Monday, November 14, 2016

People need to want socialism

The abolition of capitalism will be followed by the establishment of a different social system. Socialism will be based on common ownership. While capitalism's wealth takes the form of commodities - things produced for sale and profit - socialism's wealth will be use values, things made solely to meet human needs. While capitalism is a society of class privilege, socialism will be one of the equal rights of free access. While capitalism is a coercive repressive society, socialism will be democratic, with full participation by its people. Just as capitalism promotes and aggravates conflict such as racism so will socialism be organised on the basis of human co-operation for the common benefit. Capitalism is an inefficient society. All sorts of things which ought to be done - like feeding hungry people, housing the homeless, or merely ensuring that old people do not die of cold in the winter - are not done because it is not “economically viable”. Capitalism wastes resources. Not just in building up armed forces and huge arsenals of weapons, whose only function is to destroy but also wastes the abilities of tens of millions of people who are in jobs which may be necessary in a society of commodity wealth but which are unproductive and socially useless - for example, jobs as sales-persons and bank workers. Socialists point to the absurdity of a world where computers and automation are commonplace and where we can send probes to Mars yet also allows tens of millions to die every year of starvation and untold millions from avoidable diseases. Resources under capitalism are actually used in such a way as to be detrimental to people - polluting the land, water and air.

Socialism will be a basically simple society for it will operate solely and completely on the basis of human needs. Everything which socialist society makes and does will be related to those needs and will, therefore, be to everyone's benefit. Socialism will be free of capitalism's profit motive, which causes the market to take precedence over human need. It will be a society in which people can behave just as humans would was it not for the restrictions and insecurities of capitalism. Human talents will be set free, to design and make the best that is possible, on the single incentive of satisfying human needs and so of benefiting the community. Socialism will mean the greatest flowering of imagination, creativeness and achievement in history. The nature of socialism will mean that climate change and natural disasters will be dealt with in the most urgent and efficient way. Socialism's production will harmonise with human interests because free of the chaos and restraints of commodity production for the market, the new society will be able to plan its work, what it makes and how it must be distributed to meet human needs.

Socialism will not happen, and cannot work unless the world's people want it. They must understand how and why it operates and must opt for it in that understanding. It cannot be imposed on society by a minority or by a group of political leaders. By the same token when a majority of people have established socialism no minority will be able to take it away from them. Having set up socialism the majority will not lose interest; they will continue to operate society on the same basis of informed democratic decisions. This is again something which has already been facilitated by capitalism, through the development of the internet and mobile phones which enable opinions to be assessed worldwide literally in hours. Decisions could be taken only when everyone is fully informed; socialism's democracy will entail the free availability of all information and knowledge. It will be a society vibrant with discussion and debate. From one generation to another the strengths of a society of communal ownership, free access, co-operation and harmony will be handed on. People will relate to each other as equals, as caring sisters and brothers. Co-operation will be the norm, an everyday, established reality and not an impossible dream.

This is all possible, virtually at once, if the working class were to recognise their own immense power to transform society. At present they deny themselves this power, effectively handing it over to the capitalist class by their support for capitalism and cruel delusions such as racism and nationalism. Socialism will be the end these to make it a world free of social conflict in which human beings live and work in unity without distinction of sex or race.

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