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Letters

Is capitalism dead?

Dear Editors,

I am writing to you because I do not understand why, now that Capitalism has collapsed (it is only giving symptoms of life by virtue of the heart-lung machine of the media), Britain does not hear more from you.

Capitalism is dead. It has been slowly dying for the past 100 years. All one has to do to prove this is to compare the value of the pound sterling 100 years ago with its present value. We have watched capitalism stagger from one financial calamity to another. And now we have reached its death. It is no longer a matter of whether one is a Socialist or not. It is now about survival. There is nothing so irresistible as an idea whose time has come. Britain is a society or it is nothing. Why are we not all working (and being paid commensurately) for the improvement of our society. Where is the logic in allowing a stockbroker to earn five times as much as a schoolmaster? Who is more valuable to our Society? I realise this might not 'sell' to the public, but surely you should be point out in no uncertain terms:

(1) A bank collapses and is nationalised, we the people being left to pick up the tab. Why, when we nationalise a losing enterprise does not our government also nationalise the profit-making companies to counterbalance this loss?

(2) Certain aspects of our society are far too important to be left in the hands of a bunch of greedy self-seeking oligarchs? Surely the collapse of our banks has proved this? No-one would suggest we privatise our police or our armed forces or our fire and ambulance services. So, is it not logical that our transport, (land, sea and air), our water, electricity and gas services are together with our steel and nuclear industries equally vital and should also be in public ownership?

Why is this case not being put before the public who are increasingly desperate for an answer to our hopeless capitalist system?

Simple, straight messages showing how Socialism is the answer to our present economic troubles rather than fighting valid but pointless 'class wars' would make a great impact right now. 100,000 emails showing how and why Socialism must come because it is the only answer to this death of Capitalism, should be being sent out every week. I get at least one email a week from the BNP. If they can do it why cannot you? Drop being anti-American and anti-Israel. That is a waste of time and space. Start concentrating on being pro-Britain. The people need Socialism only they don't know it. Tell them.

DAVID LEE (by email)

Reply:

We would like to be as confident as you that capitalism is dying but be can’t be. We know from past crises – and, in the history of capitalism, there have been at least two, in the 1880s and the 1930s, as big as this one – that capitalism can recover from them. Capitalism won’t die. It has to be done to death, by the intentional, political action of the excluded majority of wage and salary workers. We can of course agree that it is high time they did this, and we are doing all we can (pamphlets, leaflets, meetings, the internet and, yes, emails) to get them to do this and to establish in its place a society of common ownership, democratic control, production solely for use, and free access to what people need, socialism in short.

We must point out that, in our view, socialism can only be established on a world scale. This is because – as is surely obvious from the present crisis – capitalism, the system it will replace, is a world system. It would just not be possible to establish socialism only in one country.

It might be possible to nationalise utilities, transport and other industries just in Britain. But this wouldn’t deprive the “greedy self-seeking oligarchs” of their property and privileges since when an industry is nationalised the shareholders are paid “compensation” which they can then reinvest in some other business. In any event, even though nationalisation is sometimes called “public ownership”, it is not really ownership by “the public”, i.e. the community, i.e. all of us, but only ownership by the state, i.e. by the minority whose interests it serves. Nationalisation, as the experience of the nationalised industries between 1945 and the 1980s shows, is really state capitalism with the employees still needing trade unions to try to get better pay and working conditions from their employer – Editors.

Monstrous system

Dear Editors

We must reject the notion that a money-based, inordinately complex market system, propped up by bail-outs, is the only feasible system of society. It leads to serious poverty for the masses against riches for a minority, widespread stress, one person’s gain at the expense of another, trade disputes, wars, pollution, homelessness. It stifles medical research and education and it makes charities necessary. This monstrous system has already cost millions of lives in wars and famines. Instead, we should campaign worldwide for a system of common ownership of the resources that we need for a happier life.

VINCENT LITTLEMORE, Banstead