Monday, March 15, 2010

George's response

In response to "Why Communism failed......", George wrote the following. After unsuccessfully trying to post my response in the buzz, I may be allowed to do it here. George's post is in blue and my response is in black.

P J George - I don't agree with the point that certain labour can be derived to be unnecessary. In that sense any labour unrelated to hunting and gathering is unnecessary. The entire idea works only within a framework in which we accept certain goods and services as necessary. In such a framework there will be n number of ways to achieve production and the shortest is usually the capitalistic one. What is needed is a more efficient socialist means of production. It might need a radical thinking that does not start from the factory floor up. In that sense, from what i understand is its basic tenets, Dalit Marxism has a distinct advantage.16:03

I completely agree with George's first point which he sharply and humorously puts. A dry rendering of it would be something like this: human needs are to be defined not so narrowly as the European countries' idea of Developing Countries needs when they offer scholarships to students of Third World.

True, if we adopt some "glutton socialist perspective" where more and better food is the point of socialism. In this way, we end up reducing human beings - the way The Hindu made me - to physical beings.

But there are many forms of labour which are utterly unnecessary, for example, this enterprise called the press or the police in a much advanced form of civilisation. Not the Stalinist kind of suppression of the press or a much sophisticated sidelining of the good press of US-brand techniques, but a condition where this thing called press loses its usefulness.

However, desirable or inevitable our urge to scratch may appear to be, most forms of itch could simply be cured. So are many forms of labour, for example, most of the sub-editing whose job mostly is to edit out anything damaging to the state and thus truly useful to the people.

Many forms of labour are needed now and ultimately unnecessary in that sense. Marx said our needs become so diverse — and virtually there would be no end to them — in communist society. In fact, labour itself becomes the natural expression of our human nature rather than something we sell and underpaid and unemployed and in many other ways debased.

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