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Sunday, 30 October 2011

The contradictions of capitalism part 3 : the class struggle

This is part 3 of my look at capitalist modes of production and its contradictions which lead to such crisis's in its system. The system of capitalism based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class to produce more and more wealth for a smaller and smaller minority is where this vicious system begins to fall down.

For as long as time has begun and humans have been about there has been some form of class structure to humans be it the old surfs or the monarchies and kingdoms of old. Now in todays world we have capitalism which pits two groups of class's against eachother in a constant tug of war if you like. The ruling class often called the bourgeoisie and the working class those who have to sell their labour to get by often refered to as the prolitariat . This has seen big battles of concessions and loss's for both sides over the years but very rarely the capitalists loose out at all. They will always find a way of surviving and do so up to this day.
We pick up this look at the contradictions of capitalism after looking at the over production of products and the ideas of monopolies and the failiure of the market to produce long term success for the majority in the previous posts i've made on capitalism so far. Next we look at the class struggle and the battles that have taken place over the years.

there is the contradiction between the capitalist class and the working class rooted in the exploitation that takes place in every capitalist workplace. This class conflict has accompanied capitalism from its birth. For centuries the bourgeoisie has used all its economic, ideological and political power to incorporate, divert and repress working class resistance. Time and again it has been successful, inflicting on the working class numerous grievous defeats, and time and again its ideologists have proclaimed the end of the class struggle.
But to no avail. The fact is capitalism cannot do without the working class; it needs it to produce its profits. And the more capitalism grows and expands, the more it is compelled to increase the size and potential power of its mortal enemy. The bourgeoisie can win battle after battle but it cannot win, or end, the war. The class struggle can end only with the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the abolition of capitalism.

A further contradiction is that between the capitalists themselves. Capitalist production is organized on the basis of competition between rival capitals. This competition permeates the whole system from the level of the smallest corner shop to the biggest super market, from the most humble workshop to the mightiest multinational corporation, and, because the state is the instrument of capital, it produces competition between states which in turn leads to imperialism, arms races and wars.

Capitalist competition is competition to accumulate capital through the exploitation of labour. Any capitalist business that falls behind in the race risks bankruptcy or take over by its more profitable rivals. Every capitalist is therefore compelled to attempt to increase the exploitation of their workforce and the sum of their profits, thus intensifying the contradiction between the classes. Free market competition turns into its opposite, monopoly, as unsuccessful businesses are swallowed up by successful ones, but competition is not ended, it breaks out anew between the monopolies.

As the class struggles get more and more intense as capitalist production slows as it cant find anywhere new to make profits from the workers still demand more and more wages for working harder and harder. The capitalists will always look to cut workers pay and conditions first of all when looking to save money. This is another contradiction as capitlaists dont always look after their workers and as Karl Marx pointed out in his critical analysis of capitalism in Das Capital the workers are simply a tool of labour brought by the capitalist to produce the final product to sell on and make a profit from.

There is always money for a capitalist to spend on wars and exploitation of his or her workers but workers are told there is no more money for your wages and no more work and you will have to be laid off.
This is another fact of capitalism that workers are only wanted for a short time when there is no percieved need for their labour anymore the capitalist has no worries in laying them off straight away as all he or she is interested in is making that next profit.

A system based on exploitation of workers and the creaming off of the fruits of workers labour for their own greedy profits is not a system i'd like to entertain for much longer. I hope there is a general realisation of the way things work and a exposure of how this capitalist system works to open ordinay peoples eyes to the shocking way this system of waste and profit works.

In my next piece i will be looking at the ideas of Karl Marx further looking into his findings on workers wages and how they are constantly being squeezed by the capitalist and he/she never gets paid what their labour produces only a slice of that.

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