Saturday, November 09, 2019

Socialist Party and Ideas

Working class ideas may be temporarily fashioned by, but will often act against all the hysterical denunciations of the press, the TV and the rest. At the moment there is overwhelming support for capitalism, with dissent occasionally being directed towards policies for some tinkering reforms of the system. It is not enough to hope that the system does not have to be abolished but can be reformed out of character. The remorseless everyday experience of capitalism works to change these ideas, to enlighten the working class as to their true interests and to the need for a social revolution to bring capitalism to an end.

This is no mechanical process, which socialists can sit back and watch. The human race makes its own history and socialists strive to encourage, to stimulate and to accelerate the trend towards the understanding which will bring about the revolution. In this, a kind of battle of ideas, communication is vital. In numbers alone, the capitalist class at present have the advantage. But the ideas of socialism are too powerful to be denied.

Employers hold the whip-hand by virtue of being a member of the class which monopolises the means of production; that is to say, the means of life. This results in the rest of society being able to live only by selling their ability to work to an employer. They have no choice about this — they are forced to sell it as a condition for obtaining some access to the things they need to live. But this is not all; the employers only agree to buy the ability to work of individual members of the excluded class if they think they can make a profit out of selling what they produce. In other words, the class which monopolises the means of production in effect uses its position to hold the rest of society to ransom by extracting a tribute from them as a condition for allowing them to use the means of production.

So the fundamental social activity of wealth production, far from being achieved through free contracts made between individuals as libertarian theory assumes, is in fact achieved through the economic and political coercion of one class in society by another. Social relations at the point of production are relations of coercion, domination and exploitation, in which individual rights are overridden and where might is right.

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