Class Struggles First! (was Re: Obviously...)

James Heartfield Jim at
Sat Oct 21 14:58:50 PDT 2000

In message <39F1C8EE.C500081C at>, Carrol Cox <cbcox at> writes
>Come on James. Stop shooting fish in a barrel. Respond to Yoshie's development
>of my initial point instead of focusing on what is (obviously) bizarre.

Sorry, Carrol, missed that. Do you mean this one (my thoughts appended)?

In message <v04210101b616929f5af5@[]>, Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at> writes
>Class struggles first, before the majority of people get to benefit
>from technological fixes. Under capitalism, techno fixes have been
>presented as _substitutes_ for radical social transformation to bring
>about the socialist relations of production for needs, not profits,
>as Eric argues.

If the point is that the producing class will never secure the full fruits of its labour under capitalism then who here could disagree?

But to deny the empirically demonstrable - if chequered - advance in working class living standards, both in the West and in much of the third world, over the last fifty years is to substitute rhetoric for reality.

Those who worry that the case for social transformation is undermined by recognising , for example, that the decline in infant mortality is more than a 'technical fix', are making a mistake.

Proclaiming universal immiseration in the face of the facts only puts the left outside of any serious discussion. The case for socialism is not dependent upon universal immiseration.

Far from being part of the case against social transformation, technological progress is its material foundation, as struggle is its social foundation.

The movement that positions itself against scientific and technological progress allies itself to reaction, founding itself instead on the most conservative scaremongering sentiments available.

A movement that fears change a priori is unlikely to do anything to upset the applecart.

In message <000f01c03ba2$eeae1260$38b30e18 at>, John Thornton <jthorn16 at> writes
>Tell that to Monarch butterfly larvae.

I think I'll leave that important piece of agitational work to you. Perhaps Prince Charles can take time off talking to plants to join you.

My last word on 'obviously'. -- James Heartfield

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