(Was ‘Look at The System’ until July 2020)

The System Explained


How Humanity Should Organise Society

by Ed McDonnell   (see ‘Author’ at bottom of page)

Free downloads or buy printed - see lower down.

You cope better with life and politics

when you have the basic framework

of society clear in your head.

The System Explained provides it.

It explains politics, business, work

and trade by showing how we relate

in our roles as workers, employers

and fellow-citizens …..

…. and how we can relate better,

    to build a fair, secure,

   sustainable global society.

In all the opinions we, the media, and

politicians express about the state of

the world, few raise the system, the

basic relationships, as the problem.

And even those who do never explain it,

say what’s wrong with it, or say what we

can do about it. These writings do.

People call the system ‘capitalism’.

But that just refers to some people

accumulating money at the top

and re-cycling it.

It ignores capitalism’s key process -

the work process. The process where

people produce capital in producing

goods and services.

It ignores how people relate in

the workplace, in the production

processes, the social and economic

relationships, the organisations that

are the basis of the capitalist system.

It ignores the key trade relationship. Not

the trade in goods and services but the

labour market – the trade in people,

in fellow-citizens – that is central to

the manufacture of goods, the provision

of services, and the generation of capital.

This is analysed in free downloads below.

But first this summary ...


 To solve humanity's problems we need to:

     Look beneath everyday politics and

 look at the system ...

      ... at how we interact in everyday life.

     We need to explain the system and

    the rights and wrongs of it ...

    ... especially the wrong of how business

    people and public sector employers

    get excess power over the rest ...

    ... and how to correct that imbalance of power.

    ... show the explanation is true by being

    drawn from people’s own, observable,

    everyday life experiences ...

     ... spread this view widely.


     But people take how we relate and organise

 in the system of business, work, trade and

 politics as just the way things are.

     They take how it operates for granted.

     In political debate few mention or criticise

 the basic relationships.

     They don't see that most things in the

 economy, work, income and jobs don't start

 with or come from politics and politicians ...

    ... that most happen through the basic, long-

    established, everyday relationships of the

    business system.

    (A better term than capitalism).

    ... that politics is just how you might – or

    might not - get a say in this established

    everyday system.

     We need to spread awareness that business

    people run the world more than politics and

    politicians do ...

    ... because they organise most of the key

     public activities - business - production –

     work - jobs - trade, the everyday buying

     and selling of goods, services and people.

     This everyday activity in their roles in

     business, work and trade makes them

    (most of) 'the economy'.

     That gives them 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

    conservative parties.

     They are a class - the business class.

     They are a minority of citizens.

     They oppress the majority.

     Conservative parties are the political arm

 of the business class.

     The majority - most citizens - are workers.

     We too are a class - the worker class.

     We represent ourselves weakly in the system.

     We let business people dominate us every

    day, at work, in media political debate,

    and in politics itself.

     We relate weakly to them because we don't

 recognise them as a class, nor ourselves ...

... and because ...

we don't organise and act together as they do.

     To stand up to them (and public sector

 managers) as employers at work we need

 almost all citizens who are workers to

 organise together in unions.

    Then in politics, the majority need to match

up to business people's power by organising

into a progressive social and political force.

    Unionized workers are central to this

progressive political force, making it soundly

based on how the majority too relate and act

together in their economic roles ...

... and from those meaningful, active, everyday,

    permanent, relationships, better represent

    themselves in politics.

     Progressives are not short of better policies

than conservatives. They are short of

organisation and its use in the effective

communication and gathering of support

for policy.

     Because we don't look at the basics,

many people find politics confusing and,

disastrously for themselves and us all, allow

the conservative, business class minority,

who care only about themselves, into


... they group themselves and others by shallow

    diversionary 'identities' when we should

    identify and group people, and base our

    politics on, how people genuinely relate

    in business, jobs, the economy and politics.

    That means all who are workers should base their

main ‘identity’ on being, with most other citizens,

a worker.


    When we share a clear understanding of the

basics of 'the system' it'll be easier to make

sense of political issues, discuss them, 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 Free Downloads and Links

   (click on the red .pdf links)

     First, three key downloads:

1.    A Ten Minute Read.pdf 

       of 'The System Explained' in large text for reading on phones

       A Ten Minute Read In Normal Text.pdf

2.    How To Talk Politics With Each Other.pdf

           in large text to read on phones

... will help you discuss politics with others.

       How To Talk Politics In Normal Text.pdf

……How To Talk Politics With Voters.pdf

   … a version for progressive movements,

        with a group activity for use at meetings.

3.  The System Explained.pdf 

        The full book as a free download.

A long read but if you just read to page 23 you’ll get the basics

     Or buy the book printed and posted,

      £9.99 plus postage, from Lulu,



     Short, taster downloads

       (in large font to read on smartphones,

       for printing use the copies in the full book)


Employers are organised - as businesses

and public bodies - and their organisations

are recognised in workplaces (obviously).

We need the right for worker's organisation

to be recognised in workplaces too.

The Muddle Class.pdf  

… there is no ‘middle’ class

Just Politics and Law.pdf 

… that’s all nations are

Labour Is Fit To Govern.pdf 

... the myths about competence, spending and tax

Worker To Worker On Brexit, Trump and Populism.pdf 

… blame the business class, not ‘outsiders’

What Will It Be Like?

... if people do as these writings urge

One-page Summary Charts

Basic Politics.pdf    

... how we relate in politics

The Right To Organise.pdf 

… people’s right to organize as workers

It's Your Money Not Theirs.pdf 

 … how we make all that wealth


The Right To Organise In Unions.pdf 

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



The Author -  Ed McDonnell, retired Lecturer in

Trade Union Education, active in politics and

worker's organisation in the UK for fifty years.


End of website