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Re: [ox-en] Labor contradictions

From: Stefan Merten <smerten>

So yes, I tend to think that given similar conditions of the
development of productive forces result in similar contradictions
resulting in similar struggles.

The opposite would be some idealistic view where the sheer existance
of for instance peer production somewhere changes something elsewhere.
I don't think this way.

The key is here to define 'similar', in the context of so many things being also different. I think that a new mode of production/governance, new technical affordances are not marginal to social conditions. Once industry is there, it changes the logic of agriculture, one the information economy is there, it changes the logic of industry, and once peer production is there, it changes the logic of the information economy, cascading down to the other forms ...

Of course, the key issue is how important those changes already are .... A rerun of 19th century development would see a rise of labour unions, of worker parties, etc... I do not see much of that happening in China, and not in the rest of Asia either ... for example in Thailand where I live, the left is totally marginal ...

Imagining it could happen I would still think that the new political affordances would have an influence on the form of the movements and their struggles. I also acknowledge that the form of human consciousness, very different in Asian countries (perhaps that is what stefan refers to as non-enligthenment countries?), in particular the hegemony of authority ranking as a relational mode, significantly slows down any adoption of the new affordances, and create a different context for their adoption.

and so to think that there is no way an industrial-based socialist
movement in China can do anything but reproduce a failed past. I

so pessimistic and do not see why such a movement should not be
different in the context of peer production.


The core question to me here is: Could peer production modes help
social struggles? In Germany for instance where we have high
unemployment and poorness on the rise I can not see where peer
production modes are adopted by those (also marginal) social
struggles. IMHO the reason for this is: Peer production has no special
appeal to the unemployed.

Is that really so? I know the world and practice of NGO's, philanthropy etc.. has known significant changes, as does political practice in general, as we can see in the US election ... of course not a dominant role in a totally different logic yet, but a significant factor of change nevertheless. Lazzarato has described the changes in style of social movements in France (the 'coordination' format).

I would be interested in any references to changes in the worker's movement and unemployed ... My anecdotal evidence is that the few unemployed I know feel very empowered by the internet and are undertaking all kind of productive activities that were impossible before,


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