Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wobbly Times number 46

What I'm proposing:

The wage-system is based on selling labour power, making it a commodity which the workers sell to the boss. In exchange, the worker gives up ownership and control of the product of labour which he or she has produced during their hours of labour time. I think this is a rip off. Wages in no way come close to equaling the the wealth created over the time labour is employed. That social relation has to be broken down, at first by a movement based on shortening the work week and curbing petty authoritarian power trips which bosses bully workers into obeying. The whip they carry is the power they have been given, to dismiss/fire/layoff.
Shortening the work week will not only free workers for more time to do with as they please; it will also shrink the labour power available for purchase at any given moment thus, putting upward pressure on wages. It will also strengthen labor's hand in the workplace in relation to hired wage-slave drivers aka, managment.

In a saner set up where common ownership of the social product of labour is the norm, there should be no classes; but a free association of producers who democratically decide what to produce for their own needs, within the bounds of living in harmony with the Earth. This is what I'm talking about when I use the concepts of socialism and/or communism.
Whether labour vouchers might be used to keep track of the socially necessary labour time expended on goods and services would be up to democratic vote. But essentially, if used, the formula would be four hours in gets you four hours of goods and services out of the social store of socially produced wealth. The fundamental change which communist producers would bring about would be the abolition of the wage system, the system based on selling your skills to an employer for a wage in exchange for giving up all ownership and control of the social product of your labour. Such a socialist system has yet to appear in history.

I work toward common owership of the social product of labour: it goes along with the abolition of wage-labour and the end of commodity production. Production for use/need is something that I think would require planning-from the grassroots level. I also think people can call themselves socialists and communists and never understand that it's actually State capitalism that they're engaged in managing/advocating.

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