Janus and My Ode to Capital
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23403
Looking at Marx and how to make him relevant to people through 40 years of teaching Capital.
Marx never lost his youthful distrust of "pompous" bourgeois talk about "inalienable rights of man" in the abstract - a discourse that usually disguises the dominance of a certain class, gender and race of "man."
He acknowledges the contradiction between the bourgeois conception (in some aspects a historic step forward) of individual rights, and the demands of the collective struggle of the working class - a contradiction that we forget at the peril of being unprepared for the arguments thrown at us.
He states, without sugar-coating, that workers' organizations under capitalism sometimes need to use compulsion against other workers. We hate the capitalists and their state, but we sometimes need to use the bourgeois state apparatus to regulate conditions of production, working hours, environmental safety.
He reminds us that when bosses and rich people and reactionaries talk about universal rights, wed better look beneath the surface at whats really going on and whose "rights" are really being upheld.