Occasional Thoughts: Class & Change

January 5, 2022

There are only two classes in the capitalist world: the exploiters and the exploited. It is this most basic truth that needs to be stressed over and over.

One of capitalism’s key strategies has been to incentivize a slice of the exploited class into becoming sub-exploiters — kulaks by any other name; those who happily lord it over their brothers and sisters — by doling out to them a miniscule portion of the wealth stolen from the exploited. It does this both as an operational necessity but also to create a layer of the exploited who will welcome their exploitation and support its continuance through the capitalism-captured “democratic” process.

The great tide of electoral reformism that swept across much of the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a tide that could and should have resulted in genuinely transparent one-person-one-vote systems of self governance, was instead kidnapped by the political operatives, the apparatchiks, of the capitalists and molded to their requirements, to ensure that an elite managerial class would forever govern.

Democratic forms, universalist humanist values, and incremental Welfare-State-ism are no more than window dressing for class domination.

It matters little whether the machinery of the exploitation is in the hands of “democratic” parties, or state organizations, or the army, or technocrats. In each and every case, the exploited class is given just enough to keep them working, creating the excess wealth and power that is then expropriated by the exploiters through their control of taxation, regulation, and a legal system which prioritizes property over humanity and the State over individuals.

With the way the world is set up, the exploited can never genuinely upset this state of affairs no matter what they do within the system. Even revolutions get tainted quickly, reverting to old forms. The only path to ending exploitation is for the exploited class to operate outside of the system as much as possible: community-based mutual aid groups, co-ops, farmers’ markets, and new credit unions come immediately to mind. Anything that reduces contact with the capitalist marketplace.

We need to start treating capitalism like an infectious virus. We need to protect ourselves from its worst effects and to isolate ourselves as much as we can from the virus and its carriers. Common sense and fairness will be our vaccine.

The transition may be long in completion, but we are good at the long game. And we know that good science always wins out over bad, in the end.

Image: Shadows On Wood

January 5, 2022