What is Capitalism?
Capitalism runs our economy and societies, it controls the economy based on private profit, that is big businesses and companies are owned and run privately by rich people or groups of rich people for the benefit of those very same people.
An example is say Tesco the supermarket, Tesco is run by its CEO/President (top boss) and such on behalf of its shareholders (owners), and it is run not to help anyone or meet anyone’s needs (food, water, shelter, safety etc.) but to make those owners profit.
This is how the entire economy is run in a capitalist system, a collection of normally extremely wealthy individuals setting up and running businesses for their own personal benefit. It is an economic system based on making a few people profit, not meeting all people’s needs.
The capitalists combined (a long time ago) and created a class, those people who control society and big business, it is the capitalist class. The aim of the state is help capitalists exploit and dominate the world: workers, people, countries and nature. Their system is based on control by the police, army, judges and parliament to help their system of producing goods, in fact any commodity: shoes, cars, nuclear power stations, plastics etc.
But for over 100 years their domination led to world wars and to monopoly as they divided the world under their control. They create giant organisations like Ford, Microsoft, and drug companies etc. that fight for and divide the world among themselves. For example in worldwide media in 1983 there were 50 corporations by 2004 there were only five.
Capitalists can only make their profits by employing workers, since no boss can do everything themselves. In all current economies and specifically companies on this planet that are run (and owned) by the rich for their own benefit, workers live in far worse conditions than those employing them, a lot of the time struggling to make ends meet and look after themselves and their families.
This is because in order to make profit capitalists pay as little as possible. They exploit workers by always paying them less than the work workers do is worth. An example is houses are built for profit by construction companies who pay construction workers less than the value they created e.g. a house, landlords then go on to charge as much rent as they can.
The supermarkets and other places which sell similar products, charge as much as they can for food water and such in order to make more money.
Public services such as the NHS for example don’t, when run properly in order to meet people’s needs, make much profit as they don’t need to, they are not supposed to be there to make a few individuals rich but to help everyone.
Capitalism gets rid of these services in two ways 1, the governments who serve their interest reduce spending on such services and 2, the same governments also sell off parts of or the whole service to be run by a private company and allow them to change it so it can make profit for them instead.
While all these rich people and companies are busy making their millions and billions, the vast majority of the rest of people are left to scrape around to make ends meet, to work from paycheck to paycheck, always having to worry if they will have enough money to look after themselves and their families, or to make sure they live in a nice safe home.
Capitalism is simply a system which allows the rich people and companies to do what they want in order to make money, and the rest of society is built around that core purpose, to service the needs of these individual people and companies and ensure they can keep making money.
Capitalism not only serves only the rich people and companies of this planet it is also not stable. Capitalism is based on competition each company and person competing with each other so they can be the one who makes the most money.
This competition is very destructive especially for those who aren’t the rich people making money, as in order to keep making money those rich people go to further and further lengths, in order to make more money they always turn to attacking the rights and pay of the workers. It ends up being a race to see who can treat workers the worse and make the most money while doing so.
They also use up and destroy valuable workers and resources while doing so, there is only a finite amount of natural resources on this planet, and instead of using these sustainably capitalism uses them far too much, doesn’t use them in a way they can help the most people and in ways which destroy the very planet we need to survive.
As long as we live in a capitalist world, war will also be a permanent feature. Wars like those against Vietnam, Iraq or the Syrian people. Wars for control and for oil, gold or Coltan (used in mobiles and electronic equipment) dug by child Labour in the Congo.
That is why there are many revolutionary struggles that fight their oppressors, many want a society that ends war but capitalism cannot do that. Only a complete reorganization of society can ensure that human beings are never again recruited to slaughter each other for profit and power, and that re-organisation has to be international. Capitalism has to be overturned and run by the majority.
You may say well yes while I agree that capitalism is bad what’s the alternative? The answer put simply is called Socialism, but we will talk about that in the next piece.
Thanking you for reading and if you have any questions feel free to ask.