unabomber, real domination

Alex Trotter uburoi at panix.com
Fri Sep 22 21:06:36 MDT 1995

Rakesh raised an interesting point re capital's real domination in
connection with the unabomber's manifesto, which reminds me of Camatte's
analysis of the phenomena of formal and real domination. Marx had used
these terms (e.g., "real subsumption of labor") only in relation to the
production process. In Camatte's view, in capital's material community, real
domination has moved on from domination over the production process to
effect the real subsumption of human beings in their biological being,
and hence the drive now toward genetic engineering, psychopharmacology,
etc. that the unabomber decries.
	Surely there is no need for an industry of genetic engineering
'under worker control.' The unabomber's text is sketchy about a number of
things, but a careful reading shows that he (they?) makes a distinction
between small-scale technology (which he doesn't seem to have much beef
with) and large-scale, organization-dependent technology (which he
clearly does). Question: wouldn't a highly centralized "dictatorship of
the proletariat" (be it ever so anti-statist) be obliged to retain much
of the apparatus of large-scale industry, with its division of labor,
pollution, etc.? Remember Engels's remark about the anarchists in
Barcelona: he asked rhetorically, how will they run big factories without
discipline, that is, without authority?  The concept of a proletarian
dictatorship seems like one of Marx's Jacobin hangovers. The unabomber,
who calls for a type of vanguard, seems to fall into an old tradition of
19th cent. revolutionism a la Marx and Bakunin (i.e., the "invisible
pilots of the revolution," etc.).


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