Workers are qualified to run the economy

Workers are qualified to run the economy
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The People
July 1996
Vol. 106 No. 4

WORKERS ARE QUALIFIED TO RUN THE ECONOMY

BY LINDA FEATHERINGILL

For many years, the Socialist Labor Party has encouraged workers to take control of the economy and use the productive capacity to fill needs rather than to make profits. But are we as workers able to run things without the capitalists around to tell us what to do?

Let us look at the qualities any class of people must have to stand on their own feet and run their own lives. These qualities include: intelligence, creativity, energy, the ability to cooperate, and the willingness to take control of a situation. Do we possess these characteristics?

Without a doubt, workers are intelligent. While it is true that no one member of the working class knows everything, this is not a problem. No one member of the capitalist class knows everything, either. It just isn't necessary. What is needed is many different people who have a good understanding of different things. The working class is made up of people who are quite proficient at their jobs - producing goods, transporting them, organizing the flow of products, as well as delivering services and assistance in many forms. We who do the work know the work. We don't need overlords.

Workers are creative. Technical advances are not developed by CEOs and stockbrokers, but by the very people who are physically involved in production and distribution of goods and services. The capitalists merely benefit from these innovations. How many times have workers devised a better way of doing things, only to watch helplessly as corporations seize our ideas and control the use of them to increase profits? Since we are the people who are generating new developments, we can continue to do so whether the very wealthy exist or not.

It is a fact that taking control of the economy and running it would require a major investment of energy. This should pose no problem for workers, since it is our energy that is feeding the economy anyway. The small minority of people who control everything today don't make the economy work; they only use it to further enrich themselves. We accomplish a tremendous amount of work under the present conditions, and we could accomplish even more if we didn't have to support the greed of the ruling class.

Can workers cooperate with one another? Yes, we can. We do just that every day. Production is too complex to be carried out by individuals working alone. We work in teams that work together with other teams and coordinate our efforts with similar groups in other industries. The bankers and investors aren't doing it for us - we are doing it ourselves. We don't need masters to force us to work together.

This brings us to the final question. Even if we are competent to run the economy, are we ready and willing to take control of our world? If not, then we can remain chained to a wage system that robs us all. But if we are ready to assume control of the economy, it is time to take positive steps in that direction. We can join with each other and build and strengthen the only political party dedicated to this task - the SLP. The capitalist class is very small. The working class makes up the vast majority of our population. There are so many of us that if we were to unite the sheer weight of our numbers would enable us to take control of productive systems peacefully, purposefully, and permanently. Come and join us. Together we can do it.