Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Socialism is Ours for the Taking

Under capitalism goods are produced for the market, that is, they are commodities. Included in commodities is a special commodity, labour power, which is also bought and sold in the open market. The price of labour power takes the form of wages. These wages are supposed to be enough to allow the labourer to purchase the necessities of life which can reproduce the labour power lost at work. 

Under capitalism there are private owners of the factories, mills, mines and other means of production, and workers must sell their labour power to the capitalists for wages. However, when the workers in the factories and other places of production work for the capitalists, they produce much more value than they receive in the form of wages. This surplus value included in the whole product of the factory is the property of the capitalist and becomes his profit.

The capitalist is in business for the profit and does his best to increase the mass of profit and the rate of profit. He can do this either by winning more markets or by reducing the cost of production or by speeding up the circulation of his capital, or all these. In short, in order to increase his profit the capitalist must expand his business and produce more stuff at lower cost. To do this he must accumulate capital and reinvest part of his profits back into the business. This accumulation of capital is the basic law of capitalism. Because of it, the factories grow larger, the industries become greater, little business turns into big business in this in turn develops into huge multinationals and corporate conglomerates. The chief method by which the capitalist can lower the cost of his production is through cheapening the value of labour power. This is done by introducing new machinery which can enable the worker to produce an ever-increasing quantity of goods in less and less time and with the same effort. Thus the introduction of machinery which increased not only the actual production but also the productive capacity of industry had two effects: if the market did not expand as rapidly as production increased, then workers were thrown out of work.

It is plain that poverty and inequality will never end so long as there is capitalism, and that to fight the misery means to fight to overthrow the capitalist system. Let the workers unite their mighty strength together to get rid of the parasitic system that condemns them in the midst of plenty to hunger like beggars for a crust of bread. Let us not hesitate to organise our strength together and take what belongs to us. Only the end of capitalism will give any degree of security or comfort. The workers can accomplish that mighty job, the biggest job any class of people ever tackled, only if they prepare themselves.

All economic obstacles to development will be abolished under the new system. Thus, the application of machinery, which under capitalism is determined by considerations of profit, under the new system will depend entirely upon productivity, sustainability and environmentally friendly. Technology which may be very useful for saving labour is very frequently useless from the standpoint of capitalist profits. In socialist society such a point of view will not prevail and there will therefore be no obstacles to the application of labour-saving machinery.

We stand for socialism: a new system in which the people own in common and collectively control the economy, through various social institutions of the widest democracy. We stand completely  opposed to the reactionary systems of exploitation of man by man. Capitalism is an outlived system whose life-blood is private profit and oppression, whether or not represented as free-enterprise or the “welfare state” administered by liberals or self-styled “socialists.” It perpetuates poverty, unemployment, racism, and national conflict. Socialism is our opportunity for a new world of freedom, peace and security. Socialism is liberty.

No comments: