Who are the essential workers?

Date: Sunday 25th October
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
Speaker: Natasha Sorrell

In ‘normal’ times, the capitalists would have us believe that it is the bosses and ‘entrepreneurs’ who are essential to society. But the pandemic has shown who plays the really essential role: the nurses, carers, and cleaners – in short, the working class, without whom not a lightbulb shines, not a wheel turns, and not a telephone rings.

Hypocritically, Boris Johnson and his ministers have even come out clapping for NHS staff – the very same workers who are underpaid and overworked thanks to Tory austerity and attacks.

At the same time, left-wing writers like David Graeber talk about a proliferation of ‘bullshit jobs’ nowadays, with vast sectors such as advertising and marketing contributing nothing genuinely useful to society. And yet, they are essential from the perspective of capitalism: a market-based, profit-driven system, built on a competitive race to the bottom.

In this session, Natasha Sorrell discusses how it is the working class who produce all the wealth in society. The capitalists, meanwhile, are mere parasites. That is why we need to fight for a socialist economic plan – one where workers are in control.

Ticket holders can click here and login to access the online event, view the talk, and participate in the discussion.


Recommend reading: The puzzle of productive and unproductive labour

Recommend watching: Exploitation, wages, and profits