Sunday, 1 September 2013
How I discovered Marxism
Over the last few days a lot has been going through my head and heart of how I feel about politics, socialism, parties and all the rest of it but one thing tat I’ve not been put off from understands one of the greatest thinkers possibly ever to have lived. My introduction to Marxism really started back when I was in the labour party of all places where I heard of Marxism as a term being used to insult other members on the left by the right wing at the time I thought this must be a terrible thing and something I should stay clear of. As with a lot of things I had a natural curiosity to find out what this term Marxist was and how it referred to people who go by the term. Looking up in my early political days was an eye opener I stumbled across all sorts of material from basic texts to more detailed ones. It was a minefield in many ways. As I am blind I thought I’d try and find some audio recordings of any Marxist texts. Luckily http://librivox.org/ Have a few classic Marxist texts. I did leave the labour party eventually in February 2011 to join the socialist party of England and Wales where my learning of Marxism really started. Unfortunately still to this day theory is something which doesn’t take huge priority in the party as I’ve detailed in the past on this blog so a lot of self learning had to be under taken. I first read such titles as the communist manifesto and wage labour and capital as audio recordings. Getting into Marx’s ideas for the first time felt like a breath of fresh air finally I could get how the world works or doesn’t work for us the majority. The piece’s which opened my eyes and still does till this day is the exploitation points Marx makes devastatingly. His sections on the working day in capital volume 1 put things really into a way tat makes sense to the ordinary worker to understand. To realise how foolish you have been to believe the lies from the state and the media and to finally realise o we are never paid the full price of our labour angered me and got me even more interested in reading more and finding out what we can do about this injustice. Discovering Marx was like a revelation for me. Marx is no god and Marxism is not a religion but you do get a sense of understanding that cuts through the crap tat you hear all the time on TV and in the street. You really understand how as a class based system there can never be fairness under capitalism and no amount of reforming the system can make it any less exploitative. Those who hold illusions in a nicer capitalism and making it work for us the 99% if you like can be understood in their full context now for me those who wish to reform capitalism have no will to remove it and only wish to temper its brutality of its greed, and pure blind drive for profit. Marx tells us that capitalism is a system based purely on profit making and commodities which Marx spends chapters on explaining how a commodity is formed and why it is so crucial to understand the system. Marx explains that commodities are not produced for people’s needs but the reverse they are produced to make a profit. Marx’s theories on crisis are based around profitability and the falling rate of profit. Understanding this was crucial to my recent understanding of Marxism having the ability to understand how crisis’s occur in a profit and investment cycle is key for all to understand where crisis’s originates from and ultimately what capital needs to do to restore profit rates. Marx is also explicit that the boss’s and the workers interests are separate and are opposite and can never be rectified however nice you make your boss. Your boss still wants his or her pound of flesh because in your labour is embodied surplus value and profit as a result. Finally having an understanding of Marx is one thing but using his method is another. Many Marxists think they have read all of Marx that there is but unless you apply his methods in analysis and practices knowledge is not enough. It for me is what you do with it which matters.