Fifth Column – Issue 12


Never has Marx’s Theory of Conflict been more applicable.
The so-called development being the stupidity of this natural antagonism between the proletariat and the owners of capital and labour and their agents in governments, being couched in rhetoric of community, and the language of personal responsibility.
It is a classic case of Ragged Trousered Philanthropy as the appeals for sacrifice by the workers for the benefit of their own communities are made  only to reduce their labour value to next to nothing. The cheapest provision of local services for governments serving only the owners of labour and material wealth creation resources
The nature of behaviour is often defined by context and in this instance the defining element is cost-cutting to accommodate private wealth and power of particularly large businesses so well established as to be pretty much free from the effects of any economic vagaries. Free market, what balderdash.
Given this base, the owners of wealth creation resources are served best by governments legislating for privatisation of labour so that proles’ labour value is seen solely as a cost. In any cost cutting measures the proles’ labour value is the first target in reducing the so-called cost burden to the owners.
The appeal to working-class philanthropy and volunteerism is a significant stage in getting the proletariat to accept conditions created by deliberate collusion between the political power brokers (govt and owners) and consequently accepting the logic of reducing costs, their own labour value, as if it is a good, progressive thing. The whole exchange system will be based on the idea of economic class value. The proles’ work – their only recourse to any economic value in a grossly unequal power structure – will be devalued and, at the same time, the value of the owners and their rich and powerful cronies will be commensurately raised. A condition of opportunistic exploitation will develop wherein prole sentimentality will be appealed to as a means of establishing the inequity of labour value.
If a prole cannot command even a subsistence labour value, he/she becomes worthless, which is logically of ultimate value to the owner class whose sole agenda is to get the best returns from the least outlay.
Charity institutions have this unfair economic value system at their heart.
Volunteers give their time and labour to raise revenue whilst self-appointed business managers rake in large monies as personal wealth for their efforts in business management. This system grossly undervalues those sacrificing labour and time to make the wealth creation project work, and all in the name of being charitable to numbers of people in real need.
The exploitative project of business to use urgent need as an opportunity for personal wealth and coercive appeal to the charitable urge in general populations, serves to illustrate how Marx’s Conflict Theory should not be ignored.

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