Saturday, August 24, 2019

Take control

Reforms within capitalism are insufficient to reverse the ongoing massive emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and unable to convert the farming industry to sustainable agricultural and environmental practices. We require a new way of organising the world’s economic activity as a necessity. Humanity is inching closer and closer to the point of no return where we reach the tipping points of runaway climate change which bring about catastrophic consequences. 

Under capitalism, we’ll get more business as usual. The much cited Green New Deal, does not bring about root-and-branch change but is a movement to prop up the capitalist system that brings so much misery to so many people. It fosters the idea that “green capitalism” will somehow save the day. Simply reforming capitalism still results in all our present-day social ills remaining.

The capitalist system operates all over the world. It is nothing but exploitation. In modern conditions, with the high productivity achieved by technology, we are capable of producing the value of our pay-packets many times over. The difference between what we produce and what we get paid (called surplus-value) is used by the boss-class for their own purposes — more capital, profits including puffed-up directors’ salaries, advertising, law ’n' order and defence budgets, to name but a few. The quest for profits has turned the world into such a dreadful place that the very word civilisation stinks. 

The saying “Where there’s muck there’s brass” can be turned on its head to make better sense: "Where there’s brass there’s muck”. 

In other words, profits pollute. 

As long as capitalism continues, it will always be business-as-usual. The internal logic of the capitalist system requires continual growth, which means expansion of production. Because production is for private profit and competition is relentless, growth and cost cutting is necessary to maintain profitability — and continually increasing profitability is the actual goal. If a corporation doesn’t expand, its competitor will and put it out of business. Because of the built-in pressure to maintain profits in the face of relentless competition, corporations continually must reduce costs, employee wages not excepted. Production is moved to low-wage countries with fewer regulations, enabling not only more pollution but driving up energy and carbon-dioxide costs with the need for transportation across greater distances. Leaving capitalism intact means allowing “markets” to make a wide array of social decisions — and markets are nothing more than the aggregate interests of the most powerful industrialists and financiers. An economy that must expand will do so and it will ensure a government is in charge that permits it to do so. System change is necessary.

 Only socialism has the capability of shutting down entire industries and overhauling the world’s whole economic structure. A socialist economy is one based on meeting human need and which is in harmony with the environment, not one made for private profit that externalises environmental and other costs for society to pay. A healthy natural world is what keeps us healthy and alive. The consequences of business-as-usual will be apocalyptic. Socialism or barbarism remains humanity’s choices.

In time we are confident that socialist understanding will develop. Why are we so confident, you ask? After all, the socialist movement is still very small and most workers reject its message. Our answer is that socialist understanding derives from the experienced, known facts of capitalist life; from the fact that you are living in that certain sort of society where everything you make belongs to “them”, where all the housing is controlled by “them”, where food and all other necessities can only be bought from “them”, where you struggle to hold down your jobs — tedious, mindless, monotonous, maddening, boring jobs, but which are our meal-tickets for survival. Them” are the surplus-value eaters, with legal title to ownership of factories, farms or mines, who control everything produced by you and our like.

We say this system only lasts because most people are contented with it and continue to go on voting for the likes of “them” to run an ruin our lives. We say democracy can be used in our interests, to get rid of the whole profits and prices system.

Let the revolution begin.

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