Socialism, Capitalist Exploitation, and Innovation Under Socialism

“How could we ask our poor bourgeois to pay more taxes to help out the wage laborers that produced his wealth in the first place?” Obviously by the logic of the capitalist system, if you produce something, it doesn’t belong to you. So if you produce ~30$ in an hour and receive only 15$ in return, or, if you produce 200$ in an hour, and receive only 50$ in return, then by the natural laws of the capitalist system, you are owed nothing but a wage, even if that wage is so low that you are impoverished, hungry, can’t afford rent, healthcare, etc. Under the guise of “free contract” many may find this appealing. But this is but the tip of the iceberg of the capitalist mode of production, even if this fact is exploitative by nature.
On the other hand, the bourgeois can, and occasionally we find that he does, do absolutely no work of his own, being a non-acting board member or owner, who votes once every few months if that, and collects a check for millions of dollars- containing the leftover surplus produced by hundreds of thousands of working people whose poverty is the source of their bourgeois wealth. This is, of course, an extreme example. But I have met people who happen to be on the boards of very large companies who do just that.
He can, and often does, also vote to take the surplus (after necessary expenditures and investments for the enterprise) and give it to one of the TWO political parties in this country to systematically protect and maintain this exploitative social system. We would call such a thing a Super-PAC, and it’s almost the exclusive funding of most politicians today. In a word, he lives off of the labor of others, off of those who own no property of their own, and are compelled to either sell their labor at a fraction of its value, off of the proletarian class which constitutes 95% of our society.
“We cry shame on the feudal baron who forbade the peasant to turn a clod of earth unless he surrendered to his lord a fourth of his crop. We called those the barbarous times. But if the forms have changed, the relations have remained the same, and the worker is forced, under the name of free contract, to accept feudal obligations. For, turn where he will, he can find no better conditions. Everything has become private property, and he must accept, or die of hunger.” -Pytor Kropotkin. The statement still applies, of course, but due to the revolutionized condition of the productive forces since then, we could say that the worker today gives up half of what he produces to the capitalist class, and not a fourth as the feudal peasant would be obliged to give.
The bourgeois may, and more often than not does, do non-productive (but still essential) work to manage the affairs of the enterprise, but because of private property, he is “entitled” to oftentimes 5000x more per hour than his workers produced, that 5000x, mind you, along with all other profits, having been produced by the workers themselves.
I am not saying that innovators and inventors should NOT be compensated, indeed they absolutely should be. A study funded by the Federal Reserve Bank by Daniel Pink (a capitalist organization if there ever was one), found that MODERATE compensation was best to encourage further innovation from a creative individual. Meaning that it would be better for, say, Bill Gates, to have received a 150,000$ salary for his invention, than a 5 Billion dollar one. The study found that LOW and HIGH financial compensation had almost identical results in promoting further innovation. This study only furthers the evidence that capitalism, while it socialized the productive forces which made rapid innovation and expansion possible, is not the best mode of production if innovation is the concern. On the contrary, socialism, and communism would be.
Under a socialist system, or a market socialist system as would be the first step towards the complete socialist mode of production (which, mind you, has never been established in an advanced capitalist country as Marx believed it would have to be as a prerequisite to socialism, can elaborate further if asked), the board of directors which determine WHAT is produced, how much is produced, etc. would be DEMOCRATICALLY elected by the workers themselves and the general public, would receive NO MORE THAN A WORKMAN’S WAGE (not millions), and subject to immediate recall at anytime. The surplus produced by ALL THE WORKERS, would be democratically distributed BACK TO ALL THE WORKERS, instead of going into the pockets of a few. The workers themselves would decide what to do with the surplus they collectively produced. If it was the STATE deciding what was produced, then that would be state-capitalism, not socialism, and certainly not communism as communism requires the absence of the state altogether.
Also, I can provide a feasible example of how innovation would even increase under socialism. My friends and I, given a year or two, could program and create a computer program in which orders for a restaurant could be spoken directly to the computer and inputed (using the various incorrect terms and sayings that customers use). This could and would negate the need for cashiers altogether even though would vastly increase net profits for an enterprise and speed up production speed. HOWEVER, if we DID create such a thing, we would no doubt lose our jobs. Under a socialist system, such an innovation would mean increased profits not for a capitalist at the top, but for the workers as a whole. Automation would mean vacations, not lay-offs. Workers would be inspired to innovate because they know that said innovation would benefit them, and not someone at the top. Not to mention that the workers would no doubt decide to appropriate a larger wage to those innovators from the surplus that they collectively produced.
This entry was posted in Marxism.

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