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 6 Foundations of capitalism

Periodic economic crises with catastrophic economic and social

consequences are an inevitable feature of the capitalist system. These crises

spring essentially from a fundamental contradiction within the accumulation

process itself: while labour is the source of surplus value and profit, the

accumulation process and the inevitable technological progress constantly

diminish the ratio of labour power to means of production. The surplus value

that is produced, even if it grows in absolute terms, cannot normally keep

pace with the growth in the capital advanced. By the material laws of the

accumulation process itself, therefore, the rate of profit has an inevitable tendency to fall. The ceaseless activity to offset this tendency and maintain

the rate of profit, especially through intensifying exploitation and reducing

the share of the working class from the social wealth - paid in the form of

wages, public services, etc. - is the daily business of the capitalist class, its

various governments, and the large corps of bourgeois economists, managers

and experts worldwide.

Nevertheless, the inner contradictions of capital and the tendency of the rate

of profit to fall, assert themselves periodically and throw the whole

economic system into a deep crisis. Periods of stagnation and crisis are not

only signs and symptoms of the intensification of capital's internal

contradictions, but also the practical mechanism for their alleviation and the

reconstruction of capital. Competition among different sections of capital

grows and many are driven to bankruptcy. The weaker capitals are knocked

out, improving the conditions of profitability for those who remain. On the

other hand, the capitalist class and its states embark on a wide-scale

offensive on workers' living standards. The ranks of the unemployed swell

and the exploitation of the whole working class intensifies.

Capital emerges from every crisis more centralised. Thus the next crisis

takes on wider and deeper dimensions and gives rise to a more severe

competition and conflict in the capitalist class. Each new crisis makes an

ever more comprehensive reconstruction of capital necessary. Equally, the

prospects for society each time grow darker and more terrifying.

The consequences of the capitalist system's contradictions and crises are not

confined to the economic sphere. Devastating global and regional wars,

militarism and military aggressions, autocratic and police states, stripping

people, and especially workers, of their civil and political rights, rise of state

terrorism, resurgence of the extreme Right and of religious, nationalist, racist

and anti-woman groups and trends - these are the realities of contemporary

capitalism especially in periods of crisis.

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