Re: real and virtual worlds

From: Oudeyis (
Date: Tue Jan 06 2004 - 04:17:18 PST

The classification of "control of production" as "part of production" is the
ususal practice, but it does not obviate the fact that as each gollop of
control of production becomes production, the role of the capitalist in
production is reduced. At this time it appears to me that there will come a
point at which the only justification of capitalist dominance will be a
legal one, at which point he and his class, like that of the Mandarin's of
the last years of the Chinese empire will be irrelevant to the productive
process and too weak to maintain their role as the ruling class. This
certainly will not happen tomorrow or even the day after - it is more like a
general historical process that probably will take generations to complete.

Enough said.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andy Blunden" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 12:46 AM
Subject: Re: real and virtual worlds

> I agree Victor that the relations between classes have been "complicated"
> and that it is necessary to trace how this process of concretisation has
> taken place. I don't agree that if can be characterised in terms of
> increasing proletarian control of production. Rather, that what was
> formerly seen under the category of "control of production" has become
> merged under the heading of "production itself".
> In the 1844s, Marx talks of the practical and theoretical attitudes of
> those who work and those who control work, but I think that theoretical
> work, after Taylor, became "real work", exploitable just like "practical
> activity". The labour process is still directed by capital, IMO.
> Andy
> At 01:36 PM 4/01/2004 +0200, you wrote:
> >Andy,
> >One way to read that long exegesis I just sent was to see it as an effort
> >make more concrete (concretize?) the abstracted analysis of class
> >presented in Capital. Current historical conditions are very different
> >those of the 19th century which inspired the original theory.
> >
> >It's very tempting to maintain the analytical elegance of the original
> >theory and continue to discuss capitalist and proletarian class
> >consciousness as if these both remain undifferentiated social entities
> >within their range of geographic and historical distribution. This,
> >however, would be tantamount to elevating what was a scientific analysis
> >the level of dogma and to a recapitulation, , of all the methological
> >that eventually led to the bent scientologies of orthodox theory and the
> >diamat.
> >
> >What I was trying to put accross was a collection of observations
> >the evolution of the proletariat and of the state of class conflict in
> >the metropolis. Here both the properties of capital and the proletariat
> >and the relations between them have changed drastically to the point that
> >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).
> >
> >You wrote:
> > >While it would be tempting to deny the possibility of a single "agent
> >history" to overthrow capital, it is capital, a single agency, which is
> > currently running the world. "Not capital" does not constitute a clear
> >ideal, so a movement "against capital" cannot itself form the basis for
> >the emergence of a new class consciousness.
> >We do not really disagree on this point. At least not in principle. At
> >most abstract level all proletarian consciousness; of the high, middle,
> >low proletariat, oppose the principle that "ownership of means of
> >is the basis for control of the enterprise and of its surplus," but since
> >each group's relations to production are different, the concrete
> >of this opposition varies considerably between them and they are often as
> >not at ideological and political cross-purposes. This was very true of
> >bourgeois-capitalist revolution (See Tawney, 1922, Religion and the Rise
> >Capitalism and Norman Cohen, 1961, The Pursuit of the Millenium on the
> >capitalist struggle for dominance throughout the European Middle-ages and
> >into the Renaissance, and Barrington Moore, 1967, Social Origins of
> >Dicatorship and Democracy and Charles Tilly, 1964, The Vendee, on the
> >Revolution and the conditions that engendered it) and it is and will be
> >of the proletarian revolution.
> >
> > >I think class consciousness will be more of an outcome than a starting
> >point.
> >Here I don't agree with you. Class consciousness has and will appear,
> >disappear and reappear throughout the class struggle; and it will, of
> >course, change as the composition and the long-term and more immediate
> >of the proletarians change. It's not likely to be monolithic and will
> >include internal conflicts between different sectors of the proletariat.
> >Also we should expect that in the course of their struggle sectors of the
> >proletariat may engage in temporary alliances with other classes, or
> >of other classes. The high bourgeoisie of France, for example, allied
> >itself with the Feudal Kings of 16th and 17th century France when the
> >were engaged in "pacification" of the landed, military nobility (see
> >Rothkrug, 1965, The Opposition to Louis XIV), while middle and lower
> >bourgeois-capitalists had no qualms about making an alliance with the
> >proletariat during the militant phase of the French revolution (as they
> >no qualms about betraying this alliance once their goals had been met).
> >These alliances will have echos in the ideologies of the allied classes -
> >read the early French proletarian ideologue, Prodhoun 1840, What is
> >Property, 1840 Letter to Blanqui, and Marx's critique on Prodhoun, 1847,
> >Poverty of Philosophy - further complicating the expression of class
> >consciousness.
> >Regards,
> >Victor
> >
> >
> >.
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Andy Blunden" <>
> >To: <>
> >Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2004 1:11 PM
> >Subject: Re: real and virtual worlds
> >
> >
> > > Victor, when I said that "I cannot but see a future in which class
> > > consciousness makes a comeback in some form, changed by the long
period of
> > > identity and representation politics" then such a "class
> > > would have to be something very different from what Lukacs my have
> > > talking about in 1923; I am talking about a kind of "negation of
> >negation".
> > >
> > > I did not mention "class consciousness" in "For Ethical Politics"
> >I
> > > thought it would only confuse matters, but that is not to say it does
> > > exist, but it is facing such dramatic transformation!
> > >
> > > While it would be tempting to deny the possibility of a single "agent
> > > history" to overthrow capital, it is capital, a single agency, which
> > > currently running the world. "Not capital" does not constitute a clear
> > > ideal, so a movement "against capital" cannot itself form the basis
> >the
> > > emergence of a new class consciousness. I think class consciousness
> >be
> > > more of an outcome than a starting point.
> > >
> > > Andy

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