Article 43


Sunday, March 26, 2023

No Wonder They Didn’t Teach Us About Marx

image: marxism
“Owners of capital will stimulate working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks which will have to be nationalized and State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism.”
- AZquotes of Karl Marx
In the domain of Political Economy, free scientific inquiry meets not merely the same enemies as in all other domains. The peculiar nature of the materials it deals with, summons as foes into the field of battle the most violent, mean and malignant passions of the human breast, the Furies of private interest. The English Established Church, e.g., will more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 articles than on 1/39 of its income
- Capital - Volume 1, Karl Marx, 1867
You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
- The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
Einstein is “convinced” that the only way to eliminate the “grave evils” of capitalism is “through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.” For Einstein, the “worst evil” of predatory capitalism is the “crippling of individuals” through an educational system that emphasizes an “exaggerated competitive attitude” and trains students “to worship acquisitive success.” But the problems extend far beyond the individual and into the very nature of the political order.
- Albert Einstein Writes the 1949 Essay “Why Socialism?” and Attempts to Find a Solution to the “Grave Evils of Capitalism”
The so-called democracy of the powerful U.S. elite continues to live up to its legacy of hypocrisy and deceit..  To the people of this nation of all colors and ethnicities who are losing your jobs, your homes, and your families - to those with no health insurance - to those who cannot afford to send your children to college - and to those languishing in prisons this writer says:  Place not your faith in the rhetoric of politicians or the false promises of such cynical opportunists. Place your faith in yourselves and each other, in your / our ability to discern the difference between rhetoric vs. reality, and in our determination to find and create ways of organizing and coming together to bring about real systemic change dedicated to everyday people and not the corporate blood suckers of the peoples of this nation and world.
- History, Hypocrisy and Empire, Black Commentator, 2009


Back in Catholic grade school - all us little kids and our developing brains had to go to church every morning before class, and attend mass.  I didn’t realize THE BRAINWASHING OF OUR MINDS MAY HAVE STARTED WAY BACK THEN.  Besides the trauma of staring and praying to a larger-than-life statue of a near-naked, bearded, white man bleeding to death in agony, we watched the authority figure priest drink wine from an EXPENSIVE gold cup, internalize whatever he was teaching - and if we didn’t obey - beg for forgiveness in an ACT OF CONTRITION one-on-one, me and the priest, in the CONFESSIONAL.  On the way out of church, we passed a tiny, rickety, little wooden box to drop pennies in for the poor.  Nobody would question why we’re not helping the poor out more, or ask questions like why the priest wouldn’t sell his expensive gold cup, and use the money to help the hungry and homeless.  The wine would taste just as good in a dixie cup.  Isn’t helping the poor what Jesus was all about? The hypocrisy never registered in my conflicted little brain.

As an older adult, I came to believe RELIGION and CAPITALISM are two evils, and in our OLIGARCHIC, PLUTOCRATIC, INVERTED-TOTALITARIAN society that PROTECTS THE RICH - the manifestations of the darkness that rules us - are IN PLAIN SIGHT.

Now I think I’m STARTING TO UNDERSTAND why they didn’t teach us any Marx stuff in school.

But, what CAN BE a future worse than capitalism - something Marx may not have THOUGHT ABOUT - is THE GREAT RESET - that sounds a lot like socialism or communism with it’s “You will own nothing and be happy” tagline. Not for nothing, but I don’t own any land.  If I don’t pay property taxes, or my mortgage - there goes the house.  The issue is WHO CONTROLS the upcoming technological new world.

Under the order envisioned by the Great Reset, the advancement of technology is not meant to serve the improvement of the conditions of the people but to submit the individual to the tyranny of a technocratic state. “The experts know better” is the justification.

I wonder what Marx would think of the WEF and the DAVOS crowds?



By Study Smarter

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Marxism and communism?

Marxism is a key conflict theory in sociology, named after its founder, Karl Marx. It has been one of the most influential sociological theories in the field, as it discusses several aspects of social life, including economics, politics, education and culture.

We will consider the key theorists and concepts of Marxism.

The meaning of Marxism

Marxism in sociology is a key conflict theory originating from the work of Karl Marx. It believes that capitalist society is based on inequalities between the ‘bourgeoisie’ (ruling capitalist class) and ‘proletariat’ (working class). It is a conflict theory, as it sees society as being in constant conflict between these social classes.

Marxism in sociology

We will discuss the core idea of Marxism and the way it is connected to economics.

The role of the economy in Marxism

Marx theorised that the most important aspect of a society is its economy. All other institutions and structures are based on the economy. Whoever is in charge of the economy is in charge of society and its population. Marx’s original philosophy is also referred to as traditional (or classic) Marxism.

In Marx’s view, the bourgeoisie controls the economy and exploits the proletariat through ownership of the ‘means of production’ and ‘relations of production’. Through exploitation, the bourgeoisie can continue to make profits and further the capitalist agenda. The capitalist agenda is based on the private ownership of property, through which individuals can accumulate capital.

Marx highlights the periods of times that Western societies moved through. He called these epochs.

The five epochs

We will look at the five epochs, defined by Marxist philosophy.

Primitive communism

Society was free of social class division, as hunter-gatherers only gathered enough food to survive. There was no surplus production, and therefore there was no exploitation.

Ancient society

This was the first stage of exploitation, as the dynamic between aristocrats and slaves characterised society.


Medieval society was divided into landowners and land occupiers. The landowners exploited the occupiers.

Capitalist society

Our current society. We can trade with anyone, and we are free to make our own money. However, according to Marx, this stage is unjust because the rich exploit the poor.

Advanced communism

Marx’s utopian prediction for the next stage of society. Shared resources, wealth, and equality are traits of Marx’s ideal societal structure.

Marxism vs. Communism

Marxism was a philosophical and sociological perspective, which believed that society was progressing towards the age of communism, where all individuals will be equal. In the 20th century, more than several countries claimed to have established communism. The most famous of them was the Soviet Union.

Soviet Communism, while ideologically based on Marxist ideas, in reality was not what Marx envisioned for society.

When we talk about Marxism, we usually mean the philosophy and sociological theory, while when we talk about communism, we refer to the political regime existing in the Soviet Union and in China in the 20th century.

Marxist philosophy: The key concepts of Marxism

Marx argued that the bourgeoisie maintains and increases their wealth by controlling the means of production and exploiting the proletariat. He came up with the following key concepts to further explain his theory.

The two classes of capitalist society

The bourgeoisie and the proletariat make up the two classes of capitalist society.

The bourgeoisie owns the means of production, which produces goods that they can sell at a profit. For this reason, the bourgeoisie controls the wealth of the country. Meanwhile, the proletariat sells its time and labour to the bourgeoisie for money. Bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat

Marx argued that the bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat by paying them less than they deserve to keep profits high. Capitalist society is unjust because of this exploitation and conflict of interest between the two social classes.

The economic base and superstructure

The bourgeoisie controls the means of production, meaning that they own the land, materials, factories, and equipment for production. They also control the relations of production, which means they organise the workers involved in the production of goods and services.

This combination of power gives the bourgeoisie control over the whole economy. According to Marx, control over the whole economy means control over society, as the ‘superstructure; is based on the economy.

The superstructure is the name given to all other institutions and structures in society, such as government, religion, education, and family. Such institutions reproduce bourgeoisie ideas and values, which helps to maintain the status quo and uphold the capitalist agenda.

Ideological control

Due to the bourgeoisie’s control over the superstructure, the capitalist agenda is present in every institution. The bourgeoisie’s ideas are presented as dominant and the natural way of thinking so that the proletariat is socialised into thinking such a society is normal and just.

False class consciousness and alienation

The results of ideological control ensure that the proletariat does not realise its exploitation because it believes its exploitative working conditions are normal. This delusion is called ‘false class consciousness’.

The capitalist structure also creates ‘alienation’, which is a disengagement from work, community, and a sense of belonging. Marxism argues that this is a necessary and intentional result of capitalist society, as it prevents workers from feeling like they are in control.


Marx believed that once the proletariat realised its position in society, a revolution would occur and capitalism would be abolished. The proletariat would overthrow the bourgeoisie and create an equal society where there would be no motivation to profit or exploit others.

Evaluation of traditional Marxism in sociology

Marx’s original theory is also called traditional Marxism. Since then, there have been other forms of Marxism. We will evaluate traditional Marxism as a whole. We will then consider it from the perspectives of newer forms of Marxism.

Strengths of Marxism

· Traditional Marxism was considered a major influence in its time, as it advocated for social and economic change.

· Marxist concepts can help us understand past revolutions in capitalist societies.

· Many claims Marxism is still relevant today. Institutions still use ideological control to promote a capitalist agenda and to justify inequalities. For example, the institution of education socialises children to be obedient and submit to the hierarchy.

Weaknesses of Marxism

· Marxism heavily ignores the influence of other factors on social inequalities, such as ethnicity, religion, and gender.

· Communism has not fared well historically, as shown by the fall of communism in the former socialist state of the USSR.

· It has been argued that Marxism is too idealistic. There is unlikely to be total social class equality in a communist society.

· Marxism is overly simplistic. Society is not just split into two social classes.

· Functionalists claim Marxism has an overly negative view of society. It is good for society when institutions and individuals carry out their ‘functions’, as this promotes social solidarity.

· Feminists claim Marxism overlooks the further social division of gender in society. Marxist FEMINISM, in particular, argues that gender is the most important division in a capitalist society, not social class. Class is not solely defined by socioeconomic status, according to Marxist feminists.

Cultural Marxism

We will look at the two most important, new forms of Marxism, namely humanistic Marxism and scientific Marxism which deal with cultural issues and questions of society.

Gramsci and humanistic Marxism

Antonio Gramsci added to traditional Marxism by introducing the concept of hegemony.

Hegemony refers to the domination of one group or class over another through the ideological leadership of society.

He claimed the capitalist state uses two ways of enforcing control. These are outlined below.


This works through the army, police force, and the judicial system, which enforce the rule of the state.

Cultural hegemony

Cultural hegemony works through the ideas and values of the bourgeoisie, which persuades individuals that their lifestyles makes sense.

To counter this, Gramsci claimed that proletarian intellectuals needed to form their own cultural hegemonic control, called ‘counter-hegemony’. This would challenge bourgeois IDEALOGY and allow the proletariat to bring about social change.

Gramsci claimed that although the bourgeoisie has hegemonic control, they are a minority within society, and the proletariat has ‘dual-consciousness’. This refers to the proletariat’s awareness of their exploitation. For these reasons, the bourgeoisie never has complete control and hegemonic control and therefore, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie is possible. However, the overthrow will only be successful if the proletariat has a counter-hegemony.

Gramsci’s ideas challenged the passive nature of the proletariat as described by Marx in traditional Marxism. He claimed that individuals can see through their exploitation, unlike Marx, who claimed that the proletariat experiences false class consciousness.

Gramsci also criticised the idea that change in economic structure is the only way to overthrow capitalism. Through his ideas about counter-hegemony, he claimed that it is necessary to adopt certain ideas and values, as these will play a central role in bringing about change.

Althusser and scientific Marxism

LOUIS ALTHUSSER suggested that instead of there being two structures or levels of control in society (as claimed by traditional Marxism with the economy and superstructure), there are three levels of control. The bourgeoisie controls all three levels that have different functions for upholding capitalist society. These are outlined below.

Economic level

Activities involving the production of goods and services.

Political level

All organisations, such as the government.

Ideological level

The factors that influence the way individuals see themselves and the world, for example, THE MEDIA.

Althusser’s philosophy stated that all three levels of control in society are important for upholding capitalism. Whilst the economic level is dominant, the political level punishes the rebels and the ideological level ensures individuals conform to capitalist values. Althusser claims traditional Marxism does not acknowledge this, as it states the economy is the most important part of society.

Capitalist states split these functions into two ‘apparatuses’ according to Althusser. These apparatuses help to perform the necessary functions.

Repressive state apparatus

At the political level, this includes armed bodies such as the army or the police force that can physically restrain insurgents.

Ideological state apparatus

This includes ‘softer’ methods of ideological control, such as education, THE MEDIA, and religion.

Althusser’s ideas of the emergence of a communist society do not depend on consciousness or realisation, as suggested by traditional Marxism. Instead, Althusser argued that after a crisis in the capitalist structure, capitalism would collapse and pave the way for a communist society.

He did not believe that individuals had the power to overthrow the capitalist system, as the structure we live in determines our thoughts and actions. Due to this, Althusser also criticised humanistic Marxism for suggesting that individuals are more active than they are.

Marxism - Key takeaways

· Marxism in sociology is a key conflict theory that believes capitalist society is based on inequalities between the bourgeoisie (ruling capitalist class) and the proletariat (working class).

· The economy is the base of society, whilst all other institutions form the superstructure. Whoever controls the economy controls society. In this case, it is the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie exploits the proletariat by paying it less than it needs.

· Marxism claims the proletariat is unaware of this exploitation. However, once it realises this, it will overthrow the bourgeoisie and form a communist society.

· Gramsci criticised Marx, claiming that the proletariat is aware of its exploitation, but needs to form its own ideas to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Simple awareness of exploitation is not enough.

· Althusser criticised both Marx and Gramsci and claimed that individuals do not have the power to overthrow the state, as their living conditions determine their actions. Instead, he argued that the capitalist structure would collapse and make way for a communist society.



The Spread of Marxism & Its Influence on Russian Communism

By Dell Markey
The Classroom
June 25, 2018

THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO,” published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, was among the most influential writings in world history. Marx theorized that all of human history was defined by a class struggle between the ruling class and the working class. He further argued that the working class would eventually overthrow the ruling class and usher in a UTOPIAN society in which all property was owned by society as a whole. Marx’s philosophy was highly influential in the development of communism in Russia and throughout the world.

Pre-Revolutionary Russia

Marx taught that industrialization and capitalism were necessary steps for society to go through before the working class could arise and institute communism. Before the Communist Revolution, the Russian Empire was a monarchy, ruled by a tsar. Russia was largely an agricultural country and was in the very early stages of industrialization during Marx’s lifetime. Because of this, the Russian government didn’t consider Marx’s writings to pose a serious threat. Marx’s writings were allowed to be distributed in Russia even though they were banned in many other countries. “The Manifesto” and “Das Kapital” became influential to many of the early Russian socialists and communists.

Influence on Revolutionaries

Marx’s writings had a profound impact on Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, who would in turn promote communist ideas in Russia through publication of a Marxist periodical called “Iskra”—“The Spark.” Lenin became the most influential figure in early Russian communism. After the Russian Revolution successfully deposed the tsar’s regime, Lenin’s Bolshevik branch of communism rose to power and quickly assimilated or deposed other socialist groups. Lenin modeled his goals after Marx’s, but on a smaller scale. Marx believed that the communist revolution would take place on an international scale. Lenin realized that he lacked the resources to make that happen and contented himself with seeing communism succeed in Russia. Lenin firmly believed Marx’s idea that society must go through a period of dictatorship of the proletariat—or working class—before true communism could be achieved.

Trotsky and Stalin

After Lenin died in 1924, there was a brief power struggle between two of his chief lieutenants, Leon Trotsky and Josef Stalin. Trotsky believed that the world needed to be in a state of constant revolution for communism to survive. Stalin believed that communism could succeed in a single nation and that it could coexist with other forms of government until other countries’ working class staged their own revolutions. In the end, Stalin came to power and his view of Leninist-Marxism prevailed in Soviet Russia. This included a small but powerful ruling party which would enforce the Communist Party’s policy, brutally when deemed necessary.

Post-Stalin Russian Communism

Under Stalin, any supposed challenge to the Communist Party’s leadership was dealt with severely. Political opponents were often assassinated. Religious leaders were persecuted. The Communist Party had dictated most aspects of the Soviet people’s lives. The leaders who followed him, from his successor Nikita Khruschev to Mikhail Gorbachev, under whose leadership the Soviet Union departed from Communist Party rule in 1991, each made changes relaxing some of the harsher controls on the Russian people. At first, this came as an acknowledgment that Stalin had not exemplified the best ideals of Marxism, which taught that the dictatorship of the proletariat would give way to a society in which government was unnecessary. In the end, Gorbachev and other Russian leaders in the 1980s and early 1990s acknowledged that the Communist Party in general had failed to live up to its ideals as the representatives of the working class and Communist Party rule was ended.



capitalism-socialism.gif image: capitalism and socialism border=0

Why Socialism

By Albert Einstein
Monthly Review
May, 1949

Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

Let us first consider the question from the point of view of scientific knowledge. It might appear that there are no essential methodological differences between astronomy and economics: scientists in both fields attempt to discover laws of general acceptability for a circumscribed group of phenomena in order to make the interconnection of these phenomena as clearly understandable as possible. But in reality such methodological differences do exist. The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has - as is well known - been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic in nature. For example, most of the major states of history owed their existence to conquest. The conquering peoples established themselves, legally and economically, as the privileged class of the conquered country. They seized for themselves a monopoly of the land ownership and appointed a priesthood from among their own ranks. The priests, in control of education, made the class division of society into a permanent institution and created a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.

But historic tradition is, so to speak, of yesterday; nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the PREDATORY phase” of HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.

Second, socialism is directed towards a social-ethical end. Science, however, cannot create ends and, even less, instill them in human beings; science, at most, can supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals andif these ends are not stillborn, but vital and vigorous - are adopted and carried forward by those many human beings who, half unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society.

For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.

Innumerable voices have been asserting for some time now that human society is passing through a crisis, that its stability has been gravely shattered. It is characteristic of such a situation that individuals feel indifferent or even hostile toward the group, small or large, to which they belong. In order to illustrate my meaning, let me record here a personal experience. I recently discussed with an intelligent and well-disposed man the threat of another war, which in my opinion would seriously endanger the existence of mankind, and I remarked that only a supra-national organization would offer protection from that danger. Thereupon my visitor, very calmly and coolly, said to me: “Why are you so deeply opposed to the disappearance of the human race?”

I am sure that as little as a century ago no one would have so lightly made a statement of this kind. It is the statement of a man who has striven in vain to attain an equilibrium within himself and has more or less lost hope of succeeding. It is the expression of a painful solitude and isolation from which so many people are suffering in these days. What is the cause? Is there a way out?

It is easy to raise such questions, but difficult to answer them with any degree of assurance. I must try, however, as best I can, although I am very conscious of the fact that our feelings and strivings are often contradictory and obscure and that they cannot be expressed in easy and simple formulas.

Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society. It is quite possible that the relative strength of these two drives is, in the main, fixed by inheritance. But the personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up, by the tradition of that society, and by its appraisal of particular types of behavior. The abstract concept “society” means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations. The individual is able to think, feel, strive, and work by himself; but he depends so much upon society in his physical, intellectual, and emotional existence that it is impossible to think of him, or to understand him, outside the framework of society. It is “society” which provides man with food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought; his life is made possible through the labor and the accomplishments of the many millions past and present who are all hidden behind the small word “society.”

It is evident, therefore, that the dependence of the individual upon society is a fact of nature which cannot be abolished - just as in the case of ants and bees. However, while the whole life process of ants and bees is fixed down to the smallest detail by rigid, hereditary instincts, the social pattern and interrelationships of human beings are very variable and susceptible to change. Memory, the capacity to make new combinations, the gift of oral communication have made possible developments among human being which are not dictated by biological necessities. Such developments manifest themselves in traditions, institutions, and organizations; in literature; in scientific and engineering accomplishments; in works of art. This explains how it happens that, in a certain sense, man can influence his life through his own conduct, and that in this process conscious thinking and wanting can play a part.

Man acquires at birth, through heredity, a biological constitution which we must consider fixed and unalterable, including the natural urges which are characteristic of the human species. In addition, during his lifetime, he acquires a cultural constitution which he adopts from society through communication and through many other types of influences. It is this cultural constitution which, with the passage of time, is subject to change and which determines to a very large extent the relationship between the individual and society. Modern anthropology has taught us, through comparative investigation of so-called primitive cultures, that the social behavior of human beings may differ greatly, depending upon prevailing cultural patterns and the types of organization which predominate in society. It is on this that those who are striving to improve the lot of man may ground their hopes: human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.

If we ask ourselves how the structure of society and the cultural attitude of man should be changed in order to make human life as satisfying as possible, we should constantly be conscious of the fact that there are certain conditions which we are unable to modify. As mentioned before, the biological nature of man is, for all practical purposes, not subject to change. Furthermore, technological and demographic developments of the last few centuries have created conditions which are here to stay. In relatively densely settled populations with the goods which are indispensable to their continued existence, an extreme division of labor and a highly-centralized productive apparatus are absolutely necessary. The time - which, looking back, seems so idyllic - is gone forever when individuals or relatively small groups could be completely self-sufficient. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that mankind constitutes even now a planetary community of production and consumption.

I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

The ECONOMIC ANARCHY of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the REAL SOURCE OF EVIL. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor - not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of productionthat is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods - may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of productionalthough this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is דfree, what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense. In particular, it should be noted that the workers, through long and bitter political struggles, have succeeded in securing a somewhat improved form of the “free” labor contract for certain categories of workers. But taken as a whole, the present day economy does not differ much from “pure capitalism.”

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army” of unemployed almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a PLANNED ECONOMY is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?

Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.


Posted by Elvis on 03/26/23 •
Section Revelations • Section Spiritual Diversions
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