At first capitalism was progressive, opening up new markets as an efficient way of producing goods. But capitalism became regressive and less efficient, as competition among manufacturers decreased and economic power was concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. The growth of monopolies was inevitable, because competition produced winners as well as losers. Soon the monopoly system outgrew the original capitalist system of product diversity. Rich monopolists got richer by increasing profits, and poor workers got poorer because profit was taken from their wages. They became pauperized, and, as small business people were squeezed out by competition, they swelled its ranks. Under free market conditions, a glut of labourers caused a decrease in wages, intensifying poverty. Because of cheaper labour, profits increased. For a while, profits were reinvested in production, but eventually production generated more and more goods able to be bought by fewer and fewer people. This downward spiral of events led to economic recession, depression, and labour unrest. Soon the capitalist world was ripe for revolution.

In the mature phase of capitalism, the means of production would already be concentrated in a few locations. Workers could easily seize them in the name of the workers themselves and nationalize them in the name of a nation governed by workers. The first stage of the revolution would be a temporary dictatorship of the working class, whose job it would be to destroy the 1% as a class and eliminate private profit by putting it to public use. The result would be a classless society in which the state, formerly serving the interests of a few capitalists, would become agents for all workers. Eventually, the state would erode and the final stage would emerge, the true stage of communism, in which workers would work according to their ability and receive compensation according to their needs. Final communism would represent a return to primitive communism with the technology of the industrial age.

Paul A. Erikson & Liam D. Murphy

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