Saturday, March 04, 2023

The curse of plenty


The division of society into a small over-rich class and a large propertyless working-class, causes this society to suffocate in its own surplus, while the great mass of its members is scarcely, or, indeed, not at all, protected from extreme want. Such a condition of things becomes daily more absurd and unnecessary. It can be abolished; it must be abolished.- Engels

Capitalism is a tale of misery, exploitation, oppression, barbarity, cruelty and repression. Yet a tiny minority live in luxury. Capitalism needs to be overthrown. We need a socialist world. And that is only possible by organising many millions of working people around genuine socialist ideas and fighting relentlessly for our interest as a class. The only solution is for the workers to abolish capitalism by taking control of the means of production and ending the sale of labour power. Capitalism dehumanises people and turns them into robotsCapitalism maintains its profits on the basis of lowering and worsening the standards of the workers. The problem is not a crisis of natural scarcity or shortage. The capacity of producing wealth is greater than ever.

Reformers of capitalism urge that if only the capitalists would pay higher wages to the workers, enabling them to buy more of what they produce, there would be no crisis. This is utopian nonsense, which ignores the inevitable laws of capitalism — the drive for profits, and the drive of competition. The drive of capitalism is always to increase its profits by every possible means, to increase its surplus, not to decrease it. Individual capitalists may talk of the “gospel of high wages” in the hope of securing a larger market for their goods. But the actual drive of capitalism as a whole is the opposite. The force of competition compels every capitalist to cheapen the costs of production, to extract more output per worker for less return, to cut wages. Capitalism has no solution. any attempt to organise the growing productive power to meet human needs — the question does not even enter into their heads; it cannot arise within the conditions of capitalism.

 Only socialism can end the bonds of capitalist property rights and organise production to meet human needs. Once capitalism is overthrown, then and only then can production be organised in common for all, and every increase in production brings increasing abundance and leisure for all. This is the aim of the socialist revolution.

Only the socialist revolution can cut the bonds of capitalism and break the tangle of anarchic private property rights, conflicting interests and disorganisation that fetter production.


Without political power, no change. But what do we mean by “power”? Do we mean simply a change of government?

No. What is in question is not simply a change of government on top, but a change of class power; since our purpose, is not simply to carry through one or two legislative measures, but to change the whole class-nature of existing society. The capitalists own the means of production; the mass of the nation live at their mercy, depend on them for the means of life, and are in literal fact wage-slaves. To emancipate themselves, the workers of the world must abolish capitalism and establish socialism.

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