Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:30
Originally written: 02 September 2006
4 September 2006 is Labour DayLabour Day is a day dedicated to our accomplishments. We workers of the world have built everything which has been built upon nature.
- All the farms. All of the food grown on those farms.
- All the roads and highways.
- All the cities. All the buildings. The houses, apartments, factories, and skyscrapers.
- All the carts, bicycles, skateboards, cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes.
- All the medicines, schools, books, knowledge.
So if we look around and ask “who built our wondrous world?” the correct answer is “the working class.” If we look around and ask “to whom should we give thanks?” the correct answer is “the working class.” If we look around and ask “who has reaped the best of what our class has provided?” the correct answer is “the capitalist class.”
But most of the time, when most people ask those questions, the answers are reversed.
The general consensus is that it is the capitalists (the rich) have built a wonderful world, and allowed we workers to share in the bounty that the capitalists have generated.
If the richest five percent of capitalists secretly migrated to the moon today, returning in a year, the working class would run capitalism — as we already do — without the inestimable benefits of the capitalists’ contributions to production. It is doubtful that economists or anyone else would even notice, except for the lack of “important” statements coming from the capitalists for the year. Oh! And Paris Hilton would be missed by the tabloid press.
The working class does almost all of the work, and provides almost all of the brains. The small capitalists, most of whom have to work anyway, would be missed if they left, because of the actual work they do, not because their ownership imparts some magical property to the enterprise.
But, for 364 days of the year, workers are called lazy, good for nothing bums, stealing from their employers, and too stupid to be left to think.
Some of that is true because we are often treated worse than dirt, and as less intelligent. We are dumbed-down and lied to. We are forced, upon pain of poverty, to produce devices intended solely to kill hundreds or thousands of people in seconds.
Our class is guilty of being tricked, year after year, decade after decade. It is shameful.
But we have built this world. We have increased our life-spans significantly. We have eliminated diseases, only to let capitalism bring them back. But we keep hoping that someone or something will save us.
That is the crime of which we can never be forgiven, unless we — each of us, as individuals — realizes that nobody and nothing is going to save us, except us. Until we take responsibility for our lives and for our futures and for the futures of our children and theirs, we will wallow in the hopelessness of hoping for a rescue which can never come.
Labour Day is a day during which we can reflect upon the greatness we have achieved, and the greatness we need to, and can accomplish.
One day a year is not enough. Unless you commit to replacing capitalism with socialism, you fall back into the helplessness of impossible hope — you victimize yourself.