Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

Are cops proletarians?

POST REPLY

Are cops proletarians?

Yes
20
32%
Other/Not sure
17
27%
No
25
40%
 
Total votes : 62
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 07 Jul 2014, 23:15
Quote:
Probably, but the main idea behind the concept of "labour aristocracy" is that the bourgeoisie plunders other countries and workers (imperialism) to bribe a part of the working class. Although Tony Cliff considers that this is actually widespread in industrialized countries (which is gross in itself), he doesn't challenge seriously Lenin's plea that this is a tiny minority since workers from industrialized countries are already a minority.


Prove that workers are a minority in industrialised countries. Neither Lenin nor Cliff say that they are. Yet another unfounded claim from you with absolutely no evidence to support it.
Cliff wrote:
But why should it affect only the real wages of an “infinitesimal minority”? Does the increase of employment possibilities, and decline in unemployment, lead to the rise of a small “aristocracy of labour” while the conditions of the mass of the working class is hardly affected at all? Are conditions of more or less full employment conducive to increasing differentials between skilled and unskilled workers? They are certainly not.


Quote:
Only the entire working class of industrialized countries. If you want to bribe the whole working class of industrialized countries with the "crumbs" of imperialism, you have to plunder an important part of the working class from third world countries. That's why I say that this paper isn't interesting, this is just byzantinism imo.


Congratulations! You are a Maoist Third-Worldist! Welcome to one of the nuttiest sects of Marxism ever to be formulated! Your new comrades can be found here! http://llco.org/msh-journal/ p.s. Don't forget the racist stuff they propagate; it's a big part of their ideology.

You clearly hate the working classes of the developed world. Therefore, when you say that the police aren't proletarian, that's because you don't think anyone in the developed world is proletarian.

Quote:
Yes to better understand capitalism, because that's the point of Marx's work. But we were not speaking about capitalism.


Yes, we are speaking about socialism and you still haven't answered my question as to how production will be expanded under socialism. I'm noticing a pattern here.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 08 Jul 2014, 00:04
Quote:
Prove that workers are a minority in industrialised countries. Neither Lenin nor Cliff say that they are. Yet another unfounded claim from you with absolutely no evidence to support it.
Ahah, I was talking about "workers from industrialized" and not "in industrialized countries". They are a minority compared to the rest of the world.


Quote:
Congratulations! You are a Maoist Third-Worldist!

No because I don't endorse Cliff's opinions. Maoist third-worldism is the logical continuation of Cliff's analysis though.

Quote:
You clearly hate the working classes of the developed world. Therefore, when you say that the police aren't proletarian, that's because you don't think anyone in the developed world is proletarian.

Yes I'm a hater.

No the police isn't a class. There is a big difference between the simple cop and let's say, the chief of police. Yet both of them sell their forwforce. So if you want to explain to me that the chief of police is a proletarian... you will need more than Cliff's paper obviously as it's totally shocking.

Quote:
Yes, we are speaking about socialism and you still haven't answered my question as to how production will be expanded under socialism. I'm noticing a pattern here.

I don't understand why you are asking this question. Isn't it obvious that in a socialist society if you want to expand production you will simply devote more work to the expansion of production according to the plan?
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 08 Jul 2014, 11:34
Quote:
Ahah, I was talking about "workers from industrialized" and not "in industrialized countries". They are a minority compared to the rest of the world.


Yes but these workers have had a lot longer to organise their labour and achieve improvements in their working and living conditions thanks to the labour movement. This is the hypocrisy that comes from Lenin's labour aristocracy theory: Leninists support gains for the working class until they realise that the working class in the developed world is better off than in the developing world. Therefore they come to hate the working class of the developed world because they have better working and living conditions. The first world working class didn't ask for imperialism.

Take something such as child labour. It still exists in many third world countries but has been abolished in the first world. Does this make the first world workers petit-bourgeois? Should we reinstate child labour in the first world just so that we can retain something in common with third world workers?

Quote:
No because I don't endorse Cliff's opinions. Maoist third-worldism is the logical continuation of Cliff's analysis though.


Maoist Third-Worldism hates the first world working class because it is better off than the third world working class. In fact the Maoist Third-Worldists don't even believe there is a first world working class.

Quote:
No the police isn't a class. There is a big difference between the simple cop and let's say, the chief of police. Yet both of them sell their forwforce. So if you want to explain to me that the chief of police is a proletarian... you will need more than Cliff's paper obviously as it's totally shocking.


So you finally acknowledge that the average police officer on the street is a proletarian? Yes the big police chiefs do not count in the same way that the head of a bank is not a proletarian. But the workers behind the counter working at a high street retail bank every day most certainly are. And I cited Cliff's paper purely to prove there is no labour aristocracy.

Quote:
I don't understand why you are asking this question. Isn't it obvious that in a socialist society if you want to expand production you will simply devote more work to the expansion of production according to the plan?


I'm talking about the schemas of expanded reproduction (which you clearly failed to understand in the original thread). Where does the surplus-value come from under socialism in order to expand reproduction?
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 08 Jul 2014, 13:05
Quote:
So you finally acknowledge that the average police officer on the street is a proletarian?

I was saying that, if the "average police officer" comes from the proletariat because he sells his labour force, then the chief of police must also be a proletarian, which is absurd. Isn't it? So if, in your opinion, the average police officer is a proletarian, it's probably for a different reason.

Quote:
his is the hypocrisy that comes from Lenin's labour aristocracy theory: Leninists support gains for the working class until they realise that the working class in the developed world is better off than in the developing world.

No because in Lenin's theory (which is also Engels' theory, we shall not forget it) this labour aristocracy is a minority, and even in industrialized countries it remains a minority. There is a difference between those who struggled for their rights and interests and understand that they still have to struggle to protect their position, and those who are basically bribed by the bourgeoisie, for example the worker unions who love to negociate (and agree no matter what) such as the French CFDT.

Moreover Cliff was writing at a time when there was almost full employment (and this illusion blinded his analys), but now if you look at our societies you see a lot of poverty (14% of Frenchmen live in poverty according to recent figures, more than 15% in Germany), a lot of job insecurity, many inequalities between workers. And on the other side you have workers with job security and a nice wage, you have "bribed" union members and especially union leaders... So the idea that there IS a worker aristocracy is certainly true, and there is probably no general embourgeoisement of the working class.

Quote:
Maoist Third-Worldism hates the first world working class because it is better off than the third world working class. In fact the Maoist Third-Worldists don't even believe there is a first world working class.

This is a caricature.


Quote:
I'm talking about the schemas of expanded reproduction (which you clearly failed to understand in the original thread). Where does the surplus-value come from under socialism in order to expand reproduction?

Can you eat surplus-value?
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 08 Jul 2014, 13:28
Quote:
I was saying that, if the "average police officer" comes from the proletariat because he sells his labour force, then the chief of police must also be a proletarian, which is absurd. Isn't it? So if, in your opinion, the average police officer is a proletarian, it's probably for a different reason.


So you only think productive workers are proletarians? All unproductive workers are not proletarians?

Quote:
No because in Lenin's theory (which is also Engels' theory, we shall not forget it) this labour aristocracy is a minority, and even in industrialized countries it remains a minority. There is a difference between those who struggled for their rights and interests and understand that they still have to struggle to protect their position, and those who are basically bribed by the bourgeoisie, for example the worker unions who love to negociate (and agree no matter what) such as the French CFDT.


So only union leaders are labour aristocracy? When has anyone ever been "bribed" by the bourgeoisie?

Quote:
Moreover Cliff was writing at a time when there was almost full employment (and this illusion blinded his analys), but now if you look at our societies you see a lot of poverty (14% of Frenchmen live in poverty according to recent figures), a lot of job insecurity, many inequalities between workers. And on the other side you have workers with job security and a nice wage, you have "bribed" union members and especially union leaders... So the idea that there IS a worker aristocracy is certainly true, and there is probably no general embourgeoisement of the working class.


If there is no general embourgeoisement of the working class then how come they are so conservative and reformist in the developed world? Unemployment is a consequence of demand for labour. If demand for labour falls then people lose their jobs. The bourgeoisie doesn't just fire people to be evil. Just because some workers have a better wage and job security than others doesn't mean they have been bribed by the bourgeoisie; it means there is clearly a higher demand for their labour in whatever role they perform.

Quote:
This is a caricature.


That's because Maoism Third-Worldism is a caricature of genuine Marxism.

Quote:
Can you eat surplus-value?


Yes, in the form of surplus product (if the product is a foodstuff). Now answer my question: where does the surplus-value come from under socialism in order to expand reproduction? This is the third time I've asked this question and you have yet to provide an answer.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 17 Jul 2014, 19:13
Cops do usefull work, but not productive work.

So they are not proletarians under that definition.

But they are workers, nowithstanding that formal diference.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 17 Jul 2014, 19:40
AldoBrasil wrote:
Cops do usefull work, but not productive work.

So they are not proletarians under that definition.

The usual Marxist definition of "proletarian" is whether or not someone is dependent on wage labor, whether they own the means of their production or not. Police officers are dependent on wages and don't own the state, which is their means of production. They're pretty indisputably proletarian in my opinion.

But on what most of the thread seems actually about: they're not exactly a great source of fervor for change since it's their job to protect the state's interests, but it's only as an institution that they're a huge problem. Individual workers in the police and military have historically defected in many upheavals. They suffer too because of that system they enforce, and in some cases might understand the corruption in it better than the average worker. Quietly sending around covert propaganda from the inside might even bring some to us, and having sympathizers on the inside can be a great source of intelligence for any movement. I would recognize that they're paid to oppose us, so most of them will unfortunately fight progressive movements that arise, but not actively alienate them from us or lump them all in as enemies.
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 17 Jul 2014, 20:09
Quote:
But on what most of the thread seems actually about: they're not exactly a great source of fervor for change since it's their job to protect the state's interests, but it's only as an institution that they're a huge problem. Individual workers in the police and military have historically defected in many upheavals. They suffer too because of that system they enforce, and in some cases might understand the corruption in it better than the average worker. Quietly sending around covert propaganda from the inside might even bring some to us, and having sympathizers on the inside can be a great source of intelligence for any movement. I would recognize that they're paid to oppose us, so most of them will unfortunately fight progressive movements that arise, but not actively alienate them from us or lump them all in as enemies.


Exactly. People forget that the average productive worker also helps the capitalist class simply by producing surplus-value for them.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 37
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 11:33
Pioneer
Post 19 Jul 2014, 21:53
gRed Britain wrote:
People forget that the average productive worker also helps the capitalist class simply by producing surplus-value for them.

That's a fact. Aren't we are all cogs in the capitalist machine? However, members of the police force frequently become the target of criticism and/or rejection by workers, mainly because they oppose us (or, more accurately, are ordered to oppose us) in our rallies and demonstrations.
In our time and age, where capitalism is greatly depended on both services and manual labor, we should continue to include all low-wage employees (whether white collar or blue collar) in the definition of the proletarians, and therefore the policemen too.

Nor they are our primal enemies. Attacking a policeman is exactly the same as attacking the gun rather than the killer. It's the bourgeois class that uses them, and after the ..."change in matters" they will be the tools of the proletariat.
After all, when the subversive elements of the bourgeoisie started the "spontaneous" "revolt" in Hungary, the police force was by far the most "conservative" (meaning, the most loyal to the government) part of the state.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 19 Jul 2014, 23:08
Quote:
The usual Marxist definition of "proletarian" is whether or not someone is dependent on wage labor, whether they own the means of their production or not.

No, it's the contrary.

Quote:
which is their means of production.

No because their work is non-productive, in the Marxist sense. They participate in the reproduction of production. AldoBrasil is right.

Quote:
So you only think productive workers are proletarians? All unproductive workers are not proletarians?

In general yes. Although there can be some exceptions.

Quote:
So only union leaders are labour aristocracy? When has anyone ever been "bribed" by the bourgeoisie?

The French Union Force Ouvrière was created by the CIA. This is only one example.

Quote:
That's because Maoism Third-Worldism is a caricature of genuine Marxism.

Actually what you call "maoist third-worldism" is a caricature of Maoism itself.

Quote:
If there is no general embourgeoisement of the working class then how come they are so conservative and reformist in the developed world

Embourgeoisement isn't the sole cause of reformism or conservatism. There is many other causes. Precarious work is a typical example of a material basis for conservatism, because it weakens class relations inside the working class.

Quote:
Yes, in the form of surplus product (if the product is a foodstuff)

Surplus-product and surplus-value are two different things. You can't eat surplus-value.


Quote:
This is the third time I've asked this question and you have yet to provide an answer.

You can ask as much as you want, but there is no answer to this strange question because there is no need for surplus-value in a society in which value itself has a different meaning. You obviously don't really understand the difference between socialism and capitalism. What's the difference between socialism and capitalism according to you?

Quote:
after the ..."change in matters" they will be the tools of the proletariat.

The idea that the state (the cops in this dicussion) is merely a "tool" that could be sized by the proletariat has been challenged by Lenin in his book The State and Revolution, in which he explains that it's not sufficient to take this tool, it must be broken. If there is a revolution, it will be broken, the police will be broken and replaced by something different such as people's militas.
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 10:01
OP-Bagration wrote:
No, it's the contrary.

You know what I meant.

Quote:
No because their work is non-productive, in the Marxist sense. They participate in the reproduction of production. AldoBrasil is right.

But they're still exploited through wage labor, whose only means of subsistence is selling their labor power for a salary. The heart of the definition of a proletarian. Or would you condemn service sector employees as non-proletarian too because they don't make anything physical? As a waitress, am I a dirty labor aristocrat?

Quote:
Actually what you call "maoist third-worldism" is a caricature of Maoism itself.

Not all Maoists subscribe to Three Worlds Theory. I mean, historically those who didn't split off and started calling themselves Hoxhaists or joining the Orthodox Trotskyists (depending on the lessons they took from Mao's opportunism and how gung-ho for Stalin they were beforehand) instead, but some also use the term "Orthodox Maoist" just to emphasize their support for 60s China and Mao's insights from before the twilight of his life.

Though I'd also add that to believe the labor aristocracy in the first-world is bloated since our prosperity depends on imperialist exploitation, a hard to argue with statement of fact, absolutely does not mean workers in the first-world aren't exploited. As they depend on wage labor and their product is alienated from them, of course they are. Many also have to live in constant fear of being laid off, their bosses using the very threat of it to force overtime and make their lives hell for the company's benefit. First-world workers may be better off and harder to spur to revolution, it's a matter of fairness and human decency for them rather than life or death, but they're still very much exploited.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Jul 2014, 11:43
Quote:
But they're still exploited through wage labor, whose only means of subsistence is selling their labor power for a salary. The heart of the definition of a proletarian.

It's not because someone receives a wage that this person is exploited. To be exploited you need to give a part of your surplus-product to your master, but in the case of wage labor, you can receive a wage that is far above the actual value of your production, and in the case of non-productive labor, it's much harder to determine the value of your product and surplus product. The main job of cops in the capitalist state is to secure the state itself, and the mode of production itself. The capitalist state will usually pay them much, with the surplus product of other workers, because they want to have loyal men at their disposal in case of popular revolt. Of course, in some situations, they might be impoverished and exploited, that's also true for soldiers, and they might join the proletariat in its struggle. However, that won't make them proletarians.
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 12:08
OP-Bagration wrote:
It's not because someone receives a wage that this person is exploited. To be exploited you need to give a part of your surplus-product to your master, but in the case of wage labor, you can receive a wage that is far above the actual value of your production, and in the case of non-productive labor, it's much harder to determine the value of your product and surplus product.

That's massively misconstruing what I said. Of course it's not receiving the wage that's exploitative, but the system of wage-labor which rests precisely on robbing surplus value. Just because the value of a police officer's services aren't perfectly quantifiable, because there's no physical product, doesn't mean they aren't wage-laborers within the capitalist system. Thus, subject to the same system of exploitation. This is starting to reek of producerism.

Quote:
The main job of cops in the capitalist state is to secure the state itself, and the mode of production itself. The capitalist state will usually pay them much, with the surplus product of other workers, because they want to have loyal men at their disposal in case of popular revolt. Of course, in some situations, they might be impoverished and exploited, that's also true for soldiers, and they might join the proletariat in its struggle. However, that won't make them proletarians.

They might be paid decent working-class wages, but it's still wage-labor in a system where that's used for the purpose of exploitation.

And without conscription (where most soldiers' proletarian status is more apparent since it's unwilling labor everyone had to do), the state has to give benefits like cheaper college admissions to even convince people to sign up for the military, something explicitly targeted at kids from working-class backgrounds. There are many who are just in it for that and pretty disinterested in what they're actually paid to do, and yet they have to risk their lives every day for even that chance at social mobility. Is "you'll do our dirtywork and if you survive, you might possibly be able to get a decent-paying job" not exploitative?

With police officers things like those are less stark, but the police also serve more productive functions (enforcing traffic laws, laws against theft of personal property, laws against assault, murder, domestic abuse, things that would be illegal in a socialist state too) than the military does at least in modern America. Their first and foremost job is to protect the state, but that's by way of enforcing a litany of laws, some of which we'd agree with and others of which we wouldn't. It's far from all unproductive.

And aren't other workers also paid with the surplus product from other workers? Public sector employees in general would be, and seriously, following this argument to its conclusion you wouldn't consider public-sector garbagemen proletarian. Teachers would be in the position of public-school ones being labor-aristocrat class enemies but private-school ones being natural allies, which in the context of American labor protests and the US school system is kind of hilarious. And what about people paid through subsidies? Construction workers on a government project. Techies who happen to be working on a programming project for the Pentagon. Even your average corporation takes in tons of corporate welfare and I'm sure some payment comes out of that, so you could extend it to basically everyone.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2014, 12:27
MissStrangeLove fears a split between productive labor workers and non-productive labor workers.

Its a kind of prejudice (a negative-image prejudice) similar to when you say that a medic is non-productive :

"Omg ! a doctor is productive ! You are going against a whole class of workers !"

Nope, i am not saying they are not usefull, just that they are non-productive. They are a class that optimizes the productiveness of the productive workers, so they are usefull to the production even if they dont produce anything. And they are workers too.

Here in my contry (hehe sorry) a medic can be anything from a poor exploited SUS worker (working for the government in the middle of the jungle) to a rich medic working in the plastic surgery field.

When the work is non-productive you cannot bound where the person stands regarding the labour vs capital struggle.

On the other hand, the productive work MUST be proletarian and can easily be categorized as such, because in the event a productive worker starts to receive more "salary" than he produces in comoditties, the system collapses.

There are two ways to see surplus value :

1 - Local surplus value, generated when the worker produces more comoditty than he receives as salary (so he produces more value than he gets). Its direct and measurable and can only occur at production.

2 - Global surplus value, where we lump together everyone that is under salary and receves less money than he contributes to society as work. Capitalist major injustice is not exactly at production (because money means nothing by itself, we cannot determine if the salary received by the worker generated surplus value until he tries to convert such money into goods), but at distribution, some capitalist, lets say Bill Gates, receives more money than the combined salaries of all his workers. This means that he gets a larger ammount of goods and services than his workers summed. So basically, everyone that receives more goods than the work he produces is burgeoise, and everyone that receives less goods than the work he produces is proletariat.

So, a cop is not at nº1, but it is at nº2.

Depends on how you see, wich definition you use.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 12:39
AldoBrasil wrote:
And they are workers too.

So, proletarians. Awesome.

Quote:
Here in my contry (hehe sorry) a medic can be anything from a poor exploited SUS worker (working for the government in the middle of the jungle) to a rich medic working in the plastic surgery field.

When the work is non-productive you cannot bound where the person stands regarding the labour vs capital struggle.

And unless they derive their wealth from capital in some way (which many plastic surgeons actually do, owning their own firms), they're still proletarian rather than capitalists no matter their pay grade. Because the system their pay derives from still rests on exploitation of their labor. They'd be labor aristocrats if paid a large enough amount (like non-petit-bourgeois surgeons) that many would feel they'd lose out from progress, to be sure, but the majority of nurses for example definitely aren't that.

Meanwhile, what about very well-paid engineers? Their work is clearly and quantifiably productive by your definition, at what you're labeling n1, and yet many are fairly prosperous under capitalism. I'd say those are also labor aristocrats and thus split in a revolutionary context, despite their making physical objects. Looking at how a sadly good number of that "labor professional"/"upper-middle-class" section of workers are Rush Limbaugh-adoring reactionaries in the US seems to confirm that too, and that there's nobody to really express their anger at those exploiting them (so it's misdirected at those below who "want to take [your] money" by the Limbaughs of the world) just makes their conservatism worse. Speaking as someone from that background.

Marxist classes aren't the same as the usual sociological income-based classes, they only correlate in that proletarians are consistently paid less than their labor is worth. It ranges from a janitor to the most well-paid engineer, surgeon, or bureaucrat. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie ranges from people who own tiny mom-and-pop stores and small apartment complexes to the wealthiest of Wall Street financeers.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 20 Jul 2014, 13:08, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2014, 13:08
Engineers are not productive. They are production optimizing workers.

Engineers, technicians, administrators, medics etc, they are all optimizers of production. They enable higher productivity by the workers, but they dont produce anything tangible by themselves.

The only productive work is the one that actually produces goods. All the rest is non-productive, even if usefull (can we have non-usefull work ? i dont believe).

Scientists, and other theorics, are non-productive too. This can very well pay another discussion about science development.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 13:17
AldoBrasil wrote:
Engineers are not productive. They are production optimizing workers.

Engineers, technicians, administrators, medics etc, they are all optimizers of production. They enable higher productivity by the workers, but they dont produce anything tangible by themselves.

The only productive work is the one that actually produces goods. All the rest is non-productive, even if usefull

Fair point, but the key there is production-optimizing workers. Emphasis on that last part. So, proletarians. After all, what else would they be? Certainly not bourgeoisie in any sense.

And frankly I don't put as high an emphasis on just narrow, quantifiable production as y'all seem to. It's more complex than that. To optimize production is still to produce, in that it's increasing the value of goods and producing things other than goods. A medic, for example, produces solutions to workers' health problems, non-goods production. And that also allows those workers to produce goods again.

Quote:
(can we have non-usefull work ? i dont believe).

Lumpenproletarians. I wouldn't say someone whose job is stealing or extorting for the mafia is generally productive, for example. It steals productive value, whether it's justified given the time (I wouldn't begrudge Stalin or most of the Depression-era outlaws for robbing banks) or no.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 20 Jul 2014, 13:22, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2014, 13:21
Quote:
Marxist classes aren't the same as the usual sociological income-based classes, they only correlate in that proletarians are consistently paid less than their labor is worth. It ranges from a janitor to the most well-paid engineer, surgeon, or bureaucrat. Meanwhile, the bourgeoisie ranges from people who own tiny mom-and-pop stores and small apartment complexes to the wealthiest of Wall Street financeers.


"Misery Limited Company."

I can see a lot of hot dog sellers (besides other low value items, like coca cola sellers) in the streets of my country.

They are the owners of their "company" (99,9% of the time they are not officially registered, they are the "informal market"), yet, they usually live in favelas.

So under that definition they are burgeoise ?

The number 1 definition is needed to show where capitalism starts (the root element of capitalism is the relationship between productive worker and non-productive capital owner), but its not good enough to define everything.

You need a broader definition (the number 2 definition) to fit those into proletariat.

They are owners, yet, when you analise the profit share between them and the coca-cola producer company, you see who gets most money.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 1078
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 13:29
AldoBrasil wrote:
"Misery Limited Company."

I can see a lot of hot dog sellers (besides other low value items, like coca cola sellers) in the streets of my country.

They are the owners of their "company" (99,9% of the time they are not officially registered, they are the "informal market"), yet, they usually live in favelas.

So under that definition they are burgeoise ?

They're poor impoverished people, and what they have to go through saddens me. But when talking about Marxist classes, you're talking about revolutionary potential and how someone's labor relates to the means of production. Those small street vendors are kind of nebulous in that area since they don't actually employ anyone but their own labor, which they do sell, so I think you could easily define them as proletarian. A mom-and-pop store is different though, that's clearly petit-bourgeois.

The only problem with defining those vendors as proletarian is, in terms their own advancement in their trade, they have no need to take over the means of production. What they need is entry into the market. They aren't employees of someone else. Regardless, if petit-bourgeois they're among the most likely of their class to side with socialism in a revolution since a socialist world could hardly be worse for them than what exists now. Unlike the mom-and-pop store owners, they may not care about their shop being seized since they don't derive much value from it. They do it only out of necessity, to have money for their own food at the end of the day.

Quote:
The number 1 definition is needed to show where capitalism starts (the root element of capitalism is the relationship between productive worker and non-productive capital owner), but its not good enough to define everything.

You need a broader definition (the number 2 definition) to fit those into proletariat.

They are owners, yet, when you analise the profit share between them and the coca-cola producer company, you see who gets most money.

Sure, the board of Cola-Cola are among the biggest of haute-bourgeois assholes. They make a whole lot more money than... almost anyone. But that's part of why Marx divided the bourgeoisie into the haute-bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois. Marxian classes are about revolutionary potential and relationship to the means of production, not profit share on its own. What you're doing is basically changing the definition of the proletariat to fit the usual sociological income-based system, but that's not really what Marx was talking about when he defined the term. And it's not at the heart of the type of class analysis most useful for moving to socialism.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 20 Jul 2014, 13:44
Quote:
To optimize production is still to produce, in that it's increasing the value of goods and producing things other than goods.


Nope, sorry. Its not like that. You can deform the definitions to match you criteria. But the definition is really simple :

Produces, its productive.

Does services to the producer but doesnt produces itself, its non-productive. Period.

You need to know why that definition is soo hard.

Its because you can be an engenieer, and work for the capitalist as wage worker, or you can start your own company and be the capitalist.

In other words. If we had only productive workers and not any other class, we cannot have capitalism. But as soon as you have a productive worker and a non-productive one, you can have capitalism (needs other things, for one feudalism was divided between productive and non-productive and yet feudalism is not capitalism).

You lose nothing by that definition, we are not excluding non-productive workers from the group of exploited and able to fight capitalism, if thats your fear.

Regarding the developed country proletariat :

You dont need to live in a favela to be proletariat. If you receive a fixed wage to produce goods and work for a capitalist who owns the means of production and profits on a fluctuating margin, you are proletariat, even if you live in well being.

The difference in wage between developed and undeveloped countries is just a result from the pressure exerted by the marxist ideas over the social peace of developed (imperialistic) countries. Had marx never existed, labor unions never developed etc, developed countries would be the same shithole for proletariat they once was. And all the social convulsion in countries like Greece shows us that capitalism is heading that way.

The root exploit, common to all unequal and contradictory societies is the fact that there are people who gives more work input to society relative to what they get as richness output from society, while there are others who gives less work and receive more. While this exists, we have a kind of unequal, exploitation society, here in Brazil (where conditions are similar to the time or marx), or in any futuristic society like Japan or Sweden.

What defines capitalism is the fact that there are people who owns the capital and there are people who doesnt. This is a specific case of unequality.

So, basically, depends on wich level you are reading. Nº1, cops are not proletariat, Nº2 they are.
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.
cron