2 April 2008

Abolition of the Wages System!

At the conclusion of “Value, Price and Profit”, Karl Marx wrote of the working class that:

"Instead of the conservative motto, 'A fair day's wage for a fair day's work!' they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, 'Abolition of the wages system!'"

The question, What is the minimum wage for survival?, is only another way of asking: What is the cost of labour-power?, or, What is the cost of maintaining a worker so that he or she can arrive in a condition to work each day?

It is a bourgeois question. Hence, when this question of minimum wage, or poverty datum line, or living wage is raised, the bourgeoisie is only too delighted to take the lead in the discussion. Reformists in the ranks of the proletariat are apt to amplify the hubbub, to the exclusion of clear revolutionary thought.

We are fortunate that there are revolutionaries within the South African working class who are, like Karl Marx himself, bold enough to think of the abolition of the wages system. One such comrade has recently distributed the four diverse documents on the subject, linked below as our first four items, which the
Communist University is happy to redistribute. He wrote:

“The attached documents are shared with comrades for no other reason but to encourage a continuous interrogation of the current conjuncture against the backdrop of the many different interpretations of the direction of our revolution. A never-ending examination of the tendencies at work in our broad national liberation movement and working class formations is required if we are to reflect on and understand how Communists have historically analyzed these fractions that arises from time to time. The attachments whilst not constituting the ABC of the different strands in our movement and the left in general nevertheless signals what revolutionaries historically had to contend with in the execution of class struggle.”

The fifth item is included lest we forget the struggle of the Zimbabwean people. It is a short, powerful press release from the Global Zimbabwe-Diaspora Forum.

Click on these links:

Communist Theory - Beyond the Ultra-Left, Aufheben, 2003 (4759 words)

Workerism as debated during the UDF period, Isizwe, MIA (4417 words)

Cronin, Neo-liberalism, reformism, populism, ultra-leftism (5550 words)

New social movements, COSATU and New UDF, Oupa Lehulere (194 KB PDF, 19,000 words)

Global Zimbabwe Diaspora Forum Press Release, 31 March 2008 (372 words)

Events Diary


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