LTV, Working class (fwd)

Andrew Hagen hagena at
Fri Nov 4 00:21:06 MST 1994

I'm switching my terminology from "socialist" to "communist." Somebody
just posted that Marx considered himself communist, not a socialist, but
I'm not concerned with that. Rather, I think using "communism" will allow
more description. (Who's going to advocate "market communism," for example
(!)) Let me assure you that by "communist" I mean wholly democratic and
non-sectarian, and of course I exclude the USSR & Co. from communism.

Justin Schwartz writes:
> Andrew, wake up. Mastering skills requires specialization. I love jazz but
> lack the time, inclination, and ability to become a competent jazz
> musician. Carpentry is a specialized skill. Everyone cannot do everything.
> What's wring with the division of labor in class society is not
> specialization but that people are forced to specialize in things which do
> not develop their talents. Under socialism, people will be more
> specialized and labor in that sense more divided than under capitalism.
> The difference will be that people will for the most part be doing what
> they want to do.

Carpentry and jazz performance as we know them are gone with communism.
So is everything else corrupted by capitalism's influence. That's what the
struggle is about. It's not about re-arranging who pays what to whom
without changing the labor processes. Communism will still have jazz music
and wooden structures, we can be sure. But people's "specializing" in
this area will mean something quite different from what "specializing" in
capitalism means.

Today, we specialize in a form of labor in order to perform our SNALT
(socially necessary abstract labor time). But under communism our SNALT
would involve much more than the labor for which we were trained under
capitalism. Jazz musicians would have to clean windows and neurosurgeons
would have to clean toilets, and both would have other jobs as well.
(Economists wouldn't have to clean anything up other than their science,
which metaphorically resembles the Achian Stables. :))

Under communism, the length of one's SNALT would be much reduced from
what it is in capitalism, as presumably production of the means of life
would become much more efficient with reduced hierarchy and authority.
Thus, people will have more "leisure" time, more time to "specialize" in
what they love. Not to get one's SNALT in, but because we are human
beings and our creativity cannot be bound.

Ob:Marx: from The German Ideology: "With the division of labour. .  . is
given simultaneously the *distribution*, and indeed the unequal
distribution, both quantitative and qualitative, of labour and its
products, hence property. . . ."

Andrew Hagen wrote earlier:
> > "Planned socialsm" does not mean "a planned economy facing the same
> > problems as capitalism but with a direction generally helpful to most
> > people," i.e. fascism with a happy face. Planned socialism, or just
> > socialism, or communism, is the resolution of contradictions within
> > capitalism resulting in a wholly different society.
> >
> "It is the riddle of history solved," young Karl said.

My words of above were an attempt at description of the context of the
new system, not an attempt at description of the new system.

> Very nice. Please
> state the solution. (_He_ didn't.) The point: you can say that socialism
> is by definition the perfect society in which all contradictions are
> overcome and we all are one big happy family.

No, I don't say that. "Socialism" or communism will no doubt be fraught
with contradiction, but the old contradictions of capitalism will be

Andrew Hagen                              hagena at
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