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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Piers Did Marx Say this? (73* d) RE: Did Marx Say this? 19 May 05

The difference is that many who end up owning the factories worked hard and climbed the ladder to do so. You miss that point. Also, many of those large corporations that the "reds" here detest are PUBLICLY held companies, owned by sharholders who vote on who is to be on the board of directors. There is some say!

you don't have that in socialism.

Yes, you wouldn't have that in socialism. Yes, some of those end up owning the factories worked hard and climbed the ladder to do so, but it is a different kind of hard work than a miner, a farmer, a fireman or a librarian. Yes, in public limited companies there is some say by shareholders but (A) share ownership is extremely unevenly distributed, some live off share dividends, most have none; (B) choosing leaders is a very limited democracy and ;(C) the whole point of a company is to make money, turkeys aren't going to vote for Christmas - are shareholders going to vote to invest in marmalade when napalm is twice as profitable? OK, you get the 'ethical investment' brigade but it doesn't change the fundamental priority of capitalism, profit not need.

Despite enormously powerful state machinery, supranational organisations and charities intervening to try and make the capitalist system 'work', it doesn't - the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of kids needlessly die every 35 minutes because it is not profitable to provide them with a decent diet and healthcare, hundreds of millions the world over are malnourised and in the 'west' most of us are so busy looking after money-making that we don't have time to look after ourselves.

I think there is a general realisation that the present social relations are a hindrance to the material well being of all people. More and more people are doing, mostly misguided, things to 'put the world right', go out protesting, give to charity etc. It's the task of socialists to catalyse the humanisation of the productive forces that have developed in capitalism in an organised way and when the consensus moves from 'there is no alternative' to 'capitalism is redundant, let's try socialism', demonstrated through the ballot box, then we've got the beginning of human civilisation.

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