Zero Squared #63: Marx on Machines pt. 2

Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15 entitled “Machinery and Modern Industry” is the subject this week as Andy Marshall and Andrew Kliman return for part two of the podcast. However, the three of us also discuss how capitalism deforms education and what today’s education system really is and how it works.

It’s Wednesday, the 6th of April, 2016 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Squared and the host of this podcast.

I’m curious to know what people think of Brendan O’Neill’s essay The Panama Papers: Rich-Bashing Won’t Fix the Crisis. You can find the Zero Books Facebook page, find us on twitter, you can contact me at me through my personal website (that’s or just leave a comment below.

The music in this episode includes street musicians covering Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall and Negativland’s A Nice Place to Live. The music you’re listening to right now is an excerpt from Negativland’s first album entitled Negativland, but in just a moment you’ll hear Andy, Andrew and I discuss The Machine.

the essay is mindless pap, but I’m more interested in yer own take on “structural” can this really mean more (in terms of social interactions)than that a significant number of people in power are more or less aligned in their efforts to maintain certain practices?

7 Apr 2016, 12:22am
by douglaslain


Absolutely it does mean more than that a certain number of people in power are more or less aligned in their efforts to maintain practices. In fact, the people in “power” don’t matter very much. What’s important is that the masses continue to go to work and produce and reproduce the world.
What also happens is that, given the way we’ve organized our social relations, we create actual physical structures that facilitate these relations.

hmm, so it doesn’t matter how (by whom) the work is structured/ordered?

yes we live in a world of things but they don’t generally shape our uses of them, but rather get their meanings via our uses (gets a bit messier when they are programmed machines, but still people doing the thinking/engineering).

7 Apr 2016, 1:13am
by douglaslain


It matters how but not by whom.

And the world of things are constructed to ease our social relations which are currently directed by the exploitation of labor. For instance. An assembly line is an old fashioned example, but there are many, many others.

but the how (and the what/why of tools) is shaped by the who(m), it doesn’t drop from the heavens or emerge from the collected masses.

8 Apr 2016, 4:11pm
by douglaslain


you don’t figure our the rules of the game by reading the biography of the games’ inventor.


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