(Titled ‘Look at The System’ before July 2020)
‘The System’ Explained
How We Should Organise Society
by Ed McDonnell.
(See ‘The Author’ at the end of this one-page site)
In all the opinions people express about
the state of the world, most are about
what politicians and governments do.
People don’t express opinions about the
underlying system – the huge accumulation of
material, everyday, across-society relationships,
through which we work out our lives together,
that politicians don’t regulate.
These writings explain this underlying system,
simply, clearly. Not with academic talk of ‘-isms’,
but by simply showing how everyone relates
to each other, as fellow-citizens, workers and
They show how humanity can relate fairly,
as equals, and build a secure, sustainable
When you have the basic workings of the system
– business, jobs, incomes, trade and government
- clear in your head, it is easier to cope
with life and politics.
See more about ‘The System Explained’
below these downloads and links ..
Three Free Downloads :
of 'The System Explained',
in large text for reading on smart devices
the full book - a long read, but just read
to page 23 to get the basics.
(To buy the book printed and posted,
£9.99 plus postage, from Lulu, …
... will help you discuss politics with others,
in large text for reading on smart devices
and 3(c)… for progressive movements, a version
with a group activity to use in meetings…
Short, taster downloads
(in large font to read on smart devices; to print out,
use the copies in normal text in the full book)
Employers are organised, as businesses
and public bodies; and their organisation
is recognised in workplaces (obviously).
This piece shows how workers too are
entitled to have their organisation
recognised in workplaces.
… there is no ‘middle’ class – there’s mainly
the business class and the worker class
… that’s all nations are
... the myths about competence, spending and tax
… blame the business class, not outsiders
... if people do as these writings urge
One-page Summary Charts
... how we relate in politics
… people’s right to organize as workers
… how we make all that wealth
is an extract from the full book
144 pages, v.2020.1
Buy it from Lulu by print-on-demand,
£4.40 plus postage,
Its own website is
More about ‘The System’ Explained
Even those who raise ‘the system’ as a problem
never explain it, say what’s wrong with it, or say
what we can do about it.
‘The System Explained’ does. It identifies and
explains the key organisations in society and
shows how organisation, and the lack of it,
is basic to how society is run.
People call the basic system ‘capitalism’.
But that just evokes remote processes
at the top where some barely-identifiable
people accumulate money and re-invest it.
It doesn’t identify the economic relationships
and organisations that make up capitalism.
It doesn’t say how capital is made in the
work process, by workers making goods
and providing services; where a few make
themselves wealthy and some just make
It ignores a key trade in capitalism: not the
trade in goods and services but the trade in
people, in the job market, which is central
to making goods, providing services, and
Most importantly, it ignores how people
relate in this trade, how it creates the
unjust inequality of bargaining power
between business people and workers.
› In most political debate few people mention
these basic relationships. Most take the
system for granted. They take how we relate
and organise – or don’t organise - in the world
of business, work, trade and politics itself
as just how things are.
To solve humanity's problems we need to
get people to see -
… that most things in the economy, work,
income and jobs don’t come from politics,
politicians and government …
… that most are worked out in the long-
established, everyday relationships of the
business system (better than ‘capitalism’).
... how politics is based on this everyday
system, where fellow-citizens interact in
several important but different economic
... to see that politics is just how you might –
or might not - get what you want or need
from this ongoing, everyday system.
› We need to explain the system and
the rights and wrongs of it ..
.. especially how business people,
and public employers, get unfair
power over the rest ..
.. and how to correct it.
.. show this explanation is true because
it is drawn from people’s own, directly
observable, everyday life experiences
.. spread this view widely, globally.
› We need to spread awareness that business
people run the world more than politics and
politicians do ..
.. because they organise most of the key
everyday public activities – business –
production – work - jobs – trade – the
buying and selling of goods, services
› .. and that this everyday organised activity
in business, work and trade makes them
(most of) 'the economy'.
› This gives them great political power (even
before they act directly in politics).
› They earn this power because they organise
and act together socially as businesses.
› To push their interests directly in politics,
some of them run conservative media and
› They are a class - the business class.
› Conservative parties are the political
arm of the business class.
› They are a minority of citizens.
› They oppress the majority.
› The majority of citizens are workers.
› We too are a class - the worker class.
We represent ourselves weakly in the system,
letting business people dominate us every
day at work, in media political debate,
and in politics itself.
› We are weak in relation to them because
we don't recognise them as a class and
because we don’t recognise ourselves
as one either..
.. and, crucially, because ..
we don't organise and act together like they do.
› We need almost all citizens who are workers
to organise together in unions.
› At work, to stand up to them and public
sector managers as employers.
› And from their active, everyday, ongoing,
meaningful, economic roles as workers,
better represent themselves in politics.
› The majority - not all of whom are workers –
need to match up to business people's minority
power by organising into a progressive social
and political force.
› It being soundly based on how the majority
relate to each other and act together in their
economic roles, unionized workers are central
to this progressive political force
› Progressives are not short of better policies,
clearly better for the majority, than conservatives.
They are short of organisation and its use to
effectively communicate and gather support
› Because we aren’t clear about all these basics,
many people find politics confusing and,
disastrously for themselves and for all of us,
.. allow the conservative, business class minority,
who care only about themselves, into government
.. group themselves and others by shallow,
diversionary 'identities' when we should
identify and group people, and base our
politics on, how people really relate in
the material reality of jobs, business,
the economy and politics.
› That means all workers should base their main
‘identity’ on being, with most other citizens,
a worker. Blue-collar, white-collar and of
whatever colour or gender.
› When we share such a clear understanding
of the system as presented here and in the full
book ‘The System’ Explained, it'll be easier to
make sense of political issues, discuss them
with each other, and organise to get society
working fairly for all.
The System Explained -
- explains the system clearly,
- relates it to daily experience
- uses everyday language.
The Author - is Ed McDonnell, retired Lecturer in
Trade Union Education, active in politics and
worker's organisation in the UK for fifty years.
End of website