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The Sleepwalking Society: Britain In The Sixties

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Chapter Summary

The great lesson learnt by modern capitalism is that the private sector cannot survive alone. It needs not only the coordination and regulation that government agencies can supply; it needs also a public sector where those necessary services for private industry which is unprofitable in themselves (in Britain coal and rail transport, for example) and which therefore would not attract capital in the open market, can be financed. The working class who have the power are those whose labour and skills are vital to the economy. The techniques with them are twofold. First there is the use of the carrots of high wages and mass consumption. The second technique is to institutionalise the part that the working class plays in the system by coming to terms with the trade unions: the aim is to get the workers to accept planned, limited wage increases, geared to the expansion of capitalism itself.

Keywords:Britain; modern capitalism; private sector; public sector; wages; working class

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