Communist Youth Organization

The Youth Branch of The Workers’ Communist Party of Iran

A Better World Programme of the Worker-communist Party Social and Intellectual Basis of Worker Communism Part 5 Foundations of capitalism

The surplus value obtained from the exploitation of the working class is

divided out among the various sections of the capitalist class essentially

through the market mechanism and also through state fiscal and monetary

policies. Profit, interest and rent are the major forms in which the different

capitals share in the fruits of this class exploitation. The competition of

capitals in the market determines the share of each capitalist branch, unit and


But this is not all. This surplus pays whole cost of the bourgeoisie's state

machinery, army and administration, of its ideological and cultural

institutions, and the upkeep of all those who, through these institutions,

uphold the power of the bourgeoisie. By its work, the working class pays the

cost of the ruling class, the ever-increasing accumulation of capital and the

bourgeoisie's political, cultural and intellectual domination over the working

class and the entire society.

With the accumulation of capital, the mass of commodities which make up

the wealth of bourgeois society grows. An inevitable result of the

accumulation process is the continual and accelerating technological

progress and rise in the mass and capacity of the means of production which the working class

sets in motion in every new cycle of the production

process. But compared to the growth in society's wealth and productive

powers, the working class continually gets relatively poorer. Despite the

gradual and limited increase, in absolute terms, in the workers' standard of

living, the share of the working class from the social wealth declines rapidly,

and the gap between the living conditions of the working class and the

higher living standards that is already made possible by its own work

widens. The richer the society becomes, the more impoverished a section the

worker forms in it.

Technological progress and rise in labour productivity mean that living

human labour power is increasingly replaced by machines and automatic

systems. In a free and human society this should mean more free time and

leisure for all. But in capitalist society, where labour power and means of

production are merely so many commodities which capital employs to make

profits, the substitution of humans by machines manifests itself as a

permanent unemployment of a section of the working class which is now

denied the possibility of making a living. The appearance of a reserve army

of workers who do not even have the possibility of selling their labour power

is an inevitable result of the process of accumulation of capital, and at the

same time a condition of capitalist production. The existence of this reserve

army of unemployed, supported essentially by the employed section of the

working class itself, heightens the competition in the ranks of the working

class and keeps wages at their lowest socially possible level. This reserve

army also allows capital to more easily modify the size of its employed work

force in proportion to the needs of the market. Massive unemployment is not

a side-effect of the market, or a result of the bad policies of some

government. It is an inherent part of the workings of capitalism and the

process of accumulation of capital.

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