What is the aim of capitalism?
To create such a social order that will allow the regeneration of capitalism enter a ‘perpetuum mobile’ stage, an irreversible path that would lead the capitalist ruling classes to achieve total domination over the working class.
This legitimizes the need for a communist revolution as a vital necessity for working people, the vast majority of population.
Since they are aware that their economic system of power is designed to be against the lives of the working people, capitalists have always waged class war against workers: a war of aggression, colonization and extermination.
Depending on how tightly they controlled their propaganda to be able to keep their violence unseen, capitalists have associated their oppression with attempts to convert, bribe and corrupt workers, make them invisible, replace them with social strata, which posed no threat to capitalism, or simply obliterate them. Terror, torture, rape and social destruction are political weapons they have resorted to, with impunity.
The crimes of capitalists against working class must be understood as political crimes; their class war is political.
The Russian Revolution was a monumental event in world history and a cosmic shock to the capitalist classes. It showed them that they cannot defeat working people, that they will lose the class war they wage against workers.
During the existence of the socialist bloc in Eastern Europe, capitalist ruling classes in the West were forced to take steps back and agree to some concessions for the working class in the imperialist centers. They compensated these concessions with increased exploitation and oppression of the people and resources in the third world.
These concessions were aimed to tame and co-opt workers. They mostly failed for the largest part of working class. They achieved their aim only with the least oppressed strata of the working class (1), because these reproduce the propaganda machine and the mechanisms of fictional/financial capitalism, not the material profits which are the source of capitalists’ power. These concessions were meant to buy time for capitalists. They were accompanied with the most ridiculous and absurd anti-communist propaganda (perpetuated by right wingers under various names – liberals, republicans, Trotskyists, anarchists), with Maoists collaboration in subverting Communist parties in the West, and with terror campaigns against Communists in the West inflicted by western armies, police and government. The gigantic anti-communist propaganda had the role to rewrite ‘the left’, to empty it of Marxist concepts, and transform it into some form of soft liberalism. This propaganda was perpetuated within leftist organisations, universities, media and ‘social science’.
Capitalists expected that the destruction of the socialist bloc in the East, almost 30 decades ago, would be understood by the working classes as their final defeat. It was not. For this reason, the propaganda, political violence and economic terror against working class are increased gradually, day after day.
Converting workers into consumers: the legal death of working class
Policies pursued by capitalists indicate that what they cannot defeat, they must destroy. What they want is to have – politically and legally – no longer a working class. No working class, no political conscience of working people, nobody to denounce their illegitimate hold on the means of production and their destructive, tyrannical and oppressive class society. No working class, no more revolution. No revolution, no need for workers to emancipate themselves from the oppression they are forced to endure – at least, this is what capitalists imagine.
“It is said that in some countries in the West Marxism has already been destroyed. It is said that it has been destroyed by the bourgeois-nationalist trend known as fascism. That, of course, is nonsense. Only people who are ignorant of history can talk like that. Marxism is the scientific expression of the fundamental interests of the working class. To destroy Marxism, the working class must be destroyed. But it is impossible to destroy the working class. More than 80 years have passed since Marxism came into the arena. During this time scores and hundreds of bourgeois governments have tried to destroy Marxism. And what has happened? Bourgeois governments have come and gone, but Marxism has remained. Moreover, Marxism has achieved complete victory on one-sixth of the globe; moreover, it has achieved victory in the very country in which Marxism was considered to have been utterly destroyed. It cannot be regarded as an accident that the country in which Marxism has achieved complete victory is now the only country in the world which knows no crises and unemployment, whereas in all other countries, including the fascist countries, crisis and unemployment have been reigning for four years now. No, comrades, that is no accident.” — J.V. Stalin, “Report to the Seventeenth Party Congress on the Work of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.(B.) January 26, 1934 – > source
Capitalists use a gigantic propaganda apparatus to impose a certain view on reality. Part of this propaganda aims to achieve ‘marxism without marxists’ and ‘communism without communists’. They try to deform Marxist political teachings to such a degree that they can no longer pose a political threat to capitalist indoctrination, to destroy the Marxist understanding of class and of the production relations while, at the same time, to transfer the definition and visibility of working class from workers to petty bourgeoisie and other social strata (2) which are frustrated they can’t benefit more from the booty of capitalists.
The power capitalists have makes them not care that at the end of the day people see that they lie. It may even please them.
What capitalist propaganda indicates is that they try to politically erase the working class by converting the recognized condition of working people from workers into consumers. The technology the capitalist class controls enables them to attempt this. They want people not only to consume what increases capitalists profits, but also to ‘consume themselves’, that is to capitalize their own bodies, their own personalities and their own minds in ways which will act as self-indoctrination.
It is still workers who produce the wealth of capitalists, but they will be named consumers, not workers. What means of productions are consumers supposed to seize, if this happens?
This is incorporated into the entire effort of capitalist regeneration. What capitalists are doing right now is to find ways which will deny the political reality that workers are those who, through their labor, produce the wealth, to deny workers the quality of workers, to create institutions and to impose social relations which will recognize only their quality of consumers.
They are trying to dispossess working class of their only voice they could have had to defend their lives: that which spoke for them as working class. The voice which relentlessly reminded capitalists that it’s not them who produce wealth, but working people.
Capitalists go even further: they are trying to replace work – in the political conceptualization of society – with consume. People will still work, but that will be less and less recognized, politically. The political rights capitalist societies still recognize are gradually and brutally transferred from working people to consumers. A person may work but if they cannot consume enough to inform capitalists that they are reproducing their profits to a desired level, that person will be dispossessed of all political rights. We see this happening already.
The terminus point of this process will be what is called social credit, or, as it is presented in the west, basic universal income.
Typical for the capitalist propaganda, they present this as something beneficial to working people, and try to avoid any questions about their necessity to impose this ‘social’ ‘credit’. After all, this is quite self-defeating for capitalists, because it is the final, most categorical proof that their system is nonfunctional and unsustainable, and that it’s based only on their power to employ mass violence to keep it in place.
In fact, ‘social’ ‘credit’ is quite anti-social and ‘credit’ means not just that the person will be qualified for certain goods or services depending on certain conditions out of his or hers control, but that the person is assumed to have been born with a debt towards capitalists. It means that people will be politically denied the right to life, and that they will be allowed to live if they pay a ransom for their days. This is what means when work is transformed into consume. ‘Social’ ‘credit’ should actually be called ‘protection tax’.
Converting social relations into transactions
Why are capitalists trying to impose this?
The social order capitalism strives for is one in which any human interaction and social relation will be transformed in a transaction. The most delicate traits of human personalities will be denied and criminalized, unless they can be capitalized. People will be able to survive only if they allow ruling classes to turn them completely into capitalized units. What this means can be best understood when looking at the condition of women: capitalists are trying to transform rape into ‘work’ and sexual slavery into a ‘natural’ condition of women.
The reason capitalists try to convert social relations into transactions comes from capitalits’ necessity to transform people, even more brutally, into depersonalized individuals and to enforce alienation and capitalized male violence into ‘a way of life’. (This was already achieved with men but it faces a fierce opposition from women – we will explain this social order separately, when we discuss why rape capital is a major pillar in capitalist reproduction).
The need of capitalists to turn social relations into transactions is on their minds for a long time. It signals that the bodies, the minds and the personalities of proletarians are targeted as a major resource capitalists need to conquer. Not just for profits, but for making absolute the social order they need: when people will relate to each other in the most intimate ways under the form of transaction, the relations in that society will be based on violence, and on power to subjugate. There is no difference between capitalists and the fascist terrorist Unabomber – both confuse freedom with power over people, both see people as living in a jungle, as living one against the other. It is typical fascist mentality. (We will discuss this mentality in more detail when we will show what type of ‘leftist’ capitalists try to invent and why.)
Devalue work, deny the right to life
What is presented as the neoliberal phase of capitalism – enhanced imperialism and ‘democratic’ fascism – was planned with the aim to take away the means of proletarians had within their reach to be able to fight capitalists. Communist working class was formed as a vital necessity and a fierce resistance against capitalism.
While the fight of working classes is one for their lives, the offensive of capitalists against them is one for absolute power.
For instance, privatization was presented as ‘economic reform’, but in fact is a brutal political attack aimed to rob working people of any public control over means of production, work, vital resources. Its aim is to totally transfer political control over any aspect of production and of the lives of proletarians into the hands of the capitalist class, away from any say or public control to which working people still had some right to exert. Privatization’s aim is to transform states into corporation-like entities controlled by the capitalist class.
It is a political war aimed to facilitate capitalists power towards profits as high as possible from paying as little as possible – nothing, if possible – for the labor of working people. The attacks on health care, schools, pensions, benefits, water, land, air, wages have all the same aim – the accumulation of profits from dispossession of working people of the means to reproduce their labor power and their own lives.
De-industrialization was enforced not just because profits accumulation made sense in the capitalist calculations, but as policy meant to atomize and isolate proletarians even further, to enhance their dependency on capitalists’ power, and to devalue their labor.
The devaluation of the labor of working class is a policy capitalists are enforcing relentlessly. This is the gateway towards transforming the condition of proletarians from people who were dispossessed by force, and against their will, of the means to reproduce their lives – so far, the assumption was that proletarians had the right to life – into a condition which denies people any right to life, which assumes them to own their life to capitalists, which assumes that they must pay ransom for every single day of their lives.
This is what ‘social’ ‘credit’, or its new name for the west, ‘basic universal income’, is supposed to achieve.
For the working class, the main contradiction of capitalism is the relentless destruction of human life and of its resources to reproduce itself. Capitalists don’t see this as a contradiction, but as a rational policy. They employ institutions, laws, armies, crime and corruption, and a brutal propaganda to pursue it.
For capitalists, the main contradiction of capitalism is their dependency on the working class.
They know it is not them who work for their profits, but the working people. They know they control not only the means of production, but also the means and the resources the working class needs to reproduce itself. They use this control to impose an artificial dependency of working people of their power to say who lives, who dies.
But it is not enough.
There is still resistance. There is still opposition. The possibility of working class overthrowing them and getting rid of them is still there. Capitalists see this possibility when people vote against more austerity, when they try to stop privatization of pensions, when they block privatization of schools and hospitals, when they voice opposition to a new imperialist war.
Where they deindustrialized, the working class has become dependent on what reproduces capital, not the means for their lives. This has resulted in a devaluation of their work. Because they still can get a wage, working people perceive work as reproducing their lives, but as their say in what this reproduction actually means is being silenced and denied, this reproduction of their lives has been appropriated by capitalists in what is called consumerism. What working people see as wage – a pay for their work – capitalists view as costs to maintain consumerism, that is, as costs to reproduce their own profits. It allows capitalists to demand more consumerism, while at the same time they reduce the resources people need to be able to consume.
It turned everything life needs into something that is ‘consumed’. From water, to human flesh. This means that working people must pay ransom for their need to live; consumerism is what in mafia world is known as ‘protection tax’: you pay, your social status or your life is not threatened. You do not pay, you die. How many people already died this way?
Capitalism was possible through the brutal alienation of working class from the means of production, and it maintained itself through a continuous alienation of working people from their work too, and now it can resist only if they devalue this work completely.
While capitalists extract their hard-profits from imperialism, and the exploitation of third world people and resources, in their centers the make-believe profits have made possible a fictionalization of money. Money can be created out of nothing, profits can be invented, can be fictions. When this fiction clashes with reality, capitalists will need to cover their lies with money that are based on a material reality, what result from labor. This was the crisis of 2008 – a crisis invented by capitalists and used as pretext to plunder state budgets and accumulate public money to be able to cover up their lies about their fictional profits. It was in fact a process of capitalist accumulation. Just like debt is too.
This process is very visible in Eastern Europe. After socialism was destroyed – by the unrecognized Western aggression -, countries in the socialist bloc were forced to destroy their industry, their agriculture, their means through which the life of working people was reproduced.
This was done through privatization for liquidation, or privatization through bombing.
Capitalists claimed this was restructuring the economy but in fact their purpose was the ‘restructuring’ of working people: dispossess them of their material and political rights, and appropriating them – physically – as a resource (cheap labor, even slaves). With the destruction of the means to reproduce their lives, the economies of Eastern Europe have been deliberately criminalized. This was how the comprador class was formed – a class which is given power to sell to imperialists the blood and flesh of the working people in their countries. The result capitalists aimed for was achieved: impoverished, enslaved, and totally dependent proletarians. The criminality of such colonized economies is visible everywhere: compradors use state power and state institution to attack working people who are incapacitated to defend themselves politically. This is what fascism is.
The easiest profits are from drugs and prostitution. In Ukraine, historical condition allowed imperialists to take their dream the extra mile: the easiest profits nazis in Ukraine make are from killing working people where they resist the deindustrialization commanded by Germany and the colonization of their country by western corporations.
The way comprador class functions in Eastern Europe is identical with the way the corporate state (the private state) functions in the imperialist centers, particularly in US.
Ever since its beginning, capitalism was imposed by force: peasants and other laborers were turned into proletarians, that is, workers who can only survive if they sell their power to work for the minority who held the gun to their heads.
Under capitalism not only the class power of capitalists, expressed in their profits, is regenerated, but also the life of the working class is regenerated under terms totally and completely controlled by capitalists.
Workers are increasingly forced to sell their entire bodies, minds and personalities to the minority who has life and death power over them. This happens because capitalists have learned that the simple fact that working people need to reproduce their life can be directed and used to indoctrinate them politically and to expand the areas from which they can extract profits. In doing so, they use workers with the purpose to impose the social order which allows capitalist classes to perpetuate their system of power. Marx talked about this process and called it fetishization. This process implies a depersonalization of the proletarians, and this is one of the most important mission of the gigantic propaganda apparatus capitalists constantly test and perfect.
After peasants were forced to become wage workers, this imposed on them certain terms under which they could reproduce their lives. They adapted more or less to these terms and over the past 150 years, workers are assumed to be individuals who cannot envision their lives other than working for a wage – that is, other than slaving for the capitalist class. It is possible for capitalists to assume working class in these terms because capitalists know that workers are totally dependent on them for their survival. Therefore, capitalists have a class interest to present this dependency to the working class as being ‘freedom’ or something that fulfills their lives. In fact, it is the opposite.
It is vital that people are informed about the political teachings of Marxism, in particular Marxism-Leninism, because working people cannot allow or afford to be defeated in this brutal class war capitalists wage against them.
What you just read is an introduction to a series of materials which have the purpose and interest to inform working people what is happening to them as we speak, why and how vital it is that they understand that communism is exactly the opposite of what capitalist propaganda claims. Considering what capitalists are planning, this understanding is vital.
(1) PALME DUTT, ‘Fascism and Social Revolution’ (in pdf here dutt (1))
“Of the possibility of such a stage of chronic unemployment and absolute decline of the productive workers, Marx wrote:
“A development of the productive forces which would diminish the absolute number of labourers, that is, which would enable the entire nation to accomplish its total production in a shorter time, would cause a revolution, because it would render the majority of the population superfluous.” (Marx, Capital, 111)
What is to happen to the “superfluous” workers? For long the old theory of “alternative employment” was still endeavoured to be put forward as applicable to this situation. The decline in the industrial productive workers was to be “compensated” by the increase of auxiliary “services” and luxury occupations (clerical, distributive, advertising, commercial, and luxury services). Certainly, a very considerable increase in these auxiliary and in the main nonproductive occupations is to be traced in the United States, Britain and other countries during the post-war period, thus providing the basis of the rapid expansion of the so-called “new middle class,” which became one of the breeding grounds of Fascism; just as the growth of the permanent unemployed army provided a further breeding-ground. The expansion of the rentier class on the one side, and of luxury services and endlessly multiplied salesmanship” services on the other, is a measure of the degeneration of capitalism.
“The capitalist mode of production, while on the one hand enforcing economy in each individual business, on the other hand begets by its anarchical system of competition the most outrageous squandering of labour power and of the social means of production, not to mention the creation of a vast number of employments at present indispensable, but in themselves superfluous.” (Marx, Capital, I, p. 540.)
J.V. STALIN: The Seventh Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I., source:
(November 22-December 16, 1926)
“They are, firstly, the pressure exerted by the bourgeoisie and bourgeois ideology on the proletariat and its party in the conditions of the class struggle—a pressure to which the least stable strata of the proletariat, and, hence, the least stable strata of the proletarian party, not infrequently succumb. It must not be thought that the proletariat is completely isolated from society, that it stands outside society. The proletariat is a part of society, connected with its diverse strata by numerous threads. But the party is a part of the proletariat. Hence the Party cannot be exempt from connections with, and from the influence of, the diverse sections of bourgeois society. The pressure of the bourgeoisie and its ideology on the proletariat and its party finds expression in the fact that bourgeois ideas, manners, customs and sentiments not infrequently penetrate the proletariat and its party through definite strata of the proletariat that are in one way or another connected with bourgeois society.
They are, secondly, the heterogeneity of the working class, the existence of different strata within the working class. I think that the proletariat, as a class, can be divided into three strata.
One stratum is the main mass of the proletariat, its core, its permanent part, the mass of “pure-blooded” proletarians, who have long broken off connection with the capitalist class. This stratum of the proletariat is the most reliable bulwark of Marxism.
The second stratum consists of newcomers from non-proletarian classes—from the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie or the intelligentsia. These are former members of other classes who have only recently merged with the proletariat and have brought with them into the working class their customs, their habits, their waverings and their vacillations. This stratum constitutes the most favourable soil for all sorts of anarchist, semi-anarchist and “ultra-Left” groups.
The third stratum, lastly, consists of the labour aristocracy, the upper stratum of the working class, the most well-to-do portion of the proletariat, with its propensity for compromise with the bourgeoisie, its predominant inclination to adapt itself to the powers that be, and its anxiety to “get on in life.” This stratum constitutes the most favourable soil for outright reformists and opportunists.
Notwithstanding their superficial difference, these last two strata of the working class constitute a more or less common nutritive medium for opportunism in general—open opportunism, when the sentiments of the labour aristocracy gain the upper hand, and opportunism camouflaged with “Left” phrases, when the sentiments of the semi-middle-class strata of the working class which have not yet completely broken with the petty-bourgeois environment gain the upper hand. The fact that “ultra-Left” sentiments very often coincide with the sentiments of open opportunism is not at all surprising. Lenin said time and again that the “ultra-Left” opposition is the reverse side of the Right-wing, Menshevik, openly opportunist opposition. And that is quite true. If the “ultra-Lefts” stand for revolution only because they expect the victory of the revolution the very next day, then obviously they must fall into despair and be disillusioned in the revolution if the revolution is delayed, if the revolution is not victorious the very next day.
Naturally, with every turn in the development of the class struggle, with every sharpening of the struggle and intensification of difficulties, the differences in the views, customs and sentiments of the various strata of the proletariat must inevitably make themselves felt in the shape of definite disagreements within the party, and the pressure of the bourgeoisie and its ideology must inevitably accentuate these disagreements by providing them with an outlet in the form of a struggle within the proletarian party.
Such are the sources of inner-Party contradictions and disagreements.
Can these contradictions and disagreements be avoided? No, they cannot. To think that these contradictions can be avoided is self-deception. Engels was right when he said that in the long run it is impossible to slur over contradictions within the party, that they must be fought out.”