Is Communism Against The Rich?

If the wealth is not earned through the exploitation of labour, it isn’t a problem for the communist. Communists are only against capitalist mode of production. So, if a writer, a film actor, YouTuber or any person gets rich without exploiting the labour, it isn’t a big deal for the Communists.

What this means is this:

A Capitalist owns the Capital i.e. machines, raw materials, infrastructure, etc— all that goes into making a new commodity that can be sold in the market. Now, the Capitalist needs to hire a worker to make the product i.e. the Capital doesn’t reproduce itself. According to the Marxists, the Capitalist can only earn a profit if he pays the worker less than what he actually deserves i.e. if the worker has created a product worth Rupees 100, he is going to get a lot less than that. This is the exploitation of labour that Communists are against. If the Capitalist does not exploit the labour, he will soon find himself out of business because of the competition. Some other industrialist would exploit the worker no matter what. Due to the competition, the wages are eventually brought down to subsistence level & the worker is paid only enough to live & procreate.

That is why Communists want to overthrow Capitalism. They are not against the individuals but against the exploitation. They aren’t even against Capitalism— Capitalism is an essential step towards a Communist utopia that they imagine. If you read the first few pages of Communist Manifesto, you would realize how enamoured Marx was by the genius of Capitalism & the material progress it has brought.

So, suppose, you have a writer who write books and self-publishes them. He may become the richest person on earth but Communists would have no problem with him. But if he hires a person to research about say, 19th century India for a historical fiction he is writing, that is where labour comes into the picture. If that work is exploitative i.e. the writer isn’t given his due, the Communists are against it.

If all this sounds like it belongs to 19th Century & things are very different today, Read the following article by Ollie Lennard from the Philosophy Tube who explains how youtube exploits its content creators.

Vloggers of the World, Unite? A Marxist Analysis of YouTube

Prof. Richard Wolffe in this video does a great job of explaining the Capitalistic exploitation in the 21st Century.

Kadyalwar Sunil Abhinav

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