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Critique of the Gotha Program.docx

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Sociology 2270A/B
Scott Schaffer

Critique of the Gotha Program KARL MARX I  Labour is the source of all wealth and all culture, and since useful labour is possible only in society and through society, the proceeds of labour belong undiminished with equal right to all members of society. Labour is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much the} source of use values (and it is surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labour, which itself is only the manifestation of a force of nature, human labour power. But a socialist programme cannot allow such bourgeois phrases to pass over in silence the condition that alone give them meaning. Primary source of all instruments and subjects of labour becomes the source of use values, therefore also of wealth. labour depends on nature it follows that the man who possesses no other property than is labour power must, in all conditions of society and culture, be the slave of other men who have made themselves the owners of the material conditions of labour. Since-labour is the source of all wealth, no one in society can appropriate wealth except as the product of labour. Therefore, if he himself does not work, he lives by the labour of others and also acquires his culture at the expense of the labour of others." Second Part of the Paragraph: "Useful labour is possible only in society and through society." Only in society can useless and even socially harmful labour become a branch of gainful occupation, that only in society can one live by being idle, etc., etc.—in , one could just as well have copied the whole of Rousseau. Labour which produces the intended useful result. A savage—and man was a savage after he had ceased to be an ape—who kills an animal with a stone, who collects fruits, etc., performs "useful" labour. Thirdly. The Conclusion: proceeds of labour belong diminished with equal right to all members of society. Only so much therefrom accrues to the individual worker as is not required to maintain the "condition" of labour, society. Claims of the government and everything that sticks to it, since it is the social organ for the maintenance of the social order; then come the claims of the various kinds of private property, for the various kinds of private property are the foundations of society, etc. "In proportion as labour develops socially, and becomes thereby a source of wealth and culture, poverty and destitution develop among the workers, and wealth and culture among the non-workers‖ "labour" and ―society," was to prove concretely how in present capitalist society the material, etc., conditions have at last been created which enable and compel the workers to lift this social curse. ―undiminished proceeds of labour" as proceeds of labour," "equal right" etc., since the same thing recurs in a somewhat different m further on. "In present-day society, the instruments of labour are the monopoly of the capitalist class; the resulting dependence of the working class is the cause of misery and servitude in all its forms.‖ Present-day society the instruments of labour are the monopoly of the landowners (the monopoly of property in land is even basis of the monopoly of capital) and the capitalists. Rules of the International do not mention either one or the other class of monopolists. ―Monopoliser of means of labour, that is, the source of life‖  SOL: land is included in instruments of labour. The emancipation of labour demands the promotion of the instruments of labour to the common property of society and the co-operative regulation of the total labour with a fair distribution of the proceeds of labour Proceeds of labour  total value of the product or only that part of the value which labour has newly added to the value of the means of production consumed? Proceeds of labour" is a loose notion which Lassalle has put in the place of definite economic conceptions. Fair distribution  Do not the bourgeois assert that the present-day distribution is fair? Only fair distribution on the basis of the present-day mode of production? Are economic relations regulated by legal conceptions or do not, on the contrary, legal relations arise from economic ones? Have not also the socialist sectarians the most varied notions about ―fair‖ distribution? instruments of labour are common property and the total labour is cooperatively regulated proceeds of labour belong undiminished with equal right to all members of society All members of society" and "equal right" are obviously mere phrases. The kernel consists in this, that in this communist society every worker must receive the "undiminished" Lassallean ―proceeds of labour‖ proceeds of labour  cover for replacement of the means of production used up  additional portion for expansion of production  *serve or insurance funds to provide against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities, etc. deductions from the "undiminished proceeds of labour" are an economic necessity and their magnitude is to be determined according to available means and forces, and partly by computation of probabilities, but they are in no way calculable by equity. The general costs of administration not belonging to production Very considerably restricted in comparison with present-day society and it diminishes in proportion as the new society develops. That which is intended for the common satisfaction of needs, such as schools, health services, etc. grows in proportion as the new society develops. Funds for those unable to work, etc., in short, for what is included under so-called official poor relief today. distribution  to that part of the means of consumption which is divided among the individual producers of the co-operative society. undiminished proceeds of labour  averted into the "diminished" proceeds, although what the producer is deprived of in his capacity as a private individual benefits him directly or indirectly in his capacity as a member of society. co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products individual labour no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of the total labour proceeds of labour, ambiguity, thus loses all meaning Communist society, developed on its own foundations, emerges from capitalist society Every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth marks of the old society from whose womb it emerges Individual producer receives back from society exactly what he gives to it Example  sociai working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labour time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it.  receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such and such an amount of labour  draws from social stock of means of consumption as much as costs the same of labour  same amount of labour which he has given to society in one form he receives back in another Here obviously the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, no one can give anything except his labour, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals except individual means of consumption. Same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labour in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labour in another form. Equal right is still constantly stigmatised by a bourgeois limitation. Right of the producers is proportional to the labour they supply; the equality consists in the fact that measurement is made with an equal standard, labour. The equal right is an unequal right for unequal labour. It recognises no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognises unequal individual endowment and thus productive capacity as natural privileges. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right by its very nature can consist only in application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals are measurable only by an equal standard in so far as they are brought under an equal point or view Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby. In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more abundantly-—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society ascribe on its banner: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs! Realistic outlook, by means of ideological nonsense about right and other trash so common among the democrats and French Socialists Latter distribution, however, is a feature of the node of production itself. The capitalist mode of production, for example, rests on the fact that the material conditions of production are in the hands of non-workers in the form of property in capital and land, while the masses are only owners of the personal condition of production, of labour power. If the elements of production are so distributed, then the present-day distribution of the means of consumption results automatically. If the material conditions of production arc the co-operative property of the workers themselves, then there likewise results a distribution of the means of consumption different from the present one. Vulgar socialism has taken over from the bourgeois economists the consideration and treatment of distribution as independent of the mode of production and hence the presentation of socialism as turning principally on distribution. "
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