Karl Marx On
After I died in 1883, almost half of the world came under governments that called themselves after me -- marxist -- although most of them misinterpreted my teachings. But that is only to be expected. That is the nature of power. Today, however, marxism has lost to capitalism and even in
As I began my studies and observations, I came to the startling realisation that
Why do I, Karl Marx, say that?
Think about it. Which government in the world welcomes investors (to make profits) with such a generous welcome carpet of incentives, from decades-long tax holidays to co-investments using State money, to cutting out all bureaucratic red tape that may have been necessary to ensure proper compliance with safety, environmental and workers' health matters, to providing land (that may be better reserved for citizen use), industrial estates and ready-made factories, to water and other utilities, etc, etc, etc?
And what of workers' rights? I find that working hours are long, overtime work usually cannot be turned down, pay low, Workmen's Compensation inadequate when workers are injured, hospitalisation and health care costs usually borne by the workers themselves rather than by their employers, no provision for gratuity or pension upon retiring, low retrenchment benefits, etc, etc, etc. In short, other than the job itself, employers provide little else. This is hardly better than the conditions I studied in the 1850s. Conditions for the working class here are little better than in Industrial Britain and
In other countries, there are several large mitigating factors that ameliorate the lot of the workers. For example, workers, who form the majority of the voters, can vote out of power, any government that is too pro-business and anti-worker. Not so in
Then also, in other countries, workers have unions to help them organise themselves against their employers, who enjoy all the power and advantages (as I have shown in my book Das Kapital). In
In other countries also, workers do enjoy some Social Security. If they become unemployed, they can usually go on the dole. If they become homeless, there are usually civic and charitable organisations to help. For many of the ills that may befall a worker and his family, there exists help. Not so in
It is to fuel this 'right' to make profits by the rich (usually foreign) investors, that Lee Kuan Yew has adopted an open door policy to foreign workers. Today, one in four people on this tiny island of 225 square miles, is a foreigner. I find this amazing and in my travels all over the world since my demise, I do not find another country so open to the inflow of foreigners, all for the benefit of the investors here.
Think about it. Life is all about living space. When one in four is a foreigner, this means that when you go to work, every fourth person in your bus or MRT train is a foreigner, crowding you out. When you eat lunch, every fourth person who vies with you for a place at the food centre is a foreigner. To put it another way, every fourth bus along the roads is completely filled with foreigners. Every one and a half cars in every train is completely filled with foreigners. Every fourth car in the traffic jam is a foreigner's car. Similarly for housing and recreation spots. Life is about living space and on this tiny island, there isn't enough to begin with. All because the PAP believes in high GDP growth (probably to justify their million-dollar salaries) when the question that can rightly be asked is, "High GDP growth for whose benefit?" And "At what economic, social and political costs?"
I pity the workers in
So I will end with my call which I made more than a century ago: "Workers (of