For at least a century there has been a discussion about whether Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism is superior. Yet every side of this discussion forgets to criticise their own beliefs and without self-criticism none of these political ideologies can improve on their beliefs.
To begin we must ask: what is capitalism, what is exploitation and what makes capitalism exploitative?
Exploitation is when someone is taken unfair advantage of. Exploitation is when someone uses another’s vulnerability for their own gain– Capitalism is exploitation.
Now we need to talk about what capitalism is. Capitalism is when the few powerful elites own the means of production and single handedly control the economy at least majorly, if not completely. The definition of capitalism that is usually given by people who are uninformed on the topic is usually free market trade, but this definition is inherently false. An example of other economic ideas or societal and political views that include free market trade is the concept of Anarcho-Mutualism.
Except there’s more to be understood about capitalism to see how it truly exploits workers. When you think of capitalism you probably think about the so called “free market” and “voluntary transactions” when it’s a system for the elite to become richer as the poor grow poorer because of capitalisms structural exploitation.
Structural exploitation is where “the rules of the game” unfairly benefit one group. This is exactly what happens under capitalism. Why can a CEO sit there and watch the money roll in while others are doing all the hard labor and possibly even risking their lives? There are even examples where companies like Boeing know their products are faulty and let consumers risk their lives and even sometimes lose their lives.
Even when it comes to pharmaceuticals, there are medicines made for pennies on the dollar that are sold for hundreds. An example of that is the rising cost of insulin and how more and more of working-class people with diabetes and their families can’t afford it. What I’m saying is the rich are willing to let you and really anyone, die if they may turn a profit.
Companies tend to lower the minimum wage they pay in order to create more surplus value but in the 20 years since 2000 the federal minimum wage in the U.S.A hasn’t changed from $7.25 even with inflation. And when surplus value is increased more of the worker’s labor is taken is purely theft. Excluding the fact it’s harder to get a job now than it was for the Baby Boomers or Generation X and more than ever that you need a college degree to find good work, how can we expect children to go through college when parents are in debt already and cannot afford to pay for their children’s college education. Are their children supposed to go into debt as well? This isn’t a question of who should pay but a question of why the cost is rising when we have can make it more affordable for the working class.
Along with the stagnant minimum wage there’s another risk to the working class that is rapidly advancing; automation. Instead of automation helping the worker by doing half the work for the same pay or letting the worker have more time off, the owners of automated factories would rather get rid of workers. By getting rid of the worker the capitalist makes more money as the worker rots away until he finds a new job and a new master. Automation is on the rise and will maybe even take the place of most if not all workers.
Even the argument that capitalism is human nature, or the argument socialism or communism isn’t human nature are complete lies as man has lived and cooperated for thousands of years. The fact we are a cooperative species doesn’t get the point across even when thinkers like Marx and Engels talk about the fact material conditioning influences human nature.
But this is simply just one person’s opinion whose beliefs are inspired by the works of Marx, Engles, and Kropotkin on capitalism and its exploitative corruption. In the end though one must ask about the current state of our society and the current state of capitalism. That question is “What is to be done?”