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In “Capital”, Marx explained the capitalist system. He showed that capitalism is based on exploitation, the extraction of surplus value from the working class. He also demonstrated that the exploitation will not end as the result of the trade union struggle, the struggle of the workers against the individual bosses, but from a class struggle in which the working class overthrows the capitalists. The struggle would not be one of “a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage” but rather had to be a struggle for the “abolition of the wage system”. Obviously, Marx did not oppose the struggle for the improvement of better wages and working conditions under capitalism but instead was pointing out the necessity of going beyond the boundaries of capitalism to put an end to the workers’ exploitation.

If the working class is to be successful in its struggles against capitalism, it must be united and organised. Whereas the bosses are welded together by their economic power and financial interdependence, the workers must be welded together by a common political outlook and goals. Only by all the workers acting together as if they were one person can working people equal the power of capitalism.

Capitalism is an economic system which is based on the exploitation of the broad masses of the working people by a handful of the extremely wealthy. The exploitation of the workers by capitalism causes their oppression. As long as this basic system continues to exist, so will the misery of the working class. Recognising this, the Marxist movement seeks to organise the entire working class into a powerful movement to overthrow the power of the employing class. The idea of socialism is powerless without a social force powerful enough to see to its implementation. There is but one such force in modern society – the working class. On the other hand, the working class cannot escape its exploitation by capitalism without socialism. Without socialism the working class is reduced to a constant struggle against the effects of capitalism because without socialism the system of capitalism remains intact. Socialism is powerless without the working class and the working class cannot advance without socialism.

Capitalism implies a division of society into classes, with warring interests. It entails great inequality, economically and socially. It is based on the exploitation of the property-less masses by those who own the means of wealth production. Thus the subjugation and the slavery of vast multitudes to a small minority who own and control the means of life, is an accomplished fact of the present. It will continue so for as long as the working-class are content to endure it. For the fact remains that the masses have the potential power to-day: they have the preponderance of voting power and can use that power—had they the knowledge and desire—to capture, constitutionally, the machinery of government. They can think, and they can vote. Equipped with socialist principles, and a knowledge and hatred of the present system, their class-conscious action could, and would, prove irresistible.

Socialists are out to abolish this system and substitute in its place “The Socialist Commonwealth.” Today is the day of the privileged plunderers of the workers. The present system provides a paradise for the parasitic. Under a capitalist regime wealth is provided for the private profit of the owners of the means of life. It enables them and their retinue to live in idleness and luxury. Their wealth, enjoyment, and ease is the corollary of the poverty, misery, and toil of the drudging masses. Their refinements and ostentatious display, their advantages and privileges, accrue to them as the result of the robbery of the working class.

The basic principle of the wages system is the buying and using of people’s labour- power to provide a
surplus value for the capitalist to appropriate. In other words, the wage-worker is simply used to provide a far greater value than the value represented by the "wages” paid.

Those "wages” are, on the average, barely sufficient to maintain a worker and family in a state of efficiency for continued wealth-production and reproduce the species as future "wage-slaves.” For the future of capitalism depends on a plenteous reserve of workers to exploit.

All the commodities produced belong to the capitalists, the surplus value produced in the factory is realised for the owners by its sale in the markets.

With the means of wealth production being so great, and the organisation of industry so complete, wealth is nowadays produced with ease. Fresh devices for extracting the utmost surplus value are constantly introduced. The exploiters thus grow increasingly rich. The exploited masses thus, relatively, are impoverished. Poverty and precariousness of livelihood go hand-in-hand. Unemployment is more frequently recurring, and want and misery of the workers is a chronic symptom of the system.

Thus the working class—did they but realise it—have no interest in the continuance of capitalism. Their only hope is in its abolition. Socialism is the only system by which those who produce the world’s wealth would own and control the means of wealth production and enjoy the whole fruits of their labours.

The sole object of our rulers is to maintain and consolidate
their privileges. They oppose anything that threatens to menace or curtail them. Thus it is preposterous to imagine that any effort would be made to make a "working-people's paradise”: for only the continued enslavement and the continued exploitation of the masses ensures capitalist supremacy. To keep the workers diligent, docile, and contented, whilst systematically robbing them through the wages system, is the masters’ great purpose. To them, inequality is necessary: for through it they get the lion’s share of the social wealth.
Fellow-workers! Think it over. Of all questions this is paramount! Study socialism and get to fully understand our principles. Organise, class-consciously, for the capture of governmental powers—and use them for the overthrow of the system that robs and impoverishes your class.

Organise for The Socialist Commonwealth


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