A note about the design of this website,

including the text size, is at the bottom

About The System

Was The System Explained until November 2023

Its the system - what workmates would

say to this writer when he worked in

industry on the shopfloor and argued

against the power employers have over

workers (all who need to have a job)

and the wealth they take from their work.

So what is the system? It is the everyday

relationships where you, I, everybody,

make things, provide services, they get

sold, we make our living, we buy things.

Business, production, work and trade.

From which come income and wealth.

The economy.

People call it capitalism and free market

economics but best to name it for its

familiar central process, business, and

call it simply the business system.

Since around 1980, conservatives have

convinced people that the business

system, deregulated, is the only way

to run the world. So people just take its

relationships, its distribution of power,

for granted. So a work like this can seem

abstract, distanced from normal politics.

Yet it is actually a concrete, grounded

explanation of the essentials of everyday

life, that people need to take account of

in politics. All political thought, debate

and action should make reference to

the system, and this work provides

the mental framework. More in

Why People Should Read This Work

at page 491.

The bulk of the system is the billions

of voluntary trades we make with each

other every day. We have subsidiary

systems: contract law to bring order

to it, governments that oversee it or

leave it alone (and provide public

services), and representative bodies

to make the laws and form the

governments. But they only

supervise the overall system.

This work shows how we, all of

humanity, work together in the

system, how we relate in the

essential, universal activities,

how we co-operate hugely but

also antagonistically, how,

through unfair relationships,

unfair terms of trade in jobs,

a minority dominate the majority,

who they both are, and how

the majority can regulate the

minority, in the workplaces

and in politics.

By Ed McDonnell

(see bottom of page).


After the further introductory text, next,

are free downloads, and links to where

you can buy printed copies.


People think the everyday world is run

by politics. But it is the other way round,

politics comes from the everyday world.

From, as said above, the system, from

how we relate to each other in making

a living or making money, making goods,

providing services, selling them.

Business, trade, work.

The economy, then politics.

Most people think there is a lot wrong

with it. And that governments let us

down. We are even wrecking our habitat.

But rather than tackle the unfairness

of the system we get diverted into

phony loyalties and divisions and

daft conspiracy theories.

That is because we ignore the system.

We need a clear understanding of it .

And to relate all and everyones politics

to it. Including ordinary peoples.

And to consider not only their

political standpoint, left, right etc.,

but their place in the system.

People look to politicians to put things

right and see the political parties as

just interchangeable management

teams all aiming to run the country,

for everyone, from above the system.

But politicians do not make the system,

and not from above it. They come from it

and represent the interests of different

groups in it, that are often against the

interests of other groups.

How we produce goods and services

to make our living involves everybody

working together so much, is so social,

so industrialised, so collective, it is

really a public activity. That is why

we call it The Economy. But it is run

privately by a self-confessed selfish

minority. They run this key activity,

of us all making our living together

intensely inter-connected, and they

control the sharing-out of income

and wealth. This prevents democratic

regulation of the economy and political

protection of people in their basic needs.

The system is the business system.

The minority is business people, the

business class. But people do not see

business people as a class. And most

of the great majority are workers but

do not see themselves as a class,

the worker class, either.

Conservatives claim the system

is all about the individual

this introductory text continues

in the full book, the free .pdf

download just below, at page 2,

in Why This Work Is Needed.

Then, in the book, you get

The Ten Minute Read then

The Twenty Minute Read then

the full content.

About The System.pdf v.2023.10.

A big read, just read to page 30 for the basics.

(That includes the Ten and Twenty Minute Reads.)

And here they are separately, in large text

to read on phones/devices.

(You can print normal-size copies from the full book.)

The Ten Minute Read.pdf

The Twenty Minute Read.pdf

Buy The Full Book printed, coil-bound

for easy reading, from...

'About The System' on Lulu.com

Special Papers

How To Talk To Each Other About Politics.pdf

- will help you discuss politics with others.

In large text for devices.

How To Talk To Each Other About Politics for printing.pdf

-       the same, in smaller font for printing

Talking With Voters.pdf

- a version for progressive movements

with a small group activity for meetings.

The Three Summary Charts.pdf

Three one-page charts - some of the

key points of the work as diagrams

The Right To Unionise

How We Relate In Politics

How We Make All The Wealth


The Right To Unionise.pdf

(Was The Right To Organise In Unions)

-           a subsidiary work taken from

the full book. 208 pages. v.2023.10

Its own website -



Buy it printed, coil-bound for

easy reading, from here

'The Right to Unionise' on Lulu.com


Ed McDonnell is a retired lecturer.

He taught courses for union workplace

reps/shop stewards and has been

active in the labour movement and

class politics for fifty years, in the UK.


Note on this Website/page.

The page is made as a simple .html file in

MS Word and does not display text correctly

on different devices. Made in a size readable

on smartphones, it shows too big on desktop

computers and tablets.

A proper webpage is planned.


End of website