Saturday, May 1, 2010
IN LIEU OF MAY DAY
(New Series No. 167, May 2002)
Human beings take work as something forced on them as a load to be borne. The process of human being's efforts to lessen work, to lighten it were turned upside down with the advent of hierarchic social creations. The processes of increasing workload on labouring masses began.
In this process, the factory-mode emerged. With the counting of every moment and endless increase of speed, factory modes beginning and end is work. By pushing seasons aside, the factory mode imposed work throughout the 12 months of the year. Through electricity, the limits of sunrise and sunset for work have been broken. People have been put to work not only during the day, but also at night.
It has not been a long time since factory-mode made a significant impact in production. It is only around 250 years. With the factory-mode, wage-work system became significant in production. With the firm-footing of factory-mode provided by steam and coal, the extensive expansion of wage-work system began. Together with production, factory-mode and wage-work system has been taking every area and arena in its grip, squeezing life out of it, making it synonomous with work. Sports, song, dance, discussions, advice, free-time, hospitality have all to a significant extent been transformed into work. Factory-mode and wages are erasing them. Retirement is like death.
The Return of What Was Rejected From the Beginning
Around 200 years ago, the visions of artisans, peasants, and new wage workers created by dire necessity or brute force were in some respects not as mesmerized as those today. They felt that factory-mode makes life something forced on us. Transforms life into a burden. Those artisans, peasants, and new wage workers opposed the premises of the factory-mode. They attacked factories, broke machines, burned down buildings. By making factory's fortress-like, and through hanging, and bullets, the initial use of the factory was crushed by those sitting on heads and shoulders.
Thereafter, questioning of the factory itself decreased. The opposition of factory-mode dimmed. Seeking relief in factory life, relief through the creation of more factories, and defining emancipation as capturing factories became significant. 8 hours working day, the independence of enslaved countries, and socialist revolution are symbolic of this shift.
Relief in the Factory
It is still common to describe the absence of factories or the decrease of factories in the area as the reason behind the bad condition of people living in an area. Even today advocates of factory mode are presenting the establishment of very large numbers of factories in the area as the prescription for the well-being of people in the area. In this context, for rapid industrialization, the process of forming new provinces, the creation of new countries has not stopped yet. The expansion of factory-mode and the worsening of labor masses' condition are two sides of the same coin.
In colonies, the lack of factory mode was said to be the reason for the bad condition of residents there. In the name of making people happy, the establishment and expansion of factories was said to require 'enslaved countries' 'independence' and a lot of noise was made for this. Sacrifices were asked from and taken for laboring masses. More than an hundred countries 'became independent.' In 'independent India,' in these 50 years, factory-mode, wage-labor system has been widely expanding at a rapid pace. Has there been any relief with the spread of factories? The relief of the expansion of factory-mode and the condition of labouring masses is going from bad to worse is in front of us. These same fruits of obtaining relif through factories has fallen in the lap of laboring masses of other 'countries that become independent.'
Emancipation in Taking Over Factories
The Communist/Socialist current through cuts-selections-and militancy reached a significant stage of success. The growing speed of work prepared the basis for emancipation. The takeover of extremely fast means of production was seen as the revolutionary step of emancipation, The takeover of factories was made a point of departure by the Socialist Revolution for the wide and rapid expansion of the factory-mode. Result: as far as the workers are concerned, Soviet Union (Russia) and America was merely that of label.
In view of the cruelty, murderousness of factory-mode towards life, there is an urgent need for new extensive opposition to factory-mode. Disassembling of factory-mode and its bases will be helpful in this. Some points are:
*Like other hierarchic social formations, in factory-mode based societies, a representative system is inherent- be it imposed or elected.
*Movements for relief in factory, relief through factory, emancipation by taking over factory be it non-violent or violent or a mixture of violent-nonviolent, are all are directed by representatives, leaders, and their networks. The workers' labouring masses acts as per order to ensure that there is need for an apparatus. The two extremes of organization in representative systems are loose- slimy apparatus versus a strict, efficient, alert apparatus. The deciding steps are taken through the measurement of the success of the apparatus.
*In the 19th century and in the early decades of the 20th century also, the question of real repesentation and phony representation was the subject of sharp discussions. But after seeing the result of relief through factory and emancipation by taking over factory, this question was rendered meaningless.
*The change of ownership had turned from the path of individual to joint stock to shareholding to loan-based. This has done away with the differences between militant and soft, honest and dishonest, reformist and revolutionary parties, and leaders.
*The yardsticks of measurement of a representative system has the task of hiding the importance of steps and attempts of ordinary people. Whereas, to give primary importance to the activities of ordinary people should be the basis of new paths. For this, very different yardsticks for measuring the effect-impact are necessary.
*As for one's capacity and facility, what steps should each worker take and which steps should not be taken? Without co-workers, what kinds of coordinations should we have? Going across the boundaries of factory, city, region, country, what type of methods for worldwide coordinations needed? By churning alone, will new kinds of effective and organized be decided? As alternative to factory-mode, come let's be participants in the churning for new society!