Re: [OPE-L] Falling Fortunes of the Wage Earner

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 13 2005 - 03:20:07 EDT

Thanks for this important article Jerry.

>  a contract that left them with a pay freeze for  last
>year and no definite increase for 2005...
>reluctantly voted to approve a pay freeze in the first two years of  her
>union's three-year contract
>  unionized workers to accept a three-year  pay
freeze, warning that the plant would be closed otherwise.

For these contracts to be binding, someone had to have signed them
freely. But who exactly signed them?

Actors, ghosts, masks.

The existence of juridical persons whose formal equality and formal
freedom--though having no real content--is necessary for the sale and
purchase of labor power. Of course the equality is a fiction, the
freedom a deception. And the juridical person who appears in this
relation is nothing more than an outward mask of a human being.
While in reality it is mere appearance--indeed it is for Marx a
phantasmorgia--but in the law there is no other reality.

See Lawrence Krader Dialectic of Civil Society, p. 232

In Beirne and Sharlet's  summary, Pashukanis argued that in   in
civil society individuals are interpellated as legal subjects,
posited as free and equal with each other;   forced to assume a
persona which in Roman jurisprudence originally derived from the
function of an actor's stage mask; the mask enabling  the actor to
conceal his real identity and to conform to the role written for him.
Transposed into modern civil society, man must assume a legal mask in
order to engage in the activities regulated by legal rules.

The Subject is a mode of subjection, a reification and
self-reification of persons.


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