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xxxiii

Foreword

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Marcy, S. (2009). Foreword. In Marcy, S. High Tech, Low Pay: a Marxist Analysis of the Changing Character of the Working Class. World View Forum, pp. 33-34

xxxiv

This is a social trend wholly unanticipated by those who had expected the great advances and discoveries in science and technology to have brought about "upward mobility." This is what was looked for from the scientific and technological revolution. Instead, all of the studies disclose a clear trend in the opposite direction.

Instead of raising the level of Black, Latin, women and other oppressed workers in capitalist society to that of the higher paid, more privileged, so-called aristocratic sector of workers, the scientific-technological revolution is mercilessly and ruthlessly leveling down and demolishing the higher social stratum in the working class and reducing it to the level of the lower paid.

—p.xxxiv by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

This is a social trend wholly unanticipated by those who had expected the great advances and discoveries in science and technology to have brought about "upward mobility." This is what was looked for from the scientific and technological revolution. Instead, all of the studies disclose a clear trend in the opposite direction.

Instead of raising the level of Black, Latin, women and other oppressed workers in capitalist society to that of the higher paid, more privileged, so-called aristocratic sector of workers, the scientific-technological revolution is mercilessly and ruthlessly leveling down and demolishing the higher social stratum in the working class and reducing it to the level of the lower paid.

—p.xxxiv by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
xxxv

[...] The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment report confirmed it: "Jobs in computer and semiconductor manufacturing are unlikely to rescue many workers from traditional manufacturing jobs because employment in these industries is small." And of course, the total number of jobs in computer and semiconductor industries is small by comparison with the overall workforce, which counts in the tens of millions.

But this is an evasion of the fundamental issue involved in the scientific-technological revolution. While it is a very narrow sector, its influence is decisive for all sectors of the economy.

These technological changes alter fundamental social trends and bring to the fore new political forces. It is therefore wholly inadequate to point to the mere number of workers directly involved in this particular narrow sector without showing its overwhelming influence in all phases of the capitalist economy. Moreover, high technology has fueled the enormous growth of the military-industrial complex.

—p.xxxv by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment report confirmed it: "Jobs in computer and semiconductor manufacturing are unlikely to rescue many workers from traditional manufacturing jobs because employment in these industries is small." And of course, the total number of jobs in computer and semiconductor industries is small by comparison with the overall workforce, which counts in the tens of millions.

But this is an evasion of the fundamental issue involved in the scientific-technological revolution. While it is a very narrow sector, its influence is decisive for all sectors of the economy.

These technological changes alter fundamental social trends and bring to the fore new political forces. It is therefore wholly inadequate to point to the mere number of workers directly involved in this particular narrow sector without showing its overwhelming influence in all phases of the capitalist economy. Moreover, high technology has fueled the enormous growth of the military-industrial complex.

—p.xxxv by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
xxxvi

[...] even in its most prosperous phase of the capitalist economic cycle continually expels more and more workers from the productive apparatus. The difference introduced by the scientific-technological revolution is simply that it has vastly accelerated this continuous expulsion of more and more workers from the process of production, even in a period of so-called growth.

referring to the reserve army thesis i assume

—p.xxxvi by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] even in its most prosperous phase of the capitalist economic cycle continually expels more and more workers from the productive apparatus. The difference introduced by the scientific-technological revolution is simply that it has vastly accelerated this continuous expulsion of more and more workers from the process of production, even in a period of so-called growth.

referring to the reserve army thesis i assume

—p.xxxvi by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
xxxvi

The distinctive feature of this particular phase of capitalist development, the scientific-technological phase, is that while it enormously raises the productivity of labor, it for the first time simultaneously lowers the general wage patterns and demolishes the more high-skilled, high-paid workers. It enhances the general pauperization of the population.

not sure if the latter claim bears out in practice just yet, as least when it comes to high-paid workers in general. to be more precise, it stratifies that class more?

—p.xxxvi by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The distinctive feature of this particular phase of capitalist development, the scientific-technological phase, is that while it enormously raises the productivity of labor, it for the first time simultaneously lowers the general wage patterns and demolishes the more high-skilled, high-paid workers. It enhances the general pauperization of the population.

not sure if the latter claim bears out in practice just yet, as least when it comes to high-paid workers in general. to be more precise, it stratifies that class more?

—p.xxxvi by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
xxxviii

The cost of militarism is rising. The trend in imperialism today is that the cost of maintaining the empire is beginning to overwhelm the loot that is brought in. When imperialism was stronger it brought in many more profits than losses. This allowed for the development of a relatively aristocratic top layer of the working class, mostly white, who gained something from imperialist expansionism. But today it is becoming ever more costly to maintain such a far-flung empire against increasingly conscious and determined liberation struggles. It takes enormous expenditures not only on the most sophisticated weapons and on maneuvers involving huge numbers of troops but even on endless diplomatic and political efforts. All this must ultimately come out of the hides of the workers here.

Seen in another sense, the imperialist system is becoming too costly to be able to reproduce itself. This stands out when capitalism is compared to both ancient slavery and feudalism, societies that remained relatively stable for centuries. Under these systems, the surplus produced by the laboring classes went directly into consumption. Very little was used to expand the means of production, unlike the present economic system, where the driving force of production is to generate capital.

Under modern-day monopoly capitalism, with its enormous and costly military superstructure and its irreversible drive to revolutionize the means of production, the cost of production has become excessive. The capitalists must make an ever greater effort to unload these excessive costs on the working class; hence, high tech and low wages. Their anti-labor offensive is not the product of an aberration on the part of individual capitalists but comes from deep historical roots. It is a symptom showing that the system is economically out of date and bound to decline.

damn this feel so prescient

—p.xxxviii by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago

The cost of militarism is rising. The trend in imperialism today is that the cost of maintaining the empire is beginning to overwhelm the loot that is brought in. When imperialism was stronger it brought in many more profits than losses. This allowed for the development of a relatively aristocratic top layer of the working class, mostly white, who gained something from imperialist expansionism. But today it is becoming ever more costly to maintain such a far-flung empire against increasingly conscious and determined liberation struggles. It takes enormous expenditures not only on the most sophisticated weapons and on maneuvers involving huge numbers of troops but even on endless diplomatic and political efforts. All this must ultimately come out of the hides of the workers here.

Seen in another sense, the imperialist system is becoming too costly to be able to reproduce itself. This stands out when capitalism is compared to both ancient slavery and feudalism, societies that remained relatively stable for centuries. Under these systems, the surplus produced by the laboring classes went directly into consumption. Very little was used to expand the means of production, unlike the present economic system, where the driving force of production is to generate capital.

Under modern-day monopoly capitalism, with its enormous and costly military superstructure and its irreversible drive to revolutionize the means of production, the cost of production has become excessive. The capitalists must make an ever greater effort to unload these excessive costs on the working class; hence, high tech and low wages. Their anti-labor offensive is not the product of an aberration on the part of individual capitalists but comes from deep historical roots. It is a symptom showing that the system is economically out of date and bound to decline.

damn this feel so prescient

—p.xxxviii by Sam Marcy 3 months, 3 weeks ago