Monday, June 27, 2016

The same old slavery

In the slave system, it was considered “natural” for one group of people, the slaveowners, to own other people, the slaves. In our capitalist society, this idea is regarded as criminal and absurd, because the bourgeoisie has no need for slaves as private property (at least not in its own country). But it has every need for wage-slaves, proletarians. So it presents as “natural” the kind of society where a small group, the capitalists, own the means of production and on that basis force the great majority of society to work to enrich them. The slaveowners and the capitalists have one fundamental thing in common–they are both exploiters, and they both regard it as the correct and perfect order of things for a small group of parasites to live off the majority of laboring people. They differ only in the form in which they exploit and therefore in their view of how society should be organized to ensure this exploitation. As humanity advances towards socialism, society as a whole will consciously reject the idea that any one group should privately own the means of production. Then wage-slavery, based on the ownership of capital as private property, will be seen as just as criminal and absurd as ancient slavery, based on the ownership of other people as private property. The working class, by its own nature as a class, has no interest in promoting private gain at the expense of others and every interest in promoting cooperation. Only in this way can workers emancipate themselves and all of humanity.

The capitalists have exercised their dictatorship over the working class for hundreds of years, and they believe they should go on doing so, however much they cover this up with talk about “democracy.” The capitalists cannot eliminate the working class - and, certainly, cannot convert the working class into capitalists–for then whose labor would the capitalists live off! The working class, on the other hand, can run production and all of society much better without any capitalists at all. When all of society has been transformed and the community of associated workers has been established, then there will no longer be the need for the state since there will no longer be any class to suppress, and the state will be replaced with common administration by all of society. Socialism eliminates the anarchy of capitalism and its crises, by collective ownership of the means of production and collective planning of the economy. The nature of work itself will change completely because the labor of the workers will no longer go to enrich capital to further enslave the working class, but to improve life today, while providing for the future, according to the conscious plan of the working class itself. The pride that workers have in their work will be unhindered by any sense that they are working themselves, or someone else, out of a job, or that they are being driven to produce for the private benefit of some blood-sucking employer, under the scrutiny of his overseers and the constant threat of being fired. The organization of work will be the province of the working class itself. All this will unleash the stored-up knowledge of the working class, based on its direct experience in production, and inspire workers to make new breakthroughs in improving production. Work itself will become a joy and enrichment of the worker’s life, instead of a miserable means to sustain existence, as it is under capitalism. Machinery will no longer be weapons in the hands of the capitalists to grind down the working class, and workers will no longer be a mere extension of the machine as they are under capitalism. Instead, technology will become tools in the hands of the working class in its own struggle to revolutionise society. The working class will have a variety of organisations and agencies to involve the masses of people in the process of ruling and remaking society. Nothing can save capitalism in the long run, because it has long since become a barrier to progress and long since prepared the conditions for its own destruction.

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