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CASTORIADIS. THE MEANING OF SOCIALISM .pdf

by I Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at 11:14 PM

http://is.gd/EQUALITY

download PDF (188.1 kibibytes)

...?n contemporary society alienation penetrates and destroys the meaning of everything. It not only destroys the meaning of work, but the meaning of all aspects of social and individual life. The only remaining values and motivations for men are higher and higher (not just high) standards of material consumption...
'Higher standards of living' are the electric hare used by capitalist and bureaucrat alike to keep people on the run... the goods consumed are not good-in-themselves, are not absolutes, but because they embody the values of this culture...
Human wants have always been basically social ones...
Today's wants are increasingly manufactured and manipulated by the ruling class. The serfdom of man has become manifest in consumption itself... Consumption as such has no meaning for man. Leisure as such is empty. Few are more miserable in today's society than unoccupied old people, even when they have no material problems... They are as alienated in their leisure as they are at work...

***

...Socialism is not a doctrine about how to increase production as such. This is a fundamentally capitalist way of looking at things ... to increase production at all costs. Nor is Socialism about 'better organisation' as such, whether it be better organization of production, of the economy or of society.
Organization for organization's sake is the constant obsession of capitalism... (more production, better organization at WHAT cost, at WHOSE cost, and to WHAT END?)
Socialism, we claim, is not primarily concerned about more production and more consumption of the present type. This would lead, through innumerable links and causal connections, to simply more capitalism...

...Freedom will not arise automatically out of the development of production. It should not be confused with leisure. Freedom for man is not idleness, but free activity.

***

...the organization of production today, whether in Britain or in France, in the USA or in the USSR, is class organization. Technology is predominantly class technology... Machines are invented, or selected, according to one fundamental criterion: do they assist in the struggle of management against workers, do they reduce yet further the worker's margin of autonomy? ... The conscious transformation of technology will be one of the crucial tasks confronting socialist society...


...Education today... by the school or by the family, aims at producing people adapted to the present type of society. It corrupts the human sense of integration into society which it transforms into a habit of subservience to authority... of worshipping the status quo. It imposes a meaningless pattern of work which separates, dislocates and distorts physical and mental potentialities. The more education of the present type is supplied, the more of the present breed of man will be produced, with slavery built into him.

***

Workers' management does not mean that individuals of working class origin are appointed to replace the present day managers. It means that industry, at its various levels, is managed by the collectivity of the workers, employees and technicians. Affairs affecting the shop or the department are decided by the assemblies of workers of the particular shop or department concerned. Routine or emergency problems are handled by stewards, elected and subject to instant recall...

We must relentlessly denounce hierarchical conceptions of work and of social organisation;

...Socialism is about freedom... freedom to decide collectively how much to produce, how much to consume, how much to work, how much to rest. Freedom to decide, collectively and individually, WHAT to consume, HOW to produce and HOW to work. Freedom to participate in determining the orientation of society. And freedom to direct one's own life within this social framework...
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