“The call for the abolition of labor does not have immediate ramifications for Marxist politics.” –Elmar Flatschart, “Marx and Wertkritik”
“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie” –Karl Marx “Communist Manifesto”
Okay, so which of those views is right and which is bullshit?
If the abolition of labor doesn’t inform and determine political activity, what remains to inform it? The Left balks at advancing the demand for abolition of labor because it is “unrealistic”. How will the worker pay her miserable 30 year mortgage and service her credit cards if she does not work long hours? Doesn’t this imply that, absent the aim of the abolition of labor to inform politics, politics will be “informed” by poverty and debt?
I think wertkritik has so far failed in its project precisely because it seeks only “to understand society, via a negative critique”, not to change it. We can, in this view, know what we are against, but can never really know what we are for. The failure here is that wertkritik, following the tradition of post-war Marxism, has thus far failed to bring the state in its new role as manager of the national capital into the analysis of the mode of production.
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