Beyond Capitalism - Albert Einstein, 1949
Beyond Capitalism - Albert Einstein, 1949
By Christopher Chase / creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

The following are excerpts from Albert Einstein’s essay “Why Socialism?” published in the May 1949 issue of the Monthly Review. In this article Einstein describes the systemic problems with capitalism. How as wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a few the elites form an oligarchy, gaining control of the media and able to sway politicians to make laws in their favor. In this way democracy is subverted…

“Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones.

The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organised political society.

This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population.

Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights…

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an army of unemployed almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job.

Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence.

Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions.

Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals.. This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism.

Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion.

A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child.

The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual.

The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening?

How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured? Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition…”

~Albert Einstein,
Monthly Review (May 1949)

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Nika Knight · 10,945 views today · 'For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.'
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · 5,322 views today · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 3,630 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 2,956 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 2,933 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 2,899 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 2,329 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,649 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
114 min · 1,560 views today · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species (2013)
103 min · 1,314 views today · United Natures explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity. Directed and...
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry · 1,185 views today · Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert...
Post-Brexit Visions of The Possible: It's Time to Imagine a New European Community
Martin Winiecki · 1,157 views today · We live in the beginning phase of a global revolution which will turn societal conditions upside down. We cannot stop this transformation, but we can influence where it will...
Projext X: Using Leaked Documents to Reveal the NSA's New York Spy Hub, Hidden in Plain Sight
10 min · 1,123 views today · A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 994 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Fight for Clean Water (#NoDAPL)
2 min · 992 views today · Clean water or Corporate profits? What’s more important? #NoDAPL Energy Transfer Partners: (214) 981-0700 U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: (202) 761-0010; (202)...
Where Do You Draw the Line? (2016)
60 min · 942 views today · Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?...
Twelve Things To Remember After The US Election, From Front Line Organizers
Bill Quigley · 830 views today · When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 823 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
After Historic Protests, Army Corps of Engineers Blocks Current Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
3 min · 605 views today · The $4 billion dollar project could still be approved by President-elect Donald Trump who is heavily invested in the pipeline. Help support The Real News by making a donation...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 485 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Beyond Capitalism - Albert Einstein, 1949