Posted 2 years ago on March 18, 2012, 8:31 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
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(Today’s Society And How To Improve It - part V)
The right-wingers often talk about Capitalism being a system of “voluntary agreements” in which all people enjoy the fruits of their labor. Well this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Now, I touched upon the “fruits of one’s labor”- issue in the article "The Free Ride Society", arguing that these “fruits” aren’t measurable and that we all get much more from society compared to what we contribute ourselves. Another thing that should be addressed in this regard is the issue of exploitation.
One of the hallmarks of capitalism is that the means of production are privately owned by some individuals, while others do not have this ownership. In other words, some own the means of production others are using. So it’s a system in which the ones using the means of production must sell their labor to these owners in order to have a decent life. The owners can then make a profit from other people’s work by just owning. This happens when the value of the worker’s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the paid hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets paid in the form of profit. This profit is hence capital for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. Since a capitalist economy is based on the need for growth and profits for the investors and owners, this method of exploitation - profiting on other people’s work - is of course used by more or less all of them. This exploitation is in other words just a logical result caused by the capitalist system. And we see this all over the place, from poor indonesian girls working in Nike factories for 50 cents an hour, to people in America working for minimum wage for companies whose profits are skyrocketing.
Now, the agreements taking place in this kind of system are of course far from being voluntary. In a capitalist / state-capitalist class society, you have some people with huge wealth and recourses - which on the national and global level are very highly concentrated - and others with very few or no wealth and resources. It is of course meaningless to talk about “voluntary agreements” in such a society, because the ones owning the recourses, the wealth and the means of production etc, have much more power in society. That includes of course that they have the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring, negotiations etc. So the non-owners - the workers - are trapped in a society in which they, in order to have a decent life or necessities in order to survive, must sell their labor to people who have much more power than they. This has very little to do with voluntary agreements, rather it’s submission to necessities.
So in reality we have a system in which some people, because of their wealth and ownership, have an overwhelming power in society, including in the labor marked. The owners, the employers, then have much more influence and power when contracts and agreements are being made, whether it’s in relation to working conditions, salaries etc.
This is intolerable. This exploitative unjust system must be dismantled and replaced with democracy in which the people are in control of their own lives, work and community.