Essay on the transmutation of bourgeois man

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By JOSÉ MANUEL DE SACADURA ROCHA*

Both for capitalism and initially for socialism, “the real lives of real men” will still be what commands both levels of consciousness and fetishes and things reified as commodities.

“On loose sand we raised a tabernacle” (Adolfo Bioy Casares)

1.

All human existence, wherever you look, is a historical process of societal actions. The deeper we delve into the contradictions and barbarity of capitalism, the more we are struck by the certainty that it is possible and necessary to build processes for real non-capitalist social relations. We deal here with the processes of power-making-living that move bourgeois man towards socialism. Everything happens within the framework of the cooperation of different individuals and as a set of their combined activities, because in its nature there is no other way for man to make himself exist.

Alienation is pragmatic, the only “real” thing in the capitalist mode of production is alienation. Capitalism is a world of contradictions and fictions. Perhaps the greatest of these is the creation of bourgeois man, of bourgeois consciousness. This occurs through the total transformation of money, as a general equivalent of goods, into capital, which is seen as wealth and privileges far superior to those who accumulate it as a function and to the detriment of those who produce it.

In the past, the alienation of human activity, which always crosses us and takes something from us, stagnated there in the thing; things were to be used/consumed immediately, useful things only had original value for use, including artistic pieces for adornment and props. In market societies, goods are not manufactured for our direct use, but for the consumption of an immeasurable unknown public, and therefore human work is subsumed in what is exchanged: no one is there, but in fact everyone is there.

Nobody sees it: social relations and the work that manufactures them, thanks to the extreme specialized division of labor, are hidden in the appearance of exchanges carried out strangely (because it is not voluntary) by a non-doing third party, the capitalist owner of the means and forms of production. This is why we say that there is a “reification” of commodities in our spirit.

Commodities have use value, but their exchange value is abstractly defined, on average, by the generic conditions of doing-how, by the hours of work of the unseen doer: the exchange value defines the value itself. Apart from the use value, the exchange value requires a process of political and legal domination and economic exploitation of a value not paid to the worker.

In commodities that are exchanged – human labor exchanged that cannot be seen, the mercantile alienation of making goods (imposed) – exchange values ​​exist, thus reifying things generically based, in the abstract, on this power-to-do ( and your know-how)[I] in the control and management model for the reproduction of capital: “Our power-to-do becomes invisible, power becomes a noun, synonymous with the power of the powerful, the power of capital, the power of the system.”(HOLLOWAY, 2011 , p. 159)[ii]. Therefore, everything can be said to have a limited basis (CHASIN, 2013)[iii].

Hence, bourgeois man does not exist except as a fiction for the market, that is, sometimes as a commodity when he produces goods, sometimes as a producer of capital, when he buys them with his salary and consumes them: the subject is an abstraction at the level of a useful tool (while necessary, to, on one end, produce, and on the other, consume) generically conceived in function of the infinite reproduction of capital, of goods produced and consumed for capital. The conversion of doing-for-me (use values) is subsumed by the impersonal and specialized generality of doing-for-market (exchange values): “Our power as a verb, our being-able-to has been transformed into substantive power, something outside of us.” (HOLLOWAY, 2011, p.158).

The production of goods, through the use of specific, unequal and formal contractual relations of work, is the finished form of the mercantile system of exchange, which transforms money into capital in the process. The manufacture of goods presupposes, in its process, the exploitation of surplus value[iv] extracted from the work of the doer. The average hours/work of all specialized work spent in the production of a commodity, generally speaking, is the measure by which the value of the merchandise is defined.

This can only happen as a monetary “abstraction” or “fiction”, since factory productivity and available work technologies vary from worker to worker, in time and space, but the capitalist considers them as equal and constant. When aiming at the market, the system aims, first of all, at the infinite reproduction of money into capital (which becomes money again)[v]. And in this vein, the transformation of the worker into an object or thing transacted for production takes place at the same time.

Even in the sphere of circulation/exchange of goods, subjects are useful “pieces” as consumers, manipulated by the mechanisms of advertising and credit: “We would sell you everything you needed if we didn't prefer that you needed what we have to sell you ” (SARAMAGO, p. 282).[vi] Therefore, it will not be in the mercantilist-financial system, it will not be in capitalism that Man can be found. The question is whether it can remake itself given another reality of social organization: in this way we can speak of limited freedom (CHASIN, 2013).

2.

There is an exteriority everywhere here, a power that, although it is constituted from us, from our doing, is immediately transformed into the capitalist's power over us, over our doing, and starts to constitute a complex network of obligations, compulsions and achievements. “The repeated and multiple externalization of our power – and therefore the metamorphosis of power-to-do into power-over – creates a complex web of social cohesion: capitalist social relations.” (HOLLOWAY, 2011, p. 159).

After a while we forget what we know, we forget our creative work. Power is materialized in the concrete of our doing, of actually doing, even if it appears to us in principle only as the power of the political narrative. In short, we feel this despotism about us, but not about our actions – there is, therefore, a harmful separation between politics and the economy. Therefore, for socialism, it is not just about ending property, but about ending ownership of doing, how to do and being able to do.

Socialism cannot establish the autonomy of this power-to-do without questioning Power, which manifests itself from governability to the management of life in its daily pragmatism, and taking over the State is not enough for this; the seizure of State power, more or less popular and with the participation of the masses, does not guarantee the subsequent undoing of the old ways of doing things, the end of the submissive forms of power-doing, including with regard to the autonomous creative management of knowledge.

We are not talking here about the unnecessary domination of Power and the State, at least at the time of the transition from capitalism to socialism. But power is, and will remain there, in the concrete way of doing things, and, in this way, we must insist on the resumption of non-autocratic and hierarchical know-how, of experimenting with creating again, fundamentally in self-managed freedom organized on the basis of power-do versus power-over (doing).

Attention must also be given, on the basis of the same process, to the fact that within the framework of capitalism there is irrevocably manifest “frustration” at the level of the unconscious.[vii], and which is, at the same time, a contradiction between classes. First, because on one side there are those who dominate abstract work (non-creative, for the market)[viii] while a power-over-doing, on the other hand, of those who are forced to continually perform this same abstract work, because all power-to-do depends on command in singular material (and immaterial) historical conditions.

Then, because there is an infinite circuit of consumption that can never be achieved: the incessant production of goods, many of them superfluous and harmful to the environment, is the irrefutable form for the reproduction and accumulation of capital that only exists to the extent of exploitation of workers’ activities. To achieve this, the working class finds itself inexorably forced to sell its labor power, and with it, its knowledge and the power to do things, because it is completely deprived of other forms of survival. Thus, all capital's employees are, therefore, those who are “best equipped” to constitute a consciousness that leads the forces of substantial change in the perverse forms of organization of our societies, and, however, it is not that simple when we realize the importance of Ways of Doing.

3.

Four modes of submission of our wanting to do weigh upon us, even if we consider ourselves in possession of the knowledge to do so: (i) Our wanting is dominated by the management of capital, always focused on the production of something like a commodity that can be realized on the market , and with extraction of surplus value; (ii) The society that dictates right and wrong to us according to the logic of an immoral omnipresent cultural hegemony; it is about presenting individuals with concepts, narratives and discourses that compel them to submit to customs by large collectives that aim for domination.

(iii) Money without which we are excluded from the market, that is, if it is in exchanges that we find the social relationship subsumed by commodities, without it, we are outside of these relationships, which, obviously, makes dignity and life impossible for us; (iv) The State, both from the point of view of public policies and rights protections, on the one hand, and despite the formal legality of a system that dominates our potential and achievements, exploitative in nature, on the other . Briefly, these are the four modes of fetishes that in their own way weaken us and work against us and our intention to change the world.

However, Holloway says that: “In each of these cases, the cracks, the spaces or moments in which we reject external authority and affirm that “here and now we are in charge” are ramifications of still limited struggles. We approach the limits of the system and the anger that is inherent to all conflict drives us beyond these limits to assert a different logic, a logic – or perhaps an anti-logic – of self-determination. The logic of demands gives way to the simple assertion of our own dominance.” (2011, p.26).[ix]

Hence, it can be said, due to the circumstances in which capital is reproduced, that there is no clear separation between those who have a class consciousness and those who do not. There is in fact a variable spectrum of consciousness where agents end up acting according to interests, measuring the consequences/resonances of doing as a planned action, “rational in relation to ends” (WEBER, 1984)[X].

In this sense, a conscience can be indirectly related to its own actions, but here it is not yet a question of “pure self-determination”, as it is affected by the commercial-financial society of which we are part and which to a large extent we do not control. Even so, the small actions that reject capitalism, the alternative actions that propagate the contradictions and denials of capitalism, that militate in some way against the hegemony of the mercantile system – monetarist, consumerist, predatory extractivist, which promotes profound social asymmetry –, they cause “fissures” and are part of social self-determination, an impulse against oneself, beyond the determinations of capital (HOLLOWAY, 2011).

From the externalization of our power, to the time of its capitalist substance of doing, on the one hand, and the subtraction of our creative doing, on the other, double domination over the economy and politics is created. This domination develops in a metamorphosis of our power-to-do as abstract work, extracted from us for the market, and, as such, demanding an instance of general control over the network of social relations thus engendered: this instance is the State. . And so, the intertwining to be faced between political power and factory work is undeniable, as is our way of doing everyday things from which we cannot escape.

In post-capitalism, one must essentially reconstruct the social basis of all activities in a free way, concretely seeking real freedom for all doers away from the mercantile-financial-market abstraction of living. This distancing or distancing (Entfermung) (removal) of the factory/mercantile base in the mold of capitalist production is, therefore, fundamental for the awareness and broad struggle against the power of others over our actions, based on the spaces or gaps in the most capillary spaces of autonomy and creativity that we can take/occupy[xi].

This knowledge and power to do, coming from the depths of the capital system, must prevent us from being frustrated by the fact that the irrationality of economic growth[xii] and extractivism[xiii] They are deeply encouraged by us, our consumption, our ostentation, our way of living. The necessary brakes on irrational production and predation on the environment necessarily involve the abandonment of the abstract work that involves us in the circuits of capital, exchanged for self-management of production, planned by real utility dictated then in the dimension of exchanges, extinguishing activities superfluous, repetitive and useless – the “bullshit jobs.” (GRAEBER, 2022).[xiv]

In post-capitalism, concrete action and real utility for all subjects must be valued, in a conscious organization of what is done and why, or for whom, and going further, deciding, as such, the degree of need for things for a dignified life, with freedom dictated by the primarily collectivist/collaborative/cooperative/solidaristic organization of social groups. Socialism, as it is essentially a certain form of living, is already manifest among us, and in many cases in the world it is a chosen reality of Good Living for millions of human beings and other living beings, willing to say no to forms of reproduction of capital as abstract labor. “It is necessary to point out that, now, there are many alternatives that seek to break with the demands of today’s predominant ways of life.” (ACOSTA; BRAND, 2018, p. 84)[xv].

The doings and works of socialism

Both for capitalism and initially for socialism, “the real life of real men” will still be the one that commands both the levels of consciousness and the fetishes and things reified as commodities, until the domain of mercantile activity is extinguished and with he the practices and value judgments of bourgeois society, which does not happen easily. It is the fundamental role of socialism to program the operating modes of a new pedagogy and a new management of productive, service and cultural work and activities.

We refer here to the mediations taken into account in dialectical historical materialism. The first foundation in Marxist thought dates from the moment when Marx and Engels criticized the idealism of the Young Hegelians, between 1845 and 1846, presenting the foundations of historical materialist philosophy and the dialectic that they never abandoned. They say: “Even the phantasmagoria of the human brain are sublimations that necessarily result from its material life process, which can be verified empirically and which rests on material bases. Due to this fact, morality, religion, metaphysics and everything that remains of ideology, as well as the forms of consciousness that correspond to them, immediately lose any semblance of autonomy” (MARX & ENGELS, 1971 [1845-1846], p .19).[xvi]

But later, at the beginning of 1875, Marx was able to say, in a second moment, when making his critical observations on the program of the future unified German workers' party, that: “What we are dealing with here is not a communist society that developed on its own basis, but one that has just emerged from capitalist society and that, therefore, still presents all its aspects, in the economic, moral and intellectual, the seal of the old society from whose entrails it proceeds”. (MARX, s/d [1875], p.213).[xvii]

The second thought complements the first, because, in fact, if practice determines consciousness (founding aphorism of materialism and history), it is no less than praxis verify that only very slowly, and due to primordial pedagogical and practical actions, changes in this thinking and doing are established (and at the expense of profound transformations in capitalist means and forms of production), and there is no way to predict in which direction exactly. History in its dialectical course is more marginal than obstinate.

Thus, Louis Althusser (2015, p. 78) can say: “When in this situation comes into play, in the same game, a prodigious accumulation of “contradictions” of which some are radically heterogeneous and do not all have the same origin, nor the same sense, nor the same level and place of application, and which, however, “merge” into a unity of rupture, it is no longer possible to speak of the only simple virtue of the general “contradiction”. [xviii]

4.

Social life, material and immaterial society, presupposes the observable and sensitive need to supply goods and supplies necessary for human survival, as it is for all living beings. There are two dimensions to be transformed in the future: from a material point of view, under the aegis of capitalism, a contradiction between those who command (capitalist) the production of capital through abstract work, and those who work producing under the conditions of that same work and subjected to this command (workers) – this presupposes the inevitable extinction of private property and the bourgeois class, and should extinguish the other dominant classes and all domination; from an immaterial point of view, what we hope to transform, in a sensitive way, is “frustration” and “repression” in their “subjective” (I) and “objective” (We) forms, the clash between what is possible to admit rationally an awareness of their practice – this presupposes another pedagogy, starting with collectivist self-management[xx].

In any case, such contradictions can only be resolved paradigmatically (and temporarily) by a “new agreement” or “new convention”.[xx] in the socialist environment, and to the extent that selfish man still remains, and therefore, the limitations of freedoms that tend, however, to disappear in community environments.

The basic principles of Hollowaydian thought regarding the autonomy and self-government of communities, contain within themselves the idea of ​​separation and overcoming of corporate organization from the State, and any government other than that of organized individuals within the communities. This marks a very defined position regarding the idea of ​​“dictatorship of the proletariat”: a type of government that, by establishing the “revolutionary government” of the proletariat, remains the transposition of our knowledge and power-to-do to the command of an entity external to us. , therefore, which sooner or later will become the “death of every revolutionary movement” and will exercise its arbitrary authority over the agents. From the point of view of know-how and power-to-do, any command external to self-determined individuals, whether more or less consented to, will still be an arbitrary decision.[xxx].

Separating politics from our doing, as a distinct and external sphere of power over our doing – thinking, knowing, wanting, loving, etc. –, we offer the government our freedom. Legitimacy is not discussed here, since any exercise of external power over our actions is, in principle, arbitrary. The acceptance of legitimacy that enters as a wedge between politics and economics only serves to legitimize arbitrary domination in capitalist production. Therefore, it must be denied, and if it is the real case of revolution (hence the temporary), it must be extinguished as soon as possible, returning the power to do things to socially organized individuals.

Knowing-being-able-to-do henceforth unifies the political with the economic in the individual's freedom of action, sharing their practices with the community. The separations between concepts and practices are always predicates of the capitalist mode of production and not of socialism.

In post-capitalism, the victory of new agreements aims at the “real social relationship”, therefore, it is in the public sphere of power, while consciousness seeks private positions of power with a view to its properties and possessions. This does not mean the simple prevalence of the contents of the spirit (properties and possessions are very real!), but only that his selfishness and the private positions he adopts have for a long time given rise to a real contradiction in view of bourgeois freedoms, or other mimesis.

In Holloway, post-capitalism is a process of moving towards socialism through the daily perpetration of small movements to negate capitalism. In the transition to socialism, many of the material bases will change, some more quickly than others, but what is important is that politics does not abandon everyday revolutionary actions, in the actions of individuals, always from the collective point of view and with minimal interference. from the government.

This is because in man, actions, that is, basic material and immaterial social relations remain for a long time in thought as superstructures for wanting to do, for knowing how to do and, mainly, for being able to do, as long as they are not practices of domination, control and command for the production and circulation of goods and food have been exhausted. This puts forward the approach that the revolution of doing can be brought about within the modes of production, without social agents waiting for concrete (specific) conditions to generally rise up in fruitful practices of confronting State domination and governance, or of governments, at any time and beyond the imposition of established official autocratism. In the case of capitalism, the material bases provide different individual or collective actions that deny it and cause deep cracks in it, and it is preventive that these actions and autonomy remain in the transition of modes of production.

The preservation and intensification of the political environment as a field of the public (collective) is the transitional position towards the end of bourgeois politics and the State. For Marxist thought, the State, as the essence of the capitalist mercantile political form, must be extinguished in socialism. This is one of the primary tasks. In the meantime, the victory of new agreements and conventions of the administrative-financial-military organization are moving away from formal abstractions – national territory (x global confederation), people (x foreign), sovereignty (x occupation), State (x separatism) , citizenship (x autonomy), public (x private) and Power -, all the more and to the extent, and in this condition, of the autonomy of doing (knowing-how, wanting-to-do, being able to-do) and self-management of communities.

Since the “agreement” (moral, political, cultural) is objectified for each conscious experience of subjective reason – and is immersed in the “broth” of subjective choices with collective needs (I with We), and in the societal intersection of those who consider themselves “similar”[xxiii] –, the primary agreements, in the private sphere, are of the type of reproduction of goods and food to maintain life, collectively, that is, through the public (communal) sphere[xxiii].

In fact, the selfish man who demands rights for himself in the capital system, and who understands freedom by this, is constantly revealed and contradicted by the irrefutable need to satisfactorily obtain those goods and foodstuffs to maintain life, externally, in the community. , “and even his profane stomach reminds him daily that the world outside him is not an empty world, but rather that which he actually fills.” (MARX, 2011, p. 139)[xxv]. This will be an undeniable reality in socialism!

A configuration of social life that appears hegemonic on the market basis, produces the “repression” that tends to find satisfaction in violence, in war, in the individualistic “cannibalism” of the Self over the Self[xxiv], property and rights (human!?) are no longer of any use to you. The solution to this “firstborn” problem was the creation of the entity “people”: precisely because the concept of people is circumscribed in the political form of the nation-state, it is limited given the very possibility of its political representation (BORÓN, 2003)[xxv]. So it serves, concomitantly, as cohesion (abstract with a view to sublimating desires never met), as well as control (police/legal).

5.

Once the imperative needs of material life are met, or the “social economy” is resolved collectively, a “new agreement” can be established for the entity of knowledge that aims at living at the highest level of Good Living. Capitalism, however, is always “limited” to psychic formation such as human rights, generic, abstract, at the limit of the commercial base. The “one” defined separately and asymmetrically with the “whole” is typical of the political marketing of capitalism. This is why socialism must end. However, the end of the “mercantile paradigmatic agreement” does not exhaust the “fatality” of the primordial clash (subjective and objective) that can only be appropriated in the time and space of things through their “difference”, establishing the values ​​of types and things according to caste or social class[xxviii].

As, however, life commands consciousness, the abolition of privatism and ownership of means and ways of doing things cannot, per se, erasing from the universe of individuals and corporate life the mercantile, monetary and competitive logic, as if by fortune telling, not as long as the value is subsidized by the commodity form (therefore, in the forms of production, in the forms of circulation or exchanges, in the forms of advertising and credit). If the State and the abstract categories of sovereignty and citizenship exist formally, even in the initial stages of socialism, it is due to the fact that the commodity form has not yet been exhausted in praxis of social agents (PACHUKANIS, 2017).[xxviii]

The fetishes and sublimations that throughout the centuries have been “concrete” in the process of material life, make the “phantasmagories” of liberalism – and neoliberalism[xxix] –, and capital, remain for a long period in the consciousness and memory of individuals; and if not, possibly, in the field of structure, at least as unconscious in the moral superstructure, in religion, in philosophy, in law, due to the fact that for thousands of years in our civilization they were constructed and constituted in our education and culture as values: money, property, competition and individualism (selfishness, or the amoral primacy of the I over the We).

The forms of the superstructure corroborate and sanction the praxis the mentality and emotional intelligence or values ​​of the subjects on the basis of mastering a certain productive way. In this way, if the capitalist mercantile form is not abandoned in practice (although formally it may have been done so), social relations do not change in the reproduction of everyday life beyond capitalism, and therefore, the permanence of the State and of categories given only at the level of political-legal formalization. Even the “dictatorship of the proletariat” has the task of avoiding formalistic, bureaucratic, autocratic mechanisms with the penalty of remaining in the most conservative molds of capitalism, and never achieving the freedom of wanting-to-know-being-able-to-do and collective justice for the Good Social living.

This is the hardest path and the toughest fight for the end of bourgeois man, which, however, involves replacing the abstract political man with the real corporate man. This has been the most profound and unfinished task of real socialism everywhere to date: the “value” of things must be extinguished and reduced to just the simplest, their usefulness and/or their gift, empirically and in the minds of men where capitalist individualism and its language compete significantly[xxx].

*José Manuel de Sacadura Rocha He holds a PhD in Education, Art and Cultural History from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie. Author, among other books, of Legal anthropology: towards an anthropological philosophy of law (Elsevier).

Notes


[I] The concepts of can do (know how to do) to power-over were developed by John Holloway in: “How to Change the World Without Taking Power”, Viramundo, 2003 (1st English edition of 2002). To paraphrase Holloway, the can do is power as a capacity (“potency” in Nietzsche) and not as a place in the world – in capitalism the can do (e know how to do) is transformed into power-over like the power of the boss about the salaried worker.

[ii] In this essay we use the Spanish publication by John Holloway, Harming capitalism: doing it against work. 1a. ed. Buenos Aires: Herramienta, 2011.

[iii] CHASIN, José. The death of the left and neoliberalism. In Verinotio magazine online, n.15, year VIII, April, 2013.

[iv] We will use Surplus value as a synonym for Surplus Value, which is the value added to goods by the maker and his expenditure of energy and knowledge, and which, however, is not paid.

[v] Demonstrated by market strategies, for example, in relation to the always manipulated supply of goods: more production, less production, more stock, less stock, andPrice Skimming.

[vi] SARAMAGO, José. The cave. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2000.

[vii] “For Freud, conscious discourse, whose most complete expression is in the discourse of science, is entirely permeated and invaded by unconscious mechanisms.” (DOR, 1993, p. 33).

[viii] According to Marx, the abstract work it is typically the capitalist form of production; Since the worker was deprived of the means and ways of doing things, commodities, in themselves, are abstract values ​​of an externalized abstraction of doing, focused on the market, exchange values ​​with total loss of value. know and can do, only in the form of the technical specialization that demands the thing done. On the contrary, concrete work comprises only the use value, products made for consumption according to their utility, and, therefore, without the imposition of capitalist management, where the worker has his knowledge and power to do according to the totality of means and forms. of production. “All work is, on the one hand, an expenditure of human force in a physiological sense, and thanks to this property of equal or abstract human labor it generates the value of commodities. On the other hand, all work is the expenditure of human labor power in a specific form, determined to achieve an end, and, in this quality of concrete and useful work, it produces use values.” (MARX, 2015, p. 124).

[ix] HOLLOWAY, John. Harming capitalism: doing it against work. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Herramienta, 2011.

[X] According to Weber, there are four types of Social Action: 1. Traditional – guided by immemorial customs, such as the existence of monarchies (from the point of view of Modernity); 2. Emotional – when individuals respond to phenomena through their feelings and emotions apart from reason; 3. Rational in relation to Values ​​– they use reason to establish which moral and ethical principles should prevail in their actions; 4. Rational in relation to Ends – reason establishes certain objectives as a priority above moral and ethical values ​​and principles. For Weber, traditional and emotional actions are not rational, they do not follow the conscious choice of means and overweight the results of rational actions. (WEBER, Max. Economy and Society. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Econômica, 1984).

[xi] The structural change in the organic composition of capital, the replacement of variable capital (labor) by constant capital (science, technology, machines, robots), increasingly displaces workers from production and exponentially increases the available social work time.

[xii] The critical theory concept contrary to the irrational growth of capitalism is called “degrowth”, and is deeply linked to the idea of ​​“post-extractivism” or “non-extractivism”. “Degrowth” and “post-extractivism” criticize economic growth linked to the concept of domination over Nature and that what comes from it will never be exhausted or will not cause damage to human societies and the planet. Thus, the industrial revolution and the hegemony that the bourgeois class formed from the mid-2018th century onwards. XIX, created the idea that there are infinite resources for infinite production of consumer goods, which guarantees the well-being of modern man through the free market. This model hides, in fact, not only the destruction of Nature, but also the form of domination and exploitation of work, an irrationality that increasingly favors the dominant bourgeois class, to the detriment of the workers of capital and natural resources. On the other hand, “Degrowth and post-extractivism are the two most promising alternatives within our reach. Degrowth, also called post-growth, occurs in industrialized countries, especially in Europe. Post-extractivism occurs in Latin America and also in other regions of the misnamed “developed world”, and is closely linked to notions of post-development.” (ACOSTA, A.; BRAND, U. Post-extractivism and degrowth. São Paulo: Elefante, 21, p. XNUMX).

[xiii] “There is no good extractivism and bad extractivism. Extractivism is what it is: a set of activities for the massive extraction of primary resources for export, which, within capitalism, becomes fundamental in the context of the primary-export accumulation modality.” (ACOSTA, A.; BRAND, U. Post-extractivism and degrowth. São Paulo: Elefante, 2018, p. 51).

[xiv] GRAEBER, David. Shitty jobs: a theory. São Paulo: Editions 70, 2022.

[xv] ACOSTA, Alberto; BRAND, Ulrich. Post-extractivism and degrowth. São Paulo: Elefante, 2018.

[xvi] MARX, Karl; ENGELS, Friedrich. German Ideology. In Marx & Engels: Theory about literature and art. Lisbon (PT): Editorial Estampa, 1971.

[xvii] MARX, Karl. Criticism of the Gotha Program. São Paulo: Editora Alfa-Omega, s/d.

[xviii] ALTHUSSER, Louis. By Marx. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2015.

[xx] The class struggle, in principle, is seen here as a totality in which material aspects of property and work operate (working class and bourgeois class), and immaterial aspects operate in part derived from bourgeois hegemony (knowledge, education, culture), and partly as foreshadowed psychic marks on the subjects (taboos, fears, frustrations).

[xx] Kropotkin tells us: “We know that revolution and government are incompatible. One must destroy the other, regardless of the name given to the government: dictatorship, monarchy or parliamentary regime. We know that what constitutes the strength and truth of our group is contained in this formula: 'Only the free initiative of the people can do something good or true, and every government tends to destroy it'.” (KROPOTKIN, Pedro. Revolutionary Follicles II: law and authority. Barcelona (ES): Tusquets Editor, 1977, p. 78).

[xxx] In the philosophy of the Natural Law of nations, there are thinkers who value this same preposition, that any exercise of power not carried out by the individual, constitutes itself as arbitrary, thus illuminating the autonomist struggle fronts: “Immutable laws are like this called because they are natural and so fair always and everywhere that no authority can alter or abolish them; and arbitrary laws are those that a legitimate authority can determine, change or abolish as necessary.” (DOMAT, Jean (1625-1696). In: José R. de Lopes; Rafael MR Queiroz & Thiago dos S. Acca. History of Law Course. São Paulo: GV/Metodo, 2006). Therefore, in this case, legitimacy does not remove the agency of laws and government.

[xxiii] We have to think: “Fear is an element that complicates the moment of thinking about social transformations. This fear of difference, as has been observed throughout history, may be the origin of this renewed conservatism – or fascism.” (ACOSTA; BRAND, 2018, p. 78).

[xxiii] However, in a position to exhaust thought and finalize it ideologically, in some way, because all do It is a “knowledge” and a “power” under construction.

[xxv] MARX, Karl. The Holy Family. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2011.

[xxiv] KURZ, Robert. Bloody Reason: essays on the emancipatory critique of capitalist modernity and its Western values. São Paulo: Hedra, 2010.

[xxv]  BORÓN, Atílio B. Empire: two mistaken theories. In: Marxist Criticism, São Paulo, Boitempo, v.1, n.16, 2003, p.143-159.

[xxviii] Here we think of “difference” as the foundation of the political construction of inequality from the social relationship to groups of individuals who consider themselves equal.

[xxviii] According to Pachukanis, the commodity form it does not end with the end of private property, but, in addition to production, it reaches the spheres of circulation/exchange (credit, advertising, finance, etc.). In his work Pashukanis also criticizes the emergence of bureaucratic statism along the lines of capitalist states even during a popular Revolution. (PACHUKANIS, Evguiéni. General Theory of Law and Marxism. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2017).

[xxix] In socialism in its initial stages, although on radically different bases (end of property and wage labor, end of abstract work for capital).

[xxx] "The habitus, therefore, they are the unconsciously or little consciously codified practices that effect, in the circumstances, the signs or systems of signs available and more or less already foreseen in each case. In semiotics, they express the choice effectively implemented in each situation, given a set of choices potentially offered by the syntactic-semantic structure of the code used, and, therefore, previously internalized in the interpreting mind.” (DANTAS, Marcos. Semiotics of merchandise: for an introduction to the political economy of the sign. In: Eptic Magazine, Vol. 20, N.1, Jan-Apr. 2018, p. 139-160: p. 145).


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