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

Mike Ballard swillsqueal at
Sun Dec 15 21:33:17 MST 2002

--- Mark Jones <markjones011 at> wrote:
> >
> >Mike wrote:
> > 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."

Mark, I think that that IS the argument for using the
average duration of socially necessary labour time as
a standard of measurement.  Marx is questioning the
notion of a producer getting just as much out of the
social store as she or he puts in because deductions
need to be made in terms of time for those who are
indirectly contributing to the storehouse of goods and
services by producing: education, health care,
transportation up keep and other assorted necessary
tasks.  I happen to agree with Marx's argument.

> 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.

Buying and selling exist under capitalism but not
under socialism.  Under socialism, where labour ceases
to be a commodity (no wage labour) and the market has
ceased to be made into a fetishized field for buying
and selling but instead is merely a measure of our own
needs and our desire to use our time to produce this,
that or the other for ourselves, our labour time
becomes reflective of what we produce, not what it
will sell for on in the maretplace of commodities.

> 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.

So does Marx.  It's the first stage of socialism as it
comes of out the womb of capitalism.

> 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.

Well, this wasn't Marx's opinion nor is it mine.  The
abolition of wage-labour is precisely what needs to
happen in order to be even at the first stage of a
communist society.  The notion of equal living wages
implies the continuation of the wages system, which in
turn implies the continuation of classes and all that
goes with it.

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
> species.

I agree with the notion that we need to establish a
society wherein we "live in harmomy with the Earth".
It should be a principle of socialism, IMO.

> 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.

I'm not sure what this means.  We'll decide what our
living standards are going to be when we have the
power to do so.

> 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.

I think that we'll plan wisely once we overthrow the
festishized, commodified existence we now slave under.

Civilisation under
> socialism must mean a reduction of working time,
> economic equality,
> ecological balance and true environmental
> sustainability.

I agree.  So, that's two votes.

"Progress" will
> have to be redefined and will no longer mean, growth
> in material production,
> but growth in real free time.

I agree; but I think that material production can be
seen in more ways than just the expansion of
hambureger chains.

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.

I don't disagree with the thrust of this proposal.
Who wants to sleep in fouled bed?

> Socialism will not require moral or material
> incentives, only the
> dissemination of knowledge.

Well, if you assume that the workers themselves will
make the social revolution, this is implied. We will
do as we please and what we please will undoubtedly be
much more mature than what we'd please today with the
sorts of consciouness which allows for poltics to be
reduced to voting for the candidates which the
bourgeoisie chooses for us to endorse.

Socialism means an end
> to patents law, to
> industrial, commercial, state and diplomatic
> secrets.

Sure, because we'll socially own the means of

It means the
> progressive reduction and abolition of the state,

Sure, because we'll have abolished wage-labour.
Capitalists can't exist without that.  They'll have to
go to work too.  An assoication of producers doesn't
need to hold down any classes because there are none
to hold down.

> 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!

Yeah, the socialist tree grows large.  The basic thing
is to get the roots planted firmly in the soil of:
social ownership under grassroots democratic control
of the producers themelves; abolition of wage-labour
from which flow the end of classes and the State and
the beginning and administration of things, things
like education, transport--although I don't know about
"welfare".  I don't think that would exist.

Mike B)

"Man first begins to philosophize when the necessitites of life are supplied."  Aristotle

"determinatio est negatio"  Spinoza

"There are no ordinary cats."  Colette

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