DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Stuggle can even change primmos (apparently)

170 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tarwater's picture
Tarwater
Offline
Joined: 29-12-08
Jan 14 2012 08:16

It seems to me what what and how things are produced are the very same problem. There is an ideology implicit to capitalist production that drives the entire process and cannot be divorced from it. Communism is not an exercise in re-ordering production in the current society or social order that we live in now but a complete departure from everything known. I don't now why this is such a difficult concept for many so-called revolutionaries to understand. "Production" as we know it has no business in a communist society. The arguments against it have no validity, only what is best for humans as a whole at this particular stage of evolution.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Jan 14 2012 09:31

There is some production that will indeed be stopped after the revolution, I don't doubt that. There is a lot of shit that we don't need that's currently produced and, in a rationally organised society, there may very well be items that we as a society decide aren't worth the labour that goes into them or pose too great danger to the environment. This won't, in my opinion, extend to things like burgers and TVs, but undoubtedly they'll be entire sectors that won't exist post-capitalism.

Also, Nath, you have a philosophy degree don't you? You certainly talk like you have one, I mean, "self-immolation", really?

Quote:
"Production" as we know it has no business in a communist society.

Of course, but things will still need to be produced. I think it's pretty clear that when communists talk about productions post-revolution, they're not talking about running all the same industries, in the same way, but under worker control.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Jan 14 2012 09:53

Tarwater I doubt there's anyone on this board who thinks production as it stands doesn't need changing. That's quite different from throwing out the entire gamut of technological progress in favour of a primitivist fantasy where bees don't sting, cows don't fart and disease and illness are a bad dream we'll wake up from if we just get rid of hospitals and medicines.

Nathorange, I'm not interested in engaging with you, so please don't cite me talking to other people in your arguments. I represent my own view, not "communists" and the line you use suggests what a communist Can say, not what all communists Will say.

Tarwater's picture
Tarwater
Offline
Joined: 29-12-08
Jan 14 2012 23:09

My post was in response to nathorange, Sorry guys, but you're tilting at windmills.

bzfgt
Offline
Joined: 25-02-09
Jan 14 2012 23:13
Tarwater wrote:
My post was in response to nathorange, Sorry guys, but you're tilting at windmills.

I'm not sure how your definition of communism as a "complete departure from everything known" jibes with the comments in response to you which seem to suggest current production processes will be taken over and tinkered with rather than remade from the ground up. This has been hashed out quite extensively elsewhere, although not conclusively.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Jan 14 2012 23:47
Quote:
taken over and tinkered with rather than remade from the ground up

Define "tinkered with." I mean for me, changing production would leave much of it basically unrecognisable, but alot of it probably wouldn't change that much if you went over it with a fine "from the ground up" tooth comb. To take an example, I used to work in a factory making valves for gas and water pipe maintenance, which was done quickly, by hand in conditions where aluminium dust went everywhere and we had no masks on etc. Certainly I would expect to see that process change completely.

However if we wished to continue moving gas or water around in any bulk (for whatever reason) we would, at some point, need safe valve systems to do gas and water pipe maintenance without leaking explosive gas (or water) everywhere. That necessary sequence of events using known technologies doesn't disappear simply because the world's gone communist.*

I mean I can sympathise with a "burn it all down and start again" philosophy don't get me wrong, appeals on a visceral level etc, but it's not actually very useful. Some stuff is inherently in need of rebuilding, some stuff isn't. Fucking about with a high pressure valve isn't, fucking about with the method of its production, sure. Short shifts and working practices founded on safety and taking care? Definitely. Rethought technology to emphasise me not getting a blade stuck in my hand? Absolutely. New energy systems to make the whole process more sustainable and materials which aren't so environmentally damaging? Right on. But it does need making somehow and has to do a very specific job.

Tarwater: Fair enough sorry!

* Well I guess you could use adqeducts and lock systems, but then you have potential intra-river contamination to get around and a frankly epic building project to keep up.

bzfgt
Offline
Joined: 25-02-09
Jan 15 2012 01:10

Rob,

Yeah, I didn't mean to rekindle the gigantomachy, I was just having a hard time seeing Tarwater's interpretation of his own remarks. But I will attempt to respond a bit.

To begin with I will stand back at a remove, then I will adopt my own voice so as not to seem evasive. It seems that this argument has been hashed out quite a bit here and involves two related but not identical claims that militate against your position. I am not sure how accurate lines, fort-da-game and others who have advanced these claims will find my gloss, but here it is: 1. Current technologies (in the broad sense, including methods and institutions) are the body of capital, hence it all has to be be burned down, as you say, because communism cannot just repurpose dead labor--i.e. capital--and carve out a human existence on its basis. 2. It is not the communist's place to consider the details of how the world will be remade. This is not simply epistemological skepticism, the notion that our thinking is more capitalist dead labor and so is useless for communism; rather, the idea seems to be that we must be standing on new ground before we can decide what to build upon it, in other words the skepticism is deeper than epistemology, it is fundamental. We will not be in touch with human needs until there is, if not a human society in place, which would render this position viciously circular, then at least the lack of all the determining factors that militate against the human. The machines may still be there, but they will be stopped. Thus, although these two claims have often been treated as the same, 2. does not necessarily entail 1.

As for me, I am skeptical about 1. While I think it's problematic to claim that capitalist production brings about the material basis for communism, I'm not sure that this skepticism entails a technological tabula rasa. I am more convinced by 2. I realize that you will say this is all speculation, that you are not planning communism, and I appreciate the distinction, but I think communists should be wary of any presumed continuity between current production processes and communist society. As for physical technology and artifacts of production, only when a society based on human needs is in existence will the question be properly askable: "is there a use for some of this stuff"?

Beyond this I wouldn't want to say at the moment and, as I said, I wasn't trying to start this argument again, I just found it hard to reconcile Tarwater's statements with the ensuing remarks about communist televisions.

Tarwater's picture
Tarwater
Offline
Joined: 29-12-08
Jan 16 2012 04:39

bzfgt,
I am having trouble understanding what your post means, or whether you are addressing me at all. Maybe you're addressing Rob Ray and just using me as some kind of example. It's hard enough for me to enough to make myself clear without being made to feel inferior because someone's writing style is overwrought. Anyway, I think I'm for #2, if anyone cares.

nathorange
Offline
Joined: 6-01-12
Jan 17 2012 04:41
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Also, Nath, you have a philosophy degree don't you?

Nope smile
I just like to explore ideas.

nathorange
Offline
Joined: 6-01-12
Jan 17 2012 05:00
Rob Ray wrote:
Nathorange, I'm not interested in engaging with you, so please don't cite me talking to other people in your arguments.

Your gag order has been received. I just want to point out that I've been nothing but civil towards you and others on this thread.

My suggestion to you would be: if you're not interested in engaging with "Primmos" like me, maybe you could perhaps, I don't know, not post on "Primmo" threads (?). Just an idea.