[PEN-L:19869] Re: The Nader campaign, part 1

cc136 at SPAMcornell.edu cc136 at SPAMcornell.edu
Mon Jun 5 12:27:06 MDT 2000

        I'd like Carrol to explain why using consumers as an organizing
category is counter-productive.  Wasn't the 'genius' of the Fordist
system the turning of workers into consumers in order to put off the
crisis of overproduction?  Doesn't consumption complete the circuit of
capital accumulation?  Isn't the act of consumption tremendously
important for environmental concerns?  Isn't it possible to start with
consumption and then move into matters of production, and might that not
be a way to organize segments of the working class not traditionally
reached by unions  or socialist organizations?  Now is the time for
creativity on our parts,  not for holding on to categories passed down
from Marx.
        Chris Carrick
        PhD Candidate
        Department of City and Regional Planning
        Cornell University

On Mon, 5 Jun 2000, Carrol Cox wrote:

> Debordagoria wrote:
> > Organizing consumers (that is, everyone) to demand
> > from Capital safe products and accurate info is based
> > on selfishness, solipsism, and passivity?
> I won't enter into the discussion of whether this kind of organizing
> "is based on selfishness, solipsism, and passivity," but it is certainly
> a
> kind of organizing with very limited (and ultimately negative) results.
> The phrase "consumers (that is, everyone) is precisely the weakness
> of it as an approach. It has the same negative consequences as such
> other "universal" categories as taxpayer, citizen, parents. One can
> see these negative consequences even in respect to such essential
> categories of political organizing as sexuality, gender, and "race."
> Organizing in these sectors of the population has as one of its main
> difficulties that the consituency to be organized cuts across class
> lines. But those struggles are of  immense importance in and of
> themselves. But this is not the case with struggles appealing to
> consumers or parents.
> Carrol

More information about the Marxism mailing list