"Civilisation has done little for labour except to modify the forms of its exploitation." Eugene Debs
Politics is too important to be left to politicians. People are right to be discontented and to protest about their situation, but they need to be more discerning and choose the right target. It’s not the Westminster politicians, nor the Brussels bureaucracy, nor the East European migrants who are to blame for their plight. It’s the world-wide capitalist system of production for profit. That’s what they should target. But protesting against it and its effects is not enough. They need to go beyond this and organise politically to bring the whole system to an end and replace it by one in which the resources of the Earth have become the common heritage of all humanity and used to improve the lot of people everywhere.
Revolution is a complete transformation in how we think and act. This acts upon society. Capitalist technological development allied with intense competition between its players has already outstripped its capacity to consume its products, as the requirement for profit for the capitalist class, puts a brake on distribution.
Contrary to what is said the immense technological capacity of capitalism to produce, which can't be utilised under a capitalist market system, as it needs to switch off production ,before human needs can be satisfied and find ever new commodities, to resume the business of making profits, which makes revolution possible. The workers who think they have something to lose are quite simply mistaken. They are living in poverty, relative or actual. The comparison has to be made between the 85 people who own more wealth than the bottom 40% of society and not the modicum of gilding of our waged slave chains. The elites do not bring anything to the production process save capital (dead labour) already creamed off workers surplus value.
Previous revolutions were bloody affairs as they were competing class interests for dominance over subject classes. There won’t be any subject class after the capitalist class are dispossessed of their ownership of the means and instruments of creating and distributing wealth. It is the working class only who create wealth. Not the capitalist/parasite class. Their capital investments are only stolen surplus value (dead labour.) The solution is a revolutionary removal of parasitic/capitalist/elites, either corporate, state or private individual owning and controlling the means and instruments of producing and distributing wealth. Any solutions inside capitalism are illusory, they sow the seeds of the next crisis. Capitalism cannot be reformed to work in the interests of the majority. All wealth flows from the workers who do not just produce wealth in capitalism they also run and manage capitalism from top to bottom, but can only do so in the interests of the owners.
This has to be rearranged by a post-capitalist development where the problem of distribution of wealth can finally be resolved by common ownership and production for use, rather than for sale. A change to post-capitalist society does not necessarily mean the bloodbath which accompanied previous revolution. From the initial capture of the state by the majority to prevent its forces of repression being used against workers. There will be no socialism without socialists and the immense majority world over will have to become socialist – a socialist global collective working class, while conquering political power of the states, dismantling their bureaucratic-military top-down apparatus and democratizing (bottom-up) all useful organs and dispossessing the capitalist class. This done the state withers away from being government 'over people' to becoming an administration 'over things'.
That the emancipation of the productive class is that of all human beings without distinction of sex or race;
That the producers can be free only insofar as they are in possession of the means of production;
That there are only two forms under which the means of production can belong to them:
The individual form which has never existed generally and which is being more and more eliminated by the process of industry;
The collective form whose material and intellectual elements are being formed by the very development of capitalist society.
That this collective appropriation can only be the outcome of the revolutionary action of the productive class – or proletariat – organized in a separate political party.
That such organization must be pursued by all the means, which the proletariat has at its disposal, including universal suffrage, thus transformed from the instrument of trickery, which it has been up till now into an instrument of emancipation.” Marx on Universal Suffrage and Political Self-organisation May 10, 1880
Marx states: “No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself” (Preface to A Critique of Political Economy).
Does the current mode of production ─ capitalism ─ act as a fetter upon production? Are the material conditions which currently exist, sufficiently mature to support new, higher relations of production: socialism? We have developed our ability to produce to a level which easily enables us to meet everyone’s needs. But the relations of production-capitalism-disable us. Capitalism cannot accommodate that necessary production. By and large people do not go hungry because there is no food, but because they are, from the unalterable perspective of capitalism, unworthy: they cannot afford to eat. They cannot afford to eat because from capitalism’s perspective there is no reason to employ them and pay them. We have developed the material productive forces to such an extent that fewer and fewer workers can produce more and more of the things we need to live. But still, people cannot get the necessities of life. Marx cannot be faulted in his analysis of why a market economy in the modern world contains the seeds of its own destruction, assuming that the ownership of the means of production remained concentrated in too few hands and workers had only their labor to sell in direct competition with labour-displacing technology or with workers willing to work for lower wages.
For years we have been told that improvements in production should mean reduced working hours. Instead it means that many of us work longer hours for the same pay. Many others are not permitted to work because capital does not require their labour. This is more evidence that our productive ability has outstripped the ability of capitalism to accommodate our ability to produce.
The apologists for capital would have us believe that Karl Marx was wrong about almost everything he said and wrote. But it is clear that “the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production.” Marx was right.
The material conditions for new, higher relations of production have been carried in the womb of capitalism for too long. It is time for a birthing. It is time to release our ability to produce and to solve our problems, by providing the appropriate relations of production: socialism.
Marx views can be summarised:
1. The working class must first, either peacefully or violently, win control of the State.
2. Then they must make it completely democratic, and,
3. Use it to dispossess the capitalists and establish the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production.
4. This done, there would no longer be any need for the State, which consequently would cease to exist in Socialism.
Marx's views were distorted in two opposing ways.
First, by some Social Democrats who made him stand for a gradual, peaceful transition to Socialism by means of social reform measures passed by parliament.
Secondly, by Lenin. When Lenin returned to Russia in April 1917 after the overthrow of the Tsar he began to advocate that his party, the Bolsheviks, should aim to seize power in the near future. He knew that they could only do this in a violent uprising. Forced into hiding in August and September he wrote this pamphlet The State and Revolution in which he distorted Marx's views so as to justify in Marxist terms the Bolsheviks' planned insurrection.
Marx and Engels in fact made no distinction between Socialism and Communism; they were terms they used interchangeably to refer to future classless, Stateless society based on social or common ownership. Marx describes British industry as “vampire-like” which “could but live by sucking blood, and children’s blood too”. He also said “Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks". In The Condition of the Working Class in England, Engels identifies and blames the “vampire property-holding class” as the source of "all the social troubles". There is no happy ending in capitalism just horrors.