The Third Place: Modes of Transportation (Pt. I of III)

Thanks to the State of Total Mobilization, there are plenty of ways to travel. Originally, one’s primary means were traveling on foot, riding a bicycle, on horseback or a horse-drawn carriage. In certain parts of the world, horses could be supplemented by other animals like donkeys or camels. In the wake of technological developments throughout the 20th century, other modes of transportation have been made available. Throughout the countryside, automobiles, motorcycles, and buses zip up and down the roadways of national highways, while trains zoom along adjacent rail lines. They raced across bridges spanning the opposite ends of riverbanks navigated by advancing boats and ferries. In the skies overhead, civilian airliners and personal aircraft take off from a nearby airport. Meanwhile, in the major cities, vast transportation networks of subways, trams and trolleys coexist alongside municipal buses, taxis, bicycles, and pedestrians.    

The multiplicity of different modes of transportation is dependent on a conception of Property Rights. Production for Dasein’s Productive/Personal Properties will allow transportation services to create Arbeit and Geld from their operations. The same can be said about Enterprises which rely on transports for much of their economic activities. And as established earlier, vehicles which provide mass transportation for potential passengers or are responsible for the delivery of goods and services to customers are to be considered as the Productive Properties of Enterprises.   Vehicles owned by the Self and individual members of the Totality are their Personal Properties and therefore cannot create Arbeit and Geld due to not being unattached to any Domain in the Work-World. The Productive Properties related to transportation, on the other hand, will fall under one of two categories: the tangible production of vehicles in the Manufacturing Sector and the deployment of those vehicles by the Services Sector.

Three key Industries stand out in the Manufacturing Sector, all of which have Enterprises that are either SAEs (State-Administrated Enterprises) or SOEs (State-Owned Enterprises). Here, they will be referred to as the “Automotive Industry,” “Shipbuilding Industry,” and “Aviation Industry.” I will be discussing about their relation to Arbeit and Geld, how the Totality obtains the vehicles as part of MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning), and address questions about why they should coexist with mass transportation systems.

The Three Industries

The Automotive Industry refers to the production processes related to the building of land-based vehicles intended as Productive Properties and Personal Properties. The Shipbuilding Industry deals with the production processes associated with ships. And the Aviation Industry pertains to production processes of aircraft. All three create Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld as part of the LER Process and each receives Actual Geld from transactional sales within the Tournament. Similar to housing development and construction projects, a topic to be discussed later in Section Three, the parameters of how the LER Process functions for those three Industries is somewhat different from most Industries and Economic Sectors in the VCS Economy.

The Actual Arbeit from manufacturing individual parts intended for larger projects may yield a large sum of Actual Geld. Finishing the final product yields more Actual Arbeit from a larger sum of Actual Geld. And conducting the transactional sale itself yields far more Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld. The building of land, maritime and aerial vehicles can be so complex that those three Industries will be creating most of their wealth from their own production processes. The transactional sales might fetch a decent sum of Actual Geld, but the Actual Arbeit and Actual Geld from providing maintenance and repair services are temporary sources of Arbeit and Geld for the Life-Energy Process.

The significance of temporary sources of Arbeit and Geld is tied to the fact that conventional vehicles need to be periodically maintained and all worn or damaged parts replaced. Somebody has to be there conducting maintenance and repairs and not everyone is going to have the skillset of a mechanic to do it themselves. And even if everyday people are able to perform the maintenance, not everyone is going to be ordering spare parts on a regular basis.  Additionally, the temporality of Arbeit and Geld created by the three Industries will also be reliant on the fact that not everyone buys a new automobile, ship or airplane every few years or so. Sometimes, it is possible to expect people to buy a new one every ten or twenty years.     

Since there are so many vehicles which could not be readily sold at any given time, it is possible for the three Industries to begin stockpiling spare parts. In Production for Dasein, it would be best that the three Industries develop technologies where they can keep an inventory of spare parts and assemble them into vehicles. The Life-Energy Reserve will register the production of spare parts, but neither their final assembly into vehicles nor their transactional sales. Thus, only Arbeit and Geld will be coming from the spare parts instead of the subsequent assembly or sales.  

This is what makes the three Industries so different from the rest of the Manufacturing Sector and the VCS Economy at large. They are capable of contributing large amounts of Arbeit and Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve and reaping comparable amounts of Actual Geld from the transactional sales. But because they cannot always expect the Totality to keep purchasing more vehicles, it is necessary that they be brought under the direct administration or ownership of the Council State as SAEs and SOEs instead of NSEs, POEs or PDEs. The Council State will be able to more easily allocate its State Budget toward the three Industries and provide other forms of Meaningful Work, should the three Industries find it necessary to scale back their production processes for the foreseeable future. Conversely, if the three Industries need to ramp up the production process in the near future, they will be counting on the Council State to provide them with the necessary manpower and technical expertise, in addition to large allocations of funds from the State Budget.   

Work-Standard Alternatives to Fordism-Taylorism and Post-Fordism?

Moreover, I should mention that vehicle production under the Work-Standard follows very different logic in Production for Dasein compared to Production for Profit or Production for Utility. The first and second Modes of Production, back in the 20th century, relied on a specific methodology that governed vehicle production and later went on to influence the activities of affected national economies. When the first automobiles were introduced to the American people, Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company introduced a methodology that is firmly hostile to practical applications of the Work-Standard. His methods coincided with concurring developments devised by Frederick Winslow Taylor. This “Fordism-Taylorism,” otherwise known as “Scientific Management,” created an economic model which emphasized mass production for mass consumption or mass creation for mass destruction.

The methodology of Fordism-Taylorism is applicable to Production for Profit and Production for Utility insofar as it was relatively common prior to the Death of Bretton Woods. On the assembly line, Fordism-Taylorism envisaged simplified production methods where vehicles could be manufactured en masse, causing their Price overall to plummet. This was especially the case for the Ford Motor Company’s Model T. Exactly how Fordism-Taylorism caused the Price of the Model T to plummet is subject to opposing interpretations from the Incentives of Supply and Demand and the Intents of Command and Obedience.

  • The Incentives of Supply and Demand attribute the phenomenon to the sheer Quantity of Model T that were being brought into existence. Since they were able to build so many units of the Model T, the Ford Motor Company could lower the Price of the Model T, resulting in a lower Quantity of Kapital earned from each Model T sale and greater risk of attaining a higher Quantity of Schuld.  
  • As for the Intents of Command and Obedience, it was the Quality of the production process itself which caused it to surpass the Frequency of transactional sales for the Model T. Due to the production process behind Model T creating so many units, the Unsustainability of the production process itself rose dramatically, causing the Quality of Arbeit to fall alongside the Quality of Geld.

In the shared context of the Reciprocal Theory of Value (RTV) and the Work Theory of Money (WTM), where can we find these effects registered by the Intents of Command and Obedience? Why are there ample arguments to be made that Henry Ford had reapplied Prussian administrative methods to suit the context of Production for Profit and Production for Utility, but not Production for Dasein (which is where the Work-Standard comes into play)?

The answer lies in what Fordism-Taylorism promised to those who applied to their own production processes. By promoting mass production for mass consumption, the manufacturing of the Model T proved to be too much for a consistent body of personnel to sustain on the assembly line. In RTV, the Quality of Arbeit diminished from the growing turnover rates of personnel deciding to avoid working altogether and the replacements who were sent to take over, resulting in a smaller Quality of Geld. Put simply, if Fordism-Taylorism were to be reapplied by an Enterprise under the Work-Standard, there will be less Actual Geld coming from conversions of Actual Arbeit in the LER Process. Without the LER Process, that leaves the Actual Geld received from the transactional sales of each Model T.

Given those conditions, it is no wonder why Labor Unions were more likely to conduct industrial action against the practitioners of Fordism-Taylorism. The production process in Fordism-Taylorism was tantamount to Meaningless Work. The response to the Labor Unions by firms like the Ford Motor Company entailed creating a pseudo-state structure and offering Welfare Capitalist policies as ‘Incentives’ to keep the Labor Unions working and refrain from going on strike.

While the apex of those initiatives occurred during the reign of the Bretton Woods System, it is not like Manufacturing Sectors of Western economies were going to continue them over the long-term. Like the Welfare Capitalism of the Parliament, the Welfare Capitalism of the Market/Mixed Economy has to spend an ever-increasing Quantity of Kapital just to maintain a “social safety net” designed to prevent people from entertaining Pure Socialism. Fordism-Taylorism accounts for why, around the same time as the reign of Bretton Woods System, there were movements afoot to outsource the production process elsewhere to locations that had lower Taxation Rates and weaker Labor Unions. It also explains why, after the Death of Bretton Woods, automation technologies and developing countries later became more popular ways of keeping the Quantity of Schuld down and maintaining a higher Quantity of Kapital. The emergence of the latter two helped create “Post-Fordism” and the Deindustrialization of the Western world.

Post-Fordism, as the new production process of Production for Profit and Production for Utility, quickly shifted away from the ‘mass production for mass consumption’ paradigm of Fordism-Taylorism. Instead of mass production, it favored a mass customization that could cater to almost every conceivable personal preference, allowing firms to achieve worldwide customer base. Logistical supply chains and their Markets were no longer exclusive to the regions of their own nation, due to the Jeffersonian Empire of Liberty (the Liberal International Economic Order, LIEO, that America had realized in 1945 and consolidated by 1990-1991). This led to shorter service lives and poorer Quality for everyday goods, not to mention the later logistical problems of the Coronavirus Pandemic that became inevitable by the 2020s.

Furthermore, another aspect of what made Post-Fordism distinct from Fordism-Taylorism was the “Just-in-Time Manufacturing,” a production process best personified by the “Toyota Production System (TPS).” The idea behind Just-in-Time Manufacturing is to have the production process itself become hardwired to the Incentives of Supply and Demand, meeting the Demand side as quickly as possible with as little waste or costs as possible. The mentality actually reflects that of an older Japanese one, where the geographical conditions of the Japan compelled the need to conserve resources and living space. Compared to its neighbors like Russia, China or these United States across the Pacific, Japan is not a resource-rich nation in terms of land and natural resources. Where Just-in-Time Manufacturing and the TPS distort this mentality is when it becomes applicable to the paradigm shared by Production for Profit and Production for Utility.

In that context, Just-in-Time Manufacturing insists on the very notion of keeping a stockpiled inventory, even when doing so would be justifiably necessary, as somehow ‘wasteful’. This is where the issue of Overproduction comes into play and where it ultimately differs from the paradigm being applied by the Work-Standard in Production for Dasein. When proponents of Just-in-Time Manufacturing define Overproduction, they actually mean the ‘mass production for mass consumption’ mentality of Fordism-Taylorism. They are not, however, referring to the Work Theory of Value (WTM) specific methodology of determining Prices based on their Sustainability in accordance with the Quality of the production process and the Frequency of transactional sales. And what passes as ‘quality’ in their eyes does not necessarily involve the interactions between the Totality and its relation to Technology in the State of Total Mobilization.                              

Given the potential compatibility issues of Fordism-Taylorism and Post-Fordism, it is necessary that Production for Dasein relies on its own production processes to accompany the Work-Standard as part of MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning). Whatever production processes that the Council State and Totality chose to employ, it needs to be one that conforms with the metaphysical and technological logic of the Reciprocal Theory of Value (RTV) and the Work Theory of Money (WTM). In other words, it has to be able to ensure that the Totality and Council State will be firmly in control of their Technology, be cognizant to the Intents of Command and Obedience, and provide a consistent Quality of Arbeit in lockstep with a concurring Quality of Geld. This comes at a time where the organizational practices of different Enterprises can be adopted by others, effectively standardizing them throughout an entire national economy.       

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