Ljubodrag Simonović

E-mail:comrade@orion.rs

 

 PROIZVODNE SNAGE

                  U marksističkoj misli 20. veka dominira glorifikovanje razvoja proizvodnih snaga kao motorne snage progresa. Insistira se na produktivističkom principu i to ne samo zbog Marksovog (pre)naglašavanja značaja razvoja proizvodnih snaga, već i zbog nerazvijenosti proizvodnih snaga u zemljama u kojima je izbila socijalistička revolucija.                       

                  Po Marksu, razvoj proizvodnih snaga ima progresivni karakter. On obezbeđuje razvoj društva u egzistencijalnom, i stvara mogućnost za razvoj društva u esencijalnom smislu. Razvoj proizvodnih snaga ne pretstavlja samo kvantitativno uvećavanje društvenog bogatstva, već kvalitetne (istorijske) promene koje podrazumevaju povećavanje slobode od prirodne stihije, mogućnost oslobađanja od prinudnog rada (u tom kontekstu oslobađanje i razvoj čula, razvoj stvaralačkih moći čoveka, istinske društvenosti, vizionarske svesti….) kao i od eksploatatorskih (klasnih) odnosa koji su uslovljeni stepenom razvoja proizvodnih snaga. Ovladavanje prirodom podrazumeva, po Marksu, stvaranje mogućnosti za ovladavanje sveukupnom društvenom egzistencijom od strane radnika kao emancipovanih društvenih bića. Ono što čini specifičnost kapitalizma, u odnosu prema prethodnim istorijskim porecima, je da on u toj meri i na taj način razvija proizvodne snage, da stvara mogućnost da čovečanstvo konačno ovlada prirodnom stihijom. Ovladavanje prirodnim zakonima vodi ka ukidanju otuđenosti prirode od čoveka, njenom humanizovanju i postajanju čoveka emancipovanim prirodnim bićem. Marks ukazuje na pustošeći način na koji se kapitalizam odnosi prema zemljištu, ali iz toga ne izvlači zaključak da je kapitalizam po svojoj prirodi destruktivni poredak. Marks smatra da kapitalistički način razvoja proizvodnih snaga ne uništava prirodu, već da oslobađa čoveka od robovanja prirodi i na taj način  povećava izvesnost ljudskog opstanka. „Skok iz carstva nužnosti u carstvo slobode“ (Engels) podrazumeva skok iz neizvesne u izvesnu egzistenciju. Kod Marksa je uspostavljeno jedinstvo egzistencijalne (opstanak) i esencijalne sfere (sloboda). Egzistencijalna izvesnost osnovni je uslov slobode, a sloboda je osnovni uslov egzistencijalne izvesnosti. Karakter zavisnosti čoveka od prirode uslovljava i odnos čoveka prema čoveku. Ako nema slobode od prirodne stihije, nema ni slobode od ugnjetavanja. Istovremeno, ovladavanje prirodnim zakonima omogućava „razmenu materija sa prirodom“ (Marks), što znači preradu prirode sa kojom se obezbeđuju dobra koja omogućavaju čoveku da stekne sredstva za život i da prevlada ograničenja koja ima kao prirodno biće. Razvojem proizvodnih snaga redukuje se telesni rad i time se stvaraju mogućnosti da se telo oslobodi takvih aktivnosti koje ga deformišu i onemogućavaju da oplemeni čula i oživotvori svoje igračko biće.                                               

                  Razvoj proizvodnih snaga pojavljuje se kod Marksa kao proces sui generis i istovremeno kao proces čiji je karakter uslovljen prirodom određene epohe. U prvom slučaju razvoj proizvodnih snaga ima apstraktni; u drugom slučaju ima konkretno-epohalni karakter. U Marksovim raspravama uočava se nastojanje da se odvoji razvoj proizvodnih snaga od kapitalističke eksploatacije prirode, što znači da se osamostali razvoj proizvodnih snaga i na taj način sačuva njihov emancipatorski potencijal od samog kapitalizma. Istovremeno, budući da ne poima kapitalizam kao totalitarni destruktivni poredak, Marks ne dovodi u pitanje legitimnost kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga. On „previđa“ Furijeovo upozorenje o ekocidnoj prirodi kapitalističkog progresa i razvoju proizvodnih snaga daje apsolutnu dimenziju. Ne ukidanje kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga, koji ima pogubno dejstvo na prirodu i čoveka, već oslobađanje čoveka od prirodnog determinizma putem kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga pretstavlja, po Marksu, najvažniji uslov za „skok iz carstva nužnosti u carstvo slobode“. Razvoj proizvodnih snaga po sebi podrazumeva povećavanje izvesnosti ljudskog opstanka i otvaranje prostora slobode. Otuda kapitalizam ima istorijsku legitimnost sve dotle dok razvija proizvodne snage. On može da bude doveden u pitanje tek onda, kada proizvodni (svojinski) odnosi postanu prepreka za razvoj proizvodnih snaga. Tada nastaju istorijski uslovi za socijalističku revoluciju.

                  Po Marksu, u kapitalizmu sile prirode otuđuju se, u vidu tehnike, od same prirode, ali nisu sučeljene s životom – nisu postali oruđe destrukcije, već su postale sredstvo kapitala za prekomerno izrabljivanje zemljišta i radnika. Razvoj proizvodnih snaga odnosi se na ovladavanje prirodnim (mehaničkim) zakonima putem nauke i tehnike, a ne na uspostavljanje kontrole nad prirodom kao ekološkom (životvornom) celinom. Marks je podredio dijalektiku kapitalizma dijalektici pretkapitalističke istorije i prenebregao specifičnost kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga koji ne dovodi samo do ovladavanja čovekom od strane kapitala i otuđenja čoveka od prirode, već i do uništenja života. Iz toga sledi da odnos čoveka prema sebi, drugim ljudima i prirodi nije posredovan samo “otuđenim radom”, već destruktivnom prirodom kapitalističkog načina proizvodnje. Na kapitalistički način savladane sile prirode otuđene su od prirode i čoveka tako što su postale destruktivna moć. Kapitalizam okreće prirodu protiv prirode tako što od savladanih prirodnih sila stvara tehnička oruđa sa kojima uništava prirodu kao životvornu celinu. On dovodi do takvog „kruženja materije“ u kome se organska pretvara u neorgansku materiju i na taj način se ukida prirodnost prirode i ona pretvara u tehnički prostor. Kapitalizam dovodi do sve bespoštednijeg sukoba između čoveka, kao najvišeg oblika u razvoju materije, i prirode, koja je „anorgansko telo“ čoveka – kao i do sukoba čoveka sa svojim organskim telom (rekordomanija, plastične operacije, ishrana…). Čovek se u procesu kapitalističke reprodukcije ne “otuđuje” samo od sebe i svoje “organske” prirode, već se degeneriše postajući oruđe kapitala za uništavanje sveta. Kapitalističko ovladavanje prirodnim silama ne povećava izvesnost opstanka čovečanstva, već povećava izvesnost njegovog uništenja. U tom kontekstu dobija pravi (egzistencijalni) smisao Horkhajmerovo i Adornovo upozorenje iz Dijalektike prosvetiteljstva, da je „stalni progres stalno nazadovanje“, kao i ukazivanje na „prokletstvo progresa“.               

                 Treba praviti razliku između razvoja proizvodnih snaga u istinskom, i razvoja proizvodnih snaga u tehničkom smislu. Istinski razvoj proizvodnih snaga usmeren je na zadovoljavanje autentičnih ljudskih potreba i zasniva se na razvoju univerzalnih stvaralačkih sposobnosti čoveka kao slobodarskog bića i na oplemenjivanju prirode, dok je tehnički razvoj proizvodnih snaga usmeren na sticanje profita i zasniva se na instrumentalizovanju stvaralačkih moći čoveka kao najamnika kapitala i na uništavanju prirode. Uprkos tome što ne uviđa da je kapitalizam destruktivni poredak, Marksova misao pruža mogućnost da se dođe do pojma istinskog progresa i uspostavi kritička distanca prema kapitalističkom razvoju proizvodnih snaga: samo onaj razvoj proizvodnih snaga ima istorijsku legitimnost koji dovodi do oslobađanja čoveka zavisnosti od prirode, a ne onaj koji je uništava i na taj način povećava zavisnost čoveka od prirode. U tom kontekstu, Marks pravi razliku između ovladavanja prirodnim zakonima radi oslobađanja čoveka od prirodne stihije, kao i takve prerade zemljišta sa kojom se zadovoljavaju osnovne ljudske potrebe – i ovladavanja prirodnim zakonima na takav način i sa takvim ciljem da se ovlada prirodom i zemljište pretvori u ekonomski prostor, pri čemu će biti lišeno prirodne rodnosti. Kada govori o progresu Marks, zapravo, ima u vidu ne samo oslobađanje čoveka od prirodne stihije, već i oslobađanje čoveka od izrabljivanja (klasnog poretka) i oslobađanje njegovih univerzalnih stvaralačkih moći. To su, po Marksu, tri uslova istorijski legitimnog progresa koji su i sami istorični, što znači da dobijaju konkretni smisao u kontekstu konkretnih istorijskih promena. U današnjem vremenu, progresivan je onaj poredak koji je u stanju da zaustavi kapitalističku mašineriju smrti i sačuva prirodu i čovečanstvo od uništenja.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

                 Markuze ukazuje na potrebu da se napravi razlika između proizvodnih snaga kao oruđa eksploatacije i kao oruđa pacifikacije i u tom kontekstu kritikuje Marksa. Raspravljajući u Merilima vremena o „feminističkom socijalizmu“, Markuze piše: „Govorio sam o nužnoj modifikaciji pojma socijalizma, jer verujem da u Marksovom konceptu socijalizma postoji ostatak, elementi, čiji uticaj se i dalje oseća, principa učinka i njegovih vrednosti. Ove elemente vidim, na primer, u naglašavanju sve efektivnijeg razvijanja proizvodnih snaga, sve produktivnijeg iskorišćavanja prirode, rascepa „carstva slobode“ od sveta rada. Mogućnost socijalizma danas prevazilaze ove predstave. Socijalizam kao drukčiji oblik života ne bi upotrebio proizvodne snage samo za smanjivanje otuđenosti rada i radnog vremena, nego i za pretvaranje života u svrhu po sebi, razvijanje čula i intelekta za smirivanje agresivnosti. To bi bila emancipacija čulnosti i uma od racionalnosti vladanja: kreativna receptivnost versus represivna produktivnost. U vezi sa ovim pojavljuje se oslobođenje žene u stvari „kao antiteza principu učinka“, kao revolucionarna funkcija žene u rekonstrukciji društva.“ (17) Isto tako, Markuze u svojoj studiji Čovjek jedne dimenzije, izbegavajući da vladajući (kapitalistički) poredak nazove pravim imenom i upotrebljavajući izraz “napredno industrijsko društvo” (advenced industrial society), upozorava da su priroda i čovek postali “instrument destruktivne produktivnosti”. (18) Markuze je ukazao na destruktivnu tendenciju razvoja proizvodnih snaga, ali nije na osnovu toga razvio temeljnu kritiku kapitalizma kao totalitarnog poretka destrukcije koja bi, kao takva, pretstavljala prevazilaženje Marksove kritike kapitalizma. Njegovi kritički osvrti mogu, poput Marksovih kritičkih napomena o kapitalističkom isrpljivanju zemljišta, da dobiju pravu vrednost samo u kontekstu celovite kritike kapitalizma kao poretka destrukcije.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                  U Prilogu kritici političke ekonomije Marks tvrdi: “Proizvodne snage koje se razvijaju u krilu buržoaskog društva stvaraju materijalne uslove za rešenje” – “antagonizma koji potiče iz društvenih životnih uslova individue”. “Zato se sa tom društvenom formacijom završava praistorija ljudskog društva.” (19) Marks nije mogao da sledi Furijea, jer je Furije insistirao na tome, da (kapitalistički) progres dovodi do „materijalnog nazadovanja“, a to znači da ne dovodi samo u pitanje samu mogućnost slobode, već i mogućnost opstanka čovečanstva. Razvoj kapitalizma potvrdio je ispravnost Furijeovih tvrdnji. Samo je izgledalo da logika kapitalističkog razvoja ima „progresivni“ karakter dok se nisu iscrpile mogućnosti njegovog „normalnog“ razvoja. Zapravo, taj „normalni“ razvoj nije se rukovodio logikom optimalnog razvoja, polazeći od ograničenih mogućnosti prirode i ljudskog organizma, već logikom maksimalnog uvećanja profita koja je dovela ne samo do iscrpljivanja prirodnih resursa, već do sakaćenja prirode kao životvorne celine i do robotizovanja čoveka. Pokazalo se da kapitalistički razvoj proizvodnih snaga u tehničkom smislu stvara mogućnost za oslobođenje čoveka od prirodne stihije, istovremeno dok uništava prirodu i na taj način uslovljava sve veću zavisnost čoveka od prirode. Kapitalizam ne stvara materijalne uslove za rešavanje konkretnih društvenih i istorijskih antagonizama, kao što tvrdi Marks, već stvara tehničke uslove koji zbog sve intenzivnijeg uništavanja materijalnih uslova opstanka, a to znači prirode i čoveka kao prirodnog i ljudskog bića, postaju samo apstraktni uslovi. Kapitalizam je samo prividno progresivan poredak, tačnije, kapitalizam samo u tehničkom smislu stvara mogućnosti za „skok iz carstva nužnosti u carstvo slobode“. Slikovito rečeno, razvijajući proizvodne snage kapitalizam gradi temelje „zamka slobode“ na taj način, što pretvara tlo, na kome gradi zamak, u močvaru u koju zamak utanja, i tako što degeneriše čoveka kao ljudsko i biološko biće.

                 U svetlu sve dramatičnijeg propadanja prirode i čovečanstva određeni Marksovi stavovi, koji pretstavljaju polazište za njegov odnos prema kapitalizmu i budućnosti, samo dolivaju ulje na vatru koja spaljuje svet. U Prilogu kritici političke ekonomije Marks dolazi do sledećeg zaključka: “Nikada neka društvena formacija ne propada pre nego što budu razvijene sve proizvodne snage za koje je ona dovoljno prostrana, i nikada novi, viši odnosi proizvodnje ne nastupaju pre nego što se materijalni uslovi njihove egzistencije nisu već rodili u krilu samog starog društva. Stoga čovečanstvo postavlja sebi uvek samo one zadatke koje može da reši…” (20) Kada se ima u vidu da kapitalistički razvoj proizvodnih snaga dovodi do sve intenzivnijeg uništavanja prirode i čoveka, navedena Marksova teza pretstavlja potpisivanje smrtne presude čovečanstvu. Što se tiče „viših odnosa proizvodnje“, uništavanjem prirode kapitalizam uništava materijalne uslove u kojima su oni mogući. „Viši odnosi proizvodnje“ ne mogu da se razviju na temelju kapitalističkog načina razvoja proizvodnih snaga, već borbom protiv kapitalizma. U konačnom, ne „postavlja čovečanstvo sebi uvek samo one zadatke koje može da reši“, već kapitalizam kao totalitarni poredak destrukcije nameće sudbonosni zadatak čovečanstvu: da iskoreni uzroke uništavanja života na Zemlji i nanovo uspostavi ekološku ravnotežu koja će mu omogućiti da opstane.                                                                                      

                 Za Marksa rad se pojavljuje kao moguća anti-egzistencijalna praksa u kontekstu kritike hiperprodukcije koja dovodi do prekomernog iscrpljivanja zemljišta kao predmeta rada. Marks previđa da je kapitalistički rad u tehničkom smislu rad, a da je u svojoj biti uništavanje prirode. Polazeći od toga, može se doći do zaključka da su pretkapitalistički oblici rada u egzistencijalnom smislu superiorni u odnosu prema kapitalističkom radu. To je istina koja nameće bitno drugačiji odnos prema neradnom vremenu, stvaralačkoj praksi i igri. U kapitalizmu dominira destruktivno preoblikovanje materije. Putem rada priroda ne postaje bliska čoveku, već se okreće protiv čoveka kao prirodnog i ljudskog bića i protiv sebe same kao životvorne celine. Ako je rad osnov odnosa čoveka prema prirodi, onda je rad i osnov odnosa čoveka prema sebi kao prirodnom biću. Humanizovanje prirode istovremeno je humanizovanje čoveka; denaturalizovanje prirode istovremeno je denaturalizovanje i time dehumanizovanje čoveka. Uništavajući prirodu kapitalizam ne uništava samo životvorne potencijale materije, već i životvorne potencijale čoveka kao prirodnog i humanog bića. Marksova „radna teorija vrednosti“ postala je u savremenom kapitalizmu radna teorija uništenja.                    

                 Prenebregavajući destruktivnu prirodu kapitalizma i stvarajući mit o „revolucionarnom“ karakteru kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga, Marks se nije ozbiljnije pozabavio pitanjem kakve opasnosti po čovečanstvo i živi svet mogu da nastanu kapitalističkim ovladavanjem prirodnim silama. Kapitalizam je instrumentalizovao prirodne sile na dva načina. Pre svega, „savladao“ je sile prirode na taj način, što je od njih stvorio sredstvo za uništavanje prirode, čime pretvara prirodu u sve većeg neprijatelja čoveka. Razvijajući proizvodne snage kapitalizam oslobađa čoveka neposredne zavisnosti od prirode i, istovremeno, uništava prirodu i na taj način dovodi u pitanje njegov opstanak. Radi se o tehničkoj, a ne stvarnoj slobodi od nužde. Tehničko oslobađanje čoveka od nužde postaje uništavanje života, što znači tehničko proizvođenje nužde. Kapitalizam ne oslobađa čoveka zavisnosti od prirode već ga, uništavajući prirodu, čini sve zavisnijim od nje i izlaže čovečanstvo sve razornijem dejstvu prirodnih sila. Najpogubnija posledica kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga je modifikovanje klimatskih uslova putem savladanih sila prirode sa čime se uništava planetarni ekološki sistem i na taj način se dovodi u pitanje opstanak živog sveta. Istovremeno, kapitalizam koristi prirodne sile za stvaranje takvih tehničkih, hemijskih i bioloških sredstava sa kojima čovečanstvo može biti momentalno uništeno. Tu spada i stvaranje uređaja sa kojima mogu biti izazvani klimatski poremećaji i zemljotresi, kao i militarizovanje kosmosa koje pretstavlja pokušaj vladajućih kapitalističkih klanova u SAD da obezbede takvu vojnu prednost sa kojom će moći da uspostave neprikosnovenu globalnu dominaciju. „Kosmički projekti“ i nasmejana lica kosmonauta su paravan iza koga se krije grozničavo nastojanje najmoćnijih kapitalističkih koncerna da stvore takva tehnička sredstava, sa kojima će moći da se obračunaju sa svakim ko se suprotstavi njihovoj zločinačkoj praksi, kao i da unište „prekobrojne“. 

                  Sve intenzivnije iscrpljivanje prirodnih resursa, koje uslovljava sužavanje polja kapitalističke ekspanzije, i koncentracija od čoveka otuđene ekonomske, tehničke, političke i vojne moći u rukama grupe kapitalističkih fanatika povećava verovatnoću upotrebe sredstava za masovno uništenje. Istovremeno, sve razorniji tehnički sistemi i sve komplikovaniji upravljački mehanizmi stvaraju mogućnost da „teroristi“, koristeći se najsavremenijom upravljačkom tehnikom („sajber-ratovi“, između ostalog), izazovu takve havarije na nuklearnim postrojenjima sa kojima će biti uništen život na Zemlji. Jedna od najdramatičnijih istorijskih istina glasi: što se čovečanstvo nalazi na višem stepenu tehničkog razvoja, utoliko je provalija u koju može da padne dublja. Kvalitativno nove emancipatorske mogućnosti istorijskih epoha i kvalitivno nove mogućnosti ugrožavanja opstanka čovečanstva su one istorijske „stepenice“ po kojima se čovečanstvo penje. Kapitalistički „progres“ ima taj istorijski kvalitet, da je doveo čovečanstvo na onu stepenicu sa koje mogući pad podrazumeva nestanak čovečanstva. Destruktivni potencijali kapitalističkih proizvodnih snaga dosegli su takav nivo, da čovečanstvo može momentalno da bude uništeno.

                 Tehnički potencijali koji se stvaraju na temelju kapitalističkog razvoja proizvodnih snaga pojavljuju se u odnosu prema posledicama koje stvara kapitalizam kao destruktivni poredak. To je osnov konkretne dijalektike budućnosti. Previđajući da se kapitalistički način razvoja proizvodnih snaga zasniva na uništavanju prirode i čoveka, Marks previđa da kapitalizam stvara takve posledice čije će „saniranje“ postati najvažnija egzistencijalna obaveza čovečanstva. Razvoj kapitalizma kao destruktivnog poretka doveo je do stvaranja savremenog „carstva nužnosti“ u kome je borba za uklanjanje posledica kapitalističke destrukcije života i obnova biološke (životvorne) snage čovečanstva postala egzistencijalni imperativ. Kapitalistički progres stvorio je takve posledice da čovek neće moći da se „opusti“ sve dok ne povrati ekološku ravnotežu u prirodi i biološki ritam rada organizma. Tome treba da bude podređen razvoj proizvodnih snaga, sami radni procesi, aktivnosti u slobodnom vremenu, praktično – čitav život.

                 Ukoliko se ima u vidu Marksov stav da je „anatomija čoveka ključ za razumevanje anatomije majmuna“, onda bi najviša faza u razvoju kapitalizma – „potrošačko društvo“ – u kojoj su se protivrečnosti kapitalizma razvile do kraja, trebalo da bude polazište u sagledavanju prirode kapitalizma i osnov odnosa prema budućnosti. „Potrošačko društvo“ pretstavlja kvalitetni skok u razvoju kapitalizma kao destruktivnog poretka. U njemu nije samo rad, već je celokupni život postao instrument kapitalističke reprodukcije, što znači da je sam život postao uništavanje prirode i čoveka. Ono označava poslednju fazu u razvoju kapitalizma u kojoj su do kraja realizovani njegovi destruktivni potencijali i u tom kontekstu njegova najpogubnija karakteristika: da od posledica uništavanja života stvara izvore profita i na taj način osnov za svoj dalji razvoj, pri čemu stvaralačke moći čoveka postaju sredstvo za razvoj destruktivnih moći kapitalizma i za ubrzanje procesa destrukcije. Umesto da je kapitalizam poredak u kome se stvaraju uslovi za “skok iz carstva nužnosti u carstvo slobode”, on ukida svaku mogućnost oslobađanja čoveka. Po Marksu, sa kapitalizmom se završava “praistorija” čovečanstva. Ukoliko ne bude na vreme uništen, sa kapitalizmom će se okončati život čovečanstva.

____________

Ljubodrag Simonović

E-mail:comrade@orion.rs

 

 PRODUCTIVE FORCES

Marxist thought in the 20th century was marked by the glorification of the development of the productive forces as the driving engine of progress. The productivity principle was praised not only because Marx (over)emphasized the development of the productive forces, but also because of low productivity in the countries that underwent a socialist revolution.

According to Marx, the development of the productive forces has a progressive character. It enables society to progress in existential terms and, at the same time, creates possibilities for its advancement in essential terms. Development of the productive forces is not only a quantitative augmentation of social wealth, it also implies qualitative (historical) changes that bring about greater liberation from natural elements, the possibility of liberation from forced labor (and, consequently, a liberation and heightening of the senses, a development of man’s creative powers, genuine sociability, visionary consciousness…), as well as from exploitative (class) relations conditioned by the level of development of the productive forces. To gain control over nature requires, according to Marx, the creation of possibilities for workers, as emancipated social beings, to gain control over the whole of social existence. A distinctive feature of capitalism, in contrast to preceding historical orders, is the development of the productive forces to such an extent and in such a manner that humankind can finally master the natural elements. Man’s increased command over natural laws leads to the abolition of man’s alienation from nature, to the humanization of nature, and to man’s becoming an emancipated natural being. Marx speaks about capitalism’s destructive treatment of the soil, but he does not come to the conclusion that capitalism is essentially a destructive order. Marx thinks that the capitalist mode of production, rather than being harmful to nature, liberates man from his enslavement to nature and, as a result, increases the certainty of humanity’s survival. A “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom” (Engels) implies a leap from an uncertain to a certain existence. In Marx, the existential (survival) and essential (freedom) spheres are atoned. The existential certainty is the basic condition of freedom, whereas freedom is the basic condition of existential certainty. The character of man’s dependence on nature conditions the relation of one man to another. If there is no freedom from the natural elements, there is no freedom from oppression. At the same time, control over natural laws enables an “exchange with nature” (Marx), a cultivation of nature, and, thus, ensures man’s livelihood and overcomes his restrictions as a natural being. Development of the productive forces eases the drudgery of physical labor and enables the body to free itself from those activities that deform it and prevent it from stimulating the senses and giving expression to its playing being.

The development of the productive forces appears in Marx as a process sui generis and, at the same time, as a process the character of which is conditioned by the nature of a particular epoch. In the former case, the development of the productive forces has an abstract epochal character, while in the latter case the epochal character is concrete. In Marx's writings, there is a tendency to separate the development of the productive forces from the capitalist exploitation of nature, to make the development of the productive forces independent and, thus, rescue their emancipatory potential from capitalism itself. At the same time, since he does not regard capitalism as a totalitarian destructive order, Marx does not question the legitimacy of the capitalist development of the productive forces. He “overlooks” Fourier’s warning about the ecocidal nature of capitalist progress and gives an absolute dimension to the development of the productive forces. The most important condition for a “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom”, according to Marx, is not the abolition of the capitalist development of the productive forces, which is detrimental to both nature and man, but man’s liberation from natural determinism through the capitalist development of the productive forces. The development of the productive forces in itself implies increased certainty of human survival and an opening of the space of freedom. Hence capitalism has a historical legitimacy as long as it develops the productive forces. It can be called into question only when the relations of production (property) become an obstacle to the development of the productive forces. Then historical conditions are ripe for a socialist revolution.

According to Marx, in capitalism, natural forces become alienated from nature, itself, as technique, but they are not confronted by life – they have not become a vehicle of destruction, they have become the capitalist means of excessively exhausting the soil and workers. The development of the productive forces refers to gaining control over natural (mechanical) laws through science and technology, and not to gaining control over nature as an ecological (life-creating) whole. Marx subordinated the dialectics of capitalism to the dialectics of pre-capitalist history, and he overlooked the specificity of the capitalist development of the productive forces, which leads not only to man’s being dominated by capital and alienated from nature, but also to the complete destruction of life. It follows that man’s relation to himself, other people and nature is not mediated solely by “alienated labor”, but also by the destructive nature of the capitalist mode of production. By becoming a destructive power, the forces of nature conquered by capitalism are alienated from both nature and man. Capitalism turns nature against nature by transforming conquered natural forces into the technical means by which it destroys nature as a life-creating force. It brings about a “circulation of matter” where organic matter turns into inorganic matter and, thus, abrogates the naturality of nature and turns nature into a technical space. Capitalism leads to a fierce battle between man, as the highest form in the development of matter, and nature, as man’s “anorganic body”, as well as to man’s conflict with his organic body (record-mania, plastic surgery, diet fads….). In the capitalist process of reproduction, man is not only “alienated” from himself and his “organic” nature; he is degenerated by becoming capital's vehicle for destroying the world. Rather than increasing the certainty of humankind’s survival, capitalist domination over natural forces increases the certainty of its obliteration. In that context, Horkheimer and Adorno warn in the Dialectic of Enlightenment that “constant progress is a constant regression” and give the “curse of progress” its true (existential) meaning.

A difference should be made between authentic and technical development of the productive forces. An authentic development of the productive forces is aimed at meeting man’s genuine needs and is based on the development of the universal, creative capabilities of man as a libertarian being and the cultivation of nature, whereas a technical development of the productive forces is aimed at making profit and is based on the instrumentalization of the creative powers of man as a mercenary of capital and on the destruction of nature. Even though Marx fails to realize that capitalism is a destructive order, his thought offers the possibility of reaching the concept of genuine progress and establishing a critical distance from the capitalist development of the productive forces: the only historically legitimate development of the productive forces leads to man’s liberation from his dependence on nature and does not destroy nature and increase man’s dependence thereon. In that context, Marx distinguishes between mastering natural laws for the purpose of man’s liberation from natural elements along with the cultivation of soil that satisfies basic human needs and mastering natural laws in the manner and for the purpose of gaining control over nature and turning soil into an economic space, deprived of natural fertility. When Marx speaks about progress, he actually has in mind not only man’s liberation from natural elements, but also man’s liberation from exploitation (class order), along with the liberation of his universal creative powers. These are, according to Marx, three conditions of historically legitimate progress, which are themselves historical, as they acquire a concrete meaning in the context of actual historical changes. Nowadays, a progressive order is an order capable of stopping the capitalist death machinery and saving nature and humankind from destruction.

Marcuse points out the need to distinguish between the productive forces as instrumental to exploitation and the productive forces as instrumental to pacification and, in that context, criticizes Marx. Speaking in the Criteria of Time about “feminist socialism“, Marcuse writes: “I spoke of a necessary modification of the notion of socialism because I believe that in Marx's concept of socialism there are remnants, elements of the continuation of the performance principle and its values. I see these elements, for example, in the emphasis on the ever more efficient development of the productive forces, the ever more productive exploitation of nature, the separation of the ‘realm of freedom’ and the working world. The potentials of socialism today transcend this image. Socialism, as a different way of life, would not only use the productive forces for the reduction of alienated labor and labor time, but also for making life an end in itself, for the development of the senses and the intellect for pacification of aggressiveness, for enjoyment of being; for the emancipation of the senses and the intellect from the rationality of domination: creative receptivity versus repressive productivity. In that context, the liberation of the woman appears as the ‘antithesis of the performance principle’, as the revolutionary function of the female in the reconstruction of society.” (17) Also, in his study One-dimensional Man, avoiding the use of the true name for the prevailing (capitalist) order and using the expression “advanced industrial society”, Marcuse warns that nature and man have become the “instrument of destructive productivity“. (18) Marcuse perceived a destructive tendency in the development of the productive forces, but he did not proceed to develop a fundamental critique of capitalism as a totalitarian destructive order that, as such, would overcome Marx's critique of capitalism. His critical views, like Marx’ critical observations about the capitalist exhaustion of the soil, acquire a true value only in the context of a comprehensive critique of capitalism as a destructive order.

In A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Marx claims: “The productive forces developing in the womb of bourgeois society create the material conditions for the solution of . . . the antagonism arising from social conditions of life of the individual.” (19) Marx could not follow Fourier because Fourier insisted on (capitalist) progress leading to “material regression”, not only questioning the very possibility of freedom, but also the possibility of humanity's survival. Further development of capitalism only confirmed Fourier's view. The logic of capitalist development had appeared to have a “progressive” character up to the moment when the possibilities of its “normal” development were exhausted. Indeed, the “normal” development was not governed by the logic of optimum development, departing from the limited possibilities of nature and the human organism, but by the logic of maximized profit, which led not only to the exhaustion of natural resources, but also to the ruining of nature as a life-creating whole and to man's robotization. It turns out that the capitalist development of the productive forces, while technically enabling man's liberation from natural forces, at the same time destroys nature and thus makes man increasingly dependent on it. Contrary to Marx's claims, instead of creating material conditions for the solution of concrete social and historical antagonisms, capitalism creates technical conditions that, due to the increased destruction of material conditions necessary for survival – i.e., nature and man as a natural and human being – become mere abstract conditions. Capitalism only appears progressive – or, more precisely, only in technical terms does capitalism create the possibility of a “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom”. Metaphorically speaking, by developing the productive forces, capitalism builds the foundations of the “castle of freedom” by turning the soil, on which the castle is being built, into a swamp into which the castle is sinking, and by degenerating man as a human and biological being.

In light of the ever more dramatic destruction of nature and humankind, certain of Marx’ views, those that are the starting points for his ideas about capitalism and the future, only add fuel to the fires of world-destruction. In A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Marx comes concludes: “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions for their existence have gestated in the womb of the old society, itself. Therefore, mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve.“ (20) In view of the fact that capitalism’s development of the productive forces increasingly destroys nature and man, the above-cited thesis actually is a death sentence for humankind. As far as “higher relations of production” are concerned, by destroying nature, capitalism destroys the material conditions that make these “higher relations” possible. “Higher relations of production” cannot come out of the capitalist mode of development of the productive forces, but only from a fight against capitalism. Ultimately, it is not humankind that “sets itself only such tasks as it can solve“; it is capitalism, as a totalitarian destructive order, that assigns humankind a task of vital importance: to confront the causes of global destruction and re-establish an ecological balance that will enable it to survive.

For Marx, work appears as a possible anti-existential practice in the context of the criticism of hyper-production, which results in the excessive exhaustion of the soil as the object of labor. Marx overlooks the fact that the capitalist labor, though technically labor, is essentially the destruction of nature. From this we can conclude that pre-capitalist forms of labor are existentially superior to capitalist labor. This truth means an essentially different relation between non-work time, creative practice and play. Capitalism is characterized by a destructive re-shaping of matter. Nature does not become close to man through labor, but turns against man as a natural and human being and against itself as a life-creating whole. If labor is the basis for man's relation to nature, then labor is also the basis for man's relation to himself as a natural being. A humanization of nature is simultaneously a humanization of man; a denaturalization of nature is at the same time a denaturalization and, thus, a dehumanization of man. By destroying nature, capitalism destroys not only the life-creating potential of matter, but also the life-creating potential of man as a natural and human being. Marx's “labor theory of value”, in contemporary capitalism, has turned into the labor theory of destruction.

By overlooking the destructive character of capitalism and by creating the myth about a “revolutionary” character to capitalist development of the productive forces, Marx did not seriously consider the question of the possible threats to humankind and the living world posed by capitalism’s mastering of natural forces. Capitalism has instrumentalized natural forces in two ways. Primarily, it “mastered” the forces of nature by turning them into the means for nature's destruction and made nature man's increasingly fierce enemy. By developing the productive forces, capitalism liberates man from his immediate dependence on nature, but at the same time it destroys nature and thus threatens his survival. It is about a technical rather than a real freedom from necessity. Man's technical liberation from necessity becomes the destruction of life, and the technical production of necessity. Capitalism does not liberate man from his dependence on nature; it, rather, by destroying nature, makes him increasingly dependent on nature and exposes humankind to ever more destructive natural forces. The most fatal consequence of the capitalist development of the productive forces is the modification of climate by the conquering of natural forces, the destruction of the planetary ecological system and threats to the survival of a living world. At the same time, capitalism uses natural forces for the production of the technical, chemical and biological means capable of annihilating humankind in seconds. It includes devices that can cause weather disturbances and earthquakes, as well as the militarization of the Cosmos, through which the ruling capitalist clans in the USA attempt to gain a military advantage and establish uncontested global domination. “Cosmic projects” and the smiling faces of astronauts are but a mask hiding a feverish attempt by the most powerful capitalist concerns to create technical means by which to deal with anybody who dares oppose their criminal enterprises and to eradicate the “surplus” population.

The increasing exhaustion of natural resources, reducing the scope of the capitalist expansion, and the concentration of economic, technical, political and military power wrenched from man by a group of capitalist fanatics heightens the possibilities for the use of the means for mass destruction. At the same time, increasingly lethal technical systems and more and more complicated navigational mechanisms will enable “terrorists”, by using state-of-art navigational technique (“cyber-wars”, among others), to cause the kind of nuclear power plant “accidents” that could obliterate life on Earth. One of the most dramatic historical truths is that the higher the level of humankind's technical development, the deeper the abyss into which it can fall. The new emancipatory possibilities of historical epochs and the new possibilities for jeopardizing humankind's survival are the historical “ladders“ humanity is currently climbing. The historical position of capitalist “progress” is that it has brought humankind to a high-enough rung that falling off the ladder now means humankind's obliteration. The destructive possibilities of the capitalist productive forces have reached such a level that humankind faces instant obliteration.

Technical potential of the capitalist development of the productive forces is seen in relation to the consequences created by capitalism as a destructive order. This is the basis for a concrete dialectics of the future. By overlooking the fact that the capitalist development of the productive forces is based on the destruction of nature and man, Marx overlooks the consequences of capitalism,  the “healing” of which is humankind's most critical existential task. The development of capitalism as a destructive order has caused the creation of the contemporary “realm of necessity”, where the fight to alleviate the consequences of capitalism’s destruction of life and to restore humankind's biological (life-creating) power has become an existential imperative. Capitalist progress has produced such dire effects that man will not be able to “relax” until he restores nature's ecological balance and the biological rhythm of the organism. The development of the productive forces, the labor processes, themselves, leisure activities – practically the whole life – should serve that purpose.

Considering Marx's view that “the anatomy of man is key to understanding the anatomy of a monkey“, the highest stage in the development of capitalism – “consumer society” – where the contradictions of capitalism have been fully developed, should be the starting point in the analysis of the nature of capitalism and the basis for our relation to the future. “Consumer society” is a qualitative leap in the development of capitalism as a destructive order. In consumer society, not only labor, but the entirety of planetary life has become the instrument of capitalist reproduction: life, itself, has become the destruction of nature and man. This is the last stage in the development of capitalism, where its destructive potential has been fully realized and, in that context, has become its most lethal feature: The consequences of its destruction of life are turned into sources of profit and the basis for  further growth, whereas man's creative powers become the vehicle for the development of capitalism's destructive powers and the acceleration of this process of destruction. Instead of being an order that creates the conditions for a “leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom”, capitalism abolishes any possibility of man's liberation. According to Marx, the “pre-history” of humankind ends with capitalism. If it is not effectively dealt with in (it ?) immediately, capitalism will be the end of humankind's existence.

                                                      

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