Skip to main content

There is no hope under Capitalism


Under capitalism, production is geared to profits and therefore does not, in general, take place unless the goods can be marketed profitably. Thus capitalism is not geared to produce to satisfy the reasonable needs of the majority of the population. Nevertheless, it has developed the means of production, including those in the fields of food and energy, to the extent that the creation of an abundance of wealth is now technically possible. In a socialist society, the world will function as one productive unit. With the probability of people living in smaller communities with modern energy-efficient communications reducing transport requirements, we may well see these communities self-sufficient in energy, although some provision for emergencies will be required. The environmentally benign, renewable methods are in many ways better suited to smaller scale operations, as shown to a certain extent by the instances where they are making headway at present. 

 Socialism has but small use for just simple hatred for capitalism. Whilst we depict the cruelties of capitalism in order to rouse the indignation and fix the attention of our fellows, we should be worse than fools to build a movement on mere indignation. In our perusal of history, in our observation of the world around us, there is always enough to keep our indignation alive, but we do not peruse history or look at our world for that. We study these things that we may understand how our society has come to be as it is, and how it may be made to serve human happiness more perfectly. We may perceive that malice, ignorance or sheer perversity may have added to human misery or may have diverted the results of communal effort into private channels, but indignation will not remedy it. Neither will action based upon mere hatred of the human agents involved. Socialism has little use for hatred. We prefer to concentrate on knowledge, for with knowledge comes understanding, and from understanding proceeds intelligent, definite action. This is one great difference between the Socialist Party and the Labour Party. The latter—and this is not a mere jibe—specialises in sob-stuff. It's Press and its political representatives are absorbed in the appeal to sentiment. They appeal constantly for your tears for the orphan, the underfed, the widow, the aged, the out-of-work, the casual labourer, the poorly housed, the "ex-Service man," and dozens of other categories of poverty. And being a mere sentimental appeal, and further, being without the correct knowledge and understanding, they invite you to get the Government to give a pension to this one, increase the pension to that one, feed the children of the other one, and so on. They assure you that this kind of thing is "practical Socialism," and implore you to give them the keys of power so that they may dispense the appropriate plaster for each social sore. The appeal is purely sentimental; a fatal basis upon which to build an effective party. People may respond more quickly to an appeal to their feelings, rather than their reason, but, action based upon reason will go further, make fewer mistakes and get there, long before sentimentalism has exhausted all the possibilities of error. In all of our years of existence we have consistently demonstrated the utter futility of the "something now" policy and the dangerous absurdity of the mere appeal to righteous indignation. Socialism is a practical, scientific proposition, to be applied to existing society. It will not be brought” into operation by angry men, for anger is a bad counselor.

The task of making the great mass of Labour Party voter into socialists remains. Nationalisation, municipalisation, and public ownership still appear too much in the mind’s eye of the average worker as methods whereby he will immediately advance wages and working conditions. We must dispel such delusions. Just as we now must disillusion fellow workers of their misplaced faith in cooperatives and universal basic incomes schemes as solutions to their poverty.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What do we mean by no leaders

"Where are the leaders and what are their demands?" will be the question puzzled professional politicians and media pundits will be asking when the Revolution comes. They will find it inconceivable that a socialist movement could survive without an elite at the top. This view will be shared by some at the bottom. Lenin and his Bolshevik cohorts argued that we couldn't expect the masses to become effective revolutionaries spontaneously, all on their own. To achieve liberation they needed the guidance of a "vanguard party" comprised of an expert political leadership with a clear programme. The Trotskyist/Leninist Left may remix the song over and over again all they want but the tune remains the same: leaders and the cadres of the vanguard can find the answer; the mass movements of the people cannot liberate themselves. The case for leadership is simple. Most working-class people are too busy to have opinions or engage in political action. There’s a need for some…

Lenin and the Myth of 1917

A myth pervades that 1917 was a 'socialist' revolution rather it was the continuation of the capitalist one. What justification is there, then, for terming the upheaval in Russia a Socialist Revolution? None whatever beyond the fact that the leaders in the November movement claim to be Marxian Socialists. M. Litvinoff practically admits this when he says:In seizing the reigns of power the Bolsheviks were obviously playing a game with high stake. Petrograd had shown itself entirely on their side. To what extent would the masses of the proletariat and the peasant army in the rest of the country support them?”This is a clear confession that the Bolsheviks themselves did not know the views of the mass when they took control. At a subsequent congress of the soviets the Bolsheviks had 390 out of a total of 676. It is worthy of note that none of the capitalist papers gave any description of the method of electing either the Soviets or the delegates to the Congress. And still more cu…

No More Propertyless

Socialism is the name given to that form of society in which there is no such thing as a propertyless class, but in which the whole community has become a working community owning the means of production—the land, factories, mills, mines, transport and all the means whereby wealth is created and distributed to the community. The first condition of success for Socialism is that its adherents should explain its aim and its essential characteristics clearly, so that they can be understood by every one. This has always been the primary purpose of the Socialist Party's promotion of its case for socialism. The idea of socialism is simple. Socialists believe that society is divided into two great classes that one of these classes, the wage-earning, the proletariat, is property-less the other, the capitalist, possesses the wealth of society and the proletariat in order to be able to live at all and exercise its faculties to any degree, must hire out their ability to work to the capitalis…