Workers, PC and The Totality

In discussing “communization”, a common critique (from the left and/or anarchists) is that the communist critiques of wage labor involves “economic reductionism” or “workerism”. Now, certainly there are positions that indeed see class struggle as nothing but the quantitative struggle of workers for immediate wage gain and I would criticize this as, yes, workerism.

However, what I would claim is the really crucial part of the critique of wage labor is that wage labor involves an infinity of miseries and exploitations through its reduction of us, of the our multitudinous natures, to quantities, to resource. Capitalism is “reductionist” whether we like it or not (and we don’t). Talking about our reduction by gender, by race, by culture, by traditional occupation, by national origin, can at best give a hint of this total reduction.  And also with that reduction comes, as we know, a multitude of competitions which turn us against each other, opening up a whole other series of problem.

So understand, if we talk about being opposed to capitalism, it is not “as an oppression”. The oppressions of today are too multitudinous to fit even on the longest “laundry list” and we are not attempting to engage in change by laundry-list. Our approach aims to operate at an entirely different level. And I don’t want to say that arrogantly because we also don’t want to give the impression that by talking about the multidimensionality of oppressions within this society we can conjure a micro-milieu that has already overcome them. We communists sadly are generally as caught by the order of things as everyone else. It simply our aim, our perhaps hobby, to imagine going beyond the totality of capitalist relations, a process which we would claim will require a collectively empowered proletariat, something is not equal to us, that we will not merely manufacture, that must arise through it own internal processes.



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