[OPE-L:7005] Re: a boring question (for John H and others)

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Wed Apr 17 2002 - 08:58:00 EDT

Re John H's [7004]:

John: thanks for your response and to Gary M for [7003] as well.

>     I quite agree with Harry on this. Capital is boring, not just in the
> sense that it reproduces boring lives, but because capital is a process of
> separation. Capital separates us from sociality (the social flow of doing)
> and therefore from each other, from the sense of our own activity, from
> ourselves, etc.

Yes and no. Capital *also*  brings tends to bring workers together within
the production process in larger numbers where they (as any factory
worker knows) tend to interact with each other socially.  Indeed,
historically  the factory system and urbanization (to a great extent brought
about by the  needs of the former especially in relationship to the
city") has  brought workers together in greater numbers than any preceding
period  of history and has created working-class *communities*. One could
also say that there is a sociality that can be seen  in the market (even if
it is
distorted by capital's effort to get workers to conceive of their lives only
in terms of the accumulation of  'things', i.e. commodities).  Thus, one can
see  how "the mall" is a *social center* in many areas. Even in less
capitalist societies, the market often also performs this social role of
bring people into greater contact with one another (indeed, there are social
ritual often associated with these markets.)

>     If capital is a process of separation, then it generates an
> in all our social relations. What we find boring is surely boring because
> see it as being outside us, external to us. In that sense capital is
> inherently boring.

Yet,  entertainment (sometimes) is not boring. Indeed, it tends to be
manufactured  as a commodity in capitalist society.  So -- from that
perspective -- the  effort to overcome  boredom is a *business*.

As for being "external",  other capitalists attempt to capitalize on this
desire as well. E.g. some capitalists offer "adventures" to consumers
who are bored by merely _watching_ "adventure" on TV etc. E.g.
whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, luxury cruises to Antarctica,

What should be noted, though, connecting with something you wrote
in [6877], is that *economics* (by which I mean here, bourgeois or
'mainstream' economic theory) *is* boring.  And this should be a
significant conclusion of the critique of economics: i.e. it inverts what
should be the vitally-important and fascinating comprehension of how
systems of production, distribution, and exchange and class struggle
impact peoples' lives into an eminently boring -- and trivial -- subject.

In solidarity, Jerry

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