I'm a web developer and my friend, who is conservative, asked me to design software for his M&A business. I've accepted, along with the help of another engineer, because I enjoy working with these two people and I believe in our abilities. The idea has grown to be quite ambitious and it's clear that my friend with the idea (the CEO) wants this technology platform to be his main focus. Here's the problem: I understand mergers & acquisitions resembles a casino of private equity gamblers buying and selling companies like chips on a table. I don't want to walk away from the opportunity because I believe we can create a successful platform, and honestly, I don't have many other opportunities to speak of--I'd rather use my skills as a designer than have to wait tables. I'm also aware that our 'success' could directly contribute to capitalism's destructive behavior. I want an equal share of this business, along with all the other employees, and I have an opportunity to educate my partners about the pitfalls of traditional corporate structure, and capitalism as a whole. But as you can imagine, my friend who is the CEO, laughs at the idea of a cooperative, and wants double the shares of his two co-owners. The plan I'm left with is negotiating, but probably capitulating to my friend's plans of unequal ownership, while learning about, criticizing, and maybe even changing minds on the inside of the digital finance world rather than hating it from the outside. A different example of this same kind of struggle comes to mind: artists getting paid by corporate advertising for their creative work... I can't condemn them for accepting the money. Can you?
I dont either, preferring to focus on what we can collectively develop as a critique of capitalism and a commitment to collective struggles to move society beyond capitalism. How that commitment is expressed in each individual's life is subject to a complex overdetermination (see the importance of that concept in S. Resnick and R. Wolff, Knowledge and Class: A Marxian Critique of Political Economy). What you decide your life needs vis-a-vis your co owners, etc., is far less important than your commitment to be part of the solution to capitalism's retardation of social progress, whether or not you may also choose to participate in tghat capitalism in other ways. After all, we all do participate in the system while also seeking ways to criticize and move beyond it.
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