Marxism and Cruddy Jobs : LUSENET : U of C General Studies 500 : One Thread

Okay, this is the one major question that keeps comming up when I discuss Marxism with anyone. Though a sharing of labour would contribute to a "greater good", and people could be more free to be personally fulfilled by doing jobs they enjoy, there are still crappy jobs that no one wants to do. Though I see one way of dealing with it is sharing the jobs, some of them need enough training that it's doubtful that this would be effective. Also, I understand that Marx embraced technology, so does he suggest that machines do the work? I don't really understand his solution, so anyone who can shed light on this for me rules. Andrea

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2000


It was More, although I realize now that it was not in the section required for class.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2000

I do not have an answer for you, Andrea, although I do have an idea. I had just read Margo's submission regarding intrinsic motovation. Perhaps, intrinsic motivation is what will help fill these "cruddy jobs". The individuals working at TGIF certainly do not have glamourous positions yet they have a greater goal which they can reach through there positions in the resturant. In Marxism your work time is relatively short compared to leisure time. If people realize that it is a short duration of time spent at work and they then can works towards their passions, the "cruddy job" may not seem so bad. Just a thought. *** Rosemarie ***

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

Thanks so much for the answer. That does shed a bit of light one it. Thanks again! Andrea

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

I think you have articulated part of the problem with the implementation of this ideal system: no-one can be trained to do everything therefore some things are simply going to be done poorly. Marx does "embrace technology" to some extent, but only insofar as it does not alienate workers from their work, so machines doing the work while people feel disconnected from it would not be entirely favourable to him. It's important to remember that Marx's system was, in his own words, the dictatorship of the proletariat. In proposing that everyone do the grunt work, he was levelling a very dichotomous society in which the proletariat did all the grunt work and the bourgeosie did absolutely none of it. The idea of seeing the man who had once ordered the servant to clean the latrines now on his hands and knees doing that work would have great appeal to the poor, servant class.

Perhaps one of the reasons why Marxism appealed so much to Russian Jews was that they were absolutely the most downtrodden of the lot. The phrase "beyond the pale" comes from Russia where Jewish lands were gradually diminished, diminished, diminished until they lived "beyond the pale", beyond the line separating them from the rest of Russia. Tzarist forces could come into any Jewish town at any time and demand that everyone be out of it within a matter of hours. If one were a Jewish peasant at that time, one could certainly find appeal in the thought of one of those soldiers scrubbing public toilets, sweeping public streets, even for a few hours a week.

Sorry; can't resist the soapbox.


-- Anonymous, October 27, 2000

A small response to a huge question:
Some of the cruddy jobs in our surrent system probably wouldn't be as cruddy in a Marxian world. Given a Marxian world, maybe there wouldn't be the push towards the humiliating forms of labour that we see today (ie. no McDonald's in urban Canada, no sweatshops in maquiladoras in Mexico, no need for children to live in/off garbage dumps in the Philipines). These cruddy jobs wouldn't need to exist.
Further, I am not sure that any cruddy job requires the level of specialization that would necessitate people specifically trained for it; cleaning the public latrines is not that difficult.
PS: who was it that answered the question of cruddy jobs by saying that we need "little hordes" of boys- after all, boys love to play in filth, anyway...? (More? Rabelais?)

-- Anonymous, October 28, 2000


-- Anonymous, October 31, 2000

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