Category Archives: Marxist Economics

Physicist Stephen Hawking Defended “Socialized” Health Care Over US-style For-Profit System

Prof. Stephen Hawking presenting keynote address before an audience at the Royal Society of Medicine’s “Talk NHS” forum, London, England, 19 August 2017. (Screenshot from RSM video by IWPCHI)

Astrophysicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking was globally renowned as a brilliant scientist and tremendously courageous and heroic human being; and these attributes were expressed through his life-long political activism as well.   A citizen of the UK, he was a supporter of the bourgeois-reformist Labour Party.

His Wikipedia entry lists his political interests as encompassing everything from nuclear disarmament and environmentalism (he supported Al Gore in 2000) to opposing the Gulf War to supporting the academic boycott of Israel.   During the 2016 presidential elections in the US he opposed Donald Trump.  And in the final year of his life he was preparing to participate in a legal case in which he planned to defend the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) against moves by the Tory government of Theresa May to privatize it.

Last August, Hawking gave the keynote address at London’s Royal Society of Medicine  as part of a symposium called “Talk NHS: A Public Debate on the Past, Present and Future of the NHS”.   In it he described the long, debilitating progression of the disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) which robbed him first of his ability to walk, then to feed himself and eventually almost completely paralyzed him and left him unable to talk – and how, thanks to the UK’s NHS, he was able not just to survive but to take a leading role in making the many tremendous discoveries in cosmology that made him famous.

We publish here our own transcription of the last third of his 19 August 2017 Royal Society of Medicine keynote address in which he defends the NHS and states his principled opposition to the privatized health care system of the United States.  (In the video we linked to above, this part of his speech starts at approximately 22:22).

In an effort to “prove” to US workers in favor of it that “socialized medicine doesn’t work”, the US capitalist “Investor’s Business Daily” published an article claiming that Stephen Hawking had denounced the NHS.  The IBD’s plan misfired when Hawking responded angrily and publicly against this falsification of his actual political stand in favor of univesral health care.

At the time of his death he was preparing to defend the NHS against Tory health minister (and serial Hawking nemesis) Jeremy Hunt in a court hearing.

As socialists, we agree with Professor Hawking that a for-profit health care system is inherently less efficient and cost-effective than a “socialized” state-run system, due to the fact that, as he says, “the more profit is extracted from the system, the more private monopolies grow, and the more expensive health care becomes.”  Under a truly socialist system, even greater efficiencies can be obtained as all large-scale enterprises would be democratically run for the benefit of the entire working class, rather than for the financial benefit of a tiny minority of capitalists.  Not only the hospitals need to be “socialized” but the pharmaceutical industry as well as all the companies that manufacture everything needed for patient care, from syringes to MRI machines.  “Universal health care” programs must always exist under capitalism at the mercy of the willingness of the capitalist class to fund them; only while the working class can maintain sufficient political pressure to force the capitalists to do so will those programs remain in existence.  As capitalism goes through its inevitable “boom-and-bust” cycles, workers will be forced by the capitalists to suffer cuts to the health care programs and other vital social programs  in “bad” economic times, and must then fight like hell in “good” economic times to have the cuts restored.  This pointless back-and-forth toying with the vital needs of the working class will continue until it is resolved permanently in favor of the working class majority through a socialist revolution that places the working class permanently in power.

— IWPCHI

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Professor Stephen Hawking – ‘Talk NHS’ Keynote Lecture

Transcript starts at 22:22

[…]

So you see that I have had a lot of experience of the NHS; and the care I received has enabled me to live my life as I want, and to contribute to major advances in our understanding of the Universe.

Sometimes I have had to challenge medical opinion to get the care I need; but the important thing is that the principles of the NHS mean that there is good care available and that it is provided at the point of need to everyone without regard for personal circumstance or ability to pay. These are the principles of universal and comprehensive provision on which the NHS was founded.

It is important that care is available without any of the added burdens for people that come with private health insurance. To be able to access that care from doctors in hospitals without having to go through an intermediary in the form of an insurance company, or deal with massive amounts of paperwork – before and after – is crucial to good health. [Applause]

My team and I have had experience of dealing with health insurance companies in the U.S.; and that experience shows that a health insurance company will try its best not to pay.

As well as my direct experiences, I have medically-trained nursing staff in my care team; and so I hear about changes in the NHS through them. I am aware of the increase in private provision of care – and the inefficiency that causes. The huge increase in the use of private agency staff, for example, inevitably means that money is extracted from the system as profit for the agency, and increases costs for the whole country.

Personally, I have had an unhappy experience with an American-owned, profit-driven nursing agency. They were eager for my custom, but made a number of errors and withdrew their service at short notice after eight months.

In September 2016, together with Professor Robert Winston and Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, I co-signed a letter to the Guardian newspaper calling for health care policy to be based on peer-reviewed research and proper evidence. [Applause]

The specific issue on which the letter was based was the so-called “weekend effect”. Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt had claimed that thousands of patients die unnecessarily because of poor hospital care at the weekend. He used this as an argument that we need to implement a “seven-day-a-week NHS”.

I had mixed feelings about the issue. Having spent a lot of time in the hospital, I would like there to be more services available in hospitals at weekends. It has been frustrating for me personally when everything slows down at the weekend in hospital. Also, it seems possible that some patients spend more time in hospital than is necessary because certain diagnostic tests can only be done on weekdays. So, in principle, a seven-day service could be of benefit to patients, and to the NHS as a whole.

However, any change like this must be properly researched, its benefits over the current system must be argued for and evidence for them presented, and the implementation properly planned, costed, and the necessary resources provided. If there are no more doctors and nurses, for example, then a seven-day NHS will necessarily mean fewer staff and a worse service on weekdays.

There has been no proper due diligence done in the case of the so-called “seven-day NHS” – and that was the whole point of our letter and the reason I signed it. Let me quote from the letter, as it illustrates a further point I want to make.  We wrote:

“The evidence for these claims is not supported by reliable research. Of the eight papers cited by Hunt, only four are peer-reviewed […]  Three use data from the same population and are not independent, with just two from the last decade. The remainder are not peer-reviewed medical literature, [and are only] opinion pieces […] Critically, when his claims began, at least 13 independent, peer-reviewed papers were available to the Secretary of State that refute his definition of a ‘weekend effect’.

“Hunt has ‘cherry-picked’ research…”

Speaking as a scientist, “cherry-picking” evidence is unacceptable. [Applause] When public figures abuse scientific argument – citing some studies but suppressing others to justify policies that they want to implement for other reasons – it debases scientific culture. One consequence of this sort of behavior is that it leads ordinary people to not trust science at a time when scientific research and progress is more important than ever given the challenges that we face as a human race.

There are two ways to think about a national health care system: one is that the most humane and civilized system is one in which all people are provided for equally based only on their needs no matter who they are, rich or poor, young or old. I believe this and have made public statements that we must prevent the establishment of a “two-tier” system with the best medicine for the wealthy and an inferior service for the rest.

The other way to think is that a health care system needs to be organized in the most efficient way, so that there is as little waste of labor and resources as possible.

International comparisons indicate that the most efficient way to provide good health care is for services to be publicly-funded and publicly-run. [Applause] The more profit is extracted from the system, the more private monopolies grow, and the more expensive health care becomes. For that reason I have also made public statements that the NHS must be preserved from commercial interests and protected from those who want to privatise it.

So, these two things coincide: the most humane system is the most efficient system. This means that when politicians and private health care industry lobbyists claim that “we can not afford the NHS”, this is the exact inversion of the truth. [Applause] We can not afford not to have the NHS. A publicly-provided, publicly-run system is the most efficient and therefore a more cost-effective way to provide good health care for all.

What is to be done? A physicist like me analyses a system in terms of levels of approximation. The NHS and the question of how to provide good-quality health care to everyone is hugely complex; that doesn’t mean that we can not understand it in broad terms.

To a first approximation, then, one can see the situation facing health care in this country in terms of forces with different interests. The future will be determined by the relative strength of those forces. On the one hand there is the force of the multi-national corporations which are driven by their profit motive. In the U.S., where they are dominant in the health care system, the corporations make enormous profits, health care is not universal, and is hugely more expensive for the outcomes than in the UK. We see that the direction in the UK is towards the U.S.-style insurance system, run by the private companies – and that is because the balance of power right now is with the private companies.

On the other hand, there is the force of the public and of democracy. Opinion polls consistently show that the majority of the public agrees with me and is in favor of a publicly-provided NHS, and opposes privatisation and a “two-tier” system. So the public already supports the core principles of the NHS as the fairest system; and so what the public needs is the knowledge that this is also the most efficient and cost-effective system.

As I understand, many here today – including a group called “Bring Back the NHS” – are part of a growing movement to empower the public with exactly that knowledge as the NHS reaches its seventieth birthday next year.

Thank you for listening.

[Applause. Standing ovation.]

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Greed-based Capitalism Is Destroying the World; Why Workers Socialist Revolution Is Our Only Hope for Survival

Just as it is difficult to get people to read the warning labels on over-the-counter medications – a self-imposed ignorance which leads to the deaths of 100,000 US citizens a year – it’s very difficult to get people to read anything about socialism, which is the cure for the ills of greed-based capitalist society.  Even though the capitalist system is, as you read this, doing all it can to prepare to incinerate the planet in a nuclear World War III, still you refuse to read the warning labels  socialists like us have been writing in opposition to capitalism since 1848.  The capitalist system is killing you slowly now but will – unless you do something about it, sister and brother workers – will be killing you at a much faster rate very, very soon.  We know that you have been “taught” by the capitalist class that socialism is bad for you and greed-based capitalism is the best of all possible worlds.  Please just take a couple of minutes to allow the socialist opposition to make a few observations about the state of the world in 2016 for your consideration.  We’ll try not to bore you to death.  The re-runs of “M.A.S.H.”, “Andy Griffith”, “The Jeffersons” and “Bernie Mac” can wait. (For those of you who think we’re being condescending, watching “The Magnificent Ambersons” or “Do The Right Thing” for the umpteenth time is just as pointless).

Human society has reached that impasse at which we must break from our past and boldly stride forward down a different road if we are to survive the nuclear age. It is probable that all advanced civilizations are faced with the same dilemma: once the civilization is technically capable of harnessing the power of the atom, does it transition to a regime in which that power is put to the service of that civilization or is it used to destroy that civilization? Of course this depends on the political and economic stage reached by a given society at the time during which the power of the atom is harnessed. Tragically for the human race, the capitalist world reached this stage just before the socialist world; the capitalists immediately seized the opportunity to murder 200,000 Japanese workers – largely to intimidate the USSR and prove that the capitalist USA had the Bomb and were crazy enough to use it. A society that achieves this power, if it is an egalitarian society, can make the transition through the nuclear stage of development without destroying itself. A society that is based on selfishness and greed, and divided into constantly warring nation-states has very little likelihood of making a successful transition through the nuclear minefield. In the USA and Europe, the working class has abandoned its historic leadership role that it must take upon itself if the human race is to survive. We are letting people whose love for money over all else has so deranged their minds that they have become utterly irresponsible and pose a threat to the future existence of the human race. Will we allow our human civilization to be sacrificed on the altar of Mammon? Are we that stupid? The selfish greedy capitalists who own and operate the nuclear arsenals of the “Free World(TM)” are the LEAST CAPABLE of leading the human race through this stage of human evolution; they are the MOST LIKELY to plunge this planet into a nuclear war from which human civilization may not survive. We have let the greedheads and militarists call the shots and run the tables for far too long; this is why so much of the wealth of the capitalist world is being spent not on cures for cancer or to end human suffering in the world but to create military arsenals capable of destroying the planet many times over. It is our sincere and deeply-held belief that unless the working class seizes these weapons of mass destruction from the hands of the mass-murdering capitalist classes who have proven time and time again their willingness to use their wealth and military power to plunge the entire planet into barbarism the human race will not survive the challenge it has set for itself in negotiating a safe passage through the nuclear abyss.

Why Socialism?

1) Revolutionary socialism – the most modern and principled variation is the Trotskyism we represent – is a political philosophy that posits that all working women and men all over the world are sisters and brothers and that all workers should unite and fight to overthrow the capitalist system that is organized to systematically rob the working class blind. The capitalists in the USA, whose massive wealth was initially based on the system of slavery and a racist ideology of “white supremacy” that was devised in order to justify the enslavement of people of color ridiculed this fundamental idea of the Marxists as being utopian and not based on what the capitalist called the scientific principles of “Eugenics”. DNA research has proven the Marxists were right; Eugenics now stands as a totally discredited pseudo-science. Still, to this day, the capitalist world is dominated by a tiny class of filthy rich white men who believe that they are racially superior to everyone else on the planet and who believe that they have the “right” to rule the world. What does this mean? It means that the current division of the world into competing nation-states led by “racially superior” minorities (in Europe and the USA, rich white men) is a gross injustice and a fraud being perpetrated against the workers of the world. The racist ideologies that are the fundamental basis of fascism lie in tatters, utterly destroyed by modern genetic science. The workers of the world ARE sisters and brothers, yet are driven by the capitalists of the world to mistrust and hate each other and organized into armies to kill one another. Revolutionary socialism is the ONLY political philosophy that stands unalterable opposed to this state of things – which is why we are proud not only to call ourselves anti-capitalists but revolutionary socialists – Trotskyists.

Socialism is a political philosophy that seeks to create a far more democratic society than is possible or has ever been created under capitalism. Socialism dedicates itself to organizing the global economy for the benefit of the vast majority of the world population: the working class and peasantry. We have as our goals the complete eradication of hunger, homelessness, racism and sexism from the face of the Earth. We seek to create an economy that fully funds human needs, and that GUARANTEED all the fundamental needs of the human race for food, clothing, shelter, education and health care. Capitalism does not and can not provide such a guarantee. Anyone who tells you that capitalism can do this is a liar.

The challenges that face the human race today are enormous and can only be effectively dealt with on a global scale in a spirit of international fraternity and cooperation. The capitalist world, organized as it is into competing capitalist nation-states, infused with nationalism and led in each state by a tiny cabal of ultra-rich greedy individuals is NOT capable of tackling these tremendous challenges to the future survival of the human race. We stand at the juncture of two roads; one leads to a potentially prosperous socialist future in which a unified human race harnesses all its strengths – human and economic – to tackle these issues. The other road is the road of capitalism and after 400 years of evolution of the capitalist system we already know what we can expect if we stay on this road: small wars growing into bigger wars and then World Wars. The next world war could put an end to the existence of human civilization. Either the human race is going to develop an economic basis for an egalitarian socialist future or the promise of humanity will end most likely in a global nuclear conflagration. WE MUST EVOLVE BEYOND CAPITALISM! It is a matter of life and death not just for the human race but also perhaps for the planet itself. Socialism will take the wealth now being squandered on armies and gold-plated toilets for the rich and put it to use increasing the standard of living of all the people in the world, starting by eliminating once and for all hunger in the world and providing decent clothing, housing. education and health care for all the world’s people. Capitalism has had more than 300 years to do this and has failed miserably.

2) Capitalism is inherently undemocratic. Boasting of being more democratic than socialist countries it is in fact not even close to being as egalitarian and democratic as socialist countries of Cuba China, USSR and North Korea and Vietnam. The US capitalist class is only about 3% of the US population but possesses more than half of the national wealth. How can this state of things be called “democratic”? When result of 250 years of capitalist “democracy” in the USA results in 10% of the population owning 75% of the national wealth, obviously this is nothing even CLOSE to being a democracy. The thoroughly fraudulent nature of bourgeois democracy is fully exposed by the enormously unequal distribution of wealth in even the most “”advanced” capitalist nation-states. The capitalists and their apologists never tire of cynically asking the world “why is there so much violence in our society”? Well when they force 75% of the population to fight over a mere 25% of the national wealth, of course there will be violent conflict. Aside from the revolutionary socialists, no political force in the capitalist world – including the fake-socialists of the 2nd International like Bernie Sanders – wants to change the status quo because all of the pro-capitalist politicians and propagandists defending capitalism are profiting from it personally. And a great many of them are envious of the ultra-rich and harbor delirious dreams of some day reaching the top of the capitalist pyramid.

3) Capitalism is killing the planet. The climate crisis facing the world today simply can not be dealt with on a nation-by-nation basis under an economic system that rewards selfishness instead of generosity and international co-operation. The capitalists of the world are all out to rip each other off and to trick their competition into cutting deals that largely benefit only themselves. This kind of vicious “look out for #1” philosophy is what lies behind all the attempts by wealthy people to bastardize scientific research on climate change in order to buy themselves a few more years of stuffing their bank accounts with cash derived from environmentally destructive capitalist enterprises. All these people care about is money; this places the welfare of the entire population of the planet in the hands of a few million greed-infected mentally ill capitalist profiteers.

4) Capitalism is retarding the pace of advancement in science. In seeking always as their primary life-goal to stuff their bank accounts with cash by any means necessary, the capitalists only wish to invest in projects designed to increase their wealth by the largest margin possible. Large-scale scientific projects that seek simply to increase human understanding of the universe are, to the capitalists, a waste of time and money. Therefore incredible amounts of scientific research that would bring about a greater understanding of our place in the Universe are put off while all the capitalists invest trillions of dollars on the “next big profit-making bubble”. Reduplicating efforts to invest in mining in order to profit from the growth of the Chinese economy, the capitalists wasted billions developing environmentally destructive strip-mining operations which then went immediately bankrupt when Chinese economy experienced an entirely predictable periodic correction. Meanwhile scientists seeking funding for important research projects on everything from studying gravitational waves to a cure for cancer must go around hat in hand begging for funds. They are forced to spend almost as much time on seeking funding as they spend actually doing research. This is depriving the human race from the benefits of research that should – and would be under socialism – fully funded by the government.

5) Capitalism is killing people. Hundreds of millions of workers in the capitalist nation-states of our planet are going hungry every day and starving to death because for the capitalists it is just not profitable enough to feed them. Like everything else under capitalism, that which does not make a capitalist richer fast enough is going to not receive investment dollars. In always seeking the greats profit margins possible the capitalist class denies basic human needs to more than one third of the global population. This state of affairs is completely unacceptable to only one political force in the world: the communists. The capitalist class and its acolytes never tire of coming up with all kinds of bullshit reasons why it is just not possible at this time to feed the world. They tell us that eliminating hunger is not possible! That’s a lie. They tell us that ending warfare is not possible; that, too is a lie. The reason warfare exists is as yet another profit-making enterprise for the capitalist class. War is extremely profitable; there is hardly anyone among the stockholding class that doesn’t have at least some kind of investment in an enterprise that manufactures the weapons of war, or which makes its money rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the endless for-profit wars created by the capitalist class. The capitalists make money destroying people and infrastructure via warfare; and they make money repairing the damage they caused – nice, eh? Yet you, the workers of the world, not only stupidly allow them to force you to provide the finance through your taxes for these profitable wars; you also willingly send your sons and daughters to do the killing and destroying for them. If the capitalist class deserves condemnation for its bloodthirsty ways, can you, who finance their wars and provide the soldiers for the wars be let off the hook for doing so? We think not. Until each and every one of you understands that by supporting the capitalist system as you do, the blood of the millions of workers being butchered and starved by YOUR GOVERNMENTS is on YOUR HANDS TOO! You cannot hide from this fact, sister and brother workers of the US and the NATO countries!

Only by overthrowing the global greed-based individualistic capitalist system and replacing it with a cooperative rationally-planned global egalitarian democratic socialist system can we finally harness the full potential of the human race and tackle the global climate crisis that threatens the future existence of our human family. Trying to deal with global problems in a world made up of competing capitalist nation states constantly trying to rob each other blind is not going to work! Time is not on our side, sisters and brothers! We must immediately start organizing the revolutionary socialist political parties of the working class that are essentially necessary to the successful overthrow of rapacious global capitalism. If we fail to do this, we will be bequeathing our children a future of endless war over everything from water to oil. This hideous capitalist future that rises up like a spectre before us is not a fait accompli. We must make the effort necessary to tear ourselves away from the endless entertainments the capitalist provide us to keep us distracted while they plunder the planet and murder our working-class sisters and brothers all over the globe. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO WAKE UP AND GET THIS PROJECT GOING? Every day of delay is making the cost of undoing the damage being inflicted by the capitalists that much higher! The Democrats are owned and operated by the capitalists; so are, of course, the Republicans. We need new parties of by and for the working class and we need them now! There are some that are existing and others like ours that aer just getting started. But thanks to the Internet we can get new working-class political parties up and running and financed in just a few months. THE FUTURE IS NOW! THERE IS NO FUTURE FOR THE WORKING CLASS UNDER THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM! CAPITALISM MUST DIE SO THAT THE WORKING CLASS MAY LIVE! WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

IWPCHI

How a Former “Stupid Worker-sheep” (the author) Became a Revolutionary Socialist Worker

US Household Debt to GDP, 1952-2015. Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Household Debt to GDP, 1952-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

We expect to receive quite a bit of criticism for our recent article’s characterization – honest and, we believe, truthful as it is – of the US working class as an enormous herd of stupid-ass wage-slaves. Yet we strongly believe that there is really no other way to describe this cowardly U.S. herd of worker-sheep, 200 million weak, that has allowed one of the most despotic and murderous ruling classes in the history of the world to rule over them, shearing them at will, while simultaneously robbing, torturing and murdering the rest of the human race.

We must point out that we always admit that – apart from those of us in the Trotskyist movement (and the revolutionary socialist movement in general) who were lucky enough to have had parents who were themselves revolutionary workers – all of us were dumbass wage-slaves in our political youth. That includes the writer of this article! No worker who was not born into a family of revolutionary socialists can be said to have been a revolutionary from day one. And all of us who were not “red-diaper babies” started off as dumb wage-slaves, but at some point in our lives, we either realized or had some revolutionary socialist point out to us just how goddamned ignorant and stupid we were. Unlike the herds of worker sheep, we decided that we did not want to remain an ignorant worker-sheep, we wanted an education in the history of the long struggle of our worker-ancestors to free our class from the chains of exploitation.

US Personal Income, 1959-2015. Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Personal Income, 1959-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

Wisdom begins when a person first acknowledges his or her own vast ignorance and then determines to do all she or he can to eradicate that condition through a determined study of history, science, and politics. No one can even begin to become wise until he or she admits honestly to themselves just how ignorant they truly are. Ignorance, fortunately, is 100% curable through education. This is why we take the time to write articles about modern revolutionary socialism – Trotskyism. We have tremendous faith in the potential of the now-slavish US working class to snap itself out of its self-imposed state of apathy and ignorance, throw off its chains of servitude and begin to tread the road to becoming revolutionary socialist worker-heroes. If we didn’t believe that this transformation was possible, we wouldn’t be Trotskyists.

Communist revolutionaries do not come down to Earth in spaceships or miraculously descend from heaven riding rainbow-colored unicorns. We were – most of us – born to working-class parents who worked all their lives as stupid wage-slaves, inculcating in us faith in the capitalist system and the phony democracy of the United States. We, like you, were brainwashed to salute the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance and respect the police and the government as our protectors – all the bullshit that is driven into the skulls of the children in every capitalist nation-state by every wage-slave parent in the capitalist world.

US Wage and Salary Growth, 1960-2015 Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Wage and Salary “Growth”, 1960-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

Going into high school we were completely ignorant of even the simple fact that we lived in a capitalist world! We knew nothing of what capitalism was, and had no idea that we were members of a “working class” fated to spend our lives as wage-slaves working to make a tiny, ruling capitalist class wealthier every hour we worked. No one is more stupid than we were in those days; no one more ignorant. But having never met a revolutionary socialist worker, how could we have been anything but stupid?

It wasn’t until we started meeting well-educated professionals of the middle class – college professors at Harvard Business School; physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project, for example, and well-educated communist youth our own age – that we came to fully realize how bad our own public-school education was compared to what these people had experienced. They knew all about subjects of vital importance to the survival of the human race of which we knew almost nothing! It was only then, by realizing how very dumb WE were that we were able to begin our lifelong effort to remove what we now realized was our own shameful and embarassing state of ignorance. That sudden self-consciousness of our own vast ignorance was our first step on the road to enlightenment; our education has never ceased from that day to this and it never will. No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we read, we will never know everything there is to know about the world. That acute consciousness of our own ignorance continually impels us to keep studying and working to obtain an education comprehensive enough to be of value to you, our working-class sisters and brothers, in the struggle to free us all from the horrors of the capitalist system: its endemic poverty, homelessness, racism and endless war that profits the few at the expense of billions of workers.

US Personal Savings Rate, 1959-2015 Source: TradingEconomics.com

US Personal Savings Rate, 1959-2015.   Source: TradingEconomics.com

The political and economic system which we all live under here in the US – capitalist bourgeois democracy – can best be described as a perfected system for robbing the huge US working class blind for the benefit of the tiny US capitalist class. We came to this understanding through the study of Marxism, which alone teaches workers not only that they can fight successfuly against this brutal wage-slavery system, but can overthrow it and replace it with a far more fair and democratic society under a scientifically planned socialist economy.

Wage-slaves who have never studied Marxism spend their entire lives fighting to survive in a world they only dimly understand. Economic crises leading to unemployment, wars, crime – all these things seem to them to be acts of a cruel fate that no one understands and that no one has – or can have – control over. But the ruling capitalist class has been taught to think differently, because they and their families have been, in most cases, the power behind the US presidency since the end of the American Revolution. The capitalist ruling class IS largely in control of their own fate and have learned precisely what they have to do, through centuries of trial and error, to keep the worker-sheep just barely happy enough to not rise up in revolt against their systematic exploitation by the capitalists. By carefully mis-educating “their” worker-sheep through the school system and mass media, the capitalist class teaches their victims to believe that the capitalist system is “the best of all possible worlds” and that resistance to it is futile.

The communists on the other hand, teach us the opposite: that capitalism is a fundamentally exploitative system designed to continually rob the workers from cradle to grave for the benefit of – in the case of the “egalitarian” USA – 3% of the population. Capitalism is NOT “the best of all possible worlds” – it is merely the latest stage of development in the long history of class struggle between workers and their exploiters. The communists point out the absurdity of the capitalists lie that they preside over a democracy. What kind of democracy is it that diverts 90% of the nation’s wealth to just 10% of the citizenry and forces what the capitalist class so charmingly calls “the bottom 90%” to divide among themselves a mere 25% of the national wealth? There is absolutely nothing even remotely “democratic” about such a system!

When we were still stupid wage-slaves, the Trotskyists confronted us with the fact that the world was on the brink of a nuclear WWIII. If this war was to occur it was possible, the “commies” told us, that the global destruction of the nation states of the world would be so comprehensive that the human race would be driven back into the stone age! Understandably, this got even our attention; and when we began to look into the issue we found that not only were the “reds” telling us the truth, but we found that the Pentagon believed that it could “win” a nuclear war! On a radio station one day we heard an interview with the then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The interviewer, discussing the Reagan Administration’s belligerent talk about military confrontation with the USSR, made the then-common remark to him that “of course, nuclear war is unthinkable”. The general replied: “I get paid to think otherwise”. This made a deep impression; up to that point we had been taught to believe that our wise political and military leaders would NEVER dream of leading us into a nuclear war. It was subsequently revealed that US military planners during the Reagan era believed that the US could “bounce back” from a full-scale nuclear war with the USSR so long as no more than around 60% of the US population was killed! This information led to the realization that it was literally a matter of life and death to start studying world politics as soon as possible. This kind of “revelation” – so plentiful in those years of Reaganite insanity is what spurred on our transition from stupid wage-slaves to revolutionary socialist workers.

The transition we experienced from stupid wage-slaves to revolutionary workers was on the level of the famous scene in “Wizard of Oz” where the film changes from black and white to Technicolor. Suddenly we were made aware of our working class place in the world; that having been born into working-class families we were literally born one one side of a class line; on the other side of that line were the greedy, tiny capitalist class and their cops, courts, jails, news media and military, prepared to break us down as soon as we were old enough to enter the workforce from rebellious youth to obedient worker-sheep. The study of Marxist dialectics provided us with the tools we needed to analyze the world we lived in and to measure, quite accurately, the class orientation of any political party or carefully disguised messages in capitalist propaganda; it enabled us to see clearly who were the true allies of the working class and who were our mortal enemies. That Marxist toobox we were given by our revolutionary socialist teachers alone is a gift so powerful that we would not part with it for anything; it cuts through all the capitalists’ bullshit that constantly baffles, confuses and misleads every worker-sheep who believes he or she has no “need” for Marxism. Without Marxism a worker-sheep is just a lamb unknowingly making a journey through the slaughterhouse of capitalism.

Marxism is not a philosophy based on lies; it is a philosophy based on political science in which the “science” part is taken very seriously. Marxism is based on a careful study of the long history of the struggles of the workers and peasants of the world to free themselves of a system of slavery and exploitation. Marxism, you are told – by the capitalists who hate it because it would take away their money and power and give it to you – is a load of lies and propaganda. In fact the opposite is true; revolutionary Marxism is the honest study of how the working class can free itself from a future of racism, war, exploitation and misery at the hands of the capitalist class and its state. The most honest people who ever lived were the best Marxist theoreticians: Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky; yet the capitalists tell you that their writings are full of lies and deceit. In fact, we can confidently tell you in all honesty that you will search in vain in the writings of Marx, Engels Lenin and Trotsky for any hint of an attempt to decieve the workers. Their chief principle was: “NEVER LIE TO THE WORKERS”. They kept that promise; after 30 years of reading their works we have been unable to find even one instance of them ever consciously attempting to “trick” or lie to anyone. There is absolutely nothing for you to fear from studying the works of these great working-class leaders; neglecting to read their most important works robs you of any chance you have of ever fully understanding the world you live in.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you're getting screwed by your capitalist "friends". Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ah, the life of a wage slave is not pleasant once you know how badly you’re getting screwed by your capitalist “friends”.   Recent Trends in WEALTH Distribution in USA, 1989-2013. Federal Reserve Bulletin, p. 11.

Ignorance may be bliss; but its results are anything but blissful. To blindly fight against forces you don’t understand; to count your mortal enemies (like the police, or the Democrats) as your friends; to believe the lies taught to you by those who are systematically robbing you; this is the fate of the uneducated worker-sheep who thinks that Marxism is a waste of his or her time. An ignorant worker-sheep won’t even know how fucked it is until it is in the slaughterhouse chute heading towards the capitalist at the end of the line wielding a stun gun and a razor-sharp knife.

Until we came to realize how ignorant we were and took steps to do something to cure our ignorance we remained stupid wage-slaves. You will not obtain a revolutionary Marxist education by watching the entertainment products produced by your capitalist masters which are designed to confuse and mislead you. You will not find trustworthy political leaders in the parties that are owned and operated by your capitalist masters, either. If you want to know how to avoid your inevitable date with the capitalist with the stun gun and knife, young sheep, you have only one way to go: start studying revolutionary Marxism today! It will open your eyes to the reality of the life of a worker-sheep in a capitalist nation-state. The writings of the great revolutionary Marxists are some of the greatest achievements of human thought ever produced, and we’re not just saying that because we’re socialists; these were brilliant men and women who dedicated their lives to fighting for the rights of the working class. Their writings are of such inestimable valuable to any worker who wants to not just understand the world but to change it for the better that it is impossible to exaggerate their worth.

How ignorant is the average worker-sheep of the USA? So ignorant that the vast majority don’t even consider themselves to be members of the “working class”; they all think that because they have signed up to be whores for a banker-pimp through the mortgage loans they’ve taken on, that makes them “middle class”! They think that the police are here to “serve and protect” the worker-sheep! They think that the capitalist state is a “neutral arbiter” of disputes between the worker-sheep and the capitalists with sledgehammers! They think that the Democratic or Republican parties – both of which are owned and operated by the capitalist class – are their political allies! They think that they “don’t need” to create a true working class party to represent them at the local, state, and national level – the parties bought-and-paid-for by their capitalist enemies are good enough for them! They think that the US military is “defending” them by murdering their working-class brothers and sisters all over the world! THAT’S how dumb the average US worker-sheep is! The revolutionary socialist workers – thanks to their Marxist education – KNOW all of these things are monstrous lies.

Only a truly stupid person would choose for themselves and their children lives as “worker-sheep” instead of a life as a revolutionary socialist worker who fights to free the working class from a life of wage-slavery. That is what we mean when we say that there are two kinds of workers in the world: stupid worker-sheep and revolutionary socialist workers. Which do you want to be?

US Corporate Profits, 1950-2015 Source:TradingEconomics.com

US Corporate Profits, 1950-2015.   Source:TradingEconomics.com

Here is a short list of articles and pamphlets by some of the greatest working-class leaders in world history that you NEED to read if you want to no longer count yourself among the ignorant and/or stupid wage-slave worker-sheep.

Don’t be embarassed if you have to read this stuff a couple of times before you “get it”. This is so far from the lying capitalist propaganda you’ve been accustomed to reading that it may prove to be difficult to fully grasp the first time around. We’ve read these things multiple times and have found that we learn some new detail every time we re-read them. Revolutionary Marxism is a scientific discipline which, like all scientific disciplines, requires study; it’s a combination of work and pleasure. It’s thoroughly rational but, like algebra or physics, it’s not “common sense”; some of it is quite counter-intuitive. A determined slow-to-average reader can read all of these pamphlets, at their leisure, in no more than a couple of weeks. These links will take you to the Marxists.org website where you can read them all – for free!

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto

Leon Trotsky:  Ninety Years of the Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx:   Value, Price and Profit

Vladimir Lenin:  The State

Lenin:  The State and Revolution

Rosa Luxemburg:  Reform or Revolution

Engels:  The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State