Ownership and Control in



Ownership and Control in CapitalismThe production necessary for running and maintaining a Socialist social system will be based upon the work the working class already performs for the Capitalist social system. That's an indispensible precondition.Capitalism, with its crucial dependence on objective science and engineering, involuntarily educates its working class for running and maintaining socialism. That running-and-maintaining education was perfected long ago, and generations have graduated with honours from that school.But we can't graduate as a united class until we educate ourselves to unmask the insidious capitalist superstructure that is able to create inverted impressions or benign impressions of power relations in capitalism.Marx worked a lifetime — entirely on our behalf — to dispel the illusion that the working class's running and maintaining of capitalism is its actuality.Its actuality is far worse. The legally and socially free worker finds himself dispossessed of and disempowered over the instruments he must necessarily work with. The only socially necessary possession this legally and socially free worker has and controls is his own ability to use those instruments owned and controlled by the equally free and socially free capitalist class.But the legally and socially free worker has no choice but to sell the very thing he owns and controls in the service of the capitalist — his ability to labour. In other words, when he accepts employment he voluntarily [legally and socially] parts with his one legal and socially free possession.But in this legally and socially free transaction with his employer, the legally and socially free labourer also trades away his own socially-necessary upkeep by his employer for his own vaunted legal and social freedom. In times of need, the free worker must therefore prostrate himself at the mercy of a social system where he quickly disillusions himself over who is actually running and maintaining the social system he formerly deluded himself he ran and maintained. He rapidly discovers that the legally free and socially free worker, himself, is responsible for his own upkeep — that is the sum total of his finally remaining ownership and control — freedom that reminds him of slavery![Yet, even worse than slavery is his situation in times of need, for the legally and socially free worker finds himself unable to upkeep himself unlike a slave, who [with great social foresight] has effectively traded his own personal freedom in exchange for his socially-necessary upkeep at his master's own expense.]We all know what Marx thought about the actuality of the worker's running-and-maintaining of capitalism in the service of the capitalist's owned-and-controlled resources and instruments of labour. Ownership and control trump running and maintaining. The power relationship is entirely one way, as it legally and socially should be, if you happen to legally and socially own all the means of working, apart from the will and ability to perform it yourself.The worker's sole legally and socially free possession — his concrete ability to work — is viewed in an entirely different light by the capitalist, who now owns and controls it, and so is now able [legally and socially] to employ it in his own interest.The worker's dearest posession is now viewed purely abstractly as the variable part of the capitalist's very own [owned and controlled] capital, destined ultimately to be indistinguishable in the form of money from the rest of his very own capital that currently exists in the form of his very own [owned and controlled] resources and instruments that he supplies the labourer with to perform his labour process.In the capitalist process of production, the worker's now alienated [no loner legally or socially his own] concrete labour circulates away from him to the capitalist in the form of the capitalist's sought-after capital. To add insult to injury, the labourer's traded freedom [ownership and control] is now legally and socially free to be abused to gain the capitalist more labour than his upkeep. That's exactly how the capitalist, through his ownership and control and the labourer's non-ownership and no-control, is able to expand his capital.In the only applicable capitalist sense, does any capitalist really care if the labourers actually run the show? That way, it's a perfect illusion of capital.The answer to the reverse charge that — the capitalist doesn't control capital — is clearly shown above to be absolute nonsense. It's the other side of this insidious illusion.The capitalist only needs to control capital in the essential way for him — by owning its material components — the resources, instruments and voluntary labour of the working class.In controlling the labourer's labouring process, the capitalist controls the production process of capital. Do we really think that the capitalist's capital expands by chance, and that the power of capitalist ruling class ownership and control [legal, social or otherwise] has nothing at all to do with it?