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A shit-cycle to change everything

Submitted by on July 27, 2011 – 1:21 pmNo Comment

By Half Corsair

This is a period of great prosperity, one with TVs and radiators and cars and broadband, one where the push of a microwave button means a hot meal five minutes later and where the turning of a tap brings a steady stream of water.

Change is not desired and the status quo pleases the majority. In Britain, we’ve never had it so good and in that assertion lies not an ounce of irony. Sixty-five years ago the British people were living in cities reduced to rubble, exchanged ration coupons for their allotted food and had no National Health Service and no welfare state. We witness luxury.

Capitalism has won the day here. The losers are few and far between and even those among the poorest in the country can afford a television and a ready meal. We’ve been bought off. Marx’s revolution is not to be had in Britain but that doesn’t mean he was wrong.

The world is a different place than it was back then and we can now speak of a society and an economy that are truly global. The workers of Britain, of the industrialised lands occupy a rung far from the bottom.

The leaders of the western world had recognised that the conditions of the working classes had to be improved if real social unrest there was to be avoided. Change was duly effected: the masses were granted more free time than ever before and more cash (or credit) to buy the things they wanted to buy.

But – there’s always one of those – but of course, there’s only a certain amount of money in the world, or rather, in a capitalist society not everybody can be rich. Lots of people have to make lots of things and they must be paid less than the things are worth otherwise there is no profit and it is not capitalism. Thus, unskilled manufacturing jobs were exported from the developed countries and given to people in third world countries who were willing (read: obliged) to work for less.

The people who previously worked in the factories – we – were given better paid jobs selling the products that we used to make…to each other. We became, we are, the consumers. The quasi-bourgeoisie of the world society. Marx’s revolution is not to be had in Britain. Marx’s revolution isn’t instigated by the comfortable middle class and to wait in expectation for it here is to piss in the wind.

But what happens when the people begin to agitate in the developing nations? Agitation not for political reform as seen during the Arab Spring, but for better living standards and fairer wages.

The capitalist system works now because millions of people in countries on the other side of the world are sat in factories where they put together machines and clothing for wages low enough to allow us to buy them with our relatively high wages while a company takes out the difference and calls it its profit.

What happens when the workers in the trainer factories decide they want to be able to afford the products that they’re making? When they feel they should be paid £100, £200, £500 per month instead of £40 per month? What happens is a shit-cycle that would change everything.

The price of the product would have to increase to maintain the profit margin and in turn that increase would have to matched by an increase in worker wages in the west – after all, the consumers must be able to consume – which would again reduce the profit margin. And then there’s nowhere else to go. When capitalism moved its factories and its contradictions to Vietnam and Indonesia, Thailand and India, it found its last refuge.

When there are no more people left in the world who will work for an exploitative wage, the game is up. It’s only a matter of education and time.

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