Marximus Talks

Opinions on daily events and thoughts on the world's problems

Moving my blog

Hey everyone, after much though I have decided to move my blog. So if you actually read my blog and want to continue to follow me, the new blog site is http://marximustalks.blogspot.com/

Opinion: On Marxist Participation in Electoral Politics

One common thread of discussion among Marxists concerns the discussion as to whether or not we should participate in electoral politics in bourgeois democracies. On one side are those who argue that we must participate in electoral politics in an attempt to peacefully transform bourgeois democracy into proletarian democracy and bring about a socialist state. Then there are those who argue that we should engage in elections only to raise awareness of socialist issues in an attempt to raise the awareness of the proletariat to the horrors of the capitalist system. Then finally there are those who argue that we must under no circumstances engage in electoral politics because by fielding candidates, and to some people by simply voting, we legitimize the bourgeois democracy we are fighting against.

Each camp has its own positives and negatives. The middle position, the position of participating only to raise awareness, is a position I dismiss out of hand because it serves no larger purpose. If we are to participate in elections we must be in it to win, not simply make our presence known. Also, the interest of raising awareness is just as easy to do when you are actively working to win an election. The other two choices present a conundrum. To me the decision to participate in elections should hinge on whether there is a viable socialist alternative. In the US we have no such alternative. For this reason I believe that we socialists in the US should avoid voting because we would most likely be casing a ballot for the Democrats (the ideologically closest large party to all Marxists) who are just as staunch defenders of capitalism as the Republicans. For this reason I usually do not participate in elections because for us Marxists in the US almost all elections are a false choice between Keynesian economics (Democrats) and Friedmanian economics (Republicans) which both seek to retain capitalism. However, for those Marxists that live in a country with a truly socialist party then at least there is the option to cast your ballot for you own ideology in which case participation in electoral politics can be a viable, and in my opinion preferable, option.

I also have some issues with the camp that says no to any participation in electoral politics. They dismiss elections as bourgeois choices and that is certainly the case with the large parties in most countries. However, by actively not participating they indirectly legitimize any opposition to Marxism by only having capitalist parties gaining votes. It would take a mass boycott of over 50 percent of a nation’s population to delegitimize the bourgeois electoral process and that is simply not realistic in most capitalist states anymore. And keep in mind that such a boycott would have to be actively pursued, not like in the US where we consistently have low turnout simply because most people are apathetic. Apathy and active opposition can have the same effect on turnout but the conclusions to be drawn from the low turnout are very different. So in this case, in the US it makes sense to not participate in elections but not for the reasons espoused by those actively opposed to participation in elections. However, in those countries with active Marxist parties that field candidates I dismiss the idea of actively opposing participation in elections because it all but ensures that the vast majority of society is left without an active voice for the proletariat in politics.

Why Reformism is Doomed to Fail

There is a very large and very prominent group of Marxists that adhere to a reformist view of Marxism. In their view it is possible to work within the political system of liberal democracies and affect a gradual transition to socialism and eventually communism. This view hinges itself on the belief that as long as they are legitimized by elections then the bourgeois will sit back and let the velvet revolution occur. This view is ultimately untenable and will not result in the end of capitalism.

Reformism’s most prominent early advocate was a German intellectual by the name of Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. He advocated what he called “evolutionary socialism.” Under his theory gradual reforms of capitalism could lead to the change of capitalism into socialism and then eventually communism. According to his theories it is possible for a worker’s party to affect reform in democratic societies and thus do away with the necessity of a violent revolution. This school of thought has expanded to be what is known today as social democracy and is claimed by many political scientists to be the most popular political ideology in the world today.

Today this ideology is a centre-left ideology that forms the heart of most centre-left political parties in today’s liberal democracies. However, today’s social democrats are little more than liberals dressed up as Marxists. They are nothing but a tool of the bourgeois to keep the proletariat in check and give them a bourgeois approved “leftist” alternative to the overtly reactionary and conservative parties on the right. Simply listen to the statements made by today’s social democrats and you will not hear even one mention of Marx, socialism, or communism. Sure they maintain such mentions in their party materials but this is only to appease those intellectual elements in their movement that still care about appearances. No socialist policies have come from social democrats in a very long time.

So then, why is reformism doomed to failure? For the simple reason that by working within current liberal bourgeois democracy they force themselves to appease the bourgeois and take the bite out of Marxism. Gradual transitions benefit the bourgeois by allowing them time to look for loopholes and methods by which they can maintain their power and influence. If capitalism is good at one thing it is adaptation. Reformists are kidding themselves if they think they can end capitalism slowly. By moving slowly you are only allowing the bourgeois to find a new place to reside. Only through the rapid and destructive act of revolution can the proletariat tear apart capitalism. Furthermore the reformists are naive to believe that the bourgeois will allow such a transition to occur. At some time they will reach a breaking point and decide that will not tolerate the charade of the social democrats any longer. They will then forcibly undo all the positive changes that the social democrats have made in an attempt to return society to a more pure form of capitalism. We have already witnessed a more moderate such readjustment as recently as the 1980s when conservatives in America and Europe systematically reversed over a century of reformist “progress” in less than a decade. Do not think they would not be willing to use force to do the same in the future should they feel threatened.

Now I know there are many on the moderate left that are fearful of revolution. They are fearful because it will upend their seemingly safe existence. They fear that the revolution will backfire and end “decades of work” by the left. They fear the potential loss of life that revolution entails. I would tell my timid comrades to have faith. Have faith in the proletariat and your fellow comrades. Have faith that when the revolution comes that it will serve the interests of the masses. Have faith that the world will be a better place because of the revolution rather than in spite of it. We Marxists are materialists and do not put much stock in blind faith. However, in the case of the revolution all we have is faith, because the alternative to revolution is slavery.

Marxist FAQ: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

There has been much confusion among non-Marxists when the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat” is mentioned. Most people believe that this means dictatorship in the modern sense of an oppressive system led from the top down by one leader or a small group of leaders and they point to the use of the word “dictatorship” as proof. However I am here to clear up that confusion. The phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat” was coined at a time before the rise of the modern dictatorship and as such has lost the contextual meaning that the phrase meant when the phrase was coined in the 19th century. When the phrase began to be used “dictatorship” meant absolute leadership. Thus the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat” meant the absolute leadership of the proletariat. In practice however I think that the modern equivalent phrase should be “proletarian democracy” and I will use that phrase in the future.

Proletarian democracy is what Marxists are truly trying to establish. But what is proletarian democracy? In proletarian democracy the State operates on a democratic basis with the caveat that the proletariat is the only class that is allowed to participate. This is in contrast with modern liberal democracy where all classes are permitted to participate. Now is usually the point where liberals and conservatives alike cry out in terror “but you are quashing freedom!” In reality, no we are not. By only allowing the proletariat to participate who is truly being left out: the small group of wealthy people who don’t have to work at a job to ensure their livelihood. By removing the influence of the wealthy we can finally realize true democracy. Today the rich contribute to political campaigns and corrupt our political system to the core. By removing their influence we remove the corrupting influence of money in politics. This is not the only part of proletarian democracy for if it was then all we must do to institute proletarian democracy would be to do away with private financing of campaigns. Proletarian democracy would also prevent the rich from being able to be elected or seeking election. This ensures that the proletariat is represented in government by itself. Only by totally removing the wealthy from the political process at all levels can we achieve proletarian democracy. But again this is not all because this political system would be further coupled with the socialist ownership of the means of production. These three prongs together not only take away the influence of the wealthy but eventually ensures that they will become members of the proletariat as well. When there are no rich people left then proletarian democracy becomes true democracy in every sense of the word.

There are numerous schools of thought as to what a proletarian democracy would actually look like. Some view it as a single-party state led by a vanguard party. Some view it as a popular front of all leftist groups banding together to ensure leftist consensus and prevent the emergence of a ruling elite. Others of the more anarchist persuasion would do away with the State entirely and have proletarian democracy on a purely informal basis and only at the local level with participation being voluntary. There have been numerous attempted experiments in proletarian democracy but none has proved to be successful due to the corrupting influences of bureaucratism and the outside influence of capitalism upon socialist states. These influences have the effect of degrading proletarian democracy into bureaucratic, elitist systems that reward party loyalty and loyalty to the State over proletarian democratic initiative. Only when the world is transformed into a world of socialism will we truly be able to begin the great experiment in proletarian democracy.

My Views on Religion

Being an open Marxist I am regularly asked what my stance is concerning religion. I am totally fine with religion…. so long as you keep it to yourself. I do not have a permanent set of beliefs. My personal beliefs have been in constant flux since I was a teenager. I was married in a church but never actually attend. My friends will tell you that one day I am a normal Christian and the next day I am a militant Atheist. Given this fluctuating set of beliefs I have always adhered to the belief that as long you don’t impose your views on me or society at large you can believe anything you want. I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise.

So, people then ask, what is your opinion of religion in public life. My belief is that there should be none. I believe in the total separation of church in state, and I do mean TOTAL. There should not be any religious ceremonies of any kind in government. No prayers at the beginning of congressional sessions. No swearing the oath of office on a bible. No “so help me God” in court. No creationism, or “intelligent design”, in schools. I want none of it. Keep your religion out of my government and I’ll keep my government out of your religion.

Anti-Isreal Does Not Equal Anti-Jew

I have encountered many individuals who seem misguided in their opinions of me and my beliefs. One major point of contention with these people tends to be my views on Israel. It is my firm belief that over the past forty years the state of Israel has systematically committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against the Palestinian people. Every credible legal authority in the West has concluded that Israel constantly breaches international law regarding “settlements” in Palestinian lands. The settlement policy on its own constitutes genocide. In every conflict since the 1970s Israel disproportionately kills civilians in their military campaigns through “collateral damage” (we need only look at the most recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip for evidence of this). If Israel were a signatory of the International Criminal Court then they would undoubtedly have leaders regularly on trial for their actions. Let me include the internationally recognized definition of genocide as agreed to by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (of which Israel is one of the original signatories):

“Article II:  In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • (a) Killing members of the group;
  • (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III:  The following acts shall be punishable:

  • (a) Genocide;
  • (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
  • (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
  • (d) Attempt to commit genocide;
  • (e) Complicity in genocide. “

I charge that the state of Israel is guilty of genocide based on points a, b, and c of what defines genocide and a, b, d, and e of acts punishable as genocide.

Killing members of the group:

Israel kills Palestinians all the time, and often for trivial reasons. Palestinians show up to protest the Israeli occupation, they get shot. Palestinain children venture too close to an Israeli area, they get shot. Palestinians are regularly killed by the Isreali Defence Force all the time. And that does not include the targeted killings of women and children in UN run facilities during the most recent conflict in Gaza which is a blatant affront to international conduct in war.

Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group:

Well I’d say this includes death but Israel also has systematically blockaded supplies from reaching the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has led to poverty and starvation. Israel has also prevented Palestinian fishermen from fishing in bountiful waters that territoriality belong to Gaza thus preventing the Palestinian people from being able to provide for themselves. Countless Palestinians die from lack of medical care and starvation. When Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, they implicitly took it upon themselves that by controlling the territory that they would be responsible for the well being of the Palestinian people. They have failed on a systematic level to take care of the Palestinians. At the same time they have denied the Palestinian people the ability to form their own state capable of providing for them. This double edged blade means that Israel, both actively and passively, is causing harm and mental distress to every Palestinian in the occupied territories.

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part:

As stated previously, the blockade of Palestinian lands has had the effect, or at least the intent, of debilitating the Palestinian people into a state whereby the Israelis can get anything that they want out of the Palestinians. The state of Israel believes that since the God gave them the land of Israel that they, and only they, are entitled to it. Anyone else is simply there by the grace of the Israeli state to serve, in one manner or another, the Israeli people. Implicit in this goal is the unstated goal of removing the Palestinian people from land that they have lived in for millennia.

Acts punishable as genocide:

Genocide:

The above actions, at least in my mind and the minds of many others, constitute a full blown genocide. Maybe not as calculated and deliberate as the holocaust, but still just as evil in its outcome.

Conspiracy to commit genocide:

By undertaking the actions it has already taken, the state of Israel can be said to have conspired to commit genocide in order to gain their “Promised Land” from the “invading” Palestinian peoples.

Attempt to commit genocide:

By actually undertaking their conspired activities and killing and forcibly taking land from the Palestinians, the state of Israel have attempted, whether actively or indirectly, to commit genocide.

Complicity in genocide:

At the very least, by not preventing their own armed forces and radical religious elements from committing genocidal acts against the Palestinians, the state of Israel has been complicit in the genocidal acts committed by those sections of their society without punishing them or forcing them to stop their heinous activities.

For all of these reason it is my earnest belief that the state of Israel is a criminal state whose leaders should be tried for numerous crimes.

Now for the clarification. My beliefs about the state of Israel does not make me anti-Semitic. I know and am friends with many Jews. They are wonderful people. Their faith is beautiful and has a prominent place in the history of western civilization’s development. Jews have had many crimes committed against them because of their faith both in modern times and in the past. I sympathize with all the victims of the Holocaust and cry every time I think of the horrible things done to the Jews by the Germans in the name of “racial purity.” No one can deny that the Holocaust was the single most horrible thing committed by man against his fellow man. I also know that not all people in Israel agree with the actions their government is taking against the Palestinians and I urge them to continue their fight against injustice in their country. My anger and hatred is directed only against those leaders of the state of Israel, and those elements of Israeli society, that actively push for the destruction of the Palestinian people in order to form a “perfect Israel.” It is my belief that too often the Israeli right uses the Holocaust as a crutch to try and remove blame for their own actions and sometimes even justify their actions. The minute you claim to be against the Israeli, or even more alarmingly for the Israeli right for the Palestinians, they label you an anti-Semite who wishes to renew the Holocaust and that is simply not true. If the state of Israel went out tomorrow and tore down all their settlements in the West Bank and the wall along their border, removed their troops from Palestinian lands, and gave the Palestinian people the right to form an independent nation then I would have nothing to complain about. The problem I have is that Israel is doing exactly the opposite. They oppress the Palestinian people at every turn and in every way possible. Until the Israeli state ends its policy of genocide and oppression I, as a Marxist, cannot and will not, under any circumstance, support the Israeli state. I urge the Palestinian people to continue their fight for freedom and justice and I also urge the people of Israel to fight the against the injustices being committed in their names. We must work to end all oppression, wherever it manifests itself.

Racism Used to Prevent Proletarian Unity

With all of the events that have been occurring in Ferguson we are again reminded of the spectre of racism in our society. Despite some people’s claims to the contrary, we have not moved past the petty views that someone who is a different race than us is somehow bad or undesirable simply because of the colour of their skin. While racism stems from our past prejudices against “the Other” around us, racism has been one of the chosen weapons of the bourgeois against the proletariat for a long time. By allowing racism to continue to exist in the minds of people, the capitalist classes prevent us in the proletariat from unifying against the bourgeois due to petty divisions based on race. By not actively fighting to prevent racist tendencies from taking hold in the minds of individuals, the capitalist state allows these same prejudices to divide society.

As long as society is divided on the basis of race, or gender, or religion, or sexual orientation, then the common people will be blinded to the fact that society is truly divided based on economic class. As long as the bourgeois can prevent that masses from seeing that overriding truth they will continue to hold sway over the people. For example, the bourgeois will continually redirect attention from their lack of funding to education for inner city schools and lack of funding for assistance programs, and instead blame the problems of the inner city on “criminal youths”, drugs, teen pregnancy, unpresent fathers, and a myriad of other “reasons” that imply that minorities are not worth the money because they will not take advantage of any opportunities except criminal opportunities. Mentalities such as this distract the masses from the simple fact that the bourgeois wants to keep us divided so that we spend our days fighting each other rather than joining forces to fight the bourgeois.

No one will deny that minorities face many issues that whites will never experience. For this reason we must actively work to end all forms of racism. Only by ending racism, both in the law and in the minds of individuals, will we be able to unify the proletariat against the bourgeois. But the masses must be aware that in fighting racism, and indeed all forms of discrimination, they will meet resistance not only from those people who would like nothing better than to impose their racial, religious, or moral views on the rest of us, but also from those elements of the bourgeois that wish to keep us divided. We must strive every day to end injustice against our fellow human beings for only together will we be able to defeat the forces of global capital. Divided, we are doomed to defeat.

Briefly on Ferguson

Well the events in Ferguson, MO having been ongoing for a week now and I decided to share my opinion on the matter. I will express my opinion based on the separate groups that have featured prominently.

The People of Ferguson

I would gladly go and join the people protesting in Ferguson and think everything (and yes I mean everything) they have done is totally justified given the horrible actions that have been taken against them and their community by their so-called “protectors.” I would relish the chance to go join them in standing up to this most recent display of the brutality inherent in our policing system. The people deserve the unconditional support of every leftist in their struggle against oppression.

Political Leaders

These people seemed curiously absent during the most difficult periods of the demonstrations. Not until outrage was coming from across the entire country did our political leaders decide it was necessary to make their presence known. I think they simply hoped the problems would disappear when the police brought out their heavy weapons. When that didn’t happen I think they were caught off guard and felt like they had to side with those expressing their outrage. I do not believe many of them are genuinely sympathetic to the plight of the people of Ferguson.

The Police of Ferguson

These people need to be rounded up and put on trial for crimes against humanity. Never in the recent history of a civilized country have the police been able to so easily get away with the brutal use of force we have seen on display in Ferguson. The local police chief deserves to be strung up like the ignorant racist he has shown himself to be. You won’t usually see me advocating direct violence against any one person or group but I believe that enough crimes have been committed by the police against the people that in this instance violence truly is justified. At the very least we must see criminal convictions for hate crimes, assault, and abuse of power against every single officer who took part in suppressing the will of the people.

I leave you with one of my favorite songs on the topic of police brutality

Anti-Flag – “Fuck Police Brutality”

Liberal Democracy is Bourgeois Dictatorship

So for a long while I have been contemplating the nature of our democracy.  This question goes back to the very beginnings of my becoming aware of politics. While I have undergone a major shift in my political thinking over the years, my pursuit for understanding of liberal democracy has continued. As of late I have been rereading many of the works by Marx and Lenin (most notably the Critique of the Gotha Programme by Marx and Engels and The State and Revolution by Lenin) and have been philosophically confronted with the opposing forces constantly at work within democracy and how those forces effect our democracy.

In many different works, and in may different ways, Marxists of all tendencies have stated that liberal, or bourgeois, democracy is in fact a dictatorship of the bourgeois over the rest of society. While there are some reformist socialists who disagree with this sentiment, the majority of Marxists would agree with the aforementioned assessment. I am inclined to agree with my fellow Marxists and here are my reasons:

  1. Liberal democracy is a shade pulled over the eyes of the masses in order to hide or obscure the true nature of the “democracy.”
  2. The capitalist system, by its very nature, prevents the emergence of true democracy.
  3. If true democracy were to exist, the capitalist system would collapse.
  4. Because of the previous statement, capitalists will never allow society, no matter how liberal, to become fully democratic because that would entail them losing all of their influence over politics and state power.

I will now address and explain my reasons one by one.

Liberal democracy is a shade pulled over the eyes of the masses in order to hide or obscure the true nature of the “democracy.” This is most likely to be the most difficult to understand and most resisted reason anyone would believe Marxist assertions on the nature of democracy. Why, the doubters and deniers say, if democracy is a hollow shell are we allowed to vote? Isn’t the very fact that there are free and open elections enough evidence that liberal democracy is true democracy? I will answer these questions with another question: what defines “democracy?” Democracy is Greek for “rule of the masses.” This means that if you are going to say you are a democracy then the masses must rule. But in a liberal, bourgeois democracy the masses do not rule. Rule is carried out by economic and political elites who make decisions that effect everyone with little or no input from the average person. Every so many years a few, mostly rich, individuals stand in front of large crowds of people saying “elect me and I will do X, Y, and Z in your name” and for some reason we believe them.

The vast majority of the actions undertaken by our elected officials serve only their own interests or the interests of their wealthy financiers. I would ask any person to come up with a single piece of legislation recently that has helped only regular people. If just one rich person or company or corporation is aided then the legislation is automatically disqualified from consideration. I say this because even in the most seemingly populist legislation there are articles and provisions that directly or indirectly aid those in power at the expense of the average person. Want a tax break for Walmart so they can “create jobs”, you are supporting the bourgeois by allowing them to pay lower taxes. Want to make a sales tax to pay for new road construction, you are indirectly hurting millions of people who live paycheck to paycheck who are hurt by sales taxes on a hugely unproportional level compared to the rich.

Democracy serves only a a means to legitimize the rule of the wealthy. Look at any legislature in a liberal democracy and you will see a mass of individuals who are wealthy. Not a single member of the US Congress lives under the poverty line. Compare this to the fact that 16% of the US population live in families that earn less than $27,000 a year. A US Congressperson earns $174,000 per year. No matter how you try to justify that, you are left with the fact that this automatically places our political leaders into the echelons of the wealthy elite while the vast majority of Americans are left in the dust. I don’t know about you but I don’t trust some rich person, no matter how well intended they are in their actions, to devise welfare policy that in no way effects them or their family. They will go at the task with at best an earnest interest, and more commonly a distanced concern. But that does not negate the fact they since they are not living day to day they have no idea what a person living in poverty is faced with. I was baffled by  a story recently where a Congress person attempted to live on minimum wage (he failed within a couple weeks by the way) and how that level of political theater was applauded by the liberal left. Unless that congressman was literally forced to live on minimum wage with no out then he has no idea what stresses are involved in that kind of life and his actions only further prove that the elite of our society put on these charades to distract us from the fact that it us, not them, who are left to live in poverty.

What does this have to do with legitimizing the bourgeois dictatorship? By putting up with these antics and then later going to the ballot box and voting for those fools, we tell them “you pretending to be one of us is okay. We don’t mind the fact that you are rich and rule over us with little regard for what actually happens to us on a daily basis.” For by voting in elections we legitimize the system as a whole. One popular tactic of resistance movements of all kinds across the globe is to boycott elections. By driving down voter turnout you can point to the system and say “that system is so rotten to the core that the people don’t even believe it is worth voting.” If you continue voting in elections in the bourgeois dictatorship that is our political system, you simply boost the statistics that say that the system is acceptable enough that you bothered to come and vote. Not voting is, in an organized fashion, is an effective way to delegitimize a particular political process and single it out as an unjust system.

The capitalist system, by its very nature, prevents the emergence of true democracy. This in not immediately noticeable but is easily described. By its very nature capitalism forces all entities in existence to seek money in order to operate. To gain this money entities must sell products or services. In a democracy the most precious commodity is information. Information can make or break a politician’s career. So, in order to control the flow of information, the wealthy elite use their wealth, in the form or both direct ownership and advertisements, to control what news makes it on to the front page. Despite what journalists tell you, when the New York Times is presented with a particularly juicy piece of info they don’t necessarily publish it. Should the Times have one of their biggest sponsors come up to them and say “if you publish story X then we will pull our advertisement funding”  you can bet the Times will take note and bury the story. This prevents to adequate dissemination of information. Without full access to information the voting public is unable to see the entire story and this will directly lead to them voting without all necessary information.

If true democracy were to exist, the capitalist system would collapse. I say this because it is obvious. If the masses were allowed unlimited access to all information and were then still permitted to vote, they would immediately sweep all of the elites out of power. While we are not permitted to see everything our government is doing in our name, Edward Snowden gave us a good glimpse into that world and everyone who actually took the time to look and see what was being done by our government was immediately appalled. Being granted similar access to everything would lead to the immediate collapse of our political and economic system into socialism. The masses would immediately remove all elites from their positions of authority and replace them with ordinary people. These people would immediately stop the heinous things that happen every day but go ignored by our rich overlords. Almost overnight we could end poverty, starvation, homelessness, and all other societal ills if we weren’t being oppressed by the very elements in our government and society that receive economic and political gains by keeping people poor and oppressed.

Because of the previous statement, capitalists will never allow society, no matter how liberal, to become fully democratic because that would entail them losing all of their influence over politics and state power. This is because they have every reason to prevent us from exercising our true will through democracy. They limit the choices to a few sides that they can stand. Democrats and Republicans alike only reinforce capitalism just in different ways. While the elites would love to simply establish a dictatorship and rule over us directly they are smart enough to realize that by allowing us to vote for their specially selected minions they give an air of legitimacy to their clandestine reign over us. Should a real threat to liberal democracy emerge from the left they will not hesitate to end our faux democracy so they can ensure that they remain in their position over us and there will be many misguided souls among the masses who will side with the bourgeois both out of self interest and misplaced trust.

I recently read The Iron Heel by Jack London for the first time and was amazed at how similar the world of his book (which was based off of the world pre-World War I) and the world of today are. We see gross inequality on a daily basis, the smashing of unions, and destitution for the poor. The events that London posits in which the ruling classes use their influence to eventually end democracy following the initial success of a leftist movement is exactly what would happen should events like those in the book actually occur. First the bourgeois would refuse to accept the victory of the left. Next they would seek to turn the people against the left by making them seem like an anarchist force that would bring down society. And then when they are at their weakest and about to lose control, the bourgeois would launch their financial assault and bring the world to its knees. In the wake of this crisis they would take every last freedom from us in exchange for loosening their grasp on financing and allowing us to work in their factories and offices for wages that barely prevent workers from starving on a daily basis while working 10 to 14 hour days. We would be kept down with all the force they could muster. People would be executed on the spot simply for disobeying an order or daring to speak out against injustice. We would then be slaves to them in all but name. Only after that darkest hour for the human race would we eventually see the true end of capitalism, because out of that horrible darkness the people would rise with a fury the capitalists didn’t even think possible to break the chains of capitalist oppression. Only then will we see the end of poverty, disease, racism, sexism, and all other injustices that plague humanity. Only then will we truly be free.

In Capitalism, All Wages are Subject to Wage Theft

Wage theft: the illegal withholding of wages or the denial of benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_theft)

By its very nature the capitalist system of economics performs wage theft against all workers. If you don’t believe me then ask yourself this simple question: How much money did the company you work for just make off your labor compared to how much they paid you for your labor? If that answer is anything more than zero then you are subject to the inherent wage theft present in capitalism.

I work for a testing company. We administer tests to individuals seeking to be doctors, accountants, teachers, and an indescribably large number of others. My wife, being a teacher, had to take the PRAXIS test to get her certification. This test cost her $150 for four hours of her time. When I am administering this test I make $9 and hour adding up to $36 and my coworker (only two of us work at the same time) made the same. That means to administer my wife’s test earned my company $78. My testing center has 12 seats which are full all day. In that four hour period if all the seats are full that means my company gained $1728 in four hours of testing (since they only have to pay us essentially for only one of the tests all the tests after the first one are pure profit). The average cost of electricity required to run the testing stations is around $400 a month. Rent on the facility is roughly $3000 a month meaning that fixed expenses on for the same four hour time period are roughly $20. This puts total profit for my company in a four hour period of simply PRAXIS tests (and trust me most of the tests cost A LOT more than the PRAXIS) at $1708.

This $1708 under socialism would be required to be redistributed to me and my coworkers since we are the only reason the money was earned in the first place. But instead, under capitalism, all that money is put into the hands of the company in order to pay dividends and pay the exorbitant salaries and bonuses for the company’s executives (and I personally know one of the executives and, while a great guy, he definately has no financial need for all of the money he earns). Meanwhile me and my coworkers earn a yearly wage that is below the poverty line and most of us have to get government aid.

So next time you perform a task at work just remember this: As long as you are working under capitalism you are not getting the wage you truly deserve.