We bake the loaf of bread to get the money to buy a slice.

Capitalist society is an extension of feudal society which is an extension of slave society. The latter built within the shell of the former. All of these systems have/had money, banks, markets, and classes.

Class is the relationship between the owner (master, lord, employer, banker, landlord) who owns the land, farm, bank, factory, office, store, who dictates to the workers (slave, serf, employee) what to make, how to make it, under what conditions to make it, with the product of the worker’s labor being sold on a market with the surplus-value (profit) commanded by the owner, who then has full discretion on what to do with it. This results in the things we make being made to generate exchange-value (profit) for a privileged minority class instead of use-value (stuff we want and need) for the mass of people.

A home is something we all need, but in capitalist society we don’t build homes to generate use-values (shelter from the elements, a place to raise a family, a place to store our things, a place to have sex, etc) we build homes to generate exchange-value for the capitalist class. This results in a bunch of homes being rapidly built to generate profit for a few people, not for people to live in and use. This is what led to the housing boom in the 1990's and 2000's and this is what led to the crash in 2007–2008.

Same with education. Education is controlled by the capitalists, so the system isn’t about generating use-values (cultivation of creativity, interest in knowledge and history, imparting skills to contribute to society, an appreciate of the arts, etc) it’s about generating exchange-values (profits). What results is people have to go through a threshold of debt to acquire the skills to get a job, turning education into a commodity for bankers to generate a profit. What is valued in this system isn’t cultivating interests and skills in what we are individually interested in and what fulfills us, it’s for creating obedient and docile workers able to generate profits for employers. That students loans are over $1 trillion and that declaring bankruptcy isn’t enough to offload these debts in hard times should be evidence enough of this.

Same with healthcare. Hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies are controlled by the capitalists, so these institutions don’t exist to produce use-values for society (regular check-ups, healing the mind and body, a place to safely have a baby, etc.) they exist to produce exchange-values (profit) for a minority class. Like enclosure laws and game laws in the 1700's the capitalist class positions themselves between the mass of people and that which they require to reproduce their existence in order to extract profit and reinforce their class privilege. That the ACA was written by the insurance industry should be evidence enough of this.

So like with education and housing, the mass of people must go through a threshold of debt control to gain access to the resources needed to reproduce their existence. We must humble ourselves before our masters and submit our lives to reproducing and reinforcing their privileged position, and if we don’t then we have the “choice” of homelessness and starvation.

So you have two classes. A minority class that owns the land, farm, bank, factory, office, store who lives off the profits, dividends, rents generated by the labor of others. And a majority class who doesn’t own any of these things who must rent their labor out to the minority class (in relations of unequal power) to get the money to purchase the things we all rely on to survive. So the employer has the power and the employee must submit to their will to gain access to the resources needed to house and feed and clothe themselves and their families.

This power relation, within the context of the workplace and society at large, has remained unchanged over the last 10,000 years. The society around it has changed of course. In slave and feudal societies they were very unfree, so to maintain and perpetuate class division an overwhelming amount of violence and brutality could be utilized by those with power against those without to protect their class privilege. In a more free society like ours the brutality of the physical is counter-productive, because people will rise up and overthrow the class above them, so the ruling class must act with the brutality of the psychological, using mechanisms of debt control, indoctrination, and propaganda to maintain and perpetuate class distinction and protect their class privilege. 90% of the media being owned and controlled by five corporations and schools modeled on the factory floor should be evidence enough of this.

Wherever capitalism appears, in pursuit of its mission of exploitation, there will Socialism, fertilized by misery, watered by tears, and vitalized by agitation be also found, unfurling its class-struggle banner and proclaiming its mission of emancipation.

— Eugene V. Debs

So what is socialism? Socialism is three things; within the capitalist superstructure it is a critique of capitalism; it’s a philosophy that emphasizes free associations of equal power relations, and freedom from oppression and exploitation; and its an economic system predicated on workers owning and managing their own workplaces to generate use-values for their communities.

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