"Workers' Lib"

Lisa Rogers EQDOMAIN.EQWQ.LROGERS at email.state.ut.us
Fri Sep 15 15:43:32 MDT 1995

I like "liberator" for a paper's name, and workers' lib is nice too.
But use the word worker and you start sounding like a marxist again!

I enjoyed Tom Condit's piece on the "working class".

All this quibbling about who's a worker vs. prole, who's productive
by what standard, etc. is a bit puzzling to me.

MIM's approach sounds rather moralistic and exclusionary, as anyone
who is not "productive" is a parasite who benefits from the system.
By productive I think MIM is not referring to production of surplus
value, but to production of physical items which meet some human
need.  But what about the rest of us poor slobs?

I recognized myself as a wage-laborer in need of more humane wages
and working conditions when I was a school teacher.  Was I
productive?  Not of surplus-value for my employer.  A school district
doesn't have capitalist profits, does it?  But what does it matter?
Was I not still a worker, ripe for marxist/socialist awareness?

I was still a worker when I measured and cut fabric and clerked in a
shop.  Would it be more noble or worthy or "productive" to work in
the fabric factory?  Either way, my work produced profits for someone
else.  Will someone still be needed to cut fabric and collect
work-coupons in a neighborhood sewing shop after the revolution?  I
think so.

But if I quit school and start sewing my own designs and selling
clothes for a living, then I would own a business, and I'll be "petty
bourgeois" and a traitor to the working class?  Because I get to keep
the profits myself?

I was a wage-worker when I worked for state government, inspecting
sewage treatment plants and protecting environmental water quality by
writing permits to control the levels of substances in treated
wastewater before it is discharged to streams and lakes.  Was I a
servant of capital?  a servant of state power?  a servant of the

What does it matter?  Does anybody think that the need for
environmental regulators will disappear after the revolution?  Will
such environmental scientists still need college degrees to know what
they are doing?  If the capitalists hate the regulators now and
complain about the "costs" of meeting the rules, is that a sign that
env. reg'ors are behaving left-ily, even though hired by government
under the present "status quo"?

What's the point of discriminating between workers and workers?

Lisa R

On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:
  > What would be a good name for a  > socialist weekly in the U.S.
(or your own country, for that matter)? I  > know Scott already has a
name for such a newspaper: "Daily World". But  > for the rest of us
ragtag petty-bourgeois elements, what would our  > newspaper be
>  > I like the "Liberator" myself. Ties to Douglass, without all the
 > Marxist-Leninese connotations. What sayest thou?
I've always thought something with the word "Haymarket" in it would
be  nice, but then, I'm from Chicago. "Liberator" is a great name
howver. We  could call ourselves the workers' liberation movement.
"Workers' Lib! Rah!" etc.

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