Overcoming Private Production

14 Jun

About halfway through Notebook I we encounter one of the first formulations that appears in the Grundrisse of a way of organizing production not based on exchange values and private appropriation:

“The of all products of labour, all activities and all wealth stands in antithesis not only to a distribution based on a natural or political super- and subordination of individuals to one another … but also to free exchange among individuals who are associated on the basis of common appropriation and control of the means of production” (p. 159).

And then, against the socialists, an affirmation of the necessarily explosive character of the Aufhebung of the capitalist mode of production:

“A mass of antithetical forms of the social unity, whose antithetical character can never be abolished through quiet metamorphosis. On the other hand, if we did not find concealed in society as it is the material conditions of production and the corresponding relations of exchange prerequisite for a classless society, then all attempts to explode it would be quixotic” (p. 159).

The allusion to the famous “material conditions” that need to be ripe in order for revolution to succeed will furnish Lenin and Lukàcs with polemical weapons for attacking “voluntarism” and utopianism, etc.

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