Two Hundred Pharaohs, Five Billion Slaves by Adrian Peacock

By Adrian Peacock

This can be a revised version of a cult vintage, rather well timed as anti-globalization hobbies assemble power. Rooted in a accomplished research of financial existence, it demands not anything below global revolution. ranging from the statement that fabric construction presents the stipulations for us to construct a global higher than formerly imagined Utopias, Peacock offers a counterblast to capitalism's imaginative and prescient: docile, profit-producing, working-class patron zombies. 20 b/w drawings.

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Workers in Northern Italy had almost succeeded in abolishing capitalism there until the bourgeoisie used their parliament to vote democracy out of existence in favour of Fascism. The persistence of too large a peasant population in an industrial Germany, also on the brink of working-class revolution, caused a temporary democracy there to be repealed by an anxious bourgeoisie from 1931 onwards. Only when peasants have been driven off the land and the factory system and labour discipline (industrial alienation) have been properly established will bourgeois governments risk bestowing universal suffrage on working people.

When peasants seize their means of production, on the other hand, their social revolution comes to an abrupt halt right at their feet. With their seizure of land (usually made possible by revolutionary workers miles away in the cities having obligingly put their absentee landlords to flight) peasants transform rural society into / 6 7 T W O H U N D R E D P H A R A O H S an isolated patchwork of independent small farm-holdings. Postrevolutionary peasants then attempt to establish a bucolic, localised and stagnant free-market economy until the bourgeois revolution reaches into this horrifying glaciation of history to proletarianise the peasants.

They too lose all creative input into their labour and find that their work (the management of workers or the maintenance of advanced production systems) is increasingly broken down into parcels of mindless repetitive tasks. It is the networked computer which is currently assisting in this. A pseudo-middle class of the professionals, skilled workers and dictatorial line-managers required to enforce the factory system on unskilled workers will always form the flotsam on the surface of any wave of technological innovation.

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