France's Hot December - 4

boddhisatva kbevans at
Sun May 26 00:11:07 MDT 1996


	I'm sorry but it is a radical oversimplification to say that public
sector employees are no different from private sector employees because they
work in a "capitalist state".  It is not the same thing working for the
government as not.  If citizens do not effect control over publicly-held
property, it is because of a lack of political will.  If they do not effect
control over private capital, it is because of a lack of political will,
*and*, the very social contracts upon which the state is predicated.

	Asking a worker at a state-controlled industry to take a lower wage
because his fellow citizens are overtaxed is very different from asking
a worker in private industry to take a lower wage to benefit the small
minority of capitalists.

	Neither of us lives in a society anything like Allende's Chile.  The
"purely formal sense" in which we control our governments is extremely
important and relevant.  I certainly don't believe that public sector
employees are anything less than crucial to challenging the capitalist
control of the state.  However, the battle of socialism is primarily between
workers and those who own the capitals they work on.  The proletariat asserts
control over the state every time they vote (if impotently).  Rarely have
they asserted control over private capital.  At some level one has to ask
what capitalists care if public sector workers are treated better or worse.
Their control over the means of production is relatively unchallenged by
public sector strikes.  Unless, of course, government workers use their power
to disrupt the society to make industrial action more devastating to


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