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Are cops proletarians?

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Are cops proletarians?

Yes
20
32%
Other/Not sure
17
27%
No
25
40%
 
Total votes : 62
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, 14:03
Well, we are circling around, one time using the 1st definition, other time using the second definition.

Basically, my short answer : Cops are proletariat if you take a broader view, but under a specific view that defines capitalism, they arent.
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 14:03
OP Bagration wrote:
No, it's the contrary.


'In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed — a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.'

Marx

'The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor 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 labor – hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition. The proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century.'

Engels

Notice how neither of these definitions stress productivity of labour as a criteria for being a proletarian.

OP Bagration wrote:
In general yes. Although there can be some exceptions.


What exceptions and why? As I've shown, Marx never stresses being a productive labourer as a condition for being a proletarian. In addition I've consistently pointed to the paragraph in Capital where Marx acknowledges that unproductive labourers are still considered workers (and thus proletarians) and that they are still exploited in the sense that they aren't paid for the full amount of work they do. Here it is yet again (although I'm sure you'll still refuse to understand it).

Marx wrote:
In order to simplify the matter (since we shall not discuss the merchant as a capitalist and merchant’s capital until later) we shall assume that this buying and selling agent is a man who sells his labour. He expends his labour-power and labour-time in the operations C — M and M — C. And he makes his living that way, just as another does by spinning or making pills. He performs a necessary function, because the process of reproduction itself includes unproductive functions. He works as well as the next man, but intrinsically his labour creates neither value nor product. He belongs himself to the faux frais of production. His usefulness does not consist in transforming an unproductive function into a productive one, nor unproductive into productive labour. It would be a miracle if such transformation could be accomplished by the mere transfer of a function. His usefulness consists rather in the fact that a smaller part of society’s labour-power and labour-time is tied up in this unproductive function. More. We shall assume that he is a mere wage-labourer, even one of the better paid, for all the difference it makes. Whatever his pay, as a wage-labourer he works part of his time for nothing. He may receive daily the value of the product of eight working-hours, yet functions ten. But the two hours of surplus-labour he performs do not produce value anymore than his eight hours of necessary labour, although by means of the latter a part of the social product is transferred to him. In the first place, looking at it from the standpoint of society, labour-power is used up now as before for ten hours in a mere function of circulation. It cannot be used for anything else, not for productive labour. In the second place however society does not pay for those two hours of surplus-labour, although they are spent by the individual who performs this labour. Society does not appropriate any extra product or value thereby. But the costs of circulation, which he represents, are reduced by one-fifth, from ten hours to eight. Society does not pay any equivalent for one-fifth of this active time of circulation, of which he is the agent. But if this man is employed by a capitalist, then the non-payment of these two hours reduces the cost of circulation of his capital, which constitutes a deduction from his income. For the capitalist this is a positive gain, because the negative limit for the self-expansion of his capital-value is thereby reduced. So long as small independent producers of commodities spend a part of their own time in buying and selling, this represents nothing but time spent during the intervals between their productive function or diminution of their time of production.


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


So if union leaders are the labour aristocracy (which let's not forget, is Lenin's definition), then why do you see unproductive labourers as the labour aristocracy? Is a street sweeper employed by the government an example of a labour aristocrat "bribed" by the bourgeoisie?

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


Which is pretty much what I was saying. You can only "eat" surplus-value when it is in the form of surplus product.

Quote:
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.


Really? Try reading Marx's Critique of the Gotha Programme.

'What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.'

This implies capitalist forms of value and production still exist under socialism. Under developed communism things would be different and value would not exist in the form it does now, but we are not talking about developed communism.

'Let us take, first of all, the words "proceeds of labor" in the sense of the product of labor; then the co-operative proceeds of labor are the total social product. From this must now be deducted: First, cover for replacement of the means of production used up. Second, additional portion for expansion of production. Third, reserve or insurance funds to provide against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities, etc. These deductions from the "undiminished" proceeds of labor are an economic necessity, and their magnitude is to be determined according to available means and forces, and partly by computation of probabilities, but they are in no way calculable by equity.'

Production will need to be expanded because the population will expand. Otherwise not enough will be produced to meet demand. Marx clearly sees here a deduction of people's labour in order to directed at expanding production (much like the bourgeoisie do with some of the surplus-value they exploit from people).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 14:15
AldoBrasil wrote:
Produces, its productive.

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

And I'm saying that it's not quite that simple, because producing goods is just one possible way a form of work can be productive to the value of an economy. Service-sector workers may not add as much value, to be sure, and industrial workers are the backbone of the modern economy for that reason. But, first and foremost, their labor is still exploited and thus they're still proletarian. Second, they do in fact add value.

Quote:
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.

No shit, that's actually what I've been trying to get across to you. xD An engineer is a wage-worker, a mom-and-pop shopkeeper isn't. One is alienated from their production, the other owns it. So one is proletarian, the other is petit-bourgeois. Income doesn't factor into it until you get into concepts like labor aristocracy and internal class division.

Quote:
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).

See? So now you're redefining terms again, resting the existence of arrangements other than socialism on things like there being a service ("non-productive") sector. But there'll be a service sector under socialism and communism too; there has to be. By your definition of "non-productive worker," it's not to be non-proletarian. A nurse is exploited for their labor. An engineer is. Even your average bureaucrat is.

And this is where your definition of "non-productive work" falls through. It's lumping people like a nurse or an engineer in with a Wall Street financeer, whose work is unproductive in the Marxist sense that it's outright exploitative. When, as victims of wage exploitation, that nurse and engineer are proletarian.

Quote:
You dont need to live in a favela to be proletariat.

Seriously, you've been doing this all over the forum, but quit fragging putting words in my mouth and other peoples' mouths. It's extremely annoying.

What you said was that since vendors live in favelas they must be proletarian. I pointed out that isn't the Marxist definition of a proletarian. If you want to change what the word "proletarian" means to be just "poor," by all means go ahead, but see how far you get. Just don't twist what people said and say they were arguing the opposite of what they were.

Quote:
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.

Exactly what I said, but the corollary is that if you own your means of production you aren't a proletarian. That's why I said the status of those vendors is nebulous. You described them as proletarian, but under how that word was defined, that's extremely contentious at best. Because they do own their means of production. They have no need to seize it.

Quote:
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.

No, it's a lot more than just Marxist ideas having an influence in the West. The threat of revolt played the biggest role in creating the modern welfare state, but that's far from the be-all and end-all of prosperity.

The West also derives its role as the most prosperous place on earth from exploiting labor in the third world. In Africa's decolonization agreements for example, it was explicitly codified that the resources of those countries would be owned by the former colonist. In many cases even the military was. This is backed up by exploiting them with piles of debt that they can never repay, in exchange for minor infrastructure projects which only benefit the very wealthy. It's imperialism plain and simple, providing wealth to the first world through explicitly holding down the third.

Quote:
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 an futuristic society like Japan or Sweden).

I'd agree with most of that, it's pretty basic Marxism, but Japan and Sweden aren't "futuristic societies."
They're capitalist societies, plain and simple. Sweden happens to still have much of their Cold War-era strong welfare state, and good for them, but their system of production isn't even an equal one. It's a capitalist one.

Quote:
Basically, my short answer : Cops are proletariat if you take a broader view, but under a specific view that defines capitalism, they arent.

Wage exploitation, selling your labor to survive, is what ultimately defines the proletariat under capitalism. Cops experience wage exploitation and sell their labor. Ergo, they're proletarian. QED.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 20 Jul 2014, 15:08, edited 2 times in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Jul 2014, 14:27
Quote:
This implies capitalist forms of value and production still exist under socialism.

You are just trying to say that the socialist society is still a capitalist society. This is ridiculous. Marx is saying that it's still "stamped with the birthmarks", i.e. that a socialist society isn't full communism yet, because in full communism you apply the principle: "to each according to his needs". But in a socialist society, the old principle "to each according to his work" is applied. Thus it's not a perfect society, it's still "stamped with the birthmarks" of the old society. But it doesn't mean that there is no difference between the SOCIALIST mode of production and the CAPITALIST mode of production, or that capitalism still exists under socialism, which would be ridiculous.


Quote:
Production will need to be expanded because the population will expand. Otherwise not enough will be produced to meet demand. Marx clearly sees here a deduction of people's labour in order to directed at expanding production (much like the bourgeoisie do with some of the surplus-value they exploit from people).

Man, even in the Middle Ages you had to keep enough seeds in granaries to "provide against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities..." and of course expand production. Yet this mode of production wasn't capitalist. In all of these situations, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, if you want to increase production, you will need surplus labour, i.e. labour that isn't consumed in the process of reproduction.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 14:58
Quote:
You are just trying to say that the socialist society is still a capitalist society. This is ridiculous. Marx is saying that it's still "stamped with the birthmarks", i.e. that a socialist society isn't full communism yet, because in full communism you apply the principle: "to each according to his needs". But in a socialist society, the old principle "to each according to his work" is applied. Thus it's not a perfect society, it's still "stamped with the birthmarks" of the old society. But it doesn't mean that there is no difference between the SOCIALIST mode of production and the CAPITALIST mode of production, or that capitalism still exists under socialism, which would be ridiculous.


I'm just quoting what Marx said, and Marx said that early communist society is economically stamped with the birthmarks of the capitalist society from which it has emerged.

This society is different from capitalist society in that the means of production are not privately owned and therefore no-one becomes personally enriched through ownership of these means of production. Instead, all this surplus is used to benefit everyone, not just a select few.

Do you honestly think bourgeois notions of value and surplus-value will just vanish overnight following the revolution? Of course they won't, it will take time for them to disappear.

Quote:
Man, even in the Middle Ages you had to keep enough seeds in granaries to "provide against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities..." and of course expand production. Yet this mode of production wasn't capitalist. In all of these situations, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, if you want to increase production, you will need surplus labour, i.e. labour that isn't consumed in the process of reproduction.


Yes but if bourgeois notions of value and surplus-value have yet to be broken down, what sort of value does this surplus labour produce?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Jul 2014, 15:41
Quote:
Do you honestly think bourgeois notions of value and surplus-value will just vanish overnight following the revolution? Of course they won't, it will take time for them to disappear.

After the revolution you will have a period of transition between capitalism and socialism. But anyway it's not a question of bourgeois notions. There is no surplus-value under socialism because surplus-value isn't surplus product or surplus labour. Surplus-value, as Lenin explains, is "the increase over the original value of the money that is put into circulation" (see his excellent Karl Marx which is good read for Marxist noobs). And this increase comes, of course, from the exploitation of the worker through surplus labour. But in a socialist society, you don't use surplus labour to create surplus-value.

See for example this old Soviet textbook:

http://www.marxists.org/subject/economy ... e-ch33.htm

"Since under capitalism wages are the price of labour-power, they usually fluctuate, unlike the price of other commodities, below value. They do not always enable the workers to satisfy even the minimum of their requirements. With the abolition of the system of hired labour, the law of value of labour-power has completely lost its validity as the regulator of wages. The basic economic law of socialism necessitates the maximum satisfaction of the constantly growing material and cultural requirements of the whole of society."

Only Castoriadis believed that there was surplus-value in a socialist society.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Embalmed
Post 20 Jul 2014, 16:04
OP-B arguing ad nauseam. How many times are you going to curse the forum with this shit?

1. Marx advocated deductions of surplus value to afford expansion, disaster funds, and other non-value producing programs in a system of scarcity.
2. Wages presuppose capital.
3. No commodity ever stops being 'regulate' by the law of value. That Soviet argument is a false one, the USSR was capitalist and incapable of paying workers more than the value of their labor as it implies.

The point is socialism, as a system of scarcity, cannot immediately abolish the law of value and that all manifestations of paying the worker wages necessarily imply paying him left than the value of his work (exploitation), and therefore creating an appropriated surplus.

Quote:
You are just trying to say that the socialist society is still a capitalist society.


Because of scarcity it is, because of that the law of value still applies, and because of that surplus value must be appropriated to fund unproductive labor (maintenance, for example). Stalin revised this and basically claim it's a non-issue in Economic Problems of the USSR, the Law of Value that is.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 20 Jul 2014, 16:10
My quotation isn't saying that the law of value doesn't applies, it says that the law of value of labour-power has lost its validity. This is different.

Let me quote one clever writing of yours from 2010:

Quote:
Workers receive most of the value of their labor in socialism, some is appropriated by the state to invest back in the maintenence of the means of production.

Growth in socialist economy is determined by the growth of the quantity of labor, and the efficiency of it. This is contrary to capitalism's growth which is done by amassing capital, which can be done by a number of ways, many of them being blatantly against the interests of the proletariat and labor.


Everything is said.

Quote:
1. Marx advocated deductions of surplus value to afford expansion, disaster funds, and other non-value producing programs in a system of scarcity.

You mean of surplus product.

Quote:
2. Wages presuppose capital.

Why exactly?


Quote:
the USSR was capitalist and incapable of paying workers more than the value of their labor as it implies.

I have to stress that EVERY state since the existence of the state has taken a part of the product of labor, through taxes usually, for its existence. Yet it's not what we call capitalism or surplus-value.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
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Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 20 Jul 2014, 17:24
Quote:
After the revolution you will have a period of transition between capitalism and socialism. But anyway it's not a question of bourgeois notions.


So what did Marx mean when he said that early communist society is economically stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from which it has emerged?

Quote:
And this increase comes, of course, from the exploitation of the worker through surplus labour. But in a socialist society, you don't use surplus labour to create surplus-value.


You acknowledge that under socialism there is surplus labour and you surely acknowledge that surplus product is needed to expand production etc. If the forms of value haven't disappeared overnight, how can these surpluses (labour and product) exist in the value form as anything but surplus-value?

Even if you don't want to call it surplus-value, surely you see that the same exploitation principle remains? The worker is made to sacrifice some of what he produces so that it may go towards the expansion of production. He does this by producing a surplus over what he needs to survive so that he can both replicate his labour and contribute to the expansion of production.

Quote:
"Since under capitalism wages are the price of labour-power, they usually fluctuate, unlike the price of other commodities, below value. They do not always enable the workers to satisfy even the minimum of their requirements. With the abolition of the system of hired labour, the law of value of labour-power has completely lost its validity as the regulator of wages. The basic economic law of socialism necessitates the maximum satisfaction of the constantly growing material and cultural requirements of the whole of society."


That quote is only in regards to wages because wages are no longer a commodity (I also dispute the notion that wages usually fluctuate below value under capitalism). The piece then reads:

'The money form of wages is necessitated by the existence in socialist economy of commodity production and the law of value. As has already been stated, the consumer goods, which are necessary to compensate for the expenditure of labour-power are produced and disposed of in socialist economy as commodities, subject to the operation of the law of value. The money form of wages allows of flexible and differential assessment of the worker’s share in the social product, depending on the results of his labour.'

Therefore if commodities (i.e. consumer goods) still exist and they are governed by the law of value (i.e. a labour theory of value), then any surplus of these products created can only be valued in the form of surplus-value.

Let me break it down to make it easier for you:
1. You acknowledge that value still exists in a socialist society in regards to commodities, yes?
2. You acknowledge that surplus product exists in a socialist society in regards to commodities, yes?
3. How do you describe the form of value under which this surplus product is considered?
mzk
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2014, 19:48
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 15 Nov 2014, 22:25
How About Journalists or Photo-Journalists? Can they be considered proletarian?
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 16 Nov 2014, 13:29
Quote:
How About Journalists or Photo-Journalists? Can they be considered proletarian?


If they are paid wages or low-level salaries, then yes.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
Ideology: Trotskyism
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Post 16 Nov 2014, 18:40
mzk wrote:
How About Journalists or Photo-Journalists? Can they be considered proletarian?

Generally yeah. Famous ones would probably be considered intelligentsia and petit-bourgeois-leaning, since they can easily trade on their own name despite their employment status.

But your average journalist works for a boss, for a wage, and would be struggling badly if fired. Their wages are generally a normal middle-class salary, so mildly labor-aristocrat-esque I guess, but it means they're a paycheck away from poverty instead of on the verge of it already.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 18 Nov 2014, 12:43
One has to remember that the vast majority of journalists and photo-journalists work for pretty low-key publications that primarily focus on whether roadside embankments are overgrown and if there is a local problem with dog shit, these publications (like my local newspapers) basically have no kind of agenda to push other than reliably reporting on how boring life really is. They are quite proletarian, despite the assumption that university educated folks must necessarily be middle-class (in UK terms) by default. - I don't think working for £23k a year really makes you middle-class, in fact I know that most local newspapers just pay a fee for each article published and only have a skeleton staff comprising of the editor and the photographer. Bigger newspapers have something similar, you get £150 per article you can get printed in the Daily Heil if you're not a salaried journo for them.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Nov 2015, 22:40
Ideology: Maoist
Pioneer
Post 27 Nov 2015, 12:25
It really depends on their role in the police-force. For example: a detective, a riot police etc.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2015, 00:48
They are all economically proletarian, but they are culturally not. They're the armed labor aristocracy.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2015, 02:00
Many cops aren't proles at all, especially the ones who come from middle class backgrounds and end up as white collar types, i.e., detectives, police commissioners, etc. The sons and daughters of this class will likely end up as members of the legal or political aristocracy by becoming lawyers, judges, or legislators.

The vast majority of uniformed street cops come from the ranks of the proletariat, but are then used as pawns to keep the rest of us in our place.

More troubling is the fact that recent events have shown that there is quite a sizable percentage of cops that seem to come straight from the lumpen class.
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.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2015, 02:09
Labor Aristocratic children usually get to ascend at least into the cultural bourgeoisie (even if they technically still receive a wage). But the Police themselves are almost wholly foot soldiers who are paraded around in dress uniforms for their bosses' bosses. They definitely are not culturally proletarian, and socially all of their individual interests are directly counterposed to our own, but they are an integral part of production. The bourgeoisie could not exert their demands on us otherwise.

You could extend this to say that the entire justice scheme should be considered an industry itself.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 28 Nov 2015, 02:39
Dagoth Ur wrote:
You could extend this to say that the entire justice scheme should be considered an industry itself.

I more or less agree. I would call the justice scheme a protection racket which is slowly evolving into an integral segment of the expansion of capitalism into its final, necrotic stage.

The growth of the privatized prison industry in the USA is a shocking testimony to the truth of this proposition.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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