discussion/mode of production: socialism - reply to CB
cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Thu Nov 13 14:29:15 MST 2003
From: Waistline2 at aol.com
"The history of all hitherto existing society* is the history of the class
struggle." This one tiny sentence is the source of considerable
misunderstanding. Marx and Engels devote all of section one of the Manifesto
its meaning. The Communist Manifesto does not emphasize "the class struggle"
you present matters. What is emphasized is the growth of productive forces -
industry and the break up of feudalism, why and how society moves in class
antagonism. In the seven "prefaces" to the Manifesto what is talked about is
economic progress, the break up of the old social order and the resultant
of the working class.
The motor of history - an industrial analogy of limited value, is not women
organized into social class because history presupposes the existence of
people. The "motor of social change" - not history as an abstraction, is the
in the material power of the productive forces - here is the crank that
motion to all the moving parts in an engine. There are of course the agents
or actors in history appearing in the form of social classes. The social
revolution is created - arises, on the basis of the changes in the material
production. Here is Marx contribution to the study of human history. The
material power of the productive forces is the fundamentality.
CB: I guess we could look at the actual text of _The Manifesto_. From
memory Marx and Engels start out listing the various oppressor and oppressed
classes from slavery and feudalism and capitalism. The title of the first
section is "Bourgeois and Proletarians" not "Factory Machinery". Why would
the working class be the gravediggers of the bourgeoisie ? Why would the
proletariat be referred to as revolutionary ?
... Having looked at The Manifesto again,here's a little blasphamy. I think
Marx and Engels sort of talk out of both sides of their mouths on this issue
we are debating.
Anyway, the productive forces and instruments of production don't develop
themselves. They are developed by people. So, basically you would be saying
that it is the scientists and engineers and toolmakers who make revolutions.
The reason the forces of production - material power of production, did not
develop unfettered in the Soviet Union are complex, but in its
the basic reason is because the evolution of the material power of
is not driven by property relations but the scientific revolution. Having
public property relations does not magically mean your society is going to
the transistor or discover nuclear power or the semiconductor. These
discoveries are products of the scientific revolution - accumulated
knowledge, not the
result of property relations as such.
CB: But this scientific revolution is carried out by people. So, this would
mean that the class of people who initiate revolutions are
Mel: In this sense the Soviets were
culturally backwards to a considerable degree. Here one speaks of categories
The "root cause of the socialist revolution" and "the first socialist
society" embrace different concepts and historical frameworks. Marx speaks
communist revolution as the most radical revolution in human history because
destroys all forms of property and sets the stage for the ending of what he
calls the "prehistory of man." The root cause of the communist revolution -
driving force, is the changes in the material power of production.
CB: Wasn't the industrial rev. the change in material power of production
that was the root cause of the bourgeois,not communist, revolution, then ,
by your thesis ?
I have Marx saying the Communist revolution abolishes _private_ property (
in The Manifesto). I suppose you might say "private property" is a
redundancy , but Marx's usage is "private property"; and the rev abolishes
oppressor and oppressed classes. Where does he say the other that you say
During the transition from agricultural society to industrial society on a
world scale, revolutionaries stepped forward to fight the good fight - on
basis is property to be organized during the historical curve that leads to
society of abundance or society no longer driven by the law of value -
CB: But during the transition from ag to indus society we have the bourgeois
revolution first, no ?
"The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part."
His "Critique of the Gotha Program" gives profound insight into his
meaning and vision. Those fighting for public property relations as the
rapidly increase the material power of production - unfettered by the
of bourgeois property, which creates barrier to development and expansion by
forcing expanding reproduction to be tied to profitability, called
socialists and communist.
In Russia a massive social revolution was taking place. The social
was the transition from agricultural relations - where the primary form of
wealth was in land, to industrial relations where the primary form of wealth
in the social power of capital expression in money and money/capital. The
question was posed - bourgeois industrialization or proletarian
CB: Then it would seem the primary form of wealth in industrial relations
would be EITHER in money and money/capital OR whatever it is in proletarian
industrialization. The primary form of wealth in proletarian
industrialization wouldn't be money or money/capital.
The revolution in the productive forces - the real social revolution, was to
the creation of industrial society. The communists did not carry out the
social revolution because it arises on the basis of the material power of
CB: The revolution in the productive forces would have to have been carried
out by the scientists and the engineers. The non-human forces of production
couldn't revolutionize themselves ( despite the Matrix movie theme)
The communists carried out a political revolution to impose a specific
property form on its industrial development.
Bourgeois property relations are a fetter on the means of production as they
reproduce themselves as accumulated productive forces. Marx called the
the involuntary promoter of industry. This does not mean development of the
scientific revolution stops or does not take place. What is meant is the
application of the scientific revolution and its fruits is governed by the
profitability, what outlines the flow - circuit, of capital investments.
CB: M and E also say the bourgeoisie are constantly revolutionizing the
instruments of production. So, yea, the scientific and technological
revolution(s) continue under the bourgeoisie in Marx's theory. I agree.
The Communist revolution is generated not by the development of the
productive forces or the "desire" to develop the productive forces more
rapidly than the bourgeoisie, but to end exploitation and oppression. The
productive forces were and have been developing astonishingly fast under the
bourgeois property regime. That is not the problem with capitalism.
"The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created
more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding
generations together. Subjection of nature's forces to man, machinery,
application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam navigation,
railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation,
canalization or rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground -- what
earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces
slumbered in the lap of social labor? "
Will pick this up later. Gotta go now.
Right on !
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