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Capitalist Money Madness

Capitalism is basically a big scam that benefits a few at the expense of the many.

Read any newspaper, listen to any radio bulletin, watch any TV news broadcast, and there will be some instance of Capitalist Money Madness – detrimental, shocking or unbelievable thinking and behaviour influenced by money. Trains have been derailed because saving money came before rigorous track maintenance; cows have been
ground up and fed to other cows in pursuit of greater profits; companies have been allowed to patent thousands of our own genes in a commodification of humankind’s DNA; there has been widespread use of toxic chemicals in fuel, household furnishings, deodorants, plastics used for food storage etc resulting in an increase in previously rare cancers and an asthma epidemic in children; and more recently, global capitalism has descended into economic chaos which will cause additional untold misery for decades to come. Along with such ‘big’ news stories, there is a never-ending news stream of robberies, burglaries, murders, muggings, scams and scandals involving money in some way or other.

Nothing new, of course. Money has been causing misery and deaths ever since its introduction thousands of years ago. Some time around 30 A.D. a Mr J. Iscariot betrayed a subversive called Jeshua of Nazareth for thirty pieces of silver, whereas more recently, a Mr T. Blair betrayed those who elected him so a huge fortune could be made by American and British companies from oil in Iraq. Times and economies may change, but money systems of assorted ruling classes have been ceaselessly causing despair and taking lives ever since a medium of exchange was first established.

Today, money is an indispensable part of the capitalist system, but capitalism is merely the most recent economic system where a tiny minority own and control the vital resources that provide food, fuel, transportation, clothing etc which humankind needs. These “means of production and distribution” have increased over the millennia from ‘simply’ farmland, livestock, woodland, gold mines etc to include mass-producing industrial factories, oil fields, power stations, rail networks etc. Because all of these resources are owned by a tiny proportion of the human race who want to exploit them for profit, they therefore make everyone pay for all of the commodities that these productive and distributive resources provide. If you want a pair of shoes, electricity, clean water, a train journey, a tin of beans or whatever, you have to hand over money. Many people (but by no means all) are able to buy goods and services that they need, because the capitalist system also compels those who are fit and able to work for capitalist employers in return for a wage or salary. Of course, the monetary amount paid to these employees is usually far smaller than the monetary value of the work they carry out, which is how the capitalist minority make their fat profits and get to enjoy far superior living standards. In this respect, capitalism is basically a big scam that benefits a few at the expense of the many.

As money is essential under today’s system, and due to it being rationed and restricted according to how much the ruling class and the economy are prepared or able to give to employees, the unemployed, the retired and others, the capitalist society has a great number of people who cannot readily obtain what they need. And because of this, all manner of needless misery, suffering and loss of life is caused. Elderly folk die from the cold every winter because they can’t afford or are afraid to heat their homes; those unable to obtain work or with inadequate incomes have to subject themselves to degrading bureaucratic procedures and rules; relationships are put under severe strain or ended by debts or work pressures; our doormats, email inboxes, phones, TV screens and websites we visit are inundated with junk that capitalists want to sell us. It really doesn’t have to be this way.

Although we now have a reasonably productive society after a few thousand years of minority ownership of vital resources and money, it was never the minority or money that brought us to where we are. It was those doing the work – not those giving the orders and taking most of the profit. A civilised society in which people’s needs are routinely met absolutely does not need money to function: only trade needs money to function. Human beings do not need money and trade to operate combine harvesters, to run power stations, to build houses, to drive delivery trucks, to carry out surgical operations, and do all the other necessary work. We only need to be willing to carry out these jobs with the objective of contributing directly to society as a whole, thereby obtaining a better way of living and working than exists under capitalism, instead of believing the lie that we can only carry out these jobs if we are paid to do so.

We are perfectly capable of working for ourselves, and producing goods and services for direct use by whoever requires them. A new system where, when you need, say, various food items, a couple of cartons of orange juice and a new radio to replace one you dropped and broke, you go to the nearest ’shop’ or ‘superstore’, take them off the shelves, and leave. No queuing at a checkout. No handing over money or a bank or credit card. You just take what you need and leave with it.

Furthermore, even though today’s capitalism is quite productive, it is by no means as productive and efficient as the new moneyless real socialist economy which now needs to replace it. More than half of all work carried out under capitalism is fundamentally useless as far as satisfying human needs goes. Millions of people in Britain are kept occupied in money-related drudgery (banking, retailing, manufacturing of money and credit cards, insurance, taxation, welfare payments, debt recovery etc), kept busy dealing with societal problems and crimes caused by capitalism (social workers, lawyers, police, prison officers etc) and kept engaged in so-called ‘defence’ activities to protect and advance the ruling class’s interests (armed forces, weapons research and manufacturing, intelligence agencies etc). Not forgetting the millions of unemployed people capable of working, but unwanted because capitalists can’t make a profit from them, and because they also serve an obscenely useful purpose in the capitalist economy by keeping wages down (bosses find it hard to resist demands for higher wages if there is no mass of job seekers to replace troublesome employees wanting more).

All of this represents a vast waste of human labour and resources. When all of these people and materials are freed up by capitalism’s replacement with moneyless real socialism, there will be no obstacle to producing sufficient goods and services to meet real needs on the basis of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”. That is, each person works according to how much they choose to contribute, and freely takes whatever they themselves decide they need. And with all of these extra people available to contribute something useful to this new society, the average working week will be far shorter than it is under capitalism.

When people first hear of this new radically different society, with all work being voluntary, and free access to whatever we need, most immediately view this as bizarre and impossible. Unsurprising, given that we have spent our entire lives being brainwashed and conditioned by schools, politicians, employers, the media etc into swallowing capitalism’s propaganda that this is the natural way of things. Sadly, we are also mainly influenced into accepting the capitalist employment-wages-money-buying status quo by our own parents. Which is why capitalism is so utterly vile; perpetuating itself by getting the preceding generation of indoctrinated victims to raise the following generation to become victims themselves.

Fortunately, for those who can get beyond the initial shock of first hearing about moneyless real socialism, by simply comparing what both the present and new system offer the majority of us, it should be downright obvious that increasingly-damaging outdated capitalism must be scrapped and replaced with the real socialist alternative. In most parts of the world, the majority have won the right to vote for who they want to lead them. We can use that opportunity to vote to be led by no one person or minority ruling class, and choose instead to vote for a genuine democracy where the people themselves rule and decide what happens. New socialist moneyless co-operation, or more endless capitalist money madness?

MAX HESS