Economics 101: Capitalism

An essential introduction to the workings of the capitalist system. Only by recognising the cause of our problems will we be able to find real solutions.

Capitalism is in crisis. On this point all are agreed. But what is the crisis? How can it be solved? Is capitalism the ‘end of history’, as Francis Fukuyama famously said after the counter-revolutions in the USSR and eastern Europe in 1989-91?

Will capitalism simply ‘sort itself out’? Is it the best of a bad lot, as Churchill and Thatcher maintained?

Or … is it up to you and me, the working people, to lay hold of the means of production – the factories, mines, banks, offices, warehouses, shopping empires, shipping, rail, trucking conglomerates, and run them ourselves; to plan production sustainably to satisfy our basic needs and to meet our pressing interests?

What will be the cost exacted from the masses of working people of the world in ‘blood and treasure’ for capitalism’s ongoing existence? Can the world bear yet more ‘belt tightening’, poverty, misery, ill health, malnutrition, environmental degradation, unemployment – with all the physical and spiritual degradation that these entail – and deaths from economic and political causes – notably war and famine?

And why? All so the few hundred billionaires can carry on amassing obscene amounts of wealth at our expense!

In this talk, Ella Rule, vice-chair of the CPGB-ML, explains the economics of capitalism, including the basics of Karl Marx’s classic work Das Capital and Lenin’s Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.

Only by understanding the problem, can we find a solution. How is value created? How is it amassed? Of what does exploitation consist (how are workers robbed of the values they create)?

Watching this video introduction is a vital step – one that takes us closer to the goal of building a movement with the understanding to tackle our parasitic and decadent ruling class; to place workers in control; and to enable us to build an economy that serves the interests of the vast masses of humanity.

There is not a crime that capitalists will not commit to preserve their monopoly over the means of production, distribution and exchange. The only fitting punishment is to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains.

“The capitalists are our implacable enemies. Their wealth is built upon our poverty, their joy upon our misery!”

Our revenge will be the laughter of our children; a better world is possible.