Fw: Re: facts in the minds/Stalin, commodity production

JOEFREEMEN at aol.com JOEFREEMEN at aol.com
Wed Dec 19 10:56:24 MST 2001




On Mon, 17 Dec 2001 JOEFREEMEN at aol.com wrote:

> Antagonism means that in
> the process of development of a contradiction, a "movement" takes place
> wherein the polarity that constitutes a unity forces the poles to emerge as

> relatively external entities to one another and the previously dominate
pole
> has to be destroyed - abolished, in order for the previously dependent pole

> to develop according to its internal logic.

Reply

>You mean, like the polarities that develped under systems such as that of
>purdah?

>The antagonisms that have traditionally existed between the sexes - the
>old contradictions between the private and the public spheres - have
>intensified under capitalism.

> How could generations of "doctors" under medieval
> conditions "know" that bloodletting, as a cure to a disease is insanity?
> Millions of ordinary citizens were slaughtered by the backwardness of the
> medical establishment, which believed that bleeding patients could cure
them
> of disease. Expelling blood from the patient was understood to mean
releasing
> the disease from the organism.


-By this thesis, it would be a combination of class and professional
-prejudice that prevented these particular upper-class twits from examining
-the theoretical basis - that disease results from an excess of one of the
-four humours - of the bloodletting practice. There would also be some-
cultural prejudice, since much of the folk wisdom was pre-Christian.

Joan Cameron


Philosophy and antagonism
by Joe Freemen

I end up getting upset with myself for using short cut definitions and short
presentation of theoretical concepts, which at the time of usage always seem
clever. Although mother repeatedly stated that the meaning of "short-cut" in
real life is "the long way around," here I am again suffering from years of
"foot in mouth" disease. The "short-cut" definition of violence, historical
inevitability, historical limitations, antagonism and contradiction screwed
matters up and helped no one.

Violence is real. The violence in society directed against and at women by
the hand of men is documented and verified in every layer of social life.
Although violence often operates as the face of an antagonism in social life,
violence in and of itself does not indicate the existence of antagonism as a
theoretical construct. Antagonism in contradiction and contradiction are two
fundamentally different conceptions of development and self-movement. As a
unity, man and woman are not a singularity whose development - self-movement,
is that of an antagonistic contradiction, although violence has characterized
the relationship within the unity of life expressed as female and male.

The place of antagonism in contradiction has been the cliff from which
generations of Marxist theorist have leaped to their theoretical death,
including Chairman Mao - may he rest in peace. With parachute snugly on and
ripcord in hand, the bourgeoisie is given the infamous "one finger" while
screaming Geronimo!

The contradiction of any process is resolved on the basis of the development
of the contradiction itself, while its manifestation - form is conditioned by
the environment surrounding its field of operation.  The development of the
singularity (contradiction) identified as man and woman means generations
development (babies) and inheritance. In respects to this singularity the
external factors are all the things outside, but interactive with the life
creation process. The successive generations progression is not an
antagonistic development. The premise of development of the singularity
identified as man and women can be isolated as - not simply a penis and
vagina, but rather, a genetic disposition whose polarity - unity and
opposition, is the basis for human life. Development takes place on the basis
of the preservation of the genetic premise, its intermingling and synthesis.

Antagonism as a theoretical construct means that in the development of a
singularity - contradiction, at every stage of its "evolution" and partial
resolution only the premises for its resolution are preserved, ripened and
further developed. In a contradiction that is antagonistic, development can
never past beyond the stages of its partial resolution. What is required and
distinguish antagonism, as a form of development is the abolition of the
polarity by abolishing one of the poles.

Periodic crisis of capitalist means of production are a violent form in which
the contradictions of a given cycle of capitalist reproduction find
resolution, but in relations to private property relations as a whole -
totality, these crises emerge as landmarks of the further intensification of
the contradiction called labor and capital.

Antagonistic contradictions are resolved by the kind of leap in which the
internal opposites, - labor and capital, emerge as relatively independent
opposites, external to each other, and begins a developmental process,
wherein the abolition of the formerly dominant pole - capital, must take
place in order for labor to further developed upon the basis of its own
internal features. In this development of labor, which was once dominated by
the power of capital - its previous polar opposite, now becomes dominant and
preserves a number of features from its previous developmental phase, but it
capable of developing further because its polar opposite has been shattered.

In contradictions that are not antagonistic - or rather lack an antagonistic
character, the development of the contradiction signifies not only the growth
of the forces making for its final resolution, but each new step in the
development of the contradiction is at the same time also its partial
resolution.

The antagonistic character of the contradiction between labor and capital is
expressed in a numbers of contradictions within capitalist production
relations. We are familiar with the contradiction expressed in the market,
and called the crises of overproduction. Capitalist property relations create
a market mechanism based not simple on exchange, but profitable exchange for
the ownership of means of production. Market exchange periodically collapses
because the means of production create more commodities than can be consumed
by labor and production slows down and collapses until the mass of
commodities can be sold or destroyed. This contradiction cannot pass beyond
the stages of its partial resolution and its resolution exist in its polar
opposite - labor, achieving dominance and abolishing the inherit limitations
of capitalist market exchange. Thus, the contradiction within capitalist
commodity production, continues to reemerge in cycles until the conditions of
living for its polar opposite - labor, are achieved.

On the general plane of theory, the contradiction between means of production
and relations of production appear confusing until relations of production
are defined as the relationship one has to property and property is defined
as ownership and control of the means of production - not simply "proximity"
in a system of production devoid of ownership rights. Now contradictions that
are not antagonistic, or rather do not assume the character of antagonism
exist within the means of production proper and is expressed and resolve on
the basis of technological development and the extension of commodity
production and the market. Contradictions exist within the realm of
instruments of production - machinery, but their character is not
antagonistic.

Early machines were constructed of wood and in the process of aiding in the
production of material wherewithal broke down, disintegrated and basically
destroyed themselves as part of the creating process. This contradiction
received partial resolution by the construction of machines made of metals,
alloys, steel, etc. Antagonism is a specific developmental process, within
contradiction where a polarity is abolished. The contradiction between the
landed property class of the "Middle Ages" - feudal social, political and
economic infrastructures, and the emergence of the bourgeoisie as the
dominant pole in a new productive relations, demanded the abolition of landed
property as the ruling class.  Class society moves in antagonism based on
property relations.

Men and women do not move in antagonism, even if every man in North America
kicked his wife and daughters ass twice a day, massacred women in millions
and conducted orgies of rape and plunder - none of which I advocate.
Actually, I have profound feelings about the treatment of my four daughters
and one son. If the truth were told many of the teen women of the student
movement - 35 years ago joined the movement escaping sexual abuse in the
home. The reality of my life is that in the youth wing of the old League of
Revolutionary Black Workers - 35 years ago, we had a small group of fellows
who literally went to the home of our female comrades, and not infrequently
suppressed the guardians of sexual abuse, which in 99.9% of the cases were
older men. This was not because sexual abuse is an antagonistic
contradiction, but an act of violence against a human being. Violence and
antagonism are totally different theoretical constructs.

It is not possible for human society to exist without man and women and it
will never be possible. It is not possible for the propagation of the species
of homo sapiens without the essence of man and the essence of women, or
rather the genetic material identified as the unity of the poles that
constitute man and woman - humanity. It is possible for society to exist
without property classes and the proof is the rise and decay of various
property relations in human history. Trying to sum up antagonism as:

> Antagonism means that in
> the process of development of a contradiction, a "movement" takes place
> wherein the polarity that constitutes a unity forces the poles to emerge as

> relatively external entities to one another and the previously dominate
pole
> has to be destroyed - abolished, in order for the previously dependent pole

> to develop according to its internal logic.

was thoughtlessness and the wrong way to state a point of view.

Part 1 of 2 -  end.

Part 2 is already written but I must pick up the wife and daughter from work
or things are going to get violent. One hour.

~~~~~~~
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