Re: [OPE-L] "Capitalism in crisis can only lengthen the working day" [!]

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Tue Sep 27 2005 - 23:21:09 EDT

> > It is "one-sided Marxism"  because it  assumes that whatever capital
> > wants, capital gets.  Hence the presumption that when capitalism is
> > in crisis the outcome in reference to the length of the working day
> > can _only_ be a lengthening.
> Non responsive.


It was most certainly responsive: it  was an explanation of why the
article that I cited ["Capitalism in crisis can only lengthen the working
day"]  was an example of 'one-sided Marxism'.  You wrote previously
that you didn't understand my  point in reference to this article and that
my criticism "seems fairly one sided."   My post was an explanation of
_why_ that article was an instance of one-sided Marxism.

> Class struggle can moderate the rate at which the working day is
> lengethened and intensified.

Yes, class struggle can "moderate" the length of the working day.

It can also lead to a _decrease_ in the length of the working day.

Do not assume that all struggles for a decrease in the length of the
working day are a defensive response by workers to attempts by
capitalists to increase the length of the working day. One
of the major reasons historically that workers have fought for a
shorter working day is to have a greater amount of time for leisure
(hence the slogan from the 8-hour-day movement: "8 hours to
sleep; 8 hours to work; 8 hours to what we will").

Class struggle can also "moderate" the intensification of labor -- in
the sense (if I understand you correctly) that workers can succeed
through collective action in not allowing capitalists to increase the
intensity of labor to the extent that capitalists want.

It can also lead to a _decrease_ in the intensity of labor.

> > It is one-sided also in the following because it presumes that
> > reductions in the length of the working day -- and indeed "any reforms
> > for the working class" -- can _only_ occur after the "seizure of
> > power" by the working class.
> Again it does not follow from this (that positive gains are no longer
> possible)  that on going daily class struggle is dismissed as ineffectual
> or unimportant.

_If _ "any reforms for the working class" can _only_ be won after the
seizure  of power" by the proletariat (see quote below), _then_ working
class struggles for reforms under capitalism are indeed ineffectual.

Recall again that the purpose of my previous post was to explain why
the "Capitalism in crisis can only lengthen the working day"  article is

>   Hence, the class struggle is not a struggle at all -- the results
> > are pre-determined and dictated by the will, actions, and structure
> > of capital.
> Again this does not follow. The logical flaw is glaring.

The logical flaw is on the part of the author of the article. Recall again
the crucial word "only."

> Again the defensive view of class struggle can be criticized as not
> Marx's own and/or  flawed in itself. But there is no reason to
> caricature it.

I wasn't presenting a caricature of the article. The title of the article
wasn't a paraphrase; it was an exact quote.  The following isn't a
summary in my words of the point of the article; it is a direct quote
from the article.

If you don't agree with the points made in the article, that's fine.
Indeed, it's more than fine.  It's good.  But, before we move on
to other positions, including your own, I want to see if there is
agreement that the article that  I  cited (see below) was indeed an
excellent example of one-sided Marxism.

In solidarity, Jerry

>"Taking this critique [Marx's critique in _Capital_, JL] as a whole, it
> is obvious that any reforms for the working class, any reduction
>  in the working day for example, can only henceforth come about
>  after the seizure of power by the proletariat and as steps towards
> a fully communist society."

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