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 Second Mediation on Marx: Work

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PostSubject: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:02 am

What is it that seems so ineffably fake about activism? That it takes the names of revolution and communism, but seeks only to revolutionize and communize the experience sorrounding the main goal. To work well, with good wages, friendly coworkers and bosses, from a nice house with a safe and educated family... But what are all these things aiming towards? What revolutionary today dares to question what the work itself must be?

In fact, where in politics is the work itself discussed? In societal discussion?

The unbearable lightness of being? Subjectivity?

How about the unbearable lightness of not having responsibility for one's main goal in productive work? Productivity?

It is logical, and Marx discussed it, that history itself would only allow the aspiring worker to want the crappy modes of productivity available. Are we to take this as a cue to let them be? The only real way to give this lightness to the workers is to accept them as slaves, but even then the very nature of the work does not suffice for the main mover beyond debt itself, power over what already is and which we happen to know is little more than the blind added effects of instinctive mammal evolution.

The revolutionary question is not how to vindicate the worker, it is how to vindicate work.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:33 pm

" The revolutionary question is not how to vindicate the worker, it is how to vindicate work. "

Bravo.

Heidegger says: " Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. "

In your framework this means: only if we are not ontologically displaced, only then can work be vindicated.

The great curse left by the social revolutions within the industrial age is that "meaning" is something we are supposed to find outside of our work. Primarily in the "week-end", which is the workers conquered as their refuge from the reality they would never slay.

---

The working class is separated from power by the notion that duty and necessity are antitheses of will. A logical consequence of slave-morality, but no less lethal because of that.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:49 pm

Yes, we suffer the necessities of slavery in order to enjoy the benefits earned, including time away from slavery and little pieces of green paper that we can give to other slaves for things we want. Really the system is set up perfectly from the perspective of the slave-owners...

"Hey, these slaves are revolting and don't want to be slaves anymore!" ..."Well, just give them small pieces of paper and tell them the paper is worth something! They'll create an economy thereby, and forget they are slaves."

But work-as-value is not something most people are able to conceive, because the parameters of their life and world enclose them within impossibilizing conditions to create adequate change/inertia/pressure toward uniting work and value, toward the completion of the will. We might see only the fields of writers, artists, business leaders and politicians in this regard, but considering the mandate that one shrink one's sphere of value to more or less match that sphere of work necessity, even in these fields the task comes up far short (e.g. requires a more or less severe stunting of will).

The revolutionary is the one who is willing to sustain the disconnect between work and will only toward the supremacy of will, which is to say he sacrifices his work for his will and not the other way around; for who in this world could ever work one's will unhindered without suffering the discrepancy between the secondary necessities of work? Only one who has inherited a great sum of money without a great deal of obligation could ever achieve such a thing.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:04 pm

I have seen the poor go from idle half criminals to religious fanatics in matters of weeks. Can this sort of thing be achieved with the allure of inward wealth generating work? The army does this with the allure of well-fed killing power.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:16 pm

Yes, conversion from the gutter to the machine is easy given the right lures, but this is not something we want. You can't convert a rotten apple to a ripe one, nor an apple to a banana, nor an apple seed to an apple. In the best case, an slave-minded human can grow, given the right spiritual (when I say this word, I mean "Geistlich" - "to do with consciousness") nutrients, and a lot of time, dedication, luck and effort, into someone who is aware of his destiny-shaping heart.

Philosophy can't use anyone who is recruited by something other than the right time.

" The revolutionary is the one who is willing to sustain the disconnect between work and will only toward the supremacy of will, which is to say he sacrifices his work for his will and not the other way around; for who in this world could ever work one's will unhindered without suffering the discrepancy between the secondary necessities of work? Only one who has inherited a great sum of money without a great deal of obligation could ever achieve such a thing. "

Not necessarily. There is a lot of work to be created. In art, but also in things like science and education. It is possible to let the system work for you, by creating a demand by introducing a new value or a new perspective on certain problems and/or qualities. The enslaving machine isn't as tightly knit as someone like James S Saint believes - revolutionaries do constantly transform the system from within. Perhaps more so in Europe than in the US at this time.

One of the biggest problems I perceive is the destruction of the imaginative faculty that is so closely related to the phenomenon of will. The media-driven mindset basically neutralizes all necessity to imagine. Since will virtually equals imagination (one can not will what one can not imagine, one wills in direct relation to what one imagines, ones imaginings are the first manifestations of ones willing force), the audiovisual fantasy-onslaught that is our world neutralizes the self-generating power of will, and controls the direction of the already generated will.

The remedy for this is to create a whole new type of narrative, spectacle. To create new possibilities for willing. To no longer represent the objective of a will (the "happy end" et all) but the willing itself. So that that ancient and presently very relevant dilemma "one can not determine ones own will" is bypassed - one can liberate another ones will.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:49 pm

I agree on the point of the danger of given imaginings-as/will, but am not sure I agree on the point of the power of subjects to change the slavery-systems by introducing new demands qua values. Subjects transform the systems, definitely, but this is only the continued necessity of the system itself-- its dynamism and living. Individuals do or are able to insert theoretically infinite alterations, but in what way do these do anything other than expand the horizons of the systems themselves? Also I wonder about Maslow's hierarchy, because as Pezer says the most desperate are more easily swayed and made "useful", one can only engage in higher-level work either 1) by working inside what the systems gives, or 2) by creating/changing the system radically, but this latter option often means that one loses contact and benefit with the system and its externals, I.e. money, in which case as I said, a great deal of "inherited" resources and time are important fall-backs for the individual who wishes to work outside of things. Yeah it's possible to create new art or ideas in business or education or politics, but to gain the kind of influence-power needed to "publish" tjese creations adequately one either must use extant tracts within the system itself or have access to alternate funds and/or ability to produce, publish and disseminate. I think new ideas are being created all the time, but where can we see these manifesting powers at odds with the systems in which they express, on the backs of which they fly into influence?

I'm curious about creating new spectacles, what do you see with this idea? The easiest example that comes to my mind of such a phenomenon is the emergence of reality tv shows.

And I'm not sure how the argument would go with that as its illustrative example.. As I remember debating with q, you can't expect people to raise themselves up if the means by which they are given into a mirror of self-perceiving doesn't require or even incentivize anything other than banality, ignobility and the energetic "lowest common denominator".

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:25 am

I now see why the system is not/cannot be changed "from within" at the behest of subjects, and it is because the system itself is not based on anything in which subjects might exercise supreme influence and power; the "slave system" or whatever we want to call the political-economic reality is devoid of significant values, indeed the system has no values as such and its very structure is one of no-value, meaning that the system is unable to be taken over by an appeal to a singular concept.

The most recent attempt to take over the system, to over-determine it conceptually is with the value of capital, of "free" money/work. This value is still in the process of dying. The value of national- and race-pride, i.e. the value of culture identity, was previously tried and also failed, and before that perhaps the values of colonialism were attempted, again to fail. These values are asserted by groups who gain power and use the conceptual framework to push their ideas and attempt to control and redefine the system with respect to the new value, however these attempts have failed... why?

Probably they have failed because like all things, their allotted span of existence is brief. These attempts did not fail so much as succeed only for relatively short periods of time. They succeeded in part, in certain purviews, only to collapse because of the historical necessity, the chaos of the world, the impermanence of all things, and the vanity of subjectivity.

Now we stand as on the cusp, for the world is becoming unified. Complete homogeneity is not needed to establish a world power, all that is needed is for a sufficient critical mass to be reached and, like lesser system e.g. nation-states, it will be able to tolerate a good deal of resistance and localized displacements. This world-culture seems to be forming around modern Western impulses and ideas, of course, but the fight is far from over. Islam, as I see it, also represents a significant value-system which is attempting to wage the war, and there are many other lesser value-systems too, as modernity may only correctly be called a grouping of many values in concert, somewhat averaged together, weakened and ingratiated to each other.

Our leaders are not leaders but followers, they parrot and follow the pre-established no-values systems which grant their power. A leader would be someone who asserts a value above all others, above utility, and re-makes everything around him in light of this value, or joyfully dies trying. Nietzsche saw this process as the work of the overman, still destined for the future since modern man has not even un-made the lame values of the past; but Nietzsche perhaps, being so close to the idea as its originator, discounted past values too quickly. Man has already passed through epochs and stages of cultural development, rise and fall of ideas, war and peace, love and despair enough to give birth to more than enough values with which a society or world might supply and secure itself. All that is needed is for one value to rise above others. Modernity can be seen in part as a war of values to this end, toward this kind of singular power over all others, as well as a sort of languishing and depreciating of all values into a common morass, a group-weakening as a condition of group-longevity. This latter has been called democracy. The former has no clear name except perhaps that of politics, but we know it by its more secret and true name, philosophy.

Man in general is exempt from this process because he is not a philosopher, he does not value his own valuing and thus stunts his consciousness at a low level. This Nietzsche recognized too. However, this is only because man generally lacks a clear, single value on which to attach himself. Love? Justice? Honor? Death? Eternity? Inhibition? Pleasure? Man's heart is too wide to give in to a single impulse alone, only the philosopher could bear such a burden of strength and violence.

Men are self-valuings as collections of many values/valuings thrust amongst each other, in competition. "Time" is what is born out of this struggle, and the wars of cultures are only mirrors of the war within every individual. Philosophy solves the war of the individual, but it will take a great deal of time for this solution to penetrate the subjectivity and spread, for this hard point of resistance and purity to counteract and push back against everything else and so form the conditions under which a new culture and world takes shape. And there may be no telling what the chosen value will be which the philosopher(-king) communicates to the masses and uses as the rallying-cry under which this new culture-world forms. But like Nietzsche we can evaluate the potential consequences of whatever value may be chosen, and conclude that those values antithetical to the necessary strength needed to sustain such a system and valuation will logically exempt themselves from the selection process. Indeed man has chosen these more ineffective values first, because they are easier, and the harder value needs that primary failure in which to demonstrate its hardness, in which to reveal its strength. Lower forms grow first, higher forms only later and only from the failures of those lower.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Second Mediation on Marx: Work   Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:53 am

Quote :
I agree on the point of the danger of given imaginings-as/will, but am not sure I agree on the point of the power of subjects to change the slavery-systems by introducing new demands qua values. Subjects transform the systems, definitely, but this is only the continued necessity of the system itself-- its dynamism and living. Individuals do or are able to insert theoretically infinite alterations, but in what way do these do anything other than expand the horizons of the systems themselves? Also I wonder about Maslow's hierarchy, because as Pezer says the most desperate are more easily swayed and made "useful", one can only engage in higher-level work either 1) by working inside what the systems gives, or 2) by creating/changing the system radically, but this latter option often means that one loses contact and benefit with the system and its externals, I.e. money, in which case as I said, a great deal of "inherited" resources and time are important fall-backs for the individual who wishes to work outside of things. Yeah it's possible to create new art or ideas in business or education or politics, but to gain the kind of influence-power needed to "publish" tjese creations adequately one either must use extant tracts within the system itself or have access to alternate funds and/or ability to produce, publish and disseminate.
I don't know if this qualifies in your book, but let me explain my perspective. My parents are an example of how the second option can be accomplished by appealing to pure mind. The system, in this case, represented a great mechanics of ideology pertaining to education in math and arithmetic. There was, and is, a giant government institution commanding the type of schoolbooks being used and the kind of method teachers must be using. The method focusses entirely on axioms like "memorizing methods is fascist" (literally) and "a problem should be approached empathically". This means that children were not allowed to approach a calculation rationally, but must use their imagination and pictures. It was literally said that it was better for a child to have an interesting approach to a problem and come up with the wrong answer, than to use a traditional method which it wasn't taught and get it right. My parents, my mother a psychologist and my father a mathematician/computer scientist, decided to offer a new (rational) method, criticize the old, and to offer children and parents of children with problems in school guidance. They fought an uphill battle for a long time, the whole institution was bent on destroying and ridiculing their efforts, but they won. Together with a few friends they made along the way they developed a new method which is now selling to schools all over the country.They convinced so many teachers to their method, that the institution lost its grip and had to adapt.

Okay, this is in a sense working in the system, but they had to fight the whole momentum of the system, were perfectly alone in their setup and had no money to spare.  They made their money giving counsel, and their clientele increased so quickly that they now can only accept a small percentage of the people who come to them for help. The government institution has now desperately adapted to their method and viewpoint, and is trying to corrode it from the inside. Which will not be easy.

So in effect my parents made an income source for themselves by directly destroying an arm of the system. Yes, the system still exists, but it was not the system that commanded this interaction. It had to suffer an independent outside influence and adapt.  

Quote :
I think new ideas are being created all the time, but where can we see these manifesting powers at odds with the systems in which they express, on the backs of which they fly into influence?
It depends what we include in our notion of the system. I do not include the very principle of education in it.
If we include everything that is going on in the system, then by definition nothing can escape it.

Quote :
I'm curious about creating new spectacles, what do you see with this idea? The easiest example that comes to my mind of such a phenomenon is the emergence of reality tv shows.
That was indeed a new spectacle, but on the very extreme opposite to what is of value to the higher man.

Quote :
And I'm not sure how the argument would go with that as its illustrative example.. As I remember debating with q, you can't expect people to raise themselves up if the means by which they are given into a mirror of self-perceiving doesn't require or even incentivize anything other than banality, ignobility and the energetic "lowest common denominator".
It's quite simple - if you hold up a low standard, people will sink deeper. If you hold up a high one, they will rise.
The history of television has generally been one of sinking standards, but certainly not by definition.

The bottom line is that regardless of any system, people will respond to values that apply to them. They have no choice.

 

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