Workers are enslaved, exploited and under attack

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by 22LR, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. 22LR

    22LR New Member

    There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” - Warren Buffet, capitalist billionaire.

    Since the rise of slave-states in ancient times humans have been divided into classes. Different groups of humans belong to different classes depending on their relation to the means of production (the machinery and technology used to create the things people use). Because of these varying relations to the means of production, different classes also have different interests. Classes with opposing interests are always entrenched in a struggle against each other. This is class struggle.

    It is through this struggle, and the subsequent evolution of the means of production (improvement of technology, i.e. from the windmill to the power plant) that history has progressed, from the slave-state to feudalism, and from feudalism to capitalism.

    Because of the uneven development of the world and the rise of powerful countries, different parts of the world can be in different historical stages of development at any given time. It is even possible for remnants of past historical stages to continue to exist along side the a new historical stage (i.e. feudal property relations and a rural peasantry in the countryside within a capitalist country). Despite this uneven development, capitalism is today the dominate social system in the world.

    Under capitalism, those who own the means of production (the rich minority) make up the capitalist class (or bourgeoisie), which is the ruling class. Those who use those means of production to create wealth (the exploited majority) make up the working class (or proletariat).

    The working class is made up of those who have no way to earn a living other than working for the capitalists – that is, selling their labor-power (this includes the unemployed who haven’t or can’t find a capitalist to sell their labor-power too).

    Under capitalism working people are wage-slaves. Lacking control of the means of production, they must sell their labor to the capitalist bosses or starve. The capitalists, to whom workers are nothing more than another commodity, make their profits through the purchase of this labor at prices well below its value.

    A simple example of this is a worker who assembles simple toys in a capitalist’s factory for $5 an hour. The toys themselves are made by combining two plastic pieces, which the capitalist purchases for $1 each. The worker assembles ten toys an hour, so the capitalist has put forward $25 to create 10 new toys. The capitalist then sells the ten completed toys for $3 each, thus bringing in $30. Since the materials the toys were made of cost the capitalist $20, and the hour of labor of the worker cost him $5, he made a profit of $5. That profit came from the exploitation of the worker! The twenty plastic pieces alone were only worth $20. It was the labor of the worker that added value to those pieces, allowing them to be resold for an additional $10. But instead of receiving the full value she created ($10), the worker only receives a fraction ($5), and the parasitic capitalist keeps the rest.

    What's worse, the worker who created 10 toys in an hour can only afford to buy 1 of them with the wages she received for an hour of work.

    While this is an admittedly basic example, this is how capitalism functions; and this is the role of the working class -- the class that creates all wealth, but receives only enough of it in return to stay alive and continue producing workers -- which makes it the only truly revolutionary class.

    The working class has allies, like poor farmers, who also have interests that are diametrically opposed to those of the capitalists. The vast majority of people on earth are a either a part of the working class or allied with it.

    The Petit-bourgeois (or middle class), is made up of those who own small businesses or serve as managers or administrators for the capitalists. They have no natural allies, and in fact may have interests in common with either of the main opposing classes, though they are more likely to side with the capitalists than with the working class, since they have a stake in capitalism.

    Since the capitalist class controls the means of production, they also control society. Of course, they rule in their own interests.

    The interests of this ruling class are diametrically opposed to the interests of the working class, which creates all wealth but controls none of it, and its allies. There is a constant struggle going on between these classes: the class war.

    Because of varying conditions and contradictions there are times that this class struggle sharpens and explodes into open conflict, and other times when it appears (at least on the surface) that there is no struggle going on at all.

    But we even when everything looks “peaceful” it’s not.

    Society is constantly in motion. The only constant is change.

    Throughout our lives we're told things to make us think that society will continue to go on as they are forever. The widespread belief of this falsehood is in the interests of the rulers.

    As we explained, the class struggle and development of the means of production continue to push society forward. This is always true, even when it may be hard to tell that any change is happening at all. Remember that empires have lasted over a thousand years in the past, only to fall apart.

    In recent history, in most of the world, the ruling (capitalist) class has been waging a one sided war on the working class and its allies. This is because the capitalist class consciously acts in its own interests; while the workers and their allies to a large degree do not. The capitalists do whatever is in their power to keep the working class from gaining consciousness (i.e. promoting divisions amongst us on “racial,” ethnic, and religious lines; distracting and fooling us with the media – which they own and thus control; carrying out minor reforms while leaving the root causes of our problems intact; convincing workers to support capitalist political parties; pushing the myths of "national unity" and the disappearance of classes; etc.).

    Despite all this, through the continuing class struggle (and especially in periods when it sharpens and explodes into open conflict), the working class and its allies will become conscious of their own interests, and will finally unite and overthrow the capitalists reign of terror.

    Of course, the capitalists will not give up their positions of power without a life-or-death struggle. It will be, and has been, a intense fight with tremendous victories and disappointing set backs but eventually, due to the very nature of capitalism itself, we will prevail. The better informed and organized our class the sooner it will be; and the sooner all of humanity will be much better off.

    When the capitalist class is overthrown on a world scale and the working class becomes the ruling class, the next historical period will have been reached. It is then that the material basis for a classless society will finally begin to take shape; and the transition toward a free, just, and equal social order will have begun.
  2. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    22LR You have studied Karl Marx well, but you underestimate the ability of capitalism to bend. Whether through cheap credit and playstations or high taxes and cheap health care, capitalism will always find a way to flourish. Even in a Bear market there's money to be made. I would not wait for the uprising of the proletariat, for man has too often shown themselves more sheep than slumbering lion.
  3. 22LR

    22LR New Member

    I don't think that's the case at all.

    The slave state was replaced by the feudal state. The feudal state was replaced by the capitalist state.

    These advances were brought about by revolutions in the means of production and corresponding social revolutions.

    And none of it happened over night. It took centuries for capitalism to replace feudalism as the dominant social system on a world scale. Just because capitalism hasn't been overthrown yet doesn't mean it won't be.

    In fact it will be (and must be if we want to continue our existence as a species).

    All things come to an end.

    It won't happen automatically. Historical processes have brought the modern working class into being, but it will take organized activity on our part to get rid of capitalism.
  4. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Workers of the world , UNITE! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

    I haven't seen marxist propaganda in a long time. How quaint!
  5. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Try North Korea. I heard that communist state is wonderful place to live and people love it there.
  6. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Funny, I am a worker and I don't feel exploited. In fact I feel I am more than adequately rewarded for the job I am asked to do and the skillset required.

    I know that if I want to move up in this world I can do so if I am willing to put the time, effort, and capital into a venture that will get me there. This capitalist thing isn't so bad when you look at it from a pure freedom standpoint. Although if you are someone afraid of choices, options, and new paths to take then I can see where capitalism can be a scary proposition.
  7. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Yeah for real. Some people are fearful of competition and setting goals. It's easier for them to coast through life with a plan mapped out by someone else instead of taking the initiative to take control of their own lives.
  8. 22LR

    22LR New Member

    Been there.

    It's completely capitalist.

    The means of production are in private hands.

    Wage-slavery is alive and well. If you're not born into one of the few families which owns a part of the means of production you have two choices (1) sell your labor to a capitalist for a wage (2) starve.

    Workers are exploited. They are only given a percentage of the wealth they create. The capitalists they work for keep the rest.

    After the proletarian revolution, when workers control production and organize it according to meeting human need, regular people will have more, not less.

    Only if you're a post modernist that changes the meaning of terms as they go along.

    In reality capitalism is a system in which the means of production are owned by a minority of the population. Since they own those means, the rest of us (besides farmers, artisans, and shop keepers) have no way to survive other than working those means of production in exchange for payment that is less than what we create.

    After the proletarian revolution we will have more incentive. If I work as a package handler at UPS I get paid the same if I sort 1000 boxes or 5000 boxes per shift. When we control production collectively, according to a plan we work out ourselves, an increase in my productivity will mean an increase in goods for myself and everyone else.

    It's interesting to note that the longest lasting form of society in human history (so far) was primitive communism. That lasted tens of thousands of years. Capitalism has been around for a few hundred.

    But every system falls apart. History is not static.

    Sorry, north Korea isn't a "communist state."

    The phrase "communist state" is a contradiction in terms. Communism, as defined by communists, is a stateless. No country anywhere, ever in history, has claimed to have reached communism.

    The bureaucrats in charge in north Korea raise the claim in a few official documents that their country is in the transition toward communism, but that's no more true than claims by capitalists and their representatives in government that we're all "in the same boat" in the United States (ie. that we all suffer equally from this economic crisis).

    If you're really interested in discussing the history of Korea and nature of the north Korean state I'd be more than happy to. I doubt you are though. It seems you'd rather just lazily throw around some tired old slander.

    By the way, even if the type of society that existed in north Korea were what I was advocating why that mean I should go to north Korea instead of fighting to bring it into existence here?

    Would you have told Thomas Paine to go to France or John Brown to go to Haiti?

    That "love it or leave it crap" is completely reactionary and hopeless.

    Is "marxist propaganda" [sic] a label you can apply to something to automatically discredit it?

    “A struggle is going on in all the nations of the civilized world, between the oppressors and the oppressed of all countries, a struggle between the capitalist and the laborer, which grows in intensity from year to year, and will work disastrous results to the toiling millions, if they are not combined for mutual protection and benefit.” - AFL Preamble 1886-1955

    More "marxist propaganda"?

    But guess what?

    The number one selling book in Japan right now is a book by a communist about exploited sailors who mutiny against their captain and take over the ship. The number one selling comic book in Japan right now is an illustrated version of "Capital" by Karl Marx. The fastest growing party in Japan is the Communist Party.

    The number one selling book in eastern Germany is "Capital" by Karl Marx.

    One of the top search terms on Google recently (by people in the US) is socialism.

    "The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free you have to be acutely aware of being a slave." - Assata Shakur

    Again, feelings and reality don't necessarily correspond.

    Some people "feel" that angels are among us.

    In reality, no matter your job, if you are a worker you are exploited. That's how capitalism works. Not even its (honest) -defenders deny this.

    You're not paid the full value of your labor. If you make $1000 worth of candy bars each day are you given $1000? No. And who gets the portion of the value you created that is denied to you (surplus value)? The capitalist you sell your labor to.


    A young reporter asked a leading capitalist how he made his fortune. "It was really quite simple", the capitalist answered. I bought an apple for 5 cents, spent the evening polishing it, and sold it the next day for 10 cents. With this I bought two apples, spent the evening polishing them,and sold them for 2O. And so it went until I amassed 80. It was at this point that my wife's father died and left us a million dollars". =)

    Freedom for the capitalists sure. Freedom for the majority of the population? No. If you don't sell your labor to a capitalist (thus making them even richer) you starve.

    The number of workers that are able to become capitalists is negligible. You have a much, much better chance of dying from an accident on the job. Of course that doesn't stop the supporters of a decaying system from using the "American Dream" argument to defend their positions.

    "The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it." - George Carlin

    I'm a package handler at the UPS hub in Secaucus. What choices do I have over how that place is run (not to mention UPS as a whole or parcel delivery in general)? How about any of my coworkers?

    What choice does a child born to a single mother who makes less than a dollar a day in Uganda have?
  9. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Give it up man. You aren't fooling anyone. North Korea is a communist nation. If it looks like a duck and walk likes a duck....well, you know the rest.
  10. 22LR

    22LR New Member

    Nothing of substance in your reply?

    As could be expected.. but disappointing nonetheless.
  11. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    I think 22LR is WKMAC's evil twin
  12. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    That cartoon is hilarious. Next time my "boss" tries to hassle me about production I'm going to remind him how much I'm paying him :happy-very:.
  13. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll


    thank you for an eloquent display of taste, tact and knowledge. Dont think however, your audience on these threads share the capacity to comprehend your fine display of facts and viewpoints.

    In fact, a few of them who responded collectively, will never understand what you are trying to communicate to them. They all seem to share a false belief about what capitalism is all about.

    I share your views and thoughts and believe you stated them well.

    Many on this site hold a firm belief in regurgitated rhetoric heard mainly on talk radio or right wing cable shows, and they dont have the demonstrated depth of your knowledge of political arenas.

    Expect the name calling and slights to increase as you stifle the attempts to argue with you....

    I sir, appreciate your explanations.

  14. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Yeah, cause youre so smart?

    Now thats comedy! LOL :happy-very:
  15. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Call it what you will, but I call it freedom. Before this job I had to rely on others to provide the basic necessities of life. I now own my own shelter, pay for my own food, and save for my own future. I have made choices that enable me to do more with my life than I could in prior years, and thanks to my worker status I have the means to make those sort of choices. Choice is a funny thing because in a free society they can include good and bad choices. I know people who make twice as much as I do and still can't manage to survive on their own. While I have made it making half of what I earn today.

    Not exactly. Working is something every living thing has to do. A bear which chooses not to hunt will starve, just as a human who chooses not to work will. The worker just wants a honest days pay for an honest days work. The employer just desires profit at the end of the day so he/she can eat as well. Nobody is exploited as no employee or employer are truly bound to one another.

    This is so elementary I find it hard to believe I have to explain this to you. The $1000 worth of candy bars you make does not necessarily mean you are worth $1000 for that day. Assuming that $1000 is the retail value of the candy bars you have to take into consideration the cost of the building you work in, the machines you work with, the resources(electricity, water, materials) needed to make the candy bar, the other workers involved in making that candy bar(you only made them, you did not package, ship, drive, or stock them), the cost of managing the entire factory, and finally the taxes owed at whatever levels of governments that may have an interest in the factory's output. Lets not forget the businessman who put all this together has to make a profit at the end of the day or he cannot justify employing you to begin with.

    This is your assumption that every wealthy individual and family made their fortunes through luck. I can tell you most millionaires in this country are self made, and few are born into wealth. The difference between you and them is the drive to do so.

    Just as the capitalist who doesn't bring the goods and services for others to purchase will starve. You, the employee is a small part in a large jigsaw puzzle put together by the capitalist you so hate.

    Every worker is a capitalist. The skills and experience they have help determine what kind of success they have in the marketplace, just as the quality, availability, and necessity of the goods and or services brought to the market by the businessperson determines their success.

    As a simple hub rat you have no control or choices in how the place is run. If control or choice is what you desire then I suggest you move into the ranks of management and then you will have some choice and control. As long as you stay where you are you are given work, and the work earns you a paycheck. If you think you can do it better start working towards a higher position in the company or start your own company.

    Let me go on the offensive here and get down to the basic premise of what you are supporting. You support a world where everything is equal, but this is impossible because the world is not equal. You can't pay a brain surgeon the same as a trash collector because of the skills involved. Why go to school for a decade of your life only to earn the same living as someone doing the most mundane tasks in our society? A BMW costs more than a Chevrolet because of the hours of research, design, and materials used in making that BMW. That baby born in Uganda to a single mother making less than a dollar a day is unfortunate, but the more wealth created in our side of the world does make its way over to places like Uganda first through charities, then maybe through factories, and hopefully to schools improving that baby's chance at success through life. By working to make our own lives better we better the lives of others. Not just in our society, but in other countries as well. When your line of thinking is imposed on the masses nobody has the desire to achieve more because their is no reward for doing so. Desire is the basis for human achievement, and thankfully this country is one of the few on earth that encourages people to follow their desires to success through freedom. Millions of people have perished in countries where your economic models were mainstream while millions of others have succeeded where capitalism exists.
  16. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    As always, you are amusing.

    PS - Sorry ... I did not realize I was posting in Current Events. I usually don't even read, much less post. My bad.

    I deleted my other posts.

    Again ... my apologies.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  17. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Name calling like this?

    Yesterday, 05:46 PM #53 The Other Side

    "Reason, so brown cafe right wing kooks can run with the ball...."
  18. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Do you identify with this remark?? :surprised:
  19. JimJimmyJames

    JimJimmyJames Big Time Feeder Driver

    To minimize being "enslaved" here is a thought: start your own business.

    Oh, and don't get married :funny:!
  20. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    that's funny! I think it might be worse than that. 22LR might be the antiwkmac. As antimatter and matter encounter each other, they would wipe each other out. If these two posters encounter each other in the same thread, annihilation might occur.