The Real Movement

Communism is free time and nothing else!

Walmart’s response to the $15 minimum wage campaign

Yes, Walmart bowed to pressure and raised the wages of some of its employees, but it had a Plan B.

I think we need a Plan B as well.

Advertisements

Desmond Wong on Communism

“I think people have the wrong view of what communism is. To place communism in a difference context than the one with which we are familiar, consider that communism is simply 100% unemployment, in which your wages can buy nothing because the money is worthless, you own nothing and democracy itself is a trivial shell game without any sovereign popular content at all.

“Is this not closer to the actual trajectory of society already evident to even the dullest simpleton? There is a commonly held fallacy that communism involves involves a negation of the present trajectory of capitalist society. This is not true. Communism is catastrophe for present society and that catastrophe is inevitable. All that is necessary for this catastrophe to materialize is that we do exactly what we are doing right now — nothing.

“It is likely our consciousness will undergo a radical revision only when we find it actually impossible to sell our labor power and only when, even if we sell it, our wages can buy nothing.

“Is this the preferred way to realize communism? Probably not, but wage slaves are not in the position to experiment with utopian visions of the future. They have to feed their kids. So they likely will keep selling their labor power until this becomes impossible. Confronted by this new situation, they will improvise: communism!” –Desmond Wong

[I was informed today that this is actually a quote taken from me here. I honestly did not realize this. My apologies to Desmond, who was likely very confused by my citation.]

Radicals who hate Trump have missed the point of the exercise

Trump has changed the debate, forever.

(Reposted from r/abolishwagelabornow)

No matter how the Trump presidency turns out, he has already had a lasting impact on the Right. Under Trump, the “alt-Right” has appropriated the class struggle rhetoric of the radical Left and realized it for what it is in reality: an argument to save wage slavery in the interest of wage slaves.

From a review of “The Once and Future Worker”

“Indeed, far from the usual conservative manifesto,”The Once and Future Worker,” is a scathing critique of globalization, open immigration, and the commoditization of labor — forces which Cass believes have ransacked working class fortunes across three decades of neoliberal hegemony, despite the ideological half-measures offered by bourgeois elites designed to merely absolve them of complicity.”

The Right even out-radicals the radicals in its critique of weak reformism. The reviewer quotes from the book:

“Workers have no standing, in this view of the economy; neither do their families or communities. Households that see their economic prospects plummet or their livelihoods vanish should ask for a government check and be placated when they get one … Like a medieval indulgence, a promise of redistribution cures all.”

I think I am going to read it as soon as I can figure out how to steal it.

The practical results of four decades of anti-capitalist scribblings

COMMUNIZATION:

“Communization […] has little positive advice to give us about particular, immediate practice in the here and now […] What advice it can give is primarily negative: the social forms implicated in the reproduction of the capitalist class relation will not be instruments of the revolution, since they are part of that which is to be abolished.” Endnotes

OPEN MARXISM:

“How then do we change the world without taking power? At the end of the book, as at the beginning, we do not know. The Leninists know, or used to know. We do not. Revolutionary change is more desperately urgent than ever, but we do not know any more what revolution means. Asked, we tend to cough and splutter and try to change the subject. In part, our not-knowing is the not-knowing of those who are historically lost: the knowing of the revolutionaries of the last century has been defeated.” John Holloway

WERTKRITIK:

“The call for the abolition of labor does not have immediate ramifications for Marxist politics.

There is no new program or a master plan for emancipation that can be developed out of the abolition of value. Rather, it can be seen as a condition of emancipation from value and the abstract system of oppression it represents.” Elmar Flatschart

LEFT ACCELERATIONISM:

“Perhaps the real import of the accelerationism defended by Srnicek and Williams is as an intervention into the politics of abstraction. They argue that the representation of abstraction is not only unavoidable but necessary in order to mount an epistemic and political challenge to capitalism. But the fact that such representation is necessary does not guarantee that it is possible to align epistemic and political acceleration, or more basically, that it will be possible to align theoretical explanation with emancipatory activity. Doing so requires the social realisation of cognition […]. Without a theory of the totality that articulates explanatory rationality with emancipatory causality, it becomes difficult to understand the conditions under which epistemic practices might be realised. This is arguably accelerationism’s chief lacuna. What is required is an account of the link between the conceptual and the social at the level of practice, which is to say, an account of the way in which cognitive function supervenes on social practices. This is what … [Left] accelerationism [does not] currently provide.” Ray Brassier

Any objective observer will realize that the last four decades of theoretical development has been a dead end. Theory provides no more practical advice today than it did at the end of the 1970s.

Wage labor must be abolished. Right now. Immediately. Without hesitation on our part.

This is the conclusion everyone is trying to avoid.

I thought this would make a very interesting question for some grad student to answer

With all of the talk about how robots are going to take our jobs, no one seems much interested in investigating why automation has been progressing so slowly.

In the capitalist mode of production, machines compete against labor power. Yet labor power seems pretty persistent in maintaining its advantage despite technological progress.

Why?

From Reddit, a question:

“Why haven’t stores become automated yet?

“In the past 2 years, my city has seen automation introduced in stores from McDonalds and KFC to the local Supermarkets as we have those Kiosks and self-check out cashiers that can handle everything needed in the stores, except for cooking. Yet these stores still have human workers even though they can be automated and have the technology available, I was interested in whether or not there’s unseen obstacles I haven’t considered.

“I thought Amazon’s success in the US with its own automated stores would have proven the concept is viable and human workers are no longer needed in stores.”

Sounds like a doctoral thesis to me.

(Just saying.)

Notes on the Communist Horizon as an Immanent Outside

Interesting piece from Xenogothic…

xenogothic

Distinct thoughts are coalescing after last night’s now-embarrassing waste of energy on Twitter arguments. I always regret fanning the flames with so much oxygen the morning after and, obviously, it would only be worse to delete it later.

A very important side note from the Caves: “weaponise inattention”.

There was a point made, however — a mention of which is not intended as a provocation towards further pointless discussion; I’m not going to address it any further in any hellthreads — that Fisher and Dean both expressed a belief in the piety of party politics and so my own frequent and/or recent use of their work towards a politics of fragmentation is bad. The response I would give to this is useful only because I think it opens out onto a bunch of tandem debates, and one in particular witnessed in private channels which likewise speaks to some of the…

View original post 2,111 more words

It would be interesting to know what the average Marxist makes of this statement by Nick land

“Sorry, Justin, if I can just interrupt you for one minute, because again, this is two-sided … Yes, I nod along to everything you were just saying, but … the language of emancipation, it’s fine with me, you know, but — what is being emancipated?

“Already in the 1990s, my interest is in the emancipation of the means of production. I have zero commitment to emancipation in any way defined by our dominant political discourses. I’m not into emancipated human groups, an emancipated human species, who reaches species-being to emancipate human individuals … None of that to me is of the slightest interest, so in using this word of emancipation, sure, I will totally nod along to it if what is meant by that is capital autonomization. I don’t think that’s something that it isn’t already there in the 1990s, but I’m no longer interested in playing weird academic games about this and pretending this is the same thing as what the left really means when they’re talking about emancipation. I don’t think it is. I think what the left means by emancipation is freedom from capital autonomization.”

Nick Land, Ideology, Intelligence and Capital

As the interviewer puts it, (in his best apocalyptic voice-over), the “oppressive pessimistic horror show” for which Land is to be condemned is the future where, in a clear echo of Marx’s prediction in the fragment on the machine, factories operate without people.

Six points on Kontra Klasa’s “Notes on the Transition”

I have been reading this interesting piece by Kontra Klasa, Notes on the transition to communism. The essay, reprinted in the July 2018 issue of INTRANSIGENCE, tries to update communist strategy to meet the conditions of the 21st century. I thought it had some ideas worth considering, so I will highlight them here in a short note.

There has also been a reply to this piece which I am in the process of reading. I will post some notes on that reply at a later time.

*****

Read the rest of this entry »

REBLOGGED: Notes on the Fragment on Machines

Fragments — فتات

The “Fragment on Machines” is the best known (and perhaps least understood) portion of Marx’s tremendous collection of notes known as the Grundrisse. It has been subjected to study by seemingly every Marxist or pseudo-Marxist theorist since the 1970s, from the pioneers of the wertkritik school to Paul Mason. While the entire passage is worth reading, the most consequential portion of the “Fragment” is its sixth paragraph, which I will include here in its entirety:

The exchange of living labour for objectified labour – i.e. the positing of social labour in the form of the contradiction of capital and wage labour – is the ultimate development of the value-relation and of production resting on value. Its presupposition is – and remains – the mass of direct labour time, the quantity of labour employed, as the determinant factor in the production of wealth. But to the degree that large industry…

View original post 1,981 more words

Can we afford to work less than we do now?

Not surprising, one of the most persuasive arguments against abolishing wage labor is that it leads to poverty for the workers. As the comment below from a writer on Reddit states, loss of a job can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s financial situation:

If this is anti-work, then how do you get by?

I’m out of a job myself (not by choice), but I still need to make money because I need to make bill payments. My parents have been helping me, but I don’t want to be a burden on them. … I just want to know how y’all get by without work to have money for wants and needs.”

Read the rest of this entry »