"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 7, 2010

Backward Looking Questions About Now

At some point after the nth restructuring of economic exchange, will workers finally liberate their owners and appropriators from the need for workers, rendering themselves so much excess flesh?

Will they recognize that finality of their condition, and fight it, or will the surviving laboring class, employed in such extraction and production techniques as result in cornucopia for the few no longer recognize themselves as laborers?

Would such a transition cross a clear threshold, or would it only appear comprehensible in reverse, scouring the past (our present?) for the signs of the series of moments when labor's extractive power had provided enough material and authority to those who ruled and governed them that they no longer served any purpose as laborers?

Would this condition emerge first in developed, capitalized nations where the capitalist class had already largely emancipated itself from the restrictions of labor, utilizing surplus populations instead as consumers, unskilled service workers and armed staffers?

Would it unfold differently in those former colonial nation states where the comprehensive colonization of common space known to the developed world proceeded instead in fits and starts, interrupted by interventions and ungoverned crisis, resulting in an uneven patchwork of authority, fealty and resistance?

Would this disparity between the Euro-American dominions, the territorially expansive but unevenly developed nations such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, China and Iran, and the "underdeveloped" peripheries compel the several factions and combinations of capital and control to vie for access to remaining convertible resources, by simultaneously withdrawing public commitments to superfluous domestic populations and extending armed authority over regions ripe for extraction?

Would this accelerated contest for access to extraction zones replace the former competition for productive labor, especially as labor itself produces the systems and machinery which reduces the import of its class?

Would this hasten the deconstruction of the welfare state, its public educational apparatuses, and the minimum safeguards of the regulatory regime - since labor, now working to survive while creating the conditions of its abolition, can no longer bring even electoral and political pressure to bear on the disciplinary functions of the state?

Would political activity, under such circumstances, only serve to further alienate laborers from the fruits of their own labor, directing their productive efforts into a system which cannot serve their interests and retain coherence and authority over them, at the same time?


Jack Crow said...

h/t SMBIVA -

Mike comes at the problem from another angle:


Al Schumann said...

That first paragraph could stand on its own. It's a beautiful sabotage of high church rhetorical ball-grabbing.

Jack Crow said...

Thanks, Al.