[Marxism] Mark Lause on sociology as "unscientific" and"bourgeois"

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Aug 15 15:17:53 MDT 2004

Mark Lause wrote:
> ...So, let's try again, then.  The numbers on automobile production
> leave no question about what a car is.  Numbers on how many people are
> in positions that are supervisory, managerial, employing,
> self-employing, etc. are not so clear cut.  They should raise questions
> about what how these terms are defined.

One of the turning points in the downward spiral or the CIO was when the
UAW refused to honor the picket lines of the foremen when they tried to
organize a formen's union in the late 1940s. The Post Office has a
built-in strike-breaking force in its "supervisors" (who aren't
management, and whose pay is often less than the line workers because
they don't get paid overtime) and the 204bs, "regular" workers who are
back-up managers. Both the "supervisors" and the 204bs _should_ be
union, but the pretense that they are "management" weakens the APWU
considerably. I would imagine that the overwhelming proportion of those
who are classified "supervisory" or "managerial" in the official
statistics are simply members of the working class who have been cut off
from their class (in their own subjective estimation as well as BLS
designations) by pinning a name on them. If both "official" workers and
"official" supervisors ever come to see that they are both working
class, we might well be on the verge of revolution. Sociological
categories (and even sociologists who don't believe in them have to use
them to get tenure) are really invented for no other purpose than to
divide the working class and create false consciousness.

In 1978 the firefighters in Normal, Illinois went on strike over one
issue: whether the captains and the lieutenants were "workers" or
"management." The captains and lieutenants claimed to be workers, and
went to jail along with the others when the entire fire department went
to jail. They won their strike, and thus the city had no built-in


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