Diagram of a (capitalist) society

What is (capitalist) society- Full


2 responses to “Diagram of a (capitalist) society

  1. The first diagram you provided of “SOCIAL FORMATION” (a part of which now appears in the lower left quadrant of this “(capitalist) society” diagram), had EDUCATION listed in red text under “agents of production (labor-power)”, and under EDUCATION you had written, “takes place outside of the enterprise”, as if education is a commodity external to the enterprise. Instead, please consider this: Many enterprises incorporate education (and training) internally. From technology to healthcare to the service sector to artistic enterprises (and even teaching) – all rely on on-site apprenticeships and in-house training to assure ongoing competency in the field. “School” education is merely a preliminary process. Lifelong, labor-force education takes place on-the-job, not separate from it.

  2. This is a very interesting issue, and I’m glad you bring it up. I’m still not sure what to make Althusser’s claim that education happens “outside the enterprise.” I agree with you fully on a number of these points you bring up: 1) Education is different than schooling: the latter is a particular kind of the former; 2) Education is happening all the time and everywhere, in such a way as to help us become what we are becoming throughout life; and 3) On-the-job training is a form of becoming that happens within the enterprise, that is, geographically.

    But there’s another sense of “within the enterprise” that I think is interesting also. Maybe call it “conceptually” rather than geographically. It seems to me that education can’t be production in the literal sense. Consider what’s necessary for production: (a) appropriation, or tackling, of nature to fulfill needs; (b) an object of nature, or something that is specifically appropriated; (c) a product produced via labor, instruments, and relations of production. Education has none of these. What’s the object of nature for instance? Ignorance? That’s a strange “natural resource.” If that was the object of nature, what would be the product after the educational production? A trained worker? A worker is a subject, not an object. And what’s the “appropriation” or “tackling” here?

    In the conceptual sense, it seems education does happen “outside the enterprise” even if there is on-the-job training going at that geographical location. But education is definitely occurring geographically “inside the enterprise.” What do you think? Does that change your mind at all?

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