Mid week. Weather tempestuous. Engrossed in “Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist.” (Capital. Volume One.) Cell phone rings. Reach out.
Press receive. Caller bright and breezy. Large media company.
Affable mid-atlantic accent. Obvious call centre. Sub-continent.
Previous conversations with call centre wage slave, miss the socialisation of office life now they’re working from home. Always start a conversation by taking an interest in the other person. Cold call but no need to be rude.
Do unto others as you would be done by. That’s a hard job One of very many which will be unnecessary in a socialist society. “How do you like working from home.?” Err. Response like they think they were just asked to break the Official Secrets Act. No comment. The script doesn’t allow for personal niceties. This is a real person not a robot.
Some time later the “All conversations may be recorded for training purposes” spiel kicks in. Unlikely to moderate the language of customers with a bee in their bonnet but another of the systems used to monitor and control the wage slave operating their customer service – which in many cases is an oxymoron.
We take technology for granted. As detailed below many technological advance took place in the nineteenth century. A telegraph cable was laid between Great Britain and India in June 1870. Materially, the change from capitalism to socialism could have occurred many many years ago.
Marx and Engels argued that socialism (or communism, as they called it) could not have been established at any historical time but only when the material conditions for its existence, large-scale industry capable of producing plenty for all, had come into existence. They were well aware that these conditions had only just begun to appear in the 1840s and that they were not then sufficiently developed to have allowed the immediate establishment of socialism…. Engels was writing in the middle of a period which had been called the second industrial revolution which saw the invention and application to industry and production of the electric motor and the internal combustion engine. These and other technological advances showed that it had become possible to produce enough to eliminate want throughout the world and to satisfy people’s needs, as Engels put it, “in ever-increasing fullness”. At the same time the imperialist expansion of the European powers into the other continents meant that capitalism had come to embrace the whole world in its system. Then in 1914 came the aptly- named first world war which marked the clear emergence of capitalism as the unchallenged and predominating world system.
From this time on world socialism could have been established at any time, without society passing first through a period of state capitalist development of the means of production. The means of production had become sufficiently developed for society to pass directly from capitalism to socialism, once the political conditions for the establishment of socialism were fulfilled.
The attempt to extend the thraldom for a further eighteen months failed. There’s a World Socialist Party in India. Contact them. It will be far more worthwhile.