Brown Stuff

Eric Beck rayrena at
Wed Aug 11 07:15:57 PDT 1999

Jim Heartfield wrote:

>For all that Jenkins' argument is a great deal more attractive than the
>one that we should arrest technology at a low level so that we can soak
>up unemployment with back-breakingly onerous labour.
>The problem with both though, is that they are utopian

Natch. Utopian=undesirable

>in that capital
>accumulation does not exist to absorb labour, but to make profits.

Um, uh,...duh?

>Having reconciled oneself to the persistence of wage slavery, it is
>doubly foolish to try to manage capitalism according to the imperative
>of absorbing labour.

So it's fruitless to hope for and strive toward less work? By this logic the fight for the eight-hour day was just a wasteful, capital-strengthening exercise. The push for living wages, and strikes, wildcat and organized, as well.

I see what you are saying: it's a shame that we have resigned ourselves to suffering at capital's mercy and settled for piecemeal reform. According to what you state above, attempting to alleviate the ill-effects is self-defeating, which I agree can certainly be a danger that everyone should guard against. But how far do you extend that principle? Is all that we can hope for is the absolute, immediate destruction of capitalism? Is anything short of that a sellout that merely plays into the hands of capital? Seems to me full employment and fair wages are the only things worth fighting for *within* capitalism.


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