Mark Jones' excellent quotes and the class struggle for shorter work TIME as a transitional measure......

Mark Jones markjones011 at
Sun Dec 15 07:44:41 MST 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at
> [mailto:owner-marxism at]On Behalf Of Mike Ballard
> Sent: 15 December 2002 13:35
> To: marxism at
> Subject: RE: Mark Jones' excellent quotes and the class struggle for
> shorter work TIME as a transitional measure......
> Anyway, the similar, more mature Marx makes this
> comment below in his 1875 "Critique of the Gotha
> Program".

Mike, here too Marx makes the same crucial point, that commensuration by
labour-times 'directly' and the allocation of the social product
accordingly, is neither equitable nor rational because:

> " one man is superior to another physically, or
> mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or
> can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a
> measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity,
> otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement.
> This equal right is an unequal right for unequal
> labor."

What Marx shows is that co-operative labour does exist under capitalism--in
the factory. But the products of that co-operative labour must still be
valorised, must be sold on the market as commodities, before they become
part of the total social product. They have to be validated by being sold,
because any attempt to simply count up the amount of labour-time they
include is going to be arbitrary and inaccurate. Under a socialism where
'certificates' are given for hours of labour performed, Marx makes clear
right there in your own quotation, that there will be no such validation of
the value produced by the given labour and that therefore 'labor ... ceases
to be a standard of measurement'. This attempt to directly measure
labour-times is called by Marx a 'defect' of the first stage of socialism
which will be replaced when the slogan From each according to his ability,
to each according to his needs! is realised in practice. But it is just this
defect which Julio and Jurrian seem to think is socialism accomplished.

My opinion is that we shall have begun to construct socialism only when the
following two conditions are met: First, society guarantees an equal living
wage to all, in or out of work, and by "all" I mean the entire population of
the planet. And second, when an Ecological Imperative on Sustainability is
instituted which has equivalent force to the taboo against taking human
life. This Ecological Imperative will decree that no productive activity
diminish biodiversity, impoverish evolution or entail the extinction of

Such a world will obviously be very different from the present one. It will
mean a radical equalising of living standards between the West and the Rest.
And it will mean a drastic modification of existing production processes and
technologies, and in fact, an end to economic growth where that requires
greater inputs of energy or water or other resources. Civilisation under
socialism must mean a reduction of working time, economic equality,
ecological balance and true environmental sustainability. "Progress" will
have to be redefined and will no longer mean, growth in material production,
but growth in real free time. The long-term aim of socialism will be the
progressive reduction of the human ecological footprint, the repair of
ecosystems and the reduction of human impacts on the biosphere.

Socialism will not require moral or material incentives, only the
dissemination of knowledge. Socialism means an end to patents law, to
industrial, commercial, state and diplomatic secrets. It means the
progressive reduction and abolition of the state, the ending of all forms of
punitive mass surveillance, the closing down of secret police forces, and
universal access by all to all forms of knowledge. It will mean the ending
of the global system of apartheid which today makes a mockery of so-called
neoliberal globalisation and which corrals off humankind into different and
arbitrary national-state territories. Socialism means an end to passports
and complete freedom to travel, emigrate and enter or leave any state or
territory. Socialism means security of income, the provision of housing,
health, education, mass transport, welfare and other services free at the
point of use and universally and equally available throughout the world.

No doubt there are other things you can add to this list!

Mark Jones

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