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Are cops proletarians?

POST REPLY

Are cops proletarians?

Yes
20
32%
Other/Not sure
17
27%
No
25
40%
 
Total votes : 62
Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 21:24
What do you think:are cops proletarians?
What is their relation with the bourgeoisie?

Mabool brought up these questions in a private discussion:
Are they(the cops) exploited? And if they are,how are they exploited? Do they produce surplus value? Does the bourgeoisie make a profit off their (cops') labor?
Last edited by Loz on 20 Oct 2010, 21:34, edited 2 times in total.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 21:27
Their labour is not productive. They do not create or even realize value. So, a definite no, because they just aren't in the capitalist cycle of production. Not everybody who gets a wage is a proletarian. You can't even call them wage slaves.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 21:43
Loz wrote:
What do you think:are cops proletarians?

They are the armed security guards of, and enforcers of the will of, the bourgeoisie. So, no.
Quote:
Are they(the cops) exploited?

All servants of the bourgeois class are exploited by them.
Quote:
And if they are,how are they exploited?

They are chewed up and spat out, frequently underpaid and then denied full coverage for their on-the-job injuries, and dicked out of their full pension. This happens all too often for members of the rank and file in the military as well.
Quote:
Do they produce surplus value? Does the bourgeoisie make a profit off their (cops') labor?

Where does all the dope go?
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
Soviet cogitations: 7674
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2004, 02:08
Embalmed
Post 20 Oct 2010, 21:54
Quote:
Their labour is not productive.

security
Quote:
Not everybody who gets a wage is a proletarian. You can't even call them wage slaves.

Patrol, arrest, etc

Just because you dont like the pigs doesnt mean theyre not proles.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 22:00
Trentski wrote:
Just because you dont like the pigs doesnt mean theyre not proles.

Trentski, we all know that they originate as proles, and that 90% return directly to proletarian status at the end of their "careers". What matters for the practical purposes of this argument is that during their time in uniform they are the paid and protected (over and above the laws that apply to the rest of the working class) servants of the bourgeoisie. In other words, a gun and a badge is what lifts them temporarily "above their station".
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Apr 2008, 03:25
Embalmed
Post 20 Oct 2010, 22:25
Order227 wrote:
They are the armed security guards of, and enforcers of the will of, the bourgeoisie. So, no.

This. Cops are there to enforce the laws of the government and people in power. They can also be corrupt and get away with doing somethings themselves.
Once capitalists know we can release the Kraken, they'll back down and obey our demands for sure.
_Comrade Gulper
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 20 Oct 2010, 22:27
They aren't proletarian as they don't produce. However they do help preserve capitalist production and accumulation. I.e. they enforce private property and attempt to retrive any produce expropriated from the bourgeoisie. Thus they help maintain production but do not actually produce and thus are not proletarian.

I would say they are exploited however and it will be necessary to turn a large proportion of them in order to allow the revolution to occur. They are exploited in that they do not derive their income from any ownership of the means of production and assist the bourgeoisie in making sure that provate property remains in order to make sure capitalism prevails.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 22:33
Historically it has been much easier to win over parts of the military rather than parts of the cops, though. A revolutionary soldiers vs. cops situation sounds much more probable than winning over a significant portion of the police apparatus.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 20 Oct 2010, 23:06
Quote:
Just because you dont like the pigs doesnt mean theyre not proles.


Agreed 100%. I really hate the attitude people here have towards cops. Just because they are used by the Bourgeoisie against the working class doesn't mean they aren't proles. There are a lot of precedents of security forces joining or at the very least having reservations against putting down revolutionary struggle.

Are cops in Socialist countries not proles? Their role in society is exactly the same.

Quote:
They aren't proletarian as they don't produce.


By the same logic, you could argue that most people in the service sector (i.e. most of the Western working class) aren’t proletarian.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 20 Oct 2010, 23:22
Quote:
Are cops in Socialist countries not proles? Their role in society is exactly the same.


C'mon, I know you're not that stupid, are you?

1. There are no proletarians in socialism.
2. Cops are an instrument of class struggle employed by the ruling class in order to stabilize its rule. A police officer in a socialist country is not used to oppress you, but to protect you. Of course you could say that capitalist cops and socialist police are the same because they protect the order they live in, but since the capitalist order is our enemy and the socialist order is our objective, it makes a huge difference for us.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 21 Oct 2010, 00:48
Fellow Comrade wrote:
Just because they are used by the Bourgeoisie against the working class doesn't mean they aren't proles.

I argued earlier that they begin, and 90% end, as proles. It's what they do on behalf of the bourgeois class during their time in uniform that makes them enemies of the working class.
Quote:
There are a lot of precedents of security forces joining or at the very least having reservations against putting down revolutionary struggle.

In Watts? In Detroit? In L.A.? How about in Selma? The number of cops with "reservations" didn't seem to make much of a dent in any of these locales.
Quote:
Are cops in Socialist countries not proles? Their role in society is exactly the same.

The role of police in Socialist countries is most certainly not to uphold the social hegemony of the bourgeoisie.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Jul 2006, 00:10
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 21 Oct 2010, 00:55
depends on the country i guess. our cops are pretty cool and so were the spanish police officers and assault guardists who joined the anti-fascists.
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zato je njeno ljudstvo pripravljeno umreti.

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 21 Oct 2010, 01:13
Quote:
By the same logic, you could argue that most people in the service sector (i.e. most of the Western working class) aren’t proletarian.


Yes you could say that. However, since times have changed a lot since Marx's day and we now have a lot of service industry in the West as opposed to merely primary and secondary, the term "proletarian" is less inclusive than it once was in terms of socialist revolution. Thus when Marx talks about the proletariat overthrowing capitalism he is talking about the majority of the working class as the service sector back then was much smaller. Now we have a more general working class which still contains proletarians but they are not necessarily the largest proportion within that class.

It is best these days (in terms of the West) to look at an exploited working class as opposed merely to an exploited proletariat.

Thus the police are exploited but they are not proletariat.
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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 21 Oct 2010, 01:47
Mabool:
Quote:
C'mon, I know you're not that stupid, are you?


You're so far up yourself, you could brush your teeth.

Quote:
1. There are no proletarians in socialism.


In Socialism, the proletariat has siezed control of society from Capitalists. It is the same class in a different position of society.

Quote:
Cops are an instrument of class struggle employed by the ruling class in order to stabilize its rule. A police officer in a socialist country is not used to oppress you, but to protect you.


That's a nice piece of spin, but that's all it is. Cops in Socialism are an instrument of class struggle employed by the NEW ruling class to stabilise its rule. It's exactly the same role as in Capitalism except that the former ruling class and counter revolutionaries are the ones being opressed.

Quote:
Of course you could say that capitalist cops and socialist police are the same because they protect the order they live in, but since the capitalist order is our enemy and the socialist order is our objective, it makes a huge difference for us.


This doesn't change the fact that cops are proletarians and not our enemy. Sometimes, it is necessary to fight against them, but I am speaking in terms of class. Proletarians have ended up fighting each other in every revolution in history. Has it occurred to anyone that regarding and treating cops as an enemy will make them our enemy? I'd want to be rough with people who hate me to the core as well and there's no way in Hell I'd want to ally with them.

Order:
Quote:
I argued earlier that they begin, and 90% end, as proles. It's what they do on behalf of the bourgeois class during their time in uniform that makes them enemies of the working class.


I know from experience that cops don't go to work in the morning thinking of how they can act on behalf of the Bourgeoisie against the working class. Their main motivation is to "clean the streets" from violence, drug abuse, domestic disputes and the like. These are things cops in any society need to deal with.

Quote:
In Watts? In Detroit? In L.A.? How about in Selma? The number of cops with "reservations" didn't seem to make much of a dent in any of these locales.


England in the industrial struggles of the early 1900's. Cuba during the revolution. There are many more examples from the world over of police joining forces with working class struggle. A lot of countries have police unions. I would suggest that the majority of cops in America and to a lesser degree Europe are the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself. There is a much higher degree of ideological indoctrination (through the media) in these countries.

gRed Britain:
Quote:
Yes you could say that. However, since times have changed a lot since Marx's day and we now have a lot of service industry in the West as opposed to merely primary and secondary, the term "proletarian" is less inclusive than it once was in terms of socialist revolution. Thus when Marx talks about the proletariat overthrowing capitalism he is talking about the majority of the working class as the service sector back then was much smaller. Now we have a more general working class which still contains proletarians but they are not necessarily the largest proportion within that class.


If you want to take that line of argument, than the question being asked here is irrelevent, since the majority of revolutionary potential in the Western world doesn't come from the proletariat. Or, you could go to the other end of spectrum and argue that the Western world has no revolutionary potential becuase the proletariat has become such a small sector of society (as MTW's do).

Quote:
Thus the police are exploited but they are not proletariat.


When they can see that exploitation, they will likely start questioning just as any factory worker or sales assistant would do.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 21 Oct 2010, 10:54
Quote:
You're so far up yourself, you could brush your teeth.


Incidentally I did brush my teeth like half an hour ago.

Quote:
In Socialism, the proletariat has siezed control of society from Capitalists. It is the same class in a different position of society.


Nah. It's no coincidence the Socialist countries always insisted on being ruled by "working people" instead of "proletarians". The word "proletariat" was always reserved for workers in capitalist countries. A proletarian is defined as being exploited, which of course doesn't happen in socialism.

But that's really just arguing semantics, we can drop that if you like.

Quote:
That's a nice piece of spin, but that's all it is. Cops in Socialism are an instrument of class struggle employed by the NEW ruling class to stabilise its rule. It's exactly the same role as in Capitalism except that the former ruling class and counter revolutionaries are the ones being opressed.


Yeah. But if I don't belong to those being oppressed, why should I have a problem with the oppression? I mean that's a huge criterion for whether my hate for them is justified or not. It makes all the difference in the world whether the cops defend MY class rule or if they defend THEIR (the bourgeoisie's) class rule which translates to MY oppression.

Quote:
Has it occurred to anyone that regarding and treating cops as an enemy will make them our enemy? I'd want to be rough with people who hate me to the core as well and there's no way in Hell I'd want to ally with them.


So if we stopped throwing stones at them they'd be nice to us? Is that what you're trying to say? If yes, this shows a blatant lack of experience because militant actions directed at cops are in almost all cases defensive. It's the cops who hate us to the core (or at least, act like they hate us) and that turns us into their enemies, not vice versa.

Quote:
I know from experience that cops don't go to work in the morning thinking of how they can act on behalf of the Bourgeoisie against the working class. Their main motivation is to "clean the streets" from violence, drug abuse, domestic disputes and the like. These are things cops in any society need to deal with.


Not really. Violence, drug abuse, domestic disputes "and the like" are symptoms of a class society. Cops are capital's tool to manage the conflicts it creates. Just imagine for a second how much less cops would have to do if property was gone.

Quote:
England in the industrial struggles of the early 1900's. Cuba during the revolution. There are many more examples from the world over of police joining forces with working class struggle. A lot of countries have police unions. I would suggest that the majority of cops in America and to a lesser degree Europe are the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself. There is a much higher degree of ideological indoctrination (through the media) in these countries.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dsomoX2Bg

That's just a random example of cop violence outside of the West. I can assure you there are many more. Also Germany has police unions too, and they're reactionary to the core. Recently, they protested against a proposal to make riot cops identifiable in order to prevent their violent abuses by making them accountable.


edit:

Also, Zizek makes an excellent point on this:

Quote:
From the standpoint of the subordinated and oppressed, the very existence of the state, as an apparatus of class domination, is a fact of violence. Similarly, Robespierre argued that regicide is not justified by proving the King had committed any specific crime: the very existence of the King is a crime, an offence against the freedom of the people. In this strict sense, the use of force by the oppressed against the ruling class and its state is always ultimately ‘defensive’. If we do not concede this point, we volens nolens ‘normalize’ the state and accept its violence as merely a matter of contingent excesses. The standard liberal motto—that it is sometimes necessary to resort to violence, but it is never legitimate—is not sufficient. From the radical-emancipatory perspective, one should turn it around: for the oppressed, violence is always legitimate—since their very status is the result of violence—but never necessary: it is always a matter of strategic consideration whether to use force against the enemy or not.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 21 Oct 2010, 16:03
Quote:
If you want to take that line of argument, than the question being asked here is irrelevent, since the majority of revolutionary potential in the Western world doesn't come from the proletariat. Or, you could go to the other end of spectrum and argue that the Western world has no revolutionary potential becuase the proletariat has become such a small sector of society (as MTW's do).


Pretty much - although I'm no MTW. Cops are exploited and they are not bourgeoisie or even petty-bourgeoisie as they do not derive income from any private property.

Quote:
When they can see that exploitation, they will likely start questioning just as any factory worker or sales assistant would do.


Hopefully!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 21 Oct 2010, 18:50
I'm glad we can agree on that much gRed.

Quote:
Incidentally I did brush my teeth like half an hour ago.


*Wooooooosh*

I honestly thought SE was more thoughtful than this. It's good to see that there are some people who are sensible about this issue though.
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Soviet cogitations: 14444
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 21 Oct 2010, 19:53
Since when is being proletarian not based on making the bulk of your capital off your sold labor? And how is service labor not productive?

If anything service labor is much more exploited than industrial labor.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 22 Oct 2010, 05:02
Quote:
"The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labour power and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death,whose sole existence depends on the demand for labour...


The police are proletarian. We have workers who can be scabs, who have their own circle of hell dedicated to them. Doesn't mean that police are going to be our best friends though..
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"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 22 Oct 2010, 05:15
I'm inclined to say no, they are not, but I'm not entirely sure.
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"You say you have no enemies? How is this so? Have you never spoken the truth, never loved justice?" - Santiago Ramón y Cajal
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