Capitalist society is, as we have seen, based on the exploitation of the working class. A small minority of men dominate everything; most of the workers do not own anything. Capitalists rule, workers obey. Capitalists exploit, workers are exploited. The whole nature of capitalist society consists of this relentless and ever-growing exploitation.
Production is a suction valve used to extract surplus value. How is this valve kept in service for so long? Why do workers tolerate this state of affairs?
It is not easy to answer this question, without further ado. But there are generally two reasons: first, because organization and power are in the hands of the capitalist class; secondly, because the bourgeoisie owns even the mind of the working class.
The surest means that the bourgeois class uses for this purpose is the state organization. In all capitalist countries the state is nothing else but an association of capitalists. Let’s take any country: England or the United States, France or Japan. The ministers, the high officials, the deputies, are the capitalists themselves, the. landowners, entrepreneurs or bankers, or their faithful and well-renown servants: lawyers, banking directors, teachers, generals, archbishops or bishops.
The set of all these servants of the bourgeoisie, which extend throughout the country and dominate it, is called the State. This organization of the bourgeoisie has two purposes: first, and this is the main thing, that of suppressing all the movements and insurrections of the workers, of ensuring the disturbed exploitation of the working class and the reinforcement of the capitalist production system, and second, that of combating other similar organizations (that is, other bourgeois states) for the distribution of the surplus value taken from the working class. Therefore, the capitalist state is an association of entrepreneurs who guarantee exploitation. Only, then, the interests of capital guide the activity of this banditry association.
Against this conception of the bourgeois state the following objection can be adduced: You affirm that the state is entirely based on the interests of capital.
Well, look: in all capitalist countries there are factory laws that prohibit or limit child labor and reduce working hours. In Germany, for example, there was already a relatively good workers insurance by the State in the time of William II; In England, the bourgeois minister Lloyd George has introduced workers insurance; in all bourgeois states hospitals and health houses for workers are founded, trains are built in which everyone, rich and poor, can travel; aqueducts, pipes, etc .; things that benefit everyone. Therefore, even in countries where capital dominates, the State will object, not only in the interests of capital, but also in the interests of the working class. Industrialists are punished by the State for violating factory laws.
Such arguments are false. Here is the reason: it is true that laws and regulations sometimes come out of the bourgeois power, which are useful even for the working class. But this is in the interest of the bourgeoisie itself. Take the example of the train. This is also used by workers and is useful to them. But it was not built for workers. Merchants, industrialists need it for the transport of their goods, for the movement of troops, for the transport of workers, etc. Capital needs railroads and builds them in its own interest. The capitalist state does not build the railway lines because they are useful to the workers. Let’s take a closer look at the so-called
“Public health”, street cleaning, hospitals. In this field the bourgeoisie also thinks of the working class neighborhoods. It is also true that, in relation to the bourgeois neighborhoods in the center, the suburbs where the workers live are dirty and unhealthy; but anyway, the bourgeoisie does something. Why? Because otherwise the diseases would spread throughout the city and it would also be the turn of the bourgeoisie. Even here, the state and local agencies serve the interests of the bourgeoisie. Let’s take another example. In recent decades, in France, the workers of the bourgeoisie learned to artificially limit procreation: no children are born, or if they are born, at most two in each family. The misery among the workers is so great that it is almost impossible for them to support a large family. The result is that France’s population hardly increases. Hence, the French bourgeoisie is beginning to lack soldiers. So he cries out, “The nation is going to ruin! The Germans are spreading faster than we are and they will have more soldiers! To this it was added that the recruits were from year to year more petty: small of stature, narrow of chest, physically weak. In one blow the bourgeoisie became “generous”; Spontaneously, he began to introduce improvements for the working class, so that the workers would recover a little and produce more children. Because when the hen is killed it does not give more eggs.
In all these cases the bourgeoisie adopts measures that are certainly useful to the working class, but with which it pursues its own interests. In other cases, these measures are adopted by the bourgeois state under pressure from the working class. Of these laws there are many. Almost all “factory laws” were obtained in this way: as a result of worker threats. The first reduction in working hours in England (to ten hours) was obtained thanks to the threats of the workers; In Russia, the Tsarist government enacted factory laws, frightened by worker unrest and strikes. The State, that organization hostile to the working class, makes, guided by its interests, the following calculation: “It is better to yield today than to have to give twice as much or risk your skin tomorrow.” In the same way, the industrialist who gives in to the strikers, granting them a small increase, is still bourgeois because he has thrown a miserable bone at the proletariat.
The bourgeois state, in addition to being the most powerful and largest organization of the bourgeoisie, is also the most complicated, since it has numerous ramifications that extend its tentacles in all directions. All this serves a primary purpose: the defense, consolidation and expansion of the exploitation of the working class. Against
The working class disposes the bourgeois state of the means of brutal coercion and of mental servitude; These two form the most important organs of the capitalist state.
The brutal means of coercion are, mainly, the army, the police, the prisons and the Courts, and their subsidiary organs: the spies, the provocateurs, the organization of the confidants, the assassins, etc.
The capitalist state army is specially organized. At the head of the army is the officer caste “of the gold and silver swords.” These are recruited from the ranks of the feudal latifundistas, the big bourgeoisie, and partly also from the intellectuals. These bloodthirsty enemies of the proletariat already learn from raptors in special schools (military academies) how soldiers are mistreated and how the “honor of the flag” is kept, that is, how soldiers are kept in absolute bondage and converted on dolls. Officers belonging to the upper aristocracy and the great bourgeoisie are made generals and admirals and charged with crosses.
Officers hardly ever come from the poor classes. They hold in their hands the entire mass of the soldiers, who are educated so as not to dare to even ask why they are fighting and to become blind instruments of their superiors.
Such an army cannot have any other main mission than to have workers under its control. In Russia the army served many times as a repressor of the workers and peasants. The peasant insurrections in Alexander II’s time, before the abolition of the serfs, were quelled by the army. In 1905, during the Moscow upheaval, the army machine-gunned the workers; the army carried out punitive expeditions to the Baltic, Caucasus and Siberian provinces; in the years 1906-1908, it quelled the peasant revolts, thus serving as a henchman for the large landowners. During the rebellion the workers of Ivanovo-Vosnewensk, Kostroma, etc. were machine-gunned.
Everywhere officers and generals were distinguished by their ferocity. Abroad the same story is repeated all over the world. In Germany, the capitalist state army was faithful to its role as executioner of the working class. The first Kiel seafarers’ uprising was drowned by the army. The insurrections of the workers in Berlin, Hambürgo, Munich, etc., were suppressed by the army.
In France, the troops were used to machine-gun strikers and shoot Russian revolutionary workers and soldiers. In England, in recent times, the army has stifled the uprisings of the Irish workers, the Egyptian half-slaves, and the Indians, and in England itself peaceful workers’ committees have been attacked. In Switzerland, each strike immediately follows a mobilization of machine-gun battalions and the so-called militia (Swiss army), and
it happens more than once that the militia fires on the workers. In the United States, the troops have sown death in entire villages of the proletariat (for example, during the Colorado strike).
The armies of capitalist states are now trying to quell the proletarian revolution in Russia, Hungary, Poland, and the Balkan states to suppress the proletarian uprising worldwide.
Police: in the capitalist state, it maintains, in addition to the regular army, an army of selected thugs, a body specially trained in the fight against workers. Their mission is also to pursue crime, to defend the so-called “personal and material security of the citizen”. But they serve at the same time to follow, arrest and punish disgruntled workers. In Russia, the police were the surest guardianship of the landowners and the tsar. The secret police (political police, which we Russians call Okhrana) is distinguished in all countries by its cruelty. According to this, a group of spies, provocateurs, confidants, etc. work.
In this regard, the means employed by the American Secret Police are interesting. It is in close contact with a myriad of private and semi-state “Police Offices”. Nat Pinkerton’s famous adventures, in substance, were nothing more than struggles against the workers. The provocative agents distributed bombs to the workers’ directors and incited them to assassinate capitalists. These agents also paid gangs of armed hitmen (in America they are called scabes), with the mission of assassinating striking workers.
There is no infamy that these criminals are not capable of doing in the service of the “democratic” state of the American capitalists.
The judicial organization of the bourgeois state is a means of self-defense of the bourgeois class. Bourgeois justice takes revenge first of all on those who dare to attack capitalist property and offend the bourgeois system. This justice sentenced Liebknecht to forced labor, and instead acquitted his murderers. The state prison authorities and the executioners execute the sanctions of the Courts. These institutions tax only the poor and not the rich.
These are the institutions of the capitalist state, whose mission is to brutally oppress the working class.
Among the means of spiritual servitude of the working class available to the capitalist state, the three most important are worth mentioning: the State School, the State Church and the State Press, subsidized by the State.
The bourgeoisie understands that it cannot subdue the working class with brute force alone. You know it is necessary nu. also the brain. The bourgeois state considers
the worker as a beast of burden, which must be hindered, jar; but with the precaution of making it impossible to bite. For this, not only is he locked up and killed when he bites, but he is domesticated as in the serrallos, for which the capitalist state educates specialists for the accretion and taming of the proletariat: bourgeois teachers and professors, priests and bishops, feathers and bourgeois journalists. These specialists teach children from early childhood to obey capital and hate “rebels.” Children are told fables about revolution and revolutionary movements, and emperors, kings, industrialists, etc. are glorified. The priests, from the pulpit, preach that
“All power comes from God,” bourgeois journalists repeat this lie to the proletariat day after day (proletarian newspapers are generally suppressed by the capitalist state). How can workers get out of the swamp in such conditions?
A German imperialist bandit has written: “We need not only the legs of the soldiers, but also their brains and hearts.” The bourgeois state needs to make the worker a domestic animal that works helplessly and patiently like a horse. With this the capitalist state ensures its own existence. The exploiting machine continually works and draws out more value from the working class. The State, meanwhile, guards so that the slaves of the wage earner do not rebel.