Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, December 22, 2017

Author Simone Weil starved herself to death to share the fate of French workers under Nazi rule. She criticized Marx and argues that both his analysis of revolution in terms of materialism and belief in its inevitability are bogus and harmful. She argued that already in 1933 a new development, rule by an army of managers, had superseded class war. Managers run industry, the state, and the unions themselves. This was true in the USSR, Hitler's Germany, and in the United States. Modern industry whose assembly line had separated, as Weil puts it, intellectual from manual work, now dominates social conditions. Industrial social organization has reduced the craftsman to a low-skilled minder of machines. The rich parasites who draw sustenance from industrial enterprises as shareholders really have no actual part in the enterprise itself. They have become a superfluous class.

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The state and the labor unions, just like the factory, was run by a collection of bureaucrats, people who did nothing but organize what was done. The ubiquitous system reduced the rich to parasites and the poor to mere cogs in the mechanism.

Communism, for Weil, meant the restoration of the dignity of work in the hands of a craftsman who unites both the intellectual and manual activities. The product of state capitalism is war and preparation for war, and it is to this, eventually, that the entire society is devoted. In the process the planet becomes toxic and we all wait for the end.

Being forced to do meaningless repetitive activity produces boredom, and boredom replaces the cynicism of capitalism with passivity. People try to compensate for meaningless work with amusements. They live for vacations and fun.

Healthy human beings can act independently.

After the revolution you still have to take that math test or catch up on the work you let slide. You may be out of butter and you will expect your usual store to have it. No revolution will sweep away the densely woven web of arrangements that make up ordinary life. They can only change gradually. What revolutions can do, Weil argues is sweep away a class that no longer has a role in these affairs, that is, a parasitic class, such as the French aristocracy or the tycoons of an earlier capitalist era. They will be replaced with managers. The managerial bureaucracy will remain since it is the heart of the real social setup.

The entire population has lost the ability to act. Meanwhile, human extinction approaches like a fire fanned by the Santa Ana winds.

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www.jacobinmag.com

#1 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2017-12-22 09:05 PM | Reply

and i thought familiarity breed contempt? so...complacency?

#2 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-22 10:45 PM | Reply

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