Capitalism – a contrick

Capitalism is the completely absurd idea that the resources of the earth, essential infrastructure and services, and core industries should be operated in order to generate private profits for a tiny clique on mega-rich owners, rather than for the good of everyone.

Capitalist control of the media is so strong, that they’ve managed to convince millions of people that the reverse is true; that private hoarding of wealth and opportunity is sensible, efficient and good, and more public ownership and accountability is the absurd crackpot idea!

Capitalism depends on greed providing the impetus. Greed drives rich people to exploit poor people so that they can become even richer. The principle is to produce goods (or services) as cheaply as possible and sell for as much as possible in order to maximise profits. That means squeezing salaries and raising prices. It keeps poor people poor and turns millionaires into billionaires.

Capitalism has no conscience.

If a capitalist can produce goods on starvation wages they will.

The alternative to capitalism is for people to share the profits to create a fairer world.

A fairer world is not something capitalists want. They are very happy with unfairness and use their wealth and power to ensure that things remain as unfair as they are.

Socialism is given all the negative propaganda possible.

The claim is that it gives to the lazy and creates low productivity. That’s a lie. If it’s done right, with workers sharing in profits, it is incredibly motivating.

Tyrannies like Russia, Cuba and China are held up as examples of how socialism doesn’t work. I cannot imagine any places less like socialism. True socialism is not totalitarian.

I would like to see a socialist system similar to that of the Nordic states with more state ownership and profits going to improve the standard of living, education, health and infrastructure rather than into the pockets of billionaires.

Ken Loach on Socialism and Capitalism.

There is a con-trick being run by capitalists. They want profit. They want cheap labour. They dangle unattainable prizes – like ‘The American Dream’.

Ken explains it:-

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FI6-SJRePSNw%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR1HtKVksUoeWwHOgREfaVjF91os7y_XQWAELHjZRVEcZISkBXizPyuRXr8&h=AT2SR3gxsN0r0QWfL80A8M4WVad7WJkq-j-2lRZrGoCXnjKsuYmGQC-xW7VeABU7wsS0sVNm9MqX4KdxnFPA7co7WDt4yjr2ildQ2xaRYkOdtFihToUaAHGXC_di1Z_BYgQYpc5y5KUxU8jZ1PGc&tn=-UK-y-R&c[0]=AT0DiVtojijaxFqTDkfT5EyRfeEOVU5rL-uMHBaufNmzyu6ZgU5noQg9mqg4c96Dbw13aobjyPK9lbXF3JjTIj-gFmBbZUATZjGJmGJpdwaaeiXMxtvcvG6P0sOd3o1cNREWwSbNRG5kaemrfa6z9WN94qwEXM0R1_uyJS-etHbdRzMeYx2WXK2E39M9WcVjG3wlyRde

Some thoughts on where we’ve come from, where we are and where we are going.

In the early part of the twentieth century there were three political ideologies vying for world dominance:

Communism

Fascism

Liberalism.

Communism argued that the world was engaged in a struggle between classes and sought to create a social system based on equality even at the price of freedom.

Fascism was based on the theory that one race was superior to all others and would rule and exploit all the inferior races.

Liberalism argued that life was based on a struggle between tyranny and freedom and envisioned a world in which all the world cooperated in peace with a minimum of central control at the price of some inequality.

I am a Liberalist with a big added dollop of equality.

In the 1930s the Second World War put an end to the fascist dream. It lived on in s few places – notably South America and Spain – but was no longer a world contender.

So there were two.

Towards the end of the twentieth-century communism, having descended into centralised tyranny and failed to deliver prosperity, crumbled as a world dream.

Then there was one.

Liberalism seemed to have the whole field. There was no competition. But changing events caught it out.

It failed to move fast enough to create a global peace and prosperity.

It failed to control capitalism which created massive inequality. The wealthy became obscenely wealthy and the poor became poorer.

The advent of A/I and automation removed the need for skilled workers.

The global move of industry to third world countries, with cheaper workforces and production, exacerbated the situation.

Global warming, climate change and the collapse of biodiversity created global emergencies – floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, extreme weather and failure of monsoons. It resulted in more poverty and desperation.

Overpopulation.

Mass migration ensued.

Muslim terrorism sparked chaos.

The rise of former communist states (Russia and China) who were now tyrannies with global aspirations.

Many people lost their faith in liberalism. It wasn’t responding to situations quickly enough and they felt left behind.

Then there was none.

In the 21st Century many people rejected the liberal ideal of global prosperity and turned back to a form of fascism now called Populism. It’s central plank, as with fascism, was racism. It evoked a strong return to nationalism. Instead of looking outward and working towards a peaceful global future they began pulling up the gangplank, cutting themselves off from the world and building walls.

Populism was all about ‘us’ and ‘ours’. It was based on the idea of superiority and insularity. We had to care for our own and not concern ourselves with the rest of the world. We had to consolidate and pull in our tentacles. This was the MAGA movement, the burn the rainforest down and Brexit.

Immigrants and foreigners were demonised.

Muslims were demonised.

Minority extreme right-wing groups were empowered.

Fear, hate and division were exploited for political ends.

The media and experts were vilified.

Science and the environment were trashed.

It resulted in Brexit, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Trump and Erdogan.

Within a short period of time it became clear that this Populist movement was in trouble. The leaders were inept and unable to deliver their promises. There was a great deal of division and hatred. The division was being fed on propaganda, fake news and conspiracy.

No country could isolate itself from the world no matter how high a wall they constructed.

We are all subject to the global economy, the climate, pressures from mass immigration, terrorism and threats of war.

No matter how hard the leaders denied global warming, ignored global condemnation or cozied up to tyrants and despots, the problems persisted and mounted.

No man is an island.

The coronavirus brought it all into stark relief. Calling it a hoax or playing it down proved to be totally ineffective against a global pandemic. The USA, UK and Brazil, unlike most of the rest of the world, suffered horrendous mortality.

Populism had failed miserably. It was seen as what it was – fascist nationalism in different guise.

Trump was dumped, Brexit was seen by the majority as a big mistake, Johnson, Bolsonaro and Erdogan will surely follow as soon as democracy permits.

So what will come out of these ruins?

Will China and Russia rise up to gain global control imposing their version of fascist tyranny?

Or will the Western Liberalism adapt, learn from its mistakes and surge forward again?

I would like to think that Liberalism will prevail. In order for it to do so it needs to tackle the range of problems that beset it and knocked it off course in the late twentieth century. It needs to prove to be faster on its feet.

There are crucial issues that require addressing:

Global warming, climate change and biodiversity (all interrelated).

Overpopulation

Global prosperity

Mass migration

Muslim terrorism and religious extremism of all kinds

Gross inequality. To ensure that all people benefit for the advent of A/I and not just the wealthy elite. An end to zero hours contracts and in-work poverty.

The increased military aggression and global threat of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The first step is to deal with the virus. After that Liberalism has to start to tackle all these other issues and show that it is capable of providing that prosperous, peaceful world. It has to resell that vision. Show that its global perspective will not bring tyranny nor gross inequality; that nature can be protected, the climate controlled and all people benefit – not just an elite. It has to show that institutions like the UN and WHO can function effectively and bring peace and an end to poverty.

It’s a big ask. But I cannot see a viable alternative.

Biden is making all the right noises. The EU needs to get its act together.

The future could start to look a lot brighter.

It’s time we learnt from our history!!

I’m always angered by what I see in our history. The wealthy lived in such ridiculous extravagance in stately homes with droves of servants, huge gardens, banquets, coaches and clothes and jewellery and a lavish lifestyle that was unbelievable. The people who produced that wealth were the slaves out on the plantations and the poor factory workers and miners who were crammed into the slums, who worked fourteen hours a day for a pittance, who worked in terrible dangerous conditions, who lived in extreme poverty, disease and destitution.

It was only the work of the abolitionists, socialists, suffragettes and trade unions who fought for justice and fairness who screwed compromise out of the capitalists. They rightly improved the conditions of the working people, improved salaries, introduced the welfare state and brought in environmental legislation for the good of us all.

As the wealth of the nation has increased those gains have been eroded, the inequality has increased, the trade unions have been emasculated and workers conditions and pay have been diminished.

It is time we moved back to a real socialist agenda to bring back more fairness and justice for ordinary people.

Robert Owen – A Pioneer of Socialism

In the early 19th Century conditions in the new textile factories were horrendous. People worked 14-15 hour shifts six days a week. Children as young as five were employed to crawl under the machines to retie broken yarn without having to stop the process. This often resulted in horrendous injuries.

Robert Owen ran a factory in New Lanarkshire Scotland and began to look at ways of improving the lot of his workers. He felt that by caring better for his staff he could improve their lives while maintaining his profits. He set about introducing a series of beneficial changes.

He reduced the shifts down to twelve hours.

He raised the age for employment to ten years old.

He introduced schooling for the children of his workers. This was probably the first such school in the world. The curriculum was based on basic reading, writing and arithmetic but also widening their understanding of nature and the world. He wanted to widen their horizons.

His loyalty to his staff paid off. Their health and efficiency improved greatly and their loyalty to Owen was manifest.

Robert Owen then went on to introduce a cooperative working process in which the workers took a share of the profits and so felt to be partners in the business giving them an increased incentive.

Owen went on to attempt to set up utopian towns in America as centres of research, art and learning but failed to get them off the ground.

He went on to become involved in the advent of socialism and trade unions and to support improved conditions for working people – such as the eight hour week.

A statue of the great man can be found in Manchester outside the Co-operative Bank.

It is through great men such as Robert Owen that the plight of ordinary working people was greatly improved. Without their bravery and vision we would all still be toiling long hours for little pay and working in appalling conditions. Nothing is freely given without a struggle. Robert Owen was a man to revere.

My own political views and why I hold them.

My own political views and why I hold them.

writer cartoon

I am an environmental socialist. As such my allegiance is towards the Green Party and the Labour Party.

 

As the contest for power in Britain is between Labour and Conservative I would tend to focus on that rather than to support the Green party in elections.

 

I am a Labour supporter because:

 

  1. I do not support any of the Tory aims or philosophies:

 

  • I do not believe in god. I am an antitheist.
  • I am not a monarchist. I do not recognise the right for any persons to rule us and I do not support the huge amount of public money spent on the Royal Family. They are among the wealthiest in the world because of the assets they seized from the people of this country. They have more than enough to support themselves. They have been reduced to a quaint pageant.
  • I am not a patriot. I believe in all humanity and have a global perspective. There are good and bad things about our history and culture and I’m not a nationalist – I’m an internationalist.
  • I do not believe in a free market economy where the rich exploit people for profit and become obscenely rich while the poor suffer. Particularly the way this operates on a world-wide market and creates poverty, starvation and death. I believe it is morally wrong.
  • I do not believe in ‘trickle down’. I think history shows that the rich are quite happy to live in extreme luxury while working people live in slums and starve. Paternal obligation fails.
  • I do not believe in deregulation. We saw the effects of that when Thatcher deregulated the cattle food industry. They promptly lowered the temperature in the processing plants to save money and increase profits. The result was BSE and a devastated beef market. It cost billions. History shows that deregulation results in cutting corners, putting health and safety at lower levels, putting profits first and lives at risk.
  • I do not believe in privatisation. I cannot see how putting someone in charge to cream of profits for themselves can possibly make anything cheaper. I simply do not believe in competition.
  • I do not believe in a flexible labour market. It results in poor pay, zero hours contracts and poor conditions.

2. I do support most Labour beliefs.

  • I do believe that a man or woman deserves fair pay for a fair day’s work.
  • I do not believe that bosses deserve huge multimillion pound salaries and multimillion pound bonuses. I find that obscene. They do not work harder that a man or woman down a pit or a teacher in a classroom.
  • I do believe in a much fairer distribution of wealth.
  • I do believe in environmentalism, feminism and liberalism.
  • I do believe in reform and change.
  • I do believe in higher taxes to pay for good social services – schools, hospitals, council services, roads and infrastructure.
  • I do believe the government should intervene and insist on fairness, standards, health and safety, good management, good practice and no unlawful practice.
  • I do think that the state should run our national services. I would have the NHS, all Schools, Rail, Roads, Water, Electricity, Gas, Postal services all run by the State. The sale and fragmentation of the rail network, water, gas, electricity and postal service is a stupidity and has not benefited anyone. It does not make any sense to me at all.
  • I believe privatisation puts more money into the hands of the rich.
  • I believe that private schools give privilege to those that can afford it and maintain the establishment, old boy network and the gulf between rich and poor. The state system needs more funding.
  • I do believe that the huge difference between rich and poor is responsible for a lot of social unrest and misery. It needs addressing. I would do that through taxation. We desperately need to redistribute wealth.
  • I do believe the rights and working conditions of ordinary people need protecting.
  • I do believe we need a welfare state for those in need. Though I do believe that it has gone far too far. It should be a safety net for those in real need and not a hand-out for the work-shy and scroungers. It is one area that I have some sympathy for Tory policy. Though I do believe that we should provide basic short-term housing, care and support.
  • I believe we have to discourage people from having more than two children. There should be no child benefit and punitive taxation. The population explosion needs curbing.
  • I believe that no social change or beneficial conditions for workers has been freely given. Fairness, pay and justice has come about through struggle and blood.

 

As far as I’m concerned it is a no-brainer. I vote Labour.

 

If I had my way the world would run on socialist values and everything would be hunky-dory, fair, just and harmonious. There would not be poverty, poor education, poor health or grotesque wealth differentials.

 

Now, as a pragmatist I can see the downside. Nationalised industries do become flaccid and complacent. Having investment and industrial competition creates some vitality.

 

The values and philosophy of the parties is diluted by pragmatism.

 

In order to get elected neither of the two main parties can fully put its policies into operation.

 

The Tories have to give a standard of living to the workers or they won’t vote for them. I believe they give as little as they possibly can and put a spin on it through the media they control.

 

The Socialists have to reduce taxes and support business in order to create the wealth needed to have the level of social care.

I’m sure you all have your own views on this! I’d like to hear what they are.

Does Socialism work financially?

There is a myth circulated that socialism does not work, that financially it gets itself in a mess.

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”

It seems to me that this is a myth created by the Tory media. It is like Goebbels spouting his Nazi propaganda – if you say it enough times people will believe it. When the whole of the media is owned or controlled by the rich and powerful it is no wonder that things become distorted. They manipulate us.

The Tony Blair government, ostensibly socialist though most would see it as watered down Thatcherism, certainly was effective financially. That government operated in the black for most of two terms – unlike the Tories with their more Capitalist policies.

The Labour government was blamed for mismanagement when in fact the financial crisis was a global phenomenon stemming from general banking bad practice – particularly in the USA.

Still the myth is circulated about the effectiveness of socialism. Could that be because ‘all’ the media is owned or controlled by capitalists, wealthy people with vested interest?

Socialism is about social justice and equality. History demonstrates clearly that Capitalism siphons money from the bottom to the elite at the top. It results in an unhappy land of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Socialism taxes the rich more to provide better services for everyone and thus reduces the inequality. It nationalises key industries so that they are not overpriced to produce profits for wealthy investors. The profits are ploughed back into improvements in service.

I would prefer to live in a fairer, more just, society which respected the environment and all people, is tolerant and caring. That can only happen under a socialist government.