Saturday, July 25, 2020

We Accuse…You

The productivity of labour has increased a thousandfold in the last 500 years, yet those who labour are in constant penury and want. Why is it?

We live in a world where toil for billions of' working men and women, purchased nothing better than squalor, penury, anxiety, and wretchedness—a world scarred by slums and disgraced by sweating, where unemployment through the vicissitudes of industry brought despair to multitudes of humble homes; a world where, side by side with want, there was waste of the inexhaustible riches of the earth. Oh, you ungrateful slaves, who would deny your masters their full pound of flesh! Your employers travel around in luxurious limousines, private jets and yachts take them to all parts of the world, so they can bask in the Caribbean sun, play in Alpine ski-resorts, shoot on Scottish estates, hunt on African safaris. They indulge their appetites at sumptuous banquets, revive their spirits at grand balls, and rejuvenate their interest in life at the races.

Capitalism creates poverty and it breeds wars, but it is you, our fellow-workers who support capitalism. It is you who build empires for your masters when, instead, you could take possession of the earth and build a cooperative commonwealth for yourselves — a socialist commonwealth, where profits no longer would be the object of production, and markets would cease to be a bone of contention for snarling groups of profit-hungry capitalists, but a system wherein free men and women produce wealth according to their needs.

Yet, fellow workers, you have turned away your heads from socialism, because your masters and their lackeys, fearing it, have lied to you about its meaning. They deceive in the media, from their political rostrums. They encourage mis-leaders to misconstrue, defame, and slander. Nothing but another tool of the master class pay to blind the workers as to their true position as wage slaves. You sacrifice your lives to the support of capitalism with its awful destruction and waste of the wealth which you produce, but do not own. Your masters appeal to you as "patriots" to save "your country" from the pandemic, they beg you to save "your country" from bankruptcy. 

Your masters desire is for more surplus-value, i.e., the difference between the wealth you produce and the wages you receive. All the wealth you produce belongs to your masters. Your wages are paid out of that wealth, and are determined by what it costs you to live. Your own insecurity and poverty has increased. Your wretchedness is plain to see as your masters snatch away what little you enjoy. You suffer poverty and deprivation while your masters live in luxury off the wealth you have produced. If you support the Left and dream that nationalisation will save you you will, when you awake, you’ll find yourselves under the rule of the bureaucrat and technocrat wage slaves still, exploited in the interest of all capitalists instead of that of a corporationYou are already there by virtue of your poverty, and must sell your labour-power in order to live. There is not a reform within your reach that can save you from worse degrees of exploitation.

The means of wealth production are owned by the capitalist or master class, and you are only permitted to produce wealth for them while they can sell at a profit. With modern machinery and methods every nation can produce more wealth than it can dispose of within its own boundaries, and it must find markets for the surplus elsewhere. It was this need for markets that led to the war. But war could not solve the insoluble problem. The world's markets are for those who can sell the cheapest. In order that your masters may sell cheaply you must produce cheaply. The capitalists of other countries, realising this, are telling their workers the same fairy tales that your masters are telling you. They are inciting their workers in the name of nationalism to engage in new military conflicts, in the trade wars of factories and markets, in which the cheapest workers will win for their masters commercial supremacy, for themselves increasing impoverishment.

 Your masters tell you that this must always be your lot, that your share of the wealth you produce can never be more than the slave's portion, and that you must work ever more strenuously even for that. They tell you that industry will not bear the burden of higher wages and improved conditions for you. There is only one answer you can return them: they take two-thirds of the wealth you produce and perform no useful function in society; it is they that are a burden on society—and upon you—and you have no further use for them or their system.

Capitalism fails to give you, who produce all wealth, a secure and comfortable existence, then capitalism must go. With modern means and methods of production wealth can be produced to satisfy the needs of all; but capitalism, with is class ownership of the means of life, and the consumerist character which it imposes upon our labour power, stands in the way. The working class contains the only people who produce commodities and distribute them to the consumers, and they are the people who, relatively speaking, consume the least. The working class includes all employees, whether they be managers or office workers, scientists or mechanics.

 It is the same old story of the capitalists' greed for profit the world over. Fellow worker, are you assisting the master class by supporting their system of slavery, which means hellish conditions for those of your class, or are you joining up with your fellows to abolish it? You must first understand the nature of the obstacle, and then organise politically to remove it. The longer you delay the worse does your condition become. The sooner you commence the task—which can only be performed by you, because you are the class that suffers—the sooner will you enjoy the fruits of your labour under a system where the means of wealth production are the common property of all, used and controlled by all, in the interests of all. 

Not until the workers acquire faith in themselves will they escape from this danger. Once they reach that stage in their mental development and understanding the days of "moderate," "wise," and "statesmanlike" leaders will be gone, and the workers will organise to take control of the means of life by retaining in their own hands the power to decide the issues before them. Then, instead of trying to find out how long they can live under austerity, while the masters roll in luxury, they will march to capture the power of control—the political machinery—and end the struggle over wages by abolishing the wages system and establishing socialism. 

Think it over.

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