[OPE-L:2525] Re: Marx and Ricardo

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Fri, 14 Jun 1996 10:21:54 -0700 (PDT)

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A reply to Paul C's ope-l 2522. The "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics"
(Four words, four lies, as Castoriadis put it) had the same dominating
motive for production as in private-property capitalism: production for
production's sake, i.e., not production to satisfy human needs, even those
of the exploiters, but the self-expansion of wealth in the abstract. Stalin
indeed stated that catching up to and outdistancing the "capitalist" countries
was his goal.

Production was structured and restructured in order to better meet this goal.
Take Stakhanovism (please). Take the "rationalization" of production, the
antiworker labor laws, the "voluntary" work workers were made to do on their
days off. Take the fact that managers were given incentives to meet and
surpass production quotas, not to make work less onerous, more fulfilling,
safer, less harmful to the environment. Etc.

Stalin's slave laborers were subjected as much as those who recieved wages
to the exigencies of this antihuman, abstract goal that characterizes
capitalism. That makes them proletarians.

Andrew Kliman