Re: [ox-en] Some thoughts upon the GPL society
- From: johan soderberg <soderbergjohan yahoo.com>
- Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 03:23:56 -0800 (PST)
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I enjoyed reading your mixture of thoughts on GPL/society, and in the end I think I will categorise you as Friend :-) I would like to make some comments on the part of 'willingness to labour', which seems to play a central part in your thesis on free software.
The idea that people unconditionally want a job in capitalism, for the sake of 'contributing' to society, blabla-blabla - is a fallacy of trade unionism. Organised labour need it as a dominant norm to entrench the privilliges and position they have bartered from capital in previous struggles. The idea that people would volunteer to toil under hierarchical and exploitative relations (which wage labour must be and which unions never have had the strenght to challenge, in part because it would disband their own relatively comfortable existence) is totally prospostious and has little to do with Marx own thinking. A longtime critic of the ideology of labour is Andr'e Gorz, well worth to have a look at.
Humans desire to express themselves, to be creative, socially participate with their surrounding and make meaning out of their existence - these are the 'work drives' Marx thought of. In fashionable Empire-speak, it is labour striving for self-valorisation instead of being commanded into valorisation of capital. It must be playful, volunteerly, and free from coercion and hierarchy. Under these conditions, most peolple will happily engage in 'labour', or better: play. (the fact that many people today does not engage activily in their spare time but instead 'turn on the TV and turn off the brain', owes to their exhausting, routine toil, and being engulfed by passive, consumer-leissure). Those 20% who work willingly does not do that out of any particular characteristics inherent to them, but simply because they got stimulating, middle-class jobs, while most others dont.
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