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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #231 - Viewpoint: Alain Bihr "Friot, or emancipation minimum" (fr) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 07 Nov 2013 14:23:39 +0200


The sociologist Bernard Friot a major hit in the left in recent years with books like The issue of pensions (2010) The issue of salary (2012). In an article entitled "universalize the salary or wage delete? About The issue of salary Bernard Friot" published in June 2013 on the site In contrast, our friend Alain Bihr, a sociologist and expert on Marx, rejects proposals Bernard Friot (see box below). ---- Libertarian Alternative: Can you explain why the proposals Bernard Friot on wages you seem questionable? ---- Alain Bihr: The first thing that struck me when I read The issue of salary is that any analysis takes place in a Franco-French framework. Apart from very few hints at the turn of a line, it is never mentioned abroad as if the French context was sufficient to address all issues.

Hence, from there, a pretty fetish with regard to certain institutional forms taken by this wage relation in France attitude, as if those forms were intended to mark the unsurpassable horizon of the wage. I think in particular what he says on social assessment, qualification, etc..

In your article, you put value in a number of confusions Friot in the use of Marxist concepts. They really pose problems when it comes to imagine an alternative to capitalism?

I did not understand why he was embarrassed all of a Marxist scaffolding, in which he takes his feet and breaks the mouth, to develop proposals that could very well develop without it. Unless you want to block in advance the discussion of that side and say, "You see, from a Marxist point of view, I totally unassailable!". I wanted to show that, from a Marxist point of view, it is totally vulnerable. But this does not detract from the relevance of its perfectly questionable policy proposals in the best sense of the term.

In this regard, the most important, in your opinion, would that Friot does not mention in his book.

Its proposals, which consist essentially universal two institutions, social security contributions and qualifications are factors to be taken into account in the discussion since we want to imagine what could be a process of socialist transformation of contemporary French society. It is true that there is among the various authors who have studied what it means to socialism as a transitional phase between capitalism and communism, a debate on what might be the place to keep it or not, in a First, market relationships and the market. But do immediately as Friot something that could not be overcome, it seems to be very questionable.

So, it does not include the other two terms are usually in complementary relationship or opposition to the market that are planning and cooperation. These are all questions that are completely ignored as if it was not part of the socialist issue.

The other unspoken Friot is that the system assumes that the entire gain is socialized, so a particularly favorable balance of power to the proletariat. Could we not do anything else such a power?

It is not only all of the gain but the entire value added (the newly formed value) it proposes to socialize, apart from the small part that companies will be allowed to keep to directly fund their investment projects. Impose would imply a relationship of forces that would immediately imagine exceed the wage, but that is precisely what it does not. There was in him the thought that the class struggle as it is conducted in France, appeared wage institutions would suffice to universalize, to radicalize and empower their capitalist matrix that muzzles today to make the levers of the emancipation of the workers. ---- You do not consider that the idea of ââa market freed employers employment constraints may be emancipatory? ---- Companies could use without paying individuals as they would paid through a salary for life based on their qualification, but could also get rid of from the moment they believe that these employees are no longer enough productive. It happens very quickly on the problems that could arise, such as: "why I would piss me off to work so I get paid?". He says it is a right argument that does not merit consideration, but the problem deserves at least to be better placed.

And more importantly, even if they escape and the anxiety of unemployment, employees do not always have much to say today about what is in production conditions, the forms in which product, the destination of production, etc.. As emancipation of the wage is quite low. This is the emancipation minima.

Interview by Renaud (AL Alsace)

Proposals The issue of salary

Friot Bernard offers to take all of the wealth produced by companies through three assessments: one to pay wages, the second to finance (interest) investment in the means of production and the third to produce and maintain the socialized means of consumption (utilities, housing, transportation, culture ...). Individuals would be given to a qualified majority (thus make compulsory national education up to 18 years) entitling them to a salary for life, regardless of their activity. The employee-es would be free at any age pass a qualifying event for a higher qualification entitling to a higher wage (the wage hierarchy would go from 1 to 4).

Companies, regardless of their status (collective, private ...), could therefore use the skills of these employee-es, available on the market, according to their needs. But the lack of activity does not alter the salary received.

This should get rid of what the author calls the "capitalist labor agreement" to replace it with a "wage labor agreement" that "does not eliminate the price nor the money nor the exchange: it eliminates the goods that is to say, the dictatorship of the time introduced by the measurement of the value of the production time"(p. 113)
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