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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
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 22 Oct 2010, 07:23
Quote:
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.


Way to cheat yourself out of an argument...


Quote:
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.


A proletarian creates something that has exchange value. This isn't included in the "official" definition that RR brought up, but if this is denied, the whole theoretical edifice of Marxist economics falls apart. Service labor fits this definition - a massage is a (valuable) commodity just like a car, and the creators of both are proletarian. What the cop creates, however, does not have an exchange value, because there's not a market for the upholding of laws (the state has a monopoly on the use of violence) and consequently, there's no exchange value for this service. Value is inseparable from the market, and if there's no market for your product, your product has no value. This applies to cops.

Apart from this economical view, which might be rightfully seen as nitpicking, there's also the following to consider.

Cops are no wage slaves. Wage slavery means that the structural violence of bourgeois society coerces us into wage labor in order to survive - meaning that we have to allow ourselves to be exploited in order to avoid death (or, in modern cases, living off benefits, which still equals social death in a way) - this kind of presupposes that we don't work voluntarily, but as a result of this coercion. This is what the whole concept of wage slavery is about. Does this apply to cops? Of course not! Cops are, in all cases that I've ever heard of, people who want to be cops. They're people who feel a moral obligation to "serve and protect" the bourgeois order, and this is why they do their job. They don't do it as a result of pressure, which is a fundamental difference between them and your usual wage slave.

Finally, Sartre says: "It is true that the proletariat carries within itself the death of the bourgeoisie. It is true that the capitalist system is being destroyed by its own structural contradictions; but this does not necessarily imply the existence of a class consciousness or class struggle. In order for there to be consciousness or struggle at all, somebody has to fight."

The proletariat carries within itself the death of the bourgeoisie. Class struggle is defined by the actual social praxis of fighting. Clearly, we can conclude from this that whoever fights the bourgeoisie, and takes part in the struggle for its "death", is firmly within the ranks of the proletariat, and - much more importantly, in our case - logically, the opposite applies as well: Whoever fights the proletariat, and takes part in the bourgeoisie's struggle for survival, cannot be proletarian.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 14448
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 22 Oct 2010, 07:52
Your class is not decided based on your ideological/class loyalty. We're not sides of a battle we're economically derived classes. You're assigning too much value to the terms proletarian and bourgeoisie. They are simple labels.

The product of a cop is his role as an enforcer of law. A necessary function of a law system, necessary for capitalism as well as socialism, requires agents who make sure these laws are enforced. His ability to perform this function is what he trades for a wage. Since the laws, as they exist, are purely bourgeoisie this puts them in direct conflict with their own interests but satisfies them with dominance over other people. They're surely a part of the labor aristocracy, like a modern soldier aristocracy almost.

However, despite that they are paid to counter the interests of their own class, they are proletarian. They sell their labor, it doesn't matter that it's against us. They're not class conscious, if anything they're some of the most confused. And even the ones who understand that their bosses do the direct bidding of the ruling elite assume that because of that badge they're part of this class' army and he's gonna get his in the end.
Last edited by Dagoth Ur on 22 Oct 2010, 08:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 22 Oct 2010, 09:33
Quote:
Your class is not decided based on your ideological/class loyalty. We're not sides of a battle we're economically derived classes. You're assigning too much value to the terms proletarian and bourgeoisie. They are simple labels.


If we're not sides of a battle, the whole concept of class struggle becomes moot.

Quote:
The product of a cop is his role as an enforcer of law. A necessary function of a law system, necessary for capitalism as well as socialism, requires agents who make sure these laws are enforced. His ability to perform this function is what he trades for a wage. Since the laws, as they exist, are purely bourgeoisie this puts them in direct conflict with their own interests but satisfies them with dominance over other people. They're surely a part of the labor aristocracy, like a modern soldier aristocracy almost.


That is correct.

Quote:
However, despite that they are paid to counter the interests of their own class, they are proletarian. They sell their labor, it doesn't matter that it's against us.


But that's not correct. Even though they sell their labor power which produces law enforcement, there is a difference between producers of a product with value, and a product which doesn't have value, as I said above. If your product doesn't have value, and law enforcement doesn't, the mechanism of exploitation cannot apply. Cops are not exploited, they're therefore non-proletarian. It is the objective class interest of all proletarians to free themselves from exploitation, only that most of them are too brainwashed to see it. But this doesn't apply to cops, there are no exploiters they could free themselves of. The state doesn't even profit from their labor.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 24 Oct 2010, 17:08
Mabool wrote:
Way to cheat yourself out of an argument...


I'm not going to give you what you want anymore. I've said my piece and going by the results at the moment, it seems my argument might have helped persuade a few people. Having the last word doesn't mean you've won the debate. All else I really have to say is that I hope you start to mature fairly soon. Your views about cops are juvenile to put it politely.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 24 Oct 2010, 17:13
Quote:
Having the last word doesn't mean you've won the debate. All else I really have to say is that I hope you start to mature fairly soon. Your views about cops are juvenile to put it politely.


Funny that this post is a perfect example of trying to have the last word in order to look like the winner of the debate. Also funny that you're turning this into an ad hom thing out of frustration.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 37
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 May 2011, 23:29
Pioneer
Post 27 May 2011, 23:24
No matter what system (Except from Anarchy) you still need police, every country had some form of police system. The police are important and needed in society. Also there service protects all forms of labour and other services in a way making them the defenders of the workers. Of course this is only when they do there job properly.
I am a Marxist Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life.- Fidel Castro
Soviet cogitations: 7674
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2004, 02:08
Embalmed
Post 28 May 2011, 04:41
Quote:
Your class is not decided based on your ideological/class loyalty. We're not sides of a battle we're economically derived classes. You're assigning too much value to the terms proletarian and bourgeoisie. They are simple labels.

Yes, well using that rational 80% of western communist parties are entirely moot.
Find me a CP in the western world that isn't mostly university educated, please.
Quote:
If your product doesn't have value, and law enforcement doesn't

Value is enforcement of the law, which is relative not only to the laws, but the degree of enforcement. Without enforcement of the law value in any society outside immediate haggling is moot, as is social order in itself. The simple fact that enforcement in itself is needed to facilitate order to any degree means its value is both a commodity and actively consumed by all players in a society regardless of it's system(unless anarchy).
Quote:
Cops are not exploited, they're therefore non-proletarian.

If order can be exploited the enforcer can be exploited, therefore an enforcer of the law can qualify as proletariat. Just because they're working within the box of something you are against doesn't make them not in a position like yours in terms of basic exploitation.
Quote:
The state doesn't even profit from their labor.

The state doesn't HAVE to profit from their labour no different than the state not having to profit from the labour of any other state employee. In any liberal democracy the end of the day benefactor is the ruling class, either in material, service, or order and in the case of police they require material to provide a service to maintain order all required and provided by the ruling class.
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 17:24
Why does it matter if cops are or are not proletarians?
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 17:37
Because it makes sense to know whether they're enemies or not. I like some simplicity in my world view.

Seriously, in a riot, this question becomes extremely important. Or basically every time you have to deal with them on a political topic.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 18:27
Mabool wrote:
Because it makes sense to know whether they're enemies or not.


I think whether or not they're technically proletarians has frag all relevance to whether they're going to shoot you in the streets or not.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 20:17
It has relevance on whether you should try to talk to some of them, though. It is relevant whether we can count on significant numbers of them coming to our side (as with soldiers) or not.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 20:56
And you think policemen are going to sit there and say "hmm, well fellas you know what? We're technically proletarians as defined by Karl Marx, and therefore we should aid the workers!"

No.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 21:21
No? Of course it only makes sense in our analysis, but I think it's an important question to have some clarity about so we're able to answer strategic questions such as whether to reach out to them and how to behave with them.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 21:27
We should be reaching out to anybody that might give us support, irrespective of whether or not they're proletarians. Which is why I asked in the first place.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 21:34
Ah well. You're right about that, it just doesn't make much sense to waste propaganda on businessmen, for example. It would be nice to know whether it would be a waste to try to propagandize cops. That's all I'm saying.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 455
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Nov 2010, 01:24
Komsomol
Post 29 May 2011, 21:53
Also interesting to know how sorry we should feel after we put them to sleep.
We need to make revolution so our kids wont grow up in corporate prostitution
Sky was the limit. Then the communists came!
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 22:04
Damnit, Goldfather, it's people like you that made KW stop being a communist.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 22:09
In my opinion - and let me emphasize that it's just an opinion because obviously, he knows better than me - KW is just a communist in denial. It's not about blood lust. If you have something against blood lust - as all sane people do - the logical conclusion should be to be disgusted by blood lusty communists, not by communism. That makes about as much sense as disliking communism for the color red.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 29 May 2011, 22:13
I agree tbh. It's also why I'm still a communist really. Whether I like it or not, even if I argue the toss on here all the time, put me in a room full of liberals and I explode. There's no going back. Unless maybe I inherited a fortune and a multinational corporation. Then you can bet I'd be the biggest anticommunist arsehole on the planet.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 May 2011, 22:18
I'd still be most probably less sorry for the director of a multinational corporation than I'd be for a poor wretch who had nothing in life.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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