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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
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 22 Jun 2014, 17:57
Police are workers in my view, it's just their job is enforcing the rule of private property.

I think communists should include the police as proletarians in their agitprop as we will probably have need of defecting police and soldiers as the revolution begins. If they don't think they will have a place in the new order then they will fight to the death for the bourgeois regime.
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Soviet cogitations: 4465
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 23 Jun 2014, 02:45
Exactly. We need both soldiers and police on our side. Denying them a place seems both highly impractical and theoretically unsound to me.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 23 Jun 2014, 03:35
Huh? Why? Why would you claim this so categorically. In which successful revolution did the communists and others have the police on their side?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 23 Jun 2014, 04:14
The police are an instrument for the maintenance of the status quo. We will inevitably come up against them in their current role, but underneath it there is a group of workers who is being used as a tool for reactionary goals.

It's like saying "guns are revolutionary" or "guns are reactionary" - they're neither.

Loz wrote:
In which successful revolution did the communists and others have the police on their side?
None, but which successful revoution didn't need a police force of its own? I'm not suggesting they should all be embraced with open arms or that we should overlook egregious crimes of oppression. but we need to be open to the ones who realize the error of their ways.
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Soviet cogitations: 2298
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 23 Jun 2014, 16:39
Quote:
It's like saying "guns are revolutionary" or "guns are reactionary" - they're neither.

Not really. In the Middle Ages for example, a sword was more reactionary than a Goedendag.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Soviet cogitations: 50
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Feb 2014, 05:02
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 26 Jun 2014, 04:27
Well that was before the proletarian even existed.
While the state exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no state. - V. I. Lenin
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 28 Jun 2014, 15:42
Red Specter wrote:
Well that was before the proletarian even existed.


Before the progressive proletariat existed.

There was a proletariat. They were just parasitic at the time and tiny. With the development of capital they became and remain the progressive class (whether they act on it or not)
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Soviet cogitations: 50
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Feb 2014, 05:02
Ideology: Trotskyism
Pioneer
Post 29 Jun 2014, 02:01
Quote:
— 3 —
Proletarians, then, have not always existed?

No. There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today; in other words, there have not always been proletarians, any more than there has always been free unbridled competitions.



— 4 —
How did the proletariat originate?

The Proletariat originated in the industrial revolution, which took place in England in the last half of the last (18th) century, and which has since then been repeated in all the civilized countries of the world.



"The Principles of Communism" - Frederick Engels 1847
While the state exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no state. - V. I. Lenin
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Soviet cogitations: 260
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 30 Jun 2014, 08:39
Criminal is a word we should always be wary of. It's application can be a Social Weapon against us.

A Law banning carrying a Knife makes a Victim of adherents that abide by that Law, as a Criminal by definition is one who disregards/flouts Law.

Why be a Victim? Police are Reactive not Preventative usually and even if they were more Proactive they cannot be everywhere.

Make yourself weaker for easier suppression by the Bougoisie plays a part in such Laws.

As others have noted Minor things do not a Psycho Killer make.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 30 Jun 2014, 18:03
omnimercurial wrote:
A Law banning carrying a Knife makes a Victim of adherents that abide by that Law, as a Criminal by definition is one who disregards/flouts Law.


WHAT??? Should we all go around carrying knives? Why not guns? Or armed cars! Hell, I won't leave my home without my RPG, just in case.


Any society - capitalist or socialist - that requires every citizen to take care of himself, it's a failed society.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 01 Jul 2014, 00:11
Quote:
Any society - capitalist or socialist - that requires every citizen to take care of himself, it's a failed society.

This doesn't really have anything to do with real life. No one will take care of you if you don't take care of yourself first and foremost, as Christianity says.
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Soviet cogitations: 4465
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 01 Jul 2014, 01:10
Loz wrote:
This doesn't really have anything to do with real life. No one will take care of you if you don't take care of yourself first and foremost, as Christianity says.
"Looking after yourself" is one thing, but everybody walking around with AR15s over their shoulders like Tea Party lunatics is just crazy. I can't believe that insanity has spread this far left.

Che Burashka wrote:
I won't leave my home without my RPG, just in case.
If you've got an RPG I'm gonna need something stronger - just in case.

Are there any of those old USSR nukes still floating around?


Quote:
Any society - capitalist or socialist - that requires every citizen to take care of himself, it's a failed society.
It hardly deserves to be called a "society" at all.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 01 Jul 2014, 01:26
Che wrote:
Any society - capitalist or socialist - that requires every citizen to take care of himself, it's a failed society.

In modern terms, it would qualify as a "failed state", i.e., Somalia, Mozambique, etc. But, if such a situation continues, it represents almost a reversion to the most primitive organizational terms, i.e., that of simple tribes, or even individual families. Total societal failure at the most basic level: The Libertarian's wet dream.
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.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 01 Jul 2014, 10:01
Quote:

WHAT??? Should we all go around carrying knives? Why not guns? Or armed cars! Hell, I won't leave my home without my RPG, just in case.


Any society - capitalist or socialist - that requires every citizen to take care of himself, it's a failed society.

I didn't say that, way to exaggerate.

Being Armed should not be Taboo or Criminal. Like I said before, even a Proactive and Socialist run Police force can not be everywhere. I am not advocating Lawlessness just reasonable Laws.
Although a Well run Socialist Nation will have significantly reduced Crime it will still have Criminals.
Why should you be penalised for carrying a Tool of Self Defense or Utility?
A Gun is a little different sure as it is a pure Weapon rather than a Tool but even Firearms can be used for Peaceful endeavours like hunting and Marksmanship.
Why should Self Defense be a Taboo thing?
Should not the Workers have access to Arms? Perhaps if more of the Soviet people had been armed during Gorbys reign of wrecking things could have been improved.
Workers Militias to operate as well as Official Armed forces have always been something I approve of. Not only is there a Contingency line of Defense for the People to Defend Socialism but there is also a Failsafe should the Military be co-opted or crippled in indecison. Workers Militias may have been able to prevent the Shelling of the White House by pro Yeltsin scum.
This is not me endorsing lugging around assault weapons in day to day life in a peaceful socialist society however.
A Gun can be a Force Multiplier you would be thankful of should multiple Criminals attack you in your home where your family is. Fisticuffs alone may not cut the mustard if you are outnumbered, those trained in martial arts know that even the most skilled can be buried in numbers.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 01 Jul 2014, 15:15
I suppose police officers are technically proletarians as they sell their labor-power to survive, but from a more practical political standpoint they often perform a reactionary role and they are often paid handsomely for their role as the enforcers of capitalist rule. For example, Margaret Thatcher gave the police a pay raise and used them against the striking miners in the 1980s.

See: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 39816.html

In my own experience, police officers often see themselves as distinct from and better than ordinary workers, which I find annoying. I have also experienced the same attitude with firefighters. I give these folks credit for having dangerous jobs, but the attitude of arrogance is not appreciated.
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Soviet cogitations: 2298
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 Jul 2014, 20:20
Quote:
I suppose police officers are technically proletarians as they sell their labor-power to survive

No because their labor isn't productive, they are not proletarians, although some policemen come from the lumpen. The proletariat is the lower class of the capitalist society, the class that doesn't own the means of production. But does that imply that all those who don't own the means of production are proletarians? No. The bourgeoisie is the class that owns the means of production, right? But does that imply that all those who are part of this social group have to own the means of production separately? Isn't the priest, the police officer, the teacher, the general, also a member of the bourgeoisie as long as he comes from this class? The bourgeoisie, continuing the traditions of the old aristocracy, has always devoted a part of its children to the protection and the reproduction of its social order. Their interest, therefore, is strongly attached to the interests of the whole bourgeoisie.
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"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 01 Jul 2014, 21:35
Quote:
No because their labor isn't productive, they are not proletarians, although some policemen come from the lumpen.


You can still be a proletarian even if you're labour isn't productive.

Marx wrote:
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.


Although Marx here is talking about a man working as an agent of exchange, this can easily be expanded to include policemen and other employees of the state. The role of the policeman is to facilitate an environment which is conducive to capitalist production and exchange by protecting private property and the rights of its owners. This is an unproductive, but still necessary role. As Marx also points out, the unproductive worker is still treated as a wage-labourer (if better paid than others). We can therefore conclude that the policeman is a proletarian.


Quote:
The bourgeoisie is the class that owns the means of production, right? But does that imply that all those who are part of this social group have to own the means of production separately? Isn't the priest, the police officer, the teacher, the general, also a member of the bourgeoisie as long as he comes from this class?


This doesn't make sense. Priests, teachers and policemen are bourgeoisie providing they come from the bourgeoisie? You yourself have just correctly pointed out that the bourgeoisie are the owners of the means of production. I suppose one could technically be a member of the bourgeoisie and still be a teacher or a priest. However, the vast majority of teachers are teachers because they are labourers. They too are unproductive workers and members of the proletariat (although they tend to earn salaries, not wages).

Just because the priests and the teachers propagate the bourgeois message to believers and children doesn't mean they are members of the bourgeoisie. Remember that wage-labourers help replicate the bourgeois mode of production through their act of labour, yet we don't consider them to be bourgeois.

Quote:
Their interest, therefore, is strongly attached to the interests of the whole bourgeoisie.


Not necessarily. They labour is performing a service, whether that be teaching kids or arresting criminals. If the proletarian state is prepared to offer them employment for these services, why would they have a problem with this? The number of left-wing intellectuals in higher education these days shows how not all teachers are enthusiasts for bourgeois ideology. People become teachers and policemen because they need a job, not because of some devotion to promoting bourgeois education and law enforcement.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 02 Jul 2014, 03:36
OP-Bagration wrote:
Isn't the priest, the police officer, the teacher, the general, also a member of the bourgeoisie as long as he comes from this class? The bourgeoisie, continuing the traditions of the old aristocracy, has always devoted a part of its children to the protection and the reproduction of its social order. Their interest, therefore, is strongly attached to the interests of the whole bourgeoisie.
Teachers!!? Seriously?

If you think that the pittance the typical teacher is expected to live on is in their "interest" I don't know what to say. I'm not sure if dragging teachers in helps your point. You make it sound like a racial theory if children are inextricably linked to the class position of the parent.

gRed Britain wrote:
You can still be a proletarian even if you're labour isn't productive.

Judging class position on the criteria of labour "productivity" seems excessively simplistic. How much value does the preservation and enforcement of private property laws impart?
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Soviet cogitations: 2298
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 02 Jul 2014, 09:47
Quote:
If you think that the pittance the typical teacher is expected to live on is in their "interest" I don't know what to say. I'm not sure if dragging teachers in helps your point. You make it sound like a racial theory if children are inextricably linked to the class position of the parent.

I don't know much teachers living in the same misery as workers do. Everything, at least there in France - how they think, how they behave, how much they earn - makes them members of the petty bourgeoisie. A petty bourgeoisie that can be sometimes close to the proletariat, yet not part of the proletariat. And for university teachers, some of them are clearly with the big bourgeoisie. I don't think earning 6k euros a month can make you a proletarian.

Quote:
Although Marx here is talking about a man working as an agent of exchange, this can easily be expanded to include policemen and other employees of the state.

Indeed, that's what we call the process of reproduction. Marx is speaking about a merchant there.

Quote:
As Marx also points out, the unproductive worker is still treated as a wage-labourer (if better paid than others). We can therefore conclude that the policeman is a proletarian.

Certainly not. You can't conclude that. Not all wage-labourers are proletarians of course. Nowadays many bosses are also wage-labourers but they are certainly not proletarians. Marx is speaking about capitalists there. He says: "To the capitalist who has others working for him, buying and selling becomes a primary function." Marx is trying to prove that buying and selling doesn't create any value, even if the guy doing that is a wage-labourer, even if he is paid for that. That's why Marx says: "If by a division of labour a function, unproductive in itself although a necessary element of reproduction, is transformed from an incidental occupation of many into an exclusive occupation of a few, into their special business, the nature of this function itself is not changed". And this guy is called a "merchant", not a proletarian.

Quote:
The number of left-wing intellectuals in higher education these days shows how not all teachers are enthusiasts for bourgeois ideology.

If you are speaking about ideology, you should know that many bourgeois don't endorse bourgeois ideology. Engels was a bourgeois, a true bourgeois, yet he was a communist. But we are speaking about social classes.
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"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 02 Jul 2014, 20:41
Shigalyov wrote:
Judging class position on the criteria of labour "productivity" seems excessively simplistic. How much value does the preservation and enforcement of private property laws impart?


Productive workers (i.e. their labour adds value to the commodity) are often mistakenly seen by many communists (often Maoist Third-Worldists)as the only types of proletarians. What I (and Marx) am pointing out is that many non-productive workers are also proletarians.

OP-Bagration wrote:
Certainly not. You can't conclude that. Not all wage-labourers are proletarians of course.


Which wage-labourers are not proletarians? The only ones I can think of are petty-bourgeois workers who own their own labour. They still pay themselves wages of course but keep the surplus-value they extract out of themselves. This is not the labour of a policeman.

Quote:
Nowadays many bosses are also wage-labourers but they are certainly not proletarians.


Examples? If they earn a wage then they work part of the working day for nothing and are therefore exploited. Just because they earn a bit more than the workers they control doesn't mean they aren't proletarian. (However, I would imagine most bosses are not paid in wages, but in salaries. Yet even these have the potential to be exploited.)

Quote:
Marx is speaking about capitalists there. He says: "To the capitalist who has others working for him, buying and selling becomes a primary function." Marx is trying to prove that buying and selling doesn't create any value, even if the guy doing that is a wage-labourer, even if he is paid for that. That's why Marx says: "If by a division of labour a function, unproductive in itself although a necessary element of reproduction, is transformed from an incidental occupation of many into an exclusive occupation of a few, into their special business, the nature of this function itself is not changed". And this guy is called a "merchant", not a proletarian.


No, Marx is talking about unproductive labour. And Marx hardly uses the word 'proletarian' in Capital. He tends to use the word 'worker' instead.

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.


As you can see, Marx considers this merchant to be a wage-worker akin to someone who spins textiles or makes pills (i.e. a proletarian). Of course, this doesn't mean merchants cannot be capitalists, but in the labour relationship described above, he is. Now unless you are going to say that the only non-productive wage-worker that counts as a proletarian is this merchant, then you have to admit that it can extend to policemen as well.
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