Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Explaining Capitalism

Everybody knows there’s something crazy about this capitalist system we live under. There can be plenty for all – but only by socialising the means of production. The profit-grabbing obstructionism by the capitalist class must be ended. The working people must oust the capitalists and establish workers’ power. Therein lies peace and plenty for all. Capitalism is a fetter on production. It organises production exclusively with the purpose of providing the owners with the highest possible profit. The productive machine has now reached a level where it is impeded by free enterprise. It has the capacity to produce plenty for all. The class interest of the employers, the exploiters, denies this plenty to all. Instead of plenty there is want. Socialism sets itself to do is to achieve plenty for all, peace, solidarity, security, freedom. As socialists, we of the Socialist Party, march hand in hand with the workers in every step they take toward improving and strengthening their economic, social and political position. That is, we are unreservedly with the labour movement and with the just demands that it is making.

On one side, we have the factories and raw material that can produce a world of plenty. On the other side, we have the willing hands and brains to do the job. All we have to do is let the one work on the other, and distribute what is produced. Sure, the factories and machines and raw materials are here. Sure, the labour is there to turn them into usable goods. But labor doesn’t own the factories and machines. It has nothing to say about whether they’ll be used and for what. These factories and machines are owned by a small handful of capitalists. And these fat cats won’t let a wheel turn unless they can make a profit. That profit comes out of the wealth which labour produces.

The capitalist media pretends to be impartial. It pretends to be impartial in a society of classes, of bosses and workers, of rich and poor, of the well-fed, well-housed and well-clothed and the hungry, ill-housed and ill-clad. It pretends to be impartial in attitude toward the great problems produced by capitalism: war, unemployment, hunger, the class struggle. Yet, the capitalist media, a big business enterprise allied to finance and industry, is indeed the most partial press we know. It lives on insinuation, subtleties and outright lying. It is pro-big business and unmistakably anti-labour. It never ceases in its venomous outpourings against the interests of the working class.

The Socialist Party openly takes the side of the wage workers and all exploited people against their exploiters and oppressors. It never pretends that in a strike one must see the bosses’ side of it, for a workers’ paper is always on the side of the workers. In a profit society, in which one class lives by exploiting another, the Socialist Party boldly takes the side of the workers. It represents the interests of the working class. But it is more than that: it is a socialist party because it seeks not an improvement of the conditions of the workers under capitalism, but the abolition of this system of scarcity and insecurity and its replacement by a social order of security and plenty for all. The Socialist Party fights for socialism in order to end the exploitation of man by man for all time; to eliminate wars and unemployment and hunger.

Capitalist (A), seeking profit (B), owns a factory (C), and starts producing. Does he produce anything? He’s not a sucker. He hires workers (D) to do the actual producing. They produce a billion dollars worth of goods (E) and get their wages (F). How much do they get – a billion dollars in wages, for producing a billion dollars in goods? Don’t be silly. The capitalist has to get his profit (G). So they get only – say – a half billion in wages, the rest is profit. So the workers can buy back only half the goods with their wages. Pretty soon, the profit piles up in the coffers, and the unsold goods pile up on the shelves (H).

Economist (I) says: “Purchasing power not adequate.”
Capitalists stop making more goods, lay off. Hey Presto – unemployment; and purchasing power (J) goes even lower.

The CBI (K) says: What’s needed is more profit to spur production. The best way to raise profits is to cut wages. Intellectual (L) says: I disagree with everything the CBI stands for, but on the other hand I agree with what they say. The more profits, the more capitalists will start up production. The more production, the more employment. The more employment, the more purchasing power. More purchasing power, and bingo, we’re around the corner. So by cutting wages (or purchasing power), they are going to increase purchasing power. Wages are cut, or prices raised, more profits made, a bigger cut taken out of labor’s purchasing power – and round we go on the vicious circle.

Finally Statesman (X) says:
“I got it! We’ve got a surplus of coal, clothes and Rice Krispies. The natives of Madagascar wear no clothes and the Eskimoes eat blubber. This is uncivilised. Let’s teach the Eskimoes to eat Rice Krispies, and our own workers to eat blubber.”
(This is called Foreign Trade.)

So we knock the natives of Madagascar on the head to teach them to wear clothes, get drunk and respect white men. (This is called The Blessings of Civilisation.)

The natives have to pay us, so we put them to work on plantations to work for a living, our living. (This is called The White Man’s Burden.)

Then to expand our foreign trade, we lend them the money to buy more from us. (This is called Foreign Investment.)

The factories and machines and raw materials are there. We are the hands and brains of labour who do the producing. All we have to do is come together with the factories and machines, without any capitalist class holding us apart.

That means WE have to own and control the factories and machines we work on – WE, LABOUR, organised collectively.

Abolish the capitalist profit-suckers. Take over our economic world, organise it democratically . Produce to the full, produce to the sky’s the limit as science can provide, produce enough to give plenty for all. And distribute what we produce for the use of the masses of people.

Common ownership of our economic machinery and democratic control – that’s socialism.

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