(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
(A better term than capitalism).
› ... that politics is just how you might – or
might not - get a say in this established
› 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
› 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
› 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,
› 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:
of 'The System Explained' in large text for reading on phones
in large text to read on phones
... will help you discuss politics with others.
… a version for progressive movements,
with a group activity for use at meetings.
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.
… there is no ‘middle’ 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
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