Social Relations, Revolution, and Capital [To MARIPOWER]

MARIPOWER716 at aol.com MARIPOWER716 at aol.com
Wed May 28 16:32:27 MDT 2003


>"Capital creates its own social relations and shapes of ideological
discourse and material interactions - and their shapes, that constitute
the material wherewithal of thinking and praxis. Stepping outside this
historically evolved system is not possible as such but what happens is
an internal development compulsion, that compels society to leap to
another political basis more than less in conformity to the productivity
and ideological infrastructure and "superstructure."<

Melvin P.
---

>I think this is vulgarized Marxism. Capital is not omnipotent. Its
existence and expansion does not summon up a perfectly rational and
impregnable mode of thought to justify those who wield it with the most
power. Resistance to capitalism can and has also emerged outside the
sphere where it is most dominant and most prevalent by peoples whose
visions and ideas of society precede the onset of industrial capitalism.<
________________________________________________________

Reply

Capital is most certainly omnipotent without question. It is also a
historically evolved phase of human history. People fight when they cannot win what
they articulate as their goal and cause. Above all capital is a value producing
system and this is what is being discussed in the single paragraph you choice
to detach from the exchange that was taking place.  My statement was taken from
what was in fact an extremely lengthy series of polemics focused on the
technological changes in the material power of production. The paragraph quoted on
its own makes no sense outside of the context of what is being discussed. The
discussion is with "Rauhaar" whose last installation I did not respond to
because the points made were substantial and worth studying in my opinion.

What is being discussed is value as classes, social relations and the
self-mediating form of capitalism as a self perpetrat6ing system and what internal
development within the capitalist mode of production must take place for a leap
to a non-value producing system. You state - having isolated what the
discussion is actually about the following:


>To predict that revolutionary resistance to Capital will come solely, or
even primarily, through a process of sublimation, that is to say, a transcendence
of
capitalist society achieved by a revolt of those most intimately bound
up with its processes may be a mistake. In a society where the
ideological hegemony of capitalism is thorough and complete, the line
between base and superstructure subjectively becomes blurred: <

__________________________________________

Ideological hegemony is never complete as such or there would be no need for
the continuous expansion of the armed agencies and prisons of the state as an
organization of violence. In my opinion you are fighting a straw man because
the paragraph quoted is related to negation - sublating, in the meaning of the
emergence of a new class living and existing outside the fundamentality of a
historically evolved social relations. For example the bourgeoisie and modern
proletariat begin emergence within the framework of feudal social and economic
relations. Something had to happen internal to capital to set the stage for
the abolition of the value producing system.

What is being discussed is not resistance but negation. Here is what I stated
in an early installation in reply to "Rauhaar":


<<I agree with your conception of the historical negation as expressed by
Marx. I understand this process on the basis of American history in particular
and my general understanding of world history (that is weak at best). The
articulation of the meaning of negation is bound up with a certain view of what is
called "as classes move in antagonism."  In the last instance the proletariat
abolishes itself, not simply as capital but as a social category of class
existing with a specific defined relationship in the material reproduction of life
factors. It is correct that I tend to view class as an "entity" that loses its
social validity as history. This is so because there has always been a
working class - since the emergence of the social validity of division of labor,
with different names. I consider the serf for example a class of working people
or workers under a specific historically evolved mode of production.

<<The liberation of a class has in the past only meant its liquidation as a
specific social category, not as a societal entity. The communist revolution
discards the social category and consequently the historical entity.   What
clarifies the social category, as class is a measure of characteristic that set it
apart from other social categories. What drive class liquidation are changes
in the material power of the productive forces, which you do not argue against
but approach different. It seems to me that both of us place importance on
the negation of the value producing system and along with this the negation of
the fetish mediated form of social consciousness. These various sides of the
social process are inexplicably fused together and interactive.  I state
categorically that the fetish-mediated forms of social consciousness cannot be
overcome on the basis of consciousness - as a systemic relationship, and that a
certain change in the mode of production must take place and its political forms -
modes of expression, be implemented to defeat "false social consciousness." >>
_________________________________________________________

You further state:

>>If capitalism is not a just system today, it cannot follow that the
further penetration of capitalism in underdeveloped society will set up
the "internal development compulsion" to overthrow and supercede
capitalism. <<
______________________________________________________

My stating point was never simply the capitalist system but the value
producing system. Socialism is a value producing system as explained by Marx in the
Critique of the Gotha Program. The discussion was not over the resistance of
the workers - what is called the spontaneous movement, but the emergence of
antagonism as a material force expressing this specific stage in the development
of capital.

In my opinion the Soviet Revolution overthrew the power of the bourgeoisie
and then went on to overthrow and shatter the power of capitalism - that is the
power of capital in the hands of individuals as bourgeois property relations.
Soviet socialism did not and could not overthrow the value system. The
exchange with comrade "Rehear" riveted on how one understands the value system,
consistent with Marx approach.

The further penetration of capitalism and the industrial system into less
developed areas is not a question of theory. There are no countries on earth
outside the interactive world market and the value producing system as bourgeois
production relations. Capitalism is a system of bourgeois property relations,
while the value system speaks of the entire scope of the development of
commodity production and not just capitalist commodity production. I will concede
that the paragraph you quote is inadequate and rewrite it as follows:

>"Capital as a social power creates its own social relations and shapes of
ideological discourse and material interactions - and their shapes, that
constitute the material wherewithal of the shape thinking and generates its
spontaneous historically evolved praxis. Stepping outside this historically evolved
system is not possible as such but what happens is an internal development -
reconfiguration of classes begins, a compulsion, - not unlike that emergence of
the bourgeoisie and modern proletariat under feudalism, that compels society to
leap to
another political basis more than less in conformity to the productivity and
ideological infrastructure and "superstructure."<


Peace.


Melvin P.



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