annatar1914 wrote:@Potemkin , @Presvias , and others;
Another thing i've been reflecting on recently is the oft-repeated canard that Socialists necessarily are against hierarchy, are ''levellers'' who demand absolute sameness and total egalitarianism. Not so, with me anyway. I'm for earned hierarchy based on merit, on talent and vocation, not a hierarchy based on some circumstance of heredity or private wealth.
And so let a Physician make more money than a Dog-Catcher, for example! But let both not lack in basic needs, or have superfluity of material goods beyond their station in life, some vast disparity of income. And let all contribute to the good of all.
My thought is that hierarchies in themselves aren't wrong but symptoms that are commonly attributed to them, as much as the means in which hierarchies currently operate is what is contested.https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/flourishing.pdf
Turning now to the most characteristic creature which inhabits the terrain of liberal capitalism – the capitalist firm. Although the firm grows in liberal egalitarian soil it is far from liberal or collaborative within its own ranks. A firm is a project whose mission is the expansion of the proportion of social labour (i.e., value) it subsumes and generally operates a regime of uncompromising top-down dictatorship worthy of the most byzantine authoritarian dictatorship. Although norms of collaboration may apply within the Board of Directors or among co-workers on the shop floor, these collaborative relations are subsumed within the ethos of top-down direction.
And there are different ideas of how such a hiearchy should have its representatives legitmized and organized.https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/status-orders.htm
People gladly accept representatives that are true to the virtue of the task which people are organized around.
At present, most of modern life is one tightly ruled by bosses whose authority and ability to be subject to input by their employees can be quite restrained.
Even when one allows employees to collaborate actively, they are still often restricted to their tasks and distanced from another level of the company with collaboration among the bosses who run the place.
A simple equalization/flattening doesn't necessarily improve the functioning of every organization, but the sort of decision making model in many companies is an increasing antiquity not essential to the functioning of such organizations as much as they're a stranglehold of power by a ruling class and their ideals that organize people's lives.
And it's not elitist that those most involved in a task have greater say than those not effected nor involved in such tasks.https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/habermas-review.htm
It seems to me that the counterfactual element of everyone’s word having equal sway and the force of argument only carrying weight needs to be given some consideration. In real life, the word of people who have greater experience or a proven record in some domain counts for more. Is this inherently elitist? I don’t think so. For example, I have a right to make claims about activities with which I am intimately concerned over the word of others who have no such involvement.
Not everyone's voice is equally weighted in all situations. And some especially get greater weight because people readily defer to them for their expertise, trust in their judgement as proven in their experience/track record, they're trusted.https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/atheists.htm
Trust arises from collaboration within a single system of activity with another person. Trust means you know someone’s track record and there’s a reliability about it because your interaction has not just been random, passing interactions, but has taken place within some definite project or institution or movement. Trust extends only as far as the self-consciousness of the relevant subjectivity. So for example, if I've worked with someone at work, I will trust them with work matters, but I won’t necessarily trust them to look after my kids or in personal relationships and so on. And vice versa. In any case, trust is the relationship you have with people that you have collaborated with within a subjectivity.
There is also of course the point that in trying to do away with the law of value, that there will in fact be the inequality by people being paid in accordance with their labor as opposed to the social average, hopefully making labor more directly social. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm
Hence, equal right here is still in principle – bourgeois right, although principle and practice are no longer at loggerheads, while the exchange of equivalents in commodity exchange exists only on the average and not in the individual case.
In spite of this advance, this equal right is still constantly stigmatized by a bourgeois limitation. The right of the producers is proportional to the labor they supply; the equality consists in the fact that measurement is made with an equal standard, labor.
But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only – for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored. Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.
Commodities still exchanged as equal, but people are rewarded in equal with the labor they provide rather than the socially averaged labour necessary for the task.https://kapitalism101.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/indirectly-social-labor/
Careful readers may ask how such a society would determine the labor-content of consumption goods (the ‘prices’ at which workers ‘buy’ them with their labor-certificates) in the absence of socially necessary labor time. This calculation would be based on the average social labor-time that it took to make a commodity. The calculation could be done simply by adding up all of the concrete labor times that go into making widgets and dividing this by the number of widgets. Such a calculation would allow society to continue to make production plans and to ‘price’ commodities. But the compensation of laborers would not be done through such a process of averaging. So such a system would not eliminate the role of average labor time as an accounting unit. What it would eliminate is the role of average time in the compensation of workers.12
Earlier we used a similar example of a Wallmart executive finding the average cost of of producing a commodity to set the price of the commodity. This example demonstrated how this process of averaging, which determines the socially necessary labor time, erases all particularity of workers, treating individuals only as units of average labor time, as abstract labor. Here, in our example of a communist society with directly social labor, we also see an example of the ‘prices’ of goods being calculated through a similar calculation of average labor time. What is the difference between these two examples? The difference is that Wallmart pays the same price for all of the commodities it buys from suppliers and those suppliers in turn only pay workers to the extent that they can produce at the social average. Any wasted time is not compensated. This creates an incentive for speed-up, exploitation, and the domination of machines over humans in production. In our communist society workers are compensated for the actual amount of time they labor, not just the part that achieves the average. This means that their labor is directly social. The immediate practical implications of this are that there is not an incentive for speed-up and so machines do not loom over production demanding more and more life from the worker.
But in regards to low skilled labor being compensated less than more expertise, I don't think this is seen as wrong in itself.
But such an inequality would seem to become irrelevant should the principle of each according to their abilities and to their needs actualized, one would in a sense be justly compensated differently.
I think Engel's wrote in criticism of what is essentially the Ricardian socialist view of people being given their due product for their work.
Marx, Marginalism and Modern Sociology Simon Clarke - P. 75
Far from adopting the labour theory of value to ‘prove’ the exploitation of the working class, Marx’s critique of Ricardo undermines any such proof, both philosophically, in undermining the liberal theory of property which sees labour as the basis of proprietorial rights, and theoretically, in removing the immediate connection between the expenditure of individual labour and the value of the commodity, so that the relationship between ‘effort’ and ‘reward’ can only be constituted socially. Thus Marx was harshly critical of ‘Ricardian socialism’ which proclaimed labour’s entitlement to its product, arguing that such a ‘right’ was only a bourgeois right, expressing bourgeois property relations.4A Fair Day's Wages for a Fair Day's Work - Engels
A fair day's wages for a fair day's work? But what is a fair day's wages, and what is a fair day's work? How are they determined by the laws under which modern society exists and develops itself? For an answer to this we must not apply to the science of morals or of law and equity, nor to any sentimental feeling of humanity, justice, or even charity. What is morally fair, what is even fair in law, may be far from being socially fair. Social fairness or unfairness is decided by one science alone — the science which deals with the material facts of production and exchange, the science of political economy.
Marx's work is a point that such a 1:1 relationship between producer and product has been destroyed with capitalism which socialized production. Which is why one doesn't deal with a handicraft system but with organizations with masses of people in a division of labour. One person doesn't do all the work to produce a commodity, many people play different and specific roles for the final product.
Socialism isn't compatible with the norms of capitalism in it's essentials.http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
The implementation of such a genuine, substantive freedom of course would require “despotic inroads117 on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production,” something Marx already wrote earlier, in The Communist Manifesto (Manifesto of the Communist Party, MECW 6:504). It would neither be a realization of bourgeois freedom nor would it even be commensurate with, or justifiable on the basis of, bourgeois freedom and equality, even as it is bourgeois production which makes this substantive freedom first possible.