Concrete dialectics: notes on living process

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Sep 8 10:33:58 MDT 2003


Marxism in America has had a difficult time in finding its legs and standing
erect. Discovery of the "new class" or "communist class" is not really a
discovery but then again it is.  Marxism in America actually discovered itself and
the concretized dialectic of Marx method of unraveling social process. The
proof of dialectics is in the pudding.  Marx writings and his form of
presentation allow one to assimilate his method logic.

The "communist class" or "new class" is qualitatively different from the
"reserved army of unemployed laborer" Engels spoke of and the concrete dialect
unravels why. The theory problem is that the new class is not a category as such
or ideological construct, but the expression of the social process whose
abstraction is spoken of as an expression of the "the evolutionary leap" and the
"dialectic of the leap." If one describes the social process accurately in the
language-thinking framework of the working class, the process logic - dialectic
will be assimilated.

The communist class or new class has as its center of gravity a mass of
humanity locked more than less outside active engagement with production and poses
a grave threat to the existing social. This is so because the existing social
order - its economic life, is based on buying and selling of labor power as
the basis for exchange. Increasing segments of American society drift in and out
of the orbit of this communist class. An increasing sector of the retired
workers is being pushed into the communist class on the basis of rising medical
cost. A vast segment of software workers - who twenty years ago represented a
stable and privilege sector of the workers class, have witnessed the permanent
devaluation of their labor power and today drift in and out of the communist
class. Part time professors and millions facing rising poverty is enough to
describe why on the surface the communist class is not to be understood as a
fixed category but a social process.

The autoworkers are in the process of taking some massive hits. Four plants
in the Chrysler system are history. Perhaps as many as 10,000 people will be
fired in the next couple of years on the basis of attendance, just within the
Chrysler system. Everyone already knows what General Motors makes the bulk of
its profits - financing. Sometime ago Ford described the coming era as a period
of valueless production or "profitless prosperity." Some profound theoretical
questions are in front of us as well as practical activity. At this point it
seems that the dialectic of transition is going to have to be hashed out.

This new class is called a communist class because it cannot secure adequate
means of subsistence on the basis of buying and selling - exchange. To each
according to their needs, from each according to ability is the objective demand
of the communist class, although this "class" is not conscious of itself as a
"class." Perhaps a decade ago we were forced to exceed what is generally
defined as a class in order to describe the social process as it unfolds.

The reason no other sector of the communist-Marxist movement describes the
communist class as a communist class is because we arrived at a certain point -
actually it is a phase, of the social process first in America. The dialectic
of "arriving" means no one can see emergence and those who had not arrived at
the same point could not see the process. That is to say, the human eye can
only see that, which has emerged and this in itself means we are observing the
second phase of a process. We witnessed - not the injection of new qualitative
ingredients into the production process, but the results of the new
qualitative ingredients in the form of computers, advanced robotics and digitalized
processes.

There is the dialectic: we witness a social process in its concreteness at
the second stage. Emergence cannot be seen by definition. The dialectic is
unfolded as an accurate description of process.

In the ideological realm - not theory, what blocks the laboring masses from
understanding the existence of a communist class and its meaning is white
chauvinism and chauvinism. When one talks of poverty in America and the
government's failure to ensure the people have access to all our society has to offer,
one is confronted with the ideological construct of the "black bitch," created
during the Reagan era. The infamous "Welfare Queen" sporting a mink coat as she
runs through the supermarket buying expense goods with the hard earned
dollars of the white males. This ideological construct will be the first to collapse
and is collapsing under the weight of the reality of the communist class. A
little more difficult is the class concepts and ideology appropriated by the
imperialist from the slave oligarchy. Of course I am referring to the concept of
"white trash" and currently "trailer trash." The point is that as we
undergoing the evolutionary leap and it is going to be very difficult for the
bourgeoisie to maintain the loyalty of the American people. It is one thing to
maintain an ideology during a historical period of expansion of the industrial
system. During a period of an evolutionary leap and the increase in the velocity of
decomposition of the value producing system it is virtually impossible to
command the loyalty of people you are not feeding. For the first time in our lives
we face the dialectic of the class struggle and not the reform movement.

We are undergoing the evolutionary leap from one mode of production to
another, not a transition from capitalism to socialism. Technology has always
increased the productivity of labor. The computer is no different in this sense.
Something else had to be unraveled that required a material grasp of dialectics
and the dialectic of the leap and the dialect of antagonism. Every "ism" needs
to be critically examined and thrown in the wastepaper basket except Marxism
or rather the theoretical grid underlying Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
writings. Any buffoon can scream Stalin or Trotsky and make the most insane
political projections under the banner of Marxism. Well, Stalin and Trotsky will help
no one in this period of history.

Capitalism is not a mode of production despite the fact that most of us was
reared using this expression. Engels wrote that the bourgeois mode of
production had been called the "capitalist mode of production" since Marx writing. We
are charged with the task of explaining what we are talking about and leaving
the ideological womb of comfort. A mode of production is not described
primarily on the basis of the property relations although this formulation fit the
doctrine of the class struggle in the last era. The mode of production we are
leaving is the industrial system not capitalism.

The industrial mode of production in American evolved and reproduced itself
quantitatively and qualitatively on the basis of the circuit of production and
wealth accumulation created by the bourgeois property relations. What halts
the expansion of the industrial system as an industrial system is the injection
into the production process of qualitatively different instruments of
production. The computer is not an industrial implement - although it can be used to
drive industrial processes, and Marxline is not an industrial form of
organization. Those who subscribe to Marxline and contribute regularly express a
material desire for organization by default. An electro-computerized machine is
different from an electromechanical machine. Electro-computerized machinery and
process - halt, or replace industrial expansion and expansion takes place on a
new basis.

We are undergoing a nasty phase in the recovery of profitability for
enterprises in America. It is going to get uglier as we approach the point in the
process of permanent devaluation reflected in the price form. Stated another way,
you cannot fool all of the people all of the time and today increasingly
valueless products - commodities, can still fetch the same price as the same
commodities produced with more labor and this is a characteristic of the transition
period. This situation cannot stand because it runs counter to the law of
value. If the cost of the reproduction of labor power and the quantity of labor
power needed in the production of the world total social product is lowered than
the value in commodities is lowered by definition.

Robots cannot exchange things and the increasing use of advanced robotics
means that less things can be exchanged on the basis of value. The dialectic is
confusing because the cheaper labor power becomes the more workers can be hired
and consumption surges ahead.

Here is what in my opinion is critical in comrade dms writings on
overproduction. Although we cannot see the point where the law of value is absolutely
blocked (we cannot see emergence) - and this is not the way to look at it in the
first place, the overproduction crisis becomes permanent as the result of the
revolution in technology or what is called a change in the organic composition
of capital. Decay in the value form is absolute but this does not mean a
straight line because a complex of things - including credit, impacts price and
consumption. Hell, the bourgeoisie or rather section of capital is fighting for
the welfare system and food stamps because they are tied to the A&P and Farmer
Jack. They say, "The people are hungry and need food."

One can fight together without riding together because we are on the same
road of history. I see no reason to give a sector of capital - the bourgeois
property relations, an award because they want the people to eat. On the other
hand complexity demands that we understand the material interactions that is the
class struggle. A complex of different social forces are forming to demand
national health care paid by the government in America. General Motors and Ford
wants this right now because a radical shift between the employed and retired
section of their work force has evolved over the past twenty years.

We have to describe social process in a manner where comrades understand one
another and to make ourselves understandable to the workers. Sure labor and
capital are locked in antagonism because they were born that way. However the
class struggle is extremely complex because all the classes in society decay
simultaneously even if it does not appear as such. Then we are confronted with
ideology and the fight to make society - a class, conscious of itself.

Every question faces us anew. I love Lenin just as much as the next guy or
girl - maybe not the girls, but Lenin cannot help us right now. From time to
time my excursion into the dialectical method will be from the standpoint of
movement as antagonism, something I have studied more or less for a number of
decades. Whoever one "mans Friday" is in history (that provided the route to Karl
Marx) rest assured that they did not write from this standpoint because that
is not how the social question presented itself during the transition from
agriculture to industry and the fight against the bourgeois property relations.
One does not have to be particularly smart and being clever is an impediment to
Marx theory. One has to be consistent and militantly strive to accurately
describe what one is talking about.

My general form of presentation is similar to Engels use of the English
language because that is the first Marxist book I read thirty-four years ago.
"Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy" changed by life at
seventeen. This is of course why the term "sublating" is used to denoted
transformation.

Melvin P.


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