Not Just Labor
Some Marxists today focus almost entirely on the exploitation of labor by capital. Certainly that’s important, but there are other reasons as well for ending capitalism, and some of them are more relevant for certain audiences.
The middle class in the USA is diminishing, but it is still quite large, it still has some wealth, and if united it would be somewhat powerful. Its members are not all aware of their own exploitation or the exploitation of others, and may not be easily educated on that issue. Many of them still believe that we have a democracy (we don’t), and that our problems can be solved through gradual reforms.
We need to make the middle class aware that the plutocrats can’t be trusted. The plutocrats carry out enormous crimes for profit; their lies murder millions of people. The Iraq War was atypical only in that its lies were so inept. The great crimes didn’t begin recently; for instance, look up Smedley Butler and his 1935 book.
And we need to make the middle class aware that climate apocalypse and nuclear war — both due to capitalism — threaten us ALL with extinction in the very near future. Even the rich in their bunkers will run out of canned food. The doomsday clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists currently reads 100 seconds to midnight.
How could the capitalists be so stupid as to threaten their own lives? Well, the capitalists aren’t really in charge. Capital itself is in charge. Just as you and I are forced to compete against each other for our meager wages, so too the capitalists are forced to compete against each other for their great fortunes. Any plutocrat (in business or government) who thinks of anything other than short-term private profits will lose the competition and will lose his position of power.
Wars are fought for oil, for lithium, for cheap labor, for pipeline routes, to suppress alternative economic systems, and for other greedy reasons. To maintain their profits for another day, the arms dealers must persuade congress that another war is needed here or there; of course, congress gets plenty of monetary kickbacks. Nuclear weapons are kept on a hair-trigger alert; many times we’ve almost had an accidental nuclear war; one is sure to happen before long if we continue the arms race. Only universal friendship and universal disarmament can make us safe. But every increase to the military budget receives nearly unanimous support from both money parties in congress; do not think that one of those parties is an appreciably lesser evil.
And no competing company can simply walk away from its assets, so the oil companies =cannot= simply leave their proven reserves in the ground. The climate problem is much worse than the newspapers are saying. If it is not already too late for us to avoid extinction, then there is very little time left. For decades congress has ignored climatologists’ warnings, subsidized oil companies, accepted bribes in various forms from oil companies, dragged its feet on any climate-aware legislation, and engaged in extensive greenwashing. Here the two money parties differ in appearance: The Republicans say “never,” and the Democrats say “later” or “slowly,” which is really the same thing.
The great changes we need will only happen when that need becomes apparent to a lot more people. Help spread the word.
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2021 Nov 26, version 1.03. This is an early draft, and will probably be revised a lot. Feel free to suggest alterations.