Computerisation as a premise of the collectivist (socialist) revolution

To answer the question: "Why already now, 80 years after the October revolution, capital dominates above the world?" - a successive follower of the historical materialism will try, first of all, to clear: was the level of the development of productive forces of mankind (first of all in the most-highly-developed countries) in the 19th - first half of 20th centuries sufficient to make proletarians capable to organise the ruling over production, distribution & exchange by all the society as a whole (and so, to cease to be proletarians)?

Karl Marx wrote about the grounds of the coming proletarian revolution:

"Hand in hand with this centralisation, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on an ever-extending scale, the co-operative form of the labour-process, the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour into instruments of labour only usable in common, the economising of all means of production by their use as the means of production of combined, socialised labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world-market, and with this, the international character of the capitalistic regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolise all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working-class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. Thus integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated."

But had the process of the capitalist production "disciplined, united, organised" the working class before the beginning of the 20th centurysufficiently to make it capable not only to "expropriate the expropriators" - take away the means of production from the capitalists - but also to keep them in its hands, organise the ruling over economics & not lose the control over the leaders, not let leaders become new exploiters? Let`s watch attentively, which worker was being created by the process of production during the 19th - first half of 20th centuries.

In very deed, the labour in a factory is cooperated labour. The final product of such labour is a result of efforts of many people, which not only worked gradually up raw material, but in common - not as, for example, a tailor which sews clothes by cloth woven anywhere & ever by any weaver - worked upon its transformation into the complete article. But factory workers which are interacting within the labour-process, are almost not interacting within the process of ruling this labour-process. Let`s imagine a worker which is working by a machine-tool. He (she) is regularly receiving raw material which he (she) must work up; he (she) is making definite operations, & the product of his (her) labour is going to other workers & becoming raw material for them. The worker don`t know, what other workers are doing by their machine-tools; he (she) isn`t interfering in their operations. And he (she) mustn`t do it: if he (she) should do it, he (she) should wander from his (her) working place, & not just his (her) labour productivity but the one within all the factory should lower. The labour-process, in which the workers of all the factory are involved, is united, but every worker rules just one little drop in the river of cooperated labour - his own work on his own working place. To lead all the labour-process of the factory as a whole, somebody which stands over the workers & manages them is necessary.

It doesn`t mean that industrial & agricultural workers before the 2nd half of the 20th century never, nowhere & in no cases had interacted in the process of ruling their labour. On the contrary, there is a lot of examples of such interaction. But, in-first, groups of the workers whichinterfere in affairs of each other - always interchange the information, confer, achieve common decisions in labour-process - can`t be very large: let`s imagine if only twenty people which are trying to work in such way! Because of it such groups - for example, brigades - usually are very little and, as a rule, the more complete & skilled is labour thee less are the groups. Hunt a mammoth, calling each other, could even a hundred people, but it is impossible to organise labour in a shop of a machine-building factory in such way. So, in-second, the role of the interaction between workers within the process of ruling their labour usually was high within backward, purely manual or little-machinised kinds of production activity (even not within all - for example, it was not higher within the handicraft pre-manufacturing production than within a manufacture & a factory). An artel of carpenters is one, but the workers at the Ford`s conveyer are very another. In few words, although the interaction of workers in the process of ruling their labour have a place in the economics, in which the large machine industry plays the main role, but it doesn`t dominate in relations between workers during their labour-process within such economics. These relations are characterized, first of all, not by inter-contacts, but by solitude of workers which rule their operations, in their inter-relations - & in-first it concerns industrial workers, i. e. the majority & the main part of all workers in whole. Although, for example, the miners are united in brigades, but on a scale of the mine as a whole they are a crowd of solitaries. In such conditions, to rule a factory, a mine, a big fishers` ship &, all the more, an economy of a land, the managers which transform acts of a crowd of solitaries-workers into united, coordinated, uninterrupted labour-process are necessary.

We often meet such combinations of words as "collective of the plant", "collective of the enterprise" etc. As a rule, the word "collective" means not each group of people, but such within which not just leading & subordination connect its members. To name the group as "collective", between its members must be visible the interaction in the process of ruling their activity - the exchange of information, inter-consulting, thecommon elaboration of common decisions, i. e. "the relations of collaboration & mutual aid". It seems clearly that as a scientific term "collective" must be used just as a name of such groups within which the relations of collaboration & mutual aid dominate over the relations of leading & subordination. But so far this word has not received the correct scientific definition - and very often soldiers in army, prisoners of a concentration camp, workers of a factory are named "collective". In very deed, real collective - if finally use the word as a scientific term - was absent at the enterprises before the 2nd half of the 20th century, and now it is absent within the majority of them. Manufacture, and later - large machine industry cooperate labour-process, but don`t unite workers in collective.

So, workers, which are not united in collective, can`t elaborate ruling decisions. May be, they could if only control their leaders, elect them & change, & those elections not should be only decoration, behind of which the leaders` manipulation over subordinates is hiding? But workers must commonly scan the information about the work of their leaders, discuss it, elaborate common decisions about it to accomplish the control really (without such operations the elections of leaders will be similar with the steps of a blind person which goes there, where one pushes it, even to an abyss). And they would capable to do it even if they consist a collective by themselves.

Let`s imagine, for example, one thousand people - workers of not very large enterprise - which try to control the administration of the enterprise. Let`s imagine even, that all they have a sufficient education & special habits to understand technical, financial & all other documents and all the documents are accessible for them. Which result of all this will be? In-first, workers must have a guarantee that managers didn`t covered important documents from them or didn`t give them some falsity. So, it is necessary for several people elected by workers to sit, more or less constantly, in the office - i. e. the controllers are necessary. But it is just temporal solution of the problem: after some time it will become twice more complete - except the problem of the control over leaders, the problem of control over controllers will arise. In-second, workers must often gather common meetings to discuss the information about working of the administration of the enterprise: the more seldom they should gather their meetings, thee less effective should be their control, thee more seldom they should interfere into the working of the administration, and thee easier should be for the leadership to deceive workers. So, the often common meetings are necessary. Let`s imagine a thousand of people, each of them think that just he (she) know the solution of the discussed problem & try to convince all others in it very diligently! In the case two variants are possible: either all participants try to over-cry each other, raise a very loud cry & don`t have any positive result; or speakers speaks one after another, the meeting delays to the morning, in the morning participants of the meeting are very tired, but they yet haven`t achieved the decision, haven`t thought completely all that speakers have said, in the order of the day (more exactly, of the night) stayed still 2-3 questions which the meeting must discuss & decide, and first rays of the rising sun already announce about the beginning of the new working day. And we imagined, thatsuch meetings take place often! Change the common meetings by the meetings of the representatives of the shops? In this case with the problem of control over leadership & controllers there will appear the problem of control over the representatives. Sadly, is it? And we have imagine how workers could try to control their leaders only on a scale of one not large enterprise. And what we can say about a scale of a land, even more - of all the world…

In 1920, during the celebration of the 50th birthday of Lenin, the old Bolshevik Olminsky said the important sentence which whole meaning he couldn't understand:

"Every worker at a factory knows that if a factory will be managed by thousands workers, and all they will meet and talk about thousands questions, they can't do anything; they needs a leader managing the technical process at a factory" (Writers' memoirs on Lenin. Moscow, 1990. P. 362).

Olminsky prudently didn't take an interest in the question on the social consequences of the existing of "needs a leader managing the technical process at a factory".

If producers can't organize & coordinate their acts by themselves, somebody have to do it instead of them. (Here Olminsky stopped his reasoning.) But this "somebody" managing the process of production, because of it become capable to manage the product. The organizer of the production, exploiting producers as the factors of the production, become capable to exploit them as creators of the surplus product. The exploitation-using leads to the exploitation-robbery. The rise of exploitation & classes was the consequence not of somebody's malicious will & even not of the rise of surplus product, but of the division of labour into managing & executive (indeed, such division lead to the growing of the productivity of labour & to the rise of surplus product). So, one can abolish the exploitation & classes only by abolishing the division of labour.

The technological division of labour at a factory created the hierarchy over a proletarian from a master to a capitalist. The industrial proletariat of the 19th - 20th centuries was incapable to self-organize in frames of all the society, without any mediators & chiefs; that incapability lead to the rise of the workers' bureaucracy of reformist (social-democratic, Stalinist, anarchist etc.) trade-unions and of social-democratic, Stalinist etc. parties. The same cause was of the fact that proletarians almost always let this bureaucracy to betray them.

We see that even if the education of the workers will be sufficient for each of them to understand the documents of the administration, the workers couldn`t control their leadership effectively even on the level of not very large enterprise, if they don`t consist a collective by themselves. First of all, they can`t unite themselves into a collective because of the construction & physiology of the human organism: the more people collect themselves in a group, thee more difficult them to communicate with each other & thee more time they must give to try discuss and solve their problems. To overcome this barrier, such technical means are necessary which allow very many people to receive the same information, change information & make common decisions in so short terms as those which are necessary for several people to do all it without any technical means. At the 19th - the 1st half of 20th centuries the development of the production forces still had not given such means for people. But without them the workers` control over leadership & the self-governing of labourers on the whole are possible just on the level of very little enterprises… The factorial workers couldn`t rule - neither themselves, nor by leaders controlled and changed by their subordinates - neither economics, nor an apparatus of violence over hostile strata of society, nor any other sphere of social life or any social organisation. Lenin`s quotation from the State And Revolution:

"Workers, conquering political power, will break old bureaucratic apparatus, destroy it in its basis, delete all it, change it by the new consisting of the same workers and employees, against the transformation of which to bureaucrats the next measures completely described by Marx and Engels will be undertaken: 1)not only elections, but also changing in any time; 2)payment not higher than a worker`s payment; 3)immediate transition to execution by all people the functions of control and supervision, to becoming "bureaucrats" temporarily of all people - in order to nobody could become a "bureaucrat"" - remained, on this level of the development of the productive forces, just good but impossible wish. It had become the real prognosis just at the 2nd half of the 20th century - concerning the qualitatively new level of the development, on which the productive forces of the humanity had begun to rise. This ascent had begun to accomplish itself in the process of so-called Scientific-Technical Revolution - STR.

It isn`t our task now to observe all consequences of STR on a whole. It is important for us now that in the process of STR the computerisation of the production and other spheres of the human activity is accomplishing itself. Indeed, computer is that technical mean by which a lot of people can very fast receive various information, change it and make common decisions. Rapidity, great information capacity of remembering mechanisms, wide possibilities of very various treatment of the information - all these allow to collect the information coming from great masses of people quickly, return it in analysed, generalized and classified form to each of the people, repeat this process so much as it is necessary in every concrete case, and after that make the synthesis of the individual final opinions and create the common decision. To control computer, it isn`t necessary to go to the office and scan papers; that`s enough to sit before display and press the buttons. It takes off (in any case partly, and on the sufficiently high level of the computerisation of the production - completely) the problem of electing the controllers and controlling them. Computer is that which can unite labourers whose work is cooperated, into the collective. The more computerised is their work, thee more ruling decisions they can make by themselves and thee easier for them is to control those leaders which are still necessary to coordination labourers` acts and making ruling decisions in the cases when all the collective can`t do it by itself. The more narrowly labourers are united into the collective, the more ruling decisions they can make in-common, thee less is the role of the leader, thee less and thee more secondary are tasks which he (she) has to solve. Consequently, in the process of the computerisation of the production and other spheres of human activity the role of the leaders will become less; the role of the ruling "from above to down" will become less, such ruling will be gradually substituted for the self-management of little and large (maximally - so large as all the humanity as a whole) groups of people; but the control of the subordinates over their leaders (in that measure, in which leaders and subordinates will still remain) will grow as much as less will become the role of the ruling "from above to down".

…When the humanity will enter again into the period of great social shocks, similar with the 1st half of the 20th century (Albanian people`s revolt is the first peal of thunder of this coming thunderstorm), much will repeat itself - the treachery of many workers` leaders and organisations which enjoyed the trust of proletarian masses before it, and the defeat of the revolutionary movement in many countries.

The objective causes which caused such phenomena 70 - 80 years ago, are still actual today, and any kind of lectures about "lessons of history" read to workers can`t remove their effect. In first time only in a few of regions, may be just in one country, will take place such combination of conditions with which the exploited classes will take away the political power from the exploiters & expropriate them economically. Most chance to become such regions have "middly-developed" countries, in which the productive forces are developed more than in the majority of the "third-world" countries, but life of the proletarian & petty-bourgeois masses is less stabile and its level is lower than in the highly-developed capitalist countries. There already is, although very thin, a stratum of the proletarians in the "middly-developed" countries whose work with computers is an essential moment of their everyday labour-process; concerning the majority of the proletariat of such countries, people which consist it are educated enough to begin mastering the work with computers. Such proletariat, taking power in their hands, won`t lose it as it happened with the proletarians of former Russian empire. Even with the conditions of hostile imperialist encirclement it could sufficiently fast create effective mechanisms of making common decisions by labourers and controlling of subordinates over leaders. These mechanisms, technically based on the computer systems & modern means of communication, will be the tool by which the proletarians ceasing to be themselves will prevent the apparatuses of ruling created by themselves from so high bureaucratisation which could transform the apparatuses into the organisations of new exploiters. One or several proletarian "semi-states" (Lenin`s term), in which the control over leaders will not relax (as it have been in USSR and the similar states) but strengthen so much as the productive forces will progress, will arise. The existence of such "semi-states" will ensure the support for proletarian parties in bourgeois` states; thanks to this support, many of the parties won`t degenerate & degenerated ones will be changed by the new (on the contrary to communist parties, which degeneration had been promotedby the support of Communist party of the Soviet Union transformed into a political organisation of new exploiters). It`ll ensure the spreading of the revolutionary process within all the world. And when the world revolution will spread within other countries, the capacity of the proletariat of the STR-epoch to control leaders will play its historical role also there. First of all we`ll see it in the lands which are highly-developed capitalist countries now; the proletariat of these countries, in its turn, will help the proletarians of less developed regions (also those where the world revolution had begun) to come into socialism & cease to be proletarians faster.

An addition to the text: as newspapers wrote (Svezhyj No, N 34 (15.11.00.), page 8), in CERN (Switzerland) is elaborated the project of GRID - a new kind of computer system by which millons of computers could work as one giant brain which solves problems & makes decisions as one, indivisible subject (in the contrary to Internet, which is just a mean of communication & a large bank of information, great library - and not any more). Indeed, such kind of computer systems is a technical basis of the common, socialist ruling over the productive forces.

A brief resume:

Computers aren`t simply new tools of labour; the computerisation of the production & generally of all spheres of the human activity is an upheaval in the development of the productive forces, more significant than the industrial revolution of 18th - 19th centuries and, may be, even more significant than the transition from primitive hunting & gathering to agriculture, cattle breeding & handicraft. Computerisation of the production is a necessary, although not sufficient, premise of socialism: computerised production is a material-technical basis of socialism. It appeared under the power of the bourgeoisie, but all its progressive potential will be realised only in the process of the future world revolution, under the proletarian dictatorship. The fact that computers were created because of order of capitalists & today serve to their needs & helps them to exploit the proletariat, isn`t contradictory to it: always in the history of class societies new technical intentions, created for serving to old ruling classes, after some time caused their throwing down by new progressive classes.

Marx, Engels & Lenin did mistake when they thought that material-technical basis of socialism had already existed in the 19th - first half of 20th centuries. In reality, the large machine production with non-computerised management made proletarians unable to preserve property and power in their hands even in countries, where proletarian revolts were successful. And because of it, the mass proletarian organisations were doomed on step-by-step degeneration & proletarian revolutions couldn`t transform to the world revolution with necessity. The world proletarian revolution can begin & win only in the epoch of computers.

Computer systems can`t create socialism just by themselves. The world proletarian revolution is necessary for transition of mankind to socialism. But proletarian revolution can become world & socialist only in the epoch of computers & computer systems. Such is the dialectics of the transition to socialism.

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