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.

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 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

as fellow-citizens.

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

       SysEx - The Super Summary.pdf

   a 1500 word summary of the book.


Other Key Free Downloads :

1.                 SysEx - The Ten Minute Read Large.pdf  

a 5,000 word summary

(large text for phones/devices).

and  SysEx - The Ten Minute Read Normal.pdf

(small text)

3.    The System Explained.pdf

      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,

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

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

         . will help you discuss politics with others,

            in large text for smart phones/devices

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

4(c)… for progressive movements, a version

                with a group activity to use in meetings…

         How To Talk Politics With Voters.pdf


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.

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

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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