Sunday, November 06, 2016

The ballot - the Achilles heel of capitalism

We argue we should use the Achilles heel of capitalism - democracy and the vote - to have a majority revolution, the immense majority has to be won and be a politically conscious class for and in themselves to not require 'leadership', i.e. complete change of social system to an elite class free one.

The contradictions of life under capitalism have engendered deep-rooted feelings of frustration. The wealth pouring from the factories and the farms has not assured many of prosperity nor offered security about the future prospects. Instead, of an expected welcome release from burdensome toil, the prospects of automation and robots have become a source of anxiety, producing the threat of chronic unemployment and the spectre of a new recession to follow, rather than the promise of peace and plenty. No wonder people feel alienated.

We could actually eradicate poverty and war (capitalism's twin concomitants) now. Workers produce all wealth. But receive a rationed access to it (wages) just sufficient enough to require us to subject ourselves to more waged slavery in order to produce a surplus value over and above our wages, which accrues to the parasite owning/ employing/ capitalist class.

We could also address the restricted access to medicine by the capitalist market system,(can't pay can't have in many countries), by ending production of commodities (for sale on a market), introducing a new post-capitalist society, run democratically by us all, with common ownership and production for use, with free access to all necessities from the commonly owned pot.

The problem is that ownership and control are in the hands of 1-5%, whether individuals, corporations or states. The 95-99% need to make common cause and end this state of affairs.

We have a post-capitalist, poverty and war free, world of superabundance to win. Our health and the health of the planet depends on us eliminating waged slavery and introducing the free access society.  Food grown to eat, houses built to live in, medicine to treat illness, Dissolve all government and elect yourselves for the last great emancipation that of the wage slaves.

In these secular times the negative, 'human nature' argument has proven to be unscientific in the light of a surfeit of human-centred goodness and voluntarism often in very trying circumstances. This is not to argue the opposite. There have been many humanistic socialists also.

The ethical assumptions of all varieties of what is called the humanistic socialist view are based on the fixity of human nature. They share this view with theological theorists, the difference being that the former hold that this basic human nature is good and the latter that it is bad.

Marx denied that human nature can be placed in such absolute categories. Both Marx and Engels held that human nature was not an absolute constant but an historic variable. In fact, they always insisted that the "human nature" to which humanists and the clericalists appeal, each in their different ways, cannot serve as a guide to social organisation. It is not human nature which explains society, but society which explains human nature.

There can be no overall moral agreement or ethical unity in a social system split by class interests and antagonisms. People change themselves by changing the environment in which they live. Such too will be the change from capitalism to socialism. This will be the product of conscious human activity; in changing their environment from class to common property people will at the same time be changing the way they behave or, if you like, changing themselves. 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 working class always vote against their class interest when they support any of the political parties of capitalism, whether allegedly Labour or unashamedly Tory. In fact, many of the working class think they are not members of this class but somewhere in a non-existent middle category. There is no such thing as a 'middle class'. They disappeared either upstairs into the ruling class, or downstairs into the working class. Even as they fret over getting young Dimkins privately educated, if they have to work for a wage or a salary, they have more in common with the working class in this country and worldwide, than with the capitalist parasite class they emulate in the country they live in.

If you have to work for a wage or a salary in order to live, then you are a member of the working class.
1. The capitalist class owns and controls the means of production and distribution.
2. The working class neither owns nor controls the means of production and distribution. What their relationship is to the means of producing and distributing wealth, this is relevant to their economic and class position in society.
3. As a result, the working class lives by producing wealth for the capitalist class.
The working class accepts the necessity of its dependence upon the capitalist class for permission to work for it, to get wages from it, and to buy means of consumption from it in order to live. The working class rationally resigns itself to continuous exploitation under capitalism as a tamed dog rationally continues serving its master to survive off its master’s scraps. They have more in common with a Bangladesh cotton spinner than with their domestic or global capitalist class.

Capitalism is not like some benign country estate and it cannot be organised as if it were. It cannot put human welfare in the forefront of its concerns. It cannot be controlled by any leader or expert. It must produce problems like poverty, sickness and war. Workers who are seduced into thinking that things would be different under a government of less abrasive personalities are deluding themselves. The promised prosperous futures with steadily rising living standards have never appeared and, of course, they never will. You don't have to be a socialist to be sceptical on this point.

Government bail-outs are state-capitalist measures in the interests of the capitalist class as a whole, even especially when they are pitched as and seem to be, helping workers. For workers, there is always a sting, whether to dampen wage demands (family allowances) or fob off social discontent (welfare state). They are ultimately a good deal for the capitalist parasite class and can be clawed back if profit erosion occurs. Socialism does not exist and has never existed. Any top-down direction in capitalism is state capitalism. Socialism is a post-capitalist society. So the idea of it will seem alien at first. Just as capitalism must have seemed strange in feudal times. But nothing will stop an idea which time has come. The most pressing need facing humanity is to progress from the anarchy of capitalism to a post-capitalist society. The price to pay for delaying this task will be more poverty, increasing hunger, mounting disease and continuing wars. To these has now been added the climate change and global warming which could make all the higher forms of life extinct.

"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you."
Ye are many - they are few."

Wee Matt

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