The Cofraternal Management of Materiality

Brief outline, for navigation:

  1. definition and explication of the term (¶1-¶4)
  2. As contributing to the secret of ownership: all productive ownership is ownership of men (¶5-¶7)

¶1. 📍 The cofraternal management of materiality: the sum total labor performed in a day minus the consumption enabled by the previous day’s labor

¶2. This difference manages the consumption of the subsequent day, as it is that labor-surplus which, for capitalists, engenders capital accumulation and thereby the endless stimulation of material goods. These micro-monarchies rise and fall, while their structure remains (largely) unchanged, save for the periodic advances of the economic and financial sciences. These tides of time wash away Atlantean fortunes, leaving nothing but idle tales for oracles – “Only follow the divine equation!”

¶3. Yet, the management is also that interaction of labor and leisure which repeats itself the next day. In this sense, labor at Day₁ = leisure at Day₂, if only ideally. It is this equality, experienced as such in consciousness, which enables the repetition of the work-day.

¶4. Thus, the management is “co-fraternal” insofar as all men mutually reap and sow lichen-like, in an odd symbiosis. Only the capitalists and the bankers engage parasitically, more or less, over and above their symbiosis. If this was not so, capital accumulation would be impossible – all would net 0. But it doesn’t, so some are, as we might say, double dipping. Their role as “owners” is nothing but a hylo-power, or a power over material, which enables a bio-power, or power over life. That is, for the working class (white and blue collar), all labor performance is spent as leisure and its sum conditions – I comprehend here everything, all nomological conditions, requisite for the worker’s return to work the next day. Thus, I include: housing, food, clothes, medicine, fineries, relaxants, etc. The working man is in symbiosis with all other workers – he buys their products for his own leisure, so he can produce products for theirs.

¶5. Contrarily, the capitalist and banker sit with idle hands, generating the money-form detached from production. The banker’s is a semiotic production, or an accrual of signs of value, managed according to market necessity and the banker’s specialization of labor. The capitalist himself, or pure owner, is nothing but a delegate of human hylo-power, or having-of-material which can control being-in-the-world. The very being of ownership as a delegation is the ontological condition for the accrual of capital, as the difference between worker labor and leisure cannot generate semiosy without a surplus. This redounds to the capitalist per se. Therefore, the ownership-status is actualized as the surplus-redundancy – without this, the ownership of the means of production has no meaning. Or, simply put, one cannot own productive material unless he owns men. No one has ever merely “owned” productive property – men must work it. This is the secret of productive ownership. Or, again: at bottom, the owner yields profit only because he is an owner.

¶6. One can thus construe 3 delegations. First, the life-delegation, picked up by half of the workers while the other half labors for them. Second, value-delegation, picked up by financiers as a transfer of numbers from credit to debit on arbitrary account-books. Third, material-delegation, or those who own and run supply chains (capitalists). We can add 2 more to these under the general head of social-delegation. The first is private, as human resources in businesses. The second is public, as the sum totality of government employees, bureaucratic and elected.

¶7. These five delegations form, we might say, the sum stasis of (American) society as it presently stands, pyramid-like. The masses circulate leisure and labor. They are controlled by semiosizing financiers, who inject money for material intercourse (ie, as the Federal Reserve). These are in turn controlled by owners, who allocate resources. These are in turn controlled by bureaucrats, who semanticize the procedure in whatever language one likes – business-speak (synergize, leverage, game changer, etc.), legalese (actus reus, affidavit, mens rea, fee minor, etc.), academese (pace, contra, videlicet, nota bene), etc. Each, however, is a mode of epistemic control which bears on the others: bureaucratic semantics have to be understood by a certain amount of the population; financiers require faith in fiat; owners require a docile populous, etc. Each level is hemmed in by each other. Call this the epistemic division of labor. Masses: average-everyday knowhow. Financiers: semiotic manipulation. Owners: material manipulation. Private Bureaucrats: semantic by-law manipulation. Public Bureaucrats/Elected officials: semantic legal manipulation. Here, everyone controls everyone else in a stalemate, each slowly suffocating the other. Freedom, for the moment, is found only for a calendar-circumscription at the empty center between these. We call it “vacation.”

Summary outline:

  1. definition of the term (¶1)
    1. labor performed always exceeds labor spent; this is surplus labor, the condition for wealth (¶2)
    2. this excess causes the repetition of the work-day (¶3)
    3. this creates a universal interdependence of the labor-leisure cycle, which some exploit (¶4)
  2. As contributing to the secret of ownership: all productive ownership is ownership of men (¶5)
    1. divisible into a total of 5 task-delegations (¶6)
    2. accreting an epistemic division of labor which yields social stasis (¶7)

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