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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Piers Did Marx Say this? (73* d) RE: Did Marx Say this? 23 May 05

"No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself. Therefore mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, it will always be found that the tasks itself arises only when the material conditions of its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation."

Les, I disagree that it is the technological state of society that has held the working class back from our final victory. I think it has a lot to do with the power of the capitalist media/educative machine in bolstering capitalist ideology, the fact the socialist/communist concepts have been dirtied in many people's minds because of the Russian experience and the related fact that workers have not chosen the shortest route between capitalism and socialism but instead to attempt to humanise capitalism and become ended up trapped in campaigns for reforms. Also that many workers aren't able to shake off the reliance on leaders (who rarely lead them where they want to go) instead of democratic self-organisation.

Hertzka calculated in 1886 that by rationalising production so that all industries had access to the most advanced technology, to produce the means of subsistence in Austria (then population 22 million) by which he meant provision of a 150m2 5-roomed house for every family, food, coal, flour, sugar, machinery, clothing and chemicals, would require 1 hour's labour a day for the working population by which he meant men only between 16 and 50 years of age. For the entire population to have access to the luxury goods that the 'comfortably situated' then had would mean an extra 1.5hrs labour a day for what he called the working population. Imagine if we could do these calculations again today! I think it shows that the material solution to poverty, wageslavery and all the problems associated with minority control of the means of production (e.g. war, alienation, lack of democracy) is within our grasp and all that remains is to change the consensus that capitalism is the best way to do things.

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