[Marxism] “Cast aside illusions!” Crisis deepens

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Mar 6 10:20:33 MST 2009

“Cast aside illusions!” is the indispensable first step in grappling with  
crisis. An illusion is a false impression of reality. No problem can be solved  
that is not accurately described. Illusion prevents an accurate and objective 
 description of a problem. As our nation slips deeper into crisis, the main  
tactic of the ruling class has been to prevent the people from accurately  
describing the problem, offering them one illusion after another. 
The first and fundamental illusion is that the current crisis is within the  
system and caused by greed and mismanagement.  The reality is that this is  a 
crisis of the system. It is easier to accept a shallow and superficial  
illusion than to understand complex reality. However, the crisis is at such a  point 
that revolutionaries must master the complex way the system works or they  
cannot describe the problem. 
A fundamental characteristic of the capitalist system is that competition  
between capitalists produces more commodities than the market can absorb. If  
there is a market for ten cars, then ten capitalists will produce ten cars each. 
 The ensuing battle for the market compels every capitalist to cut the cost 
of  production. Labor saving machinery, speed-up and wage cuts lower the cost 
of  production, but also lower the purchasing power of the working class, 
increasing  the glut of products on the market. The result is the periodic slowing 
down or  stopping of production until the surplus is purchased or destroyed. 
Then the race for the market starts again.  This is crisis within the  
What is different today? 
The capitalist system rests on the buying and selling of labor power   — that 
is what creates value. In the struggle for the market, new electronic  
productive equipment was developed that did not simply make labor more  efficient, 
it replaced it. As more and more capitalists are forced to use  robotics, jobs 
disappear and labor power becomes obsolete. As a result more and  more 
production is carried on with less and less labor. Inevitably more money  flows into 
the hands of fewer and fewer capitalists while the mass of the  workers become 
poorer and poorer as their wages decline and jobs disappear.  Finally the 
point is reached when the people of the world are too poor to  consume what the 
world has produced.  Unsold products pile up, retailers  cut orders, factories 
close down, and bills and mortgages are not paid. Banks do  not dare lend 
money to businesses that might fail or to workers who may become  unemployed.  
Without the grease of credit the gears of the system grind to  a halt. 
Conventional wisdom has it that since the drying up of the market caused  the 
depression, then all that is needed is to create a market. This, it is said,  
can be done by guaranteeing business loans and putting spending money in the  
hands of the people.  This was the essence of Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” 
It didn’t work. 
It took the destruction and gigantic market of World War II to again grease  
the gears and expand the market.  The Great Depression was the beginning of  
the final stage of the capitalist system. Today, the entire world is capitalist 
 and there is nowhere to expand. The crisis within the system becomes deadly 
as  it is joined by the crisis created by new, labor-replacing means of 
production  that attack the very foundation of the system. 
The illusion is we can spend our way out of the crisis. 
The reality is that this system, like all those before it, is coming to an  
A new system of social control over finance, production and distribution is  
already forming.  Will the new system be shaped to the benefit of the  
billionaire ruling class or to the benefit of the mass of people? The question  will 
be answered in our favor if millions of people become clear about the  problem 
and their vision. They must become socially active and impose a  democratic 
economy that reflects a democratic political system. The first step  is to cast 
aside illusion and grapple with this difficult and dangerous reality. 
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