Skip to Content

Abolition of the Wages System

Get Rid of Wages!

Over a hundred years ago, Karl Marx gave a talk to the general council of the International Working Men’s Association, a talk whose main point was to show that workers’ unions really could get wage rises — for already the silly idea was being put about that wage increases led to higher prices and therefore the workers didn’t gain. After proving his case up to the hilt, with his usual forceful logic, Marx naturally drew the conclusion that workers should fight for higher wages. But he added the following remarks, which deserve close attention:

  At the same time, and quite apart from the general servitude involved in the wages system, the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles.

Money Must Go

 Why do so many members of the working class find it difficult to understand the Socialist case? Certainly not because of its complications. On the contrary, it must be because of its simplicity. So accustomed are they to having placed before them the complicated plans, programmes and policies of other political organisations that the simplicity of the Socialist proposition makes them suspect that there must be a flaw somewhere.

Cooking the Books: Abolish Money – But Not Now

Socialists want to see money disappear, because of the rationing it means for most people, but only as a consequence of the establishment of the common ownership of the means of wealth production. This, in enabling production to be carried on to directly meet human needs, would render money redundant. With the end of production for the market and of buying and selling, there would be no need for money.

Marx and the Abolition of the Wages System

At any time in the history of capitalism there have been lots of people and organisations occupied in trying to solve wages problems, the difference between now and the past being that the problems multiply and become more complex and the armies of “solvers”, politicians, business men, academics, trade union officials and so on become larger and larger. There is not the slightest prospect that these people will solve the problems.

Syndicate content