Re: real and virtual worlds

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2004 - 18:06:03 PST

Victor has offered a rich set of ideas attempting to update the ideas of
Marx. A recent post provides a succinct summary of some of his central points:

Victor says:
>>What I was trying to put accross was a collection of observations concerning
>>the evolution of the proletariat and of the state of class conflict in the
>>the metropolis. Here both the properties of capital and the proletariat
>>and the relations between them have changed drastically to the point that we
>>can already see significant signs of developed proletarian control of
>>production and of enterprise. The advanced stage of the proletarian
>>revolution in the metropolis allows us to project the kind of society the
>>proletarian revolution will bring (not socialism in my current view) far
>>more effectively than did KM (who witnessed and helped to facilitate the
>>very beginnings of organized proletarian class struggle).

Capitalist industry and social relations have certainly changed in
significant ways since Marx's time. I agree with Andy's objection to
Victor's suggestion that modern capitalism can be characterized in terms of
increasing proletarian control of production. In my opinion, Victor may be
turning the concept of proletarian revolution on its head. He seems to be
conflating changes in the methods of production with changes in the
relations of production. I do agree with many things Victor says, and
appreciate his deep insights into aspects of the complex evolution of
modern industry and the world working class and its many social
layers. For example, the world working classes (essentially, agricultural
and industrial wage-earners) now constitute about half the total world
population, a far higher percentage than was the case in the 19th
Century. However, I don't agree with Victor's judgment that capitalism has
changed so much that Marx's accounting of the capitalist system of labor
exploitation (the private appropriation of surplus value), and Marx's
assessment of the historic potential of the working class to create a
socialist society (a core aspect of proletarian class consciousness), are
obsolete ideas.

As for Victor's comment "Mean it? - yes; believe it? - I'm searching, not
preaching," I appreciate these words very much, as I do the tremendous work
Victor has done in developing his ideas. I too strive for this kind of
scientific attitude and work to develop my own beliefs, and take
inspiration from Victor's obvious intellectual accomplishments.

- Steve

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