Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Socialist Party Public Meeting

Community Central Halls

304 Maryhill Road
admission free

5 minutes from St. George's Cross Underground Station

Wednesday May 16 at 8.30 pm

"The Positive Case for Socialism":
Left to those who are making the revolution if and when it happens, and as dictated by circumstances? Analysing capitalism was a big enough job in itself: Marx & Engels never really got round to fleshing out their conception of socialism beyond the bare bones. To be fair, a materialist approach would suggest that the detail (the "recipes for the cookshops of the future", in Marx's oft-quoted phrase) should be.

But is this still valid 150 years on? Recent decades have by any measure seen a significant decline in positive support for capitalism amongst workers. They may still vote for it, reform it and complain about it, but the ideological mainstays of capitalism are weaker now. The Economist and the Spectator magazines acknowledge capitalism's failings. David Cameron and Warren Buffet join in the chorus of criticisms. But the great fall-back argument for the profit system is a simple one: "well, what are you going to replace it with?".

In response, we are seeing increased support for "funny money" currency cranks, and technological utopias (Zeitgeist's Venus Project for example). The Party's current position on this (the Socialism as a Practical Alternative pamphlet) is now 25 years old. This talk will argue that - while socialists still need to help workers understand capitalism and its failings - we need to continue developing arguments as to how a socialist society might look to organise itself.
  • Who would decide what goods and services are produced?
  • In the absence of money how would we know if production was efficient?
  • What sort of jobs would no longer be needed?
  • Would we need some form of vouchers as "payment" for work done?
  • Would socialism mean sitting in committees and meetings all day?
  • Would socialism have to increase production massively to feed the hungry?
  • Would globalisation continue? Or be reversed?

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