Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Wealth commands attention. Money talks - people listen. Regardless of how good the idea is to bring change and save lives, nobody listens to you when you are poor. When a rich man speaks, even if it is foolishness, the media, the government - everybody gives attention. When you are poor, nobody listens to you nor takes your word seriously. Immigration problems don't affect the rich as they affect the poor. In this world, money talks and nothing else matters! When a rich man speaks, respect is shown - even if he is speaking nonsense. The rich have also learnt, to some extent, class consciousness. The rich stay in the company of their peers and support each other. The capitalist rulers have intellectuals of all categories to exalt them. The capitalist rulers today have an arrogant faith in the longevity of their system. They firmly believe that the empire of the almighty dollar is assured of perpetual dominion.

Hardly anyone but Marxists nowadays retain hope in the anti-capitalist strivings and sentiments of the working people or believe that they can in time participate in a mighty movement oriented toward socialist objectives. For adhering to these convictions and being guided by them, we are looked upon as ideological and political fossils,ridiculous relics of a bygone era, dogmatists who cling to outworn views and cannot understand what is going on in front of our own eyes. Unfashionable as it may be, the Socialist Party offer substantial reasons for their adamant resistance to compromise and concessions. Our convictions are not an affirmation of religious-like faith. They are derived from a scientific conception of the course and motor forces of world history, a reasoned analysis of the decisive trends of our time, and an understanding of the mainsprings and the necessities of capitalist development. Marxism has clarified many perplexing problems in philosophy, sociology, history, economics, and politics. Its supreme achievement is the explanation it offers of the key role of the working class in history. Socialism is not inevitable. What has been termed its ‘inevitability’ consists in this, that only through socialism can human progress continue. But there is not and cannot be any absolute deterministic inevitability in human affairs, since man makes his own history and chooses what to do. What is determined is not his choice, but the conditions under which it is made, and the consequences when it is made. The meaning of scientific socialism is not that it tells us that socialism will come regardless, but that it explains to us where we stand, what course lies open to us, what is the road to a sustainable society.  

Nothing less is at stake than the destiny of civilization and with it the future of mankind. Those who deny any latent radicalism in the workers seldom appreciate what consequences logically flow from this negative position in the areas of most concern to them. If the working class cannot be counted on to dislodge the capitalists, who else can do that job? It would be exceedingly difficult to point out another social force or find a combination of components that could effectively act as a surrogate for the workers. The struggle against capitalist domination then looms as a lost cause and a socialist world becomes a Utopia. Some present a prognosis of catastrophe and apocalypse and emphasize the powerlessness of our fellow workers. Rather instil confidence many on the Left accept the supposed omnipotence of the ruling class and  succumb to sentiments of hopelessness and despair. Many of today’s left-wingers are far more impressed by the undeniable shortcomings of the labor movement than by any of its positive accomplishments. Sometimes they appear to deny it any progressive features, whatsoever, and retreat into the politics of identity and reformism, rather than class.  They dismiss the potential and latent strengths of the sheer existence of powerful union organizations which act as a shield against lowering wages and working conditions and check the aggressions of the employers in the class war. Many allege that the workers will never become a force ready, willing, and able to transform the world. Their ranks are so smugly and snugly integrated into the “consumer society” that they can have no compelling reasons to turn against it. It is out of the question for them to attain the political or ideological level of a revolutionary temper. The skeptics who suppose unlimited confidence in the longevity of capitalism rule out the possibility that the workers will be any more insurgent.

Under intensified foreign competition, U corporations have been increasingly pressed to shave their costs, beginning with the cost of labor. Big business have reduced the earnings and living standards of the industrial work force. If the unions engage in defensive actions against such attacks, sharp tension can quickly replace the prevailing acquiescence and toleration between the bosses and the workers. It could provoke anger against anti-labor legislation. The possibilities are so diverse that it is impossible to foretell where or how the break in the dyke will come. The widespread under-estination of the working class comes from reliance on short-range criteria. 

The workers of the nineteen-twenties were far more passive, helpless, and poorly organized than today. Many experts at that time could not figure out how these weaknesses might be overcome, and it was not easy to do so. The touchstone of labor’s impotence in their eyes was its inability to introduce unionism into basic industry where most low-paid workers were located. They marshalled imposing reasons why the workers were unlikely to emerge from disorganization. The workers were divided against themselves: native against foreign-born, white against black, craft workers against mass production workers. The anti-union forces were rich, crafty, and powerful. The magnates of capital had the workers at their mercy. They controlled the courts, legislatures and the press. They used the blacklist, their private police, labor spies, and reserves of strikebreakers to crush and victimize organizers in the shops. Moreover, the mainstream union officialdom was uninterested in bringing unionism to the unorganized. How, then, were the mass production workers to organize themselves? They were considered too unintelligent and unaware of their own interest and bereft of the necessary resources, national connections, and experience. The gloomy prognosis drawn from these empirical facts had one flaw: it assumed that previous conditions would prevail with undiminished effect from one decade to the next. The prophets of gloom may easily mistake the recharging of the energies of the working class for their exhaustion.

It is true that the labor force is undergoing marked changes in all countries. Under capitalism, automation and computerisation do threaten the jobs of skilled and unskilled alike, in one industry after another. The dislocations and job instability caused by these processes have to be guarded against by both the economic action and political organization of the working class. The implications of these structural changes in the work force do not signify that the working class as such has less importance . The main meaning of these changes is that education and skill become ever more vital in the competition for jobs and the scramble for social survival and economic advancement. On the one hand, the low-paid, unskilled segments of the laboring population become more miserable, insecure, ground down. On the other hand, the growing numbers of white-collar, professional, and technical personnel become more subjected to capitalist exploitation and alienation, more and more proletarianized, more responsive to unionization and its methods of action, more and more detached from loyalty to their corporate employers. The capitalist regime is well aware of the latent power of the strike weapon and constantly seeks to hamper its use. In practice, the rulers have little doubt about its revolutionary potential. Capitalist production cannot do without an ample laboring force, no matter how many are unemployed, because profit-making and the accumulation of capital depend upon the consumption of large quantities of labor power which creates value in the form of commodities. Although this or that segment or individual may be squeezed out of jobs temporarily or permanently, the industrial work force as such is not expendable, no matter how fast or how far automation proceeds under capitalist auspices. the inability of the profiteers fully to utilize the immense potential of the new science and technology for reducing the working day and rationalizing production, provide further reasons for breaking their hold upon industry. Socialism envisages the elimination from industry of the capitalist proprietors , rather than the workers. The working class are far from obsolescent and cannot be conjured away by abstract extrapolations because they provide the minds and the muscles for the production of all material wealth.

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