(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

global society.

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 :

1.   A Ten Minute Read.pdf 

      of 'The System Explained',

in large text for reading on smart devices

or   A Ten Minute Read In Normal Text.pdf

2.   The System Explained.pdf 

     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, …

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/ed-mcdonnell/the-system-explained/paperback/product-2ev2qd.html )

3(a) How To Talk Politics With Each Other.pdf

          ... will help you discuss politics with others,

                 in large text for reading on smart devices

3(b)  How To Talk Politics In Normal Text.pdf

and 3(c)… for progressive movements, a version

                with a group activity to use in meetings…

         How To Talk Politics With Voters.pdf


     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.

The Muddle Class.pdf  

… there is no ‘middle’ class – there’s mainly

     the business class and the worker class

Just Politics and Law.pdf 

… that’s all nations are

Labour Is Fit To Govern.pdf 

... the myths about competence, spending and tax

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 

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

a living.

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

making capital.

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 people.

     .. 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

    conservative parties.

     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

 for policy

     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