Saturday, July 21, 2012



In place of my own introduction, I give you this paragraph from Harry Cleaver's Introduction to Negri's Marx Beyond Marx.

When surplus labor (value) takes on its monetary form of profit, it becomes a socialized surplus value at the level of social capital. It becomes both a pole and a measure of the antagonistic development of capital. At this point the law of capitalist crisis emerges in the Grundrisse as the continuing contradiction between the working class as necessary labor and capital as surplus labor. The most fundamental dynamic of that law produces the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. This tendency, which has been for so long mystified by Marxists, becomes in Negri's interpretation of Marx an easily understood manifestation of the way working class struggle blocks capitalist development. Although we can critique part of Negri's formulation (it is not necessary to argue that working-class struggle raises necessary labor as long as that struggle forces capital to raise the organic composition of capital through its relative surplus-value strategy), the basic thrust is keen and revealing. It is the continued working-class pressure on capital that accentuates the contradictions and creates crisis. Every time capital responds to workers' demands by expanding fixed capital and reorganizing the labor process, the working class politically recomposes itself in a new cycle of struggle. The full implications of this process become clear in Negri's reading of Marx's fragment on machines. We see how the frantic accumulation of fixed capital leaves less and less scope for capital to impose work and to extract surplus work, thus undermining the very basis of capitalist command. The more value capital sets in motion, the smaller the proportion of surplus value it is able to extort. Today, as capital proceeds to substitute ever more robot machines for increasingly threatened and threatening industrial workers, it faces the very problem Marx foresaw in the Grundrisse: a growing difficulty in finding new ways of putting people to work in order to control them socially.

What follows is the Fragment on Machines mentioned above.  It is long and if you aren't interested in Marx or the Grundrisse, or you have other things actually to do in your life, you will probably wan't to move along.  Otherwise, I present you THE FRAGMENT ON MACHINES from the Grundrisse by Karl Marx.

Note: Page numbers appear in the midst of everything throughout this....

The Fragment on Machines
Karl Marx –

from The Grundrisse (pp. 690-712) [690]

The labour process. -- Fixed capital. Means of labour. Machine. -- Fixed capital. Transposition of powers of labour into powers of capital both in fixed and in circulating capital. -- To what extent fixed capital (machine) creates value. -- Lauderdale. Machine presupposes a mass of workers.
Capital which consumes itself in the production process, or fixed capital, is the means of production in the strict sense. In a broader sense the entire production process and each of its moments, such as circulation -- as regards its material side -- is only a means of production for capital, for which value alone is the end in itself. Regarded as a physical substance, the raw material itself is a means of production for the product etc.
But the determination that the use value of fixed capital is that which eats itself up in the production process is identical to the
proposition that it is used in this process only as a means, and itself exists merely as an agency for the transformation of the raw material into the product. As such a means of production, its use value can be that it is merely the technological condition for the occurrence of the process (the site where the production process proceeds), as with buildings etc., or that it is a direct condition of the action of the means of production proper, like all matières instrumentales. Both are in turn only the material presuppositions for the production process generally, or for the employment and maintenance of the means of labour. The latter, however, in the proper sense, serves only within production and for production, and has no other use value.
Originally, when we examined the development of value into capital, the labour process was simply included within capital, and, as regards its physical conditions, its material presence, capital appeared as the totality of the conditions of this process, and correspondingly sorted itself out into certain qualitatively different parts, material of labour (this, not raw material, is the correct expression of the concept), means of labour and living labour. On one side, capital was divided into these three elements in accordance with its material composition; on the other, the labour process (or the merging of these elements into each other within the process) was their moving unity, the product their static unity. In this form, the material elements -- material of labour, means of labour and living labour -- appeared merely as the essential moments of the labour process itself, which capital appropriates. But this material side -- or, its character as use value and as real process -- did not at all coincide with its formal side. In the latter,
(1) the three elements in which it appears before the exchange with labour capacity, before the real process, appeared merely as quantitatively different portions of itself, as quantities of value of which it, itself, as sum, forms the unity. The physical form, the use value, in which these different portions existed did not in any way alter their formal identity from this side. As far as their formal side was concerned, they appeared only as quantitative subdivisions of capital;
(2) within the process itself, as regards the form, the elements of labour and the two others were distinct only in so far as the latter were specified as constant values, and the former as value-positing. But as far as their distinctness as use values, their
material side was concerned, this fell entirely outside the capital's specific character as form. Now, however, with the distinction between circulating capital (raw material and product) and fixed capital (means of labour), the distinctness of the elements as use values is posited simultaneously as a
distinction within capital as capital, on its formal side. The relation between the factors, which had been merely quantitative, now appears as a qualitative division within capital itself, and as a determinant of its total movement (turnover). Likewise, the material of labour and the product of labour, this neutral precipitate of the labour process, are already, as raw material and product, materially specified no longer as material and product of labour, but rather as the use value of capital itself in different phases.
As long as the means of labour remains a means of labour in the proper sense of the term, such as it is directly, historically, adopted by capital and included in its realization process, it undergoes a merely formal modification, by appearing now as a means of labour not only in regard to its material side, but also at the same time as a particular mode of the presence of capital, determined by its total process -- as fixed capital. But, once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the machine, or rather, an automatic system of machinery (system of machinery: the automatic one is merely its most complete, most adequate form, and alone transforms machinery into a system), set in motion by an automaton, a moving power that moves itself; this automaton consisting of numerous mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves are cast merely as its conscious linkages. In the machine, and even more in machinery as an automatic system, the use value, i.e. the material quality of the means of labour, is transformed into an existence adequate to fixed capital and to capital as such; and the form in which it was adopted into the production process of capital, the direct means of labour, is superseded by a form posited by capital itself and corresponding to it. In no way does the machine appear as the individual worker's means of labour. Its distinguishing characteristic is not in the least, as with the means of labour, to transmit the worker's activity to the object; this activity, rather, is posited in such a way that it merely transmits the machine's work, the machine's action, on to the raw material -- supervises it and guards against interruptions. Not as with the
instrument, which the worker animates and makes into his organ with his skill and strength, and whose handling therefore depends on his virtuosity. Rather, it is the machine which possesses skill and strength in place of the worker, is itself the virtuoso, with a soul of its own in the mechanical laws acting through it; and it consumes coal, oil etc. (matières instrumentales), just as the worker consumes food, to keep up its perpetual motion. The worker's activity, reduced to a mere abstraction of activity, is determined and regulated on all sides by the movement of the machinery, and not the opposite. The science which compels the inanimate limbs of the machinery, by their construction, to act purposefully, as an automaton, does not exist in the worker's consciousness, but rather acts upon him through the machine as an alien power, as the power of the machine itself. The appropriation of living labour by objectified labour -- of the power or activity which creates value by value existing for-itself -- which lies in the concept of capital, is posited, in production resting on machinery, as the character of the production process itself, including its material elements and its material motion. The production process has ceased to be a labour process in the sense of a process dominated by labour as its governing unity. Labour appears, rather, merely as a conscious organ, scattered among the individual living workers at numerous points of the mechanical system; subsumed under the total process of the machinery itself, as itself only a link of the system, whose unity exists not in the living workers, but rather in the living (active) machinery, which confronts his individual, insignificant doings as a mighty organism. In machinery, objectified labour confronts living labour within the labour process itself as the power which rules it; a power which, as the appropriation of living labour, is the form of capital. The transformation of the means of labour into machinery, and of living labour into a mere living accessory of this machinery, as the means of its action, also posits the absorption of the labour process in its material character as a mere moment of the realization process of capital. The increase of the productive force of labour and the greatest possible negation of necessary labour is the necessary tendency of capital, as we have seen. The transformation of the means of labour into machinery is the realization of this tendency. In machinery, objectified labour materially confronts living labour as a ruling power and as an active subsumption of the latter under itself, not only by appropriating it,
but in the real production process itself; the relation of capital as value which appropriates value- creating activity is, in fixed capital existing as machinery, posited at the same time as the relation of the
use value of capital to the use value of labour capacity; further, the value objectified in machinery appears as a presupposition against which the value-creating power of the individual labour capacity is an infinitesimal, vanishing magnitude; the production in enormous mass quantities which is posited with machinery destroys every connection of the product with the direct need of the producer, and hence with direct use value; it is already posited in the form of the product's production and in the relations in which it is produced that it is produced only as a conveyor of value, and its use value only as condition to that end. In machinery, objectified labour itself appears not only in the form of product or of the product employed as means of labour, but in the form of the force of production itself. The development of the means of labour into machinery is not an accidental moment of capital, but is rather the historical reshaping of the traditional, inherited means of labour into a form adequate to capital. The accumulation of knowledge and of skill, of the general productive forces of the social brain, is thus absorbed into capital, as opposed to labour, and hence appears as an attribute of capital, and more specifically of fixed capital, in so far as it enters into the production process as a means of production proper. Machinery appears, then, as the most adequate form of fixed capital, and fixed capital, in so far as capital's relations with itself are concerned, appears as the most adequate form of capital as such. In another respect, however, in so far as fixed capital is condemned to an existence within the confines of a specific use value, it does not correspond to the concept of capital, which, as value, is indifferent to every specific form of use value, and can adopt or shed any of them as equivalent incarnations. In this respect, as regards capital's external relations, it is circulating capital which appears as the adequate form of capital, and not fixed capital.
Further, in so far as machinery develops with the accumulation of society's science, of productive force generally, general social labour presents itself not in labour but in capital. The productive force of society is measured in fixed capital, exists there in its objective form; and, inversely, the productive force of capital grows with this general progress, which capital appropriates free
of charge. This is not the place to go into the development of machinery in detail; rather only in its general aspect; in so far as the means of labour, as a physical thing, loses its direct form, becomes fixed capital, and confronts the worker physically as capital. In machinery, knowledge appears as alien, external to him; and living labour [as] subsumed under self-activating objectified labour. The worker appears as superfluous to the extent that his action is not determined by [capital's] requirements.
[696] blank [697]
NOTEBOOK VII End of February, March. End of May -- Beginning of June 1858
[698] blank [699]
The Chapter on Capital (continuation)
The full development of capital, therefore, takes place -- or capital has posited the mode of production corresponding to it -- only when the means of labour has not only taken the economic form of fixed capital, but has also been suspended in its immediate form, and when fixed capital appears as a machine within the production process, opposite labour; and the entire production process appears as not subsumed under the direct skillfulness of the worker, but rather as the technological application of science. [It is,] hence, the tendency of capital to give production a scientific character; direct labour [is] reduced to a mere moment of this process. As with the transformation of value into capital, so does it appear in the further development of capital, that it presupposes a certain given historical development of the productive forces on one side -- science too [is] among these productive forces -- and, on the other, drives and forces them further onwards.
Thus the quantitative extent and the effectiveness (intensity) to which capital is developed as fixed capital indicate the general degree to which capital is developed as capital, as power over living labour,
and to which it has conquered the production process as such. Also, in the sense that it expresses the accumulation of objectified productive forces, and likewise of objectified labour. However, while capital gives itself its adequate form as use value within the production process only in the form of machinery and other material manifestations of fixed capital, such as railways etc. (to which we shall return later), this in no way means that this use value -- machinery as such -- is capital, or that its existence as machinery is identical with its existence as capital; any more than gold would cease to have use value as gold if it were no longer money. Machinery does not lose its use value as soon as it ceases to be capital. While machinery is the most appropriate form of the use value of fixed capital, it does not at all
follow that therefore subsumption under the social relation of capital is the most appropriate and ultimate social relation of production for the application of machinery.
To the degree that labour time -- the mere quantity of labour -- is posited by capital as the sole determinant element, to that degree does direct labour and its quantity disappear as the determinant principle of production -- of the creation of use values -- and is reduced both quantitatively, to a smaller proportion, and qualitatively, as an, of course, indispensable but subordinate moment, compared to general scientific labour, technological application of natural sciences, on one side, and to the general productive force arising from social combination [Gliederung] in total production on the other side -- a combination which appears as a natural fruit of social labour (although it is a historic product). Capital thus works towards its own dissolution as the form dominating production.
While, then, in one respect the transformation of the production process from the simple labour process into a scientific process, which subjugates the forces of nature and compels them to work in the service of human needs, appears as a quality of fixed capital in contrast to living labour; while individual labour as such has ceased altogether to appear as productive, is productive, rather, only in these common labours which subordinate the forces of nature to themselves, and while this elevation of direct labour into social labour appears as a reduction of individual labour to the level of helplessness in face of the communality [Gemeinsamkeit] represented by and concentrated in capital; so does it now appear, in another respect, as a quality of circulating capital, to maintain labour in one branch of production by means of coexisting labour in another. In small-scale circulation, capital advances the worker the wages which the latter exchanges for products necessary for his consumption. The money he obtains has this power only because others are working alongside him at the same time; and capital can give him claims on alien labour, in the form of money, only because it has appropriated his own labour. This exchange of one's own labour with alien labour appears here not as mediated and determined by the simultaneous existence of the labour of others, but rather by the advance which capital makes. The worker's ability to engage in the exchange of substances necessary for his consumption during production appears as due to an attribute of the part of circulating capital
which is paid to the worker, and of circulating capital generally. It appears not as an exchange of substances between the simultaneous labour powers, but as the metabolism [Stoffwechsel] of capital; as the existence of circulating capital. Thus all powers of labour are transposed into powers of capital; the productive power of labour into fixed capital (posited as external to labour and as existing independently of it (as object [sachlich]); and, in circulating capital, the fact that the worker himself has created the conditions for the repetition of his labour, and that the exchange of this, his labour, is mediated by the co-existing labour of others, appears in such a way that capital gives him an advance and posits the simultaneity of the branches of labour. (These last two aspects actually belong to accumulation.) Capital in the form of circulating capital posits itself as mediator between the different workers.
Fixed capital, in its character as means of production, whose most adequate form [is] machinery, produces value, i.e. increases the value of the product, in only two respects: (1) in so far as it has value; i.e. is itself the product of labour, a certain quantity of labour in objectified form; (2) in so far as it increases the relation of surplus labour to necessary labour, by enabling labour, through an increase of its productive power, to create a greater mass of the products required for the maintenance of living
labour capacity in a shorter time. It is therefore a highly absurd bourgeois assertion that the worker shares with the capitalist, because the latter, with fixed capital (which is, as far as that goes, itself a product of labour, and of alien labour merely appropriated by capital) makes labour easier for him (rather, he robs it of all independence and attractive character, by means of the machine), or makes his labour shorter. Capital employs machinery, rather, only to the extent that it enables the worker to work a larger part of his time for capital, to relate to a larger part of his time as time which does not belong to him, to work longer for another. Through this process, the amount of labour necessary for the production of a given object is indeed reduced to a minimum, but only in order to realize a maximum of labour in the maximum number of such objects. The first aspect is important, because capital here -- quite unintentionally -- reduces human labour, expenditure of energy, to a minimum. This will redound to the benefit of emancipated labour, and is the condition of its emancipation. From what has been said, it is clear how absurd Lauderdale is when he
wants to make fixed capital into an independent source of value, independent of labour time. It is such a source only in so far as it is itself objectified labour time, and in so far as it posits surplus labour time. The employment of machinery itself historically presupposes -- see above, Ravenstone -- superfluous hands. Machinery inserts itself to replace labour only where there is an overflow of labour powers. Only in the imagination of economists does it leap to the aid of the individual worker. It can be effective only with masses of workers, whose concentration relative to capital is one of its historic presuppositions, as we have seen. It enters not in order to replace labour power where this is lacking, but rather in order to reduce massively available labour power to its necessary measure. Machinery enters only where labour capacity is on hand in masses. (Return to this.)
Lauderdale believes himself to have made the great discovery that machinery does not increase the productive power of labour, because it rather replaces the latter, or does what labour cannot do with its own power. It belongs to the concept of capital that the increased productive force of labour is posited rather as the increase of a force [Kraft] outside itself, and as labour's own debilitation [Entkräftung]. The hand tool makes the worker independent -- posits him as proprietor. Machinery -- as fixed capital - - posits him as dependent, posits him as appropriated. This effect of machinery holds only in so far as it is cast into the role of fixed capital, and this it is only because the worker relates to it as wage-worker, and the active individual generally, as mere worker.
Fixed capital and circulating capital as two particular kinds of capital. Fixed capital and continuity of the production process. – Machinery and living labour. (Business of inventing)
While, up to now, fixed capital and circulating capital appeared merely as different passing aspects of capital, they have now hardened into two particular modes of its existence, and fixed capital appears separately alongside circulating capital. They are now two particular kinds of capital. In so far as a capital is examined in a particular branch of production, it appears as divided into these two portions, or splits into these two kinds of capital in certain p[rop]ortions.
The division within the production process, originally between means of labour and material of labour, and finally product of
labour, now appears as circulating capital (the last two) and fixed capital [the first].1 The split within capital as regards its merely physical aspect has now entered into its form itself, and appears as differentiating it.
From a viewpoint such as Lauderdale’s etc., who would like to have capital as such, separately from labour, create value and hence also surplus value (or profit), fixed capital – namely that whose physical
1 The manuscript has: '... now appears as circulating capital (the first two) and fixed capital'.
presence or use value is machinery – is the form which gives their superficial fallacies still the greatest semblance of validity. The answer to them, e.g. in Labour Defended, [is] that the road-builder may share [profits] with the road-user, but the ‘road’ itself cannot do so.’2
Circulating capital – presupposing that it really passes through its different phases – brings about the decrease or increase, the brevity or length of circulation time, the easier or more troublesome completion of the different stages of circulation, a decrease of the surplus value which could be created in a given period of time without these interruptions – either because the number of reproductions grows smaller, or because the quantity of capital continuously engaged in the production process is reduced. In both cases this is not a reduction of the initial value, but rather a reduction of the rate of its growth. From the moment, however, when fixed capital has developed to a certain extent – and this extent, as we indicated, is the measure of the development of large industry generally – hence fixed capital increases in proportion to the development of large industry’s productive forces – it is itself the objectification of these productive forces, as presupposed product – from this instant on, every interruption of the production process acts as a direct reduction of capital itself, of its initial value. The value of fixed capital is reproduced only in so far as it is used up in the production process. Through disuse it loses its use value without its value passing on to the product. Hence, the greater the scale on which fixed capital develops, in the sense in which we regard it here, the more does the continuity of the production process or the constant flow of reproduction become an externally compelling condition for the mode of production founded on capital.
In machinery, the appropriation of living labour by capital [704]
achieves a direct reality in this respect as well: It is, firstly, the analysis and application of mechanical and chemical laws, arising directly out of science, which enables the machine to perform the same labour as that previously performed by the worker. However, the development of machinery along this path occurs only when large industry has already reached a higher stage, and all the sciences have been pressed into the service of capital; and when, secondly, the available machinery itself already provides great capabilities. Invention then becomes a business, and the application of science to direct production itself becomes a prospect which determines and solicits it. But this is not the road along which machinery, by and large, arose, and even less the road on which it progresses in detail. This road is, rather, dissection [Analyse] – through the division of labour, which gradually transforms the workers’ operations into more and more mechanical ones, so that at a certain point a mechanism can step into their places. (See under economy of power.) Thus, the specific mode of working here appears directly as becoming transferred from the worker to capital in the form of the machine, and his own labour capacity devalued thereby. Hence the workers’ struggle against machinery. What was the living worker’s activity becomes the activity of the machine. Thus the appropriation of labour by capital confronts the worker in a coarsely sensuous form; capital absorbs labour into itself – ‘as though its body were by love possessed’.3
Contradiction between the foundation of bourgeois production (value as measure) and its development. Machines etc.
The exchange of living labour for objectified labour – i.e. the positing of social labour in the form of the contradiction of capital and wage labour – is the ultimate development of the value-relation and of production resting on value. Its presupposition is – and remains – the mass of direct labour time, the quantity of labour employed, as the determinant factor in the production of wealth. But to the degree that large industry develops, the creation of real wealth comes to depend less on labour time and on the amount of labour employed than on the power of the agencies set in motion during labour time, whose ‘powerful effectiveness’ is
2 Hodgskin, Labour Defended, p. 16. 3 'als hätt es Lieb im Leibe', Goethe, Faust, Pt I, Act 5, Auerbach's Cellar in Leipzig.
itself in turn out of all proportion to the direct labour time spent on their production, but depends rather on the general state of science and on the progress of technology, or the application of this science to production. (The development of this science, especially natural science, and all others with the latter, is itself in turn related to the development of material production.) Agriculture, e.g., becomes merely the application of the science of material metabolism, its regulation for the greatest advantage of the entire body of society. Real wealth manifests itself, rather – and large industry reveals this – in the monstrous disproportion between the labour time applied, and its product, as well as in the qualitative imbalance between labour, reduced to a pure abstraction, and the power of the production process it superintends. Labour no longer appears so much to be included within the production process; rather, the human being comes to relate more as watchman and regulator to the production process itself. (What holds for machinery holds likewise for the combination of human activities and the development of human intercourse.) No longer does the worker insert a modified natural thing [Naturgegenstand] as middle link between the object [Objekt] and himself; rather, he inserts the process of nature, transformed into an industrial process, as a means between himself and inorganic nature, mastering it. He steps to the side of the production process instead of being its chief actor. In this transformation, it is neither the direct human labour he himself performs, nor the time during which he works, but rather the appropriation of his own general productive power, his understanding of nature and his mastery over it by virtue of his presence as a social body – it is, in a word, the development of the social individual which appears as the great foundation-stone of production and of wealth. The theft of alien labour time, on which the present wealth is based, appears a miserable foundation in face of this new one, created by large-scale industry itself. As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure, and hence exchange value [must cease to be the measure] of use value. The surplus labour of the mass has ceased to be the condition for the development of general wealth, just as the non-labour of the few, for the development of the general powers of the human head. With that, production based on exchange value breaks down, and the direct, material production process is stripped of the form of
penury and antithesis. The free development of individualities, and hence not the reduction of necessary labour time so as to posit surplus labour, but rather the general reduction of the necessary labour of society to a minimum, which then corresponds to the artistic, scientific etc. development of the individuals in the time set free, and with the means created, for all of them. Capital itself is the moving contradiction, [in] that it presses to reduce labour time to a minimum, while it posits labour time, on the other side, as sole measure and source of wealth. Hence it diminishes labour time in the necessary form so as to increase it in the superfluous form; hence posits the superfluous in growing measure as a condition – question of life or death – for the necessary. On the one side, then, it calls to life all the powers of science and of nature, as of social combination and of social intercourse, in order to make the creation of wealth independent (relatively) of the labour time employed on it. On the other side, it wants to use labour time as the measuring rod for the giant social forces thereby created, and to confine them within the limits required to maintain the already created value as value. Forces of production and social relations – two different sides of the development of the social individual – appear to capital as mere means, and are merely means for it to produce on its limited foundation. In fact, however, they are the material conditions to blow this foundation sky-high. ‘Truly wealthy a nation, when the working day is 6 rather than 12 hours. Wealth is not command over surplus labour time’ (real wealth), ‘but rather, disposable time outside that needed in direct production, for every individual and the whole society.’ (The Source and Remedy etc. 1821, p. 6.)
Nature builds no machines, no locomotives, railways, electric telegraphs, self-acting mules etc. These are products of human industry; natural material transformed into organs of the human will over nature, or of human participation in nature. They are organs of the human brain, created by the human hand; the power of knowledge, objectified. The development of fixed capital indicates to what degree general social knowledge has become a direct force of production, and to what degree, hence, the conditions of the process of social life itself have come under the control of the general intellect and been transformed in accordance with it. To what degree the powers of social production have been produced, not only in the form of knowledge, but also as immediate organs of social practice, of the real life process.
Significance of the development of fixed capital (for the development of capital generally). Relation between the creation of fixed capital and circulating capital. Disposable time. To create it, chief role of capital. Contradictory form of the same in capital. – Productivity of labour and production of fixed capital. (The Source and Remedy.) – Use and consume: Economist. Durability of fixed capital
The development of fixed capital indicates in still another respect the degree of development of wealth generally, or of capital. The aim of production oriented directly towards use value, as well as of that directly oriented towards exchange value, is the product itself, destined for consumption. The part of production which is oriented towards the production of fixed capital does not produce direct objects of individual gratification, nor direct exchange values; at least not directly realizable exchange values. Hence, only when a certain degree of productivity has already been reached – so that a part of production time is sufficient for immediate production – can an increasingly large part be applied to the production of the means of production. This requires that society be able to wait; that a large part of the wealth already created can be withdrawn both from immediate consumption and from production for immediate consumption, in order to employ this part for labour which is not immediately productive (within the material production process itself). This requires a certain level of productivity and of relative overabundance, and, more specifically, a level directly related to the transformation of circulating capital into fixed capital. As the magnitude of relative surplus labour depends on the productivity of necessary labour, so does the magnitude of labour time – living as well as objectified – employed on the production of fixed capital depend on the productivity of the labour time spent in the direct production of products. Surplus population (from this standpoint), as well as surplus production, is a condition for this. That is; the output of the time employed in direct production must be larger, relatively, than is directly required for the reproduction of the capital employed in these branches of industry. The smaller the direct fruits borne by fixed capital, the less it intervenes in the direct production process, the greater must be this relative surplus population and surplus production; thus, more to build railways, canals, aqueducts, telegraphs etc. than to build the machinery
directly active in the direct production process. Hence – a subject to which we will return later – in the constant under- and overproduction of modern industry – constant fluctuations and convulsions arise from the disproportion, when sometimes too little, then again too much circulating capital is transformed into fixed capital.
<The creation of a large quantity of disposable time apart from necessary labour time for society generally and each of its members (i.e. room for the development of the individuals’ full productive forces, hence those of society also), this creation of not-labour time appears in the stage of capital, as of all earlier ones, as not-labour time, free time, for a few. What capital adds is that it increases the surplus labour time of the mass by all the means of art and science, because its wealth consists directly in the appropriation of surplus labour time; since value directly its purpose, not use value. It is thus, despite itself, instrumental in creating the means of social disposable time, in order to reduce labour time for the whole society to a diminishing minimum, and thus to free everyone’s time for their own development. But its tendency always, on the one side, to create disposable time, on the other, to convert it into surplus labour. If it succeeds too well at the first, then it suffers from surplus production, and then necessary labour is interrupted, because no surplus labour can be realized by capital. The more this contradiction develops, the more does it become evident that the growth of the forces of production can no longer be bound up with the appropriation of alien labour, but that the mass of workers must themselves appropriate their own surplus labour. Once they have done so – and disposable time thereby ceases to have an antithetical existence – then, on one side, necessary labour time will be measured by the needs of the social individual, and, on the other, the development of the power of social production will grow so rapidly that, even though production is now calculated for the wealth of all, disposable time will grow for all. For real wealth is the developed productive power of all individuals. The measure of wealth is then not any longer, in any way, labour time, but rather disposable time. Labour time as the measure of value posits wealth itself as founded on poverty, and disposable time as existing in and because of the antithesis to surplus labour time; or, the positing of
an individual’s entire time as labour time, and his degradation therefore to mere worker, subsumption under labour. The most developed machinery thus
forces the worker to work longer than the savage does, or than he himself did with the simplest, crudest tools.>
‘If the entire labour of a country were sufficient only to raise the support of the whole population, there would be no surplus labour, consequently nothing that could be allowed to accumulate as capital. If in one year the people raises enough for the support of two years, one year’s consumption must perish, or for one year men must cease from productive labour. But the possessors of [the] surplus produce or capital... employ people upon something not directly and immediately productive, e.g. in the erection of machinery. So it goes on.’ (The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties, p. 4.)
direct labour as such cease to be the basis of production, since, in one respect, it is transformed more into a supervisory and regulatory activity; but then also because the product ceases to be the product of isolated direct labour, and the combination of social activity appears, rather, as the producer. ‘As soon as the division of labour is developed, almost every piece of work done by a single individual is a part of a whole, having no value or utility of itself. There is nothing on which the labourer can seize: this is my produce, this I will keep to myself.’ (Labour Defended, p. 25, 1, 2, XI.) In direct exchange, individual direct labour appears as realized in a particular product or part of the product, and its communal, social character – its character as objectification of general labour and satisfaction of the general need – as posited through exchange alone. In the production process of large-scale industry, by contrast, just as the conquest of the forces of nature by the social intellect is the precondition of the productive power of the means of labour as developed into the automatic process, on one side, so, on the other, is the labour of the individual in its direct presence posited as suspended individual, i.e. as social, labour. Thus the other basis of this mode of production falls away.>
The labour time employed in the production of fixed capital relates to that employed in the production of circulating capital, within the production process of capital itself, as does surplus labour time to necessary labour time. To the degree that production aimed at the satisfaction of immediate need becomes more productive, a greater part of production can be directed towards
the need of production itself, or the production of means of production. In so far as the production of fixed capital, even in its physical aspect, is directed immediately not towards the production of direct use values, or towards the production of values required for the direct reproduction of capital – i.e. those which themselves in turn represent use value in the value-creation process – but rather towards the production of the means of value creation, that is, not towards value as an immediate object, but rather towards value creation, towards the means of realization, as an immediate object of production – the production of value posited physically in the object of production itself, as the aim of production, the objectification of productive force, the value-producing power of capital – to that extent, it is in the production of fixed capital that capital posits itself us end-in-itself and appears active as capital, to a higher power than it does in the production of circulating capital. Hence, in this respect as well, the dimension already possessed by fixed capital, which its production occupies within total production, is the measuring rod of the development of wealth founded on the mode of production of capital.
‘The number of workers depends as much on circulating capital as it depends on the quantity of products of co-existing labour, which labourers are allowed to consume.’ (Labour Defended, p. 20.)
In all the excerpts cited above from various economists fixed capital is regarded as the part of capital which is locked into the production process. ‘Floating capital is consumed; fixed capital is merely used
in the great process of production.’ (Economist, VI, 1.)4 This wrong, and holds only for the part of circulating capital which is itself consumed by the fixed capital, the matières instrumentales. The only thing consumed ‘in the great process of production’, if this means the immediate production process, is fixed capital. Consumption within the production process is, however, in fact use, wearing-out. Furthermore, the greater durability of fixed capital must not be conceived as a purely physical quality. The iron and the wood which make up the bed I sleep in, or the stones making up the house I live in, or the marble statue which decorates a palace, are just as durable as iron and wood etc. used for machinery. But durability is a condition for the instrument, the means of production, not only on the technical ground that metals etc. are the chief material of all
machinery, but rather because the instrument is destined to play the same role constantly in repeated processes of production. Its durability as means of production is a required quality of its use value. The more often it must be replaced, the costlier it is; the larger the part of capital which would have to be spent on it uselessly. Its durability is its existence as means of production. Its duration is an increase of its productive force. With circulating capital, by contrast, in so far as it is not transformed into fixed capital, durability is in no way connected with the act of production itself and is therefore not a conceptually posited moment. The fact that among the articles thrown into the consumption fund there are some which are in turn characterized as fixed capital because they are consumed slowly, and can be consumed by many individuals in series, is connected with further determinations (renting rather than buying, interest etc.) with which we are not yet here concerned.
‘Since the general introduction of soulless mechanism in British manufactures, people have with rare exceptions been treated as a secondary and subordinate machine, and far more attention has been given to the perfection of the raw materials of wood and metals than to those of body and spirit.’ (p. 31. Robert Owen: Essays on the Formation of the Human Character, 1840, London.)
Real saving – economy – = saving of labour time = development of productive force. Suspension of the contradiction between free time and labour time. – True conception of the process of social production
abstinence from consumption, but rather the development of power, of capabilities of production, and hence both of the capabilities as well as the means of consumption. The capability to consume is a condition of consumption, hence its primary means, and this capability is the development of an individual potential, a force of production. The saving of labour time [is] equal to an increase of free time, i.e. time for the full development of the individual, which in turn reacts back upon the productive power of labour as itself the greatest productive power. From
the standpoint of the direct production process it can be regarded as the production of fixed capital, this fixed capital being man himself. It goes without saying, by the way, that direct labour time itself cannot remain in the abstract antithesis to free time in which it appears from the perspective of bourgeois economy. Labour cannot become play, as Fourier would like,5 although it remains his great contribution to have expressed the suspension not of distribution, but of the mode of production itself, in a higher form, as the ultimate object. Free time – which is both idle time and time for higher activity – has naturally transformed its possessor into a different subject, and he then enters into the direct production process as this different subject. This process is then both discipline, as regards the human being in the process of becoming; and, at the same time, practice [Ausübung], experimental science, materially creative and objectifying science, as regards the human being who has become, in whose
4 See p.688, n.77. [n.77 reads: The Economist, Vol. V, No. 219, 6 November 1847, p. 1271]. 5 Fourier, Le Nouveau Monde industriel et sociétaire, Vol. VI, pp. 242-52.
head exists the accumulated knowledge of society. For both, in so far as labour requires practical use of the hands and free bodily movement, as in agriculture, at the same time exercise.
As the system of bourgeois economy has developed for us only by degrees, so too its negation, which is its ultimate result. We are still concerned now with the direct production process. When we consider bourgeois society in the long view and as a whole, then the final result of the process of social production always appears as the society itself, i.e. the human being itself in its social relations. Everything that has a fixed form, such as the product etc., appears as merely a moment, a vanishing moment, in this movement. The direct production process itself here appears only as a moment. The conditions and objectifications of the process are themselves equally moments of it, and its only subjects are the individuals, but individuals in mutual relationships, which they equally reproduce and produce anew. The constant process of their own movement, in which they renew themselves even as they renew the world of wealth they create.>

Friday, July 20, 2012


“I cannot submit to injustices, even minor ones. Once one starts submitting to minor injustices and rationalizes them away, their accumulation creates a major oppression. That’s how entire peoples fell into slavery.” (Sostre, letter to B, 1974)

How about for Political Prisoner Friday as Scission we do a story on someone who actually has gotten out.  Of course, he spent decades behind bars so...

I am talking about Martin Sostre.  

Martin Sostre is one hell of a human being.

The following is from Prison Culture.

Martin Sostre: Legal Advocate, Prisoner, Revolutionary…

When I mention the name Martin Sostre, what comes to mind? For many, his name will conjure no images or words. Yet he was a man who made a real impact in terms of prisoner rights in the United States.
Martin Sostre was the owner of the Afro-Asian Bookstore in Buffalo, New York. On July 14, 1967, the police raided his store and arrested Sostre on “narcotics, riot, arson, and assault charges.” After the riot and arson charges were dropped, Sostre was tried by an all-white jury and convicted of selling $15 worth of heroin. He was given a sentence of 31 to 41 years in prison.
This short summary does not of course do justice to Martin Sostre nor to his legacy. Prior to the 1967 police raid, Sostre had already spent a dozen years between 1952 and 1964 locked inside Attica prison on a narcotics conviction. He was known to the police in Buffalo and suspicion surrounded him because he had converted to Islam (in the 50s while he was incarcerated) and was also outspoken against the injustices of racial and class oppression.

by Jim Alexander
A couple of weeks before he was arrested in 1967, a riot erupted in Buffalo. Law enforcement targeted Sostre as the instigator of this disruption without providing any actual evidence for their accusation. Those who knew Sostre were certain that the police were framing him with trumped up charges. A defense committee was established to help free him. He was supported by both the Young Lords and the Black Panthers. Soon after his conviction, the only witness to his so-called crime recanted his testimony and said that the police had framed Sostre. Eventually on December 24 1975, Martin Sostre was granted clemency by the Governor of New York, Hugh Carey. He had spent 7 years behind bars for a crime that he had not committed.
Sostre was a black Puerto Rican who had grown up in Harlem. When he was first released from prison in 1964, he decided to establish a bookstore where black youth in particular could learn about their history and themselves. His bookstore served as a political education center for people of color in Buffalo. Growing up in New York City, I first found a copy of Sostre’s letters from prison in a Harlem bookstore when I was 16 years old. Interestingly, it was Sostre (in part) who led me to then take a job for one year at the Countee Cullen library (as a library information specialist) adjacent to the famed Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. I remember that year as one of the very best of my life. I was able to engage both my love of books and my love of history.
While he was incarcerated, Sostre became a jailhouse lawyer and a very vocal advocate against solitary confinement. He was repeatedly put in solitary confinement during the course of his 22 total years behind bars for such offenses as being in possession of contraband books and distributing religious materials.
When he was put in solitary confinement in 1968 for practicing law without a license, he fought back with a lawsuit against prison officials and the state of New York. In Sostre v. Rockefeller, he claimed that solitary confinement was “cruel and unusual punishment.” In legal briefs, Sostre railed against his treatment at the hands of prison officials who he believed were denying him basic human rights. He characterized their actions as a “mental sickness of these barbaric racist defendants who still consider eating, personal hygiene, exercise and fresh air . . . a privilege, and punish prisoners by denying them these basic necessities which even animals enjoy (Copeland, 1970: 169).”
Sostre won a temporary court victory and damage fees when Judge Constance Motley released him from solitary and stated that he was there “not because of any serious infraction of the rules of prison discipline,” but for legal and political activities and beliefs.” She also ruled that the punishment of solitary confinement is “physically harsh, destructive of morale, dehumanizing. . . degrading and dangerous to the maintenance of sanity if continued more than 15 days.”
Sostre filed and won several other lawsuits while incarcerated. He is still alive and lives in New York City with his family. To my knowledge, there has been no biography written about his life which is a real shame. For those who want to know more about the man and his work as a jail-house lawyer, there are a couple of out-of-print books that you can consult. If you care about prisons, social justice, and the history of civil rights, Martin Sostre is a name that should not be lost to history.

NOTE: ACTUALLY THERE IS A BOOK:  The Crime of Martin Sostre
by Vincent Copeland

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Kinda beat today, so I don't have much to say.  The post below is late but, such is life, and is from Redress Information and Analysis...

Storming the Bastille in Syria

16 July 2012

Henry Lowi calls on progressives with a conscience to declare their solidarity with the oppressed people of Syria, to make every effort "to reach out to the pro-democracy grassroots organizations" there and to "support and strengthen the hand of the pro-democracy and working class currents in the Syrian revolution".

”The need for international solidarity with the Arab revolutions was felt most desperately in Libya. Much of the international ‘solidarity’ movement boycotted the Libyan insurgents with phony ‘anti-imperialist’ pretensions. The ‘left’ ended up supporting the discredited Gaddafi regime politically, and abandoned the field of ‘solidarity’ to the US and its NATO allies. Now, our impotent ‘anti-imperialists’ are complaining that Libya did not turn out so well. The lesson they seem to be learning from their Libya policy is: ‘Let’s do the same in Syria. Let’s boycott the Syrian revolution. Then, we can blame the imperialists.’” (Henry Lowi)

On 14 July, the anniversary of the glorious French Revolution, Syria is undergoing a popular revolution characterized by mass action and facing ferocious murderous repression by the Assad regime. The popular struggle in Syria is widespread. Demonstrations, large and small, are taking place in all parts of Syria. The regime, using the patently false pretext of "fighting foreign-sponsored terrorists", is committing one atrocity after another, in cities and towns and villages all over the country.
“The ‘intervention’ that is lacking is the power of the international working class and the Arab revolution, that also have ‘interests’ in Syria: the interests of democracy, freedom, and people’s power.”
At the same time, there are clear signs that the Assad regime is beginning to disintegrate, with defections of rank and file soldiers right up to pilots, military commanders and diplomats. At the grassroots level, there are reports of merchants’ strikes. Workers strikes cannot be far off. Unfortunately, the organized Syrian workers movement lacks independence from the regime. The self-styled Syrian “Communist” Party (both factions) is allied with the regime against the Syrian workers. In order for the Syrian workers to influence the insurgency, they will need to coordinate their efforts outside the official channels. Alongside the Local Coordinating Committees, workers coordinating committees will need to be formed.

Of course, the NATO powers, the Gulf kings and emirs, and the Zionist occupiers of Palestine are intervening as best as they can, covertly, in the hope of protecting their selfish interests. Russia and China are doing exactly the same.

The “intervention” that is lacking is the power of the international working class and the Arab revolution, that also have “interests” in Syria: the interests of democracy, freedom, and people’s power.

The Syrian state is one of the products of the post-World War I colonialist partition of the Ottoman Empire. Sykes-Picot and the League of Nations Mandate system gave rise to the artificial states of the Arab East, whose main role was to prevent the unification of the Arab East on a democratic basis. The main beneficiary of this partition was the Zionist colonization of Palestine. But the “regional” Arab regimes, even those proclaiming Arab nationalism, have prevented the unification of the Arabs, and the other Middle Eastern peoples, in the struggle for democracy and modernization. These regimes have acted as the direct oppressors of their own peoples and the guarantors of Zionist domination of Palestine.

The Palestine Liberation Organization policy of "non-intervention in the internal affairs of the Arab states" has always hurt the interests of the Palestine refugees and the struggle for a free Palestine. The Syrian regime under Hafez Assad did imperialism’s dirty work against the Palestinian cause, at the most critical moments, in Lebanon. The Bashar Assad regime played a role in imperialism's so-called "war on terror".
“The Syrian regime under Hafez Assad did imperialism’s dirty work against the Palestinian cause, at the most critical moments, in Lebanon. The Bashar Assad regime played a role in imperialism's so-called ‘war on terror’.”
The Arab revolutions that began in Tunisia, and spread to Egypt and Yemen and Libya and Bahrain, promise to shake up the oppressive status quo in the Arab East and North Africa. In every country, the social problems and political problems present themselves in different forms. But, in every country the masses of the people confront substantially common problems: lack of a democratic political regime; subservience to imperialism; economic under-development; women’s oppression; ethnic-nationalist and Islamist oppression of non-Arab and non-Muslim populations. The people of Palestine suffer from these, as well as the problems of settler-colonial domination and ethnic cleansing.

The need for international solidarity with the Arab revolutions was felt most desperately in Libya. Much of the international “solidarity” movement boycotted the Libyan insurgents with phony “anti-imperialist” pretensions. The “left” ended up supporting the discredited Gaddafi regime politically, and abandoned the field of “solidarity” to the US and its NATO allies. Now, our impotent “anti-imperialists” are complaining that Libya did not turn out so well. The lesson they seem to be learning from their Libya policy is: “Let’s do the same in Syria. Let’s boycott the Syrian revolution. Then, we can blame the imperialists.”

In the absence of working class leadership, the democratic revolution in Syria risks being derailed and led to oblivion by Islamists and ethnic-nationalists.

The oppressed workers and farmers of Syria need solidarity and deserve solidarity. All efforts must be made to reach out to the grassroots organizations of the insurgents. All efforts must be made to support and strengthen the hand of the pro-democracy and working class currents in the Syrian revolution. All efforts must be made that when revolutionary victory comes – and it will come— a democratic regime is established. The only real guarantor of democracy for the masses of the people will be a workers and farmers government.

So, on 14 July, let us take a stand and proclaim loud and clear:

Forward to liberty, equality and solidarity!

Victory to the Syrian revolution! Solidarity with the workers and farmers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Okay, this is hard to believe unless you understand the daily crap faced by Roma throughout  parts of Europe including the Czech Republic.

Seems there was this camp, run by the Czechs, where hundreds of Roma, mainly kids (see above), died of disease, hunger, and abuse during the Nazi era.  The place was named Lety.

Okay, you got that?

Well, last week during a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the camp (which some, including the current President of the Republic like to call a transit camp instead of a concentration camp), PM Petr Necas made a speech.  He said, “We are in a place where innocent people died of typhus, dysentery and hunger and exhaustion.

Got that?

He also said, according to Czech, "...the Czech state has no money to buy a pig farm built over the site."

A pig farm.

Czech Position also points out:

Back in 2005, the Czech Republic was singled out in a European Parliament resolution for failing to remove the pig farm at the site and create “a graceful memorial” to honor victims of the Romani Holocaust. But each government has either called for the issue to be studied further or said there was a lack of funds to do so.


Several Romani associations and others called for a boycott of the commemorative ceremony.    A statement by the groups published in  read:

On Monday, 9 July, near the former site of the Romani concentration camp at Lety, a commemoration organized by the Lidice Memorial will take place. The main speech at the ceremony will be given by Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

This gathering is taking place not quite two months after the bereaved and survivors of the Lety concentration camp organized their own commemoration. That gathering was attended by many Romani people, by the direct relatives of victims of the camp, by a large number of ambassadors of foreign states, by church clergy, and by members of the Jewish community. Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková attended on behalf of the Czech Government. Only one senator and one MP attended on behalf of Parliament.

At the gathering organized by those related to the victims of Lety, it is customary for speakers to make realistic assessments sharply criticizing the current state of affairs regarding how the so-called "Romani issue" is being addressed in this country. The occasion has been used to discuss the segregation of Romani children into the "special schools", the forced sterilization of Romani women, anti-Romani marches, the racist rhetoric of politicians seated in Parliament, and the misappropriation of funding intended to assist Romani people. This all usually takes place in the presence of foreign ambassadors, outside the walls of the industrial pig farm that now stands on the site of the former concentration camp.

The Government evidently does not like the commemorations organized by Romani people themselves and has therefore "transferred" the cultural monument at Lety to the management of the Lidice Memorial. That organization takes care of the sites where Czechs were murdered during the war and the memorials to them in the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. We are of the opinion that despite its declared efforts, the Lidice Memorial does not have enough experience, sensitivity or understanding to organize a Romani commemoration ceremony. The bereaved and the survivors do not want the former concentration camp site at Lety to be administered by the Lidice Memorial, for reasons which are already known. We don't want a ceremony in the style of the one held at Lidice, with military music. There is no need to organize a "competing", governmental commemoration of the catastrophe at Lety.

If Prime Minister Petr Nečas wants to honor the memory of the victims of the concentration camp at Lety, he should do it by instructing the Government to acquire and dismantle the pig farm that now covers the places where Romani children perished. He can also end the segregation of Romani children into the "special schools". He can redress the property confiscated from Romani people in the Czech lands during Nazism. He can redress the victims of the sterilization program. As Prime Minister, he can take a stand against the racist rhetoric used by his fellow party members and coalition partners. There is a great deal he can do to aid Romani people. Should the Prime Minister come forward with measures such as these, which will improve the situation of the Romani minority in the Czech Republic, then Romani people will sincerely welcome him to join them at Lety on 13 May.

The following is from The Sun Daily.

Nazi camp-turned-pig farm outrages Czech Roma

 A visit by the Czech prime minister this week to a Roma Holocaust site turned into a pig farm in the 1970s has rekindled outrage among Czech Roma at the state's failure to shut it down, despite European outcry.

Between 1940-43, Nazi Germany and its Czech collaborators imprisoned close to 1,300 Czech Roma at the Lety camp, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) south of the capital Prague.

Alongside European Jews, the continent's smaller Roma minority was also a target of Nazi genocide during World War II.

Some 327 Roma, including 241 children, died at the camp staffed by an ethnic Czech commander and guards, while more than 500 were sent to Nazi Germany's infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in occupied southern Poland.

In 1972-76, Communists ruling the former Czechoslovakia thought nothing of building a pig farm on the site, subsequently taken over by a private company after regime's collapse in 1989.

Tensions between Czech Roma and authorities have flared over the sensitive issue for well over a decade, with the deeply marginalised Czech minority insisting the state purchase the farm, tear it down and build a fitting memorial.

The European Parliament also urged Prague to remove it in 2005 and again in 2008, but local Roma insist Czech politicians are loathe to tackle the issue due to deep social prejudices across the republic against their community.

"The (Roma) minority ranks permanently among those perceived as the worst and most problematic, which is reflected in attitudes of the politicians," Roma journalist Jarmila Balazova told AFP on Wednesday.

Bitter Roma boycotted memorial ceremonies at the site Monday with right-wing Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.

"Our primary goal is to see the pig farm removed from the place where our people died because of their race," said Cenek Ruzicka, head of an action committee on the Roma Holocaust.

"You won't find an absurd thing like that anywhere in the world. People don't build pig farms in such places," he fumed, while pointing to a string of empty promises made by successive Czech governments to settle the issue.

Late Czech president Vaclav Havel unveiled a Roma memorial in Lety in 1995, but Czech leaders have since tiptoed around the site until Necas's recent visit, making him the first leader to go there in 17 years.

While Necas slammed what happened to Roma at Lety as genocide, he insisted there was no cash to buy the pig farm.

According to Ruzicka, 300-500 million koruna (12-20 million euros, US$14.5-24 million) would be enough to purchase and tear it down or to build another elsewhere, but the associated political risk would be high.

"Of course politicians know any government seeking to remove it (the farm), will fail in the next elections. The sum is unacceptable for the public," Ruzicka said, insisting no action was taken on a Roma proposal that a long-term government fund be created to save-up for a buyout.

Jiri Leskovec, head of the Agpi company that runs the pig farm, alleges it was built on a green field immediately adjacent to the former concentration camp which was razed at the end of the war.
Historians, however, contend the two sites overlap.

Now with 13,000 pigs and a staff of 12, the farm was originally built at the camp site during the 1970s by a communist state-run company that was privatised as Agpi after the 1989 transition to democracy and capitalism.

"We're terribly sorry we have to remind people of this obvious truth, and of the historic context -- that our people died there under supervision from Czech guards," Ruzicka said.

Of the 9,500 Czech Roma registered before World War II, fewer than 600 returned home after the Holocaust.

An EU country of 10.5 million, the Czech Republic's Roma community is currently estimated to number between 250,000 and 300,000.

Of the roughly one million Roma who lived in Europe prior to WWII, historians believe the Nazis exterminated over half.

Today, it is estimated that over eight million Roma live in Europe. – AFP