a DEFENCE of COMMUNISM
I think I’m one of those few in today’s world who have got a clear knowledge of what communism is and believe in the theory of communism. I also think I’m one of those few avowed communists who are true to the communist values and principles. Nevertheless, I must in this regard make it clear to the world that none should mistake me for Leninists, Stalinists, or Maoists. In fact, I do not recognise Lenin, Stalin, Mao or any of their followers as communist. Why I refuse to recognise them as communist and who I recognise as true communists are not the subject matter of this discourse. I should like to throw light on these issues in some other essay. The present work is aimed at both throwing light and focusing the world attention on the origin of the economic inequality and thus the origin of the ridiculous capitalistic reality we all have got used to, namely the fact that there’re as few as 85 or 80 guys called the super-rich at one pole ( who are in possession of as much wealth as half the total global population are ) vis-à-vis the poor billions at the other ( who are lacking in even the security of food, clothing, and shelter ), or the fact that we’re fast approaching the day when merely one per cent of the global population would own more wealth than the remaining 99 per cent together would. By way of shedding light on the problem of the concentration of huge wealth at one pole coupled with mass pauperism at the other, it acquaints you with a new thesis, namely that economic inequality reflects the fundamental law of the commodity economy ( this thesis is my discovery ), and its immediate corollaries : ( 1 ) it’s NOT the qualitative distinctions between humans or between the work done by the skilled and that by the unskilled that form the basis for the social division into the rich, the super-rich, and swarms of the born poor ; ( 2 ) because economic inequality reflects the very basic law of the commodity economy, there happens to exist NO way to prevent the accumulation of wealth at one pole leading to the creation of swarms of the poor and the penniless at the other in a capitalist order ( as capitalism is essentially a commodity economy ). With the clear knowledge of the problem and its root, it’s easy for you to find the way to get out of it. My discourse also shows you the way out, and the only one such, lying open ahead of you. It also points to the popular misconception regarding what the true determinant, whether it’s the quality of a commodity or something else, of the price of a commodity is, and thus it seeks to make you aware of and think over the question of whether such things as the silly capitalistic reality referred to earlier fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living and what you have to do in order to create a social environment in favour of a mode of life that corresponds with this very principle. Further, it throws light on the root of and the answer too to the unemployment problem.
In this connection, I feel I should say a few words about the misinformed view that communism was or is a total failure.
Can a baby that never ever saw the light of day meet its end ? The view that nowhere did communism meet with success to date sounds as absurd as the news of an unborn child’s death does. The Soviet system was NOT, NOR is the Chinese system, communistic, as I see it. The economic basis of the Soviet system was Lenin’s NEP ( in full New Economic Policy ) which, as Lenin himself put it, was ‘ State capitalism ‘. To my way of thinking, the Soviet system was a kind of mixed economy ( i.e. an admixture of State capitalism and private capitalism ) welfare capitalism sans democracy. The Chinese system is also a similar type. I should like to elaborate on these points in a separate essay.
In this discourse, by laying bare the main limitations of capitalism, I’ve sought to establish that communism is far superior to capitalism. Nevertheless, at this point I feel I should admit to the fact that I’m not an economist nor a scientist and not a Nobelist nor a novelist. I’m a humble guy without specialisation in any branch of knowledge. A humble seeker after the truth, I believe it’s the conflict between views and counter-views which leads us to the truth. All my writing work has got a dual purpose : ( 1 ) self-enlightenment and ( 2 ) enlightening readers through sharing enlightenment with them. As Marx said, I should like to tell my readers too, ‘ Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome. ‘* I expect to benefit a lot from your critical comments.
* See the PREFACE TO THE FIRST GERMAN EDITION, CAPITAL Volume I, by Marx
[ I ]
the ridiculous reality you’ve got used to
It was not long ago that the world witnessed a new and novel movement, namely The Occupy Wall Street Movement . It broke out in the USA in 2011. The key factor behind this most intriguing phenomenon was the extremely disturbing fact that only one per cent US citizens were in possession of about half their national wealth. That means 99 per cent Americans had to live off merely 50 per cent national wealth. Then in 2013 we heard President Obama admit to the grim reality that the wealthiest in America accounted for only ‘ 2 % of Americans ‘ who had per-capita income per annum over $ 250,000 . Thus, by the US President’s estimate, all those Americans with per capita earnings per annum not over $ 250,000 fell into the category of the non-wealthiest, and they added up to 98 per cent of Americans in 2013. President Obama looked on them as so poor as to be unable to care for their families well, and so Mr President created a new federal law, viz. the American Tax Relief Act 2012, aimed at making a lot of benefit ( in the form of tax relief and tax credits ) available to these poor American folks and thus helping them spend a little more for the well-being of their nearest and dearest ones.
This is what the situation in America, the most advanced civilisation of the world, is today. And the most important point not to be missed in this regard is the fact that America is a capitalist economy. Is the situation in the rest of the world any different ? Well, let’s turn our attention to the whole world.
In January last year, Oxfam, the international anti-poverty organisation, reported that the wealthiest of the world numbered merely 85 who were in possession of as much wealth ( roughly $ 1.7 trillion ) as the poorest 3.5 billion ( i.e. half the total global population ) do . And in January this year ( 2015 ), Nick Galasso* reported, ‘ The number of billionaires owning the same wealth as the bottom half of the planet is about 80 ‘. Thus, there are 80 or 85 at one pole vis-à-vis 3.5 x 1000 x 1000 000 at the other. ( 1 billion = 1000 million & 1 million = 1000 000 ) Further, in January this year, Oxfam said according to their study, the rich of the world are growing richer, and they’ll continue growing richer . The study made it known that the wealthiest* who constitute only 1 per cent of the total global population have continued amassing wealth [op. cit.].
‘ Their wealth increased from 44 % in 2009 to 48 % last year, ‘ said Oxfam [op. cit.].
It’s evident that the wealthiest grew wealthier by amassing 0.8 per cent more wealth every year during the five years from 2009 to 2014. At this growth rate, their total wealth is expected to work out at 50.4 % of the total global wealth in 2017, which shows we’re not far off from the day when 1 per cent would own more wealth than what 99 per cent of the world’s population would own together.
‘ The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest** and the rest is widening fast, ‘ observed Ms Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam International [op. cit.].
[ * I should like to substitute the term ‘ wealthiest ‘ with ‘ wealthy ‘. ** I think the term ‘ rich ‘ should replace the term ‘ richest ‘ in this quote. By ‘ the rich ‘ or ‘ the wealthy ‘, I mean the 1 per cent whose total wealth is expected to exceed the total wealth of the remaining 99 per cent of the global population, and by ‘ the wealthiest ‘, I mean the super-rich that number only 85 or 80. ]
This is what capitalism means. This is what the accumulation of wealth by a few means.If you stand for capitalism, you have to accept this reality without complaint. If you’re for capitalism, you must accept without complaint the disgusting reality that few lead a life of luxury before the silly eyes of an overwhelming number of guys that lead an life full of poverty and privation. If you’re for capitalism, you have to witness, as the damned stupid do, the ridiculous reality that billions lead a miserable existence alongside the insignificant few wallowing in limitless luxury.
There’re certainly arguments and counterarguments as regards the accuracy of Oxfam’s wealth data. But that debate is outside the scope of this discourse. I should just like to say in this regard that Oxfam is an international organisation, perhaps the largest one of its kind, which have acquired a reputation as friends of the poor and have been working for long, avowedly, ‘ to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. ‘ Leaving aside the debate over the accuracy of the data in question, I think we all may agree on one point, namely the fact that income and wealth distribution in the capitalist world is awfully skewed in favour of the few that make up the top stratum of the capitalist society.
Dr Binoy Kampmark, a noted economist, who also believes the accuracy of Oxfam’s wealth data is open to question, observes, ‘ Even if exclusions are made to the Oxfam study, with the figures adjusted to the various party’s satisfaction, … there is only one conclusion worth drawing : the trend towards growing inequality and disparity is undeniable. ‘ ‘ The theme of intolerable inequality ‘ , further says Dr Kampmark, ‘ is highlighted by Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, Kaushik Basu. ‘ ( ibid. ) He has quoted the latter as having remarked, ‘ The current level of global inequality is unconscionable ‘. ( op. cit. )
Joseph E. Stiglitz, the American Nobelist-economist and author of The Price of Inequality : How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future , has also written in this book ( published in 2012 ) that ‘ [t]he top 1 percent get in one week 40 percent more than the bottom fifth receive in a year, the top 0.1 percent received in a day and a half about what the bottom 90 percent received in a year, and the richest 20 percent of income earners earn in total after tax more than the bottom 80 percent combined. ‘ And Paul Krugman, another American Nobelist-economist, remarked in October last year, ‘ America remains an incredibly unequal society ‘, and then in March this year, he released a graph showing ‘ about 40 % of of the total wealth in America ‘ is held by ‘ the top 1 % ‘ and ‘ about 10 % of the total wealth ‘ is held by ‘ the top 0,01 % i.e. the richest 30, 000 Americans ‘. ‘ They are worth at least $ 100 million each which is more than 1000x of the typical American. ‘ These figures reflect the true situations in the USA, the most advanced civilisation of the world, today. And it’s not to be missed in this regard that a developed country is the mirror image of how a developing country should look in the future.
[ * Nick Galasso leads Oxfam’s work on economic inequality and governance. Galasso is the co-author of “Working For the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality,” the report that calculated the 85 richest people in the world have the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. ]
‘ It amazes me how much money some people earn . ‘
I don’t know who made this observation. I encountered it in a book of English grammar and got struck by it. I remembered it when I learnt that a legendary cricketer* made Rs 200 million per annum per TV ad. [* Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar ]
Rs 200 million ( i.e. an amount well over $ 3 million ) per annum per TV ad is really amazing, isn’t it ? ( $1 = Rs 60 ) It reminds me that the total of annual emoluments an AIIMS professor-doctor received in 2012-2013 was around Rs 5.4 million , and that a cabinet secretary who happens to be the highest-paid IAS officer in India receives a mere sum of Rs 0.09 million per month ( i.e. Rs 1.08 million per year ).
Interestingly, the Prime Minister of India draws a salary of Rs 0. 16 million per month ( i.e. Rs 1.92 million per annum ), and the President of India was paid Rs o.15 million paid per month ( i.e. Rs 1.80 million per annum ) in 2008.
‘ President Obama is not one of the richest presidents. [ He ] receives a salary of $ 400 000 a year as president, which … isn’t even close to today’s top executives’ salaries. … In 2009, the President’s adjusted gross income was $ 5.5 million. That figure fell to less than $ 1 million in 2012. … 24/7 Wall St estimates the President’s net worth to be $ 7.5 million. ‘ And the ‘ net worth ‘ of the former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, ‘ is estimated … to be $ 55 million, making it one of the wealthiest presidential estates in history. ‘[op. cit.]
Evidently, Sachin earned in a single year, from only one TV ad, over what the Indian Premier, as Premier, would earn in 104 years and fairly over the total of President Obama’s 8 years’ salaries. Further, Sachin’s total earnings from less than 3 TV ads equal President Obama’s ‘ net worth ‘. And he made the equivalent of ‘ the wealthiest presidential estates in history ‘ just from 16.5 TV ads. ( $1 = Rs 60 )
A Nobel Prize seems to be worth around US$ 1.1million . That means Sachin made from one TV ad about 3 times the amount a Nobel laureate is awarded. Nevertheless, Mr Charif Souki, the highest-paid CEO of the year 2013 received $ 141.9 million , which is equal to 129 times the worth of a Nobel Prize.
Christiano Ronaldo, a footballer noted for his extraordinary skill, was so much sought after by the members of Real Madrid that they didn’t hesitate to part with € 94.4 million ( i.e. nearly $ 122 million ) that was paid as a transfer fee for the living legend of football to Manchester United which he belonged to then in 2009 in order to get him. Then in 2013, Real Madrid paid a transfer fee to the tune of around € 100 million ( c.$ 129 million ) to Tottenham Hatspur to get the footballer Gareth Bale transferred to itself from the latter. ( $ 100 = € 77.5 ) Most amazing, isn’t it ?! If you’re for capitalism, you must accept such things as quite normal. But if you’re a sensible human, you must find a sensible argument to justify these silly capitalist realities, as I view it.
 Interested readers may refer to my essay ‘ The OCCUPY-WALL-STREET Movement : some questions and ... ‘
 See ‘ Guess what critics ? Oxfam is right about the top 1% ‘.
 See ‘ Oxfam Says, ” IT PAYS TO BE RICH”– BBC “ ‘.
 See ‘ 100 Million Dollar Men and Women ‘ on Professor Paul Krugman Fan Page .
[ II ]
Economic inequality expresses the fundamental law of
the commodity economy .
What is the origin of economic inequality ? What part does capitalism have in the ridiculous reality described in the foregoing section ? Is it possible to get rid of the grave, gross social injustice arising out of the economic inequality and create a just social order on the capitalist basis ? Is economic inequality justified on the grounds that humans are unequal in terms of both appearance and essence ? So many sensible humans have for long wracked their brain in vain in order to find answers to these questions and crack the riddle of economic inequality. I think I’ve puzzled them out.
Historically, the social division into the rich, the super-rich, and swarms of the born poor and penniless along with the institution of private property, the exploitation of man by man, the production and exchange of commodities, et cetera is traced back to the prehistorical era called barbarism, the epoch that immediately preceded civilisation. Interested readers are advised to consult THE ORIGIN OF THE FAMILY, PRIVATE PROPERTY AND THE STATE by Frederick Engels for this thesis. In this regard, I should like to introduce a new thesis, namely that economic inequality expresses the fundamental law* of the commodity economy.
In my essays ‘ The OCCUPY-WALL-STREET Movement : some questions and … ‘ and ‘ The US GOVT SHUTDOWN from the COMMUNISTIC VIEWPOINT ‘, I’ve dealt with the issue of inequality and referred to this thesis of mine.
[ * I define it as uneven distribution of wealth and income governed by laws of supply and demand. ]
[ II ]
proof of the thesis
Money cannot measure the worth of a commodity. Man invented money with a view to serving a dual purpose. Accordingly, money is meant to perform two basic functions : ( 1 ) to measure the value of of a commodity and ( 2 ) to act as the medium of circulation of commodities. Man needed a universal commodity, after products of human labour took the form of commodities, to measure the value of a commodity and exchange commodities through it. The invention of money met that need. Therefore, money, itself being a commodity, must measure, and it does so, the value of a commodity. But which value ? From the communistic viewpoint, every commodity, be it a pen or a prescription of a therapist, has got two distinct sorts of values. They are : ( 1 ) the use-value ( i.e. the usefulness or worth ) of the commodity ; ( 2 ) the exchange-value ( by the value of a commodity, its exchange-value is meant ). The use-value and the exchange-value of a commodity are so different that you shouldn’t confuse the one with the other. When the use-value of a commodity remains unchanged ( say the use-value of a brand-new product such as a pen ), its exchange-value may undergo frequent changes. The fact that when the supply of a commodity outstrips its demand or its demand falls to make its supply turn into oversupply, the price ( i.e. the exchange-value measured in money ) of the commodity goes down is a case in point. It’s true that it’s because of its use-value ( i.e. usefulness ) that a commodity has got some exchange-value. No use-value means no exchange-value. For example, take a used-up ball-point-pen refill or a copy of yesterday’s newspaper. The exchange-value of a used-up pen refill as a pen refill or a copy of yesterday’s newspaper ( all the news items it contains are known to you ) as newspaper is nil, isn’t it ? More use-value or better-quality use-value usually makes a commodity dearer. These facts have led to the delusion that the quality of a commodity determines its price ( i.e. value or exchange-value measured in money ). Nevertheless, if viewed from the political economist’s viewpoint, it becomes clear as day that money cannot measure the use-value ( i.e. usefulness or worth ) of a commodity.
Although it’s the use-value that makes a commodity valuable, it’s not, for obvious reasons, the use-value but the exchange-value that interests a seller more. It’s the effect, not the cause, that the seller views as the most important for him. The seller is solely motivated to make money through exchanging his commodity with the buyer who needs it, and who is willing to part with his money to gain possession of it. Nevertheless, to the buyer-consumer, on similar grounds, it’s the cause ( i.e. the use-value of a commodity ) that matters most. The seller wants his commodity to fetch the greatest possible amount of money while the buyer’s legitimate interest is to possess the commodity of his choice for as low an amount of money as it’s possible for him.
The truth is money cannot measure the worth ( i.e. use-value ) of a commodity. it’s only the value ( i.e. exchange-value ) of a commodity that we can measure in money. And this value undergoes frequent variation while the worth of a commodity remains fixed. And the variation in the value of a commodity is governed by the variation in its supply and demand figures, i.e. the laws of supply and demand, not by its worth. As the supply-demand figures of a commodity are beyond our control, we cannot control its value or price ( value measured in money ).
Capitalists vie among themselves over the largest share of a limited market. For this purpose, as they produce as many commodities as they each can, they engage in what is rightly called a price war in order to attract the largest number of buyers because they’ve got no other lawful weapons* in their hands than cutting prices of their commodities. Thus it happens to be the competition among capitalists which, to my way of thinking, leads to the fall in prices of commodities according to the laws of supply and demand. We cannot, nor can capitalists, fix the demand of commodities just as nobody can make the level of popularity of a movie or pop star or a sports personality rise and fall as they wish, can we ?
[ *The term refers to all the stuff a capitalist is lawfully entitled to make use of to this end, not any criminal practices like threat, swindling, the murder of rival market players, et cetera. ]
The most glaring and incontestable evidence that our control over the demand for commodities is too limited is the recurrent economic downturns, the great Depression of 1930s being the most glaring example, to my eyes, of such phenomena, which every capitalist economy has to experience, as I see it. The phenomenon known as the economic downturn owes its origin mainly to two factors which are : ( 1 ) overproduction and ( 2 ) the concentration of wealth in a few hands at one pole leading to the creation of swarms of the poor and the penniless at the other. Overproduction also leads to the concentration of wealth in a few hands. The more the capitalists produce commodities in excess of market demand for these commodities, the keener the competition among capitalists grows, which fact brings down prices of commodities to such a low that they have to suffer massive losses, consequent on which fact those capitalists that are financially weaker than others are forced to either close down or sell off their factories. I view this phenomenon as the outcome of competition among capitalists over the share of market. Thus, by the law of competition, some capitalists win while others become losers. After suffering horrendous losses, the weaker ( financially ) among the capitalists are forced to close down their factories, thus throwing hundreds of workers out of work, and thus, consequent on this fact, the army of the unemployed swell. The more the army of the poor, jobless people swell, the more the demand for commodities falls. But the fall in demand means contraction in the market. Thus, the swelling of the army of the poor and the jobless leads to more and more contraction of the market, which culminates in a period of slump. Evidently overproduction leads to the further impoverishment of the poor multitude. Like overproduction, the concentration of wealth in a few hands, as it inevitably means the impoverishment to a higher degree of the multitude, also ends in the economic downturn.
Because the supply and demand figures of different commodities are different, different commodities yield different amounts of profit. High-demand commodities sell like hot cakes to yield high return whereas their low-demand counterparts are too sluggish to leave their seller’s shelves, and if they ever show any movement to allow themselves to be taken hold of by their buyers, they generate very low, sometimes negative, return. Thus, it’s more than obvious that sellers trading in high-demand commodities amass huge wealth to grow more and more wealthier than all those who trade in low-demand commodities.
In order to grasp the thesis that economic inequality is an expression of the fundamental law of the commodity economy, you have to take account of the most important point in this regard, namely the fact that it’s the laws of supply and demand that in fact determine the commodity prices. Contrary to what silly people believe, the quality of a commodity isn’t the true determinant of its price, as I see it. And capitalism has got a lot to do with economic inequality as capitalism in itself is a commodity economy.
Commodities consist of goods and services meant for sale, and selling is an operation meant to reap profit. The amount of profit a commodity yields is governed entirely by the laws of supply and demand. Profit is defined as the positive difference between the cost price and the sale price. A commodity yields profit as long as it is sold at a higher price than its cost price. If the sale price drops below the cost price, which is the case as the supply of a commodity exceeds the demand for it, the commodity yields a negative profit or loss. On the other hand, if the demand for a commodity goes up to outstrip its supply, the trading in this commodity turns lucrative. When demand outstrips supply, the larger the gap between demand and supply is, the higher the price of the commodity moves, and the fatter the return it generates grows.
The simple fact that the supply and demand figures are different for different commodities explains why trading in some commodities generates higher profit than trading in other commodities does. And the simple fact that some commodities yield higher return than others do proves that economic inequality owes its origin to the commodity economy. As some commodities yield huge return, the dealers in such commodities amass huge wealth, and as total wealth a society creates is limited for evermore, the amassing of wealth by a few people is associated with the pauperdom of the multitude just as the two poles of the earth are associated with each other.
From the foregoing it obviously follows that economic inequality ensuing the uneven distribution of wealth and income governed by the laws of supply and demand expresses the basic law of a commodity economy, and that the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few at one pole coupled with the pauperism of the multitude at the other is also an expression of the same basic law. As capitalism is essentially a commodity economy, the economic inequality as well as the loathsome reality of the super-rich 85 or 80 occupying one pole vis-à-vis the 3.5-billion-strong army of the underprivileged crowding around the opposite pole also reflects the same basic law, to my way of thinking.
[ II ]
immediate corollaries of the above thesis
( 1 ) It’s NOT the qualitative distinctions between humans, between the talented and the talentless, or between the work done by the skilled and that by the unskilled that form the basis for the social division into the rich, the super-rich, and swarms of the born poor.
( 2 ) As it ( i.e. economic inequality ) reflects the very basic law of the commodity economy, and as capitalism is essentially a commodity economy, the concentration of wealth at one pole accompanied by the pauperism of the multitude at the other is just NOT preventable.
[ II ]
explanation & illustration
Because cricket is very popular ( i.e. in high demand ) among Brits, Indians, and Aussies, cricketers make a lot of money in Britain, India, and Australia. But Yanks, like the French, don’t like cricket. Sachin ( a former cricket legend ) would have to lead a wretched existence, as the down and out do, and Anjali ( Sachin’s proud wife ) would never have agreed to enter into a relationship with him if he was born in America or France, the way I see it. It’s the gap between supply and demand that matters most in a commodity economy. If the supply of a commodity falls steeply or the demand for it soars to lead to a large gap between supply and demand, the price of the commodity sky-rockets. By contrast, if the supply goes up sharply or the demand plummets, its price nosedives. High-demand commodities sell like hot cakes, and people dealing in such commodities amass huge wealth and grow richer than those who trade in other kinds of commodities. Performances of some actors, cricketers, footballers, tennis players, et cetera, et cetera are high demand commodities that sell at far higher price than services of doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, fashion designers, architects, poets, novelists, essayists, scientists, technologists, journalists, environmentalists, human rights activists, and so on and so forth, and consequent on this fact, a movie actor or a cricketer or a footballer accumulates more wealth than a thousand professors or barristers or inventors of life-saving drugs and therapeutic techniques or inventors of environmentally friendly technology, energy-saving devices, et cetera, et cetera do.
[ II ]
the laws of supply & demand & the fabulous sum Indian Premier’s suit fetched
A glaring proof of the laws of supply and demand is the recent auction of the Indian Premier Mr Narendra Modi’s suit with Mr Prime Minister’s name embroidered on itself. There was only one such a suit, but prospective buyers were a great many. The suit worth Rs 1.0 million fetched Rs 43.1 million*. Did the suit really gain in quality because Mr Prime Minister donned it once or twice ? And did it gain in so much quality that the auction price that was over 43 times higher than ( or 4,300 per cent of ) the original price was justified ?
*’ PM Narendra Modi’s monogrammed suit goes under the hammer for Rs 4.31 crore | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis ‘ ( Click on dnaindia.com . )
[ Rs= rupees ( plural of Indian monetary unit rupee ); US $ 1= Rs 60 ( approx ) ]
[ II ]
second-hand goods & antiques :the riddle of high price of antiques
Second-hand goods usually sell at far lower prices than their brand-new counterparts do. People with inadequate financial capacity, who cannot afford brand-new goods, go to second-hand markets where you’ll come across a large assortment of items such as articles of clothing, colour TV sets, smart phones, laptops, motorbikes, de luxe cars, et cetera, et cetera. All these are things used before by someone and much cheaper than their brand-new counterparts. Nevertheless, there’re some special things like the Indian premier’s monogrammed suit or antiques such as old coins, excavated images, etc, which are exceptions to this rule.
A vernacular daily recently reported that the day before police arrested a gang of 18 on charges of their involvement in illegal trading in antique objects and retrieved from them a touch-stone idol of meditating Buddha, estimated to be several centuries old, at the very least, along with some old coins, etc . There exist lucrative markets for antiques and antiquities in every country and the international arena. The older the stuff is, the more cash it fetches. The rich are prepared to squander fabulous sums on such things. They paid $ 181 000 for an 18th century golf club ( ‘ Long-Nose Putter Stamped ” A.D. ” ‘ ) in a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2007 . In 1994, Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Hammer was auctioned for over $ 30.8 million . Then in 1999, Marilyn Monroe’s dress ‘ ” Happy Birthday Mr. President ” ‘ sold for around $ 1.3 million ( i.e. Rs 78 million which was much higher than what Indian premier’s monogrammed suit fetched ) [op. cit.]. I don’t think you’re so big a fool as to believe that these antiques fetched so big sums because of their high quality they gained in as they aged and turned antique. Fabulous amounts of money were spent on these things not for their use value. The ‘ Long-Nose Putter ‘ bought for $ 181 000 was not bought for playing golf with it. Nor was da Vinci’s ‘ Hammer ‘ bought because the buyer needed a useful hammer, right ? There was only one specimen of each kind whereas buyers were very many, and the buyers were rich, the way I see it.
 Anandabazaar Patrika, 14 March 2015, p16
[ II ]
gargantuan figures of farm & food
subsidies & their significance
What I view as an incontestable proof of how mighty the laws of supply and demand are is the gargantuan funds countries spend every year as farm and food subsidies. The USA, through the USDA*, spend well over $ 100 billion every year as such sorts of subsidies. Not only do the USA subsidise their commodity crops ( corn, cotton, wheat, rice, soybeans, etc ), the federal government also spend huge sums in dairy subsidies and as direct support to American livestock businesses. The federal govt also fund several food and nutrition programmes ( the National School Lunch Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and children, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, etc ) and make, through the USDA*, huge purchases of food items every year for this purpose. The food products purchased include beef, pork, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, vegetables ( fresh, frozen, and processed ), fruits, legumes, grains, etc. ‘ USDA’s total outlays for 2015 are estimated at $ 140 billion. ‘  Leaving out a small fraction of it, all the rest is meant to subsidise crop and dairy farming and run federal food and nutrition programmes. SNAP** food stamps are meant for low-and-no-income Americans, and one in seven Americans is dependent on them. The USDA’s total spending on food stamps was $ 81 billion in 2012 and $ 82 billion in 2013. Millions of American school children belonging to over 50 per cent american families or households benefit from free school meals and meals at reduced price ( around 13% of the full price during July 2013 to June 2014 ) under the US National School Lunch Program. The significance of farm and food subsidies in the federal economy appears clear as day now.
[ * United States Department of Agriculture ** Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ]
The total amount the EU states hand out ‘ in annual EU farm subsidies ‘ seems to be not less than € 43 billion ( = $ 58 billion ). Nevertheless, I have yet to get it confirmed whether this figure includes the total amount of the EU food subsidies too.
India is far backward compared with the USA or the EU. India’s overall backwardness is evident from the HDI ranking, the GDP, and per-capita GNI figures presented below.
The USA’s HDI ranking was 3 and GNI per capita $ 43 480 ( as against India’s 136 and $ 3 285 ) in 2012. ( ‘ $ ‘ denotes constant 2005 international dollars ) And the USA’s GDP was $16.77 trillion ( vis-a-vis India’s India’s $1.877 trillion , a figure well below $ 2.0 trillion ) in the year 2013. [ ‘ $ ‘ denotes current US$ . ]
Nevertheless, the USA’s HDI ranking fell to 5 ( as against India’s 135 ) in 2014, and it’s GNI per capita was $ 53 470 ( as against India’s $1 570 ) in 2013. [ ‘ $ ‘ denotes current US$ . ]
In spite of her backwardness and financial constraints, India spent over $ 31 billion ( around Rs 1.9 trillion ) as total fertilizer and food subsidies out of $ 60 billion ( Rs 3.6 trillion ) of total social security subsidy in the fiscal year 2013-2014. Fertilizer and food subsidies ‘ account for almost 90 per cent of [ total ] agricultural subsidy ‘ in India .
The National Food Security Act 2013 is aimed at providing ‘ up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population ‘ with ‘ foodgrains @ 5 kg per person per month at the issue prices of Rs 3.00, Rs 2.00, and Rs [sic] 1.00 per kg for rice, wheat, and coarse grains respectively ‘  while market prices of the varieties of rice and wheat ordinary Indians ( non-rich but above the poverty level ) consume are Rs 32.00- 33.00 a kilo and Rs 20.00 a kilo ( in Bengal, an Indian state ) respectively. According to the National Advisory council’s estimate ( 2011 ), about 90 per cent rural folks of India lack food security. To be noted, the majority of Indians ( almost 70 per cent of total population ) live in villages.
The gargantuan figures of farm and food subsidy testify to the fact that agriculture as a whole is not remunerative. The reason is simple. An overwhelming section of population in every country consists of those with little or no purchasing power ( e.g. folks below the poverty line are practically without any purchasing power ). A person with purchasing power is reckoned a buyer, and the one without it a beggar. And it’s buyers, not beggars, who matter in the matter of demand for commodities. As foodgrain is produced for all ( the poor, the rich, the down and out, and those below the poverty level ), the foodgrain market is flooded with a supply that far outstrips its demand. A huge quantity of foodgrain in excess of the demand for this commodity is brought to the market. As a result, grain price drops down to such a low that producers have to incur huge losses. This is due to the action of the invincible laws of supply and demand. The shocking news of suicide by paddy growers, potato producers , or onion cultivators of India, which not very infrequently hit the headlines, is also due to the invincible laws of supply and demand. Under the circumstances, the welfare state steps in. The States spend billions of dollars every year to subsidise their farm produce and food items. In India, the subsidisation of agriculture takes the form of fertilizer subsidy and minimum support prices for foodgrain and other crops. Like the States, the Govt of India, through the Indian state governments, also make huge purchases of rice, wheat, potatoes, etc every year at the minimum support prices. The subsidisation of agriculture is meant to make the food crops cultivation remunerative. Were it not for the farm and food subsidy, producers turned beggars ( because of the huge losses they’d have to incur following a steep fall in prices, most food crops producers are bound to turn penniless, aren’t they ? ) would stop the cultivation of food crops, which would mean no food for an overwhelming section of population. Thus, no food subsidy would mean an appalling famine on a scale never heard of before. It’s most likely to be accompanied by an unprecedented growth in theft, robbery, etc criminal activities, a massive slump in trade and industry, and an overall political turmoil leading to total ultimate anarchy. The subsidisation of foodgrain is meant to prevent such eventualities, as I see it. Thus, the huge funds the USA, India, the EU states, and other states spend in farm and food subsidy every year are not an act of generosity nor useless squandering of hard-earned money but a compulsion on each state, to my way of thinking.
 See the section ‘ The US National School Lunch Program … ‘ in my discourse titled ‘ A search for a true LION of a MAN ‘.
 March is the potato harvest month. This year Bengal’s potato growers have had a bumper crop, which led to a steep fall in the potato prices. The Bengal govt have yet to begin purchasing potatoes at the minimum support price. Some cold stores are full to capacity. In the circumstances, some potato farmers have had recourse to ending it all.After mid March,almost every day the shocking news of the suicide of a potato farmer is coming in.
[ II ]
So many instances around you bear evidence of the laws of supply & demand.
There’s no reason you should fail to see so many instances around yourself which testify to the truth of the unconquerable laws of supply and demand.One such, barring those referred to above, is the male potency drug Viagra. When Viagra made its first appearance in the Indian market as an imported drug in the final decade of the 20th century, it was a rich man’s luxury to stimulate his sex drive with its help. Today so many non-rich Indian males are used to regularly taking this magic drug before relishing sex.
Computers are getting cheaper every year with the increasing supply of these electronic devices in India. Colour photographs are no longer luxury today while black-and-white photos have turned luxuries of the rich, as I see it. Like colour photos, clothes made of synthetic fabric, once viewed as luxuries of the rich, have turned poor people’s items for everyday wear these days.Jeans were also the luxury of the rich alone once, but today these strong-cotton trousers are used by the ordinary Indian youth. In our student years, mobiles or cell phones were unheard-of stuff, and a telephone receiver was viewed as a status symbol. Now a days even school-going teens belonging to lower-middle-class ( i.e. poor ) families possess smartphones. I can remember the days when ordinary cell phones were used by VVIPs and VIPs like the prime Minister of India, an industrialist, etc. I can also remember those days when a next-door neighbour of ours, who used to live in a terracotta-tile-roofed house owned a telephone receiver and then, after a decade or so, when he got used to using a mobile handset, gave up its possession. The old telephone, now called land phone, in order to distinguish it from mobiles, has again turned a luxury of the rich. Today a lower-middle-class or poor family like ours, a family that isn’t in possession of a private car, possess a fridge, a colour TV, two mobiles, at the least, a motorbike or scooter, an LPG stove, a microwave oven, and an induction heater, too. All these devices were once upon a time looked upon as luxuries meant for the high society guys.
Technology raises productivity and improves product quality too. Higher productivity means both a lower cost of production and a larger quantity of products. Producers of such a product compete with each other with a view to getting the largest possible share of the existing market of this product. And the only weapon they each have got in order to vanquish others is offering products in their possession at lower asking price than their rivals. Thus, their competition leads to a price war that cheapens commodities to the benefit of consumers of commodities. Thus, with technological advancement, as we get better quality goods and services, at the same time we also get cheaper goods and services, and thus what was once a rich man’s luxury turns into a poor man’s commodity, as I see it. Evidently, a cheaper product doesn’t mean inferior stuff. It implies it’s not necessarily true that the costlier the stuff , the better its quality, the way I view it. By this line of reasoning, it’d be wrong to appraise a human by how much they earn or by how much they’re worth just as it’s wrong to judge the quality of a piece of work by how much it fetches.
[ II ]
How does a poor man’s commodity turn into a luxury of the rich? : the riddle cracked
How a rich man’s luxury item turns, with technological advancement, into a commodity meant for the poor has been discussed in the foregoing section. Nevertheless, it doesn’t help us grasp the riddle of how once a poor guy’s commodity turns into a rich man’s luxury item. But I think I’m able to crack it. Well, let’s consider, for example, the paradox of rise in the price of black and white ( B & W ) photographs with falling demand for them while colour photos have actually cheapened notwithstanding the growing demand for these better quality commodities.
Technological advancement lowered the cost of production of colour photos, and because of growing demand for them accompanied by good return from the colour photography business, more and more people entered on this trade. Like people in any other trade, colour-photo traders also vied with one another for the largest possible share of the existing market. Their competition led to the fall in the price of colour photos. Thus, the cheapening of colour photos is, notwithstanding the high demand for these commoties, the joint effect of technological advancement and the phenomenon called competition among photo traders.
Rising demand for colour photos was accompanied by falling demand for B&W photos, and with their falling demand, the latter turned less and less paying. then, one day the B&W photo trade completely ceased to pay. Under the circumstances, traders usually give up that trade and switch over to some other business that pays.. But some B&W photo traders found some people that were rich and prepared to pay much more for the B&W photos. Let me give you an example.
Suppose in order to remain paying, the B&W photo studio requires at least 100 customers per day and a minimum daily turnover of $ 1 000.
[ II ]
From the foregoing, it won’t be a mistake to come to the conclusion that follows.
In a commodity economy, it’s the market forces* that happen to govern all matters, be it the determination of commodity prices or the distribution of wealth & income.
*i.e. the laws of supply and demand
[ II ]
inequality from a Nobelist’s viewpoint
I have yet to have an opportunity to read the book The Price Of Inequality: How … by Joseph U. Stiglitz, an economist, and a Nobel laureate. Nevertheless, I’ve gone through reviews of and excerpts from this work. It reportedly has a section with the heading The Rising Tide That Didn’t Lift All Boats , in which the Nobelist economist has observed :
‘ Although the United States has always been a capitalist country, our inequality—or at least its current high level—is new. Some thirty years ago, the top 1 percent of income earners received only 12 percent of the nation’s income. That level of inequality should itself have been unacceptable; but since then the disparity has grown dramatically, so that by 2007 the average after-tax income of the top 1 percent had reached $1.3 million, but that of the bottom 20 percent amounted to only $17,800. The top 1 percent get in one week 40 percent more than the bottom fifth receive in a year; the top 0.1 percent received in a day and a half about what the bottom 90 percent received in a year; and the richest 20 percent of income earners earn in total after tax more than the bottom 80 percent combined. ‘
‘ For thirty years after World War II, ‘ further writes the author, ‘ America grew together—with growth in income in every segment, but with those at the bottom growing faster than those at the top. The country’s fight for survival brought a new sense of unity, and that led to policies, like the GI Bill, that helped bring the country even closer together. ‘ ( ibid. )
‘ But for the past thirty years, ‘ continues the author, ‘ we’ve become increasingly a nation divided; not only has the top been growing the fastest, but the bottom has actually been declining. (It hasn’t been a relentless pattern—in the 1990s, for a while, those at the bottom and in the middle did better. But then, as we’ve seen, beginning around 2000, inequality grew at an even more rapid pace.) ‘ ( ibid. )
The USA being a capitalist country, it happens to be an unequal, class-ridden society where we encounter the rich and the super-rich few making up the super-slim body of the exploiting class and alongside of it, swarms of the poor and the penniless who constitute the massive mass of the exploited. There’s nothing new in it. What has struck the author as ‘ new ‘ is the ‘ current high level ‘ of inequality in the USA, an example of which is the silly and shocking fact, as the sensible view it, that ‘ the top 0.1 percent received in a day and a half about what the bottom 90 percent received in a year ‘.
Nevertheless, things were not that bad always before. The author also wants us to take cognisance of the fact that during ‘ thirty years after World War II, America grew together—with growth in income in every segment, but with those at the bottom growing faster than those at the top. ‘ The author has attributed this phenomenon to ‘ a new sense of unity ‘ which owed its origin to America’s ‘ fight for survival ‘, and which ‘ led to policies, like the GI Bill, that helped bring the country even closer together. ‘ Situations underwent a complete reversal during ‘ the past thirty years ‘ when America turned ‘ increasingly a nation divided ‘, and ‘ beginning around 2000, inequality [ in America ] grew at an even more rapid pace ‘ to attain the ‘ current high level ‘.
The Nobelist economist regards the ‘ current high level ‘ of inequality as as ‘ alarming ‘ as the level of inequality America witnessed ‘ in the years before the Great Depression. ‘ ( ibid. ) According to this author, ‘ the marked reduction in inequality in the period between 1950 and 1970, was due partly to developments in the markets but even more to government policies, such as the increased access to higher education provided by the GI Bill and the highly progressive tax system enacted during World War II. ( ibid. )
Joseph E. Stiglitz is not a communist. As far as I know, he’s a Democrat who believes in democratic socialism, a doctrine that aims at building a social order they call socialism on the capitalist basis, i.e. the capitalist mode of production. Thus, viewed from the communist viewpoint, democratic socialists are capitalist socialists ( or socialist capitalists ) who find nothing wrong with the capitalist mode of exploitation, production and exchange of commodities, economic inequality, and social division into classes. They find nothing wrong with the fact that the rich and the super-rich are born rich and born super-rich and the fact that the fact that they’re born rich and born super-rich is NOT attributable to any creditable achievements or accomplishments of theirs. They find nothing wrong either with the fact that in an unequal, class-ridden society, swarms of the poor and the penniless come into the world as born poor and born penniless as well as the fact that the very fact that they come into the world as born poor and born penniless is not consequent on any faults or failings of theirs. They’re NOT in the least concerned about the origin or the eradication of the inequality in society. Rather, on the contrary, they believe in the thesis that economic inequality to a certain degree is good and necessary notwithstanding they’re not able to define the certain degree of inequality they think good and necessary, and they don’t seem to care about the fact that without a clear definition of the certain degree of inequality at issue, this thesis amounts to nothing but sheer nonsense. Joseph is concerned with just some reduction ( ‘ marked reduction ‘, to put the way he’d like to ) in the ‘ current high level ‘ of inequality, which he considers ‘ alarming ‘, and wants to pursue policies like ‘ the increased access to higher education provided by the GI Bill and the highly progressive tax system enacted during World War II ‘ to this end. He’s aware of the market forces which he believes ‘ of course inevitably play some role in determining the extent of economic inequality. ‘ ( ibid. ) And he thinks he can tame those market forces with these policies and thus keep the economy growing for all eternity. A communist and humble seeker after the truth, I of course do not see eye to eye with democratic socialists on all points. Nevertheless, what is relevant to my thesis on the origin of economic inequality, and what the sensible oughtn’t to miss in this regard, is the point that the Nobelist economist has outright trust in policies like ‘ the increased access to higher education ‘, ‘ the GI Bill ‘, ‘ the highly progressive tax system ‘, et cetera as well as the point implicit in it, namely the fact that the Nobelist economist views the economic inequality as something that is NOT attributable to something like the stuff called fate or destiny or something like the qualitative distinctions between humans, between a Nobelist and an ignoramus, or between the work done by the skilled and that done by the unskilled or the less-skilled ( the first corollary of my thesis on the origin of economic inequality ). The social democratic welfare policies, such as the income re-distributive taxation, the subsidisation of certain commodities, State investment in sectors like education, health care, et cetera, go to create new demand in the market and thus make the capitalist economy, hence capitalism, grow and survive, to my way of thinking.
[ III ]
How do you justify the economic inequality ?
You’re free to stand, if you please, for the silly, disgusting reality , namely the fact that there’re the super-rich 85 or 80 at one pole vis-à-vis a 3.5-billion-strong army of the poor at the other, or the fact that we’re fast approaching the day when 1 per cent of the global population would own more wealth than what the remaining 99 per cent would possess together. You’re also free to stand for the ridiculous reality that someone makes from one TV ad as much as 3 times the worth of a Nobel Prize, or that some guys exchange millions of dollars for a mere antique or a sportsperson while millions all over the globe have to go without even the bare necessities of life. Nevertheless, if you’re a sensible human, my dear sir or madam, you cannot evade stating at least one sensible argument for your stance, as I see it. If you choose to stand for the reality we witness in a capitalist society of today, and if you’re not one of the damned silly that themselves lead a poor and pathetic existence and sillily watch the fabulously wealthy few live a fabulously lavish lifestyle and relish all sumptuous luxuries of life before their silly eyes, you must find a sensible logic to justify your position.
What sensible logic justifies the loathsome capitalistic reality other than the fact that the economic inequality reflects the very basic law of a commodity economy as well as the institution of private property and the exploitation of man by man ? I’ve failed to find one to date. By the 1st corollary* of my thesis, the social division into classes on the basis of the amount of wealth in their possession cannot be justified on the grounds that there exist distinct qualitative distinctions between humans, between a Nobelist and a half-literate hawker, or between services of a doctor and that of a porter.
The silly believe in fate and tell themselves they were born unlucky. They believe that a human’s fate is sealed by God, gods, or some star in the sky the moment they’re born. And again, there’re some fools that hold the view that humans are not equal in terms of quality and justify the economic inequality on that account, and then, taking it a step further forward, they claim that communism is an unjust system. Their stand is plain wrong, as I view it.
Humans are certainly not equal. They’re as unequal as femininity and masculinity are or as a Nobel laureate and an illiterate are. But the very point those charlies miss outright is taking the qualitative inequality of one human from another or the qualitative distinctions between the work done by the skilled and that by the unskilled as the basis for the justification of the economic inequality adds up to mistaking the quality of a commodity as the determinant of its price. The mistake stems from the fact that better-quality commodities are costlier, and what they fail to take account of is the fact that the better-quality commodities are also higher-demand commodities the supply of which trails the demand for them. If the supply of such a commodity goes up, and the demand for it doesn’t grow proportionately, its price is bound to fall, and when a higher-demand commodity sells cheap, its lower-demand variety is sure to sell cheaper. The latter may even sell at a loss, and if that is the case, its production would stop. In this way, an inferior-quality commodity is superseded by its superior-quality variant.
The absurdity of the mistake of taking the quality of a commodity as the determinant of its price would become clear as day if you tried to find a criterion for determining the right differential between wages of a skilled worker and that of an unskilled one or a criterion for calculating by how much a Nobelist is worth more than a rank stupid is. Could you state a criterion for calculating the right cost of a pair of shoes that you think befit yourself and the right cost of a pair of sandals you consider an underling of yours is worthy of ? If you could really find such a criterion, not only would it be a great big achievement that should make you qualify for a Nobel Prize in economics, it’d also prove communism outright unjust and wrong, to my way of thinking. Nevertheless, before doing that, you cannot claim that there exists a link between the qualitative distinctions between humans and the economic inequality we witness in a capitalist society and justify capitalism on such grounds.
* See immediate corollaries of the above thesis .
[ III ]
Communism doesn’t treat humans equal.
Communism doesn’t say there exist no qualitative distinctions between humans. Communism only denies that the economic inequality is justified on grounds of the existence of distinct qualitative distinctions between humans. From the communistic viewpoint, economic inequality is an expression of the basic law of the commodity economy as well as private property and the exploitation of man by man. It doesn’t reflect, nor is it based on, the qualitative distinctions between humans, between the talented and the talentless, or between the work done by a skilled worker and that by an unskilled worker. Communism is the abolition of the commodity economy along with private property and the exploitation of man by man, and for this reason alone, economic inequality can have no place in the communistic order. It’s just as simple as that.
|Karl Marx, the great thinker & philosopher
( photo source : pixabay ; CC0 Public Domain )
‘ … in bourgeois society, ‘ observed Marx ‘ the commodity-form of the product of labour … is the economic cell-form. ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I ( See Preface to the First German Edition. ) )
[ III ]
Economic inequality doesn’t fit in with the principle of healthy & meaningful living.
I know no sensible humans who contradict my view that economic inequality is not in harmony with the principle of healthy and meaningful living. No sensible humans, to the best of my knowledge, have to date stood for the shocking, silly reality of the capitalist world, namely the fact that as few as 85 or 80 people that make up the super-rich possess as much wealth as half the total global population possess together, or the fact that the rich have continued growing richer so fast that we’re not at all far off from the day when merely 1 per cent would own more wealth than the remaining 99 per cent would do. I don’t think it’s becoming for a sensible human to turn a blind eye to the fact that economic inequality doesn’t have its origin in the qualitative distinctions between humans but in the law of uneven distribution of wealth governed by the laws of supply and demand, which happens to be the fundamental law of the commodity economy. No sensible humans, as I view it, can refrain from caring about the fact that the silly billions that crowd around the pole opposite that occupied by the insignificant few that comprise the fabulously wealthy that live a life of fabulous luxury include not only teachers, traders, tailors, porters, plumbers, drivers, helpers, bearers, waiters, conductors, caterers, vendors, hawkers, shoe makers, hair dressers, shopkeepers, fishmongers, green grocers, shop workers, factory workers, farmers, farm labourers, et cetera, et cetera but doctors, professors, engineers. lecturers, writers, painters, legal advisers, police officers, office goers, college rectors, Nobel Prize winners, parliament members, cabinet ministers, even prime ministers ( as far as I’m informed of it, the richest 85 or80 include no Nobel laureates nor any prime ministers ), and so on and so forth as well. And the point no sensible humans ought to miss is it’s not because they’re poor-quality humans nor because the commodities ( i.e. the merchandise a trader or a hawker deal in or services of a lawyer or a doctor ) they possess are poor in quality that they’re poor but because the commodities they deal in are NOT high-demand commodities that they’ve had to join the ranks of the poor billions, as I see it. No sensible humans ought to fail, either, to see that the fact behind the fact that Sachin makes as fat a sum as 3 times the worth of a Nobel Prize per annum per TV ad isn’t the fact that his performance in the ads is a better-quality commodity than the life-saving services of a physician or a surgeon or a nurse which save so many lives of terminally sick people every year are but the fact that there’s only one Sachin in the world while life-saving doctors and nurses are very many, to my way of thinking.
If you stand for the principle of healthy and meaningful living, you cannot accept the ridiculous and loathsome reality we witness in every capitalist society unless you’re one of the damned silly that find nothing wrong with the economic inequality at issue, with being born poor in order to be exploited and in order to overwork, as beasts of burden have to do, to produce wealth by the sweat of their brow not for themselves but for the enjoyment and luxury of some idle people, the insignificant few of the rich and the super-rich, who live a fabulously lavish lifestyle, a life full of fabulous riches and luxuries, before their silly eyes while they themselves lead a hard and humble existence, an existence full of poverty, privation, and deprivation.
Viewed from the communistic viewpoint, the capitalist welfarism is like crutches to keep capitalism upright. Were it not for the crutches of welfarism, capitalism would fall flat on its face far long before, as I see it. Welfare capitalism has proved equal to the challenge of keeping the poorest of the poor alive. Nevertheless, reliance on welfare largesse just doesn’t fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living, as I view it. The principle of healthy and meaningful living requires you to lead a decent and dignified existence. Living off the stuff like welfare benefit cannot be living with dignity, right ? My criterion for the acceptability of a social order is it must be able to make it possible for over 90 per cent of the population to lead a decent and dignified existence. And I’m also prepared to make reasonable concession to it. But if it worked out at less than 10 per cent vis-à-vis over 90 per cent who are indispensably dependent on the stuff that is welfarism, I feel I ought to be the last person to stand for such ridiculous things. I should like you to care to consider how many people in a capitalist order truly possess the capacity to lead a decent and dignified life. In the USA, the most advanced civilisation of the world, around 90 per cent of the American elementary and secondary school students attend free public schools. Not only don’t their parents have to pay the tuition of their kids’ education, they don’t have to bear the cost of lunch of their children either. According to none other than the US President, the non-wealthiest in America add up to 98 per cent, and Mr President looks on them as so poor as to be unable to care for their families well. In order to help them spend a little more for the well-being of their nearest and dearest ones, Mr President created a new federal law, viz. the American Tax Relief Act 2012, that made a lot of benefit ( in the form of tax relief and tax credits ) available to these poor American folks. So ridiculous and shocking happens to be the situation in the most advanced civilisation of the world.
The strongest argument, as i see it, against the economic inequality is the disgusting fact that it’s not the underprivileged, i.e. billions of the born poor that are born in order to be exploited and in order to overwork to produce all wealth and luxuries for the privileged, the born rich and the born super-rich, who live a fabulous lifestyle, a life full of fabulous riches and luxuries, before their silly eyes while they themselves lead a hard and humble existence throughout their life, who are to blame for their poverty, privation, and pitiable socio-economic position, nor do the born privileged deserve any credit for their high, enviable status as it’s not attributable to any good work or creditable achievements of theirs. Hence, it follows that the economic inequality that has brought about the social division into the rich, the super-rich, and swarms of the born poor and underprivileged happens to be the origin of a grave, gross social injustice. The poor and underprivileged are born poor and underprivileged just because they were fathered by the poor and underprivileged who were also born poor and underprivileged, aren’t they ? Isn’t it factually true that the born poor and underprivileged were born poor and underprivileged because they were born in an unequal, class-ridden society ?
The contradiction between the economic inequality and the principle of healthy & meaningful living is obvious, and the fact that it’s irreconcilable is also obvious, isn’t it ?
[ IV ]
How to get rid of the economic inequality ?
Is it sensible to think of capitalism without economic inequality ?
Does it make sense to strive for realising a little reduction in the economic inequality ?
Is there a way out before us for getting rid of the rank evil that is the economic inequality that reflects the very basic law of ( viz. the uneven distribution of income and wealth governed by the laws of supply and demand ) of the commodity economy ? I believe there’s such a way out and only one such and it’s communism alone that can open the desired way out before us.
Any questions ? I invite your questions.
Any contradictions ? I invite contradictions.
It* being the basic law of the commodity economy , in capitalism the prevention of the concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich and the super-rich few at one pole coupled with the pauperism of billions at the other is a task equivalent to performing the impossible as capitalism is essentially a commodity economy, as I see it. The reality in all capitalist countries without exception corroborates this view of mine. The crackdown on tax evasion or the policy of income-re-distributive taxation and subsidisation of certain commodities are unlikely to bear fruit, to my way of thinking. Neither the tax evasion nor the absence of something like the policy of income re-distributive taxation and subsidisation is at the root of the evil of economic inequality at issue, in my humble opinion. I believe only communism is an answer to the problem of economic inequality. Only communism can eliminate economic inequality. Communism would achieve this goal by doing away with the commodity economy along with private property and the exploitation of man by man.
Obviously, viewed from this viewpoint, it cannot be a sensible idea to strive to even out the distribution of wealth and income in a capitalist economy. Nor does it make sense to squander your precious time and energy on the silly aim of lessening the economic inequality to an undefined degree ( 1.0 or 0.1 per cent ) meant to relieve a little the hardship of the poor and down and out, as I view it.
[ * i.e. the economic inequality ensuing the uneven distribution of wealth governed by the laws of supply and demand ]
[ IV ]
a short note on the liberal bourgeois attitude to the issue of economic inequality
We call them liberal bourgeois or liberal capitalists ( or liberals ). We also call them bourgeois socialists or capitalist socialists ( or socialist capitalists ). As we view it, democratic socialism is another name of capitalist socialism. Thus, all liberals are democratic socialists. They’re all capitalist because if you ask them to choose between capitalism and communism, they’d invariably choose the former. Most notable amongst their ranks are the international ‘ anti-poverty group ‘ Oxfam, the Nobelist economists Amartya Sen, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, the US President Barack Obama, the noted economist Binoy Kampmark, the French President Francois Hollande, Kaushik Basu, the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, Bill Gates, the former Microsoft Chief, Henry Ford ( noted for his observation : ‘ Consolidation of so much wealth and capital in so few hands … depresses demand. ‘ ), Raghuram Rajan, the RBI Governor, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson ( the duo jointly authored the book Winner-Take-All Politics : How Washington Made the Rich Richer— and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class ), the Democrats in the USA, the French Socialists, the British socialists, et cetera, et cetera. They are not opposed to the commodity economy. They aren’t opposed to the economic inequality either. In fact, they believe economic inequality is not bad in itself. They subscribe to the view that ‘ a certain level of inequality may benefit growth ‘. ( The use of the term ‘ may ‘ is noteworthy; it suggests that they aren’t sure whether this view of theirs is correct. ) Nevertheless, they are dead opposed to what they term ‘ Extreme Wealth and Inequality ‘ . They view the ‘ Extreme Wealth and Inequality ‘ as ‘ economically inefficient ‘, ‘ Politacally Corrosive ‘, ‘ Socially Divisive ‘, ‘ Environmentally destructive ‘, grossly ‘ unethical ‘, et cetera, et cetera. It’s not inequality in itself but the ‘ Extreme ‘ inequality that’s the real culprit, the root cause behind all the trouble, and so they want it brought down to ‘ a certain level ‘ that, by Oxfam, oughtn’t to be over the ‘ 1990 levels ‘.
 ‘ A growing chorus of views is pointing to the fact that whilst a certain level of inequality may benefit growth by rewarding risk taking and innovation, the levels of inequality now being seen are in fact economically damaging and inefficient. ‘ ( OXFAM MEDIA BRIEFING 18 January 2013 Ref. 02/2013 The cost of inequality : how wealth and income extremes urt us all )
 ‘ Extreme wealth and inequality is economically inefficient ‘, ‘ Extreme Wealth and Inequality is politically corrosive ‘, etc. ( ibid. )
 ( ibid. )
 ( ibid. )
[ IV ]
the fallacy of the liberal bourgeois view of the economic inequality
The big point they seem to be outright unaware of is the expressions ‘ a certain level ‘ and ‘ Extreme ‘ are both vague. As far as I know, no economists have to date defined the line of demarcation between the level of inequality that is beneficial to growth and what is to be viewed as the extreme inequality. In the absence of such a well-defined line in question, the thesis that the wealth and income inequality up to ‘ a certain level ‘ is good and beyond this level is bad is nonsensical, as I see it. It’s like saying profit motive is not bad but fleecing buyers criminal. As there exists no criterion for determining the fair rate of profit, it’s impossible to know what amounts to fleecing and what fair dealing is, isn’t it ?
As I view it, the communistic absolute equality ( i.e. zero gini co-efficient ) is not at all conducive to the growth of a commodity economy. If income and wealth distribution were perfectly equitable, both the poor and the rich would disappear simultaneously. It would mean you’re unlikely to find buyers for your expensive products such as the first-generation TV sets or personal computers or smart phones, which were far more costlier than their present-day variants. As the absence of a market for products of some sort means the non-existence of the industries engaged in the production of such products, you would’ve seen almost none of those deluxe cars, bikes, air conditioners, refrigerators, colour TVs, laptops, synthetic fabrics, et cetera, et cetera, i.e. almost all goods and services you’re used to seeing being used either by yourself or by someone else if there were no income and wealth inequality in your society. Obviously, a capitalist economy can’t grow without economic inequality. But the problem with it is the fact that while a certain level of inequality is conducive to the growth of a certain industry ( say the car industry ), it also limits the growth of this industry by limiting the number of buyers of its products ( i.e. cars ) because as the concentration of wealth and income in a few hands invests a few with the car-purchasing power, so it makes the rest of the population almost penniless. Thus, the concentration of wealth and income in some hands creates, along with the rich few, a huge army of the poor deprived of the capacity not only to buy cars but to buy bikes, fridges, colour TVs, et cetera, et cetera, so many industrial products as well, as I view it. Therefore, it appears clear as day now that not only does the uneven distribution of wealth and income help certain industries grow, it also restricts the growth of those industries as well as numerous other industries. Obviously, it follows from these arguments that a certain level of wealth and income inequality which is good for a certain industry may not be so for certain other industries. This fact which is viewed by communists as an internal contradiction of the commodity economy, hence capitalism, rules out the possibility of the existence of ‘ a certain level ‘ of wealth and income inequality that is conducive to the growth of every industry, to my way of thinking. Obviously, the idea that reducing the extreme inequality to ‘ a certain level ‘ ( say the ‘ 1990 levels ‘ ) might be a lasting solution to the problem of poverty and growth is plain silly, as I see it.
[ IV ]
ethics v inequality : liberal bourgeois silliness knowing no bounds
It’s very intriguing that the liberals that find nothing wrong with wealth and income inequality view ‘ Extreme Wealth and Inequality ‘ as ‘ unethical ‘, and that in order to reinforce their stance on this point, they cite Gandhi’s ridiculous, fanciful ideas* and irrational Quoranic views. Had the earth really been so generous as, as ‘ Gandhi famously said ‘, to afford humans ‘ enough to satisfy every man’s need ‘*, we wouldn’t have encountered so many stories of famines in the history books, nor would we have any need to create and use HYV and GM seeds, chemical fertilizers, shallow and deep tube wells to irrigate crop fields and thus to boost land productivity , insecticides, pesticides to save crops from insects and pests, et cetera, et cetera. And if we were to view usury, in keeping with Quoran, as unethical, we’d have to boycott all services banks provide us with simply on the grounds that banking also belongs to the same basic category as usury does, as I view it. My dear sirs and madams, neither unscientific ethics nor silly religious ideas and views have anything to do with economic phenomena that owe their allegiance to the laws of economics alone, and economics happens to be a secular subject. The fact of the matter is the economic inequality is an expression of the basic law of the commodity economy, and the accumulation of huge wealth at one pole accompanied by the pauperism of billions at the other reflects what happens to be the normal capitalistic reality, as I see it. The truth is Sachin didn’t make money by stealing from you or by robbing banks. Someone offered to pay him out of their own free will as much as three times the worth of a Nobel Prize per ad, and it was certainly not wrong of Sachin to accept it. Nor is Sachin to blame for the fact that no one makes a similar offer to you or the doctors or the nurses who provide so many men, women, and children the whole world over with life saving services that have kept them alive year after year.
The Gandhian principle of plain living and high thinking is meant for someone born poor who cannot see any honest way to growing rich open to themselves. But to someone born wealthy or someone who, like Sachin, receives fabulous offers and amass huge wealth through a hundred per cent honest and legal means the principle of plain living should seem silly. In fact you’ve got truly nothing meaningful to derive from useless austerity, as I see it. Nor does it fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living to live a life full of poverty and privation and sillily watch, as the silly billions do, some men and women fabulously wealthy like Sachin ( I’ve heard Sachin owns over forty deluxe cars ) wallow in limitless riches and luxuries. Furthermore, if the affluent lead a life of austerity, it can’t be good for the health of the national economy. I wholeheartedly fall in with Henry Ford’s view that the ‘ [c]onsolidation of so much wealth and capital in so few hands … depresses demand. ‘ ( reported by Oxfam ( OXFAM MEDIA BRIEFING 18 January 2013 Ref. 02/2013 The cost of inequality : how wealth and income extremes urt us all ) ) And the demand would further undergo depression, with which the overall situation would worsen far more, if the affluent made an austerity drive, as I view it. The truth of it seems obvious. If ten guys each got adequate purchasing power, they together would create a demand for ten cars or ten colour TVs whereas if their purchasing power got concentrated in one man’s hands, there’d be a demand for only one-two cars or one-two TV sets, and if this guy decided to live a humble life out of deferance to Gandhian ideals, the demand for cars or TVs would just disappear leaving disastrous effect on the economy. I think Paul Krugman, the Nobelist economist and author of End This Depression Now! , would see eye to eye with me on this point. The Gandhian principle of plain living is a prescription for economic disaster, hence suicidal for a nation. If we’re to respect the silly principle of plain living, we have to go without so many things such as expensive flats in city highrises, ceramic glazed tiles, air-conditioners, fridges, TVs, desktops, laptops, smartphones, jeans, leggings, and other fashionable clothes, shoes, furniture, perfumes, toilet soaps, shampoos, pastry, pizza, biryani, cars, airbuses, all Hollywood and Bollywood movies, et cetera, et cetera, i.e. in a word all industrial goods and services, hence all industries of today, along with all tasty meals and dishes. I think it ought to be clear as day now to every sensible humans why I believe the great Gandhian principle of plain living is the road to the extinction of all human civilisations of the world. In this connection, I think won’t be irrelevant to refer to the curious fact that al Gandhists, as Gandhi himself did, pretend not to be aware that their indulgence in what is truly the luxury of the rich, namely the institution of matrimony**, is in direct contradiction to their avowed principle.
The rich or super-rich are not thieves nor robbers. Growing rich is not criminal nor unethical. I view the rich and super-rich as far superior to the silly, lowly poor billions that seem to be not in the least caring about nor ashamed of the fact that they’re born poor and the fact that the hard and humble life they live is not worth living. As I view them, the poor folks are disgustingly immature, intellectually, so much so that they’re unable to know what is good and what is bad for them. They believe in God or gods that always favour the wealthy. The believe in fate that never smiles on them. They love to indulge in silly luxuries ( such as matrimony*** ) that don’t become the poor. They vote for those that care little about the poor.
In The Price Of Inequality : How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future , the author Joseph e. Stiglitz has shown the born-poor in the USA ‘ will stay poor yet nearly seven in 10 Americans still believe the ladder of opportunity exists . ‘ ( I have yet to have an opportunity to read this book.Nevertheless, I’ve read reviews of this book. For the author’s view of the future of the born-poor Americans and ‘ the ladder of opportunity ‘ invisible to the author, readers may click on this link : The Price Of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz — review by Yvonne Roberts. )
In order to avail themselves of that ‘ ladder of opportunity ‘ not visible to the Nobelist-economist’s eyes, the american poor vote for the american Right ( i.e. Republicans ) who are avowedly anti the poor. According to Paul Krugman, another American Nobelist-economist, the list of five things the Republicans hate includes ‘ 1) NOT cutting taxes on the extreme wealthy [and] 2) Paying Middle Class and low income workers more ‘. ( Is there anything republican # ignoramuses hate more than paying workers more ? ) ‘ Republicans have had a thirty year run convincing stupid poor people looking to get rich, and morons terrified of other americans taking their ” stuff “, that giving up everything they have to the wealthy will magically transform a dirt-poor imbecile into a billionaire … ‘ ( Real Economist Paul Krugman Calls Republican Budget A Trillion Dollar Con Job by Rmuse ) The true intent, as Paul Krugman views it, of the american Right is ‘ to make the rich richer and ordinary people much poorer ‘. (op. cit. ) ‘ While there may be underlying economic forces at play, ‘ says the author of The Price Of Inequality : How …, ‘ politics have shaped the market, and shaped it in ways that advantage the top at the expense of the rest. ‘ ( The Price Of Inequality: How … a review by Thomas B. Edsall ) But ‘ politics ‘ cannot shape the market this way in a democratic polity unless it has the popular backing, and the popular backing means the backing of the poor billions as the top l.0 per cent or 0.1 per cent or 0.01 per cent are insignificant in terms of their share of the vote. ‘ For thirty years after World War II, ‘ further says the author, ‘ America grew together with growth in income in every segment, but with those at the bottom growing faster than those at the top. … But for the past thirty years, we’ve become increasingly a nation divided: not only has the top been growing fastest, but the bottom has actually been declining. ‘ ( Weekend Reader: The Price Of Inequality : How … ) The Nobelist economist believes American inequality has reached a level that is just ‘ intolerable ‘. ( The Price Of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz — review by Yvonne Roberts ) The credit for all this is due mostly, according to the liberal economists, to the American Right and especially ‘ good ole Ronnie ‘ who ‘ gave a massive tax cut to the wealthy while cutting benefits to the Middle Class and Lower income. ‘ ( 100 Million Dollar Men and Women ) The ‘ massive tax cut ‘ meant to benefit the wealthy and the slashing of ‘ benefits ‘ to the non-wealthy ‘ set in motion the steady rise in the fortunes of the Extreme Wealthy. ‘ ( op. cit. ) Joseph E. Stiglitz has also referred to these issues in his The Price Of Inequality : How … : ‘ In the years after the ” Reagan Revolution, ” by contrast, the divide in market incomes increased and, ironically, at the same time government initiatives designed to temper the inequities of the market place were dismantled, taxes at the top were lowered and social programs were cut back. ‘ ( Weekend Reader: The Price Of Inequality : How … )
The Nobelist economist firmly believes in the thesis that economic inequality to a certain degree ( which he’s unable to define ) is good, and what strikes the sensible as most strange is the fact that the Nobelist economist is deplorably deficient in the wisdom he need have in order to be able to realise that in the absence of a clear definition of the certain degree of inequality at issue, his thesis adds up to nothing but sheer nonsense . ( photo source : By World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons )
Nevertheless, all Republican Presidents from Ronnie Reagan to George W. Bush were legitimate Presidents as they were duly elected by the American citizens. The fact of the matter is the American poor most of whom are, as Paul Krugman believes, ‘ too stupid to see ‘ through the Republican lies ‘ even as they loose everything they have ‘ ( Real Economist Paul Krugman Calls Republican Budget A Trillion Dollar Con Job by Rmuse ) voted them in. And for that reason, none of what ‘ good ole Ronnie ‘ or other Republican Presidents did, viz. the ‘ massive tax cut ‘ to the benefit of the wealthy and the slashing of the ‘ benefits ‘ to the non-wealthy, were illegal or wrong. And it was not by any manner of means wrong of the American wealthy to avail themselves of all the tax-cuts and other benefits the American Right extended to them and thus to grow the ‘ Extreme Wealthy ‘, to my way of thinking. None of the ‘ 100 Million Dollar Men and Women ‘ are to be held responsible for the fact that you were born penniless or the fact that you have to live a hard and humble life. Nor are the wealthy or the extreme wealthy few to blame for your rank stupidity. The unpleasant truth is it’s your penniless parents that alone are responsible for the fact that you were born penniless and the fact that you’ve had to swell the army of the have-nots and the down and out. Isn’t it true that your parents were well aware that they were poor people, and that their children would be born poor ? Isn’t it true that they indulged in the luxury of marriage and procreation which they knew doesn’t become the poor ?
The liberal view the ‘ Extreme Wealthy ‘ as the only people to blame for the poverty of the silly billions. This attitude of theirs gives me the impression that the liberal miss the wood for the trees. Nevertheless, viewed from the communistic viewpoint, it’s the basic law of the commodity economy, namely the uneven distribution of wealth and income governed by the laws of supply and demand, that’s, along with private property and the exploitation of man by man, lying behind your as well as all the rest’s poverty and privation. Neither the 1.0 per cent nor the 0.1 per cent nor the 0.01 per cent are responsible for the plight of the poor. If anybody is to be held responsible for their suffering, I’d say it’s the poor themselves, none else, that alone are to blame for their sorry state. How to explain the disconcerting fact that the American Right took control of the House of Representatives in 2011 ? When Barack Obama took charge of America as the President in 2009, the US economy was in a terrible state. The ‘ devastation wrought by the financial crisis of [ 2008 ] was terrible, with real income falling 5.5 percent. ‘ ( In Defense of Obama by Paul Krugman ) And ‘ [u]nemployment in America rose to a horrifying 10 per cent in 2009. ‘ ( op.cit. ) The eight-year-long Bush Presidency led America to this sorry state. Under Obama’s stewardship the situation stopped deteriorating and then started taking a turnaround, although the recovery was slow. So the American poor voted overwhelmingly against the Democrats— those Democrats whose policies are pro the poor; those Democrats that want to raise taxes on the 1.0 per cent and the 0.1 per cent and spend the revenue collected thus to the benefit of the poor and down and out. So they voted overwhelmingly against the Democrats to help the Republicans gain the House majority— those Republicans whose policies are expressly anti the poor; those Republicans who must ‘ cut taxes on the rich and slash aid to the less fortunate ‘ ( “ Events have proven their cherished beliefs wrong ” : Paul Krugman ); those Republicans who believe ‘ being nice to the rich is a magic elixir ‘ (op. cit. ); those Republicans that are ‘ just dirty filthy liars ‘ ( Real Economist Paul Krugman Calls Republican Budget A Trillion Dollar Con Job by Rmuse ); those Republicans that are ever so artful in devising scams designed to make ‘ the rich richer ‘ and the poor ‘ poorer ‘ ( op. cit. ). Why did they behave thus ? An acceptable answer to this query is the Nobelist- economist’s view that the American poor are ‘ too stupid to see ‘ through the American Right’s lies (op. cit. ). Another answer that seems most probable too is the poor of America, like the poor of India, care little about their own plight and good. In the last national election, the Indian poor voted the Indian national congress out. Why ? Because the Indian national congress are pro the poor; because they devised so many schemes and projects for the good of the Indian poor. And who did they vote in ? The filthy Hinduvtaites, i.e. the advocates of Hinduvta that I view as a nasty doctrine synonymous with varnashram. By varnashram, humans are born superior and inferior, and the superior humans alone are entitled to wear the holy string that happens to be the distinguishing sign to know the one kind from the other. Thus, by varnashram, the US President, the UN Secretary-General, the Nobelist- economists, et cetera, et cetera are all, like this author, inferior humans ( all of whom belong to the category of Shudras ).Not only is the varnashram ( and so the Hindutva doctrine ) an affront to the world humanity, it’s also a downright falsehood, as I see it. To the best of my knowledge and belief, varnashram ( and so Hindutva ) has got nothing to do with the problems of the poor. It passes my comprehension why the poor should be bothered about the silly Hindutva or varnashram unless they’re disgustingly indifferently to their own plight and well-being. Once more I should like to repeat my observation that the one per cent are far superior to the silly, lowly 99 per cent. I don’t think it becomes a sensible human to accept the silly lies such as the one that they’re fated to be born poor or the one that they’re fated to swell the army of the poor, as true. Nevertheless, I don’t think either that it becomes a sensible human to fail to see the fact that the concentration of wealth in a few hands at one pole implies the pauperdom of the multitude at the other, which means the extremely fortunate guys before whom capitalism keeps the roads to riches open are very few in number. I’d like to remind you of a Nobelist-economist’s view I stated a little earlier, namely that the born-poor in America are destined to ‘ stay poor ‘. ( The Price Of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz — review by Yvonne Roberts ) In short roads to riches are not open and can never be open in front of the 99 per cent. Therefore, it’s not at all a sensible idea to squander the precious years of your life on fruitless hankering after wealth, as I see it. Nevertheless, it’s not sensible either to lead a disgraceful existence as the silly billions do and sillily watch the fabulously wealthy few to lead a fabulous life of luxury. Under the circumstances, what choice are we left with if we’re sensible humans, and if we want to live a healthy and meaningful life ? The only answer I can find to this question is communism. The silly liberal bourgeois cannot see it. It’s only communism that can ensure an environment that wholly fits in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living, as I see it.
I also question the fairness of the Liberal policy of income redistributive taxation. In the next section I’ve tried to throw light on this issue.
* ‘ Gandhi famously said ” Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed. ” ‘
**Matrimony is aimed at producing a male child, at the least, of undisputed paternity, who is intended to inherit his father’s property. Obviously, the poor billions have nothing meaningful except hardship and deprivation , as I see it, to derive from matrimony. For more on this issue, you may refer to my essay ‘ A Treatise on MARRIAGE, MORALITY, and SEX ‘.
***For why I view matrimony as a silly luxury of the rich, I should like interested readers to have a glance at my ‘ THESES on the INSTITUTION of MATRIMONY ‘ and my discourse ‘ A Treatise on MARRIAGE, MORALITY, and SEX ‘.
[ IV ]
income redistributive taxation & progressive taxation : comments on the fairness of these liberal policies
The most popular liberal strategy of to reduce the ‘ Extreme Wealth and Inequality ‘ seems to be the income redistributive progressive taxation. The rich are forced to pay taxes at rates that go up with the amounts of their wealth. That means the wealthier have to pay taxes at higher rates than the less wealthy have to do. The efficacy of this policy seems to be beyond question. Nevertheless, I should like to point to a serious point that throws into question the fairness of this policy. As I view it, the policy of income-redistributive taxation is in essence coercion. In robbery an illegal band rob you of all your possessions while in the income-redistributive taxation and progressive taxation, you’re robbed by a legal band of people representing the State. The most important point not to be missed in this regard is in the State robbery, the State forces you to part with your what happens to be your legitimate property, the wealth you’ve accumulated through years through a hundred per cent legal ways and outright honest means. The State robbery is legal while the gang robbery is illegal. But to a sensible human’s eyes, both belong to the same basic category, namely robbery, and so both of them fail to fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living.
How can the Liberals or any other civilized humans stand for the stuff of this sort ? Perhaps their only defence is the argument that the robbery by a gang of criminals is an antisocial act which would destroy the economy and hence both the society and the state whereas the State robbery is aimed at redistributing wealth and income to the good of the multitude and so the society on the whole. The redistribution of wealth and income will add to demand for goods and services, and thus it’ll fuel the engine of economic growth, and the economic growth will ensure the social progress, hence the national progress, with which the civilisation will make advancement. The truth of this argument is obvious. But the use of such an argument to justify an evil act adds up to arguing that the end justifies means, the way I view it. The problem with it is you can justify many an evil act, say theft, robbery, smuggling, even homicide, etc, by means of such an argument. The shopkeeper of the shop you’ve stepped into would fleece you saying that the extra money you’re paying for the the books or the biscuits would go to finance the treatment of helpless kids suffering from some killer disease like cancer. Or someday on your way home, you’re likely to be approached and stopped by some stranger to be told that you should hand over your whole year’s total savings to them as they need money for a great cause, say the eradication of global poverty or providing the homeless in India or Indonesia with decent homes. Terrorists justify butchering humans that they consider not good for the humanity and so not deserving to stay alive.
An argument like this ( i.e. ‘ the end justifies means ‘ ) can’t be acceptable to a civilized human, as I see it. Nevertheless, the interest of society is paramount. So, Liberals can justify their policy of wealth- and income-redistributive taxation with this argument. But the interest of the society can be served best by abolishing the commodity economy, i.e. by making transition to communism. With the abolition of the commodity economy, the economic inequality would be done away with, with which all need for any policies like the wealth- and income-redistributive taxation or progressive taxation in order to make the engine of economic growth keep running would be done away with too. In communism, the engine of economic growth would run at top speed without any such policies as the State robbery, as I see it.
[ IV ]
the insoluble internal contradiction of capitalism
Capitalism is essentially a commodity economy. And by the very basic law* of the commodity economy, wealth accumulates in a few hands at one pole to create a multitude of paupers at the other, which leads to a massive fall in demand for goods and services, hence a massive contraction of the market follows. But for survival, capitalism presupposes the existence of an ever-expanding market. It must be an ever-expanding market because the technological advancement is a constant process that leads to higher labour productivity which means you need fewer workers in order to produce a given quantity of goods or services. If it is a stable market, there will be no growth in demand, and as the total quantity of industrial goods and services cannot exceed the demand for them, the capitalist who must take full advantage of all the advancement in technology in order to survive competition from other capitalists** must lay off the workers rendered redundant by the new advanced technology. but the lay-off would lead to further lay-off because with every lay-off the number of people with little or no purchasing power goes up, and so with every lay-off the market undergoes further contraction, the way I see it. Thus, a chain reaction would be set off— lay-off leading to the contraction of the market which again leads to more lay-off, i.e. cause producing effect, and the effect producing its very cause which again produces the effect, and so on. consequent on all this, the GDP would drop to a record low, and unemployment would rise to a record high. These phenomena would be accompanied by an unprecedented growth in all sorts of criminal activities ( theft, robbery, smuggling, drug peddling, trafficking in women, kidnapping, et cetera, et cetera ) along with unprecedented political instabilities leading to total chaos, with which capitalism is bound to die a natural death.
It’s obvious from the foregoing that a stable market fails to harmonise with the technological advancement that sets off a progressive chain reaction in which the contraction of the market and lay-off are alternately followed by one another with which capitalism is sure to meet with its demise.
The accumulation of wealth at one pole coupled with the pauperism of the multitude at the other expresses the very fundamental law of capitalism. And both the accumulation of wealth at one pole and the technological advancement lead to the contraction of the market while capitalism cannot survive without an ever-expanding market. This antithesis between the essential condition for the survival of capitalism ( namely the existence of an ever-expanding market ) and the very fundamental law of capitalism ( i.e. the uneven distribution of wealth and income governed by the laws of supply and demand ) is what we view as the internal contradiction of capitalism. The internal contradiction of capitalism is insoluble as it owes its origin to the very basic law of capitalism.
[* The uneven distribution of wealth and income governed by the laws of supply and demand. ]
[** Higher labour productivity makes it possible for you to get a given amount work done by fewer workers, and thus it lowers the cost of production. Therefore, the capitalist that employs the advanced technology evidently gains the upper hand in competition and survives. ]
[ IV ]
The conflict between the Liberal stance & the Rightist stance expresses the insoluble internal contradiction of capitalism .
We’ve seen how the insoluble internal contradiction of capitalism tends to bring about the end of capitalism. Naturally, every sensible human is moved to wonder how capitalism manages to survive. In the sections ‘ How does capitalism manage to survive ‘ and ‘ Can the States SURVIVE without WELFARISM ? ‘ of my discourse ‘ The US GOVT SHUTDOWN from the COMMUNISTIC VIEWPOINT ‘, I’ve dealt with this question in detail. In short, it’s the welfarism that prevents the death of capitalism. The policy of income- and wealth-redistributive taxation and subsidisation of so many goods and services along with the numerous welfare schemes and projects ( e.g. free education, free health care, employment dole, etc ) run by the capitalist states go to create new demand for commodities and thus help expand the contracting market. In ‘ Can the States SURVIVE without WELFARISM ?’, I’ve shown that the welfarism is NOT an act of generosity on the part of the State but a compulsion on it. I’ve also shown how the discontinuation of the subsidisation of education in the USA would lead to the disappearance of the States from the world atlas. Just running your eyes over the long list* of numerous welfare schemes and programmes now in operation in the USA would give you an idea of how weighty the part performed by welfarism in the US economy and hence in the matter of the existence and survival of the USA is.
Nevertheless, welfarism cannot resolve the insoluble internal contradiction of capitalism. It can prevent the premature termination of capitalism. It can also help, by creating new demand in the market, make the capitalist economy grow. In order to make the economy keep growing, the capitalist state must ensure that the market keeps expanding, for which the capitalist state has got not only to continue with all its welfare schemes and projects currently in operation but to devise and introduce newer and newer welfare schemes and programmes as well. The capitalist state has also got to provide funds for all such schemes and programmes. In order to find funds for so many welfare schemes and projects the States have got to resort to massive borrowing.
‘ The USA has no other option, if it wishes to survive, than to continue with welfarism. But continuation with the welfarism means growing public expenditure, hence soaring debt burden. The Republicans are right to point out that the USA’s public debts are heading for unmanageable proportions, and that the debts ought not to be allowed to grow further, but they seem to be unaware of the fact that capitalism just can’t continue to exist without welfarism ( the origin of the growing public spending ). On the other hand, the Democrats stand for welfarism and the growth of the US economy, without which the USA must pass away. ‘ ( See ‘ the REAL REASON for the US shutdown ‘ in ‘ The US GOVT SHUTDOWN from the COMMUNISTIC VIEWPOINT ‘ by this author. )
From the above, it seems to follow that the conflict between the Democratic stance ( i.e. the Liberal stance ) and the Republican stance ( i.e. the Rightist stance ) is in essence an expression of the insoluble internal contradiction of capitalism. The US Govt shutdown in 2013 this conflict between the liberal stance and the Rightist stance led to was also an expression of the same contradiction.
The Democrats believe they’re pro the poor. They believe their welfare projects are meant both to benefit the poor and to make the economy grow. They’re right.
The conservative ( i.e. the Republicans ) who are pro the wealthy and opposed to the liberal policies of income- and wealth-redistributive taxation and subsidisation seem to be there, by the law of Nature**, to exploit all limitations of and oppose the liberal ( i.e. the Democrats ). To my eyes, the conservative are the natural opposite of the liberal and seem to be existing just because the liberal are existent.
The conservative in India are all for discontinuing the subsidisation of the LPG ( the main cooking fuel in India ) for the non-BPL consumers. Like the conservative in America, the Indian conservatives too seem to be unaware of the significance of the welfarism, as I see it. In a country where around ‘ 75% ‘ of the rural folks and ‘ 50% ‘ urbanites are lacking in the capacity to pay more than Rs 3.00 for a kilo of foodgrain*** the market price of which is over Rs 30.00 a kilo, the discontinuation of the LPG subsidy is most likely to lead to a fall in LPG consumption by over 50 per cent, with which over 50 per cent of those working in the LPG-bottling plants and the LPG-distribution business should find themselves redundant, which is bound to have serious economic and political consequences.
*I feel dubious of whether the best-informed US citizen would be able to tell you correctly all the items on the long list of welfare schemes and programmes currently in operation in the USA. Truly speaking, I do not have a complete knowledge of that list till now. What follows is cited from ‘ The US GOVT SHUTDOWN from the COMMUNISTIC VIEWPOINT ‘ to give you an idea of it.
Free elementary and secondary education in the USA, ‘ taxpayer subsidies ‘ in addition to loans and grants provided by the federal and state governments to help American degree-students to meet tuition costs, Public Housing Programs ( run by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development ), National School Lunch Program ( a ‘ federally assisted meal program ‘ run by the USDA ), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ( designed to help needy Americans with cash assistance & food stamps meant to help you to buy food at subsidised price ), Child &adult Care Food Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Youth Education & Training Activities programme, Affordable Care Act ( aka Obamacare ), Medicare, Medicaid, Children Health Insurance Program, The American Taxpayer Relief Act 2012 ( meant to help poor Americans who make up 98 per cent of the Americans spend a little more for the well-being of their family members ), et cetera, et cetera.
**Nature seems to consist of opposites, such as flowering plants and non-flowering plants, cold-blooded animals and warm-blooded animals, theists and atheists, monotheists and poly theists, the heterosexual and the homosexual, etc, etc.
***According to the National Food Security Act 2013, ‘ up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population ‘ are entitled to receive rice ‘ @ 5 kg per person per month ‘ at Rs 3.00 a kilo. ( TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM )
[ IV ]
communistic stance on the income-redistributive policy
We communists view the income- and wealth-redistributive policies as stuff similar to robbery ( it’s state robbery ). Such policies that are liberal bourgeois in essence have got no place in communism. But communism still remains a dream deep in the heart of communists. Naturally, the question arises as to which side we communists ought to be on in a capitalist society.
There are three options open before communists, the way I view it.
1. Communists should not be on any side.
2. Communists should side with the conservative.
3. Communists should stand by the liberal.
As communists seem to have nothing meaningful to derive from the dispute between the liberal and the conservative, it may appear advisable for communists to maintain equal distance from both sides. Nevertheless, communists are sensible humans, and it doesn’t become a sensible human to stay indifferent, like a cave dweller of a hermit, to the goings-on in society or the universe.
Should communists side with the conservative ?
It’s true the conservative’s pro-the-wealthy policies would, by enhancing the economic inequality and contracting the market, intensify the internal contradiction of capitalism. But from the intensification of the internal contradiction of capitalism in this way, communists are unlikely to gain anything. The intensification of the internal contradiction in question would only go to add to the liberal vote and thus would lead to the displacement of the conservative from the White House by the liberal in the next election. Communists shouldn’t have any confusion or doubt in this matter. According to the Historical Materialism ( the foundation theory of the Theory of Communism ), the transition to the next higher form of social order takes place after the existing social order has reached its final stage ( i.e. fully developed stage ).
‘ No social order is destroyed ‘, wrote Marx, ‘ before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured … ‘ ( PREFACE to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy by Marx )
Historical Materialism doesn’t approve of any premature bid to replace capitalism. Transition to communism from capitalism is possible only when the capitalist economy has reached its final stage, i.e. we’ll see the capitalist economy has stopped growing absolutely and permanently. The fact that the transition to communism has not taken place to date is, in my view, due only to the fact that time is not yet ripe for this. The most advanced capitalist economy ( i.e. the US economy ) is still growing. In march this year, Paul Krugman reportedly remarked that the US economy ‘ added 3.3 million jobs in the first full years of implementation of health care reform ‘, and that ‘ unemployment has plunged to 5.5 percent from 10 percent during the darkest days of the downturn ‘. ( ‘ Events have proven their cherished beliefs wrong ‘ )
Nevertheless, as I see it, the US economy is fast approaching its last stage of development. Before capitalism has reached the final stage of its development, the intensification of its internal contradiction won’t lead to the transition to communism. Therefore, I can’t see any good reason why communists should side with the pro-the-wealthy people.
Should communists then side with the liberal ?
Not only are the liberal policies pro the multitude, they’re also conducive to to the growth of the economy. With the economic growth follows the social development and progress. And the more capitalism grows, the nearer it draws to its end, as I see it. Therefore, I can’t see any good reason why communists shouldn’t stand by the liberal.
[ V ]
the unemployment question
Is full employment in capitalism an achievable goal ?
Some liberal economists, the Nobelist-economist Joseph Eugene Stiglitz included reportedly, believe full employment is achievable in capitalism. We haven’t as yet heard of any capitalist economy that proves that such a goal is achievable. Viewed from the communistic perspective, seeking to realise zero unemployment in capitalism is just trying to do the impossible. Let me elaborate on this point.
The capitalist mode of production is the production of commodities. Goods and services of all sorts produced in the capitalist mode of production belong to the category of commodities. The value of a commodity contains what we communists call ‘ surplus-value ‘. We view this ‘ surplus-value ‘ as ‘ a mere congealation of surplus labour-time ‘ or as ‘ materialised surplus-labour. ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I ( chapter IX, section I ) by Marx ) the ‘ surplus labour-time ‘ is defined as ‘ the portion of the working day ‘ during which a worker works to create the ‘ surplus-value ‘ and the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ as the total labour expended during the ‘ surplus labour-time ‘. The ‘ surplus-value ‘ is the only source of profit the capitalist ( owner of capital ) pockets. The capitalist realises it as profit through the sale of his commodities. The capitalist’s only aim is the ‘ restless never-ending process of profit-making ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I ( part II, chapter IV ) by Marx )
‘ The directing motive, the end and aim of capitalist production, is to extract the greatest possible amount of surplus-value, … ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I ( chapter XIII ) by Marx ; Progress Publishers, Moscow; p 313 )
The ‘ surplus-value ‘, the only source of the capitalist’s profit, is ‘ materialised surplus-labour ‘. The more the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ is, the more the ‘ surplus-value ‘ grows, and hence the bigger grows the amount of profit. As the sole ‘ end and aim ‘ of the capitalist’s all productive activities, hence of the capitalist mode of production, is obtaining the ‘ greatest possible amount ‘ of profit, the capitalist is on a constant hunt for means and methods meant to augment his profit to the greatest degree. But augment it he cannot without augmenting the ‘ surplus-value ‘, hence the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ materialised in his commodities. The capitalist can achieve his goal in three ways.
1. By lowering wages.
2. By the prolongation of the working day.
3. By heightening the productivity of labour.
The capitalist cannot lower wages at will because not only there is the minimum wages law in effect in every civilised state today but, in addition, wages are determined, prices of commodities are, by laws of supply and demand. Wages won’t fall if there’s no oversupply of labour in the labour market. The prolongation of the working day is also independent of the capitalist’s whim and will. The only option that seems to lie open to the capitalist is heightening the labour productivity by employing the new advanced technology. Higher labour productivity enables you to get a given amount of work done by less labour, i.e. fewer workers. Getting a given amount of work done by fewer workers means good savings on wages, hence lower cost of production, providing wages and other factors remain the same. And lower cost of production means higher amount of profit, providing commodities are sold at the same selling price. Thus, less labour for the production of a given quantity of commodities leads to an increase in the capitalist’s profit. The capitalist employs the advanced technology just because it’d enable him, through a good saving on the amount of labour necessary for the production of a certain quantity of commodities, to reap more profit, the increase in the total amount of profit being significant. The most important point not to be missed in this regard is never ever would the capitalist who has employed the new technology shorten the length of the working day in order to lessen the burden of work on his workers as with such an act, i.e. a proportionate reduction in the length of the working day, the increase in his profit would be nil, and as it’s solely the profit motive that’s behind the capitalist’s all interest in the production business. A simple illustration would help you comprehend it well.
Let’s suppose the technological advancement leads to a saving of 2 hours on a given amount of work the performance of which requires 8 hours’ labour in the old technology. Let OT stands for the old technology and NT for the new technology. Thus, 8 hours OT = 6 hours NT, or 4 hours OT = 3 hours NT. Multiplying each side by the factor 8 ( 8 hours being the normal length of the working day ), we have 32 hours OT = 24 hours NT. Thus, 8 hours being the length of the normal working day, we derive from this equation that the amount of work performed by 4 OT workers is an exact equivalent of the amount of work done by 3 NT workers. ( OT workers are those that work by the old technology and NT workers their counterparts that make use of the new technology. ) From this it follows that the application of the new technology enables the capitalist to get a given amount of work done by 25 per cent ( i.e. 1 in 4 ) fewer workers.Evidently the application of the new technology in a certain industry would render 25 per cent workers in that industry redundant, providing the total industrial output remains unchanged. This fact explains what makes the new technology so lucrative, and why it interests the capitalist so much. Getting a piece of work done by 25 per cent fewer workers leads to huge savings on the cost of production, with which not only does the capitalist find his total profit gone up a lot, he also gains big advantage over his rivals in competition in the market.
Let’s now see what happens if the capitalist proportionately shorten the the length of the working day and thus lessen the burden of workload on his workers.
Let’s suppose the capitalist reduces the 8-hour-long working day by 2 hours. Thus, from the equation 32 hours OT = 24 hours NT, we get 4 OT workers’ work = 4 NT workers’ work ( the length of the old working day = 8 hours whereas the length of the new working day = 6 hours ). It seems more than obvious that if the working day is reduced proportionately, the capitalist’s gain from the new technology is reduced to nil. Therefore, there appears to be no reason why the capitalist that personifies capital and is always driven by the profit motive alone should make a move to reduce the length of the working day or be bothered about how much workload a worker of his factory has got to bear on their shoulder.
The ‘ directing motive ‘ of the capitalist mode of production being the production and appropriation of ‘ the greatest possible amount of surplus value ‘, and the ‘ surplus-value ‘ being the ‘ materialised surplus-labour ‘, it’s obvious that the more the ‘ surplus-labour ‘, the more grows the ‘ surplus-value ‘. But the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ is the unpaid labour, i.e. the amount of labour of the labourer which goes to create the ‘ surplus-value ‘, the whole of which the capitalist appropriates as profit. The total labour the labourer expends throughout a full working day consists of two parts : paid labour and unpaid labour. The former is the amount of labour the labourer is paid for by the capitalist, which goes to create an amount of value which is an exact equivalent of the wages the labourer receives from the capitalist. The labourer, according to the contract of his employment, must give the unpaid labour to the capitalist gratis. Viewed from the communistic viewpoint, the unpaid labour, i.e. the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ adds up to the overwork on the part of the worker. But overwork and idleness are inseparable opposites. Just as the concentration of wealth at one pole is, as total wealth created by a society is limited always, associated with the pauperdom of the multitude at the opposite pole, similarly, the overwork of the employed ( i.e. the section of the workforce who have got jobs ) is accompanied by the idleness ( i.e. joblessness, both full and partial ) of the army of the unemployed. It’s just like a single-lane way that cannot allow two vehicles to run side by side or like a single bed with one person lying on it which cannot allow another person to recline and relax on it. Because the means of production ( instruments of labour, machinery, raw materials, etc ) are limited, no society can afford all its members unlimited hours of employment, nor can it allow itself the luxury of producing an unlimited quantity of commodities. A machine can be operated by three in three shifts, each of 8 hours’ duration, in a full day. But if one of them works overtime, at least one of the other two operators would be deprived of full employment ( i.e. employment of 8 hours ), as I see it. I think it’s now clear as day that overwork by some people implies the idleness ( both full and partial, and both forced and wilful ) of some others.
Because the capitalist mode of production is production for profit, and because profit is the ‘ surplus-value ‘ that is the product of the ‘ surplus-labour ‘, and because the more the ‘ surplus-labour ‘, the more the ‘ surplus-value ‘ ( i.e. profit ), and because the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ is unpaid labour, and unpaid labour is overwork, and because overwork by some implies no work or not-enough work of the rest, it follows that the unemployment problem is rooted in capitalism. So long as there’s the capitalist mode of production, there’ll be overwork, and so there’ll exist an army of the unemployed alongside a legion of overworking fools.
In a developing economy, a section of those rendered redundant in some industry because of growth in productivity may find jobs in some other expanding or completely new sector. Full employment through massive State investment in roads, railway, education, health care, et cetera seems to be a mere theoretical possibility. In practice, the magnitude of the State investment is limited by the limit the national debt cannot exceed, and so the full employment, if achieved by any capitalist, seems to be just the exception that proves the rule.
‘ Its [ i.e. of ‘ the relative over-population ‘ ] propagation is inseparable from, ‘ wrote Marx, ‘ and hastened by, the development of the productivity of labour as expressed by a fall in the rate of profit. ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume III ( see chapter XIV ) by Marx )
‘ The relative over-population, ‘ further wrote Marx, ‘ becomes so much more apparent in a country, the more the capitalist mode of production is developed in it. ‘ ( op. cit. )
Marx used expressions like ‘ the relative over-population ‘, ‘ a relative surplus of labouring people ‘, ( CAPITAL Volume III; chapter XIII ), ‘ a relative surplus population of wage workers ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I; chapter XXXII ), etc for the army of people thrown out of work by the capitalist mode of production. In CAPITAL Volume I occurs the following observation by Marx :
‘ The great beauty of capitalist production consists in this– that it not only constantly reproduces the wage-worker as wage-worker, but produces always, in proportion to the accumulation of capital, a relative surplus-population of wage-workers. ‘ ( CAPITAL Volume I; chapter XXXII; Progress Publishers, Moscow; p 720 )
Obviously, Marx viewed the capitalist mode of production as a mode of exploiting ‘ the development of the productivity of labour ‘ which not only leads to ‘ a fall in the rate of profit ‘ but creates and propagates, ‘ in proportion to the accumulation of capital, a relative surplus population of wage-workers, ‘ as well. Marx treated this subject meticulously from a most broad perspective. For details of his treatment of the issue, readers are to consult CAPITAL by Marx. My brief work beside Marx’s detailed and meticulous analysis should appear an oversimplification. Nevertheless, even if it’s taken as so, it doesn’t follow that my work or thesis is incorrect. My analysis is evidently premised on the concepts of value, surplus-value, and surplus-labour which I’ve taken from Marx’s work. Readers who are more conversant with the subject than I am are expected to point to the fallacy of my argumentation.
[ V ]
the communist way to deal with the problem of unemployment
The capitalist mode of production is rightly defined as the production for profit, and this profit is metamorphosed surplus-value which is wholly the product of the surplus-labour or unpaid labour. And the more the unpaid labour, the more grows the surplus-value, hence the profit too. But unpaid labour is overwork. Hence, it follows that the more a worker overworks, the more grows the capitalist’s profit. As the ‘ directing motive ‘ behind the capitalist’s all productive activities is the production and appropriation of ‘ the greatest possible amount ‘ of profit, the capitalist must overwork his workers. But overwork and idleness are inseparable opposites. Therefore, capitalism is unthinkable without an army of the unemployed alongside the overworking wage slaves. It seems quite logical to infer from the above that the unemployment problem has its origin in the profit and the profit alone. Obviously, the elimination of the unemployment problem calls for the elimination of the production for profit. But we cannot eliminate it unless we make a transition to communism. Only communism can supersede capitalism. The communist mode of production is the production for consumption. By substituting capitalism with communism, we can do away with the production for profit and thus get rid of the problem in question for good and all, as I see it.
In the illustration given in the foregoing subsection, we’ve seen that if there was a growth of two hours in the productivity of labour because of the technological advancement, and if the length of the working day was shortened by two hours too, as there’d be no gain in the capitalist’s profit from the switch-over to the higher-productivity new technology, so there’d be no change in the number of workers either but the per-capita workload per day would diminish by by two hours. The communist mode of production has no room for the production or appropriation of profit. Producers are consumers. They produce for their own consumption and for those dependent on them, i.e. the young, the old, the sick, and the disabled. There’re no profit takers, hence no exploiters, nor any exploited ones. The total social workload is divided evenly amongst all able-bodied adult members of the society. No body overworks; hence no one works less or stays idle. Communism makes full use of all advancement in the production technology. With every gain in the productivity, the social working day gets shortened proportionately so that no one has to overwork as none else is thrown out of work. Heavy work and light work are distributed in accordance with the formula : x hours’ heavy work = y hours’ light work. If x = 2 and y = 3, and if the length of social working day for those engaged in light work is 6 hours, then 2 hours’ heavy work = 3 hours’ light work, which gives 4 hours’ heavy work = 6 hours’ light work. hence, a heavy-work worker has to work four hours a day while a light-work worker must work six hours a day.
Thus, communism’s answer to the problem of unemployment is making due adjustment to the length of the social working day to make it correspond to the level of social productivity.
As nobody works more and nobody works less or stays idle, every worker has got equal share in the social wealth.
‘ The minimum length of the working-day is fixed by this necessary but contractile portion of it, ‘ observed Marx. ( CAPITAL Volume I; chapter XVII, IV.(2.); Progress Publishers, Moscow; p 496 )
By ‘ this necessary but contractile portion ‘, Marx meant the ‘ necessary labour-time ‘, i.e. that part of the working-day during which the worker creates an amount of value equivalent to the wages he’s paid by the capitalist for the whole working-day’s work, the remaining part of the working-day being the ‘ surplus labour-time ‘, put the way Marx did. Obviously, this working-day corresponds to the capitalist mode of production.
‘ If the whole working-day were to shrink to the length of this portion, ‘ further said Marx, ‘ surplus-labour would vanish, a consummation utterly impossible under the regime of capital. ‘ ( op. cit. )
By the expression ‘ a consummation ‘, Marx meant the fact of making the ‘ surplus-labour ‘ reduced to zero by making the working-day ‘ shrink to the length of ‘ the ‘ necessary labour-time ‘, as I see it. Marx viewed it as a complete impossibility as long as it is the capitalist mode of production.
‘ Only by suppressing the capitalist form of production ‘, continued Marx, ‘ could the length of the working-day be reduced to the necessary labour-time. ‘ ( op. cit. )
So we see Marx believed the reduction of the length of the working-day to the ‘ necessary labour-time ‘ is possible only after the capitalist mode of production has been done away with.
Marx didn’t miss the point that the length of the ‘ necessary labour-time ‘ corresponding to the communist mode of production ‘ would extend its limits ‘ ( op. cit. ) in order to correspond to a producer-cum-consumer member’s communistic ‘ standard of life ‘ which is not only an altogether different standard ‘ (op. cit. ) from a worker’s average standard of living ‘ under the regime of capital ‘ ( op. cit. ) but also far better than it. It has also to include the labour-time necessary for ‘ forming a [ social ] fund for reserve and accumulation. ‘ ( op. cit. ) This social ‘ fund ‘ is required to meet your needs after a disaster has struck you or someone else or after you’ve met with an accident. It’s also needed for building roads, railways, schools, colleges. hospitals, et cetera, et cetera and thus adding to social property.
‘ The more the productiveness of labour increases, ‘ continued Marx, ‘ the more can the working-day be shortened; … ‘ ( op. cit. )
The ‘ working-day ‘ in this quote is the social working-day corresponding to the communist mode of production, which consists of only the socially necessary labour-time, and which must get shorter and shorter as the ‘ productiveness of labour ‘ goes up higher and higher.
Marx also wrote : ‘ The intensity and productiveness of labour being given, the time which society is bound to devote to material production is shorter, and as a consequence, the time at its disposal for the free development, intellectual and social, of the individual is greater, in proportion as the work is more and more evenly divided among all the able-bodied members of society, … In capitalist society spare time is acquired for one class by converting the whole life-time of the masses into labour-time. ‘ ( op. cit. )
The ‘ one class ‘ referred to here by Marx is the capitalist exploiting class that would disappear altogether with the elimination of the capitalist mode of production and the transition to the communist mode of production, and with the disappearance of the exploiting class, the exploited would also disappear just as the disappearance of the rich effects the non-existence of the non-rich too. In the communist society, the working-day, as it’ll consist of the socially necessary labour-time alone, would be much shorter than its capitalist equivalent, and so its members would have to work a lot fewer hours than the wage slaves have to do, as a result of which every member of the communist society would have at their disposal far longer spare time for their ‘ free development, [ both ] intellectual and social ‘ . I think it’s now clear as day to my readers wherein lies the origin of the unemployment problem and how easy it is for communists to eliminate it. Nevertheless, in order to eliminate it, you have to make a transition to the communist mode of production.
[ VI ]
incentive for brilliant minds : Communism v Capitalism*
[ *This section is added to this discourse on 29 June 2015. ]
Annette Cleary, a well-educated, politically conscious, bright American lady, and a liberal by her political outlook, obliged me by responding to my request to comment on this discourse with a message that began with this sentence : ‘ I agree that economically, the 1% is out of control. ‘ And the next sentence in her message contained this clause : ‘ but never would I believe for one second that Communism is the answer. ‘ In a following message, she elaborated her view of Communism and gave reasons why she disbelieves the view that ‘ Communism is the answer. ‘ She observed :
‘ Communism in theory, is a wonderful idea but once those principals are put into place, the supposed equality becomes stagnant. Brilliant minds have no incentive to thrive. The labourer and the scientist are hard to distinguish. The quality of their work becomes mechanical. The very remnants of Communism are hanging on by a thread worldwide. Cuba, not a true Communist country any more and North Korea are the only holdouts. What makes you think another country could do any better? All attempts at this form of government have been a disaster. Although I realise that perfection is not possible, let me live where I have the freedom to express my opinion, marry whomever I choose, travel where I want, and be the best person I can be. ‘
She believes the economic equality, the outcome of the abolition of the commodity economy, would disincentivise ‘ brilliant minds ‘, who then won’t work wholeheartedly, consequent on which the communist society would be deprived of their best performance and brilliant achievements they’d have achieved if they worked hard and wholeheartedly, which fact is certain to stunt economic growth and development. She has surely pointed to a most serious issue. If this view of hers was right, then she would also be right to believe ‘ Communism in theory is a wonderful idea ‘, but it’s plain impractical, a silly Utopia. Is she right to view Communism thus ?
Annette is an American. She must have been born and bred in a capitalist environment and atmosphere, an environment that has taught her to distinguish between an executive officer and a clerk or between a foreman and a worker under him by their wage differentials, or to distinguish a business tycoon from a shopkeeper by their wealth gap. Capitalism has also taught her to make a distinction between a Nobel Prize and a Pulitzer Prize, hence between a Nobelist and a Pulitzer awardee, with the difference in the prize-money amounts. She does not know what money is or what it is meant for. She does not know that money itself is a commodity, the universal equivalent of all commodities, that it is meant to give a measure of the value of a commodity, and that the price of a commodity is its value measured in money. She does not seem to know either that the price of a commodity is determined not by its quality but by the laws of supply and demand. In the sections the origin of economic inequality and Economic inequality reflects the basic law of the commodity economy of this discourse, I have thrown light on what actually determines the commodity prices and what is behind the economic inequality or the ridiculous reality of as few as 80 people known as the super-rich possessing as much wealth as half the total global population together do.
Capitalism has taught you to distinguish a doctor from a nurse or a manager from a doorman by the difference in their pay packets. You’ve never questioned it. You’ve so much got used to such capitalistic realities that you’ve never wanted to know the criterion by which pay differentials have been determined. The truth is you cannot find such a criterion as it’s simply nonexistent. The truth is the concentration of wealth in a few hands at one pole accompanied by the pauperdom of billions at the other just reflects the fundamental law of the commodity economy. The truth is the fact behind the fact that not you nor a Nobelist, a scientist, a human rights activist, an environmentalist, a urologist, a cardiologist nor a physician, an electrician. a musician nor a beautician belongs to the super-rich 80 is not the fact that they’re poor-quality humans than the super-rich, nor the fact that their services ( commodities of multifarious kinds ) are not of good quality. The truth is the economic inequality does NOT have its origin in the qualitative distinctions between humans or sorts of work they do. Brilliant minds, like the benighted silly billions, are ignorant of this truth, and for this reason, they demand the incentive of higher pay as the price of their higher-quality services. And most intriguingly, the brilliant minds, like the silly billions, never care to know what pay-differential figure is right and by what criterion it has been fixed. Communism does not say a Nobel laureate and an illiterate or someone barely literate are equal in terms of quality. Communism just flatly refuses to accept that the economic inequality is justified on the grounds of the existence of distinct qualitative distinctions between humans or the sorts of work they perform. The big point both the brilliant minds and the silly billions miss is taking the qualitative distinctions as the basis for the justification of the economic inequality is tantamount to mistaking the quality of a commodity as the determinant of its price. That it ( i.e. taking the quality of a commodity as the determinant of its price ) is a mistake should become evident if you ever tried to find a criterion for calculating by how much a Nobelist should be worth more than a damn fool should or a criterion for fixing the cost of a pair of shoes you consider worthy of yourself or someone who does menial jobs. Nevertheless, after enlightenment, there’s no reason they shouldn’t awaken to their mistake and feel ashamed of their silly attitude that owes its origin to the fact that they were born and bred in a capitalist environment. Therefore, after their enlightenment, the brilliant minds should not need any stuff like capitalistic pay differentials as an incentive to get themselves motivated to work and do their best, to my way of thinking.
In my reply message, I wrote that it’s Capitalism that need carry cash incentive ( such as higher pay, etc ) to motivate brilliant, talented people to work. It owes its origin primarily to the popular misapprehension that the economic inequality is justified because there exist distinct qualitative distinctions between humans. The silly love to believe the wealthier are superior humans. The supersession of Capitalism by Communism will be accomplished by the enlightened billions that must include the brilliant brains who are free of the misconception about what is truly behind the capitalistic inequality. I tried to bring it to her notice that man is a social being. Because we are social beings, our likes and dislikes, our outlook, our values, etc are wholly or mostly determined by the social environment we belong to.
The inequality in a capitalist society is simply staggering. There are the rich, the super-rich, the middle class, the poor, those sunk in abject poverty, et cetera, et cetera. There are CEOs, executive officers, managers, deputy managers, clerks, foremen, workers, teachers, head teachers, drivers, helpers, conductors, et cetera, et cetera, and each position is distinguished from the one below it by a distinct wage differential. Naturally, you would seek and need some incentive in the form of higher pay, in order to motivate yourself to work, than the pay received by those less skilled or talented than you are if you were brought up in a capitalist society. But if you were raised in a communist society, you would grow up without any idea of economic inequality or any such stuff as wage differentials. This also holds true for both a brilliant brain, such as a scientist, and someone not so brilliant both of whom have been raised in a communist society. Obviously, brilliant brains born and bred in communist environment and atmosphere are unlikely to need any silly capitalistic incentive to have motivation to work wholeheartedly, as I see it.
NB : Annette has also made some more observations that are no less serious than the one discussed above. For example, she has remarked, ‘ The very remnants of Communism are hanging on by a thread worldwide. ‘ As I view it, this view of hers is also based on ignorance and misconception. My essay ‘ on the Definition of Communism ‘ contains 12 definitions designed to give you a clear concept of what Communism means and thus help you differentiate between the right view and the wrong one.
The fact of the matter is Communism is still an unrealised dream. Therefore, the ‘ very remnants of Communism ‘ are nothing but myth. I should like to throw light on this point in a separate discourse. At present I should like to point to just a few important points. The Former USSR was NOT, NOR is the communist China of today, a communist social order. According to the historical materialism, the foundation theory of the theory of Communism, the transition to Communism is possible only after Capitalism has attained the zenith of its development. Historical materialism does not approve of any activities aimed at organising a communist revolution in a backward country like Russia during Lenin’s times ( which was then so backward that it was considered one of the most backward countries of the world ) and China during Mao’s times. Therefore, viewed from the historical-materialistic viewpoint, the activities of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and their followers were very premature and seem to be doomed to fail, and they failed. After Lenin’s failed move to nationalise all farmlands in Russia in 1921 ( most probably ) had led to the peasants’ revolt when Lenin was shot, which fact awakened him to the realisation of his mistake, Lenin introduced NEP ( in full New Economic Policy ) which was, in his own words, ‘ State capitalism ‘. After Lenin’s death, Stalin and his followers implemented Lenin’s NEP. The economic basis of the former USSR was this NEP. To my eyes, the former USSR was a kind of mixed-economy welfare Capitalism sans democracy and sans the freedom of expression. And, as I see it, the Chinese republic of today is a variant of the former USSR. Both Cuba and North Korea seem to belong to the same category, basically.
The Soviet mode of production was essentially capitalistic. Goods and services produced in the former USSR were all commodities which were bought and sold with roubles, the monetary units of the USSR ( the rouble survived the collapse of the USSR and is now the monetary unit of Russia ). Workers in the USSR, like their American opposite numbers, were wage workers, and as we witness in every capitalist State, there were wage differentials in the USSR too. Wage differentials as well as the commodity economy imply uneven distribution of wealth and income, which suggests that there were classes in the former USSR. The rich or the exploiting class was composed of high officials, dignitaries, and others in the powers that be. Evidently, ‘ the supposed equality ‘ was nonexistent in the former USSR. For this reason, the view that ‘ the supposed equality ‘ led to economic stagnation or a situation in which brilliant minds found ‘ no incentive to thrive ‘ is outright mistaken. Annette also remarked, ‘ … let me live where I have the freedom to express my opinion, marry whomever I choose, travel where I want, and be the best person I can be. ‘
It is obvious that Annette has referred to the freedom of expression and the individual freedom. In the next section, I’ve thrown light on the communist stance on these issues. As regards marriages, I must state unequivocally that Communism must abolish this silly, senseless, useless, exclusively propertied-class, and basically anti-feminine institution of matrimony. In my latest discourse ‘ on the Definition of Communism ‘ and in the last section of ‘ A Treatise of MARRIAGE, MORALITY, and SEX ‘, I’ve thrown light on this issue.
[ VI ]
the freedom of expression & individual freedom under Communism*
( *This section is added on 05 July 2015. )
I am all for freedom, and I believe it becomes a civilised human to stand for, exercise, and enjoy their freedom— the freedom of speech and pen, freedom to go where you please, freedom to choose your friends or close associates, freedom to choose your bedfellows and bed mates, and so on. Nevertheless, never ever am I on your side when in the name of exercising your freedom, you hurt someone’s just interests, abuse someone or violate a law you oughtn’t to disrespect.
As a humble seeker after the truth, I believe the significance of the freedom of expression is great. I believe it is the conflict between views and counter-views which leads us to the truth. We very often get blind to our own faults and limitations. But we are smart enough to detect other people’s faults. This proves how significant the freedom of speech and pen is for you if you truly wish to get at the truth, learn the true situation, and differentiate the truth from the untruth.
As far as the communist attitude towards the freedom of expression and individual freedom is concerned, I should like to say I do not know what it is in the theory of Communism which clashes with the freedom in question. Most people that view Communism as an oppressive system equate Communism with the former Soviet system or the Chinese republic misnamed as communist. Many of them even do not make a distinction between the ‘ dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ and Communism. They all are mistaken, to my way of thinking. The ‘ dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ is NOT, as NEITHER Leninism NOR Maoism is, Communism. The ‘ dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ refers to only the period of transition from Capitalism to Communism.
‘ Between capitalist and communist society ‘, says Marx, ‘ lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. ‘ ( CRITIQUE OF THE GOTHA PROGRAMME , KARL MARX and FREDERICK ENGELS , SELECTED WORKS in three volumes , Volume Three ; PROGRESS PUBLISHERS MOSCOW ; p 26 )
The ‘ revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ is nothing but the form of the state the historical mission of which is to effectuate the ‘ revolutionary transformation ‘ of Capitalism into Communism. Obviously, this State is the proletarian State, and so it is the State of the 99 per cent, not of the 1 per cent nor of the band of 80. The historical mission of the proletarian State is to expropriate those 80 and the 1 per cent, i.e. the capitalist class, the owner of the ‘ capitalist private property ‘, and to transform the ‘ capitalist private property ‘ which is the product of the exploitation of wage labour into ‘ socialised property ‘[ 1 ] immediately after the expropriation of the capitalists.
The ‘ revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ is, by the historical materialism, meant for the ‘ revolutionary transformation ‘ of fully developed Capitalism into Communism and should not be protracted as fully developed Capitalism means the ‘ capitalist private property ‘ is ‘ already practically resting on socialised production ‘[ 2 ], and so its transformation into ‘ socialised property ‘ is much easier, as I see it. However, in less developed capitalist societies, it has to allow Capitalism to attain the level of its full development, and so the period of the ‘ revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ is to be much prolonged. Leninism and Maoism are concerned with countries with undeveloped Capitalism. Nevertheless, the collapse of the USSR, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Yogoslavia, etc, and examples of China, North Korea, etc throws into question the effectuality of the dictatorship of the proletariat in backward countries. As I see it, for backward countries, the welfare Capitalism with democratic rights and the freedom of expression, such as that in the USA or in India, is far better than the dictatorship of the proletariat of the Soviet or the Chinese variety. Why I think so and details about it are outside the purview of this discourse. I should just like to refer to a few points in this regard before I finish.
Marx and Engels did not clarify the issues of your democratic rights, your freedom of expression, and individual rights and freedom during the ‘ revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat ‘. Nevertheless, the expression ‘ dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ suggests the proletarian State should have no problem with the proletarians ( i.e. the 99 per cent ) enjoying their full freedom and rights. The proletarian dictatorship cannot by any manner of means be taken to mean the dictatorship of an individual or a band or a political party. As far as I can remember, both Lenin and Stalin were of the view that the ‘ dictatorship of the proletariat ‘ Marx and Engels spoke about was not the dictatorship of the communist party. Another big point I should like you all to pay due attention to is Marx and Engels did not rule out the possibility of what they termed the ‘ peaceful and legal revolution ‘  aimed at the ‘ revolutionary transformation ‘ of Capitalism into Communism.
Both Capitalism and Communism recognise and respect your sexual freedom ( as long as the sex act is consensual and as long as both of you and your sexual partner are consenting adults ) and your freedom to travel where you please ( as long as you do not intrude on someone’s private life or private property or some place not open to public for reasons of, say, national security ).But in the capitalist regime, because of the ridiculous reality of 1 per cent possessing as much wealth as the remaining 99 per cent do, you cannot, if you do not belong to the 1 per cent, enjoy your freedom to your heart’s content because of your financial constraints. Capitalism requires you to pay for almost everything ( except only things like free air or not-bottled rain water ) but it does not open its roads to riches to the born poor ( i.e. the 99 per cent ). Nevertheless, Capitalism has got ample allurement of easy money through illicit ways and practices. If you gave way to such temptations, you would run the risk of getting caught and convicted and spending the precious years of your life in prison like a caged orangutan in the zoo. But communism is free of such silly temptations. Communism, by abolishing private property and the commodity economy, guarantees you equal share in the social wealth, and thus it rids you of your all financial incapacity that militates against the enjoyment of your freedom.
NB : Communism is free of all temptations of easy money through illicit means, which means neither you nor a beloved one of yours is likely to give way to such temptations and stand accused of unethical and unlawful practices and get convicted and land in a jail under Communism. Communism will rid you of your all financial incapacity that militates against the enjoyment of your freedom and lawful rights. And it’s Communism, and Communism alone, that will reduce the length of the social working day to its minimum limit, i.e. the extent of the ‘ necessary labour time ‘ and thus rid you of overwork ( i.e. ‘ surplus-labour ‘ or unpaid labour ) which you must perform under Capitalism because it happens to be the only source of the profit, and because it happens to be the sole motive behind the capitalist’s all productive activities to appropriate not only profit but the greatest possible amount of profit as well. ( See the section the unemployment question of this discourse. ) Communism will also reduce the social working day proportionately with every gain in the social productivity, and thus it’ll make available to you plenty of spare time you’re free to make use of meaningfully and improve your personality while Capitalism makes you overwork, as beasts of burden are made to do, for the pleasure and luxury of the one per cent and the band of 80 super-rich guys. Still, does it become a sensible human to believe, as Annette does, that Capitalism has plenty of opportunities for their personality development, and that they can, by availing themselves of all these opportunities, be ‘ the best person ‘ they can be ?
 KARL MARX CAPITAL Volume I ; PROGRESS PUBLISHERS MOSCOW ; pp 714-715
 ibid.; p 715
 PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION , KARL MARX CAPITAL Volume I ; PROGRESS PUBLISHERS MOSCOW ; P 17
[ VI ]
a capitalist‘s view of Capitalism*
( *added on 09 July 2015 )
I just ran across it on a g+ page. It appeared most intriguing, and I was so impressed by it I shared it publicly. It is a post by Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, and a hundred per cent capitalist who once ranked the wealthiest of the world. It shows Bill beside an observation made by him which reads : ‘ Capitalism means male baldness research gets more funding than malaria. ‘
The import of it is so shocking, as I see it, and striking that no sensible humans can turn a blind eye to it and stay unperturbed. Bill must be a sensible human who was justifiably shocked and struck by the fact that capitalists spend more funds on such things as ‘ baldness research ‘ than on researches aimed at finding a cure for a killer disease. Bill does not seem to be aware of the factor behind such queer things. But we communists know what interests capitalists in the capitalist mode of production is the fact that the ‘ directing motive, end and aim of capitalist [ mode of ] production is to extract the greatest possible amount of surplus-value ‘ from workers . The ‘ surplus-value ‘ is the other name of profit. Obviously, the more profitable the product is, the more it interests the capitalists. Capitalists know a cure for the ‘ male baldness ‘ happens to be a far higher-demand commodity, hence far more lucrative, than the stuff like the cure for a malignant malady. Another example similar in import is last year Nestle’s total spending on testing the quality of its food products did not exceed 5 per cent of its total expenditure on the promotional ads and publicity of its products.
Another example every sensible human should find most intriguing, and revealing too, is a post by Bernie Sanders, the most-likely Democrat Presidential candidate in the 2016 elections. It is meant to call your attention to the silly fact that American citizens pay only 2 per cent interest on their car loans while they’ve got to pay interest at the rate of 5, 6, and 7 per cent on study loans. Nevertheless, keith Newton, an American citizen, claims that the 2 % is merely an average figure, and that many car loans are available at ‘ below 2% ‘ . And another American, Denham Crafton, remarks : ‘ Most of my student loans are 11-14%. ‘ 
Bernie, keith, and Denham are obviously displeased with such ridiculous things, as they appear to a Communist. They’d like to raise interest rates on car loans to 5, 6 or 7 per cent or higher and bring down the interest rates on student loans to or below 2 per cent. They’d be most pleased if they could make the student loans completely interest-free. But easier said than done. Doing something is one thing, and saying that you’d like to do something is a quite different thing. If the former happens to be an uphill task, the latter is as easy as drinking a glass of cold drink is, as I see it.
Both Bernie and his followers seem to have made the same silly mistake : they’ve outright missed the big point that in the capitalist economy ( essentially a commodity economy ), rates of interest on all sorts of loans are determined by market forces ( i.e. the invincible laws of supply and demand ), not by Bernie and co.’s whim or wish. The low interest rates on car loans point to the low demand for car loans. If demand for car loans rises, and if the availability of car loans does not rise proportionately, interest rates on car loans will go up following laws of supply and demand. If rates of interest on car loans are raised arbitrarily, ignoring all economic logic, as Bernie and co. would like to do, and if the availability of car loans remains the same or increases, the demand for car loans is bound to fall.The more they’ll raise the rates of interest, the more the demand for car loans will go down. But a fall in the demand for car loans means a fall in the demand for, hence a fall in the sales of, cars. And a fall in the sales of cars means a fall in car prices. If the new car price is not remunerative, or if the fall in car prices is not offset by a proportionate decrease in the cost of production of cars due to a technological breakthrough, as a result of which the new car price becomes lucrative, car manufacturers will be compelled to cut down on the production of cars, which will inevitably lead to layoffs in the car industry as well as its ancillary industries. But layoffs mean a growth in joblessness. A fall in the production of cars implies a fall in the federal revenue, as well. Thus, it is now clear as day to all sensible humans that the forced increase in the interest rates in question will entail disastrous consequences for the entire economy.
Like car-loan interest rates, the study-loan interest rates are also determined by the same laws of supply and demand. The higher rates of interest on study loans show that the demand for study loans is also higher, and that the available study loans aren’t as abundant, with respect to the demand for these loans, as available car loans with respect to the demand for car loans are.
Therefore, under the circumstances, if the rates of interest on study loans are lowered to or less than 2 per cent, I’m afraid it’d just lead to the disappearance of study loans from the market. Nevertheless, you’ll have no difficulty finding an abundance of study loans on the black market. Loan sharks will be there ready and waiting to oblige you with as much study loan as you please to have, only you’ll have to agree to over 14 per cent rate of interest on it.
Thus, we can see as the forced increase in the interest rates on car loans is, the forced diminution of the rates of interest on study loans is a recipe for disaster.
 KARL MARX CAPITAL Volume I ; PROGRESS PUBLISHERS MOSCOW ; p 313
 See keith Newton’s remark in the thread following Bernie’s post shared by Prakash RP ( on Prakash RP’s posts page ).
 See Denham Crafton’s comment in the thread following Bernie’s post in question ( on Bernie’s posts page ).
Economic inequality is an expression of the very fundamental law of a commodity economy, and capitalism is essentially a commodity economy. Therefore, any attempt meant to even out the wealth and income inequality in a capitalist economy adds up to trying to do the impossible, as I see it. The concentration of wealth at one pole implies pauperism at the other. The silly capitalistic reality, namely the fact that the super-rich few numbering 85 or 80 possess as much wealth as half the total global population together do, or the fact that we’re fast approaching the day when 1.0 per cent of the global population would own more wealth than the remaining 99 per cent together would do also reflects the same law.
Commodity prices are not determined by the quality of commodities but by lifeless, callous market forces, i.e. the laws of supply and demand. The absurdity of taking the quality of a commodity as the determinant of its price would become clear as day if you ever tried to find a criterion for determining the right differential between wages of a skilled worker and that of an unskilled one or a criterion for calculating by how much a Nobelist should be worth more than a rank stupid should. If you could find such a criterion non-existent so far, not only would it be a great big achievement that should make you qualify for a Nobel Prize in economics, it would also prove communism downright wrong and unjust, as I see it.
Because commodity prices aren’t determined by the quality of commodities, it’s not necessarily true that the costlier the stuff is, the better is its quality. For this reason, it’s wrong to judge the quality of a piece of work by how much it fetches or to appraise a human by how much they earn or by how much they’re worth. The big point no sensible humans ought to miss is it’s NOT because they’re poor quality humans NOR because the commodities ( i.e. the merchandise a tradesman trades in or services of a doctor or a hairdresser ) they possess are poor in quality that they’re poor but because the commodities they deal in are NOT high-demand commodities that they’ve had to swell the ranks of the poor and down and out. No sensible humans ought to fail, either, to see that the fact behind the fact that some sportsperson makes as fat a sum as three times the worth of a Nobel Prize per annum per TV ad isn’t the fact that their performance in the ad is a better quality commodity than the life-saving services a doctor or a nurse provides so many men, women, and children with are but the fact that there’s only one such a sportsperson while the life-saving doctors or nurses are very many, to my way of thinking.
Communism doesn’t deny the fact that humans are unequal in terms of quality. Communism just denies that the economic inequality is justified on the grounds that there exist distinct qualitative distinctions between humans. Communism is the abolition of the commodity economy along with private property and the exploitation of man by man, and so economic inequality has got no place in communism. As it’s not based on the qualitative distinctions between humans, economic inequality doesn’t fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living, as I see it.
Roads to riches are not open to the born poor. The Nobelist-economist Joseph E. Stiglitz also thinks the born poor are destined to ‘ stay poor ‘.
The liberal position that ‘ a certain level ‘ of wealth and income inequality is good for the economy is outright wrong because while such a level of inequality invests some with the purchasing power necessary to buy certain goods and services, at the same time it also divests legions of others of the capacity to buy so many industrial products just because the accumulation of wealth at one pole inevitably creates a multitude of paupers at the other.
Growing rich is NOT criminal NOR unethical. Neither the rich nor the super-rich are thieves or robbers.
It’s silly to live a life full of poverty and privation and sillily watch the fabulously wealthy few live a fabulously lavish lifestyle. There seems to be no sensible logic that justifies such silly things.
The liberal policy of wealth- and income-redistributive taxation and subsidisation is in essence State robbery and is justified only on the grounds that it’s pro the poor billions and pro the economic growth, hence pro the social progress. Capitalism is unable to survive without such policies as the State robbery.
The problem of unemployment is also rooted in capitalism. The capitalist mode of production is the production for profit, and this profit is the product of surplus-labour aka unpaid labour. The more the unpaid labour is, the more grows the capitalist’s profit. But the unpaid labour is overwork, and overwork and idleness are inseparable opposites. Hence, it follows that the unemployment problem has its origin in the capitalist’s profit. And since the ‘ directing motive ‘ of the capitalist mode of production is the production and appropriation of profit and profit alone, capitalism can’t have any solution to the unemployment problem.
The communist mode of production is the production for consumption, and so it’s communism, and communism alone, that can eliminate the problem of unemployment.
Capitalism is unthinkable without economic inequality. Capitalism without the poor billions, the wage slaves, who produce all wealth and co-exist with the insignificant few of non-producers that wallow in limitless riches and luxuries in full view of the silly producers is a myth. Capitalism without the overwork of billions alongside of the enforced idleness of a huge army of the jobless is a myth as well. Swarms of the born poor are fated to ‘ stay poor ‘ throughout their life under capitalism. Capitalism is also unthinkable without crime and corruption. While lawful roads to riches are too few under capitalism, there happens to exist no dearth of the allure of easy money throughillicit means and practices in a capitalist regime. Therefore, you as well as your beloved ones run the risk of giving in to such allure of capitalism to resort to corrupt practices or criminal acts and thus risk being found out and placed in the dark behind bars. Further, capitalism can’t survive without policies like the State robbery. And above all, capitalism fails to fit in with the principle of healthy and meaningful living.
But communism is the abolition of the economic inequality. Communism does away with the capitalist mode of production ( i.e. production for profit ), and thus it does away with the overwork of billions and the enforced idleness of the army of the unemployed. Communism doesn’t need silly policies like the State robbery in order to survive. By abolishing private property, the exploitation of man by man, the commodity economy, and money, the filthy lucre, communism also does away with the root of theft, robbery, extortion, smuggling, kidnapping, trafficking in dames and drugs, et cetera, et cetera, i.e. all crime and corruption aimed at making money and black money. Thus, it’s communism, and communism alone, that can create a social environment harmonising with the principle of healthy and meaningful living. Hence, communism is far far superior to capitalism, as I view it.
Before I finish, I should like all sensible humans that don’t belong to the super-rich 80 or the top 1 per cent to give due thought to one more point, namely the fact that the rich and the super-rich consider themselves superior humans– superior in all respects. They believe making money is the toughest job and look on themselves as the ablest, worthiest, and most successful people. Little does it matter whether or not you or the Nobelist-economist Joseph E. Stiglitz or Prez Obama approves of their view. They won’t prove wrong so long as the capitalist mode of production remains the social mode of production.
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