We start with production

We start with production.  Consumption possibilities are strictly defined and constrained by the then prevailing technology.  There have been in the past, veritable orgies of consumption, including but not restricted to, women, slaves of either sex, herds, maybe simply because the possibilities of other consumption were so limited.  One can consume what one’s stomach will accomodate.  Today one can consume a laptop, but wanton sacrifice is proscribed.

(Consuming a laptop can be seen as using it up.  Maybe it just blows out, like a filament bulb, one day.)

I know I am thinking of Bataille when I write about the profusion of productivity.  Bataille spent eighteen years writing The Accursed Share.  His ideas on the General Economy.  Wherein Nature is seen as abundant, plentiful, fecund, and productive.  (The green grass that springs up between the cracks of pavement stones.)  (The moss that grows green.)  The General Economy is fruitful, because of the giant sacrifice of the sun, which gives of itself, but does not receive.  Trees fruit.  Cattle multiply.  And the natural economies (in the Weberian sense of the term) are marked by great spoliations of wealth, where wealth is destroyed in vast sacrifices, or the giving of gifts.

Thus it is the relations of production, and not those of consumption that determine our consciousnesses.  With each given technology matrix, is an implied structure of the labour force.  Nowadays, work has taken the form of sitting  in front of computers.  That is what I see when I go to work every day.  People sitting in front of monitors.  With each structure of the labour force is an associated class structure.  That is, I propose, that the technology matrix is producing a class structure.

This class structure will be reflected in the consumption bundles.  What the various classes consume (here think of class as a cluster of points in many dimensioned space, or alternatively as a fuzzy relation of inclusion in a set) will determine what is produced.

We all brush our teeth daily.  We use a certain amount of toothpaste every day.  It all adds up.  And when you put it all in front of you, globally, you get the market for toothpaste in the world.  The space of consumptions is many dimensioned, and some substitution is possible and some movement of the optimum choice can be countenanced.  But basically the linear assumption works fine.  The proportions between your consumption of toothpaste and your consumption of cooking oil are fairly stable.  So: so many people have to make toothpaste.  And so many people have to make cooking oil.

So now we see that a certain use of the labour force is implied.  That, in turn, implies a certain social consciousness.


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