Re: (OPE-L) Re: the secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@SOCIAIS.UFPR.BR)
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 14:37:22 EDT

Thanks for the repply Jerry.
Conflict between capital and labor does not manifest itself as a
conflict over surplus value but as a conflict over cost, remembering
that for the capitalist c+v are just costs; it manifests itself also as
a conflict over the control of the labor process and its intensity among
many other ways. This are instances in which the conflict appear in the
surface of relations. It is at this level that capitalists are aware.
Your question then ("at what point is class subjectivity introduced?")
could be answer thus: it can only be introduced at the level of the
appearances since all categories Marx develops mistify the essence! Is
there anything wrong in interpreting capitalist rule through
manipulation of class divisions as a rule over cost, control,etc.? The
rule over the working class through what appears in the surface of
relations is still rule and domination.
P.S. By the way Jerry, I am changing my address to How
should I proceed?

gerald_a_levy wrote:

> Paolo -- you raise some interesting questions.  In examining
> the"Illusions created by competition" or exposing the Trinity
> Formula,Marx did not hold that capital was consciously aware that
> theillusions were illusions.  Yet, in the letter in question --
> immediatelyafter writing "It is the secret by which the capitalist
> class maintainsits power",  he adds "And of this that class is well
> aware." To whatextent then is capital, and are individual capitalists,
> aware of thenature of its/their own rule?  In developing a layered
> theory, at whatpoint is class subjectivity introduced?  Can we fully
> comprehendclass behavior, divisions, and awareness so long as class
> membersare presumed to be wearing "character masks" ? In solidarity,
> Jerry
>      The book, "Persistet inequalities", by Botwinick, was an
>      attempt to lay down the theory of competition upon which to
>      understand that divisions within the working class are a
>      necessary result. These divisions systematically created by
>      the process od competition, divisions which set one segment
>      of the working class against another, much in the way
>      described by Marx (think about southern italians workers
>      laboring in the north), clearly become part of the
>      domination of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie.
>      There is however another level of analysis which should be
>      related to intra-class divisions and this is the ideology
>      proper to the capitalist social relations.
>      All colleagues in OPE-L know: 1. the capitalist producrion
>      process is a process among things bought by capital. As a
>      result the product and productivity of labor appear as an
>      attribute of capital; 2.Original capital as a result of
>      labor; 3. Profits as springing from total capital rather
>      than by its variable part alone; 4. Profits as salaries of
>      management; 5.Wages as payment for labor and not for labor
>      power. These are all aspects of the social relations which
>      Marx tried to de-mystify exactly for the reason that these
>      were appearances which couvered the exploitative nature of
>      the system.
>      How should we relate this to Marx analysis of the Irish
>      case? Is there a continuos of analysis? How could this more
>      general and abstract level be interwoven with the more
>      concrete analysis presented in Marx´s quotation?
>     > > "This antagonism [between Irish and English workers] is
>     > > artificially kept alive and intensified by
>     > > the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short by all
>     > > the
>     > > means at the disposal of the ruling classes. It is the
>     > > secret
>     > > of the impotence of the English working class, despite
>     > > their
>     > > organization.  It is the secret by which the capitalist
>     > > class
>     > > maintains its power.  And of this that class is well
>     > > aware."
>     > > (Marx-Engels, _Selected Correspondence_, pp. 289-90).
>     >

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