[Marxism] Baseball and capitalism

gary.maclennan at gmail.com gary.maclennan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 18:21:35 MDT 2008

> "Is this the best the Mets can do? Is this really what they are about?
> Can they really consider themselves a professional operation when they
> do the simplest task in sports, firing the manager, this wretchedly?"
> In response to the above Lou wrote:

> My response is that of course they are a professional operation. That is
> how the bosses routinely treat employees, as I discovered after I left
> Goldman-Sachs. One morning, about 15 long-time managers were escorted by
> security guards with all their belongings shortly after discovering that
> they could no longer logon to the email system in the morning. The
> humiliation taught the remaining management who was in charge.
My response:

I first thought of how I got the bum's rush from the university where I had
worked for over 30 years and how the Vice Chancellor Peter Coaldrake, who
had claimed to be a personal friend of mine btw, said when he heard about me
thrown out of the building  that he had no comment other than it was all a
case of "over and out".

But at a non-personal level I thought of how we are entering a new period
and no one knows exactly how or what will happen.  I personally feel that
the Old Mole of Revolution is about to pop up somehow somewhere in a totally
unexpected manner; possibly over an issue that appears quite trivial on the
surface.  That btw is my reply to the deep pessimism of Doug Henwood's
recent piece that Lou put on this list.

Why do I have this feeling when all the evidence is of a rampant Right and a
totally totally destroyed Left?  Well it is chiefly because of what is
represented by the Goldman Sachs story.  Capital has been so successful that
in its brutality it has produced the situation described by Marx in the

*All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is *

*profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his *

*real condition of life and his relations with his kind.*

*When searching for the above quote, I came across Professor Brad Starr's
(California State University, Fullerton) webapege. He has the following to
say about the treatment of Labour:*

"The capitalist system requires owners to treat people as economic units
whose capacity for labor is bought and sold just as any other commodity.
Even though your employer would like to treat you as a person with value in
your own right, he is required to calculate your value only as a unit of
labor that can be purchased and to decide your future accordingly. He must,
for instance, lay you off in economically troubled times, even though he may
actually regret what he knows will happen to you and your family as result.
To stay in business, however, he must not see you as a person. That's

I would take issue with the naivety of this passage but it is more important
to recognize that what we have been going through is the "Volcker period"
when the employer class has not had to put up even the slightest pretense of
wanting to value a worker in her own right.  It is this total freedom which
has produced the present situation, which is so very close to what Marx said
in the Manifesto.



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