"We are born female and male *, biological sexes, but we are created woman and man, socially recognized genders. How we are so created is that second aspect of the mode of production of which Engels spoke, “the production of human beings themselves, the propogation of the species”.
How people propagate the species is socially determined."
Heidi L. Hartmann, The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism, p.12 Capital & Class Summer 1979 vol. 3 no. 2 1-33 (via fuckyeahdialectics)
* and of-course intersex, apologies.
‘Alienation’ has a specific technical meaning in Marx —- what I say here is not strictly Marxist, but still broadly congruent with it.
The idea has two parts.
First. that autonomy is tied to the capacity to be bound by logically necessary (inferential) connections between concepts: freedom is doing what you ought, not doing what you want. This is not a new idea. But functionalism and inferentialism together allow one to develop it systematically, the upshot being that freedom can only be understood as an intrinsically rational capacity, and that the rejection of rationality is tantamount to the rejection of freedom, since the possibility of the latter depends essentially on the possibility of the former. These are not new ideas, bit their familiarity masks their potential radicality. The post-modern assault on rationality generates a climate in which impulse masquerades as freedom —- but of course all our impulses are conditioned, controlled, and (increasingly) manufactured, so that ultimately only the ability to relay conceptually generated impulses can block the tyranny of impulsiveness. Freedom is a cultural achievement, not a biological birthright: it is conceptual compulsion supplanting biological impulsion.
This is the second component: alienation is a positive condition. The dialectic of alienation culminates in the realization that there is no home to be exiled from. no self from which to be estranged. This is precisely the realization that separates the thinking subject from the experiencing self. Alienation as maximal estrangement is the splitting of the subject from the self, but this split can be embraced as an enabling condition for thought and practise. It incurs a defamiliarization allowing semblance to be confronted as semblance from a vantage registering the discrepancy between how appearances are experienced and how they are produced. This is obviously connected to the dis-junction between the consumption of commodities and the conditions of production obscurely encoded within the former. To turn alienation into an enabling condition in the context of noise and improvisation would be to render opaque what is usually left transparent: to expose the envelopment of content by the vehicule of presentation and the necessary occlusion of the vehicule within the presented content, thereby confronting the deception perpetuated by those who refuse to acknowledge this envelopment, in a way that is neither theatrical nor self-indulgent.Ray Brassier and Mattin, Metal Machine Theory #6, mattin.org, anti-copyright (via fuckyeahdialectics)
"While productive labour is changing the means of production into constituent elements of a new product, their value undergoes a metempsychosis. It deserts the consumed body, to occupy the newly created one. But this transmigration takes place, as it were, behind the back of the labourer. He is unable to add new labour, to create new value, without at the same time preserving old values, and this, because the labour he adds must be of a specific useful kind; and he cannot do work of a useful kind, without employing products as the means of production of a new product, and thereby transferring their value to the new product. The property therefore which labour-power in action, living labour, possesses of preserving value, at the same time that it adds it, is a gift of Nature which costs the labourer nothing, but which is very advantageous to the capitalist inasmuch as it preserves the existing value of his capital. So long as trade is good, the capitalist is too much absorbed in money-grubbing to take notice of this gratuitous gift of labour. A violent interruption of the labour-process by a crisis, makes him sensitively aware of it."Karl Marx, Capital: Volume 1 (NLR/Penguin 1972), pp. 314-5 [met him pike hoses]
He smiled, glancing askance at her mocking eye. The same young eyes. The first night after the charades. Dolphin’s Barn. He turned over the smudged pages. Ruby: the Pride of the Ring. Hello. Illustration. Fierce Italian with carriagewhip. Must be Ruby pride of the on the floor naked. Sheet kindly lent. The monster Maffei desisted and flung his victim from him with an oath. Cruelty behind it all. Doped animals. Trapeze at Hengler’s. Had to look the other way. Mob gaping. Break your neck and we’ll break our sides. Families of them. Bone them young so they metempsychosis. That we live after death. Our souls. That a man’s soul after he dies. Dignam’s soul… (Ulysses, James Joyce, (London: Bodley Head, 1960) pp.77-8) (via fuckyeahdialectics)
"In the labour-process, therefore, man’s activity, via the instruments of labour, effects an alteration, in the object of labour which was intended from the outset. The process is extinguished in the product. The product of the process is a use-value, a piece of natural material adapted to human needs by means of a change in form. Labour has become bound up in its object: labour has been objectified, the object has been worked on. What on the side of the worker appeared in the form of unrest [Unruhe] now appears, on in side of the product, in the form of being [Sein], as a fixed, immobile characteristic. The worker has spun, and the product is a spinning."
Karl Marx, Capital: Volume 1 (NLR/Penguin 1972), pp. 287 (via fuckyeahdialectics)
Karl gettin’ all spinozist.
"There is a tendency among the Left today — and I mean all varieties of the Left — of being reduced to protecting things. It is a kind of conservatism; saving all the things that capitalism destroys which range from nature to communities, cities, culture and so on. The Left is placed in a very self-defeating nostalgic position, just trying to slow down the movement of history. There is a line by Walter Benjamin that epitomizes that — though I don’t know how he thought of that himself — revolutions are “pulling the emergency cord,” stopping the onrush of the train. I don’t think Marx thought about it like that at all. It seems to me that Marx thought that productivity would increase by getting rid of capitalism. On the level of organization, technology and production, Marx did not want a return to handicraft labour, but to go on into all kinds of complex forms of automation and computerization [as it would emerge] and so."Fredric Jameson (via thediscreetcharmoftheproletariat)
"Most people who’ve read Marx/Engels/Lenin are probably rich white dudes sitting atop of the privilege mountain and couldn’t really give a fuck about minorities."
Me (via eltigrechico)
"Labour has been equalised by the subordination of man to the machine or by the extreme division of labour… the pendulum of the clock has become as accurate a measure of the relative activity of two workers as it is of the speed of two locomotives… Time is everything, man is nothing; he is at most, time’s carcass. Quantity alone decides everything; hour for hour, day for day."Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (via afskda)
"When considered in relationship to space, the nation may be seen to have two moments or conditions. First, nationhood implies the existence of a market gradually built up over a historical period of varying length. Such a market is a complex ensemble of commercial relations and communication networks. It subordinates local or regional markets to the national one, and thus must have a hierarchy of levels. The social, economic and political development of a national market has been somewhat different in character in places where the towns came very early on to dominate the country, as compared with places where the towns grew up on a pre-existing peasant, rural and feudal foundation, The outcome, however, is much the same everywhere: a focused space embodying a hierarchy of centres (commercial centres for the most part, but also religious ones, ‘cultural’ ones, and so on) and a main centre -i.e. the national capital"Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (via eboulton)