Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wobbly Times number 26

What I'd like to get across is that the revolutionary subjectivity/class consciousness which the Wobblies have exhibited over the years is what is needed to get the movement to progress towards more freedom, including chipping bits of surplus value and time off from the bosses' control--aka reform. The submissive position of many on the left vis a vis their own leaders runs counter to the class struggle for freedom and a classless society. One has only so much TIME in one's life to put energy into the movement. If one spends all one's time subsuming oneself to liberal reform agendas, one never sets the agenda. Thus, the 'class in itself' remains alienated from the 'class for itself' i.e. we remained ruled by Capital.


"The functions fulfilled by the capitalist are
no more than the functions of capital - viz.
the valorization of value by absorbing living labour
- executed consciously and willingly. The capitalist
functions only as personified capital, capital as a
person, just as the worker is no more than labour
personified. That labour is for him just effort
and torment, whereas it belongs to the capitalist as a
substance that creates and increases wealth, and in
fact it is an element of capital, incorporated into
it in the production process as its living, variable
component. Hence the rule of the capitalist over
the worker is the rule of things over man, of dead labour
over the living, of the product over the producer.
For the commodities that become the instruments of
rule over the workers (merely as the instruments of
the rule of capital itself) are mere consequences of
the process of production; they are its products.
Thus at the level of material production, of the
life-process in the realm of the social
- for that is what the process of production is -
we find the same situation that we find in religion
at the ideological level, namely the inversion of
subject into object and vice versa. Viewed historically
this inversion is the indispensable transition without
which wealth as such, i.e. the relentless productive
forces of social labour, which alone can form the
material base of a free human society, could not
possibly be created by force at the expense of the
majority. This antagonistic stage cannot be avoided,
any more than it is possible for man to avoid the
stage in which his spiritual energies are given a
religious definition as powers independent of himself.
What we are confronted by here is the alienation
[Entfremdung] of man from his own labour. To that
extent the worker stands on a higher plane than the
capitalist from the outset, since the latter has his
roots in the process of alienation and finds absolute
satisfaction in it whereas right from the start the
worker is a victim who confronts it as a rebel and
experiences it as a process of enslavement. At the
same time the process of production is a real labour
process and to the extent to which that is the case
and the capitalist has a definite function to perform
within it as supervisor and director, his activity
acquires a specific, many-sided content. But the labour
process itself is no more than the instrument of the
valorization process, just as the use-value of the product
is nothing but a repository of exchange-value.
The self-valorization of capital - the creation of
surplus-value - is therefore the determining, dominating
and overriding purpose of the capitalist; it is the
absolute motive and content of his activity. And in fact
it is no more than the rationalized motive and aim
of the hoarder - a highly impoverished and abstract
content which makes it plain that the capitalist is just as
enslaved by the relationships of capitalism as is
his opposite pole, the worker, albeit in a quite
different manner."

("Results of the Immediate Process of Production" 1863-1866 Marx, Appendix to Capital,vol. I, Penguin ed., pp. 989-90)

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