Re: [OPE-L] what is irrational in the functioning of capitalism?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 08:35:01 EST

>  Your rhetorical question implies that production can take place 
> without human beings. If this is what you mean, this a science 
> fiction. 

Hi Dogan:  

On a macro level, production without human beings is science
fiction; on the micro level, it is not.  Already, in the early 1980s,
there were flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) where robots
and automated machinery produced robots.  Indeed, these systems
can be constructed in such a way that they are self-diagnostic.
Since that time there have been significant advances in robotic
vision, tactile ability, adaptive control, etc. systems -- and I haven't 
even mentioned yet the early generations of 'intelligent robots'.

It is true that the "factory of the future" -- *universally applied* --
remains science fiction.  But, I think it is possible to *envision* a
system without human labor directly in the production process.
The question shouldn't be whether production in general is possible
without human labor; the question would be whether such a system 
could be characterized as capitalist.  I would say, no -- since wage
labor is an essential aspect of capitalism. Without wage-labor 
there can be production (as there was in pre-capitalist modes of
production) but not capitalism.  

In solidarity, Jerry

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