New Criticals

I mean to say, the opposition of the working class to the capitalist class is itself riven with contradictions. For instance, the employed are subject to a constant downward pressure on wages and job-security, so fighting back means pushing up against the logic of increased exploitation. But here’s the issue: supporting a segment of the working class against capital means fighting for the reduction in the capitalist’s rate of profit. After all, the greater the wage, the less is capitalized. So fighting back exacerbate the objective contradiction of a declining rate of profit by adding a social cause. Now not only the objective logic of capital, but the subjective logic engendered by its social consequences contribute to reducing the rate of profit. This means every working-class victory exacerbates the instability of the economic order. Victories, wherever they occur, have further knock-on effects. In an attempt to recuperate profit-rates, every gain for the workers is simultaneously a seal, even if only a temporary one, on the release valve of capital’s combustible drive to stay ahead of a falling rate of profit. Every push back against exploitation prevents the capitalist from behaving in the logically capitalist manner: increase rate of profit by increasing exploitation of workers. But as in all closed system, this means local gains for groups of the working class are bad for the capital that employs them, and thus indirectly for the industry and capitalism as a whole. The indirect harm can be specified. It means capitalists will feel the pressure to increase exploitation of workers elsewhere. This just must be the case: locally higher costs of doing business create the objective requirement to recuperate the decline in profit rates elsewhere. The good for workers locally is thus likely bad for workers and would-be-workers elsewhere. This means the short term benefits of any group of workers is in contradiction first with capital but second, with some unknown other grouping of workers, or the class as a whole.