Date   

Re: In Hollywood and America, the Strike Is Back | Harold Meyerson | The American Prospect

Farans Kalosar
 

I think this is a very good point, but the breaking of the Patco strike is still a major turning point in national policy and the establishment of neoliberalism as the party iine of U.S, capitalism. 

For my money, the Nixon Recession across the board was the first big shock in the neoliberal rollback of expectations for working people in the US both union and non-union.  And you don't hear much about that these days either. That was IMO when the gig economy really got rolling--far earlier than perhaps most people think, especially "the young" who blame all ills on the Baby Boomers.  

I'm glad to see that the craft unions are forging ahead and breaking new ground.  The new wave of strikes is the most hopeful sign IMO since Occupy and potentially much more significant than that. But the nature of work itself has been changing for decades, and many of the "99%" are left out of the traditional labor picture, with no recourse to strikes or other organized economic action. IMO that needs to change somehow.


Decolonization Or Extinction - Indigenous People’s Day 2021

Charles Keener
 


Join the Red Nation as we celebrate victories towards collective liberation and continued organizing against extractive industries, greedy capitalists, and settler colonization. 

In 2015, The Red Nation and a coalition of Native and non-Native organizations led a successful campaign to rename the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque City Council issued a proclamation abolishing Columbus Day that was signed by Rey Garduño, Ken Sanchez, Klarissa Peña, Isaac Benton, Brad Winter, and Diane Gibson, with three council members abstaining. 
The proclamation declared that the day “shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land.” 


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Andrew Stewart
 

Given the complete mess he's made of everything he touched and the rank criminality of his administration, no sane voter could want it back…”
To quote Bob Dylan, sanity is just a four letter word.


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Susan Redge MD
 

Funny. There is no shortage of issues Repugs can crucify Biden on. He is a disaster, Harris is a catastrophe. We are toast.

On Oct 10, 2021, at 11:37 PM, Dayne Goodwin <daynegoodwin@...> wrote:

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:12 PM Mark Lause <markalause@...> wrote:
. . . There are signs that the MAGA swarm has been dissipating slowly.
There shouldn't be the most remote chance of Trump getting the nomination and the election. . .

Consider this:
The most alarming Trump rally yet; Opinion by Dean Obeidallah, CNN, October 10
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/10/opinions/trump-iowa-rally-gop-embrace-obeidallah/index.html

Some very good polling news for Donald Trump; Analysis by Lauren
Dezenski, CNN, October 7
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/politics/trump-iowa-poll/index.html


On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:12 PM Mark Lause <markalause@...> wrote:

That portion of "the Left" with a message that jibes with that of the corporate media is always going to be the largest portion of "the Left."

There are signs that the MAGA swarm has been dissipating slowly.

There shouldn't be the most remote chance of Trump getting the nomination and the election. Given the complete mess he's made of everything he touched and the rank criminality of his administration, no sane voter could want it back, save for the abysmal failure of the Democrats to function as even a minimally self-interested opposition party to a GOP that's gone into a totally certifiably mad spiral. What have the Democrats ever actually held Republican criminals to account for crimes in office?

If we want to understand how Trump managed to get away with the crap he did in office, we should ask ourselves who let him get away with it.




Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Dayne Goodwin
 

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:12 PM Mark Lause <markalause@...> wrote:
. . . There are signs that the MAGA swarm has been dissipating slowly.
There shouldn't be the most remote chance of Trump getting the nomination and the election. . .

Consider this:
The most alarming Trump rally yet; Opinion by Dean Obeidallah, CNN, October 10
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/10/opinions/trump-iowa-rally-gop-embrace-obeidallah/index.html

Some very good polling news for Donald Trump; Analysis by Lauren
Dezenski, CNN, October 7
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/politics/trump-iowa-poll/index.html


On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:12 PM Mark Lause <markalause@...> wrote:

That portion of "the Left" with a message that jibes with that of the corporate media is always going to be the largest portion of "the Left."

There are signs that the MAGA swarm has been dissipating slowly.

There shouldn't be the most remote chance of Trump getting the nomination and the election. Given the complete mess he's made of everything he touched and the rank criminality of his administration, no sane voter could want it back, save for the abysmal failure of the Democrats to function as even a minimally self-interested opposition party to a GOP that's gone into a totally certifiably mad spiral. What have the Democrats ever actually held Republican criminals to account for crimes in office?

If we want to understand how Trump managed to get away with the crap he did in office, we should ask ourselves who let him get away with it.


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Mark Lause
 

That portion of "the Left" with a message that jibes with that of the corporate media is always going to be the largest portion of "the Left." 

There are signs that the MAGA swarm has been dissipating slowly. 

There shouldn't be the most remote chance of Trump getting the nomination and the election.  Given the complete mess he's made of everything he touched and the rank criminality of his administration, no sane voter could want it back, save for the abysmal failure of the Democrats to function as even a minimally self-interested opposition party to a GOP that's gone into a totally certifiably mad spiral.  What have the Democrats ever actually held Republican criminals to account for crimes in office?

If we want to understand how Trump managed to get away with the crap he did in office, we should ask ourselves who let him get away with it.

Cheers,
Mark L.





Why anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism

Charles Keener
 


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Dennis Brasky
 

The German CP after Hitler came to power - "In 6 months it will be our turn!"

How did that work out???


On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:28 PM Roger Kulp <leucovorinsaves@...> wrote:

The only reason I can think of a Marxist might cheer on a second Trump term, is by advancing the accelerationist argument, that a second Trump term might bring us closer to the circumstances that would foment revolution, and/or radicalize enough liberals into becoming Marxists. We can argue back and forth all day whether this is a viable tactic or not, but that is a topic for anther thread._._,_


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Roger Kulp
 

EXCEPT -- in 1968, the Dems were the party of the Vietnam War and were hated by a strong, almost totally united left.

We will  likely see that being flipped with Trump, and the Republicans turning Afghanistan into a campaign issue to crusify Biden on.
 


Re: The Communist International, A Critical Analysis - Part IV

Dayne Goodwin
 

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 3:29 PM <gilschaeffer82@...> wrote:
...My question is why the issue should still be put that Lenin came
around to agree with Trotsky...

Hi Gil, I did not say that. I intended to simply say that Lenin and
Trotsky had similar revolutionary socialist views. I thought of
Joffe's letter to emphasize that in response to Marvin Gandall's
criticism of Trotsky and Lenin and Gandall's reformist perspective.


On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 3:29 PM <gilschaeffer82@...> wrote:

Hi Dayne, I don't mean to be picky. All of us have come into these discussions from different starting points. My question is why the issue should still be put that Lenin came around to agree with Trotsky when Lenin believed in the concept of uninterrupted revolution before Trotsky wrote Results and Prospects. From "Social-Democracy's Attitude Towards The Peasant Movement" Lenin, CW, v. 8, p. 237, 9/14/1905: "...from the democratic revolution we shall at once, and precisely in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half-way." There are other similar statements in Lenin's collected works concerning the character of a revolutionary provisional government that were published at the time containing similar formulations as early as March 1905, although the passage quoted is probably the clearest. I read Lenin's collected works in 1971-2 before I was ever aware of the controversy over Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution and have always been puzzled why the debate was framed as Lenin coming around to Trotsky's view. Marcel Liebman also pointed to these 1905 writings in his Leninism Under Lenin (English Translation 1975). I know that this debate became a political issue in the struggle between Trotsky and Stalin and other Bolsheviks in the 1920's, but shouldn't this politically loaded and distorted controversy be separated from the historical account of Lenin's views in 1905? Joffe's statement seems too bound up with the later factional conflicts and doesn't acknowledge Lenin's 1905 published writings.


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Roger Kulp
 

In response to Michael Meeropol,

The Democrats have been a right wing party ever since the crashing defeat of George Mc Govern,and the breakup of the old Great Society coalitions. Reactionaries like Clinton, Obama, and Pelosi  have only accelerated this move to the right. Every time anybody progressive, from Jesse Jackson, to Dennis Kucinich, to Nina Turner stands any chance of winning an election, their campaigns are sabotaged by any number of dirty tricks from the party establishment, that would give old Tricky Dick pause. To say nothing of  the likes AOC, and others in The Squad, who reposition themselves sharply to "the center" once they get into office, and reveal themselves as the career climbing opportunists they truly are. Any Marxist who works for the DSA, otherwise known as the left wing of the Democratic Party, is being played for a sucker if they believe this is a pathway out of the capitalist/imperialist hellhole we find ourselves in.

There I said it.

The only reason I can think of a Marxist might cheer on a second Trump term, is by advancing the accelerationist argument, that a second Trump term might bring us closer to the circumstances that would foment revolution, and/or radicalize enough liberals into becoming Marxists. We can argue back and forth all day whether this is a viable tactic or not, but that is a topic for anther thread.


Looking back on Occupy – 10 years on | Zoltan Zigedy | The Morning Star

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo
 


https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/c/looking-back-occupy-10-years

Looking back on Occupy – 10 years on

A decade on from the ‘spontaneous’ participatory democracy movement that spread across the world, it’s clear that the ‘99% v the 1%’ construction was far too simplistic to capture the differences or reflect the structure of 21st-century capitalism, writes ZOLTAN ZIGEDY

The general assembly meeting in Washington Square Park, New York City, on October 8, 2011  Photo: David Shankbone/Creative Commons

JUST over years ago, on September 17 2011, protesters settled in Zuccotti Park in the New York City’s financial district, a privately held park owned by Brookfield Office Properties and named after its former chairman.

This action acquired the simple, straightforward, but somewhat misleading moniker, “Occupy Wall Street.”

While the specific motivations of the congregation are debated, there is a general agreement that the 2007-9 economic crisis, and especially the failure to punish its perpetrators, was an instigation.

Occupy became a phenomenon, even a brand in the era of memes, social media, and ultra-consumerism.

Occupy-like copycats sprang up around the country and in different forms of activism. 

In its initial form, Occupy was an open invitation to gather in a public or semi-public space and hold it.

The participants resisted a programme, organisational structure, or leadership.

Like previous efforts at anarchist levelling — so-called “radical” or “participatory democracy” — everyone was nominally of equal voice and stature.

And like its anti-structure antecedents in the New Left, the Zapatistas, the anti-globalisation movement, the Indignados, etc, one can only wonder how its spokespeople, organisers, “facilitators,” or anti-leaders, are democratically selected in the absence of some structure. 

The common thread that runs through all of the celebrated anti-hierarchical organisations is a semi-religious confidence in spontaneity.

All worship at the altar of this elusive idea, despite the fact that there is no successful historical precedent to support faith in its success. 

Though the Occupy movement succumbed after two months to a brutal assault by the coercive forces of the US ruling class, it left a popular slogan that continues to be embraced by a large sector of the US left: “We are the 99 per cent!”

The Ten-Year Retrospective

Not surprisingly, various estimations of the value of Occupy are springing up on the 10th anniversary of the initial occupation.

They range from the romantically naive, crediting Occupy with spurring every struggle since 2011, including the minimum wage fight and the teacher strike wave of 2018, to the coldly sceptical viewing of Occupy as an opportunity lost to “performative acts” or merely an historical “blip.” 

Michael Levitin, writing in The Atlantic contends that Occupy “made protesting cool again … it brought the action back into activism …”

In fact, protesting has never been “cool” — it requires a sacrifice on the part of participants.

More importantly, it should conjure a commitment beyond an event, a performance, a statement.

Protesting requires the uncool tedium of building a movement that can grow sufficiently to tackle the unequal power of the rulers, a goal difficult to achieve without leadership, organisation, and structure.

The “1 per cent” is more than the economically privileged; the “1 per cent” has also accumulated massive power largely immune to the incantations of a general assembly. 

Micah L Sifrey, writing in The New Republic, references a somewhat chastened Occupy Wall Street organiser, Jonathan Smucker from his book:

“Occupy wasn’t just a success in putting class back on the American agenda.

“It was also ‘a high-momentum mess that ultimately proved incapable of mobilizing beyond a low plateau of usual suspects.’ 

“As he wrote in his book Hegemony How-To, ‘We were not merely lacking in our ability to lead the promising social justice alignment that our audacious occupation kicked off; many of the loudest voices were openly hostile toward the very existence of leadership, along with organization, resources, engagement with the mainstream media, forging broad alliances, and many other necessary operations that reek of the scent of political power.’

Because Occupy’s general assemblies were so time-consuming and so easily hijacked, much of the real work and decision-making went elsewhere, ‘into underground centers of informal power,’ he writes.”

It’s possible to look at Occupy as an experiment for its time — 2011 was the year of the rise of Spain’s anti-austerity movement, the Indignados.

Occupy came shortly after the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution which sparked the Arab Spring.

All shared the elements of non-violence (by protesters), spontaneous or near-spontaneous risings, absence of a clear programme, an allergy to hierarchies, and cross-class engagement.

None were led by traditional leftist parties or ideologies (apart from a nebulous connection with anarchism).

And — a conclusion that none of the commentators want to accede — all faded away, leaving the balance of power essentially unchanged.

Occupy did demonstrate the power of social media and internet communication.

Old-timers were in awe at the ease and speed that people could be rallied around actions and events.

Time proved that the new technologies came with a downside: action came almost too easily and with minimal commitment or understanding.

Activism often sprang from the same emotional immediacy as going to a concert or movie.

One commentator called Occupy “exhilarating” — a kind of political Woodstock?

Arun Gupta, writing in In These Times, casually notes: “Every movement reaches the end of the road, and a decade later Occupy-style protest has smacked into a dead end.” 

Yes, Occupy-style protest is exhausted today, but Gupta’s dismissing that demise with a shrug reflects a measure of political immaturity.

Any movement bent upon challenging inequality, injustice, capital or, most importantly, capitalism, cannot accept a dead end as an inevitability.

Quite the opposite, any movement promising success must stay the course if it holds out any hope of winning against an unprecedented accumulation of power in so few hands and a long history of falling short. Occupy lacked that vision.

Gupta writes of the “authenticity” of Occupy and the satisfaction drawn by its participants.

Insofar as it served as a “pre-school” for a generation of young people deeply scarred by student loans, poor job prospects or unemployment, and deeply disappointed with the political Establishment, Occupy was a worthy introduction.

Insofar as political elders, movement veterans, and theorists accept Occupy as the road forward and offer no alternate routes, they bear much of the responsibility for the collapse of the movement.

The Lessons

Clearly, many feel strongly that the legacy of Occupy is worth fighting over. Witness the statement by the New York-based Metropolitan Anarchist Co-ordinating Council, claiming Occupy as its own.

Or the debate in The Nation: Was Occupy Wall Street More Anarchist or Socialist? 

Undoubtedly, Occupy served to introduce thousands of young people to collective action, to resistance to the rich and powerful.

With “the 99 per cent” slogan, many saw social life in the US through a rudimentary lens of class division for the first time, a reality denied us by our education system, our media and our leaders.

But “the 99 per cent versus the 1 per cent” construction was far too simplistic and far too crude to capture the differences or reflect the structure of 21st-century capitalism.

It failed to explain the divisions that kept the 99 per cent or its various strata and classes from uniting against the 1 per cent.

It failed to fit this simplification into the dynamics of the two-party system — a system of control fundamentally owned by the 1 per cent and its allied strata — while denying effective power to everyone else. It failed to offer a road map either inside or outside of that decadent structure. 

In short, “the 99 per cent” was analytically far too blunt of an instrument to advance Occupy beyond well-intended street theatre. 

What was needed was a deeper class analysis that more accurately distinguished between the exploited and the exploiters.

If they would have bothered to look, Occupiers might have found that more profound analysis in Marxism-Leninism.

Occupy follows a long trajectory of “new” radicalism in the US shaped by subtle, but long-festering anti-communism.

Since the purging of communists and their allies from US social and political life in the post-war era, every version of revitalised resistance pays subtle, but uncompromising homage to the religion of anti-communism — a silent loyalty oath.

From the student-based New Left to Occupy, it was understood that the limits of tolerance ended at the door to authentic Marxism-Leninism.

Instead, every emerging movement ostentatiously showcased its commitment to “democracy” in stark contrast to the caricature of communism and its alleged soulless hostility to the individual.

The cult of the individual and a utopian “participatory” democracy is meant to demonstrate a breed of radicalism distinctly different from the cold war image of communism.

Thus was born a kind of individualistic, petty-bourgeois anarchism characteristic of US activists from early Students for a Democratic Society to Chomsky and to Occupy.

Where anathema to the lessons of over 150 years of communist and socialist (and anarchist, as well) practice were not purposely obscured, different outcomes ensued.

The Chilean student movement, though concurrent with the Occupy phenomenon, is a case in point.

Though virtually ignored by the media and the US left, Chilean high school and university students demonstrated from 2011 until 2013 for educational reform. 

Unlike Occupy, the protests were highly organised, welcomed democratically chosen leadership, and constructed a coherent set of demands.

In addition, the students engaged and were joined by the Chilean labor movement.

The left political parties collaborated and enjoyed growth from their engagement, particularly the Chilean Communist Party.

The successful socialist candidate for president in 2013, Michelle Bachelet placed educational reform at the top of her agenda.

Students again sparked the August 2019 protests that continued through the next two years, with over a million Chileans in the streets on October 25 2019 in Santiago alone.

Unlike Occupy, the Chilean student protests of 2011 led directly to the empowerment of the left, electoral gains, and a referendum opening the way to a new constitution.

The political maturity of the Chilean movement and its successes serve as a stark counterpoint to the shortcomings of the Occupy model of resistance.

To its credit, Occupy broke the pattern of movement quiescence during a Democratic Party administration.

For decades, anti-war and reformist protests only took on a mass character when the Republicans were in power.

The anti-war demonstrations of the Bush administration were never duplicated, not even when Obama engineered the troop surge in Afghanistan.

The dominant liberal and social democratic wings of the left fear antagonising the Democratic Party torchbearers, unleashing street heat only when Republicans are in power.

Allergic to electoral politics, the anarchists at the core of Occupy fearlessly and determinedly pressed forward during the Obama years.

Nonetheless, after two months of intense media attention, exhilarating public theatre, and sincerely felt protest, the Occupy movement was swept away by military-like operations of the police.

With no deep moorings, no road map, and no lieutenants or captains, the movement was shattered into many pieces.

Some, in frustration, sought to change the Democratic Party; some sold their souls to the social-change-industry of NGOs, foundation grants, and non-profit social engineering; some returned to academia; and some, out of cynicism, simply dropped away.

An unlikely chronicler, loyal Democrat Robert Reich, notedperceptively that a contemporary right-wing populist movement, the Tea Party, expressing outrage against the powers-that-be from a different perspective, found much more success in shaping the political terrain.

In Occupy, with its focus on performance over programme, form over content, spontaneity over organisation, Reich could understandably not see any hope that it would change the course of history.

Well before Reich’s scepticism, VI Lenin railed against spontaneity in his classic polemic against the enemies of organised leadership, in What Is to Be Done? Lenin mocked actions that came to be called “participatory democracy” as examples of “toy” or “primitive” democracy.

While they appear to be ultra-democratic, they actually inhibit serving the cause of the people with their endless obsession over procedure. 

Occupy ran aground on the shoals of procedural sectarianism, organisational chaos, and the lack of a programmatic compass.

Will the lessons be heeded or will the US left continue to flirt with “toy” democracy over substance, cultural expression over political engagement?

Zoltan Zigedy blogs at zzs-blg.blogspot.com.




Re: Does unemployment add value?: THREE fragments on machines

Tom Walker
 

Closely related. Kalecki's essay looks at how finance capitalists regards the more obvious political benefit to them of unemployment. The Grundrisse passages probe depths of the effects of unemployment that are presumably not comprehended by capitalists (or by just about anyone else). I think people grasp the regulatory function of the industrial reserve army at an empirical level. I don't think the foundational status of what Marx called "the theory of surplus population and surplus capital" has been grasped even by most Marxists. Kalecki may well have understood.


Re: Does unemployment add value?: THREE fragments on machines

gilschaeffer82@...
 

Tom, This suggestion looks a lot like Michael Kalecki's Political Aspects of Full Employment, no?


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Michael Meeropol
 

EXCEPT -- in 1968, the Dems were the party of the Vietnam War and were hated by a strong, almost totally united left.

NOW -- the left is disunited because of the faction that sees Trump as a new Mussolini/Hitler and I think that group is a higher percentage of the "left" such as it is ....

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 5:28 PM Andrew Stewart <hasc.warrior.stew@...> wrote:



With Biden potentially stepping aside, can you imagine a repeat of 1968? Admittedly the margins of possibility are far more constrained than they were 50+ years ago, the conventions are not decided by the old ward boss machines and the American Left is not as cohesive because of a variety of issues. But still, the parallels are eerily similar…

_._,_._,_


Re: The Communist International, A Critical Analysis - Part IV

gilschaeffer82@...
 

Hi Dayne, I don't mean to be picky. All of us have come into these discussions from different starting points. My question is why the issue should still be put that Lenin came around to agree with Trotsky when Lenin believed in the concept of uninterrupted revolution before Trotsky wrote Results and Prospects. From "Social-Democracy's Attitude Towards The Peasant Movement" Lenin, CW, v. 8, p. 237, 9/14/1905: "...from the democratic revolution we shall at once, and precisely in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half-way." There are other similar statements in Lenin's collected works concerning the character of a revolutionary provisional government that were published at the time containing similar formulations as early as March 1905, although the passage quoted is probably the clearest. I read Lenin's collected works in 1971-2 before I was ever aware of the controversy over Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution and have always been puzzled why the debate was framed as Lenin coming around to Trotsky's view. Marcel Liebman also pointed to these 1905 writings in his Leninism Under Lenin (English Translation 1975). I know that this debate became a political issue in the struggle between Trotsky and Stalin and other Bolsheviks in the 1920's, but shouldn't this politically loaded and distorted controversy be separated from the historical account of Lenin's views in 1905? Joffe's statement seems too bound up with the later factional conflicts and  doesn't acknowledge Lenin's 1905 published writings.


Re: Al Jazeera on a likely Trump victory in 2024

Andrew Stewart
 

I think that a serious component of this will be the midterm outcomes AS WELL AS the not so remote possibility that Biden opts to be a one term president and defers to Harris.

With the midterms, things will hinge upon whether the victorious Republicans ally with Trump or the institutional leadership, many of whom are still righteously pissed at Trump still over the January 6 raid on the Capitol. The winning faction will play a decisive role at the Convention.

With Biden potentially stepping aside, can you imagine a repeat of 1968? Admittedly the margins of possibility are far more constrained than they were 50+ years ago, the conventions are not decided by the old ward boss machines and the American Left is not as cohesive because of a variety of issues. But still, the parallels are eerily similar…


Does unemployment add value?: THREE fragments on machines

Tom Walker
 

Spoiler alert: my answer would be "no." But the question is not as ridiculous or irrelevant as it may at first appear. In chapter 25 of Capital, Marx describes relative surplus population as "the pivot upon which the law of demand and supply of labour works." What does that imply? In part, it implies that without the benefits that unemployment confers on capital, there would be less total demand for labour, less employment of labour power and thus less creation of value and surplus value. Of course, that is a counter-factual scenario. Capitalism unable to procure an increasing mass of surplus value would cease to function.

In English and in Italian, at least, publication of a translation of a portion of the Grundrisse nicknamed 'the fragment on machines' preceded publication of the full translation. This has had the consequence of elevating that fragment to iconic status. Moishe Postone, Antonio Negri and others have used the fragment as a 'key' for interpreting and/or criticizing Capital.

Textual evidence suggests, however, that there are actually three closely related fragments on machines in the Grundrisse. The two overlooked fragments illuminate the meaning of some of the most evocative passages in their more celebrated companion. The traditional fragment on machines is on pages 690-712 in the Penguin edition. The other two fragments are on pages 397-401 and 608-610, respectively. All three fragments explore the dialectic of the superfluous [überflüssig] and the necessary [notwendige]. That particular dynamic is not discussed elsewhere in the Grundrisse or in Capital, although it is alluded to in the chapter on accumulation (volume one) and the chapter on the internal contradictions of the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (volume three).

Taken as a whole, the three fragments present the rationale for Marx's assertion, in Capital, that relative surplus population is the pivot (or 'background') of the operation of the laws of supply and demand for labour power.

There is an analogy here between unemployment and machines in that less total value would be produced without either one of them. One might say, then, that unemployment adds value because without it there would be less value created. But that would be one of those semantic paradoxes -- Zeno, et al. -- that turn on the ambiguity of the meaning of "add." 


Re: Reuther and Ford

Tom Walker
 

Reuther also told the story in his 1955 testimony before the Joint Congressional Subcommittee Hearings on Automation and Technological Chang:

Every tool on every operation has a green light, a yellow light, and a red light; and when all the green lights are on, it means that all the tools at each work station are operating up to standard. When a yellow light comes on, on tool No. 38, it means that the tool is still performing, but the tool is becoming fatigued and that is a warning sign, so that the operator sitting there looking at these panels will know that he has to get a replacement tool for tool No. 38. He stands by at that position on the automated machine, and at the point the red light would kick on, on the board, he walks over — the machine automatically stops — he puts the new tool in the place of the tool that is worn out, and automatically the green light comes on and the machine goes on.  
When I went through this plant the first time I was told by a top official of the Ford Motor Co.: 'Mr. Reuther, you are going to have trouble collecting union dues from all of these machines.
And I said: 'You know that is not bothering me. What is bothering me is that you are going to have more trouble selling them automobiles.' That is the real significance. We have mastered the know-how of mass production, and what we need to do is to develop comparable distribution know-how so that we will have markets for the tremendous volume of production that automation now makes possible.


Re: Moderator's note: machine/value wrap up

Ken Hiebert
 

I was interested in the topic, but by the time I was ready to turn my attention to it, there was an accumulation of messages.
I was left behind and perhaps others were, too.
It’s OK to wait a day to reply to a message.
ken h

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