Today hardly anything is paid for with cash or coins, this form of transaction has become all but obsolete, most of our transactions are made by card. Does this shift open up the opportunity for us to move past capitalism? Has technology made possible an entirely new economic system? In this essay we will briefly outline a possible economic system that does away with exploitation.
The corona-virus pandemic has seen countless stores putting up signs saying they prefer to pay by card instead of cash to reduce the chances of transmitting Covid-19. We should do more than welcome this transition, we should see in it the possibility to change the economic system in the West into one that works for us instead of against us.
Virtual currency exposes the relationship that money plays between us, we can see it for the fiction it is. People are increasingly noticing how the real system works, money is nothing more than a collection of numbers, the quantity for an item is completely and utterly fluid. It is the people at the top that set the price, it actually has very little to do with the cost of resources and the labour required.
In my youth you could purchase fish and chips for 50 cents Australian, now to purchase minimum chips the cost is $5. The value of the labour involved in production hasn’t changed, it is still the same amount of work to produce the chips. The resources purchased by a small fish and chip shop worker have increased – resources that come from large nation wide corporations that have continued to increase the price of the resources in order to continue boosting their own profits, thus the small family owned shop must increase the price of the chips in turn.
Technology has made the harvesting of resources easier while also reducing the number of workers involved in the production process, and yet the costs of the final product continue to increase. How can anyone contemplate our economies for five minutes without seeing that we are being screwed in the long run, particularly as we descend into another recession brought on by a global pandemic.
An alternative to this is the creation of a state that intervenes in this process and throttles the neck of large corporations and banks which are enabling mass misery. We must bring about an end the money lenders and the speculators who are selling out Western nations to Third World investors. Part of this process should be the end of money in the current state it is in.
To this I propose a new money medium – a card similar to the ones we have now.
Imagine a worker heading into his job. He clocks into the system to show he is starting work, then clocks out at the end of the day. The card he has clocked in with registers how many hours he has worked that day, at the end of the day he is paid for those hours. He can work as many hours he wants that day; he can work any day he wants – he still, of course, still has to work to earn credits.
Our example works in a factory in a low-tier role where he is paid a fair wage for the work he does. If he feels he can move upwards to a higher tier he has the opportunity to become qualified for a role which has a higher hourly wage.
He is not paid by some corporate overlord, but someone qualified to run for the factory who also has the same card and has to clock in just like the guy at the bottom.
In regard to commodities themselves, their price must be controlled. The constant increase in the price of goods is purely driven by large corporations seeking mass amounts wealth, they will continue to drive up prices as high as possible while straining the bank accounts of the lower classes who are living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. No reasonable individual could argue that the current system is just and fair.
With the card the worker signs into work with they can purchase the goods they need from stores which provide items at a reasonable and fair price. Their daily work can be credited to their account held by a nationalised bank at the end of their shift, thus being made available after their workday instead of in a week or a month.
This isn’t your standard socialist vision. I am not talking about an egalitarian society run by workers collectives, people who excel in business should be able to rise to the top and grow the company, but they shouldn’t do it out of a drive for wealth. Indeed, our society would be opposed to the individualist, liberalistic consumer culture we have now. We have seen the consequences of this vision, look at our medicated, miserable society. People who run a company should feel pride in their product, they should feel a sense of care for their workers, they should also not be willing to sell out their own nation.