Monday, May 28, 2007

Paresh Chattopadhyay

Came across this writer , Paresh Chattopadhyay , author of The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience and indeed he is a very interesting read .

He can be accessed at LibCom page .

"...the Bolshevised socialism is a state under the absolute rule of the communist party, passing for a proletarian state, owning the means of production under the appellation of "public ownership" and employing wage labour whose products take the commodity form. Needless to stress, this statist socialism based on wage slavery is the exact antipode of Marx's immensely emancipatory socialism conceived as a "union of free individuals" without private ownership of either variety - individual or collective - without state, without commodity production and without wage labour..." - Worlds Apart: Socialism in Marx and in Early Bolshevism

"...Similarly a central economic law of all societies " the law of the economy of time " would continue to operate in the Union. However, here again, this law takes on a completely new character...From now on necessary labor time would be measured in terms of needs of the "social indivdual," not in terms of needs of valorization. Similarly the surplus labor time far from signifying non-labor time for the few would mean free time for all social individuals. It is now society's free time and no longer labor time that increasingly becomes the true measure of society's wealth..." - On Some Aspects of the Dialectic of Labour in the Critique of Politcial Economy.

"... C[apitalist] M[ode] of P[roduction] has proved to be the most destructive among all the modes of production that have existed so far in human evolution. Continuing through the plunder, uprooting, enslavement and outright murder of peoples perpetrated at an unprecedented scale across the globe, right at its `rosy dawn', capitalist transformation of the production process with the whole globe as its theatre, has, above all, meant the martyrdom of the producers; and the technology and the combination of the social process of production developed by it has meant the simultaneous exhaustion of the twin sources from which springs all wealth: the earth and the labourer..." - Marx on Capital's Globalization - The Dialectic of Negativity

"...the fundamental point of the Marx-envisaged society after capital which informs Marx's theoretical (and practical militant) work all his adult life is the immense emancipatory perspective (for the humanity) in which communism is placed through the abolition of capital. The whole process - which is "epochal," not momentary (like a 'seizure of power') - starts with the working class self-emancipatory revolution, given the adequate material conditions for such revolution prepared by capital itself through its self-annihilating contradictions. It passes through a "long, painful" "revolutionary transformation period," "changing circumstances and individuals" in preparation for the future "Association." After the workers have in course of the transformation period, largely eliminated (though not yet all the vestiges of) the existing elements of the old society such as classes, private ownership of the means of production, state, commodity production, wage labour, but carrying over all the "acquisitions of the capitalist era," a new mode of production comes into existence... Here, with the collective appropriation of the conditions of production and directly social labour, neither the allocation of labour time (across the different branches of production as well as between society's necessary and disposable labour time) nor the distribution of society's total product with regard to reserves and enlarged reproduction requirements as well as personal consumption need to be mediated by money-commodity-wage form - the enslaving elements of the old society...there is now the unmediated union of individuals who are all simple producers (after ceasing to be proletarians). Individuals cease to be subject to "personal dependence" (as under pre-capitalism) as well as to "material (objective) dependence" (as under capitalism) and as universally developed "social individuals," gain "free individuality." ...." - Class History and Theory: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR

"...The problem of rationally allocating productive resources in an economy is common to all human societies at least as long as these resources remain relatively limited compared to needs. However, there is no need to assume that this allocation could be effected rationally (if at all) only through the exchange of resources taking the value (price) form...The point is that the allocation through the value form of the products of human labor is only "a particular social manner of counting labor employed in the production of an object" precisely in a society in which "the process of production dominates individuals, individuals do not dominate the process of production" (Marx ) ..."- Capitalism as Socialism: Defence of Socialism in the Socialist Calculation of Debate Revisited

" should be clear that for Marx, after the demise of the proletarian political power along with the proletariat at the end of the revolutionary transformation period and the consequent disappearance of classes, the state, like commodity production and wage labour " embodying human unfreedom " can have no place in socialism. However, unlike what he does with commodity production and wage labour, Marx does not, in the Gothakritik, directly treat the question of the state in relation to the Association. He simply wonders about which social functions would remain in the communist society analogous to the present day state functions. That this is no way implies the continued existence of the state in the new society is clear in Marx's denunciation, in the same document, of the "Lassallean sect's servile faith in the state," which he considers as "remote from socialism."..." - A Manifesto of Emancipation: Marx's "Marginal Notes to the German Worker's Party" After One Hundred and Twenty Five Years

"...The communist revolution has a universal character. This is because the proletariat, having no property and no country, is the expression of the dissolution of all classes and all nationalities. Moreover, because of the universal development of the productive forces (under capitalism) and the "world-historical" extension of capital " appearing as a power alien to the proletariat " the proletariat's subjection is universal. The proletariat can exist only as a world historical (weltgeschichtlich) force, in the same way as communism can exist only as a world historical reality. Another fundamental aspect of the universal character of the communist revolution is that the emancipation of the proletariat, the result of the communist revolution, does not mean that the emancipation is limited to the proletariat. It is universal, human..." - The Place of the Communist Manifesto in the Elaboration of the Marxian Idea of the Post-Capital


Hugo Chavez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
prolerat said...

An excellent article this.
thanks for posting it.I have not heard of this writer before.
All the best.

Richard said...

Paresh's great contribution is his illumination of the concept of capital as a social relation. And thus his illumination of the idea of socialism - the abolition of compelled labour and the appropriation of human destiny by humanity. Once those two ideas are clear, what happened in the USSR (the past of 'communism') and what we should do now (the future of communism) at last make sense to me.