Capitalism is kept alive not by coercion but by ideas. These ideas it instils into people from the day they start thinking to their last day. The education system, the media, and religion, are all the means by which the thoughts of the people are shaped. They are used by the class that controls them to argue that the society we live in is fundamentally good and correct. By and large, the working class accepts these ideas. If it did not, capitalism could not exist very long.
The aim of the Socialist Party is to achieve common ownership of the means of production and distribution to replace the existing capitalist system. Our planet could be a paradise for all working people. But on the contrary, we have hell on Earth. Poverty prevails amid the ability to create plenty. People are starving while food goes to waste. Wars are fought in the name of peace. Our world is divided into rich and poor, a tiny handful of rich who need not work and the overwhelming majority who toil their whole lives
Capitalism is a class society, based on the exploitation of the great majority of the people, the working class, by the small minority, the capitalist class. Because production is carried on for profit and not to meet the needs of the people, capitalism leads to poverty, recessions and war.
Capitalism is a society based on exploitation is one in which one class, through its ownership of the means of production, is able to live as a parasite class, not producing, but living on the labour of—that is, exploiting—the other class, who are obliged to do all the real productive work on which the life of the society as a whole depends.
Capitalism is a system in which the means for producing wealth (the land, the mines, factories, the machines, etc.) are in private hands. A tiny handful of people own these “means of production”. The immense majority of the people own nothing but their power to work. Profits are the motivating force of all capitalist production. No other incentive is given any serious recognition. Production for profit and the people’s needs, therefore, become opposite poles. So long as the profit motive prevails as the single dominant factor in production, to which all other factors are subordinated, the needs of the people will naturally be utterly disregarded
Under capitalism, money is used to make more money. Profit drives production, not social needs. And capitalist production does not proceed in a straight line upwards. It is subject to recurrent crises of “booms and slumps” that destroy and waste much of the value previously created by society (workers). The welfare of the people is simply trampled on by the profit-hungry businesses: their search for profits is a ruthless rampage that leaves a trail of misery, ruin, hardship and poverty. This is how capitalism works.
Capitalism is not interested in the welfare of the people. Capitalism is interested only in profits. Manufacturers do not produce commodities because people want them or need them. They produce what they expect to sell, and sell at a profit. Capitalism is a system of production for the accumulation of more capital. Companies, therefore, produce only the products that give them the greatest profit. Capitalist production is not only carried on for profit, it depends for its very survival upon profit – upon ever-increasing profits. It depends upon the accumulation of capital and constantly increasing opportunities for profitable investments. Realization of profits in turn depends upon increasingly larger markets to absorb the rising output of consumer goods which is a necessary condition for the absorption of capital goods. Thus continued expansion is a prime necessity for capitalist survival.
Profit is derived from unpaid labour time. Workers’ labour power is purchased on the market by the owners of capital. Put to work, workers produce values sufficient to cover wages to maintain themselves and family. The value produced in the remainder of the working week constitutes surplus value, the source of profit. The commodities produced by workers’ socialised labour are appropriated by the capitalists. They will continue to be produced so long as they can be sold for profit on the market.
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