Title changed from Look At The System July 2020
‘The System’ Explained
And How We Should Organise Society
by Ed McDonnell, a retired lecturer who taught workplace
union representatives, active in politics and worker's
organisation in the UK for fifty years.
‘It’s the system’ - what shopfloor workers
always said to this writer when he worked
in industry and argued against the wealth
and power of employers and the rich.
‘A lesson from the Obama years – failure to
seize the opportunities offered by the great
recession to reform an economic system that
has worked against most Americans for four
decades.’ (The Observer 17-1-2021)
It’s ridiculous, the state we are in. It’s because
people look to politics for all the answers instead
of the whole system. It means seeing ‘politicians’
as the problem, or, vaguely, ‘metropolitan elites’
or even ‘the swamp’.
But it’s futile to discuss politics – from what
politicians do to the views of the ordinary
person you are talking to – without referring
to the wider system, and their place in it.
Everything doesn’t come from politics and
politicians. They don’t govern all society’s
relationships and practices, particularly
those in our economic activity.
It’s the other way round – politics emerges
from overall society, from the many long-
established relationships where we make
deals in business and work; produce, buy
and sell; and, crucially, organise to make
our living or make money – the system.
Political rights to influence this system are
important. But with so many relationships
in the whole system, and political rights
being (at best) amorphous and insufficient,
they keep us at a distance from it.
What also does that is how the system
is mystified as ‘capitalism’, economics,
‘the economy’, and ‘free markets’.
Everyone thinks there are big things wrong
with the system but without a clear view of
it and its rights and wrongs, can’t think and
act clearly. (For instance – the huge disparity
in wealth. People accept the view that the rich
earn their wealth from their own efforts because
they don’t understand the process that enables
them to take it from workers.)
And because we’ve not had a clear view of
the system as a common reference point
some, to find meaning in the world, resort to
culture wars and crazy conspiracy theories.
These works explain all this, not with
academic talk of “-isms” but simply
by showing how we interact ordinarily
They show how humanity can relate fairly
and build a secure, sustainable global society.
When you have the system clear in your head,
it’s easier to cope with politics. And life too.
The System Explained -
- explains the system clearly,
- relates it to daily experience
- uses everyday language.
More >>>> the Introductory Text continues in
a 1500 word summary of the book.
Other Key Free Downloads :
a 5,000 word summary
(large text for phones/devices).
the full book. A long read but just read
to page 27 and you get the basics.
(To buy the book printed and posted, $13.55 plus postage,
from Lulu, anywhere in the world,
. will help you discuss politics with others,
in large text for smart phones/devices
4(c)… for progressive movements, a version
with a group activity to use in meetings…
Short, taster downloads from the book ...
(in large font to read on smartphones/devices;
to print, 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
208 pages, v.2021.7
Buy it from Lulu by print-on-demand,
$8.00 plus postage,
Its own website is
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