Friday, July 05, 2019

Wage-Slaves Versus Capitalist Masters

Sustainability. That’s a popular word these days. Within the capitalist system sustainability means not only those practices that are good for managing soil, water, and land, it also means a few things practical to the commercial side such as managing to stay profitable and in business, or managing the land in a way that brings opportunities to future generations. At its basic level, sustainability can only mean profitability. Whatever the specific definition of ‘sustainable’ one thing is for certain: economics drive solutions within capitalism.

Any conception of socialism must include the empowerment of the working class to be the master of its own destiny. Whilst we can debate and sketch visions of what a future society might look like, all these discussions will prove meaningless unless we can find away to acquire the power required to make them concrete. Given the seeming powerlessness of the working class at present what means can the working class be elevated to power? In a sense the working class already has a massive latent power over society just waiting to be realised, the task then is unlocking this power. The workers’ movement is lacking political clarity. The problem is the lack of consciousness. Why don’t workers put an end to capitalism – given its destructiveness to humans and the environment. If you don’t know where you want to go, then no road will take you there. As long as people look upon the requirements of capital as “self-evident natural laws”, those struggles occur within the bounds of the capitalist relation. Sooner or later the worker will accept his or her subordination to capital and the system keeps going. People commonly think that there is no alternative to the status quo. To go beyond capitalism, we need a vision that can appear to workers as an alternative common sense, as their common sense.

Being a socialist means first and foremost to be on the side of the working class. The Socialist Party is not against reforms but opposes reformism as a political practice. The Socialist Party supports any reform that will help the cause of working people. Workers can win concessions but only for a certain period before the ruling class tries to take these reforms and concessions back. In a class society, the struggle between wage-slaves and the capitalist masters is of a permanent nature. The intensity of this class conflict and struggle can vary and there can be lulls at times. Both classes have different interests and clash with each other to protect and further their interests. The ruling class wants to exploit the working class to the maximum. On the other hand, the working class has no other option but to fight back for their survival.

The root of exploitation under capitalism is not insufficient wages per se, or the depredations of finance. The process of exploitation under capitalism necessarily implies that for accumulation to take place on one end, the worker must be paid less than the value of their labour-time on the other. The more capitalist production expands, the less time the workers has for themselves. The struggle over exploitation is fundamentally the question of whether the worker has the time to fully develop her intellectual, social, and creative powers, or must devote this time instead to the reproduction of a hostile, alien, and benumbing society, with no time to call their own. This is a ‘bread and butter’ question in its own right. Socialism is to create a world where labour-time for all workers can be reduced to a minimum to leave the  maximum time for leisure pursuits, socialising, sports, art, music, writing, debating, and all those things that have been considered the good things in life. There is no known process of capitalism that can achieve this aim.

The establishment of socialism involves workers taking power themselves and exercising collective and democratic control over workplaces, and resource allocation through democratic planning, the complete democratisation of society. Socialism is "a movement of the immense majority, acting in the interests of the majority".

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