Revolution #149, November 30, 2008

“...The Situation We’re In...”

We received the following letter from a reader:

I was listening to the first of the 7 Talks by Bob Avakian (“Why we are in the situation we are in today and what to do about it—a thoroughly rotten system and the need for revolution”) on my iPod the other morning and the section in part 2 of the talk started up about the “preliminary transformation into capital.”

This section goes into the driving necessity of capital—to make a profit, not to meet the needs of the people. In order to invest in housing, for example, the capitalist has to determine whether he can make a profit, not whether people need places to live. There is no “right to eat”—and neither is there a “right to shelter,” as we now see around us. And all of this exists in not just this country but in a whole international context where every capitalist is driven to do the same thing or potentially go under. This whole collapse of the housing market is a stunning example of this.

In contrast, Avakian shows how under socialism, the social wealth does not have to be transformed into capital and can be used to meet social needs whether it is housing or transportation or health care.

In all the mystification surrounding this crisis, I found that this section of the talk cut to the essence of what is going on in the economy, what drives the capitalists, and is at the heart of the capitalist system. I very much want to urge people to go to and listen to this, and get it around to others.

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