Anti Capitalista!

When we talk about capitalism we must first be clear what we are talking about, capitalism is a mode of social PRODUCTION, it is not buying something for X and selling it for X+, its not what happens in shops but what happens in the factories. When we look at our built environment from our TVs to the colour of the paint on the walls EVERY part of our world has been created, produced. By others. Capitalism is an economic system and economics is the way we, socially, create our world.

One argument against capitalism as a mode of production is that it is a form of slavery, wage slavery. Let me explain, in economics we use supply and demand diagrams to show the relationship between two variables that are diametrically opposed, if we place “number of people employed” on the x axis and “wage levels” on the y we find that the only place we see everyone gets a job is when wages are at zero, thats slavery. Every other level of wages is just a degree of slavery. Slavery didn’t end it just morphed into waged slavery. Capitalism is modern slavery. The difference being under capitalism we are slaves to a system not an individual.

On a similar note under capitalism in order to take part economically, buy the things we are told we need etc you HAVE to get a job (workers have fought to get unemployment benefits yes but in unfettered capitalism the type libertarians of the right variety want if you don’t sell your labour you starve) I studied economics at university and was shocked to find that every single variant of economic theory has an inbuilt number of unemployed within it, its often called “the natural rate of unemployment” like its a force of nature and not a predictable economic outcome . Unemployment is a necessary feature of capitalist production, it is NECESSARY for the system to function. The unemployed workers keep the costs of labour down for a capitalist, if everyone needs a job, unemployment is high bosses can hire people at a lower wage, if everyone is employed, unemployment is low the only way a boss can get people to work for them is by paying higher wages, higher wages mean increased costs which means lower profits for the capitalist. A system where everyone needs to get a job to survive and take part economically yet where there is systemic unemployment and unemployment is a necessary feature to maintain the system is an immoral system. Under capitalism there is always an acceptable number of wrecked lives through unemployment it is willing to create in order to maintain the system as a whole. The capitalist exploits this for his own benefit at the expense of the workers.

Profit under capitalism is defined as the difference between costs and prices, costs are made up of what in economics is called “the factors of production” that is the inputs required to create something, so raw materials, machines, premises, electricity, heating and the costs of hiring labour to do the work etc the only one of these costs the capitalist can control is wages, wages and profit have an inverse relationship, that is one rises at the expense of the other. This feature of capitalism causes a conflict between these two economic groups, what we call a class war and we see this played out every time a capitalist offers a pay rise below inflation. Capitalism is an inherently divisive system, it creates two classes who benefit only when the other loses. Being able to control the wages they pay the capitalist is able to affect their costs, as profit is price – costs the capitalist can increase their profits just through exploitation of wage levels.

Capitalism inverts the “natural relationship” of labour. let me explain, if you want your walls painting you ring a decorator who will come round, look at the job and tell you how much it will cost you. You don’t tell them how much you’ll pay, they, the worker, decides what his labour is worth. Under capitalism this is turned upside down, the boss sets how much you’ll earn for selling him your labour in the form of wages.

Under capitalism, profit is king that means that what we get under this system is not necessarily the BEST products but the cheapest, two examples: VHS vs betamax, betamax was far superior to VHS, but VHS was cheaper so VHS became the dominant standard. When i was growing up Apple computers were far better than IBM ones, they had GUI, a mouse whereas IBM had MSDOS command line, but IBM were cheaper so it became dominant. Look at all the cheap shit in shops, pans that break within a few years vs lifetime guaranteed pans. Quality is reduced under capitalism cos its price and profit that matter not providing for people’s needs and wants. Planned obsolescence would have no place in a moral production system, things would be made to last, quality would reign. That’s simply not the case under capitalism where things are designed to break and need replacing.

Think of any social problem we have, you can easily think of ways to solve them but in policy terms there will always be economic (capitalist) reasons that are given as to why it cant be done. For example, homelessness. do we know how to create homes? yes. Do we have the raw materials to make homes? Again yes. Do we have the skills needed to create homes? Yes a third time. So the solution seems easy, build new homes for the homeless, simples. But the capitalist will go “No No, if we spend money building homes, that will raise the public sector borrowing requirement, that will mean more money in circulation, which will lead to inflation”. In monetarist economics, the kind Thatcher and Reagan introduced tells us the economic indicator we should care about is inflation. This is in contrast to Keynesianism which says unemployment is. But to the neo cons its Inflation which matters and it is their go-to excuse for inaction. We could solve the problem but the rules of capitalism wont let us do it so we are going to leave the social problem unsolved. Whenever you hear “inflation!” as the reason why we can’t solve our problems, they are really saying “capitalism wont let us do it”. Capitalism and it’s rules hold us back. It actively stops us from solving our problems. Capitalism is evidentially a hinderance to human progress. And so homelessness continues.

I first wrote about ecology in an essay i wrote for college where i argued that capitalism wouldn’t become green, that short term profit and long term global planning were antithetical to one another, this was in the 80’s and looking back i was right. Capitalism holds us back as a species, we could easily solve our energy and food production problems (post here And here), we could solve global problems with global solutions. We could solve social problems with common sense policies but the capitalist system stops us at every turn. Capitalism must be opposed, there ARE much more humane economic alternatives out there, it’s up to us to build them.



  1. The graph you displayed is too simplistic. It neglects other factors in the relationship and shows no reason that the graph should be a straight line. It can’t be a reflection of reality as with almost full employment in the U.K. for example wages are not trending to £0. Certainly not on a straight line graph.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s