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Thoughts on Chapter 3

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twc
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Thoughts on Chapter 3

Factory Relations

People scoff at deterministically planned production, but it happens, and must happen, every day in Capitalist production.

In a factory — components [things] are combined to create a product [another thing], and people must relate to each other according to the way things must relate to each other in the production process.

For example, the product's concept designers must relate to its prototype modellers, who must relate to the engineers, who must relate to the manufacturers, who must relate to the quality controllers, who must relate to the packager, etc, all according to the way their special "things" must inter-relate. They must necessarily establish social relations that directly reflect the necessities of the production process. They have little free will in this, because their wills are necessarily subservient to achieving an objective process.

[Aside 1. The Austrian economists claim that such a situation is impossible because it goes part way to solving the unsolvable Socialist Economic Calculation Problem. Well, sadly for them, this is precisely what already happens deterministically in planned Capitalist factory production.]

[Aside 2. Contemplation of factory production must have played a sugnificant part in crystallizing Marx's materialist conception of history — the more general insight that, in production under any social system, the relationships between people are subservient to the relationships of ownership and control of the necessary conditions of social production.

Which, of course, is why we aim politically as a Party for social ownership of the necessary conditions of social production — our Object — and against class ownership of them.]

Market Relations

In the market — social relations don't reflect relations between things within a deterministic process, because the market is not a directly deterministic process unlike factory production.

Yet Marx has stuck his neck out and insists that social being determines consciousness — and so he now must show how social relations do determine our consciousness of the market.

This is a problem specific to Marx and not to classical political economy, which doesn't know the materialist conception of history. If he can't solve it in terms of the materialist conception of history, that conception is useless. If the materialist conception of history tells him something else, then it's in crisis, and his enterprise is wrecked.

We are now entering the realm of scientific explanation, testing the explanatory power and so the scientific utility of Marx's new foundation for classical political economy. The materialist conception of history is fighting for its life. If it acquits itself, this new foundation deterministically gives us unexpected insights into the workings of capitalism that the old foundation couldn't.

This is what deterministic science is for — what it's about..

To be continued...