Automation and Mechanization, a demonstration of difference
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bayourebel

Between 1811 and 1812, skilled craftspeople staged rebellion through sabotage in England. The use of unskilled labor at newly invented industrial cotton processing depressed wages for the skilled craftspeople, who were called Luddites after Ned Lud—a word that stays with us today to describe someone who opposes technology.

This is an important period in the history of commerce. Labor was becoming mechanized. Now, since the invention of the computer chip, it is possible for labor to become automated, as well—humans were and are becoming less needed in manufacturing as machine and automated complexity grew by leaps and bounds over the last century. One of the few things keeping oppressed colonized people employed by neocolonialists is the cost/benefit ratio between sometimes literate and poorly treated labor and cheaply made goods that can be shipped around the world at low cost—the rate of exploitation (profit) is still higher than mechanizing and automation in a more capitalized society.

Our economy is planned for achieving maximum profit. A socialist economy is planned for achieved maximum distribution of goods and services to maximize individual potential across the board. The process of mechanization and automation plays out very differently in these two methods of planning.

In an economy planned for profit, machinery is used to cut down on expensive and variable human labor—which gets sick, has family obligations, and needs to rest and eat. Machines can work for as long as you can maintain them with spare parts and lubrication, without lunch or bathroom or sleep breaks. They can be upgraded and replaced without resistance. And, perhaps most importantly, they do not unionize.

Even something as seemeingly trivial as a Blackberry or iPhone increases productivity. Yet this increase in productivity is not followed by a decrease in labor time. More people are working longer hours for less pay than any time since the dawn of the age of post-World War 2 American consumerism. Telecommunications alone could do for planned economics what print did for reading.

 

The haphazard implementation of automated production in and new, more efficient machines puts workers out of a job. It takes less and less skill to manufacture goods as machines become more specialized, even for complex machines like cars. Even in the best case scenario—decrease in average labor timeper worker as opposed to layoffs—means that workers will earn less per paycheck simply because they work less, although their productivity per labor hours has increased. In a socialist society, pay would at least remain the same until wages could be abolished altogether.

 

Private property relations are the root problem of the issue. The capitalist, as the sole owners of the factory and its tools (together known as the means of production) has the final say over the implementation of machinery, unless bared so from by a union contract which bargained for some say-so over the use of automated machines. Like the Luddites of the early 1800s, laborers now sometimes oppose introduction of automated machines over job security issues, and rightly so. They have a family to provide for. Yet the capitalist has littlie if any social responsibility to halt his search for maximum profits.

 

In fact it is their labor which generates the wealth which is used to purchase and design new automated machines, an issue to be discussed in an entry about surplus value.

 

In a socially planned economy, that is a society that is democratically controlled by producers, the introduction of automated machinery would not pose such problems. Since the ultimate purpose of socialist planned economies is individual development and wellbeing, automation could be planned to increase leisure time and produce more goods more efficiently for better distribution.

 

But, you might object, what about the USSR, China, and Cuba? Why aren't those socially planned countries materially superior to the imperial world?

 

These counties, after their revolutions, were blockaded. The USA in particular made it extremely difficult for technology to be exported to the USSR and Cuba, often citing secutity concerns that the Soviet bloc would develop new weapons. I won't touch on China because I am not quite so familiar with it.

 

To demonstrate, the USSR was planning to build a gas pipeline from Siberia to sell to Western European markets, and had already arranged this when the USA, under Reagan, decided to not sell the turbines and compressors needed by the USSR for this project. In the end the pipeline was completed anyway, and under record time, but the technological blockade the USSR suffered since the 1917 revolution did retard its technological development.

 

It is not hard to speculate what the societies that actually grew during the Great Depression and beat the most capitalistic country at the space race after one of the most devastating world wide wars (which it fought on all sides) would have accomplished with the most modern computers and machinery, despite its often bumbling bureaucracy, something that the USSR struggled with throughout its existence—and something that could have been easily rectified with modern telecommunications equipment.

 

The state of the art factories brilliant minds co opted by the imperialist war machine could be better utilized to develop even more efficient automated machinery.

 

It is entirely possible that the 21st century could see the birth of a society that could for the first time and in short order in industrial history have more leisure time than our hunter-gatherer ancestors.


I swear on Lennin's Tomb
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bayourebel
I will punch the next person in the face if they say the bailout of either the banks or the car companies is socialist.

Is this what people think socialism is? Giving money to corporations when they fuck up? No. What happened is is this:

Millionaires hold office. Millionaires and billionaires run businesses. These dudes are buddies. They are watching out for their buddies. The fact that if the car companies fail, millions of working people will lose everything they've built for themselves is only on their remotest periphery because of the fallout that would happen if this came about. For a taste of this, look at El Barrio or any inner city ghetto that's lost meaningful productive industry.

You hear this sort of thing a lot. Because in America, Democrats are the Left. Democrats like to spend money on social programs. Therefore socialists like to tax and spend.

This is retarded. Democrats are not Leftist, barring actual socialists who join the Democratic Party. Socialists tend to say things like "abolish the system of rents and wages" and don't exactly favor taxing people to give millions to death merchants and idiot CEOs.

Spending money on things does not equal socialists. The bourgeois capitalist backed government spending billions of tax money that we don't have to spend on these greedy failures.

So what would the communist alternative be?

For starters:
(1) Stop all foreclosures, cataloging of all unoccupied housing and substandard housing for distribution of these goods to those who need them
(2) Transition of auto manufacturing and related industries into production of fuel efficient cars and rail-related machinery
(3) The necessary job retraining required for (2)
(4) Transfer of the control of the industries in (2) from CEOs and corporate boards to workers councils (soviets)
(5) Retraining of "unskilled" labor in major cities for reconstruction of infrastructure
(6) Ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing the troops home for rehabilitation
(7) Ceasing all new weapons development
(8) Retool weapons factories and retrain their workers for (2)

The fact that these billionaires are getting trillions of dollars is no abberition, really. The basic motivations for it are as old as the American Revolution, as I show below.

It's no coincidence that our infrastructure is about 1 trillion dollars behind maintenance schedule, which coincide with out much we've spent on military adventurism suppressing popular left wing democratic movements in the Global South.

This anti-government sentiment, this throw the baby out with the bathwater mentality conservatives and libertarians have, is maladaptive. It misses the real root cause of our problem: it's not government per se that is the problem.

You have to ask who is governing, and who is being goverened. Since America's inception, a tiny group of elite and professional property owners has called the shots. After the American Revolution, according to the laws of the new USA, only 10% of the population could vote. The reason property rights were so important to the founders, and why tying the vote to property was also so important, is that very few people actually owned any property. Up to half of a given state would be owned by a hanful of extremely wealthy plantation owners who backed the Revolution. A classic bourgeois revolution.

And there was a worker counter revolution, aiming towards a trurer democracy.

The propertyless laborers (called machinists or leatheraprons then, men of Journeymen and Apprentice rank) rebelled against this new tyranny. The transformation from the Articles of Confederacy to the Constitution (which was drafted in secret because of the class atagonisms at the time) was primarily done to give the property class enough concentrated wealth to put down the tennant farmer and slave rebellions which periodically sprang up against the likes of Jefferson and Washington.

Therein lies the reason for the shift in rhetoric. From "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness" to "life, liberty, and property." Actually, one of the cheif worries of the new ruling class in America was a redistribution of land and elimination of debts following a peasant revolt. God forbid true equality be established amoung people and production be democratized! Full democracy was something actively strived against, and often spoken against in the secret meetings of this elite capitalist cabal.

The founder had no intention of a true democracy. Congress was set up to moderate business between the "first class" as John Adams called his compatriots, the people the founders felt were capable of ruling due to their education and leisure. This tradition has remained with us today.

Never has a political leader in America who represents the interests of the workers as a whole been elected to Federal office. Nothing has changing between 1776 and 2008. What few populist leaders we have were often given to extreme prejudices that manifested in genocides (Andrew Jackson) or failures in office make real changes in the system (FDR).

This is what conservatives and libertarians fail to realize: things are functioning as they should. There has been no divorce from the basic principles of this bourgeois republic: property is worth more than life. It is right and proper for the wealthy leisure class of capitalists to rule this country on their behalf, using the civic institutions to prop themselves up.


Arguing with Old People.
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bayourebel
I hate arguing with old people, especially a racist classist who feels bad for capitalists and not laid off workers. Fuck him.

It's Christmas time now, so I'm at home with my mom and brother and soon my dad. I can't wait till Christmas day and I get to see my niece get a DS and stuff. It's cool to see her so happy, but shitty to train her that getting things is the highlight of your life.

I wish I could spend the holidays with Colleen. Christmas is romantic to me, especially considering what New Years entails for us. I think we should be married on New Years Eve, right at midnight. That's pretty romantic.

Things I found in my parents storage shed:
Paintball gun
Clothes
Movies
Books
Star Wars toys
Legos
Constructs
A firetruck

Sup comrades?
hat n glasses
bayourebel
Hey yall.

So I'll probably abandon this thing after a few posts like all my other blogs I've ever started. But so what? This is America.

This last semester was shit. I hate LSU and can't wait to move into Lafayette with Colleen and go to UL again. There is no reason for me to have 2 Fs this semester.

I'll post more later.

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