Thursday, July 09, 2020

It’s time for a re-think.

 Most of our time is concerned with economic worries either at home or work. People everywhere want real decision-making power over their lives and their society. In today's society, production is geared not for human need but for profit. Every thing that is produced can only be obtained if you can pay for it. Society, the world over, is split into two classes: those who own the means of living (the land, factories, mines, transport, offices) and those who do not own anything but their ability to work — the great majority of people. It is this social system that dictates the way we work. Employment takes the form of workers selling their mental and physical energies for a wage or a salary to an employer. In this transaction, the buyer (employer) has complete control over the direction the work takes. People are forced to work through economic necessity; the less money you have, the less access you have to what you need.

Because the employers own all the tools and instruments of production they have the power to dictate the quality of work, how fast it is to be done and. when it becomes no longer profitable to continue production, to make workers redundant. So workers have no control over their work. When new technology arises workers have no power to control its consequences. Thousands are cast into unemployment and for those who are kept on there is dull conformity and the constant threat of insecurity. People are slaves to the commercial interests of a small minority who, because they own everything, are legally entitled to the profits of the work done in their premises using their equipment.

 Old ideas and old ways of thinking are being discarded with a new direction being adopted aimed at re-organisation our world. People are now understanding that the banks and the stock market produces nothing. According to capitalism’s economic experts workers supposedly have nothing to do with the production of social wealth. To be clear, value comes only from the labor-time of workers producing goods and services in material space-time. Only the work-time of the working class can impart value to commodities. Without workers, there would be no social wealth. In this sense, owners of capital are historically superfluous, a drain on society and the economy. They are not needed. They play no positive role. 

The economy, properly speaking, is the relations people enter into with each other in the course of producing value. Every society has to produce and reproduce their means of existence. Any society that fails to do so, even for a few months, will experience serious problems. Workers and owners of capital enter into a relation with each other that legally permits owners of capital to seize the added-value stemming from the labour-time of workers.

The stock market mainly re-divides and re-distributes already-produced value. It represents the parasitism and decay within the economy. It is an arena in which the richest and most powerful capture the wealth seized not only by weaker and smaller owners of capital, but also the pensions and other funds that belong to workers and the public. “Might makes right” prevails throughout the obsolete “dog-eat-dog” capitalist economic system.

 The market appears as a land of infinite unicorns and rainbows. The notion that “money begets money” (“capitalisation”) is a capital-centered prejudice that fosters the illusion that production does not matter and workers are irrelevant; workers supposedly have nothing to do with the production of social wealth. Money just arises magically. But the fairy tale that “money begets money” is a main reason why the stock market always becomes “over-valued” and eventually crashes. Asset valuations and speculation may extend well beyond the stratosphere, but ultimately they are governed by the laws of motion of economic development and must return to Earth. The chickens always come home to roost, as the saying goes. The “good times” never last. Anxiety and insecurity are always around the corner. Unplanned and anarchic economic activity cannot escape frequent catastrophic collapses.

There is only one race, the human race’: humanity is one, brothers and sisters of one humanity. Peace, brotherhood and justice, equality is nowhere to be found. The path to social harmony will come about through unity not division, cooperation not competition, tolerance not bigotry. It is these qualities that need to be adopted and cultivated.

 Salvation for humanity and for the planet is dependent upon tossing out the entire capitalist economic system  in favour of socialism  and human values over profits and inane infinite growth schemes. 

The present conditions cannot be removed until the present social system is abolished. Socialism means a society without the employer-employee relationship — no job centres or cringing job interviews, no wages and no wasted people. A society of free access to wealth. Work will be voluntary, given according to ability and its main aim will be to satisfy human need, giving satisfaction in accomplishing this task.

Why would people work if they were not paid?

Firstly because the conditions of work will greatly change. People will enjoy full control over the work they do — a vital precondition of people enjoying their work. Secondly, people will be brought up to have complete freedom of experience and to choose a particular type, or types, of work they wish to do (one of the reasons work is so tedious today is the economic necessity of continuously staying in the same job, or line of work, while having next to no control over how it is done — conditions which usually lead to mental stagnation). No one will any longer have to do a job they do not like and we will not be restricted in working in a particular area or part of the world.

The only criteria for dictating what work we do will be what is socially useful and what gives pleasure. Many of the mass produced, characterless commodities of today will disappear. Only the best of whatever is possible will be produced and not, as now, a range of qualities based on what you can afford.

There will be many more people to do the useful work as all workers of the present social system who are engaged in socially redundant or anti social tasks — the armed forces, police. lawyers, accountants, bankers. bookies, insurance workers; and all the victims of it — the starving, the unemployed, the war casualties and suicides, will be able to contribute usefully to society. All the people who are today employed in drudgery in factories, mines and offices will be freed from such enslavement. Technology could easily facilitate many of the most irksome aspects of necessary work and eliminate some of them altogether. General attitudes to work will change when there is a common understanding that all contributions to society will be for the benefit of all members of society. That benefit will be the reward of labour unlike today, when the normal day for many is either: work, pub, sleep or work, television, sleep.

Finally, working conditions will no longer be governed by profitability. In a society based on human need the workplaces will not need to resemble the factories, offices, hospitals and so forth of today where a minimum of safety, comfort and artistic creativity exist. With the restrictions of profitability removed, people will be able, where they work and where they live, to create the best possible environments to complement and inspire those who live and work there. The dark, gloomy factories and the high-rise and terraced slums will give way to civilised surroundings.

Adapted from

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