Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Abundance and Freedom

A green socialist world
For today’s growing population, such a world of abundance will require more, not less, energy, and in order to deal with climate change, that energy must be renewable and non-polluting carbon-free.

Some on the left today, and in the much broader Green and environmental movements, consider the expansion of production as a “bad thing.” It causes pollution, ecological collapse, and climate change. No doubt, the expansion of industry under capitalism has caused these terrible changes. But it also has allowed humans to develop solutions through techniques that could alleviate these problems were such forms of production placed under the democratic control of society, that is, what we call socialism.

Engels in his  1847 essay The Principles of Communism writes:
“Instead of generating misery, overproduction will reach beyond the elementary requirements of society to assure the satisfaction of the needs of all; it will create new needs and, at the same time, the means of satisfying them. It will become the condition of, and the stimulus to, new progress, which will no longer throw the whole social order into confusion, as progress has always done in the past. Big industry, freed from the pressure of private property, will undergo such an expansion that what we now see will seem as petty in comparison as manufacture seems when put beside the big industry of our own day. This development of industry will make available to society a sufficient mass of products to satisfy the needs of everyone.
The same will be true of agriculture, which also suffers from the pressure of private property and is held back by the division of privately owned land into small parcels. Here, existing improvements and scientific procedures will be put into practice, with a resulting leap forward which will assure to society all the products it needs.
In this way, such an abundance of goods will be able to satisfy the needs of all its members.”

Capitalism has no way to lift the masses from poverty. Consider the following:
There are 1.6 billion people with no electricity.
Billions of people have no access to energy efficient mass transportation.
Billions of people have little or no access to education and health care.
Increasingly vicious wars and privatization continue to cause grinding poverty, dislocation and environmental destruction.

Capitalism is the cause. Capitalism produces only when there is a profit for the owner of capital. When there is no profitable market for his product, the capitalist will not produce, no matter how great and urgent the need of the people for work, for food, for clothing and shelter, for a decent living standard, for security. Capitalism robs more and more people of their most elementary right, the right to govern themselves.

The central concept of the post-scarcity economy is that technology gets better and better, so things that are mass produced and rationalised get cheaper and more abundant. Under the circumstances nobody needs to work to survive and there's really no point in maintaining a cash economy. People have unrestricted free access to the fruits of society’s collective labour. Given the absence and the uselessness of money for obtaining consumer goods, and the social stigmatization of wealth accumulation achieving one’s peer admiration and appreciation concentrates on the contribution to the community one makes. Socialism was once looked upon as a noble ideal, but today it is more than an ideal, it is an urgent necessity. Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production and exchange and their democratic organization and management by all the people in a society free of classes, class divisions and class rule. Socialism is the democratic organisation of production for use, of production for abundance, of plenty for all, without the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the union of the whole world disposing in common of the natural resources and wealth of our Earth. Capitalism has already established the highly-developed machinery of production and networks of distribution. It is only necessary for the working class, in the name and interests of society as a whole, to take it out of the hands of the capitalists and place them into the hands of the people as a whole. Every new invention, every improvement and advance in the field of production, would mean not only a higher standard of living for all, but a lessening of the working-day, that is, a reduction in the work-share that every member of society needs to contribute to the community. The technology, the resources , the and the human skills required to produce abundance for all, is already available. It is only necessary to free them from the paralysing hand of capitalism and production-for-profit in order to organise them in a rational and democratic manner. 

Where there is abundance for all, the psychological terror and living nightmare of insecurity vanishes. Where there is abundance for all, and where no one has the economic power to exploit and oppress others, the basis of classes, class division and class conflict vanishes. When there is plenty for all, there IS economic equality, therefore social equality. Where there is abundance for all government of repression, police and thieves, prisons and violence disappear. Where there is abundance for all, and where all have equal access to the fruits of the soil and the wealth of industry, the mad conflicts and wars between nations and peoples vanish and with them vanishes the hideous national and racial antagonisms.


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