We will be hosting new member orientations in two time slots this coming month, Sunday July 24th at 5:30 pm & Monday July 11th at 6:30pm
Help us pad our strike fund, we have CD options for 7.50 with shipping. 20 digital tracks, 18 on the CD. We have workers in a dozen shops, help embolden them.
When there is a talk of economic problems, I always think of ant colonies. If small creatures like ants have no economic problems (since economy for each living being is about food), then how can creatures like human beings, with such advanced reason and experience, have serious economic problems or such an embarrassing situation as unemployment? Is there anything in nature that human beings, with their intelligence, cannot turn into work? The problem definitely has nothing to do with the natural functioning of things or the environment. The arrant wolf of humanity lies within it. All economic problems, foremost unemployment, are linked to capitalization of society.
No doubt, Marx’s analysis of capital is valuable. He tries to explain unemployment during periods of crisis. But sadly, the disease of positivism caught him in a very bad way, and the disease of scientism prevented him from a more profound analysis of historical-society. What I am trying to do is to show that capital is not the economy; on the contrary, it is the most effective tool for undermining the economy. I say this primarily because profit and capital have never been the goal of society’s development and, thus, never had a place within society, as such. A rich and prosperous society is conceivable; morality and politics leave room for this. But when society suffers from need and unemployment, focusing on wealth and capital goes beyond being a crime; it is associated with societycide. We see civilization as an entanglement of problems, because it rests on the monopoly of capital. When Rosa Luxemburg connected capital accumulation to the existence of noncapitalist society, she was wandering at the edge of a very important truth. Had she walked right in, she would have concluded that capital accumulation is not simply dependent upon the existence of a noncapitalist society, this accumulation is also made possible through seizure of society’s values, by bloodsucking ticks. She would have seen that the worker has become an accomplice, drinking a drop of the blood that is his share. Let me be clear, I do not deny the worker’s labor, but the formation of capital is only dependent on the worker’s labor to a very small extent, and when considered philosophically, historically, and socially, this small extent also loses its meaning. Current ecological problems make it increasingly clear that industrialism is a tool for usury at the expense of society and the environment.
No person with knowledge and understanding can deny that business managers and skilled laborers have become society’s most privileged strata, with an equivalent snowballing growth of unemployment as its counterpart. The advanced industrial strata, the monopolistic commercial and financial strata—i.e., capital monopolies with their “multi-stakeholder partnerships”—have further rendered the concept of worker meaningless. It is important to acknowledge that the worker has been reduced to a belt that ties society to the monopoly of capital. Just as real socialism, or state capitalism, is a system that rests on the “concessionist worker,” classic private capitalism also has its concessionist workers. They have always existed in society side by side. The remaining society, the noncapitalist society, is what Rosa Luxemburg was thinking about. What we are discussing here, if one notices, is a distinction made between capitalist and noncapitalist. For Luxemburg both are forms of society. I see it differently. I see capitalism not as a form of society but as an extensive network, an organization that has established itself above society and extorts surplus value, drains the economy, generates unemployment, amalgamates with power and the state, and uses the powerful tools of ideological hegemony. Recently, the concessionist workers have become a part of this organization.
I hope to dispense with a number of misunderstandings by defining the essence of the monopolistic network. Above all, I hope to uncover the trap implicit in the concept of “capitalist society.” Defining capitalist monopoly as a society is excessively gracious. Capital might form networks and organizational networks. Indeed, even the mafia must be seen as a gainful network of capital. The only reason that the network of capital is not called the mafia is because of its hegemonic power over society and its relations with the official power. Otherwise, it too would have remained nothing but a network, lacking even the ethics of the mafia.
I must add that I do not consider the medium-sized industrialists, merchants, or farmers capitalists. They are social strata that, for the most part, try to produce to meet genuine economic needs, even if they are being squeezed by capital from every direction. In addition, I do not consider exchange of small goods at the market capitalism or those who produce these goods at their small shops capitalists. Obviously, various professions cannot be considered capitalist. All workers who are not concessionist, peasants, students, civil servants, craftspeople, children, and women form the backbone of society. I aim to develop a definition of noncapitalist society. When I speak of noncapitalist society, unlike most Marxists, I don’t mean a society that is defined as feudal, or one in which the Asiatic mode of production prevails, or one that is semifeudal. I am convinced that these concepts conceal rather than reveal the truth. Furthermore, my analysis not only addresses the capital networks that were centralized in Europe after sixteenth century but all of the capital networks (commercial, political, military, ideological, agricultural, and industrial monopolies) that have extorted surplus value throughout history. It doesn’t take a lot of study to see that present-day global financial capital verifies this analysis in striking ways. It is essential that the anticapital character of social nature is recognized. Throughout its millennia-long march, society has always been aware of the highly corrupting nature of capital accumulation. For example, almost every religion has condemned usury—one of the most effective methods of capital accumulation.
It is not enough to say that capital is currently developing a massive growth of unemployment to create cheap and flexible labor force. While this is partially true, the main reason is that capital constrains society to profit-oriented activities. However, activity for the sake of profit and capital does not meet society’s fundamental needs. If the production to feed the population does not create profit, then even if society wallows in poverty and starves to death—indeed millions of people are currently living and dying in just such conditions—capital will not budge. If a small portion of the capital available was invested in agriculture, the problem of hunger could be eliminated. But, instead, capital is continuously dismantling and destroying agriculture, because the profit ratio in agriculture is negligible to nil. As long as capitalists can earn huge sums of money from money, they will never think of agriculture. Such thinking would be meaningless to capital. In the past, the state as a monopoly considerably subsidized agricultural producers, receiving produce or money taxes in return. The present capital markets have rendered such state activities inconsequential. As a result, states that consider contributing to agriculture face bankruptcy.
This means, therefore, the increasing unemployment and impoverishment of the main body of society is not the outcome of capital’s temporary policies but, in fact, stems from its structural characteristics. Even if people agree to work for the lowest possible wages, society’s unemployment problem cannot be solved, as simple observation should make clear, even without further investigation. Let me say it one more time: we cannot free society from unemployment and poverty without abolishing policies and systems of maximum profit based on surplus value. For example, why is there such widespread unemployment, hunger, and poverty in the Mesopotamian meadows that mothered Neolithic society for fifteen thousand years and nourished numerous societies through the ages? With a nonprofit production initiative, even by today’s standards these meadows could feed twenty-five million people.
Thus, what these people and meadows need is not the hand of capital that prevents work, but for that hand (whether private or state), which is the sole reason for unemployment, hunger, and poverty, to leave them alone. The only thing needed is to link the land with the hand of the true laborer, which would require a revolution in society’s mindset. This, in turn, would mean social morality and politics resuming their function as the fundamental structures, or organs, of society. For this to happen, democratic politics must rush to this task with all its heart, soul, and real brains.