WHY LIVING SHOULD BE AFFORDABLE FOR ALL

Marisol Fraguada

                      art by Lily Smrtic

Under capitalism, the means of production (raw materials, tools, factories, machinery, etc.) are privately owned. There is a free market in which things are produced— not with the intent to be used, but to be sold, and to generate wealth. The opportunity to obtain wealth breeds competition among sellers to be a buyer’s first choice. Sellers will offer a more appealing product at a lower price, and spend as little as possible to offer that product. They build factories and employ workers. Over time, unbridled competition wins out and the market for any one product is controlled by very few sellers, leading to wealth inequality. When most employers are of the controlling, wealthy, capitalist class who care only about expanding their profits, workers take what jobs are available and therefore work for less, which only adds to wealth inequality. A good example of this in practice is Jeff Bezos and his ownership of Amazon. It can be seen even clearer in the midst of this pandemic, where there's a demand for jobs as well as a demand for Amazon’s goods and services. Bezos’ net worth has only increased, whereas his workers have been thrust into even worse working conditions than they had before— Amazon is infamous for its packaging plants not even offering workers adequate bathroom breaks. 

 

To be anticapitalist simply means to oppose this ironically oppressive “free market” system. That doesn’t mean abstaining from taking part in it at all— that’s unrealistic— but instead advocating for some new system. There are many ways to do that, and many anticapitalists advocate for replacing capitalism with some form of socialism or communism. But in reality, it isn’t about the system itself, it’s about its impact on communities and the world around us. It’s about public health and school district funding, pollution and homelessness. Wanting money and to live well isn’t immoral— accumulating so much wealth you couldn’t spend it all in 30 lifetimes while those who generate it for you can’t feed their kids at night, is.

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SOURCES:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/bukharin/works/1920/abc/01.htm#006

https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-net-worth-increases-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-7