In recessions, many people thoroughly and quite rightly resent the blows which fate under the present system has meted out to them. Some people rationalise their interests in utopian plans of harmony and goodwill, trying to work out some system of planning whereby Big Business of the large corporations will not drive the little fellow further into ruin. Unable to fully understand the productive process, they work out their own panaceas in the sphere of the circulation of commodities and the money system. It is not capitalism that is bad, they conclude but the money system, the Federal Reserve becomes the enemy. The problem is viewed as a financial and credit problem of the issue of money. They demand cheaper money. Because they lack money they believe there is a general lack of money, and they call on the State to fill the void. Some will argue that if we returned to the gold standard prosperity will return. Others seeking to be seen as radicals call for a nationalisation of banking for the purpose of ensuring increased credit. These things add to the belief that the ills of society are due to the methods of circulation and finance rather than to the capitalist mode of production. Storekeepers and salesmen, investors and speculators who produce nothing, they live in a world of exchange; naturally they must seek their panaceas there. Many even attack those bastions of capital – Wall St and the City of London. The most militant agitate for the slogan “Share the Wealth” – the universal basic income – that is to be handed out to “revive the market” Taxation will be focused upon the fortunes of the wealthy and the stashed away profits of the multinationals. Yet those appealing for a drastic redistribution of wealth, has never stopped to consider that the laws of distribution are intimately connected with the mode of production.
Read any newspaper. The misery of the people is growing. The ruling class tells workers that while maybe a long time ago they were really oppressed, now it doesn’t make that much sense to talk of classes anymore. But workers have never bought into it. Workers live a life of deep economic insecurity. Automation and new technology has led to an intensification of the class struggle, not its lessening. The working class knows these developments are costing them jobs. Automation and robotics must be looked at from a class viewpoint. With socialism, machinery will be advanced and developed. They can serve the people, make life easier for them. But under capitalism they are used against the interests of the people. Hence, no matter how many times the bosses tell us not to, workers are going to wage a struggle to see to it that we don’t get screwed by them. And this is true also of many who work to build, programme, and operate the new machines, because except for a very few of the most skilled and educated, they too are cheated.
It is pure fantasy to pretend that the struggle over wages does not challenge the power of the capitalist class. Such a theory ignores the clear facts of daily life in which the fight over the distribution of surplus value forms the heart of the class struggle. To maintain otherwise is to say that capitalism no longer thrives on the exploitation of workers; it is to be blind to the increasingly sharp struggles between boss and worker. A ruling class will go to great lengths to devise ingenious schemes pretending to offer workers an opportunity to “make decisions affecting their lives” rather than concede the main point–money. Though the struggle for higher wages and better working conditions is not a revolutionary one it is one in which socialists must participate. But while we fight with the workers we must also offer the message that only the capture of the state machine by the working class can put an end to exploitation. It is of great importance and fundamental to create socialist consciousness. The only thing fatal to capitalism the revolutionary actions of the people. The Socialist Party base ourselves firmly in the working class, to whom the future belongs. The future of the workers’ movement, the future of socialism, depends upon the quickest divorcement of the labour movement from the cancerous influence of reformism and vanguardism– that enemies of the free society of world socialism. The future lies in a reorganisation of the worldwide socialist movement based on the teachings and the spirit of Marx and Engels.