Stalinism Quotes

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The idealized market was supposed to deliver 'friction free' exchanges, in which the desires of consumers would be met directly, without the need for intervention or mediation by regulatory agencies. Yet the drive to assess the performance of workers and to measure forms of labor which, by their nature, are resistant to quantification, has inevitably required additional layers of management and bureaucracy. What we have is not a direct comparison of workers' performance or output, but a comparison between the audited representation of that performance and output. Inevitably, a short-circuiting occurs, and work becomes geared towards the generation and massaging of representations rather than to the official goals of the work itself. Indeed, an anthropological study of local government in Britain argues that 'More effort goes into ensuring that a local authority's services are represented correctly than goes into actually improving those services'. This reversal of priorities is one of the hallmarks of a system which can be characterized without hyperbole as 'market Stalinism'. What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement. [... ] It would be a mistake to regard this market Stalinism as some deviation from the 'true spirit' of capitalism. On the contrary, it would be better to say that an essential dimension of Stalinism was inhibited by its association with a social project like socialism and can only emerge in a late capitalist culture in which images acquire an autonomous force. The way value is generated on the stock exchange depends of course less on what a company 'really does', and more on perceptions of, and beliefs about, its (future) performance. In capitalism, that is to say, all that is solid melts into PR, and late capitalism is defined at least as much by this ubiquitous tendency towards PR-production as it is by the imposition of market mechanisms.

Mark Fisher
the-idealized-market-was-supposed-to-deliver-friction-free-exchanges-in-which-desires-consumers-would-be-met-directly-without-need-for-intervention-mediation-by-regulatory-agenci
stalinism-is-pathology-socialism-hitlerism-being-apposite-example-for-capitalism-robert-heilbroner
early-on-i-saw-the-repression-and-idolatry-of-stalinism-and-when-it-cracked-i-was-open-to-religion-again
i-worry-that-we-are-approaching-time-when-that-which-is-shocking-is-squeezed-out-by-stalinism-political-correctness
criticism-in-universities-ill-have-to-admit-has-entered-phase-where-i-am-totally-out-sympathy-with-95-what-goes-on-its-stalinism-without-stalin
as-awful-as-crimes-stalinism-were-vast-majority-russian-population-was-trying-to-survive-to-love-to-have-sense-purpose
language-is-wild-you-cant-fence-it-tell-it-what-to-do-its-same-with-people-even-under-worst-excesses-stalinism-consumerism-human-spirit-will-jay-griffiths
quantum-mechanics-the-dreams-stuff-is-made-quick-try-to-think-single-movie-about-horrors-stalinism-this-is-not-failure-imagination-this-is-mona-charen
the-horror-communism-stalinism-is-not-that-bad-people-do-bad-things-they-always-do-its-that-good-people-do-horrible-things-thinking-they-are-doing-slavoj-iek
Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They're nothing else - they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can't make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it's like taking a totalitarian state and saying 'Be less brutal!' Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that's not the point - the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press - there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there - they weren't asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there's nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism - namely Stalinism and Fascism - and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let's try and make the autocracy less brutal if that's the short term possibility - but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it 'those who work in the mills should own them ' And on to everything else, and that's democracy - if you don't have that, you don't have democracy.

Noam Chomsky
talk-about-corporate-greed-everything-is-really-crucially-beside-point-in-my-view-really-should-be-recognized-as-big-regression-from-what-working-people-lot-others-understood-wel
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