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Re: [ox-en] Labor contradictions

Hi Stefan (Mz),

On Dec, 1 2007 - 15:13 Stefan Meretz wrote:
On 2007-12-01 05:18, Michael Bauwens wrote:
how can peer producers connect with the older social movements, and
vice versa?

I don't see much options. Traditional social movements like unions are not only workers movements, but also hard-core working-movements. They base on wage labour and can't accept any step away from commercial processes, because M-C-M' (making more money from money) pays their wages.
We dealt with that question some months ago (see the thread "Free Software and social movements in Latin America", March 18th-June 9th). I am always surprised by the fact that you, as Stefan (Mn) and Michel, have a tendency to identify "traditional social movements", or "workers movements" ONLY with "unions". The essential function of unions is indeed the bargaining of the price of labor force. As such, since long, they have become part of the capitalist institutions. In the economic field, they contribute to regulate the labor-market. In the political field, they are a powerful means to encapsulate, to confine any workers fight within the capitalistic logic, within the "commercial process", as you say. On this basis, it is clear that one can hardly imagine a way to connect peer-Free Software spirit with unionist spirit. As Stefan Merten put it in the past discussion: "The goals of Free Software movement, however, can not be expressed in terms of money. Maybe this is the fundamental difference." (30.04.2007) But do you really think that workers movements, in the past and in the future, can only be movements for bargaining the price of the labor-force? That they can never "accept any step away from commercial processes"? Would you say that the workers movements in Germany, for example, which stopped the first world war in 1918 and were bloody repressed in January 1919 did not went "a step away from commercial processes"? Would you say the same for the workers movements at the end of the 1960s and during the 1970s, most of the time started against the unions machines, like May 68 in France, 1969 in Italy, etc.? At a smaller scale, but in a more recent scope, (May 2007, would you say the same for the fight of the Buenos Aires subway workers who, as a reaction against the accord signed by the union and the concessionary company, allowed passengers to travel free, without paying? It is true that it is very difficult for workers fights to escape the capitalistic logic and legality. Not only because of the coercion/repression system which makes "illegal" any step outside that framework, (the Buenos-Aires-subway corporation has immediately lodged a penal complaint against the workers who animated the free travel action), but also, and I would say mainly, because it is not easy to see the possibility of an alternative framework. Don't you think that it is at this level - the possibility of developing a non-capitalist logic - that a connection between "peer production" and the workers fights can develop? Even if, for the moment, things are only at a germ level?

Don't you think that this link is a key element to achieve the "triple-free peer production", defined by Tere Vaden (23.11.2007) as including "the ownership [not the best term] of the means of production down to the level of electricity, the physical infra, etc."?



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