How To Create A Classless Society: Abolish Profit!

Capitalist
“Don’t look at me!  – get back to work!”

 

Why is it important to create a classless society?

 

All of the social problems we face emanate originally from the division of society into two warring classes: capitalist, and proletariat.  These problems develop in manifold ways according to their own internal logic, or lack of, and alienate and oppress humanity.

 

Civil libertarians need to urgently realise the class basis to their causes.  The state is the primary organ through which the ruling class exert their control over society.  Whether your cause is a beef against parenting classes that undermine parental autonomy, smoking restrictions, or drinking restrictions, the ban on drugs, police harassment of ethnic minorities, immigration controls, whatever – all this stems from the state that is hungry to crush liberty, and itself is the primary organ through which the ruling class exert their control over society.

 

Those worried about the problems of work being unrewarding and causing of suffering in a capitalist society are also concerned about the class division.  The character of our whole society is affected by the class division.  Indeed, the project of human liberation gets nowhere until it confronts class.  The civil libertarians are necessarily on a losing streak until they confront class, because the state will keep on coming back and back at them.  Any victory for civil liberties tends to be short-lived.  Therefore, this blog seeks to unite everyone who has a problem with the way contemporary society is by locating the base problem in the fundaments of class society that creates the state.  It is that which must be done away with.  To get rid of the state presupposes we must get rid of class division.

 

How to create a classless society

 

The capitalist class are only reproduced by the existence of profit.  It is their ownership of profit that distinguishes them from even the wealthiest middle-class worker.  The ownership of profit gives them command over the way society is run, allows them to control the media in their own interests, and generally inhibits freedom for the majority.  Where the capitalist has profit, the worker has his wage.  These are quite different categories.

 

The wage represents the value of everything needed to reproduce and sustain the worker at a socially acceptable level – all the food, housing, childcare costs, occasional holiday, etc.  What it is not is an adequate compensation for work expended.  The worker generally produces more in a week’s work than he or she takes home as the wage.  But they are not paid for the quantity of goods they produce, they are paid as to what can reproduce them for the next round of work.  So, there is a discrepancy between worker’s pay and what workers have produced.  That quantity of value is what constitutes profit, the lifeblood of the capitalist.

 

Therefore, to create a classless society requires a new approach to wages and profit.  In fact, profit has to be done away with entirely to get rid of what reproduces the capitalist class.  How do you get rid of profit?  By abolishing wages.  Instead of paying the worker a wage that only represents what is necessary to sustain and reproduce him or her, instead workers-in-control pay themselves the full value of their produce.  If workers received an equivalent value to the work they have put in, then there is nothing left over, there is no profit any more.  Therefore, the capitalist class cease to exist, and you have a classless society.

 

The technology used in production could still be reinvested in by workers contributing part of their new earnings to it as part of the collective within the enterprise.  But without a capitalist owning the place and an army of managers and sergeants watching over them, then work suddenly becomes far more rewarding, especially knowing you will take home more than under capitalism.  Furthermore, you are now a real stakeholder as opposed to the bullshit use of this term by capitalistic politicians.

 

The worker would of course still pay some form of taxation – to fund schools, welfare, etc.  But given they have just received a 50% pay rise, they probably wouldn’t grudge that.  Also, they have an equal say over how the social fund from taxation is deployed, so would feel enriched by this.

 

Without the existence of profit, the post-capitalist economy loses capitalism’s tendency towards crisis, meaning the whole of society greatly improves in all dimensions, including morally.

 

It could be said that this is just a sketch of a worker’s co-operative.  It isn’t because I would advocate the model on a worldwide scale to get rid of capitalism in its entirety.  It should also be added that new participatory democratic structures would need to be called forward to co-ordinate the production of goods to unleash the already latent social dimension to production.  As people learn to co-operate more and more, they will swap jobs over with each other, to try new things, and develop their all-round capacities.

 

To summarise: the creation of a classless world unfetters a profound human liberation.

 

Advertisements

For Rob O’Connor: A Homeless Man Who Froze To Death In Chelmsford City

rob o'connor
Rob O’Connor

I first met Rob after a gig by my favourite comedian Stewart Lee at Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre back in 2011.  Rob asked me for “50p for a cup of tea” which I was able to spare.  Over subsequent years I saw him lurking in a sorrowful state on several occasions and would give him cigarettes or spare change.  Sadly, this man, who was a rough sleeper, died a week ago from the horrendous tragedy of freezing to death on the streets.  Yes, you read it right – he froze to death in the 21st century.

 

Regarding reporting of this terrible event, the BBC initially took the same response I did – implying fury and outrage at the preventable death of a young man.  But then 2 days later, the BBC reneged on their outrage saying there was a shelter available not too far away from where Rob died that had spare space, and he could have stayed there.

 

Rob died outside of an Argos store that had shut down several months earlier, laying off a couple of dozen workers.  This building is quite big – sufficient to house all of Chelmsford’s homeless.  Yet the building was not requisitioned on the popular thoroughfare of Springfield Road by the Council, it has lain idle.  So, the irony is, Rob froze to death in the doorway of a building that is not even in use, yet had been shuttered.

 

Regarding the so-called “shelter” that Rob ‘could have’ used, this is 23-24 George Street.  It is about a 7 minute walk from where he died, and does not tolerate smoking inside, drink or drugs, that inevitably puts off many homeless, hence it is frequently running under full capacity.  Furthermore, it is run by Christians who offer advice regarding benefits you can claim with the ultimate intention of getting you into work.  But if it was the world of work that the homeless often despise due to various ‘mental health problems’ (as they are called) or other factors.  In short, who would want to stay in a shelter that just moralises at you to get a job?

 

Don’t get me wrong, the Christians who run the shelter are motivated by good intentions.  It is great they are there to offer help to those who don’t mind the nagging aspect to their care.  And technically it is true that Rob would not have died that night if he had availed himself of such benign charity.  But let’s face it, it is not an ideal situation.  Run the risk of freezing to death or suffer patronising Christians when you have no faith is a perilous choice to make.  Furthermore, Rob probably was staying out late to try and get more spare change from people coming out of nearby clubs.

 

The big problem which the BBC reportage has glossed over is that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of caring individuals, Christian or otherwise, to provide the necessary help.  It should be a responsibility of the Council.  Individuals are not duty-bound to provide care to the homeless, though it may tug on their heart-strings and is a noble act when they do.  But because those in need often resent the kind of care being offered, it would be better if a Council offered a neutral form of support, i.e. simply providing shelter for those who through no fault of their own have become homeless.  There could be leaflets regarding the claiming of benefits, but no mandatory interviews with Christian counsellors upon arrival.  And the temporary accommodation provided must allow the individual homeless person or family to do whatever they want, as too the rest of us should expect in our homes – to smoke, drink, take drugs, if that is your poison.

 

3D printing can now knock up reasonable temporary accommodation in the course of a few hours.  Why isn’t this technology being deployed to solve a pressing social problem?

 

Really this issue harks to the whole problem of private ownership over each and every building.  Surely at least some buildings should be exempt from this notion.  If allocated rationally, homelessness – a rising problem in all the ‘advanced’ countries – could be abolished overnight and deaths prevented.  When humanity’s desire to solve problems encounters a problem with ‘objective circumstances’, then it is time to change those circumstances.

 

Chelmsford Council might argue that unhindered free accommodation would just encourage more homeless to come here.  The image they are trying to create of the town centre – fashionable stores (that always seem to close down within 2 years) – is incompatible with the socialist cause.  They would say that housing the homeless sends a negative advertisement to the rest of the country.  But surely the real negative advertisement for a city is that people freeze to death within its jurisdiction.  Do they really want to amend the road signs: “Welcome to Chelmsford: Good luck!” or would it better to have a rational policy regarding homelessness that is not governed by the law of value for money?