- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Capitalists are an utterly superfluous term in the equation.

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 20, 19100 at 17:16:53:

In Reply to: Well... posted by David on January 19, 19100 at 23:25:05:

: I disagree. Our society is now one of consumerism. Think back to Henry Ford, he offered a $5 dollar a day wage to workers who worked in his factory. People were lucky to find half of that at other jobs that were just as bad (working condition-wise). His belief was that since he could make the model-t so cheaply he could afford to pay his workers higher wages, and witht he higher wages, they would be able to buy a model-t for themselves. It basically changed automobiles from being a luxury for the rich to a practicality that everyone could afford.

Actually, henry Ford did this because the assembly line was a worker's nightmare (apparently) and no one would work for him unless they received wages substantially above the norm.

Henry Ford started his system in the ;30s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but cars didn't become widely available till the '50s.

Oh, and by the way, just as an aside to barry. I just realized the fallacy in your claim that 'everyone in America can afford a car.' True, the number of cars exceeds the number of registered drivers; but let's remember that many of the wealthy have multiple cars 9company cars, show cars, etc.) , which means that there are lots and lots of people who don't have one.

: : We have to remember that our only power is labor power, and the only thing we have over the capitalists' is our ability to withold that labor power (i.e. go on strike). If the average workers had, say, six month's salary the bank--imagine the strike potential there!

: Now, think about all those wealthy industrialists, many of them have enough money to survive for the rest of their life without any more income. Imagine what would happen if they suddenly decided to close down all the factories and liquidate their assets.

Actually, very little would happen, IF we made sure that the equipment, factory, etc. remained in the hands of the workers who righfully owned it. The state can supply capital, the workers will continue sppkying their labor power, and state-employed technicians can supply expertise.

Capitalists are an utterly superfluous term in the equation.

:It would be just as dangerous, if not more, than all the workers going on strike.

Actually not. Abraham Lincoln, hardly a flaming radical, was corrcet when he talked about 'labor being prior to capital'. If capital is necessary to production, how do you think they made cars in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, India, and other socialist states.

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