Socialist Studies Socialist Studies

Totalitarianism and Capitalism

Totalitarianism and Capitalism

Free market fundamentalists often cite George Orwell’s 1984 as a critique of the state and its interference in people’s lives. Totalitarianism is associated with the state not capitalism.

Big Brother is Watching You” is always about the watchful eye of the government ministry not the capitalist firm. Conservative so-called libertarians do not consider it their business to question the arrangements of supposedly freely consenting adults in contracts between employers and employees.

So there is silence when companies are fitting thousands of their workers with body-worn tracker devices that monitor how much sleep they have, how well they work with colleagues, and even track their body language, tone of voice or emotions.

The aim is to increase productivity, to extend the rate of exploitation and to control the workforce electronically.

According to THE SUNDAY TIMES (January 15th 2017):

Among the potentially most controversial technologies are “sociometric badges” which are being tested by at least four British companies, including a high street bank”.

The credit card-sized devices are worn around the worker’s neck, analyse employers’ voices, and track movement and physical activity. This is as degrading as having to clock in-and-off work each day or having to as a supervisor for permission to go to the toilet.

And it is all to do with profit. Data from the badges is combined with monitoring the workers’ telephone calls and emails to assess their productivity and to work out how teams in the same factory or office can interact better and produce more efficiently.

Such is the dehumanization of contemporary capitalism. That is why workers should be consciously and politically becoming socialists to end the profit system and establish a socialist society where work is creative and free from the coercion of the employers and their drive for profit and more profit.

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