as it is a critique of a particular social structure and the metaphysics that accompanies it. If an engagement with psychoanalysis proves to be the privileged site for an engagement with this structure, then this is not with the aim of reforming psychoanalysis– though that as well –but because psychoanalysis provides those weapons necessary for engaging this structure and developing a praxis that would allow for an escape from this structure. Politics, we might say, was at an impasse. The Russian Revolution was a failure. It had overturned those that controlled the means of production, yet the form of social organization remained the same. The content had changed, while the form remained in place. Just as I might replace a missing piece on a chess board with quarter, the material content had changed while essentially the same function or structure was in place. “Meet your new boss, same as the old boss.” The party elite now occupied the place of exploiter, producing a machine more harrowing than the factories in its capacity and reality of alienation, and while the owners of the means of production had changed, having been socialized or democratized, the form of production– Taylorism –remained the same. The French Communist Party was not much better. Here, once again, we had the same hierarchical structure, with a party elite calling the shots, making the decisions, organized around a centralized apparatus that radiated outwards, rather than the socialization or democratization that Marx had called for.

But this, in and of itself, was not the problem. Or rather, it was a problem, but the problem also lay elsewhere. All over the place economic changes were taking place. Conditions were changing. Yet revolution did not come. Why? The vulgar and simplistic model of Marxist thought, that superstructure is a function and distorted reflection of the base, had to be mistaken. At some level, as Deleuze and Guattari, following Reich, put it, people must desire their own oppression. It is not enough to say that these structures were simply imposed on agents from without. Rather, at some level agents must desire these formations… These formations which Deleuze and Guattari refer to as “fascist”. Consequently, a critique of political economy is not enough. In addition to a critique of political economy, a critique of desire, a Critique of Pure Desire, must be written. Psychoanalysis provided these tools. Just as Marx carried out a critique of Ricardo, among others, by showing how value was not an intrinsic feature of things in themselves, but produced through labor. Freud and Lacan carried out a critique of prior psychology by formulating a desire divested of objects, a desire as such, a desire that wasn’t a function of need and instinct… A desire without an object, but as a process. Marx produced a non-representational theory of value. Freud and Lacan produced a non-representational theory of desire. Yet this critique had not gone far enough. It was still tainted by the empirical.

This desire was still tainted by certain privileged objects. Just as Kant had carried out a critique of the so-called proofs for the existence of God in the second half of the Critique of Pure Reason, it was thus necessary to carry out a Critique of Oedipal Reason. The Oedipus had been subtracted from the social sphere, treated as a private affair of the family, dehistoricized, de-sociologized, de-culturalized. But rather, the Oedipus reflected an entire metaphysics, a metaphysics extending far beyond the private. Far from being a natural and essential state-of-affairs, it already was the expression of a political metaphysics. This can be thought in fractal terms. A fractal is a pattern that iterates or repeats itself at all levels of scale.

Far from the family being the ground upon which all other social relations are based, what we have here is a fractal structure iterating itself at the level of the family, the level of social organizations (king or leader to subjects), and at the level of God in relation to his creature. If the death of God means anything, it means the destruction of this structure… Not simply at the level of content, but at the level of form as well. Freud, as Marx to Ricardo, had glimpsed this in his earlier work where libido no longer has an object. Lacan had explicitly formulated this in his claim that “the Oedipus is Freud’s myth“, and his attempt to think beyond the name-of-the-father as a central organizing principle in his later work. The problem arises as to how a politics might be possible in a post-Oedipal or post-onto-theological world.​
 
What do we usually mean when we say "power over others"? Larval Subjects has some interesting remarks below on the metaphysics attached to such Oedipal or patriarchal social structures:
Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the text Waffle quotes at length says essentially nothing about hat we usually mean when we say "power over others" -- a very interesting question that has interesting answers. Instead we are presented with misleading remarks about the Russian revolution, about the relationship between Marx and Ricardo, about Marxian economics, about psychoanalytic psychology and how wonderful it's supposed to be, about books that need to be written. In the end even God and her death is brought into play.

It's fascinating how this doesn't seem to bother anybody (apart from myself).
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"It's fascinating how this doesn't seem to bother anybody (apart from myself)."
Not true. Best to just skip most of what he says really although every now and again something of worth might surface - presumably by luck.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Everyone is exploited under capitalism.
Yeah, my heart really bleeds for Bill Gates and Richard Branson, poor exploited wage-slaves that they are.

Walmart, for instance, calls its workers self-employed 'associates', demanding unconditional flexibility, so denying them all access to normal company benefits (security of employment, sick leave, health benefits, pension scheme, union rights, the list goes on).
Well Wal-Mart is pretty much a paradigm case of an exploitative corporation, isn't it? You don't have to be a Marxist to find its practices repellent.
 

waffle

Banned
Interestingly, and not surprisingly, the text Waffle quotes at length says essentially nothing about hat we usually mean when we say "power over others" -- a very interesting question that has interesting answers. ...

It's fascinating how this doesn't seem to bother anybody (apart from myself).
Oh please enlighten us about "hat we usually mean when we say 'power over others'" oh smug one. We eagerly await with dangling anticipation for your erudition on the obviously self-evident subject of 'interesting answers.'

It is indeed telling how the self-satisfied 3BNP's schoolboy evasions and strawman hysteria don't seem to bother anyone. On the contrary, the usual suspects being delighted with your reassertion of ignorance.
 

waffle

Banned
Yeah, my heart really bleeds for Bill Gates and Richard Branson, poor exploited wage-slaves that they are.
You, predictably, haven't actually understood what was being argued. They (Gates, Branson, as agents of capital) are slaves to capitalism, which is why you envy them.

Well Wal-Mart is pretty much a paradigm case of an exploitative corporation, isn't it? You don't have to be a Marxist to find its practices repellent.
Oh really? And who told you this? Did you even comprehend what I was saying? Unlikely. Is there some company - including universities - that doesn't exploit? Or is it that your remark is over-determined by your own evident classism: Walmart is nasty only because its customers and workers are primarily working class.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
You, predictably, haven't actually understood what was being argued. They (Gates, Branson, as agents of capital) are slaves to capitalism, which is why you envy them.
It would appear you have a very different definition of the term 'slave' from one I, or most people, would recognise. Who, then, is their slave-master? Oh, obviously it's capital-c Capitalism, which you and others of your ilk have transformed from an economic system into an all-powerful, all-pervading God, with a will and agenda of its own entirely independent of any of its human agents. Or Devil, rather, which makes no odds: it's equally theistic. Kind of ironic, given your demented vendetta against Dawkins.

Is there some company - including universities - that doesn't exploit?
A rhetorical question that I won't bother to answer, since companies exist to engage in commerce and to you, in your simple-minded fundamentalism, Commerce = Capitalism = Exploitation. Oh, for the freedom and bounty of subsistence farming!

Or is it that your remark is over-determined by your own evident classism: Walmart is nasty only because its customers and workers are primarily working class.
No, it's nasty because it fucks people over. If I really were this awful snob you'd love me to be, why would I give a shit if working class people are getting screwed over? Surely I'd think that was perfectly fine? But if it helps you hate me, I'm sure they employ women, blacks and even disableds too, so go ahead, knock yourself out...
 
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