Re abstract labor/productive forces . . .

Fri May 2 21:39:11 MDT 2003

>Dear Melvin, I would like to make you aware of <


I quickly scanned the English language section of the list and read several
articles, some faster than others.

In "Crisis Theory In A crisis Society," I found the approach to the political
conception of "Left and right wing," to exactly mirror that of my own, down
to he details of its evolution in the French Revolution and why these
concepts are doomed to antiquity or minimally reconfiguration. .

I did not care for "The World Is (not) a Commodity," because it was devoid of
a conception of the commodity as a form of the social product, at a certain
stage of human evolution and the concrete barrier we face and Marxist have
faced in the past.  There will always be social products and the commodity is
a form of the social product that has a self defined life span. The life span
of the commodity form is part of the value form of labor. The author admits
this in the last paragraph of this article - to a degree - I think:

"The way in which the world community can escape the economic irrationality
and the terror of the economy is known by no one and cannot be known
beforehand. There is no "one way," but many paths, and their discovery is
essentially to be found by practical activity. Much can be said about the
ruling order, but above all, one thing: The diversity, of which the protest
is always so proud of, contrasts violently with the monotony of the commodity
society makeup. For the anti-globalization movement, this insight is not new.
Certainly the outward forms of the market totalitarianism are as diverse, as
the conditions, which it meets in the different continents and social
terrains. But the Procrustean bed of business rationality, which everything
is to be subjugated under, is always the same. The innocent little sentence,
"The world is not a commodity," gets to the heart of the matter. The wealth
and diversity of the world community can only unfold in the battle against
the negative universalism of the commodity form."

What is lacking is the unfolding of the commodity form and what comes through
is the author's frustration with the so-called anti "globalism movement"
which by definition is a petty bourgeois movement. Anti-globalism literally
means against "bigness."

Terror of Labor was delightful and running along the exact framework in which
I discuss the theory of value and this stage in the development of the means
of production.

The "Theory of Labour" was instructive.

"Still, under the tyranny of the triad - commodity-production,
abstract/alienated labour, capital accumulation as an end in itself -, the
level of productivity, as currently achieved, will inevitably lead to an even
greater number of people being ousted from the production process and thereby
cut off from the very basic means of subsistence. Under these circumstances,
any well-meant intention of redistribution is condemned to fail because the
only criterion for participation in the social product is and remains to be
labour employed. The proponents of a base-income can not avoid this fact
because such ideas require the skimming off of surplus value as generated in
the utilization process of living labour. In order not to stall the engine of
the "beautiful machine", a monetary redistribution of such kind can only
result in alms allocation well below the current social welfare standard. The
same applies to the schemes for work flexibility and/or reduced hours which
are just to reintegrate a few of the "ousted" back into the system, most
probably on an only temporary basis, and, for sure, at the expense of a
considerably lower wage.

The whole dilemma must be attributed to the fundamental and inherently
insoluble contradiction of the modern production system, which, in order to
achieve its senseless and maniac object of capital accumulation, depends on
the mass employment of living labour. On the one hand, capital is nothing but
the fetishist representation of dead labour, i.e. labour that was once
performed in the course of the utilization process. On the other hand,
competition (i.e. the process by which the available surplus as a whole is
allocated to the various single capitals) is the driving force behind the
permanent increase in economic productivity, which results in superfluous
labour power - thereby undermining its very own economic basis.
(End of quote)

I can understand why you state that there is a thread that unites us in the
discussion and articulation of the theory of value and the commodity form.
The English language and the theoretical frameworks in which the American
proletariat think things out prevents me from approaching a modern analysis
of Marx Capital, as applied to the here and now, as "negative dialectics."
It is true that at this stage of the evolution of the industrial system and
its corresponding mode of production - the productivity infrastructure and
the mode of accumulation, has turned in on itself and against itself.  I
understand this as a concrete expression of antagonism, with a specific
description of the movement that constitutes antagonism.

This concept of the change to post industrial society or the dialectic of the
leap or what I understand to be the meaning of the "negative dialectic" has a
political manifestation in the formation of a "communist class."  The
expression of this communist class is not a fixed and stagnate concept
worldwide. This is a most difficult concept for Marxist in the 10 or some
imperial centers.

If we approach the world total social capital from the less developed
countries to the most developed - from the standpoint of those furthers from
the centers, a different body politic is produced. This is not so much a
question of theory as it is of doctrine, or rather emerging doctrine. Without
question we have more in common than things that divide us.

The exchange with comrade CB shows that there is a discussion-taking place on
charting the concrete configuration of capital at various stages of its
evolution. Handicraft, manufacture, industrial production and post industrial
production as a specific system of production that destroys the value form
and how it destroys the value form.

Anyone that has followed this exchange cannot but see that every attempt is
made to stay rooted in Marx description of the dialectic of the process of
emergence of one mode of production from another.

Comrade we constitute a world collective organized on the basis of the
Internet. In America - the most imperial of all countries, some new concepts
are being pioneered because we have no choice. The evolution of the
industrial system distinct from its mode of accumulation is being unraveled
as practical politics. The concept of "socially necessary means of
production" in contradistinction to "means of production" is being advanced.
What the majority of the Marxist left in American calls the "labor theory of
value" has not been resisted but fought - without yielding a centimeter, in
favor of the theory of value. The labor of the worker in America has been
alienated to a degree that this is not a practical theoretical discussion.
What stands in front of the American worker is the value and commodity form.

Our differences are not fundamental. The negative dialectic is the meaning of
the event horizon and a process that turns in on itself and polarizes as the
basis of further development. Marx said machinery and its development was the
gravedigger of the bourgeoisie, not the worker as worker or labor power as
capital or in its capital form.

Peace, Social Revolution and Political Revolution.

Melvin P.

PS. I was at Chrysler when Daimler-Benz purchased it.  This is another
interesting story for later. The German bourgeoisie is not the huckster the
American bourgeoisie has become. But then, when one is at the "top of the
world" shifts happen.

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