Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Odds and Ends

The following is from a comment stream on Facebook. What follows is primarily based off of what Michael Hardt was teaching this summer.

My comment about Marx = at the end of the revolution the classes would disappear there would be humanity pursuing its ends without the exploitation inherent to capital. It's not to say that what works in capital (the ability to generate value even though no one knows what value is, for example) would cease to be. Rather, the kind of exploitation inherent under capitalism would disappear.

I suspect that it would be the exploitation of something else, but not the opposite of historical capitalism. I mean, c'mon, Marx was alive before the TV, for crying out loud. The big shift in economics back in his day was the move form renting property to creating property. But now we're approaching a time when renting is becoming a significant part of how value is generated (such as in the case of copyright) and how people work is radically different form the conditions of 150 years ago.

Capital's ability to be so liquid, that's going to stay. But maybe what's going to go is the distinction between bourgeoisie and proletariat and the reintroduction of forms of monarchy. Perhaps a shift in monarchy's relation so governing? Whereas in the 20th century the monarch was determined by marriage and blood relation and their role in governing was largely ceremonial; maybe what we'll see an inversion where the elected governments are ceremonial (let's get the vote out, y'all!) and actors, such as multinational corporations enjoy the forms of sovereignty that the Hapsburgs had during the 18th century?

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