"The dialectics of history is such that the theoretical victory of world socialism will increasingly force our opponents to disguise themselves as 'Stalinist - Hoxhaists' !"

Comintern (SH)

06 - 03 - 2012





What is unemployment and how can the problem of unemployment be solved?


We define unemployment as a condition independent of the will of the worker, as a condition forced on him, which occurs as soon as the worker does not find a buyer to sell his commodity of labor power on the labor market - especially in the critical condition of capitalist development (depression, recession, economic crisis, etc.).

Unemployment is inextricably linked to the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation.

"Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation at the opposite pole." (Karl Marx, "Capital", Volume 1, A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production )

There is no capitalism without unemployment. Capitalism creates unemployment at an ever higher level.

One of the typical causes of the rise in unemployment is the replacement of the workforce with technical rationalization measures (machines, robots, digitization).

With increasing unemployment, the competition among workers on the labor market, which the capitalists use as a means of exacerbating exploitation, intensifies.

Capitalism produces more labour power than it needs for avarage production. This "overproduction" of the commodity of labor power is reflected in the creation of an unemployed army, the proletarian reserve army. The proletarian reserve army is necessarily part of the capitalist system of exploitation and serves to increase the wealth of the bourgeoisie. In times of good business the reserve army serves to check the wage demands of the workers regularly employed, and in times of bad trade it serves to depress wages.

They are the workers needed by capitalism for the potential expansion of enterprises, but who can never be regularly employed. The surplus population, being a necessary concomitant of surplus production, is an indispensable attribute to the capitalist economy, which could neither exist nor develop without it. (Lenin, Volume 2, page 180-181)

Since the worker has nothing other than his laborpower, his life and that of his family, that is the basis of his reproduction, depend on the sale of his labor power. Unemployment is an expression of the systematic impoverishment of the worker in capitalism.

The cause of unemployment lies in the capitalist exploitation system of wage slavery, the private appropriation of the labor power for the purpose of making profit.

If the worker wants to avoid the constant threat of losing his job, if he wants to free himself from the scourge of unemployment, he must eliminate its cause - wage slavery. And to free themselves from wage slavery, the worker must join the world proletariat's army and its reserve army to overthrow the world bourgeoisie, which maintains the world capitalist system of wage slavery to enrich itself.

The problem of unemployment cannot be solved within the framework of capitalism, because capitalism needs unemployment again and again and to an increased degree for its own further development.

The revolutionary struggle against unemployment begins where it goes beyond the capitalist framework. The goal is to overcome capitalism, to smash down the world capitalist system of wage slavery. Only with the establishment of the dictatorship of the world proletariat and with the development of world socialism can wage slavery and thus unemployment be eliminated.

Without the world socialist revolution, unemployment cannot and will not be abolished.

The worker cannot free himself from the chains of unemployment without destroying the private ownership of the commodity of labor power, without liberating the labor power from its commodity character.

That is the Comintern (SH) 's view of unemployment and how it can be overcome, expressed in short, simple words.

And so it says in the world program of the Comintern (SH):

We want to abolish wage slavery. 

The working classes alone are the ones who produce all the values ​​of which they are deprived.

The sale of labor power to the capitalist is the cornerstone of the capitalist exploitation of the worker.

The worker must produce more than he gets payed for the value of his labor-power. This surplus-value, emanating from unpayed labor, is appropriated by the capitalist privately.

Lenin teaches:

"Men's labour-power becomes a commodity. The wage-worker sells his labour-power to the owner of land, factories and instruments of labour. The worker spends one part of the day covering the costs of maintaining himself and his family (wages), while the other part of the day he works without remuneration, creating for the capitalist surplus-value, the source of profit, the source of the wealth of the capitalist class. The doctrine of surplus-value is the corner-stone of Marx's economic theory. (Lenin; Volume 19, page 26).

The economic principle of present-day world imperialism is moreover the pursuit of maximum profits by globalized exploitation, ruin and impoverishment of the world's population, by globalized subjugation and plunder of all countries through imperialist predatory wars and world fascism. The globalized wage slavery is the most extreme form of all previous forms of slavery. We have to destroy world imperialism if we want to remove the inevitability of globalized wage slavery.

We want to abolish the increasing split of the world society, between a small propertied class (choking on its abundance), and the large, propertyless class of wage laborers (whose existence is not even protected by the wages).

We want to abolish unemployment and to remove the global army of unemployed (dissolution of the international proletarian reserve-army). World communism is a world in which everybody works for communism of his own free will.

The replacement of the economic conditions of wage slavery through the conditions of free associated labor is only possible by a longer period of economic transition. In the period of world socialism, the world proletariat implements increasingly the socialization of world-production and - distribution. Every man becomes a working man, and productive labor ceases to be confined to class society if wage slavery will have been once abolished all over the world. The surplus-labour is no longer based on the existence of classes, but will be used as the indispensable pre-condition of the construction of a classless society. Each world-worker is systematically integrated into a world economy plan, which will be jointly created, organized, and implemented by the workers of the whole world. The fulfillment of the world economy plan directly serves the World Commune, no matter how specific the character of each individual communist work would be.

The provision of surplus-labour remains indispensable - as in all social formations - even in world communism, namely for the further future trend of the world society. Karl Marx teaches:

"Surplus-labour in general, as labour performed over and above the given requirements, must always remain. In the capitalist as well as in the slave system, etc., it merely assumes an antagonistic form and is supplemented by complete idleness of a stratum of society. A definite quantity of surplus-labour is required as insurance against accidents, and by the necessary and progressive expansion of the process of reproduction in keeping with the development of the needs and the growth of population, which is called accumulation from the viewpoint of the capitalist. It is one of the civilising aspects of capital that it enforces this surplus-labour in a manner and under conditions which are more advantageous to the development of the productive forces, social relations, and the creation of the elements for a new and higher form than under the preceding forms of slavery, serfdom, etc. Thus it gives rise to a stage, on the one hand, in which coercion and monopolisation of social development (including its material and intellectual advantages) by one portion of society at the expense of the other are eliminated; on the other hand, it creates the material means and embryonic conditions, making it possible in a higher form of society to combine this surplus-labour with a greater reduction of time devoted to material labour in general.

The actual wealth of society, and the possibility of constantly expanding its reproduction process (..) do not depend upon the duration of surplus-labour, but upon its productivity and the more or less copious conditions of production under which it is performed. In fact, the realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis. The shortening of the working-day is its basic prerequisite." (Marx, Capital, MEW, Volume III, page 571).

It is the historical merit of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that they not only discovered the dialectical law of negation of negation, but also applied it to overcome unemployment:

"The capitalist mode of appropriation, the result of the capitalist mode of production, produces capitalist private property. This is the first negation of individual private property, as founded on the labour of the proprietor. But capitalist production begets, with the inexorability of a law of Nature, its own negation. It is the negation of negation. This does not re-establish private property for the producer, but gives him individual property based on the acquisition of the capitalist era: i.e., on cooperation and the possession in common of the land and of the means of production." (Karl Marx. Capital Volume One, Chapter Thirty-Two: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation)

The abolition of unemployment follows the objective development law of world society.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels did not stop with the discovery of this dialectical development law, which eliminates unemployment. They also described the revolutionary way in which this dialectical process takes place:

"[ It] grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralisation of the means of production and socialisation of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many labourers." [ibidem]

And this is the path that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels have shown with their teachings, which the Comintern (SH) is taking today in the fight against unemployment that world capitalism has created in the wake of the coronavirus pandemia.

We have therefore compiled a collection of quotations from the works of Marx and Engels for Karl Marx's 202nd birthday in order to make our revolutionary contribution to solving the question of unemployment.

As a world party of the world proletariat, we are not only committed to raising propaganda, but also to active solidarity in the class struggle of the working class against the scourge of unemployment.

Learning from Marx and Engels means defeating unemployment!


- Theoretical Organ -

Communist International (Stalinist - Hoxhaists)