U.S. and World Politics

Capitalist Ju$tice vs. A Socialist World

By Bonnie Weinstein

“Thinking outside the box” is a popular metaphor that means, “to think differently—from a different or new perspective.” It’s meant to encourage creative thinking—to find new or different ways to solve problems.

But when it comes to the rationalization and justification of capitalism by the capitalist class, there is no “outside” of the box.

When it comes to war, the capitalists say, “there has always been war—it’s human nature to be war-like.” When it comes to economic inequality they say, “there has always been a wealthy minority in power over the masses—the wealthy are on top because they are smarter, better, stronger. The poor are poor because they are inferior.”

This is social Darwinism and it is beat into our heads from the time we are born. We are taught to believe that this is the way it is, has always been, and will always be. It’s what justifies Manifest Destiny, slavery and imperialism—the “great white hope” that is meant to “tame and/or slaughter the savages” and establish “civilization,”—i.e., white domination by force of violence.

Capitalist Ju$tice is determined by income inequality

You may have noticed that the wealthy rarely go to jail and almost never get the death penalty or life without parole—these punishments are for the masses. Not for the capitalists.

In an August 31, 2018 New York Times article by Robert H. Frank titled, “How Rising Inequality Has Widened the Justice Gap,” the author states:

“Rising inequality has harmed low-income families not only by depriving them of a fair share of society’s income growth, but also in a more specific way: It has stacked the legal system even more heavily against them. According to a recent survey, more than 70 percent of low-income American households had been involved in eviction cases, labor law cases, and other civil legal disputes during the preceding year, and in more than 80 percent of those cases they lacked effective legal representation.”

That’s because in a capitalist society like ours it takes money to have adequate legal representation—just as it takes money to eat, have a home, clothes, medical care, education.

The article goes on:

“Many top earners are not only talented and hardworking, but they are also lucky to have grown up in privileged circumstances. And it is one thing to say that someone who is ten percent more skillful should be paid ten percent more. But in today’s winner-take-all marketplace, those who are only one percent more talented often earn thousands-of-times more. These observations are difficult to square with anyone’s conception of a just society.”

This is because capitalism—by its very structure—is designed to protect the privileges of the wealthy by any means necessary. That is the purpose of the courts, the police and the military. After all, workers are talented and hardworking too, but we are not adequately compensated for it.

The economic structure of capitalism and the laws created and enforced by capitalists are all designed to allow the wealthy to accumulate the profits that the working masses produce.

Workers are only compensated for our labor by what we demand and can win through cooperative actions such mass demonstrations, union organizing and strikes. As revolutionary socialist James P. Cannon once put it, “The ethic of capitalism is: ‘From each whatever you can get out of him—to each whatever he can grab.’”1

Even the so-called democratic electoral system is rigged in favor of the wealthy. It’s a system that allows working people to vote for one wealthy representative of the capitalist class over another. We do not get to vote on laws, or who sits on the Supreme Court. We have no say over the cost of credit card interest rates, gas and electric rates, education, food or housing, etc. We have no say over the costs to us, of any of the basic necessities of life.

Capitalism is democracy for the wealthy and dictatorship over the working class.

Capitalist pillaging and destruction of the world

Capitalism is a stage of social evolution that has outlived its usefulness. It destroys the world in order to increase private profits for the wealthy.

The gap between the rich and the poor has grown astronomically in the last few decades. Not just in the United States but all over the world. And it is reinforced by massive military interventions—led by the United States and its allies—across the globe.

Natural resources wherever they are found, are taken by force of violence for the benefit of privately owned corporations under the control of the U.S.-dominated capitalist class.

The U.S. war on Afghanistan is a prime example

In an October 4, 2018 New York Times article by Mujib Marshal titled, “As Afghanistan Frays, Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Is Everywhere,” after 17 years of the U.S. war for natural resources in Afghanistan, and, at the cost to taxpayers of $45 billion a year,2 the U.S. wants to privatize the war to better achieve this goal:

“Mr. Prince laid out what he called a ‘rationalization’ of private contracting already happening: a leaner mission of 6,000 private contractors providing ‘skeletal structure support’ and training for Afghan forces…All of this, Mr. Prince said, would bring down the annual cost of the war to roughly a fifth of the current amount… Mr. Prince lists one of his goals as: ‘Develop and produce key rare earth minerals to restore U.S. high-tech manufacturing supply chain.’”

(By the way, Mr. Prince’s sister happens to be Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education under Trump—capitalism is “all in the family.”)

As further proof of the purpose of the U.S. war on Afghanistan, in another New York Times article by Mujib Marshal dated October 6, 2018 titled, “Afghanistan Signs Major Mining Deals Despite Legal Concerns,” the author reports:

“The Afghan government on Friday signed two contracts for the exploration of copper and gold deposits in the north, in a bid to move away from the country’s dependence on foreign aid by tapping its mineral wealth. …The contracts, which had been stalled for years, were signed in Washington between the Afghan ministers of finance and mining, and executives from Centar Ltd., an investment company founded by Ian Hannam, a former J.P. Morgan banker who partnered with local Afghan firms to bid for the mines.”

This shows how further enriching the wealth of the capitalist class at the expense of human life and the health of the planet is the very purpose of the capitalist dictatorship and their wars. In fact, the U.S. privately-owned corporations of the military industrial complex are the biggest polluters on our planet.

Socialism is thinking outside of the capitalist “box”

So what will socialism—the next stage of human social evolution—look like?

Socialism’s fundamental economic structure turns capitalism—the private ownership of the means of production—upside-down.

Socialism is an economic system that democratizes production in order to fulfill the needs and wants of all on an equal basis, instead of on the accumulation of private profits for the few.

Production for need and want instead of private profit will free up resources to ensure safety and efficiency on the job—both for the health and safety of workers and the preservation of our environment.

It will eliminate the waste of producing inferior products designed to break down so that they have to constantly be replaced—a standard practice of capitalist production to increase profits. Instead, we can concentrate on the production of durable products that can be upgraded as technology evolves.

Capitalist production pollutes and destroys the environment because taking the proper precautions to produce durable goods and to preserve the health and safety of workers and the planet cuts into their profits. That’s why factories spew their filth in the air, land and sea with abandon and without guilt.

Cleaning up the pollution caused by capitalist production is paid for by the taxes taken out of our paychecks—the billionaire CEOs don’t pay anything—and they still can’t get the job done!

Socialism will end all that.

Without the private, profit-driven capitalist motive of production, we will be free to revolutionize production methods without sacrificing the well being of people or the planet.

The goal will be to produce durable goods more efficiently—maximizing automation while gradually shortening the workweek and increasing living standards for all—so that everyone can have, not only all the necessities and wants of life, but more free time to pursue personal interests, the arts, scientific advancements.

We will be free to study life on earth, preserve our environment and explore the intelligence and diversity of the species that share our planet with us.

It will be a world without racism, sexism, war, jails, poverty, starvation, homelessness, ignorance, despair, drug addiction, crime and pestilence.

Under a democratic and cooperative socialist society, the free and equal development of each individual’s talents and abilities will finally become the condition for the free and equal development of all of us.

There is only one thing that stands in the way of our road to a socialist utopia—and that is capitalism—the private ownership of the means of production by a tiny, despotic, divisive, parasitic capitalist class that can only survive by oppression, violence and war. Capitalism has to go!

Under a socialist society—with an ecologically safe and carefully planned communal economy, there are no obstacles that we won’t be able to overcome. It will be a society designed to encourage human development to its fullest while preserving and safeguarding the health and welfare of our planet for the benefit of all.

“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!”

—The Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels3

1 “What Socialist America Will Look Like,” by James P. Cannon

2 “Pentagon says war in Afghanistan costs taxpayers $45 billion a year”