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REVOLUTIONARIES Ordinary Men and Woman who have changed the course of the World
Stes de Necker
gets the blood flowing faster than a revolution. Revolution means change, and
when change is desperately needed, a revolution can empower us to do more, be
more, achieve more.
revolution, we can overcome adversity and stagnation and rise up to fulfil our
there’s nothing to incite a revolution like a revolutionary man or woman who
takes a stand against the established order.
revolution is considered an event which has a major impact on changing the
political, economic or social structure of society – usually in a short space
of time. A revolution may be violent or peaceful in order to achieve its aims
which are usually tied to an ideology, e.g. Communism, liberalism or related to
social and cultural changes may also be considered revolutions.
don’t just happen in politics or war. We have seen revolutions in science,
engineering, art, and all other aspects of culture.
came from many walks of life, and each changed the world in a drastic, defining
Spartacus (c. 109–71 BC)
of the slave leaders who led a major revolt against the Roman Empire, in the
Third Servile War. Spartacus has become symbolic of revolutionary leaders
William Wallace (1270-1305)
rebel who led uprising against English during the Scottish wars of
Joan of Arc (1412-1431)
most unlikely revolutionary who inspired the French Dauphin to renew the French
fight against occupying English forces. Seven years after death, as she had predicted,
the English were defeated.
Oliver Cromwell (1599
politician and military leader, who led Parliamentary forces during the English
civil war. Cromwell’s victory saw the temporary overthrow of the English
monarchy and the supremacy of Parliament asserted.
Maximilien Robespierre (1758 –
was one of the foremost figures of the French revolution. He passionately
believed in the revolution to overthrow the monarchy and ruling classes. In the
‘reign of terror’ he was ruthless in his attempt to execute any who might
oppose the revolution. As Robespierre said: “The government in a revolution is
the despotism of liberty against tyranny.”
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769
military and political leader. Napoleon revolutionised Europe. He cemented the
ideas of the French revolution (in his own autocratic style) and enabled these
ideas, and his Napoleonic code to be spread across Europe.
George Washington (1732
leader of US during the American war of independence. Washington successfully
led the United States to its independence from Great Britain. Also elected 1st
President of US.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-
President of US. Principle author of Declaration of Independence, which was a
key moment in the American war of independence.
Simon Bolivar (1783 –
was known as ‘El Libertador’ – the Liberator. He led several Latin American
countries (Peru, Bolivar, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela) to independence from
the Spanish monarchy. After successfully leading the liberation struggle, he
served as president for a federation of Latin American countries until his
death in 1830.
Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872)
political activist. Campaigned for united Republic of Italy. Mazzini supported
several insurrections against the foreign rule of Italian states. He played a
key role in cementing support for a united Italy.
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882)
hero of Italy. Garibaldi led volunteer army in the Italian wars of
Independence. He played a key role in uniting Italy. He also fought in Latin
America and became known as ‘The Hero of Two Worlds’
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)
Indian revolutionary, who was one of the earliest Indian politicians to pursue
complete Indian independence. After spending a year in jail on trial for
revolutionary activities, he later retired from politics and became a spiritual
philosopher and spiritual teacher.
of Russian Revolution in 1917. He masterminded the Bolshevik revolution and
became the first leader of the Soviet Union.
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)
revolutionary. Trotsky was a key figure in the Russian revolution. He also
advocated worldwide Marxist revolution. He was later assassinated on the orders
of Stalin in Mexico.
Michael Collins (1890-1922)
revolutionary leader. Collins took part in the Easter Rising of 1916, and the
later war of independence. Collins was killed during the Irish civil war, when
he was killed by members of the IRA who felt he had sold out by making a deal
with the British.
Fidel Castro (1926-)
revolutionary leader. Castro led the Communist revolution of 1959, where he
successfully ousted the US backed Fulgencio Batista.
Che Guevara (1928 – 1967)
Latin American Marxist revolutionary. Guevara was a key figure in the Cuban
revolution, but Guevara also wanted to ferment other revolutions in Africa and
Latin America and criticised many aspects of the Soviet Union for betraying
many would say that Mao Zedong did no good to the world but he was, without a
doubt, one of the best revolutionary leaders that this world has seen. He drove
millions with him in the great Chinese Revolution and introduced the concept of
Maoism that is followed to this date in China.
Mandela remains one of the most subtle revolutionary leaders to have ever
graced the world. He was the man who single-handedly fought against the tyranny
of the whites in South Africa and changed the course of the nation with the
demolition of the apartheid rule.
it can be argued as to the motive behind his revolutionary campaign but there
is no doubt that he unified the people of Iran and brought one of the most
stunning revolutions in recent history. He overthrew the Shah of Iran with the
use of people power and while he is claimed by many as a ruthless man, there is
no doubt that most Iranians revered the cleric cum revolutionary.
Adolf Hitler Not all revolutions are positive developments. Adolf Hitler’s revolution in Germany led to World War II, one of the most catastrophically devastating events in human history. Germany welcomed his radical changes with open arms because they were suffering from economic ruin. Hitler’s revolution fueled the life-blood of the German economy, but at the cost of countless millions of innocent lives throughout Europe and the world.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 –
nationalist and politician. Gandhi inspired a series of non-violent protests
against British rule. For example, his iconic protest against the salt tax,
helped to raise the profile of Indian independence.
Mikhail Gorbachev (1931
President during the end of the Cold War. Gorbachev initiated a policy of
Glasnost and Perestroika. These policies of reform and openness led to the
ending of Communist party rule in the Soviet Union, and the fall of the Berlin
wall. In a short space of time, Eastern European countries attained freedom and
Martin Luther (1483 –
figure in the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther challenged the power and
abuses of the Catholic church, leading to a split in Christianity and the new
Protestant movement, which placed greater importance on the Bible, and less on
the church hierarchy.
B.D Ambedkar (1891 –
social reformer. Born in the ‘untouchable’ caste. Ambedkar gained degrees in
law and economics before becoming a pioneering political activist and social
reformer. He was the principle figure in the drafting of the Indian
Constitution, which outlawed ‘untouchability’ and promoted equality.
behind the Revolutions
Voltaire (1694 – 1778)
philosopher. Voltaire was a biting social critic, often finding himself
censored for his criticisms of the ruling elite. His writings, such
as Candide, were very influential in forming the ideas and ideals of the
French revolution, which occurred shortly after his death.
Karl Marx (1818 –
philosopher, founder of Marxism. Karl Marx wrote Das Capital and The Communist
Manifesto. Marx argued that Capitalism was inherently unequal and unjust. Marx
argued that there was an historical inevitability that the proletariat would
rise up in revolution and overthrow the Capitalist elite.
Friedrich Engels (1820 – 1895)
supported Karl Marx financially, and helped to write The Communist
Benjamin Franklin (1706
writer and polymath. Important writer before the American revolution. Credited
with first giving the idea of a United States.
William Wilberforce (1759
against slavery. Wilberforce was a key supporter of ending slavery in the
Martin Luther King (1929
civil rights campaigner. Martin Luther King was the most prominent figure in
the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. He pursued non-violent means
of protest to end laws of segregation and discrimination.
Abraham Lincoln (1809
of US during civil war, helped end slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
led to the eventual ending of slavery in the US.
Malcolm X (1925 – 1965)
nationalist leader. Malcolm X wanted to see a separate nation for
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906).
political activist. Campaigned against slavery and later for women to be given
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928).
suffragette who was willing to resort to violent means to promote the cause of
women’s rights. Women attained the vote in 1919.
/ Cultural Revolutions
Thomas Edison (1847 –
inventor who helped electricity to become widespread throughout America
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
mathematician and scientist. Newton’s laws of motion and gravity, fundamentally
changed the way people viewed the science of physics.
Albert Einstein (1879
modern physics with his general theory of relativity. His work on relativity
ushered in the nuclear age.
Galileo Galileo was a physicist and astronomer who first proposed that the earth revolved around the sun, and not the other way around. His views were denounced as heresy by the Church, and he was condemned to house arrest. His revolution was not only scientific, but spiritual. Galileo stood up publicly for his discovery, causing many people to question for the first time if they were really at the center of the universe
Henry Ford was a famous American industrialist who is often (incorrectly) credited with inventing the assembly line and the automobile. He actually invented neither, but he did sponsor their development, popularizing mass production techniques which pervade society today. Some consider him a hero, while others criticize the effects of mass production on society.
the Greatest Revolutionary of all times:
Jesus Christ (c.5BC –
Teacher, central figure of Christianity. Jesus Christ taught a new message
based on forgiveness. He challenged many of the prevailing religious and social
orthodoxies of the day
man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number
of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true
Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German
pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought
the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all
happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and
the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a
concentration camp and the allies destroyed my factories.'
are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the
religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in
peace. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
The Islamic State, also known as the
Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of
Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its
strategy. It is the ISIS fanatics
who wage any one of 20 world conflicts worldwide. It is the fanatics who teach
their young to kill the infidels; the fanatics who teach their children only those
prescripts of the Koran that suits their sick ideology:
1. Slay the unbelievers wherever you find
2. Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood (9:123)
3. When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
4. Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse
to pay Jizya tax (9:29)
5. Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)
6. The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
7. Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam. (5:33)
8. The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)
9. Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling
water; melt their skin and bellies (22:19)
10. Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them
11. The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
12. Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
13. Terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an
14. Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels (8:60)
It is time peace loving Muslim, which is estimated to be 75% of all Muslims, start acting before it’s too late
to stop the violence in:
1. Afghanistan Extreme radical Fundamentalist Muslim terrorist groups & Osama
bin Laden headed a terrorist group called Al Quada (The Source) whose
headquarters were in Afghanistan.
2. Bosnia Serbian Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholic, Muslims
3. Cote d'Ivoire Muslims, Indigenous, Christians
4. Cyprus Christians & Muslims
5. East Timor Christians & Muslims
6. Indonesia, province of Ambon Christians & Muslims
7. Kashmir Hindus and Muslims
8. Kosovo Serbian Orthodox Christians, Muslims
9. Kurdistan Christians, Muslims Assaults on Christians (Protestant, Chaldean
Catholic & Assyrian Orthodox). Bombing campaign underway.
10. Macedonia Macedonian Orthodox Christians & Muslims
11. Middle East Jews, Muslims
12. Nigeria Christians, Animists, & Muslims
13. Pakistan Suni & Shi'ite Muslims
14. Philippines Christians & Muslims
15. Russia, Chechnya Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims. The Russian army
attacked the breakaway region. Muslims had allegedly blown up buildings in
Moscow. Many atrocities have been alleged.
16. Serbia, province of Vojvodina Serbian Orthodox & Roman Catholics,
17. Sri Lanka Buddhists & Hindus Tamils, Muslims
18. Thailand: Pattani province: Buddists and Muslims
19. Bangladesh: Muslim-Hindu (Bengalis) and Buddists (Chakmas)
20. Tajikistan: intra-Islamic conflict
The radical movement ISIS's rise to power is no less like the
triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic
State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate
reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power
over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.
hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,'
is cowed and extraneous.
Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the
Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million
people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population
was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70
average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering
sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East
Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million
Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said
that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?
lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of
reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving
Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend
from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and
the end of their world will have begun.
Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public
schools in Ontario and in Ottawa too, while the Lord's
Prayer was removed due to being so offensive.
we are silent.......
Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis,
Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, Muslims and many others have
died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was
for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that
counts--the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Fanaticism has spread a scourge of violence
around the globe that otherwise simply wouldn’t exist. It is time for the
West to put an end to this horror.
The rest of the world and in particular the
west, needs to get acquainted with the Fanatic’s intellectual genealogy if we
are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it
self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. These conditions all started inconspicuous, but because no one said
anything, developed into an all consuming monster.
Lastly, anyone who doubts that the
issue is serious, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems
I hope that thousands world-wide, will read this and think about
it, and share it - before it's too late.
time ago I posted this article on my Website, but it is so relevant still today
that I would like to share it with you once again.
senseless spate of farm murders in South Africa that is consuming the very fiber of our society at the moment, reminds me once again of a story I heard about the frog and the scorpion.
frog and the scorpion were stranded on an island in a river, when the scorpion
said to the frog:
water is rising and if we do not get off the island soon, we will both drown. You
can swim, but I cannot. Let me climb on your back and then you can swim with me
on your back to the other side of the river where we will both be safe.”
frog thought about this for a moment and replied:
I do not trust you! What guarantee do I have that you will not kill me on the
promise that I will not kill you, especially not after you would have been so
kind to me.”
said the frog, “get on and let’s go.”
Lo and behold, halfway
across the river, the scorpion stung the frog, and in his dying moments, the
frog said to the scorpion:
have you done!... How could you! … You promised! Now we
both gonna die!
did you do it!?”
that’s what scorpion do!”
we should stop trying to find the answers in complex explanations and experts’
we should stop putting the blame on political ideology or religious dogma.
the answer was always in front of us; we just dont want to accept it.
the only Economic System with any Hope of Success How to make it work Social-Capitalism
Stes de Necker
system in which trade, industry, and the means
of production are privately owned and
operated via profit
and loss calculation (price
signals) through the price system. Central
characteristics of capitalism include private property, capital
accumulation, wage labour and, in
some situations, fully competitive
capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices
at which they exchange assets,
goods, and services.
the role of intervention and
regulation, and the scope of state ownership vary across different models of capitalism. Economists, political economists,
and historians have
adopted different perspectives in their analyses of capitalism and have
recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire or free market capitalism, welfare
capitalism, crony capitalism, corporatism, "third way" social democracy and state capitalism.
has employed varying degrees of dependency on free markets, public ownership,
obstacles to free competition, and inclusion of state-sanctioned social policies.
The extent to
which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private
property, become matters of politics and of policy. Many states have
economy, which combines elements of both capitalism and centrally planned economics.
has existed under many forms
of government, in many different times, places, and cultures. Following
the decline of mercantilism,
mixed capitalist systems became dominant in the Western world and
continue to spread.
was carried across the world by broader processes of globalization such
as imperialism and, by
the end of the nineteenth century, became the
dominant global economic system, in turn intensifying processes of
economic and other globalization. Later, in the 20th century, capitalism
overcame a challenge by centrally-planned economies and
is now the encompassing system worldwide, with the mixed economy being
its dominant form in the industrialized Western world.
cheap production of household items using economies
of scale, while rapid population growth created sustained demand for
commodities. Globalization in this period was decisively shaped by
the First and Second Opium Wars and
the completion of British conquest of India, vast populations of these regions
became ready consumers of European exports. It was in this period that areas of
sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific islands were incorporated into the world
Meanwhile, the conquest of new parts of the
globe, notably sub-Saharan Africa, by Europeans yielded valuable natural
resources such as rubber, diamonds and coal and helped fuel trade and investment
between the European imperial powers, their colonies, and the United States.
inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea, the
various products of the whole earth, and reasonably expect their early delivery
upon his doorstep. Militarism and imperialism of racial and cultural rivalries
were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper.
What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of
man was that age which came to an end in August 1914.
financial system was mainly tied to the gold standard in this
period. The United
Kingdom first formally adopted this standard in 1821. Soon to
follow was Canada in
1853, Newfoundland in 1865, and the United States and
Germany (de jure) in 1873. New
technologies, such as the telegraph,
the transatlantic cable, the Radiotelephone, the steamship and railway allowed goods
and information to move around the world at an unprecedented degree.
In the period
following the global depression of the 1930s, the state played an increasingly
prominent role in the capitalistic system throughout much of the world. The
post-war boom ended in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the situation was
worsened by the rise of stagflation.
Monetarism, a modification
of Keynesianism that is more compatible with laissez-faire, gained increasing
prominence in the capitalist world, especially under the leadership of Ronald Reagan in the
US and Margaret
Thatcher in the UK in the 1980s. Public and political interest
began shifting away from the so-called collectivist concerns
of Keynes's managed capitalism to a focus on individual choice, called
economic structures, supply and demand is an economic model of price
determination in a market.
It concludes that in a competitive
market, the unit price for
a particular good will
vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at
current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current
price), resulting in an economic
equilibrium for price and quantity.
basic laws of supply and demand are:
increases (demand curve shifts to the right) and supply remains unchanged, a
shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
decreases (demand curve shifts to the left) and supply remains unchanged, a
surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
remains unchanged and supply increases (supply curve shifts to the right), a
surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
remains unchanged and supply decreases (supply curve shifts to the left), a
shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
The price (P)
of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price
(supply, S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at
each price (demand, D).
in a market equilibrium, with a given quantity (Q) sold of the product. A rise
in demand would result in an increase in price and an increase in output.
usage of the term capitalism in its modern sense has been attributed
to Louis Blanc in 1850
("..what i call 'capitalism' that is to say the appropriation of capital
by some to the exclusion of others.") and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1861
("Economic and social regime in which capital, the source of income, does
not generally belong to those who make it work through their labour.").
The use of
the word "capitalism" in reference to an economic system appears
twice in Volume I of Das Kapital, p. 124 (German edition), and
in Theories of Surplus Value, tome II, p. 493 (German edition). Marx
did not extensively use the form capitalism, but instead those
of capitalist and capitalist mode of production, which appear
more than 2600 times in the trilogy Das Kapital.
relationship between democracy and
capitalism is a contentious area in theory and in popular political movements.
of universal adult male suffrage in
19th century Britain occurred along with the development of industrial
capitalism, and democracy became widespread at the same time as capitalism,
leading capitalists to posit a causal or mutual relationship between them.
the 20th century, according to some authors, capitalism also accompanied a
variety of political formations quite distinct from liberal democracies,
including fascist regimes,
absolute monarchies, and single-party states. Democratic peace theory
asserts that democracies seldom fight other democracies, but critics of that theory
suggest that this may be because of political similarity or stability rather
than because they are democratic or capitalist.
critics argue that though economic growth under capitalism has led to democracy
in the past, it may not do so in the future, as authoritarian regimes
have been able to manage economic growth without making concessions to greater
capitalistic economic systems have thrived under authoritarian or oppressive
an open market economy and attracts a great deal of foreign investment, but
does not protect civil liberties such as freedom of speech and expression.
(capitalist) sector in the People's Republic of China has grown exponentially
and thrived since its inception, despite having an authoritarian
Augusto Pinochet's rule in
Chile led to economic growth and high levels of inequality by using
authoritarian means to create a safe environment for investment and capitalism.
In the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty of
School of Economics asserts that inequality is the inevitable
consequence of economic growth in a capitalist economy and the resulting concentration
of wealth can destabilize democratic societies and undermine
the ideals of social justice upon which they are built.
Marxists, anarchists (except
for an archo-capitalists),
and other leftists argue that capitalism is incompatible with democracy since
capitalism according to Marx entails "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" (owners
of the means of production) while democracy entails rule by the people.
"production for exchange" driven by the desire for personal
accumulation of money receipts in such exchanges, mediated by free markets.
themselves are driven by the needs and wants of consumers and those of society
as a whole. If these wants and needs were (in the socialist or communist
society envisioned by Marx, Engels and others) the driving force, it would be
mainstream economics, particularly that associated with the right,
holds that an "invisible
hand", through little more than the freedom of the market,
is able to match social production to these needs and desires.
capitalism as an economic system and mode of production can be summarised by
for profit and accumulation as the implicit purpose of all or most of
production, constriction or elimination of production formerly carried out on a
common social or private household basis.
for exchange on a market; to maximise exchange-value instead
ownership of the means of production:
the means of production by a class of capital owners, either
individually, collectively or through a state that serves the interests of
the capitalist class.
High levels of wage labour.
The investment of money to
make a profit.
The use of the price mechanism to
allocate resources between competing uses.
The profit motive is a
theory in capitalism which posits that the ultimate goal of a business is to
differently, the reason for a business’s existence is to turn a profit.
motive functions on the rational
choice theory, or the theory that individuals tend to pursue what is
in their own best interests. Accordingly, businesses seek to benefit themselves
and/or their shareholders by maximising profits.
theoretics, the profit motive is said to ensure that resources are being
allocated efficiently. For instance, Austrian
Hazlitt explains, “If there is no profit in making an article,
it is a sign that the labor and capital devoted to its production are
misdirected: the value of the resources that must be used up in making the
article is greater than the value of the article itself." In other
words, profits let companies know whether an item is worth producing.
Theoretically in free and competitive markets, maximising profits ensures that
resources are not wasted.
In a Marxist
analysis of the capitalist economy, the reserve army of labour refers to
the unemployed and under-employed. It is
synonymous with "industrial reserve army" or "relative surplus
population", except that the unemployed can be defined as those actually
looking for work and that the relative surplus population also includes people
unable to work.
The use of
the word "army" refers to the workers being conscripted and
regimented in the workplace in a hierarchy, under the commanding heights of the economy.
Prior to the
start of the capitalist era in human history (i.e. before the 1500s), structural
unemployment on a mass scale rarely existed, other than that
caused by natural disasters and wars. In ancient societies, all people who
could work necessarily had to work, otherwise they would starve; a slave or a
serf by definition could not become "unemployed".
normally very little possibility of "earning a crust" without working
at all, and the usual attitude toward beggars and idlers were harsh.
began to work already at a very early age. Indeed, the word
"employment" is linguistically a product of the capitalist era.
level of unemployment presupposes a working population which is to a large
extent dependent on a wage or salary for a living, without having other means
of livelihood, as well as the right of enterprises to hire and fire employees
in accordance with commercial or economic conditions. The expression
"unemployed" in English, in the sense of "temporarily out of
work", dates back to the 1660s; reference to "the unemployed" as
a group was first made in 1782; and reference to "unemployment" as a
general condition is first attested in 1888.
recorded discussion of the reserve army of labour is in a manuscript written
by Karl Marx:
industry constantly requires a reserve army of unemployed workers for times
The main purpose of the bourgeois in relation to the worker is, of course, to
have the commodity labour as cheaply as possible, which is only possible when
the supply of this commodity is as large as possible in relation to the demand
for it, i.e., when the overpopulation is the greatest. Overpopulation is
therefore in the interest of the bourgeoisie, and it gives the workers good
advice which it knows to be impossible to carry out. Since capital only
increases when it employs workers, the increase of capital involves an increase
of the proletariat, and, as we have seen, according to the nature of the
relation of capital and labour, the increase of the proletariat must proceed
relatively even faster. The... theory... which is also expressed as a law of
nature, that population grows faster than the means of subsistence, is the more
welcome to the bourgeois as it silences his conscience, makes hard-heartedness
into a moral duty and the consequences of society into the consequences of
nature, and finally gives him the opportunity to watch the destruction of the
proletariat by starvation as calmly as other natural event without bestirring
himself, and, on the other hand, to regard the misery of the proletariat as its
own fault and to punish it. To be sure, the proletarian can restrain his
natural instinct by reason, and so, by moral supervision, halt the law of
nature in its injurious course of development." - Karl Marx, Wages,
discusses the army of labour and the reserve army in Capital, Ch. 25, Section
IV. The Army of Labour consists in those working-class people employed in
average or better than average jobs. Not every one in the working class gets
one of these jobs. There are then four other categories where members of the
working class might find themselves: the "stagnant pool",
the floating reserves, the latent reserve, and pauperdom.
Finally, people may leave the army and the reserve army by turning to
criminality, and Marx refers to such people as "lumpen-proletariat."
The stagnant part
consists of marginalised people with "extremely irregular
employment". Stagnant pool jobs are characterized by below average pay,
dangerous working conditions, they may be temporary. Those caught in the
stagnant pool have jobs, so the modern definition of the employed would include
both the army of labour plus the stagnant pool. However, they are constantly on
the lookout for something better.
unemployed would refer primarily to the floating reserve, people who
used to have good jobs, but are now out of work. They certainly hope that their
unemployment is temporary ("conjunctural unemployment"), but they are
well- aware that they could fall into the stagnant pool or the pauper class.
The latent part
consists of that segment of the population not yet fully integrated into
day, he was referring to people living off of subsistence agriculture who were
looking for monetary employment in industry. In modern times, people coming
from slums in developing countries where they survive largely by non-monetary
means, to developed cities where they work for pay might form the latent.
Housewives who move from unpaid to paid employment for a business could also
form a part of the latent reserve. They are not unemployed, because they are
not necessarily actively looking for a job; but if capital needs extra workers,
it can pull them out of the latent reserve. In this sense, the latent forms a
reservoir of potential workers for industries.
where one might end up. The homeless is the modern term for paupers. Marx calls
them people who cannot adapt to capital's never ending change. For Marx,
"the sphere of pauperism", including those still able to work,
orphans and pauper children, and the "demoralised and ragged" or
"unable to work".
system of wage labour, the workers sell their labour power under a
formal or informal employment
contract to a member of the capitalist class. These
transactions usually occur in a labour market where wages are market determined. In
exchange for the wages paid, the work product generally becomes the undifferentiated property of
the employer, except for special cases such as the vesting of intellectual
property patents in the United States where patent rights are usually vested in the
employee personally responsible for the invention. A wage labourer is
a person whose primary means of income is from the selling of his or her labour
in this way.
has often been compared to slavery. As a result, the term 'wage
slavery' is often utilised as a pejorative for wage labour.
advocates of slavery looked upon the "comparative evils of Slave Society
and of Free Society, of slavery to human Masters and slavery to Capital," and
proceeded to argue persuasively that wage slavery was
actually worse than chattel slavery. Slavery
apologists like George
Fitzhugh contended that workers only accepted wage labour with
the passage of time, as they became "familiarised and inattentive to the
infected social atmosphere they continually inhale."
Adam Smith noted that
employers often conspire together to keep wages low:
of the dealers... in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always
in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public…
[They] have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public… We
rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though
frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that
masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters
are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform
combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate… It is
not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all
ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into
a compliance with their terms.
The eternal wage struggle
demand the highest wages (cost) for the least amount of output (work)
demand the highest output (work) for the least amount of cost (wages)
Aristotle made the statement "...the citizens must
not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and
inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best
state be tillers of the soil (for leisure is needed both for the development of
virtue and for active participation in politics)", often paraphrased
as "all paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind."
Cicero wrote in 44 BC
that "…vulgar are the means of livelihood of all hired workmen whom we pay
for mere manual labour, not for artistic skill; for in their case the very wage
they receive is a pledge of their slavery."
similar criticisms have also been expressed by some proponents of liberalism, like Henry George, Silvio Gesell and Thomas Paine, as well
as the Distributist school
of thought within the Roman
of criticisms against the profit motive centre on the idea that profits should
not supersede the needs of people. Michael Moore’s film Sicko, for example, attacks the healthcare
industry for its alleged emphasis on profits at the expense of patients.
have no talk of profit when it comes to helping people who are sick. The profit
motive should be nowhere involved in this. And you know what? It’s not fair to
the insurance companies either because they have a fiduciary responsibility to
make as much money as they can for their shareholders. Well, the way they make
more money is to deny claims or to kick people off the rolls or to not even let
people on the rolls because they have a pre-existing condition. You know, all
of that is wrong.”
common criticism of the profit motive is that it is believed to encourage
selfishness and greed. Critics of the profit motive contend that companies
disregard morals or public safety in the pursuit of profits.
counter that the profit motive, coupled with competition, actually reduces the
final price of an item for consumption, rather than raising it. They argue that
businesses profit by selling a good at a lower price and at a greater volume
than the competition. Economist Thomas Sowell uses
supermarkets as an example to illustrate this point: “It has been estimated
that a supermarket makes a clear profit of about a penny on a dollar of sales.
If that sounds pretty skimpy, remember that it is collecting that penny on
every dollar at several cash registers simultaneously and, in many cases,
around the clock.”
Economist Milton Friedman has
argued that greed and self-interest are universal human traits. On a 1979
episode of The
Phil Donahue Show, Friedman states, “The world runs on individuals
pursuing their separate interests.” He continues by explaining that only in
capitalist countries, where individuals can pursue their own self-interest,
people have been able to escape from “grinding poverty.”
and Economic Growth
theorists and policymakers in predominantly capitalist nations have emphasised
capitalism's ability to promote economic growth, as measured by Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), capacity
utilization or standard
was central, for example, to Adam Smith's advocacy of letting a free market
control production and price, and allocate resources. Many theorists have noted
that this increase in global GDP over time coincides with the emergence of the
modern world capitalist system.
and 1820, the world economy grew six fold, a faster rate than the population
growth, so each individual enjoyed, on the average, a 50% increase in wealth.
Between 1820 and 1998, world economy grew 50-fold, a much faster rate than the
population growth, so each individual enjoyed, on the average, a 9-fold
increase in wealth. In most capitalist economic regions such as Europe,
the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the economy grew 19-fold
per person, even though these countries already had a higher starting level,
and in Japan, which was poor in 1820, the increase per person was 31-fold. In
the third world there was
an increase, but only 5-fold per person.
argue that increasing GDP (per capita) is empirically shown to bring about
improved standards of living, such as better availability of food, housing,
clothing, and health care. The decrease in the number of hours worked per
week and the decreased participation of children and the elderly in the
workforce have been attributed to capitalism.
Road to Serfdom, Freidrich Hayek asserts
that the economic
freedom of capitalism is a requisite of political freedom. He
argues that the market mechanism is the only way of deciding what to produce
and how to distribute the items without using coercion.
Milton Friedman, Andrew Brennan and Ronald Reagan also
promoted this view. Friedman claimed that centralized economic operations are
always accompanied by political
In his view,
transactions in a market economy are voluntary, and that the wide diversity
that voluntary activity permits is a fundamental threat to repressive political
leaders and greatly diminish their power to coerce. Some of Friedman's views
were shared by John
Maynard Keynes, who believed that capitalism is vital for freedom to
survive and thrive.
Freedom House, an American
think tank that conducts international research on, and advocates for,
democracy, political freedom, and human rights, has argued "there is a
high and statistically significant correlation between the level of political
measured by Freedom House and economic freedom as
measured by the Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation survey."
and political theories advocate for an economy without the profit system and
thus the profit motive, but all of these have ended
in authoritarianism as in the case of Communism, Marxism and Socialism.
and social system in which all (or nearly all) property and resources are collectively owned by a classless society
and not by individualcitizens.
on the 1848 publication 'Communist Manifesto' by two German political
philosophers, Karl Marx (1818-1883) and his close associate Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), it envisaged commonownership of all land and capital and withering away of the coercive power of the state.
such a society, social relations were to be regulated on the fairest of all principles: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
between manual and intellectual labor and between rural and urban life were to disappear, opening up the way for
unlimited development of human potential.
view of the above, there has never been a truly communist state although the Soviet Union of the past and China, Cuba, and North Korea of today stake their claims
A system of economic, social, and political philosophy
based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors. A central tenet is that the means of production is the economic base that influences or determines the political life.
Marxism, outdated classstructures were supposed to be overthrown with force (revolution) instead of being replaced through
patient modification. Itheld that as capitalism has succeeded feudalism, it too will be
removed by a dictatorship of the workers (proletariat) calledsocialism, followed quickly and inevitably by a classless
society which governs itself without a governing class or structure.
Developed in the 19th century jointly by two lifelong
German friends living in London - Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) -
it forms the foundation of communism.
An economic system in which goods and services are provided through a central system of cooperative and/or governmentownership rather than through competition and a free market system.
Make Capitalism work
is a widespread belief that free markets do not benefit the common person, let
alone the poor: they are only an instrument for the rich to get richer. Not
only is this belief false, but in fact the opposite is true. Free markets are
the single most important tools to eliminate poverty and spread opportunity.
problem is that people do not distinguish enough between true free market
capitalism, which implies competition and equal access, and the failed version
experienced in many countries where powerful elites protect their position by
denying fair access to markets. Particularly in developing countries, ordinary
people never see the benefits of properly working capitalism.
make them work for all, markets need political support to provide the right
amount of rules and regulations that will allow them to flourish; a government
that is not too interventionist and not too laissez-faire.
there is no single proposal that will preserve the system of free enterprise,
the following three mutually reinforcing broad policy objectives must be
borders open to the flow of goods and capital;
the transfer of productive assets into efficient hands;
3. maintain safety nets focused on individuals.
2014 the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to the French economist Jean
Tirole of the University of Toulouse. Tirole
was awarded the Nobel Prize for his contribution on how states could regulate
the financial news agency Bloomberg’s news report put it: “Regulators can use
Tirole’s research to encourage powerful companies to become more productive,
while preventing them from harming competitors and customers.”
And Robert Litan of the Brookings Institute in Washington DC added: “He
believes that markets don’t always work and worries how to fix them.”
can work properly only when the market is truly free, when the playing field is
as level as you can get it.
Monopolies, in other words, are bad for capitalism. They work against
affordability and efficiency.
An example: when a single airline flies between two cities, it has an effective
monopoly. And therefore the company could charge passengers an arm and a leg.
Now another airline enters the market, with cheaper air fares. You can bet
anything that the first airline will not only improve its service, but that its
fares will tumble as well.
Inequality is a scourge
In a report published by the Credit Suisse Bank, about 48% of global wealth is
owned by 1% of the world population and the gap is getting bigger.
It also confirms the conclusions by British development agency Oxfam, according
to which the richest 85 individuals in the world own about the same as the
poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.
For several reasons, this is not a healthy situation. It is devastating for
societies’ internal cohesion. It deprives economies of millions of middle-class
consumers and depresses growth.
It certainly is not a level playing field. It is not a free market, but a
skewed one. And that is not healthy capitalism.
The question is: what do we do about it
not what the ruling ANC in South Africa is doing; shout about poverty and allow
the playing field to get ever more uneven.
About 18 million poor people receive
state allowances and it did not solve the problem. It brought relief to people,
because those people do not go to sleep hungry any more, but it created
Hand-outs don't alleviate poverty
Small peasants do not grow crops anymore, because they know the state will pay
a few hundred Rand out every month. The ANC hasn’t developed a culture of
entrepreneurship, on the contrary, they have destroyed that culture.
Basically the same message can be read into a report by the Fraser Institute of
Canada. For the last 20 years, this institute has analysed the extent to which
151 states’ economies are free against an index consisting of 42 distinct
variables. These are grouped in five areas: size of government, legal structure
and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade
internationally, and regulation of credit, labour and business.
Studies based on the report have shown that, virtually without exception, countries
with institutions and policies more consistent with economic freedom have
higher investment rates, more rapid economic growth, higher income levels, and
a more rapid reduction in poverty rates”.
The report shows that the poorest in economically free countries make much more
money than those in un-free countries.
Not surprisingly, Venezuela – the country with which both the ANC and the EFF
flirt so happily – is regarded as the world’s most un-free economy. And as it
happens, the Venezuelan economy has just about collapsed during the past few
As for South Africa, in 2012 the country was placed 93rd with a rating of 6.73
out of 10. This contrasts badly with its ranking of 57th in 1990, before the
ANC came to power.
Create what I will call Social-Capitalism
tackle the big players and their monopolies.
inequality that is too severe is bad in every respect.
do not try to alleviate poverty by hand-outs. You may address the immediate
problem, but in the long run you create even more problems than you solve.
integrate those social practices that can be integrated into the capitalist
structure meaningfully (like health and education for instance) responsibly,
without creating a socialist economy.