File: secD10.html

package info (click to toggle)
anarchism 9.5-1
  • links: PTS
  • area: main
  • in suites: woody
  • size: 12,192 kB
  • ctags: 493
  • sloc: makefile: 40; sh: 8
file content (470 lines) | stat: -rw-r--r-- 29,467 bytes parent folder | download
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
378
379
380
381
382
383
384
385
386
387
388
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
407
408
409
410
411
412
413
414
415
416
417
418
419
420
421
422
423
424
425
426
427
428
429
430
431
432
433
434
435
436
437
438
439
440
441
442
443
444
445
446
447
448
449
450
451
452
453
454
455
456
457
458
459
460
461
462
463
464
465
466
467
468
469
470
<html>
<head>
<title>D.10 How does capitalism affect technology?
</title>
</head>
<body>
<p>
<H1>D.10 How does capitalism affect technology?</H1>
 <p>
Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways
increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a
social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that
technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a
social vacuum.
<p>
No technology evolves and spreads unless there are people who benefit 
from it and have sufficient means to disseminate it. In a capitalist society,
technologies useful to the rich and powerful are generally the ones that
spread. This can be seen from capitalist industry, where technology has
been implemented specifically to deskill the worker, so replacing the
skilled, valued craftperson with the easily trained (and eliminated!)
"mass worker." By making trying to make any individual worker 
dispensable, the capitalist hopes to deprive workers of a means of 
controlling the relation between their effort on the job and the pay 
they receive. In Proudhon's words, the <i>"machine, or the workshop, after
having degraded the labourer by giving him a master, completes his
degeneracy by reducing him from the rank of artisan to that of common
workman."</i> [<b>System of Economical Contradictions</b>, p. 202]
<p>
So, unsurprisingly, technology within a hierarchical society will tend
to re-enforce hierarchy and domination. Managers/capitalists will select
technology that will protect and extend their power (and profits), not
weaken it. Thus, while it is often claimed that technology is "neutral"
this is not (and can never be) the case. Simply put, "progress" within
a hierarchical system will reflect the power structures of that system.
<p>
As George Reitzer notes, technological innovation under a hierarchical
system soon results in <i>"increased control and the replacement of human
with non-human technology. In fact, the replacement of human with
non-human technology is very often motivated by a desire for greater
control, which of course is motivated by the need for profit-maximisation. 
The great sources of uncertainty and unpredictability in any rationalising 
system are people. . . .McDonaldisation involves the search for the means 
to exert increasing control over both employees and customers"</i> [George 
Reitzer, <b>The McDonaldisation of Society</b>, p. 100]. For Reitzer, 
capitalism is marked by the <i><b>"irrationality of rationality,"</i></b> in which 
this process of control results in a system based on crushing the 
individuality and humanity of those who live within it.
<p>
In this process of controlling employees for the purpose of maximising
profit, deskilling comes about because skilled labour is more expensive
than unskilled or semi-skilled and skilled workers have more power over 
their working conditions and work due to the difficulty in replacing
them. In addition it is easier to "rationalise" the production process 
with methods like Taylorism, a system of strict production schedules 
and activities based on the amount of time (as determined by management) 
that workers "need" to perform various operations in the workplace, thus 
requiring simple, easily analysed and timed movements. 
And as companies are in competition, each has to copy the most "efficient" 
(i.e. profit maximising) production techniques introduced by the others in 
order to remain profitable, no matter how dehumanising this may be for 
workers. Thus the evil effects of the division of labour and deskilling 
becoming widespread. Instead of managing their own work, workers are turned 
into human machines in a labour process they do not control, instead being
controlled by those who own the machines they use (see also Harry Braverman,
<b>Labour and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth
Century</b>, Monthly Review Press, 1974). 
<p>
As Max Stirner noted (echoing Adam Smith), this process of deskilling and
controlling work means that <i>"When everyone is to cultivate himself into
man, condemning a man to <b>machine-like labour</b> amounts to the same thing
as slavery. . . . Every labour is to have the intent that the man be
satisfied. Therefore he must become a <b>master</b> in it too, be able to
perform it as a totality. He who in a pin-factory only puts on heads, only
draws the wire, works, as it were mechanically, like a machine; he remains
half-trained, does not become a master: his labour cannot <b>satisfy</b> him,
it can only <b>fatigue</b> him. His labour is nothing by itself, has no object
<b>in itself,</b> is nothing complete in itself; he labours only into another's
hands, and is <b>used.</b> (exploited) by this other"</i> [<b>The Ego and Its Own</b>, p. 121] Kropotkin makes a similar argument against the division of
labour (<i>"machine-like labour"</i>) in <b>The Conquest of Bread</b> (see chapter 
XV -- <i>"The Division of Labour"</i>) as did Proudhon (see chapters III and
IV of <b>System of Economical Contradictions</b>).
<p>
Modern industry is set up to ensure that workers do not become "masters"
of their work but instead follow the orders of management. The evolution
of technology lies in the relations of power within a society. This is
because <i>"the viability of a design is not simply a technical or even
economic evaluation but rather a political one. A technology is deemed
viable if it conforms to the existing relations of power."</i> [David Noble,
<b>Progress without People</b>, p. 63]
<p>
This process of controlling, restricting, and de-individualising labour 
is a key feature of capitalism. Work that is skilled and controlled by
workers in empowering to them in two ways. Firstly it gives them pride
in their work and themselves. Secondly, it makes it harder to replace
them or suck profits out of them. Therefore, in order to remove the
"subjective" factor (i.e. individuality and worker control) from the work
process, capital needs methods of controlling the workforce to prevent
workers from asserting their individuality, thus preventing them from
arranging their own lives and work and resisting the authority of the
bosses. 
<p>
This need to control workers can be seen from the type of machinery
introduced during the Industrial Revolution. According to Andrew Ure, a
consultant for the factory owners, <i>"[i]n the factories for spinning coarse
yarn. . .the mule-spinners [skilled workers] have abused their powers
beyond endurance, domineering in the most arrogant manner. . . over their
masters. High wages. . . have, in too many cases, cherished pride and
supplied funds for supporting refractory spirits in strikes. . . . During
a disastrous turmoil of [this] kind. . . several capitalists. . . had
recourse to the celebrated machinists. . . of Manchester. . . [to
construct] a self-acting mule. . . . This invention confirms the great
doctrine already propounded, that when capital enlists science in her
service, the refractory hand of labour will always be taught docility"</i>
[Andrew Ure, <b>Philosophy of Manufactures</b>, pp. 336-368 -- quoted by
Noble, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 125]
<p>
Why is it necessary for workers to be <i>"taught docility"</i>? Because <i>"[b]y the
infirmity of human nature, it happens that the more skilful the workman,
the more self-willed and intractable he is apt to become, and of course
the less fit a component of mechanical system in which... he may do great
damage to the whole."</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>] Proudhon quotes an English Manufacturer
who argues the same point:
<p><blockquote><i>
"The insubordination of our workmen has given us the idea of dispensing
with them. We have made and stimulated every imaginable effort to replace
the service of men by tools more docile, and we have achieved our object.
Machinery has delivered capital from the oppression of labour."</i> [<b>System
of Economical Contradictions</b>, p. 189]
<p></blockquote>
As David Noble summarises, during the Industrial Revolution <i>"Capital 
invested in machines that would reinforce the system of domination 
[in the workplace], and this decision to invest, which might in the 
long run render the chosen technique economical, was not itself an 
economical decision but a political one, with cultural sanction."</i> 
[<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 6] 
<p>
A similar process was at work in the US, where the rise in trade unionism
resulted in <i>"industrial managers bec[oming] even more insistent that 
skill and initiative not be left on the shop floor, and that, by the same token, 
shop floor workers not have control over the reproduction of relevant 
skills through craft-regulated apprenticeship training. Fearful that 
skilled shop-floor workers would use their scare resources to reduce 
their effort and increase their pay, management deemed that knowledge 
of the shop-floor process must reside with the managerial structure."</i> 
[William Lazonick, <b>Organisation and Technology in Capitalist 
Development</b>, p. 273]
<p>
American managers happily embraced Taylorism (aka <i>"scientific management"</i>), 
according to which the task of the manager was to gather into his possession 
all available knowledge about the work he oversaw and reorganise it. Taylor
himself considered the task for workers was <i>"to do what they are told to
do promptly and without asking questions or making suggestions."</i> [quoted
by David Noble, <b>American By Design</b>, p. 268] Taylor also relied exclusively
upon incentive-pay schemes which mechanically linked pay to productivity
and had no appreciation of the subtleties of psychology or sociology (which
would have told him that enjoyment of work and creativity is more important
for people than just higher pay). Unsurprisingly, workers responded to
his schemes by insubordination, sabotage and strikes and it was <i>"discovered
. . . that the 'time and motion' experts frequently knew very little
about the proper work activities under their supervision, that often they
simply guessed at the optimum rates for given operations . . . it meant
that the arbitrary authority of management has simply been reintroduced
in a less apparent form."</i> [David Noble, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 272] Although, now,
the power of management could hide begin the "objectivity" of "science."
<p>
Katherine Stone also argues (in her account of <i>"The Origins of Job Structure
in the Steel Industry"</i> in America) that the <i>"transfer of skill [from the 
worker to management] was not a response to the necessities of production, 
but was, rather, a strategy to rob workers of their power"</i> by <i>"tak[ing]
knowledge and authority from the skilled workers and creating a management
cadre able to direct production."</i> Stone highlights that this deskilling 
process was combined by a <i>"divide and rule"</i> policy by management by wage 
incentives and new promotion policies. This created a reward system in 
which workers who played by the rules would receive concrete gains in 
terms of income and status. Over time, such a structure would become 
to be seen as <i>"the natural way to organise work and one which offered 
them personal advancement"</i> even though, <i>"when the system was set up, 
it was neither obvious nor rational. The job ladders were created just 
when the skill requirements for jobs in the industry were diminishing 
as a result of the new technology, and jobs were becoming more and more
equal as to the learning time and responsibility involved."</i> The modern 
structure of the capitalist workplace was created to break workers 
resistance to capitalist authority and was deliberately <i>"aimed at altering 
workers' ways of thinking and feeling -- which they did by making workers' 
individual 'objective' self-interests congruent with that of the employers 
and in conflict with workers' collective self-interest."</i> It was a means of 
<i>"labour discipline"</i> and of <i>"motivating workers to work for 
the employers' 
gain and preventing workers from uniting to take back control of 
production."</i> Stone notes that the <i>"development of the new labour 
system in the steel industry was repeated throughout the economy in
different industries. As in the steel industry, the core of these new
labour systems were the creation of artificial job hierarchies and the
transfer pf skills from workers to the managers."</i> [Root & Branch (ed.),
<b>Root and Branch: The Rise of the Workers' Movements</b>, pp. 152-5] 
<p>
This process was recognised by libertarians at the time, with the I.W.W., 
for example, arguing that <i>"[l]abourers are no longer classified by difference 
in trade skill, but the employer assigns them according to the machine 
which they are attached. These divisions, far from representing differences 
in skill or interests among the labourers, are imposed by the employers 
that workers may be pitted against one another and spurred to greater 
exertion in the shop, and that all resistance to capitalist tyranny may 
be weakened by artificial distinctions."</i> [quoted by Katherine Stone,
<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 157] For this reason, anarchists and syndicalists argued 
for, and built, industrial unions -- one union per workplace and industry 
-- in order to combat these divisions and effectively resist capitalist 
tyranny.
<p>
Needless to say, such management schemes never last in the long run nor 
totally work in the short run either -- which explains why hierarchical 
management continues, as does technological deskilling (workers always 
find ways of using new technology to increase their power within the 
workplace and so undermine management decisions to their own advantage).
<p>
This of process deskilling workers was complemented by many factors -- state 
protected markets (in the form of tariffs and government orders -- the <i>"lead 
in technological innovation came in armaments where assured government orders 
justified high fixed-cost investments"</i>); the use of <i>"both political and 
economic power [by American Capitalists] to eradicate and diffuse workers' 
attempts to assert shop-floor control"</i>; and <i>"repression, instigated and 
financed both privately and publicly, to eliminate radical elements [and 
often not-so-radical elements as well, we must note] in the American labour
movement."</i> [William Lazonick, <b>Competitive Advantage on the Shop Floor</b>, 
p. 218, p. 303]) Thus state action played a key role in destroying
craft control within industry, along with the large financial resources
of capitalists compared to workers.
<p>
Bringing this sorry story up to date, we find <i>"many, if not most,
American managers are reluctant to develop skills [and initiative] on
the shop floor for the fear of losing control of the flow of work."</i>
[William Lazonick, <b>Organisation and Technology in Capitalist 
Development</b>, 
pp. 279-280] Given that there is a division of knowledge in society (and,
obviously, in the workplace as well) this means that capitalism has
selected to introduce a management and technology mix which leads to
inefficiency and waste of valuable knowledge, experience and skills. 
<p>
Thus the capitalist workplace is both produced by and is a weapon
in the class struggle and reflects the shifting power relations 
between workers and employers. The creation of artificial job hierarchies,
the transfer of skills away from workers to managers and technological
development are all products of class struggle. Thus technological
progress and workplace organisation within capitalism have little to 
do with "efficiency" and far more to do with profits and power.
<p>
This means that while self-management has consistently proven to be more 
efficient (and empowering) than hierarchical management structures (see 
section <a href="secJ5.html#secj512">J.5.12</a>), capitalism actively 
selects <b>against</b> it. This is because 
capitalism is motivated purely by increasing profits, and the 
maximisation of profits is best done by disempowering workers
and empowering bosses (i.e. the maximisation of power) -- even though 
this concentration of power harms efficiency by distorting and 
restricting information flow and the gathering and use of widely 
distributed knowledge within the firm (as in any command economy).
<p>
Thus the last refuge of the capitalist/technophile (namely that the
productivity gains of technology outweigh the human costs or the means
used to achieve them) is doubly flawed. Firstly, disempowering technology 
may maximise profits, but it need not increase efficient utilisation of
resources or workers time, skills or potential (and as we argue in greater 
detail later, in section <a href="secJ5.html#secj512">J.5.12</a>, efficiency 
and profit maximisation are two 
different things, with such deskilling and management control actually 
<b>reducing</b> efficiency -- compared to workers' control -- but as it allows 
managers to maximise profits the capitalist market selects it). Secondly, 
<i>"when investment does in fact generate innovation, does such innovation yield
greater productivity?. . . After conducting a poll of industry executives
on trends in automation, <b>Business Week</b> concluded in 1982 that 'there
is a heavy backing for capital investment in a variety of labour-saving
technologies that are designed to fatten profits without necessary
adding to productive output.'"</i> David Noble concludes that <i>"whenever 
managers are able to use automation to 'fatten profits' and enhance their 
authority (by eliminating jobs and extorting concessions and obedience from 
the workers who remain) without at the same time increasing social product, 
they appear more than ready to do."</i> [David Noble, <b>Progress Without People</b>, 
pp. 86-87 and p. 89]
<p>
Of course the claim is that higher wages follow increased investment and
technological innovation ("in the long run" -- although usually "the long 
run" has to be helped to arrive by workers' struggle and protest!). Passing
aside the question of whether slightly increased consumption really makes
up for dehumanising and uncreative work, we must note that it is usually
the capitalist who <b>really</b> benefits from technological change in money
terms. For example, between 1920 and 1927 (a period when unemployment
caused by technology became commonplace) the automobile industry (which was
at the forefront of technological change) saw wages rise by 23.7%. Thus,
claim supporters of capitalism, technology is in all our interests. However,
capital surpluses rose by 192.9% during the same period -- 8 times faster!
Little wonder wages rose! Similarly, over the last 20 years the USA and
many other countries have seen companies "down-sizing" and "right-sizing" 
their workforce and introducing new technologies. The result? Simply
put, the 1970s saw the start of <i>"no-wage growth expansions."</i> 
Before the early 1970s, <i>"real wage growth tracked the growth of
productivity and production in the economy overall. After . . ., they
ceased to do so. . . Real wage growth fell sharply below measured
productivity growth."</i> [James K. Galbraith, <b>Created Unequal</b>, 
p. 79] So while real wages have stagnated, profits have been increasing as 
productivity rises and the rich have been getting richer -- technology 
yet again showing whose side it is on. 
<p>
Overall, as David Noble notes (with regards to manufacturing):
<p><blockquote>
<i>"U.S. Manufacturing industry over the last thirty years . . . [has
seen] the value of capital stock (machinery) relative to labour
double, reflecting the trend towards mechanisation and automation.
As a consequence . . . the absolute output person hour increased
115%, more than double. But during this same period, real earnings
for hourly workers . . . rose only 84%, less than double. Thus, after
three decades of automation-based progress, workers are now earning
less relative to their output than before. That is, they are producing
more for less; working more for their boss and less for themselves."</i>
[<b>Op. Cit.</b>, pp. 92-3]
</blockquote><p>
Noble continues:
<p><blockquote><i>
"For if the impact of automation on workers has not been ambiguous,
neither has the impact on management and those it serves -- labour's
loss has been their gain. During the same first thirty years of our
age of automation, corporate after tax profits have increased 450%,
more than five times the increase in real earnings for workers."</i>
[<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 95]
</blockquote><p>
But why? Because labour has the ability to produce a flexible amount of
output (use value) for a given wage. Unlike coal or steel, a worker
can be made to work more intensely during a given working period and
so technology can be utilised to maximise that effort as well as
increasing the pool of potential replacements for an employee by
deskilling their work (so reducing workers' power to get higher
wages for their work). Thus technology is a key way of increasing
the power of the boss, which in turn can increase output per worker 
while ensuring that the workers'  receive relatively less of that output 
back in terms of wages -- <i>"Machines,"</i> argued Proudhon, <i>"promised us an 
increase of wealth they have kept their word, but at the same time 
endowing us with an increase of poverty. They promised us liberty. . . 
[but] have brought us slavery."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 199]
<p>
But do not get us wrong, technological progress does not imply that
we are victims. Far from it, much innovation is the direct result
of our resistance to hierarchy and its tools. For example, capitalists
turned to Taylorism and "scientific management" in response to 
the power of skilled craft workers to control their work and working
environment (the famous 1892 Homestead strike, for example, was a
direct product of the desire of the company to end the skilled workers' 
control and power on the shop-floor). In response to this, factory
and other workers created a whole new structure of working class 
power -- a new kind of unionism based on the industrial level. This 
can be seen in many different countries. For example, in Spain, the 
C.N.T. (an anarcho-syndicalist union) adopted the <b><i>sindicato 
unico</i></b> 
(one union) in 1918 which united all workers of the same workplace 
in the same union (by uniting skilled and unskilled in a single
organisation, the union increased their fighting power). In the UK, 
the shop stewards movement arose during the first world war based on 
workplace organisation (a movement inspired by the pre-war syndicalist 
revolt and which included many syndicalist activists). This movement 
was partly in response to the reformist TUC unions working with the 
state during the war to suppress class struggle. In Germany, the
1919 near revolution saw the creation of revolutionary workplace unions 
and councils (and a large increase in the size of the anarcho-syndicalist 
union FAU which was organised by industry). In the USA, the 1930s saw a 
massive and militant union organising drive by the C.I.O. based on 
industrial unionism and collective bargaining (inspired, in part, by 
the example of the I.W.W. and its broad organisation of unskilled 
workers). 
<p>
More recently, workers in the 1960s and 70s responded to the 
increasing reformism and bureaucratic nature of such unions as 
the CIO and TUC by organising themselves directly on the shop 
floor to control their work and working conditions. This informal 
movement expressed itself in wildcat strikes against both unions 
and management, sabotage and unofficial workers' control of production (see 
John Zerzan's essay <i>"Organised Labour and the Revolt Against
Work"</i> in <b>Elements of Refusal</b>). In the UK, the shop stewards' 
movement revived itself, organising much of the unofficial strikes 
and protests which occurred in the 1960s and 70s. A similar 
tendency was seen in many countries during this period.
<p> 
So in response to a new developments in technology and workplace 
organisation, workers' developed new forms of resistance which
in turn provokes a response by management. Thus technology and 
its (ab)uses is very much a product of the class struggle, of 
the struggle for freedom in the workplace.
<p>
With a given technology,
workers and radicals soon learn to use it in ways never dreamed off
to resist their bosses and the state (which necessitates a transformation
of within technology again to try and give the bosses an upper hand!). The
use of the Internet, for example, to organise, spread and co-ordinate 
information, resistance and struggles is a classic example of this
process (see Jason Wehling, <i>"'Netwars' and Activists Power on 
the Internet"</i>, <b>Scottish Anarchist</b> no. 2 
for details). There is always a "guerrilla war" associated with technology,
with workers and radicals developing their own tactics to gain counter
control for themselves. Thus much technological change reflects <b>our</b> 
power and activity to change our own lives and working conditions. We 
must never forget that.
<p>
While some may dismiss our analysis as "Luddite," to do so is make
"technology" an idol to be worshipped rather than something to be
critically analysed. Moreover, to do so is to misrepresent the ideas 
of the Luddites themselves -- they never actually opposed <b>all</b> 
technology or machinery. Rather, they opposed <i>"all Machinery hurtful
to Commonality"</i> (as a March 1812 letter to a hated Manufacturer put
it). Rather than worship technological progress (or view it uncritically),
the Luddites subjected technology to critical analysis and evaluation.
They opposed those forms of machinery that harmed themselves or society.
Unlike those who smear others as "Luddites," the labourers who broke
machines were not intimidated by the modern notion of progress. Their
sense of right and wrong was not clouded by the notion that technology
was somehow inevitable or neutral. They did not think that <b>human</b> 
values (or their own interests) were irrelevant in evaluating the 
benefits and drawbacks of a given technology and its effects on workers 
and society as a whole. Nor did they consider their skills and livelihood
as less important than the profits and power of the capitalists. In other words, 
they would have agreed with Proudhon's comment that machinery 
<i>"plays the leading role in industry, man is secondary"</i> <b>and</b> they 
acted to change this relationship. [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 204] Indeed, 
it would be temping to argue that worshippers of technological progress are, in 
effect, urging us <b>not</b> to think and to sacrifice ourselves to a new 
abstraction like the state or capital. The Luddites were an example of 
working people deciding what their interests were and acting to defend 
them by their own direct action -- in this case opposing technology which 
benefited the ruling class by giving them an edge in the class struggle. 
Anarchists follow this critical approach to technology, recognising that 
it is not neutral nor above criticism.
<p>
For capital, the source of problems in industry is people. Unlike
machines, people can think, feel, dream, hope and act. The "evolution" of
technology will, therefore, reflect the class struggle within society and
the struggle for liberty against the forces of authority. Technology, far
from being neutral, reflects the interests of those with power. Technology
will only be truly our friend once we control it ourselves and <b>modify</b>
to reflect <b>human</b> values (this may mean that some forms of technology
will have to be written off and replaces by new forms in a free society). 
Until that happens, most technological processes -- regardless of the other
advantages they may have -- will be used to exploit and control people.
<p>
Thus Proudhon's comments that <i>"in the present condition of society,
the workshop with its hierarchical organisation, and machinery"</i> could
only serve <i>"exclusively the interests of the least numerous, the least
industrious, and the wealthiest class"</i> rather than <i>"be employed for the
benefit of all."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 205]
<p>
While resisting technological "progress" (by means up to and including
machine breaking) is essential in the here and now, the issue of
technology can only be truly solved when those who use a given 
technology control its development, introduction and use. 
Little wonder, therefore, that anarchists consider workers' self-management
as a key means of solving the problems created by technology. Proudhon, for
example, argued that the solution to the problems created by the division 
of labour and technology could only be solved by <i>"association"</i> and <i>"by a broad education, by the 
obligation of apprenticeship, and by the co-operation of all who 
take part in the collective work."</i>  This would ensure that <i>"the 
division of labour can no longer be a cause of degradation for the 
workman [or workwoman]."</i> [<b>The General Idea of the Revolution</b>, p. 223] 
<p>
While as far as technology goes, it may not be enough to get rid of 
the boss, this is a necessary first step in creating a technology which 
enhances freedom rather than controlling and shaping the worker (or user 
in general) and enhancing the power and profits of the capitalist (see
 also section I.4.9 -- <a href="secI4.html#seci49">Should technological advance be seen as 
anti-anarchistic?</a>).
<p>
</body>
</html>