[OPE-L:3204] process & subjects

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 07:19:44 EDT

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In [OPE-L:3155], there is a reference to a "process without a

Is it possible to conceive of capitalism as a subjectless process?
I think not. That is because capitalism is a (particular) social
and class system. To conceive of capitalism as if it is a process
without a subject is tantamount to assuming that classes (capitalists,
workers, and other) have no role in determining the direction of
this mode of production. This also means that we can not conceive
of the class struggle in any meaningful strategic sense in which the
subjects have some role -- within limits -- in determining their
actions, but rather as a mechanistic driver-less process.

If capitalism is a "process without a subject", then the only
way it can be surpassed is as a result of some blind subject-
less mechanistic process in which the process breaks down due
to its own (subjectless) internal dynamic. Since there is no
reason to believe in such a subjectless process of self-
destruction, one must conclude that capitalism will last
forever. On the other hand, if one conceives of capitalism as
a process *with* subjects, then the subjects themselves can
through their own self-activity and organization, replace
capitalism with another social system.

In any event, I find the implied idea that social organization
is a process in which the social agents themselves have no
agency to be very odd. It is as if we were talking about
the social organization of an ant colony rather than the social
organization of human society.

In solidarity, Jerry

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