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Libertarian Communists Comment On Capitalism

Libertarian Communists Comment On Capitalism


May Day is a global day of protest against capitalism. But just what is capitalism? Let’s take a closer look...

Capitalism is a disgusting social system. Countless hundreds of millions of people have died in the last 100 years because of capitalism’s wars, and from the starvation, poverty, pollution and preventable disease capitalism produces. This toll of human life and misery and ecological destruction have all had the sole purpose of keeping a tiny minority of the population in power, wealth and privilege.

This privileged capitalist elite own and control most of the resources in society – the land, factories, offices, and so on. This is the main basis of their power. Because this tiny elite, the boss class, own most of the resources in society, they force us to work for them. So capitalism is fundamentally based upon exploitation, our exploitation.


We work for them, and they profit. They profit from our labour, from our blood, sweat, toil and creativity. We actually create the wealth of the world. Through our collective efforts, through our labour, we have built and created the machines, computers, buildings and so on. Yet the bosses claim that they own the things we produce! Bosses are parasites, thieves and robbers. Bosses need us, but we don’t need them.


Bosses must seek to constantly increase their profits all the time. If they don’t make a profit, their “enterprise” will eventually go under. They increase their profits by making us work longer, harder and faster for less pay and in worse conditions.

Work is a dreary daily drill of slavery, supervision, and submission to bosses and their managers. We have no say in the running of our factory or office. They make us perform dull and repetitive tasks. They monitor us inside our workplace like we are criminals. They make us work faster and harder through discipline, or offering us lollies like incentives and promotions up the ladder. Let’s face it: under capitalism, work is a form of slavery, wage slavery.


Because work under capitalism is enforced drudgery, everyday, we are compelled to resist it. We phone in sick, we go-slow on the job, we take breaks, we occasionally throw a spanner in the works. Sometimes our resistance becomes more open and visible, through strikes, demonstrations and occupations.


Capitalism is not inevitable. Resistance to capitalism happens everyday. When this resistance becomes more unified and organised, then revolution becomes possible. There have been many anti-capitalist revolutions in the last 100 years: in Russia 1917, Germany 1918-23, Italy 1919, Spain 1936, Hungary 1956, France 1968, and Portugal 1974-75. These revolutions were created by millions of ordinary people who refused capitalism’s relentless imposition of work, money, private property and social classes. In these revolutions people went out and created their own community and workplace councils, which were run by participatory democracy.


The revolutions above show us that a society where the wealth of the world is held in common by all is possible. They show us that workers themselves can run their own workplaces democratically themselves without the need for managers or bosses. They show us that we can create our own democratic institutions which will decide what is to be produced, and distribute things according to one’s individual needs. They show us a world where everything is owned by everyone, for the benefit of everyone is possible.

Sounds like communism, right? And communism will never work, just like in Russia or China, right? “Communism” was never established in Russia or China. Russia and China were totalitarian states where a corrupt set of “Communist” Party bosses forced people to work for them, not much different from the private capitalism of today. Real communism can and does work. Even in this capitalist society, beaches, museums, public libraries, parks, roads, bridges, and water supply are free for anybody to use according to their needs. Imagine if everything was for free!


As Libertarian Communists, we want to dump all bosses, bureaucrats, and politicians (party representatives who claim to act on our behalf but end up us selling us out). Real communism exists when there is no classes or state, when there is genuine liberty and equality for all. We are for a free communism which is voluntary, self-regulated, and not imposed by state decrees. Freedom without communism is privilege and injustice, communism without freedom is slavery and brutality.

Whilst continuing to promise prosperity for all, the present phase of capitalism is creating more victims and more environmental havoc than ever before. Many of us are forced to work more than 40 hours a week for less pay in real terms. Wealth and power are concentrated in fewer hands than they ever have been. In the last 30 years the rich have doubled their capital while poverty and misery grow. The poorest 20% possesses less than 4% of world resources whereas the richest control over 85%. The complex life of this planet, which is the source of sustenance and cultural diversity for all men and women, is increasingly transformed into a merchandise, mercilessly exploited, privatised, patented and irreversibly transformed.

Under capitalism, they have stolen away control of our lives. Let’s steal them back!

“Capitalism is the greatest crime of all. It devours more lives in a single day than all the murderers put together.” Alexander Berkman, What is Communist Anarchism?

Contact: Libertarian Communists c/- P O Box 6387 Te Aro Wellington e-mail: libcommies@yahoo.co.nz

"Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." Michael Bakunin.

LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISTS c/- P O Box 6387, Te Aro, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. e-mail: libcommies@yahoo.co.nz

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