The importance of manufacturing for a modern economy cannot be overstated.
The home economy requires means of production and articles of consumption without interruption. This can be accomplished only on a planned rational basis with all sectors participating in harmony within an internal exchange of value assisted by imports and exports but not dependent upon them. The internal exchange of manufacturing value with other sectors is needed to sustain the independent economy without the recurring crises of the current capital-centred direction where separately controlled and owned parts both compete and collude and have no allegiance to or great concern for the whole. The issue is not a lack of compassion on the part of private owners but the objective condition of competing with other privately owned parts at home and abroad and having ultimate concern for the particular part that is owned and no concern whatsoever for the actual producers who are summarily ridiculed and dismissed as a cost of production.
An independent economy serving the people requires a vigorous manufacturing sector in all regions of the country producing sufficient value that can engage in continuous exchange with the public service sector, especially public education and health care, resource extraction, construction, material and social infrastructure (in particular social programmes), culture, sports and all the other diverse aspects of a modern sustainable economy.
The key question facing not only theory but also the practical movement of the people in defence of their rights and for a way forward has become — Who decides?
The working class has reached a stage in history where it is called upon to lead all people on all matters including the important one of the direction of the economy.
The actual producers must step forward in a conscious organised way to provide the economy a new direction to solve its problems. Those who raise issues of private ownership of the means of production as an impediment to the working people taking their rightful leadership role must understand that without resolving the basic contradiction between private ownership of the parts of the economy and the socialised nature of the modern economy nothing can be sorted out. The people have the right to decide those matters that directly affect their lives.
The current despotic authority that deprives the people of that right both in the economy and in politics must be deprived of its authority to do so.
Economic Existential Crisis
Incessant Decline in Manufacturing
No modern economy can survive without an internal manufacturing base producing means of production and articles of consumption. Lacking a manufacturing base puts an economy in an existential crisis.
An economy may lack a natural resource arising from the country’s geology or size, which can pose a serious problem. In this modern age, no internal excuse exists for a lack of sovereign manufacturing to meet the needs of the economy and people. The only reason can be monopoly right, which imposes its will on any economy it controls, distorting the economy to meet the needs of its own empire-building and depriving the people of their sovereign right to build their independent economy and nation.
In addition to providing products as use-value, workers in manufacturing produce essential exchange-value necessary for the internal realisation of value produced in other sectors, especially the service sectors and the country’s social and material infrastructure. Natural resource extraction and export can generate wealth but the value and stability are dependent upon external factors such as the international market price for oil and other raw material.
To have a human-centred independent economy with all-sided manufacturing, public services, social and material infrastructure, and construction and resource sectors requires political and economic power in the hands of the people. They must have the political power necessary to deprive the global monopolies of the power to deprive us from building an independent all-sided economy with manufacturing and service sectors as the base. In the absence of this political power as is now the case, the country faces an existential crisis.
Monopoly Right Is Destroying the Manufacturing Base
Post-war employment in manufacturing reached its peak in the 1970s.
A global economic crisis struck in the mid-1970s, with interest rates rising. Economic production plummeted, unemployment increased accompanied with widespread bankruptcies. Beset with crisis, monopolies forced their way into new regions and countries around the world.
A radical reorganisation within the imperialist system of states ensued centred on free trade and negative changes in the relations of production with the working class beginning a long decline in wages and working conditions and destruction of social programmes and public services. Extensive neo-liberal propaganda said attacks on the rights of the working class and implementation of monopoly-controlled free trade were the answers to the crisis.
Canada was soon subsumed within the European Union of the Monopolies. And marched along the path towards a United States of European Monopolies where the private interests of the most dominant monopolies dictate economic, political, and social and public policy in their own narrow private interests.
The lives of the working people suffer, business stagnates, social programmess and public services are slashed, public authority is undermined, predatory wars abroad and repression at home escalate, schemes to funnel public funds to the rich proliferate and democratic reform is blocked.
The working class has the heavy social responsibility to lead the country out of its existential crisis.