Hye Kyung Son

‘freedom of production’


In ancient and medieval times there existed class and rank hierarchy. Class conflict frequently occurred between free citizen versus slaves in ancient times, manor lord versus serfs in medieval times. Then, since the advent of modern era, finally could all the human beings had gotten emancipated from rank shackles and achieved freedom. That freedom was, however, ambivalent; on one hand it meant for people to be free from rank hierarchy, but on the other hand it also meant that the great majority of people got to be free of any means of production. Serfs in medieval era was approved of each one's own land to farm and harvest, notwithstanding their subordinacy to their lords. And nowadays in modern epoche, not only did people of worker class finally get 'free', but also were they deprived of every means of production including land and soil. Bourgeois advocated so called 'Tragedy of the Commons' in order to sort out the land to appropriate. They arbitrarily enclosed the people's land with the advantage of law and politics and acquired it 'legit'. In England, for instance, the first runner of modern capitalism, bourgeois and landowners evicted so many proletariat people from their homeland so that they could build and run a textile factory. Modern capitalist system, after all, appropriated the base and ground of the majority of people, which led those people to float and wander through.

There exist no ranks in capitalist society; however, it contains unprecedentedly acute tension and conflict between classes. Proliferation of the capital itself, is the only critical factor and goal that capitalist system heads toward, key power for which is given from the labor implemented by worker class people. Since the goal is proliferation and expansion, the capitalist society necessarily contains contradiction that it must exploit the class that supplies the ground for the system itself. That makes sense to the crucial need for 'Industrial Reserve Population'. This reserve population, without any land or means to keep their lives, just keep wandering without any fixed job, and without any promise.

These reserve population is especially deemed as ethically troubled or worthless entity to the society; it is, however, necessarily and essentially needed for capitalist system to run. The more they exist outside the factory, the less likely it is for currently working people to get an advantageous side at the wage struggle. The more they exist and roam so that there exist so many alternate workers outside, the less would the workers' life, property, safety, health, or welfare be taken care of by the society. After all, this Reserve Population is one of the most dramatic phenomena that shows us the reality of the way people live in modern capitalist society.

Learn more about Hye Kyung Son´s work:

RAUM _ fuer _ RAUM Concept by Rainer Junghanns