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Working class living standards

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Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Joined: 6-05-05
Oct 2 2006 17:47

Hi

Ping, as you say it's a working class nightmare. My highstreet has more homeless people begging on it than under Thatcher by a long chalk.

Having said that, and the big inflation lie aside, the housing crisis is well understood by local authorities, it’s just they haven’t the foggiest what to do about it.

Love

LR

jason's picture
jason
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Oct 3 2006 01:26

OK I've thought about this a little more. The problem is we are stuck in thinking about material conditions, we should be talking in terms of material security. (People have touched on this issue earlier in the thread, but I think we need to make it more explicit).

My own example is that I rent a quite comfortable apartment and own an old '88 Ford hatchback, so I'm pretty much OK, right? Well firstly, the problem with conflating rent and mortgage as the same thing under a general cost of living denies the fact that rent is money pissed down the drain, whilst home ownership is a nest egg for retirement. So because we live in an age of rolling back social security I am anxious about old age and concerned about the if, when, where and how of entering the housing market. Now the same argument can be applied to nearly any field of life, eg. because health is being rolled back, if I was to get ill I would be impoverished. Similarly, if I was to have a kid (which I plan to soon), education is now slanted to user pays. All this is occuring at a same time of lessoned job security.

So to summarise my point, a generation ago we didn't have as much stuff (manifested as techno gadgets, etc), but there was a single bread winner almost guarenteed of lifetime employment, who paid a mortgage rather than rent, and whose kids went to the doctor and school for free. An argument could be made that their material conditions were lower, but on the other hand material security was higher.

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jason
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Oct 3 2006 01:47
Quote:
the specific resources available to each country shaping the strategy applied to paying off the loan.

Lazy, I honestly don't understand want point you are trying to make. Following a capitalist crisis, the countries in question instigated a capitalist response, guaranteed to create a further capitalist crisis. A true response wouldn't be limited by such arbitary things like "countries" or whatever particular suite of resources that the bourgeoisie currently finds profitable to produce. I repeat my question: So what?

Quote:
systems theory

Isn't that just a bunch of medicore Western scholars not realising they've simply rehashed a vulgar dialectics?

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Oct 3 2006 08:25

Hi

Quote:
Isn't that just a bunch of medicore Western scholars not realising they've simply rehashed a vulgar dialectics?

Ha ha. Well for someone who's just discovered the question of security versus income, I think maybe you'd better bring yourself up to speed before pointing the finger at others.

Adam Smith anyone?

Love

LR

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
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Oct 3 2006 09:45
Quote:
Isn't that just a bunch of medicore Western scholars not realising they've simply rehashed a vulgar dialectics?

You said it man! Not very sophisitcated at all. Especially since it dubs itself as "interdisciplinary", which IMO is a serious ontological fallacy.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Oct 3 2006 20:24

Hi

Quote:
systems theory

Quote:
Isn't that just a bunch of medicore Western scholars not realising they've simply rehashed a vulgar dialectics?

Quote:
You said it man! Not very sophisitcated at all. Especially since it dubs itself as "interdisciplinary", which IMO is a serious ontological fallacy.

Oh I don’t know. The fact that this or that method is “not very sophisticated” is hardly a fault. And as for there being an ontological fallacy bound into interdisciplinary methods, well, I’d need to see some evidence to support that assertion before I accept it as a fact.

Quote:
Following a capitalist crisis, the countries in question instigated a capitalist response, guaranteed to create a further capitalist crisis. A true response wouldn't be limited by such arbitary things like "countries" or whatever particular suite of resources that the bourgeoisie currently finds profitable to produce.

There is no true response other than the actual true response, which was economic regeneration via import substitution. Whilst it was, as you say, a capitalist response, it has gone someway to build Argentinean industrial capital. In the range of options available to mitigate, for example, food shortages, I doubt a better one could be constructed as far as working class interests are concerned.

Quote:
I repeat my question: So what?

In true interdisciplinary style, the import substitution model of civilisation building coincides with the import substitution technique of raising working class living standards. In the UK downward pressure on working class living standards is concomitant with deindustrialisation. Much to the delight of the Nationalists, to see off a currency collapse and a poverty crisis, a “Lean” (system’s thinking again, all you Seddon fans) industrialisation will be required. Not only will this raise our living standards and accelerate our confidence in class conflict, but it will also unwittingly provide us with some means of production to cease again, allowing us to practically conceive of the socialised management of production and power for the first time since the early 70’s.

Love

LR

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jason
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Oct 3 2006 23:55
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Not only will this raise our living standards and accelerate our confidence in class conflict, but it will also unwittingly provide us with some means of production to cease again, allowing us to practically conceive of the socialised management of production and power for the first time since the early 70’s.

So you're saying the reindustrialisation of Argentina as a result of the crisis proleterizes the population? Good point. I wish you said this in English 5 posts ago. And are you sure you need to invoke systems theory to make this point?

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jef costello
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Oct 4 2006 08:53
Quote:
In the early 70’s, a male-of-a-certain-age could expect to earn an income in one of the nationalised industries that could keep a family of four in a certain degree of comfort.

Are you sure Lazy, jobs were more secure then but I'm not sure that there were that many of them in the nationalised industries.

With regard to inflation it doesn't includes, rent/house prices/taxes/council tax/transport costs/fuel and anything likely to go up in price.

To calculate 'real wages' you need to work out how much people have to work to buy what they need. which is next to impossible.

In the 50s something like 50% of household income went on food, it's now around 10% (stats are at least 3 years old but still) so you could say we're much better off. But as consumer society has progressed the number of things we need to buy has increased as have all the other prices already discussed.

I will be earning more gross than my Dad ever did in a couple of years, but he bought a house, I doubt I'll be able to. So whatever real terms say the money I earn is worth a lot less.

The house I grew up in is comfortably worth 7 tiles what was paid for it 24 years ago, I doubt very much many people's wages have done the same.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Oct 4 2006 09:53

Hi

Quote:
Are you sure Lazy, jobs were more secure then but I'm not sure that there were that many of them in the nationalised industries.

Get a grip Jef. Leyland, British Shipbuilders, the Mines, British Gas, Water Board, Electricity Board, British Steel, British Oxygen Co, The Post Office and BT etc etc etc etc etc.

Quote:
So you're saying the reindustrialisation of Argentina as a result of the crisis proleterizes the population?

Not really, but if that's what you want to take from it, I wouldn't contend with you over it.

Love

LR

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Oct 4 2006 11:25

Hi

By way of a correction, BOC was never nationalised, neither was ICI, which is somewhat surprising to me. You live and learn.

Love

LR

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Khawaga
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Oct 4 2006 12:08
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Oh I don’t know. The fact that this or that method is “not very sophisticated” is hardly a fault. And as for there being an ontological fallacy bound into interdisciplinary methods, well, I’d need to see some evidence to support that assertion before I accept it as a fact.

Well you can never really establish ontology as fact, it is based on your scienctific method really. Perhaps fallacy is the wrong word, but from a dialectical point of view it is correct. IMO the fallacy lies in believing that everything is separate, fragmented and compartmentalised and then bringing them together to form something that is interrelated or interdisciplinary. With dialectics you start with the whole and go to the parts, the parts have no ontological prior existence to the whole and the characteristsics of the part is aqcuired from being part of the whole. Abstracting anything out of its context (e.g. the economy) and conntectedness will be onedimensional. I guess this is the problem of social sciences trying to be too much like physics (though complexity theory is a step in the right direction, still too positistivst though IMO).

With dialectics parts are in an innnerrelationship, and dialectics relies on the philosophy of internal relations. Phenomena are not inter-related, there are no interdiscplinary "disciplines".

Systematics and structuration theory are obviously a bit better than one-dimensional sciences (especially economics) but is for the basis of understanding the social unsatisfactory (which I guess would be a better word than fallacy).

It all boils down to ontological positions, which is more about belief than fact.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
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Oct 4 2006 12:25
Quote:
Oh I don’t know. The fact that this or that method is “not very sophisticated” is hardly a fault. And as for there being an ontological fallacy bound into interdisciplinary methods, well, I’d need to see some evidence to support that assertion before I accept it as a fact.

Well you can never really establish ontology as fact, it is based on your scienctific method really. Perhaps fallacy is the wrong word, but from a dialectical point of view it is correct. IMO the fallacy lies in believing that everything is separate, fragmented and compartmentalised and then bringing them together to form something that is interrelated or interdisciplinary. With dialectics you start with the whole and go to the parts, the parts have no ontological prior existence to the whole and the characteristsics of the part is aqcuired from being part of the whole. Abstracting anything out of its context (e.g. the economy) and conntectedness will be onedimensional. I guess this is the problem of social sciences trying to be too much like physics (though complexity theory is a step in the right direction, still too positistivst though IMO).

With dialectics parts are in an innnerrelationship, and dialectics relies on the philosophy of internal relations. Phenomena are not inter-related, there are no interdiscplinary "disciplines".

Systematics and structuration theory are obviously a bit better than one-dimensional sciences (especially economics) but is for the basis of understanding the social unsatisfactory (which I guess would be a better word than fallacy).

It all boils down to ontological positions, which is more about belief than fact.

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Oct 4 2006 14:06

Hi

Quote:
It all boils down to ontological positions, which is more about belief than fact.

Ludwig Wittgenstein. Nuff said.

Love

LR