Every one of us has known the frustrations of a day to day job. It’s not hard to see the ways and reasons they do what they do. It can be comforting, cathartic even to take out your frustrations with managers, the people paid to keep you in line; and even more so with the people who purchase hours of your life, turning you into a cog to produce for them. We know there are “better” bosses and “worse” ones altogether. But when it comes down to it, we know what they have to do.
Profits are all that matters.
Capital is all that matters.
You are the variable responsible for their profits. Whether paying you less (but enough to remain competitive) downsizing when their power on the market falls… when they can’t maintain profits at their prior level of production. Instituting stricter policies and machines to work you harder, flattening the variety of activities you engage in, limiting you more and more, to squeeze more and more out of you. Because if they don’t, someone else will. And they’ll be out of all the money and time and effort they put into the business.
And we know... They can’t all win.
Many on the perpetually impotent Left who are confronted with the realities of the position those with capital are put into fall into two broad responses. There are those who think Workplace Democracy (Worker Co-operatives) can save them, and those who think State Control and/or State Intervention is the answer.
These both come from largely the same standpoint, despite the neverending feuds of posturing against one another.
“Private Ownership has failures that are realized through the market. These failures can be dealt with if we had More Control over it.”
As if we could be free of our own extraction if we got to vote about it!
Those Libertarian Socialists promising that all the pain of extraction would go away if we had some say in who manages us. If we managed ourselves. Promising that we’d be paid more, that we’d produce just as much, maybe even more!
And the ever loyal followers of the 20th century Communists, promising that 5 year plans and state run industries somehow change this very same nature through representatives appointing the heads of industry instead of the “Decentralized Democracy” of the co-ops.
But how could either of these ever be any different. How could these property enforcers, desperately trying to stay on top, competing with firms on both an international and national scale, competing with nations entirely... Desperately trying to keep yourself from letting other firms take your place on the market. Desperately trying to keep your nation from lagging too far behind the others. From being too weak to resist the soft power of the economic superpowers constantly leaching from them.
The game is set. Our liberation is not the completion of a circle of management, from the few to the many. Our liberation is the destruction of the game itself.
There’s no doubt about it, the co-op as well as the state-run-industries must keep extracting from you. As much as you let them think is possible. Forcing you onto their property. Forcing you to labor. Giving you as little as they can to remain competitive. Making sure there’s always surplus. There has to be surplus. They have to remain profitable. They have to remain strong. It doesn’t matter how weak you are. You’re another number. An idea on paper. A calculation in a computer. The only question: How can you serve their ends?
Sure you’ll probably have somewhere to live. You’ll have food. You’ll have some luxuries. You’ll bathe in all the ideological messaging they shower on you, promising you this is the road to paradise. This is the best world possible, don’t you feel it?
Until the Shift.
They’ll squeeze you for everything you have. And when they need to they’ll cut your wages. When they need to, they’ll work you harder. They’ll take more and more away from you. When they need to they’ll downsize that portion of their economy.
And then you’re nothing to them. You’re just collateral at that point.
You served your purpose for their end.