A growing wave of resistance has emerged, demanding economic, social and political change. The struggle against capitalism has to begin with a struggle for the democratic public good and of workers control over the conditions of their labour. Many are challenging the widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it. More people are confronting the prevailing racist, anti-democratic, authoritarian populism and the system’s ability to distract attention away from the root causes of people’s problems by focusing on xenophobic, and nationalistic anti-immigrant fear-mongering is gradually weakening. Our fellow-workers are finally starting to imagine an alternative to global capitalism and to mobilise resistance to it in defence of freedom, social justice and equality. Shaming those who fall for capitalism’s deceptions is a failing political strategy. Any effective political strategy should involve reclaiming the promise of a radical social democracy and how the ideal of a egalitarian social democracy is undermined and attacked by apologists of the profit system in which everything is commodified and organised by the dictates of capital. Such a strategy demands developing critical analyses that examine how the ruling class uses its power to exploit, to marginalise and exclude, to dehumanise its victims. It would also call into question the methods through which the State and the corporations use power to deprive peoples’ lives of essential services such as health care, public transportation, quality education, housing, a healthy environment and other services that people need for a decent worthwhile life.
The means of resistance necessary for the defeat of capitalism and the construction of a democratic socialist society will not emerge without the development of a mass culture that provides the knowledge, ideas, values and social relations central to creating class conscious citizens. To expose the complexity of the problems capitalism produces, socialists must create the connections to write and speak to people in a language that they can understand and identify with, and to make knowledge and ideas emancipatory. Socialists need to acquire a new way of thinking about the misery and suffering faced by many people, rejecting moralising and righteousness of preaching some sort of new gospel to people. We should unmask how capitalist power works and impacts on peoples’ lives in their everyday experiences and events. Socialists require to write, talk and act in ways that make the link between the private troubles of individual workers and public shared social issues entering into a political way of thinking that fully engages with concrete daily life.
Socialists should re-consider the usage of verbal jargon which often prevents reaching out to the non-academic professionals. Arcane theoretical prose can separate scholarship from being relevant to pressing social problems and a wider array of political. One of the most important requirements for socialists is the need others to connect and to expose the workings of lies of capitalist politicians and economists by ensuring our language is accessible to a wider audience addresses their concrete social problems, crucial if workers raise their class consciousness. The weapons of persuasion, passion and vision must be integrated into a political approach in which people can energised to change the world. One task is to awaken people’s capacity to recognise their communal bonds, to develop a compassion for others and identify with the common good rather than submit to acquiescence and fear and instead instill fellow-workers with a hope that moves people to imagine a different future.
Capitalist economic growth disguised as “progress” destroys the planet and the difference between crisis and catastrophe is becoming increasingly narrow with terrifying implications for future generations. Capitalism and democracy are not synonymous. Capitalism has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with entrapping millions in exploitation and oppression. We need to reverse the claim that social democracy is the enemy of freedom. Socialism is the process of democratisation of society and is a matter of fundamental systemic change that embraces a radical restructuring of society. The deep-seated problems of capitalism are endless, bottomless, and too destructive to be simply reformed. Only a strong anti-capitalist mass movement can challenge them. In response we must offer an effective alternative to capitalism rather than merely cosmetic changes to it.
If socialists are to build on the failures of capitalism and create a mass movement for social change, we need a fresh language that communicates a new understanding of politics in which a new socialist society can be both imagined and strived for. This means getting beyond the notion that capitalism can be the only viable economic system. We need a language integral to how we view our present society and imagine our future world.
We have no time to waste.