Contradictions Of Capitalism
Capitalism is something to be feared. Or, more precisely, the consequences of continuing on the path of capitalism is, like the continued ravaging of the environment, wars over natural resources, climate change and the growing gap between rich and poor. In fact, most of the contradictions we, the working class, have to endure on a daily basis, like racism, sexism, transphobia and so on, are exaggerated and maintained by capitalism and capitalists.
It's impossible, for example, to talk about class, without talking about race in western countries, most notably in America. When the economy and politics conspire to disadvantage the working class and the poor, this will affect people of color, African Americans in particular, the most. People of color are over represented in the lower classes after all. The basis for understanding why capitalism maintains and grows the divisions within the working class, as well as the growing division between the working class and the capitalist class, is dialectical materialism. Dialectics, put very simply, deals with the understanding that opposing forces affect, influence and shape each other. Materialism has as its founding principle that the material world is the primary force that affects and shapes our relation to and survival in that material world. We humans take the resources given to us by Mother Earth, and transform them, through labor, into the stuff we need to survive and thrive. So, our consciousness transforms the material world, hopefully to our benefit, but dialectical materialism states that the reverse is true as well: the material world transforms our consciousness. This is a constant cyclic feedback-system.
It's not hard to see that capitalism is what currently shapes our relationship to the material world. It defines how we extract resources and how we transform them into the products we need and use on a daily basis. The capitalist owns everything; he owns all the resources and all the tools and machines we use to transform the resources. Workers own nothing: they just sell their labor, their brainpower, muscle power and time to the capitalists. This is capitalism's main internal contradiction, which is seen as the struggle between the classes, and was described by Karl Marx. Since capitalism dictates our relationships with the material world and the relationship between the classes, capitalism is our society's base structure. And on top of that base structure we have the super structure of idealism, literature, film, music and so on, the stuff that shapes our cultures. Now, capitalists have an interest in keeping us, the working class, from forming a united front against them in the struggle between the classes. Individual workers have no power, as they depend on the material goods that are owned by the capitalist class. Workers only have power in numbers. Only when workers decide all together to deny their labor, to go on strike, do they have a chance to affect minimal changes, and often temporary changes, in the relationship to the owner class.
Fear is used by the capitalist class to keep us divided. They stoke fear of "the other" in order to keep us fighting among each other. The primary contradiction in our society's base structure shapes the contradictions in our society's super structure. Just think about it: how much racism will be left if society is organized in such a way that everyone has their basic material needs met? Racism will never disappear completely I think, but I do know that a lot of the racism we see today stems from or is exaggerated by the problems caused by capitalism. Maybe I'm not completely coherent today, as I'm extremely tired, so please watch the below linked video for a better explanation of all this...
Which is Worse: Capitalism or Racism?
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