Friday, July 24, 2020

Abolish the Wages System - End Wage-Slavery

In a capitalist society, where the ruling class not only controls the productive and state apparatus but also shapes and misshapes the ideas, attitudes and very sentiments of working people with remarkable success. The better the capitalist class is in ruling over us, the more deceived we will be by the false theories which conceal the self-interest generated by and essential to the operation of an exploitative society. Our fellow-workers must break free from the patterns of thought and conduct which help to maintain capitalist class dominance. Without such a break, we cannot emancipate ourselves and all of humanity.

The non-socialist reformists possess no concepts about how to change the system.  It is the historic mission of our class  the propertyless class of wage-slaves  to make revolution,  uniting all who can be united against the hated capitalist enemy. It is necessary to make revolution to eliminate the evils of this society and move society forward in a great leap for mankind.  It is possible to do so. What all workers must understand is that their misery is due to exploitation carried on by the capitalist class.

Karl Marx said long ago:
“Trade Unions work well as centers of resistance against the encroachments of capital. They fail partially from an injudicious use of their power. They fail generally from limiting themselves to a guerrilla warfare against the effects of the existing system, instead of simultaneously trying to change it, instead of using their organized forces as a lever for the final emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the ultimate abolition of the wages system.”

What every worker must realize is that through trade union struggle we are not fighting the causes which is capitalism but only its symptoms. Not merely that. We are demanding it from the capitalists. In other words, we envisage the continuation of the capitalist system. We are fighting against the effects of the system as Marx points out, and not against the system itself. What trade union struggles really do is to fight to improve the conditions of the working class within the framework of the capitalist system. They do not challenge capitalism itself. Every wage increase that is won by the workers is immediately offset by the employers by more intensive work, by increased productivity etc. So that, usually the worker is back to from where he or she started. Trade unionism  limits their struggle to attempts at lessening this exploitation. It does not fight to end exploitation i.e. to end the capitalist system and replace it by socialism. This is the fatal limitation of trade union struggles.

The Socialist Party do not, of course, oppose trade unions and their  struggles nor do our members decline to participate in them. It is very essential for workers to organise and for them to defend their living standards. The trade unions are instruments of organised resistance, based on solidarity and mutual help.

 Capitalist production is a slave exploiting mechanism. It was not designed primarily to enable more wealth to be produced but to enable more profit to be made. The system is built expressly to exploit wage slaves, and it is becoming ever more efficient from that standpoint making the situation ever worse for the exploited. The wage slave knows this instinctively, but cannot understand why it is so; there is a developing dissatisfaction and a desire to kick, but not understanding that the system is at fault, in the main workers act blindly. Society cannot be free without every member of society being free. Capitalism is a system of production for profit only; there has never been produced at any time under capitalism sufficient to satisfy the needs of all. The object of capitalist production is not the production of wealth; the mechanism was not designed for that purpose; where profit is not visualised capital does not go; in other words, no profit—no production. Workers are compelled to revolt against the exploiting mechanism, not because they desire to possess it, but partly because of the workers' disinclination to operate it under the then prevailing conditions. They, the workers, will be driven to take control of the State machine and register the fact that the means of production are from then on to be operated exclusively for use. As a means of ending chaos the tools of industry will be made common property. The dismantling process can then begin.

 Socialism entails the abolition of the wages system. It may be difficult for some to believe they can dispense with it; they have got so used to it they cannot conceive of life without it, and so-called socialists often go out of their way to perpetuate the false idea that man is free from exploitation when he is still firmly riveted to the mechanism of capitalism. To make the machinery of production common property is not the whole of it. To establish a system of production for use through the operation of the present day machinery designed for exploitation is impossible. Many wage slaves vaguely realise this and once they comprehend that socialism means doing away with the tread mill that they now find themselves tied to, they will the better understand our message. The desire to produce what one personally wants will be intensified.

In the earlier forms of society every member of the tribe could do practically what every other tribesman could do. We are returning to the communal life of our ancestors, but on a higher plane. Socialism means freedom. To be free mankind must control the means of life. To be a cog in a machine is to be a slave no matter how well greased the system is.

When we talk and write about socialism, we mean a class-free society in which the means of producing food, clothing, houses, and all the amenities of life, shall be owned in common and democratically controlled by the community. There will be an identity of interests, for no one will covet what his neighbour has if there is an abundance to satisfy his needs. This is the foundation which we claim will solve war and the major evils of the world. Socialism is the only sane way. All other methods have been tried and failed. It does not follow that socialism will succeed because it has never been tried. It requires thought and inquisitiveness on the part of workers, to understand why socialism will succeed.

With the basis of socialist society firmly established, it is not difficult to see that mankind will be free to enjoy life to the full. Men and women will give of their best to society, for they will know that society's resources will be there for the taking. They will produce the best and receive the best. They will be free to develop his natural desires and aptitudes. Production will be a task which men and women will enjoy, for they will be working in the knowledge that goods are actually being produced for the benefit of the community. Mankind will be free to enjoy the arts of the world.

No longer will people be assessed by their bank balance or property, for money would serve no function under socialism. Today, money in the form of wages keeps workers in subjection, and poverty, for they can only buy back a proportion of the wealth they produce. As all means of production would be owned in common for the benefit of mankind, war will be an impossibility, for a socialist society would not fight for something it already possessed.

Workers, do not attempt to escape from the problems thrown up by capitalism by ignoring the cold facts of reality. Face up to the situation that capitalism is now decadent, and that mankind can build a new world in which life will be a beautiful experience. The nightmares of yesterday will then gradually recede in the distance. When socialism is obtained the escape to freedom will be complete.

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