Updated: 30 August 2009, 18:06
Originally written: 30 August 2009
Everyone, it seems, recognizes the need for cutbacks in both the private and government sectors during the current economic downturn. Some argue for increased government spending to stimulate the economy. Many argue about which government programmes should be cut. Few argue against all cuts.
Recession is one of capitalism's self-regulatory processes. Few enjoy them, but as everyone knows, that is just the way it is.
There are still enough workers — skilled, unskilled, white collar, blue collar — to do all the work needed to continue every government programme, and to make every product and staff every service, just as before the recession. The raw resources still exist.
The need for the programmes, products, and services has not disappeared.
But people are losing their jobs and their homes.
Capitalism cannot be concerned about people's jobs and homes. Capitalism does not have a conscience. Capitalism does not have malevolent intent. Capitalism is not a conspiracy and it is not sick. Capitalism is an economic system with its own rules and regulations. They are inherent in capitalism, just as gravity is inherent in mass. Capitalism's rules cannot be changed.
Capitalism's Gravediggers wants people to understand that capitalism is working as it must. No tinkering, no ‘revolutionary’ or evolutionary changes can make capitalism something else, or change its rules.
But people can free themselves from capitalism's rules by replacing capitalism with socialism.
Socialism will be no more and no less moral than capitalism. Socialism will have inherent rules which govern how it must function. But socialism's rules will not be capitalism's rules.
Instead of rules which demand production be dependent upon the expectation of profit, socialism will demand that if people's needs can be met, they will be met.
Instead of rules which generate unemployment and its attendant hardship when workers produce more than can be sold at a profit, the leisure long promised by technology will be delivered.
Instead of rules which force people from their homes, or into unsatisfactory housing, everyone will have a home.
Instead of rules which govern society based upon arcane money economics, socialism will be based upon our ability to provide for each other’s needs. That ability has existed for a long time, but capitalism cannot turn our ability into sufficient goods and services of the kind and quality required to satisfy our needs.
We can accept the hardships of recession, or we can build socialism.