Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

The standard Marxist response to full automation is to point to its ‘objective’ limits by arguing that capitalism will never eliminate its source of surplus value (i.e. labour). But this argument confuses a systemic outcome with an individual incentive, an internal barrier with an absolute limit, and a political struggle with a theoretical tension. In the first place, the individual imperatives are to increase the productivity of technology in order to gain extra surplus value relative to other capitalists. The systemic outcome of this is detrimental for all capitalists (less surplus value being produced), but still remains beneficial for individual capitalists, and will therefore continue. In the second place, the limits of the capitalist mode of production are mistakenly taken to be the limits of any possible change. If capitalism cannot survive with full automation, it is deemed that full automation must not be possible. Such a position makes capitalism the end-point of history, rejecting in advance any postcapitalist possibility. Finally, the theoretically derived tension between increased productivity, rising organic composition and a reduced rate of profit is taken to present a situation that capital will never allow to occur because of its systemic effects. Missing from this account is a political movement that would struggle to push capitalism beyond itself. In other words, the argument that full automation will never occur simply posits that political struggle is ineffective. In the end, such a line of reasoning gives up on every critical account of capitalism, and accepts it as the final stage of history. [...]

—p.234 Notes (201) by Alex Williams, Nick Srnicek 2 years, 7 months ago