Friday, November 04, 2016

Come Rally, Comrades!

Humanity is in an age of great revolutionary change. The technology exists to produce all that we need for a peaceful, plentiful world. For the first time in history, a true flowering of the human intellect and spirit is possible. Our fight is to reorganise society to accomplish these goals. Our vision is of a new, cooperative society of equality, and of a people awakening. The revolution we need is possible. Let us embrace this revolutionary mission and make it a reality. Humanity stands at its historic juncture. Can we today visualise tomorrow with enough clarity? Visionaries portray a future made possible through an examination of objective, material forces in the real world. Dreamers create impossible hopes.  Humanity has never failed to make reality from the possibilities created by each great advance in the means of production. This time, there is no alternative to stepping across that line and seizing tomorrow.

Revolutions come about because of historical economic forces at work. The reasons change comes about can ultimately be traced to economics. Everyone knows the economy is undergoing a profound change, that is fundamental and irreversible. It is so great it is causing great change in every aspect of our lives. The change is the replacement of human laboUr by new and ever-expanding technologies, computerised automation and robotics. Throughout history, such fundamental changes in the economy have always forced revolutionary changes in the social system. Economic revolution has always precipitated political revolution. Only by engaging in the sustained struggle for the hearts and minds of the fellow citizens can we win this social revolution.

Social reorganisation becomes inevitable because basic necessities of life must be paid for with money. We make money by going to work. If the robots do the work, then how will we get the food, housing and clothing we need? If there is going to be production without wages, then there must be distribution without money. We must guarantee that the technological changes result in a better life for people. We must guarantee the technological revolution reach the potential for common good through common ownership.

Capitalism is a society divided between those who own and those who work in the factories and in the fields and who produce the wealth. The contract between the workers and the owners can b explained thus: “I will buy your ability to work at its market value and pay you in money. You will use this money to buy back enough of your production to feed, house and clothe yourself and your family. In this way, you maintain your ability to work and create a new generation of workers. We can all get along if we maintain this contract.”

The essence of the contract is this: Both the capitalist and the worker must sell their commodities and buy each other’s commodities. The worker is not a commodity, but what he sells, his ability to work is. Like a chair or an automobile, his ability to work is worth the cost of its production. Like the chair or automobile, its cost of production is determined by how much labour went into producing it. The secret of profit is this: Labour produces more than it costs to create. Every worker knows, even if he or she can’t explain it, that labour cranks out more value than it consumes.

So the capitalist system is one in which everyone bought and sold. The capitalist buys the elements of production, the worker buys the elements of life. The worker sells his ability to produce, the capitalist sells the production. The producer must consume and the consumer must produce. So long as this interlocked buying and selling is not disrupted, the system works. It works unfairly, but it works.

Every employer understands that the surest way to increase profits is to have the worker produce more for the least amount of wages. Every advance in machinery made the workers more productive and made many of them unemployed. No longer is technology merely labour-displacing. It is now labour-replacing. Suddenly, there appeared in the workplace a producer who does not consume. Social revolution is beginning before our very eyes. Owning no property whatsoever, without employment or resources the throw-away workers — temps and casuals with no benefits, the part-time under-employed, the permanently unemployed, sometimes called the under-class or the precariat by progressive sociologists are now slowly but surely becoming conscious of itself, growing aware that it is the only class in modern society where “each for all and all for each” has any real political meaning, and where “from each according to ability, to each according to need” makes economic sense.

Suffering want in the midst of plenty, and increasingly alienated as being expendable to the emerging economy, the modern worker has no choice but to turn against the system of capitalist relations. If consumers can’t work and earn money. Already some liberals are talking about the universal basic income, a citizens wage, to placate people. Socialists present the revolutionary alternative - the necessaries of life must be distributed without money.

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