Occasional Thoughts: Class & Change

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.

2 Responses to Occasional Thoughts: Class & Change

  1. decentralistthe says:

    Well said Jak, your expression of the sub-set exploiters of “elite managerial class” remind me of Thatcher’s “Mini-Capitalist” narrative which she promulgated while killing the unions, and her parallel and equally odious line “Community/Society is dead, there is only the individual… .” 

    We must work from outside the system(s) or as you say create the circumstances where we can support the “real economy” of community, rather than the extractive/exploited one, to a parallel system(s) which are supportive of the interests of the 99%. We will all be better off for it. 

    I completely agree that we must return to the roots of Community in order to assert a true democracy. I particularly like Citizens Assemblies as the essential benchmarking tool for establishing the “will of the people” in the case of a particular policy or goal. There are some good folks in this space in Canada who speak well about this (we tried Citizen Assemblies in the 90s in BC but the Liberal Government of the day – Gordon Campbell – declined to accept the outcome of the plebiscite – which garnered 58.7% of the vote in support but failed to meet the 60% super-majority set as the threshold… https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Citizens%27_Assembly_on_Electoral_Reform_(British_Columbia)

    Peter MacLeod of MASS LBP speaks about this experiment and the successes of others using this approach – youtube link below. 

    “In this in-depth talk, MASS LBP principal Peter MacLeod, one of Canada’s leading authorities on public engagement and deliberative democracy, describes how Citizens’ Assemblies and other deliberative processes are successfully tackling some of the most pressing and intractable political” 

    MASS also have some great resources here:  https://www.masslbp.com/resources 

    Also, Fair Vote Canada:  https://www.fairvote.ca/buildingdemocracy/  & https://www.facebook.com/fairvotevan (Vancouver Chapter) Twitter: @FairVoteVan 

    I am interested in a combination of all you are advocating in your off-the-top-of-your-head list today that also includes Citizen Assemblies for establishing baseline directionality for policy – which can be passed to the representatives and which can be the “Key Performance Indicators” for elected officials exercising the will of the Citizen Class rather than the Donor Elite Classes. My hope is that the Neighbourhood can become the catalyst for moving these ideas forward from wish to reality. 

    Notes on your list:  1. Community-based mutual aid groups (Yes…)  2. Co-ops (This needs to be the dominant form of ownership which we can use to become self-sufficient through only patronizing these and independently and locally owned businesses… and avoid things like Walmart.)  3. farmers’ markets (we are working on a Peer to Peer model of financing crop production through small independent farmers in Canada, US, South America and Africa.)  4. New credit unions (I am working with several groups to organize a Indigenous based/located CU (ICU) which can be Federated into a network of these.) 

    Additionally, there was a video I watched this morning after retesting my Impact Footprint Score (that speaks about the absence of Community many people feel is missing from their lives.) While this talk is about food insecurity in a small US town the fundamental issue of lack of connections to Community seems an endemic one. https://youtu.be/e-bhLL5dnsY

    Also, just for hard core laughs… https://www.facebook.com/evonomics/videos/739183787040740 (watch til you get to mid-point.) 

    Look forward to our next chat. 


    Ward Stirrat Co-Founder/CEO Transkarbon.com

    Founder/CEO Credyts.net

    Linkedin  Twitter



    • jakking says:

      Thanks. I am well aware of MASS, having lived through the disaster that was the Citizens Assembly for the Grandview Woodland Community Plan. I wrote a book about it in which they were starring characters.

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