We are living in troubled times. It seems that madness have gripped countries and cultures. It seems that hate and anger is all around us, fed by a misplaced paranoia often fanned by vested interests. For members of the ruling class there is an ever-present need to divide and conquer, to subdue true freedom. They are a worldwide force which wants to control global resources without regard to anything or anyone else and seek to maintain the status quo at all costs; a status quo that has served them well, whilst consigning hundreds of millions to poverty or near poverty. Many dominated by both the mainstream political arena and the media and lacking real vision turn to the mythical “golden ages” of the past for answers to all the issues facing humanity. Anger can lead to distorted reason and irrational decisions and actions. Anti-immigration and a perverted sense of nationalism being the most obvious ones. The misconception that “they” are taking over – migrants and refugees, that is – threatening our communities and national identity; fears stirred up by manipulative politicians and a dishonest media. Too many people settle for this divisive order rather than a harmony of working together. There can be little doubt that we are living through extraordinary times infected by uncertainty.
But we also have positive events, in which large numbers of people are becoming politically engaged. Huge numbers of people, discontented and alienated, have been taking to the streets calling for fundamental political, economic, and social change. Global movements for change have declared that freedom and social justice are fundamental human rights, that the current economic model is fundamentally unjust, that sharing needs to be seen as a guiding social and economic principle. They are the voice of the marginalised majority – so long ignored and who now demand that they must be listened to and heeded. As capitalists and politicians resist the calls for change, refuse to listen and continue to act in the same old ways, frustration and anger are increasing. The majority of humanity have been systematically disempowered. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are sick of economic inequality and social injustice and don’t trust the corrupt political system.
True democracy is participation – responsible participation. People in substantial numbers are uniting, forming groups, organising and acting, recognising that the responsibility for society rests with them. It means voting, but it also means voting based on the issues in an informed way. People everywhere see the inadequacy of the current economic and political system. More and more people now possess the imagination and courage required to initiate the far-reaching changes needed to tackle the major issues of the day: Climate change and peace; the movement of people – migration and refugees; obscene levels of inequality, the desperate need for a new and just economic system based on sharing, and the cultivation of social justice, a society free from the conditions that lead to wars and conflict. There is a real possibility that a new form of politics will evolve out of the popular democratic movements springing up that recognises humanity’s essential unity and is driven by a commitment to address the needs of the people and to build a new fair society, based on cooperation. The impulse for social change is across the planet and people everywhere are responding. It is a question of when, not if, fundamental change will take place. It is a good time to be a world socialist and glimpse the cooperative commonwealth on the horizon. We live in a time when the existing system is rotten and collapsing and when mass disaffection is growing. However, this is also a period when the alternative begins to appear.