Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beyond humanity part 1

Marx has an answer to both Dickens and the anarchist.
To be a human he says in a capitalist society is not simple.
The capitalist has bifocal vision in regards to humanity.
one the one hand Marx conceds there are those humanities of the everyday: That is those biological unites who need to eat and wipe there bums and everything These humans are then ones then that come to the market place to sell their labour.
they are even the ones the capitalist pays. They are certianly the one that various ideologies and opiates fixiate.
However there are not the humans that the capitalist actually hires. Marx has a very strong line here. Humanity en masse is not the same humanity as in the individual. They do not work the same, and do not behave the same. The very fact of being a social animal means that between folk other humans, them of en masse, them when their effects upon each other is allowed for, exists.It is then this extra individual, this net effect of pooled individuality that the capitalist directly hires. That is it is the success or not of this individual that will define for the capitalist their profit margins. They need, however they do it, for this individual to produce as much as possible (and always more than the individual peoples involved within it).
Capitalism is the system where is is never individual that are hired, but rather the collective folk created across the effect of social relations. Capitalism itself will take these relations as its productive power. That is the effect of being in a factory and the ins and out of extra production that can create (irrespective at his point of machines) is seen to be the peculiar property of the capitalist and not merely the property of the individual. The meta-folk of the factory floor are then clothed not in flesh and blood but profit. They exist or better are articulated only in their ability to make a profit for someone else. Our collective folk, the child of our cooperation is therefore the natural born slave. Or better it is the role of capitalism to make them appear a necessary slave; their existence in the workshop (and only in the workshop) is the creation of slavery.

But at this point a very deliberate unclarity enters Marx;s account. He clearly delights n listing reasons how and where this additional value comes for, It might be for the competitive instinct of humans to do their best, or the effect of averaging out their differences, or the way they break down their tasks or anything.
In a sense it does not, and cannot matter. What matters is that this effect is there and is real. To find one cause is to miss the point. Or worse it is to attempt to trap in the individual the existence of this extra human that is necessarily beyond individuality (and so not reduced to the process that produced its own individuality).
To breed the monster beyond humanity therefore, one must free oneself of that humanity. That is one will only get a Dennis style beast man if one attempt to lead such a being back towards individuality.
The problem is elsewhere.
The problem that this natural born slave, then serves as the template for a far greater slavery.
Once an extra humanity is created in the factory floor, the rules that link this humanity, to tools and beyond them machines are clearly very flexible : The social human flows into the machines within which their world is articulated very very naturally. Not only is the cooperation of such social folk very like a machine in the first place (it breaks tasks up or makes them run in parallel - humans are then already half machine. or the machine grew out of this social human, and not out of normal individuality) but also as no individual ones that power, it can very easily be take and broken up or articulated differently within machines. That is it can be absorbed within a wide series of improvements which take and mechanicalize aspects of human labour, and their cooperation, and include the cooperative human in the process.
The cooperative human is not therefore merely the natural born slave, they are also the born already as a part in a machine: or perhaps better the machine grew from them; it expresses their trapped collective power therefore. Social humans individuality is therefore lost within the wider story of production (as the machine are then owned by he captialist...)
Capital will thereofore embody not merely the social ghost of an individual, but also the being of an individual who is caught up and articulated across machines. It creates then a folk who are already part mechanical, already bound up in the machine and its effect.
The met-mech- workers are then marx thinks therefore already necessarily beyond human. They are clothed only in profits (which define their individuality), but their beating hearts are necessarily beyond all folk or all specific individuality: The need then to be freed, they need to become natural born monsters, and not merely slaves, for they are the communists to come.

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