Allow Me To Explain

자본가들은 모든 노동자들을 비정규직이기를 바란다

Posted in Capitalism, Korea by amte on August 23, 2009

(The English version of this entry can be found here).

전국경제인연합회(The Federation of Korean Industries)는 다른 자본가들과 힘을 합쳤고 한국에 있는 모든 노동자들이 비정규직으로 되기를 요구하고 있다.

연합회는 노동자들이 세계경제위기로 인해 가장 큰 고통을 받고 있음에도 불구하고 그들을 비난한다. 연합회는 “요즘 문제들은 노동자들이 유연하게 대처하지 못하기 때문이라고 주장합니다.

평균적으로, 비정규직 노동자들은 남한에서 일하는 보통 노동자들의 60% 임금밖에 받지 못한다.

남한의 총 노동인구 33% 정도인 약 5,400,000명의 노동자들은 현재 “비정규직” 노동자이다.그 중 절반이 한 시간에 4,000원 정도의 최저 임금을 받는다.

세계 경제 위기가 지속되면서 자본가는 노동 계층에게 압박을 주고 있다. 이러한 압박으로부터 우리를 보호하기 위해서 우리는 조직화하여 싸워야 한다. 효과적으로 이 싸움을 해나가기 위해 힘을 모아야 한다. 우리는 이러한 문제들을 만들어내는 자본주의 시스템을 폐지할 때까지 공격을 계속해 나가야 한다.

노동자(쌍용 자동차) 중 일부는 이미 싸움을 시작했다. 그들은 파업을 하고 있고 그들의 일터를 장악하고 있다 . 이제 우리가 함께 해야 한다. 우리는 함께해 이길 것이다.

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Capitalists in south Korea call for all workers to be made “non-permanent”

Posted in Capitalism, Economics, Korea, Workers' struggles by amte on July 29, 2009

The Federation of Korean Industries has joined with other capitalist groupings in calling for all workers in south Korea to be made “non-permanent.”

Blaming the workers, who are the biggest victims of the world financial crisis, for its occurrence, the Federation claims “The current problems originated from the labor market rigidity.”

On average, “non-permanent” (or “contract”) workers make about 60 percent of what regular workers in south Korea do.

Some 5.4 million workers in south Korea, representing one-third of the total workforce, are currently “non-permanent” workers. About half of them earn the minimum wage, which is about $3.20 (US) per hour.

As the world capitalist crisis continues the bosses are continuing their assault on working people. To defend ourselves from this assault, the workers of the world must organize and fight back. To be effective in that fight we must utilize our collective power, turn the tides and go on the offensive, and ultimately overturn the exploitative capitalist system which gave rise to this crisis and all of our misery. In south Korea signs of this have already emerged, with increasingly militant strikes and workplace occupations becoming a more regular occurrence everyday.

Capitalist greed leads to Chinese man’s suicide

Posted in Capitalism, China, Workers' struggles by amte on July 23, 2009

An employee at a factory in south China that produces iPhones for Apple committed suicide last week upon learning that he was suspected of leaking company secrets.

Sun Danyong began working for Foxconn International, a unit of  Taiwanese company Hon Hai that builds iPhones for the Apple Corporation, in 2008.

The 25-year-old product manager originally became upset after he noticed that one of the 16 prototypes of Apple’s new fourth-generation N90 iPhone had gone missing. The iPhone is Apple’s best selling product and the details of new versions are well guarded secrets.

After discovering that the prototype was missing, Sun frantically sent text messages to an ex-classmate and his girlfriend voicing his concern. He told them that he was doing all he could to try to find the missing device but was unsuccessful.

Apparently, officials from Foxconn’s security division believed Sun had stolen the missing phone and raided his home.

The next day, Sun jumped from his 12th floor apartment window to his death.

If society was organized in order to meet human need, instead of being organized to create profits for an elite group, this sort of thing would never happen. Inventions and improvements would pursued for the benefit of humanity as a whole and would be spread widely as soon as possible. They wouldn’t be kept secret so that a select few could benefit.

As long as the production of the things humans need and want remains under the control of the capitalists, these sorts of tragedies will continue.

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On the question of prostitution

Posted in Capitalism, Economics, Prostitution by amte on July 10, 2009

Prostitution, commonly said to be the world’s oldest profession, is an issue of which discussion brings about varied opinions. It is my intention to examine prostitution’s role in society, especially in relationship to money.

Putting aside pipe dreams of eliminating the so-called ‘vice’ crimes in current society, we must recognize prostitution’s necessary existence in any society which bases it’s value in money. Let us begin by examining the following passages by Karl Marx from The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844:

“Money, then, appears as this overturning power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be essences in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy.”

So, in society, when money exists as the active representation of value, it has the full power of negation and validation. Money has the ability to turn the world upside-down, to invalidate the valid, and validate the invalid. As long as money exists, all human and natural qualities can be effectively overturned by its power, including emotion, physical attraction, and other qualities of naturally occurring sexual intimacy. Thus the nature of money guarantees the existence of prostitution for the duration of its own existence.

“That which I am unable to do as a man, and of which therefore all my individual essential powers are incapable, I am able to do by means of money. Money thus turns each of these powers into something which in itself it is not-turns it, that is, into it’s contrary.”

Money effectively allows its possessor to purchase abilities which he does not naturally have. Money allows the weak to be strong, by allowing its possessor to purchase the effects of strength. This quality of money is evident in the very nature of prostitution. Whereas sexual intimacy between people should exist naturally as an extension of emotion and mutual attraction, the existence of prostitution represents the negation of those qualities.

“That which is for me through the medium of money-that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy)- that am I, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my properties and essential powers-the properties and powers of its possessor. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness–its deterrent power–is nullified by money … Do not I, who thanks to money am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?”

Money essentially overturns the reality of one’s individual existence. The prostitute is effectively transformed into a product for sale, her sexual partner a customer, and the act of sex itself into a service. Sex in this case is void of any true intimacy, emotion, or physical attraction, other than the attraction of a customer’s want for a product or service. Through the overturning powers of money, prostitution transforms sexual intimacy into sex solely as a product, effectively negating its natural qualities.

Since prostitution is guaranteed to exist for the duration of the existence of money it would seem futile then to outlaw it. The state however, despite its empty rhetoric of ‘cleaning up the streets,’ has no false hopes of eliminating prostitution. Prostitution, like other so-called ‘vice crimes,’ creates a constant stream of arrests and fines which benefit the state financially while at the same time appeasing prostitution’s critics and strengthening the forces of “traditional” reaction. The irony, of course, lies in the constant proclamations by capitalists and their representatives in government and mouthpieces of the personal freedoms insured by representative democracy and capitalism which in the case of prostitution (in most places) are non existent. While you are free to have sex with as many partners as you choose, and you are free to charge for your company as an escort, you are not free to charge for sex.

At the present time the most effective steps for eliminating any negative effects of prostitution is decriminalization. This is already understood in some countries where this has already occurred. Many other countries , however, have become even more aggressive in their ‘crack downs’ on prostitution, pushing prostitution further underground and creating even more negative effects.

With the inevitability of the existence of prostitution in current society, should we come to the conclusion that prostitution must and will always exist? To answer simply, no. At a time when the proletariat gains class consciousness and unites, takes control of the means of production, and embarks on the road to a moneyless, and therefore classless society, prostitution can and will be done away with.

Let us examine another passage by Marx:

“Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust, etc. If you want to enjoy art, you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you want to exercise influence over other people, you must be a person with a stimulating and encouraging effect on other people. Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return-that is, if your loving as loving does not produce reciprocal love; if through a living expression of yourself as a loving person you do not make yourself a loved person, then your love is impotent-a misfortune.”

We can conclude that as long as money exists so will prostitution and in order to eliminate prostitution we must first rid ourselves of the burden of money, with its overturning power.