"If money, according to Augier, ‘comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,’ capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt." Marx
The working class betray themselves if they support a 'business friendly' party of capitalism, such as the Labour Party. They are opting for more of the same. The system the Labour Party inherits each election runs them.
Exploitation takes place at the point of production. This rate is accelerated. Many thought the introduction of robots and so on would lead to reductions in working hours and have since been disabused of this notion, as jobs were shed, hours increased and minimum waged conditions became normalised within expanded service sections.
I don't have the space to begin to write of conditions, as part of global capitalism, where fellow workers, some very young, are exposed to harmful conditions to put food on our table, while starved of nourishment from theirs. Or the depletion of raw earth minerals to produce clones of other commodities, to compete and sell. Or the wasteful overproduction arising out of competition leading to gluts and economic crises and depressions when inevitably prices and profits fall before human needs can be satisfied, as this is not the criteria for capitalist production but profit alone is.
Capitalism is not amenable to reform. The free market system requires a majority to be exploited of their surplus value. It is but one of the many paradoxes of capitalism that it has shrunk the world only to divide society into smaller and smaller fragments. That it has progressed at breakneck speed in the fields of travel and communication yet it has divided and alienated us from our true humanity.
Distribution is rationed by wages (wage rations only entitle one to so much food clothing, shelter something to bring up the next generation of wage slaves, and are only sufficient to compel attendance for further exploitation) and prices, according to what the market can bear in order to make a profit. No profit no production. Regardless of needs. Human needs are unsatisfied. To resolve human needs, capitalism would need to cease exploiting workers for their surplus value, (profit) competing with other capitalists (overproduction leading to unsellable gluts) and have production for use.
In most ecological problems, capitalism prevents a solution, because of competition, until it is forced upon them. Capitalism manufactures wants, such as those created by the car industry, which can't be laid at the door of workers. Capitalism also manifests a reluctance to produce more environmentally friendly transportation. Change only came about as a consequence of political action. Remember when Ralph Nader highlighted how the car corporations made deathtraps. It is an argument for socialism. An end to wasteful competition and production.
The post war housing booms were a part of the 'homes for hero's' promises to win power over us
, post -war and a necessary requisite for capitalism. Slum conditions were the norm for swathes of Glasgow, up to 1950's and 60's. The Socialist Party of Great Britain speaker Dick Donnelly, down at Glasgow's flea market, 'The Barras' often joked, "They don't need to pull them down now they fall down", pointing to a dilapidated building, until one Sunday, to his bemusement, it was no longer there, having fallen down.
The solution of council housing, was welcome enough at the time, inside bathrooms, hot water and so on, a luxury initially, to build new flats and some houses in the peripheries of the city, in places like Easterhouse, Drumchapel, Castlemilk, but these we came with fewer social amenities, the building of them provided employment for many, but when the council housing boom ended the dole queue beckoned for those unfortunate enough to have not secured a place in the light engineering factories sprung up, but soon to vanish with the Thatcherite wind of change.
Capitalism's profit requirements will place severe constraints on what any government can achieve and that, like their predecessors, they will have to compromise and run the economic system in favour of the capitalist elites which he currently rails against.
If you have waged labour, an employing class, a state, a coercive state apparatus, production for sale, elite control, a war machine, buying and selling, you have capitalism, whether corporate, state, or private or some mix of those, despite the 'socialistic' labels the scoundrels or good intentioned guys hang upon their electoral pitches, for power over the people.
Socialists of our ilk pointed out that the Russian revolution was a post feudal one as early as 1918. The Socialist Party welcomed the ending of the Russian involvement in the “Great” War in January 1918, "...Whatever may be the final outcome... they have stopped the slaughter, for the time being, at all events, on their front".
In August 1918 it said, ".. .and equipped with the knowledge requisite, for the establishment of the social ownership of the means of life? Unless a mental revolution such as the world has never seen before has taken place, or an economic change has occurred immensely more rapidly than history has recorded, the answer is “No!”
Socialism does not require everyone, only the majority. In any case it is in their self-interest and the perception of this by the majority, prior to the social revolution is surely something educationally sine qua non. The needs of capitalism creates the potential for the grave-diggers of capitalism to acquire the skills to run the post-capitalist society. Just as its bourgeois democracy is its Achilles heel. The capitalist class recognise this but the working class has yet to do so.
There is nothing in the make-up of human beings that would prevent their freely working together and then freely taking from the common store what they need. The human nature argument to counter socialist ideas is one the worst ones to make. It is one of slaves justifying their waged slavery.
“Oh woe is me 'twas ever thus.”… “The poor shall always be with us” - Crap.
Human behaviour, on the other hand, is socially conditioned. People, unfortunately, persist in extrapolating that behaviour from an intensive dog-eat-dog competitive society, will be carried through into the new one and forget that volunteerism even in capitalism exists, despite pressure to work all hours with an accelerated rate of exploitation for most workers. Isn’t there the contradiction that human behaviour is social.
That there have been societies based on voluntary work and free co-operation. That some work today, for example the dangerous work of manning lifeboats, is done voluntarily. There have been societies where there has been free access to some of the necessities of life. Those things, such as water from a public drinking tap, that are more or less freely available today are not grabbed or hoarded.
It is workers who design build and innovate things. The capitalist class don't, (with some exceptions, perhaps, of Dyson.) They are superfluous, except in a capitalist economy when their capital is required, but the working class are essential. It is workers who are the scientists, engineers, techno freaks, many of the parasite class don't even make investment decisions now, they hire workers to do so.
Although politicians have on occasion declared that “we are all middle class now” a survey shows that Britons have clung to working-class values even when they have moved up in the income scale. Nearly half of people in managerial and professional occupations identify as working class. The former middle class became the dominant capitalist class once they had overthrown, then absorbed the aristocracy, landowners etc. All class societies are based on the separation of the producers from the means of production.
Under capitalism the means of production and distribution monopolised by a minority function as “capital”, as wealth used to produce other wealth with a view to profit. The source of this profit is the unpaid labour of the working class. Being excluded from the ownership and control of the means of production, the working class can only get a living by selling their ability to work, mental and physical, to a capitalist employer for a wage or salary.
But this wage or salary, representing the value of the labour power they have sold, is less than the value of what they produce. The difference is surplus value and belongs to the capitalists who have bought the labour power. It is the source of their profits and of all other property and privilege incomes.
Socialism means no private, state or corporate, ownership. We will in effect need to assume responsibility for the management of resources we commonly own. The people who make this revolution will be committed to making it work. In Animal Farm Orwell was parodying a dictatorship over
the proletariat. Not a commonly owned and democratically controlled world. There will be plenty of volunteers when the money economy does not exist. History has vindicated Marx.
All previous societies have been scarcity ones. Capitalism's function was to usher in the capability of producing an abundance, but it cannot resolve the problem of distribution and the fact that it has to put a brake on production as its intense competition leads overproduction, a glut on the markets, war over raw materials, trade routes and spheres of geopolitical interest, wasteful war production, and wasteful use of planetary resources. It depends who owns and controls the machines.
“One man with an idea in his head is in danger of being considered a madman: two men with the same idea in common may be foolish, but can hardly be mad; ten men sharing an idea begin to act, a hundred draw attention as fanatics, a thousand and society begins to tremble, a hundred thousand and there is war abroad, and the cause has victories tangible and real; and why only a hundred thousand? Why not a hundred million and peace upon the earth? You and I who agree together, it is we who have to answer that question.” William Morris