The entry into a historical epoch marked by militarism is transforming labor relations. Ranging from brutal legal changes in Ukraine, but also in South Korea or Hungary, to “spontaneous” forms of imposition of overwork in Great Britain or the USA. At the same time, the campaigns and ideological pressure are targeting a new generation of workers who are massively “burning out” in the workplace, unable to get out of their individualistic and identitarian prison.
Tag: communist morality
Social morality and the propaganda machine combine and feed each other in a game of hypocrisy and barbarism. This week the media reaction to a slap at the Oscars, the silences of feminism over Ukraine, the claims of European farmers or the drifts of the anti-war movement in Russia, made it clear to us: nothing but inhumanity and decadence can be expected from the ruling class nor the petty bourgeoisie.
Consumerism is the ideology which claims that consumption is the center and driving force of social life and that the individual’s consumption choices are what define his or her position in the world. The backbone of the ideology of capitalism during its decadence, consumerism strongly permeates the morality that the system and its propaganda exude, aggravating the mercantile degradation of human relations and… neutering any frustration expressed through it.
Under communism… why would the sexual division of labor disappear when it pre-dates even class society? Isn’t it an exercise in voluntarism to declare that Communism will simply abolish the sexual division of labor?
France will reimburse mental health appointments; in Spain a law is being prepared pledging to establish and equip a care system that today offers little more than waiting lists and drugs in the midst of an epidemic causing more than 200 suicide attempts daily and in a context in which 2 million people are on daily anxiolytics. But no law is going to stop the grinder into which living and working conditions have turned. Only collective organization and struggle can achieve that.
In Britain, the shortage of drivers at the wages offered by companies is already affecting 30% of British petrol stations and the government is starting to mobilize military drivers. It is a striking case because of how it reveals the chaos created by this productive system, but it is far from being unique: the entire American and European press complains about an alleged labor shortage. But the British experience and the behavior of the unions throughout this speaks volumes and says a lot about workers, their ethos/morality and the alternatives we face.
After the pandemic confinements and the sharp rise in unemployment throughout 2020, the rebound in U.S. hires was accompanied for workers by inflation above wage hikes and reductions in working hours. Meanwhile, the corporate petty bourgeoisie was reluctant to move back to the office and less than 20% of the corporate bourgeoisie was considering a return to business as usual. Now they are dumping on us a “new” moral discourse on work: they tell us that the former discourse wasn’t so important after all, that the centrality of work was a reactionary illusion.
The crisis of religion in Europe is becoming glaringly obvious despite aggressive proselytizing by Protestant churches in neighborhoods. Belief surveys show a consistent long-term trend that even this year’ s pandemic and precarization angst seems unlikely to change. However, the atomization and loneliness on which these religions have always thrived keeps on rising more than ever, so it is time to ask ourselves whether we are really facing a crisis of religion or just a crisis of its most atavistic forms, replaced by something perhaps even worse.
The success of Science of Well-Being, a course taught by Yale University on the Internet to nearly three and a half million students, has become one of the cultural phenomena of the pandemic.
In communism the capacities of social production would multiply. Communist society would satisfy everyone’s needs and the economy would no longer be based on capital accumulation, but rather on a common metabolism with Nature. But what happens then with Art, craftsmanship or traditional forms of production that do not allow massification? Won’t alienation return through the back door by separating us from our capacity to directly transform and create things on a small scale?
Suddenly, a presumed psychological syndrome, pandemic fatigue, is all over the media. Public TV stations give advice on how to curb it, private ones tell us that 60% of the population is suffering from it. In the newspapers, opinion columns are coming one after another, with varying degrees of wit. The characteristic barrage of all media campaigns never stops, it goes on and on and reaches the fashion magazines and professional newsletters. It’s not innocent and far from helping, it aggravates the situation.
Articles promoting co-living are popping up in the press. They specifically target young workers (no students allowed, as pointed out by TeleMadrid) and sell a way of life based on an idea of community offering the promise of overcoming isolation and atomization. In reality: shared apartments with minimal individual spaces at prices which not long ago would have been charged for a family house; housing precariousness beyond the mini-house level based on a false collectivist bond and commodified interpersonal relationships. These are certainly similar to the oppressive and miserable stalinist komunalkas which are also now coming back, but light years away from the collective and communal housing movements of the workers’ movement up to and during the Russian Revolution.
The bad guys in Tenet, unsurprisingly, are our class. And no surprise either, our existence is denied throughout the entire timeline, we only keep a probabilistic existence in that possible future they fear so much, possible if we keep struggling today.
In some of the messages we received from our readers from different parts of the world, this second wave seems to be setting a turning point. In places where struggles seem to have receded after the first wave or failed to develop and gain momentum tamed by union control, the spectre of demoralization looms large.
The more contradictions the system suffers, the more difficult it is to maintain accumulation, the more it needs to atomize and deny us as a class. In doing so, it also destroys what would allow us to better resist the daily consequences of such exploitation: from solidarity among friends and neighbors to family relations, to such basic things as eating decently or keeping our morals up. One cannot separate struggles in the workplace from action in the neighborhoods to defend ourselves from the effects of atomization and to strengthen our capacity for grouping and resistance.
A new article in response to what our readers are asking about different forms of discrimination and how to fight them.
The “Morale of Victory” narrative is not just a discourse on the overall level of morale or stamina. It is a discourse on morality. It is the state separating the good guys -who resist and sacrifice themselves- from the bad guys, a bunch of selfish and defeatist cynics.
Under the grammar of the fear of unemployment and poverty what they call economy -the accumulation of capital- has been revealed as an arithmetic of slaughter. But everything that is presented to us as “superhuman forces”, unbeatable, inexorable… is not.
Alexandra Kollontai wrote about women’s liberation and relationships, but from a perspective that had nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with communist morality.
What did a social democrat of Lenin’s generation mean by a proletarian who became a “professional revolutionary”. For answering we have to revisit the original “What Is to Be Done”… by Chernishevsky