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   ‘The System’ Explained

And How We Should Organise In Society

A free book, see the download below, written

by Ed McDonnell, active in politics and worker's

organisation in the UK for fifty years. A retired

lecturer, he taught workplace union reps/shop stewards.

Introductory Text

‘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, business people

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 humanity is in.

With all the usual problems we’ve now

given ourselves climate and environment


We’ve got amazing technical capability but

terrible understanding of how we interact

with each other.

People look too much to politics for answers

and not enough at the everyday system.

Most think how we interact together in

business, work, trade (and politics itself)

is just how things are. Few mention the

system when talking politics, or look at the

relationships, what’s wrong with them, and

what we can do about them. They just expect

‘the government’ to ‘run the country’, as it is.

But the political institutions – Parliament,

National Assemblies, the Bundestag, Congress

and the rest - and the politicians – Chancellors,

Presidents, MP’s, Prime Ministers, Presidents,

Congress(w)men - don’t run everything.

It’s the other way round. Politics emerges from

society, especially from the core of the system –

how we all make money or make a living,

buy and sell goods and services, make deals

in business and work to produce them –

economic activity.

All politicians, commentators, and most

ordinary people, take the system as a given

and don’t mention it. And conservatives,

including their media, actively divert

attention from it. But political talk not

based on the system is futile.

When you or anyone else talk of what

politicians say and do, relate it to the system.

When talking politics with your ordinary

fellow-citizens, root it in the system, relate

discussion to their role and those of their

family, friends, neighbours and workmates.

Our rights to influence the system through

politics matter, but are remote at best.

There are so many long-established

relationships in the system that politics

actually distances us from challenging

them. So does how politicians and media

commentators mystify the system as

‘the economy’, ‘free markets’, ‘economics’

and ‘capitalism’.

We don’t think or act coherently in politics

because, while everyone knows there’s big

things wrong with what we get as the

outcomes of the system, we don’t have

a clear understanding of the processes.

So some, desperately seeking answers,

blame vague ‘metropolitan elites’, resort to

crazy conspiracy theories and big-talking

blusterers, and attack each other in culture

wars. And many give up on politics.

We’ll all cope better with life and politics

when we have a shared understanding of

the system, a clear, factual view of it, as

a reference point for political debate

about the rights and wrongs of it all.

These works provide one, without academic

talk of economics, capitalism, liberalism,

socialism, communism. They do it by simply

showing how we interact together, ordinarily,

every day.

They show how we - humanity - can relate

to each other fairly and run a sustainable

global society.

They explain the system clearly,

relating it to daily experience,

using everyday language.

This Introductory Text is also the start of 

‘Sys-Ex - The Super Summary.pdf’, below.   

Four Key Free Downloads:

1.      The System Explained.pdf

      … the full book. A long read at 225,000 words but

just read to page 31 and you’ll get the basics,

 because that includes two summaries of it all.

The summaries are also downloadable here,

items 2 and 3 -

2.      The Super Summary.pdf

1500 words

3(a).   The Ten Minute Read Large.pdf  

 5,000 words in large text for phones/devices.

3(b). The Ten Minute Read Normal.pdf

 in normal size text for printing out

To buy the full book ‘The System Explained’ printed

£11.99 plus postage, from Lulu, to anywhere in the world,

Special Papers

  Talking Politics With Each Other.pdf

- will help you discuss politics with others.

          In large text for smart phones/devices.

  Talking Politics With Each Other For Print.pdf

  As above but in smaller font for printing

  Talking With Voters.pdf

-  a version for progressive movements

with a small group activity for meetings.

Three One-page Charts summarising

some of the work’s key points as diagrams.

The Basic Politics Chart.pdf    

... how we relate in politics

The Right To Organise Chart.pdf 

… people’s right to organize as workers

The 'It's Your Money Not Theirs' Chart.pdf 

 … how we make all that wealth


And finally…

The Right To Organise In Unions.pdf 

-      a key extract from the full book.

   208 pages, v.2021.9

Buy it printed from Lulu by print-on-demand,

£7.00 plus postage, from here…. is it’s own website.


 End of website