By Stephen Bodington
"[Based on a chain of] seminars ... organised by way of CAITS (Centre for replacement business and Technological platforms) and Middlesex Polytechnic employees [in 1984]"--P. ix.
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Science, in common with economic activity generally, is a mode of cooperation in the use of knowledge and can recover humanity and social morality only through collective consciousness and responsibility for what it is doing. The conclusion to which the needs and experiences of our times point is that people have to open their eyes to the social functions of the groupings, the collective organisms in which they live and work, to develop, that is, 'collective consciousness'. The pressure of events are in many places awakening people to new forms of collective actions; it is important that theorists and coordinators (who in their own ways are pressed by events as their time-worn organisations and past certainties begin to disintegrate) should attend to these new stirrings of democracy, not by attempting to impose their own preconceptions, but by helping to shape 'organising ideas' that correspond to new aims as seen by people for themselves.
But when controls against the logic of the market lose Britain in the World Economy 31 effectiveness, science and technology - that is, applied human knowledge -do not serve to make social life better. Some benefits could come so long as organised labour and other democratic pressures could exert economic control against capital; but now technology is shaped by the logic of the market and by the potential worldwide labour force for capital far in excess of the numbers it is ever likely to employ.
We would not equate capitalism with freedom but with the money power system. Money power means much more than rich people are powerful (which they indeed are); far more important is the fact that the use of money power is 'automated'. Humanity is, as it were, adrift in a pilotless craft, destination unknown. Those who control capital are slaves to the necessity of seeing that it is 'well used', that it produces new capital, accumulates, by engaging in such profitable transactions as market circumstances dictate.