Monday, May 27, 2013

The Worker's Lot

You are an employee, a diligent worker, and have served the company loyally for a number of years. Your pay was not particularly high, but you managed to survive and raise a family. You are a decent and law-abiding citizen.

Then one fine day you are informed your services are no longer needed. In plain words: you are redundant. There is a recession, they say. “Nobody is to blame. Business is bad,” they say.
The employer has no more work for you. He scaling back production or closing down the plant altogether. While you remain without a livelihood, the CEO goes to his country estate or abroad to his villa in the Sun to have a good time. He is still well-off, recession or no recession. These hard times has not made a single chairman of the board or director of the large corporations homeless to beg in the streets. Your ex-boss does not care what will happens to you. You no longer are employed by the company and therefore no longer exist for it. The company has no obligations towards those it has made unemployed. The businessmen are still prosperous while it you who are suffering the greatest hardships. Yet, you and the like of you made the company a success. It was your blood, your sweat, your muscle and your brain that made the profits that the share-holders enjoyed. You had much at stake in this enterprise — much of your life. It was yours, more than the investors. It was part of your very being. When you were working for the company you were its “hands.” It used you to make profits and dividends.

You are given to understand that economic events are beyond human control. They call it a recession and make you believe it is sheer accident. But it isn’t. It is rooted in the very essence of capitalism. They tell you a recession is like a natural disaster similar to an earthquake. But there is nothing natural about it. It is not natural that men should go hungry while the means to produce are available. It is not natural that there should be poverty in the midst of plenty. It is not natural that milk should be dumped into rivers because the price is too low while babies are starving. It is not natural that the most ingenious means of production and transportation should be rusting away while those who produce them and can operate them are sitting idle, wasting away. All this is most unnatural. It is, in fact, insane.

Only when you understand the illness can you find the proper cure. The Socialist Party remedy is that all resources, all land and buildings, all manufacturing establishments, mines, railroads and other means of transportation and communication, should be, not private property, but the common property of all. We propose that production be made to serve the needs of all, rather than to serve the needs of the few. What we have in mind is very simple and clear-cut. Do away with production for profit. We seek a planned economy on the basis of common ownership without any class division where each person works according to his or her ability and each person receives from the common stock of goods according to his or her needs.

Capitalism creates a situation where large numbers of the people are dissatisfied and embittered by intolerable hardships. People change under such conditions. Capitalism itself prepares the conditions for its downfall. The Socialist Party is a political party whose aim is help assist in the capture of political power by the workers, but not as an end in itself but as the means to establish a co-operative commonwealth.

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