[OPE-L:5681] The Six Percent Solution

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 5 Nov 1997 08:15:18 -0500 (EST)

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In the essay by the Kamunist Kranti group on "Reflections on Marx's
Critique of Political Economy", the authors put forward the following
"startling findings" in the section on "What is Useful Social Labour?":

"1. Ninety-four percent of [the] total produce of humanity is
used for the maintenance and perpetuation of hierarchies.

2. More importantly, 6 percent of the global produce presently
suffices for the nourishment and sustenance of the whole of
humanity. Inferences:

1. If we are able to remove hierarchies, we just won't need
ninety-four percent of the produce that takes place today.
Consider anything anywhere from medicine to steel, paper to
police-stations, elections to olympics, and erase what is
required for the maintenance and perpetuation of hierarchies -
we will be left with six percent.

2. With the erasure of hierarchies our work-load will be reduced
to one-sixteenth of the present load. This by itself will
enormously enrich human life and open up diverse arenas of
creativity and freedom. Festivals with month-long festivities
will resurrect.

3. With ninety-four percent of the production done away with,
environmental degradation will dramatically diminish and give
humanity a long enough breathing space to re-think, re-cast,
and re-create its production processes to sustain a harmonious
human-nature relationship."

How they came to the figures of 94% and 6%, I wasn't able to determine.
The above strikes me as being hopelessly optimistic and utopian with only
a marginal connection to reality. What do others think?

In solidarity, Jerry