Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Socialism: life-giving, not life-destroying.

"A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” -  Oscar Wilde

We are in tempestuous times, where the chronic problems thrown up by the capitalist system have caused so much pain are, at last, coming to be seen as urgent and in need of attention by an increasing number of people. We also live in a divisive time.  There are some who seek to divide us. It is now important that we develop a movement of social change. The timeline now requires fairly massive, fairly quick moves toward socialism. we want to make real progress in fighting capitalism which destroying our lives and the planet, we need to find ways to support each other and express solidarity with one another by learning how to organize together for revolutionary change. Challenging the Establishment, believing that one can make a difference, and committing time to confronting those in power is not easy. In the capitalist world, our relationships with one another are structured by political disconnection. Effective action involves coordination and strategy to achieve our aspirations. Socialists are, of course, anathema to the political elite who, with all their might, resist such revolutionary efforts to transform society.

To-day, the worker is driven to wage slavery through the private ownership of the natural resources from which all mankind must get the means of life. Under capitalism the propertied class exploits the working class. Receivers of rent, interest and profit are living on the unpaid labour of the workers. They are able to do this because they own and control the means of production and distribution, including the land. At the back of their ownership stands their control of the political machinery, including the armed forces. The choice is between capitalism and Socialism, between a continuance of exploitation and its abolition. Any attempt to reform the relationship of the different sections of the propertied class while continuing to prevent the working-class majority from ending exploitation, can rightly be described as an attempt to perpetuate a half-strangled capitalism.

No Socialist Party member could take exception to the struggle of the workers to preserve a democratic platform. On the other hand, we cannot support any movement which encourages workers to sacrifice themselves in defence of capitalist wealth. If working class history has any meaning for those who wage the struggle to-day, it is that the association of workers with capitalist movements has led only to their division and confusion. The clearest presentation of the class struggle leads to another conclusion; that every movement of the workers must be waged on the basis of unity with their fellows and of fundamental opposition to the capitalist class.

Socialism, is the taking in the name of humanity all the wealth that exists on the globe. In the society of the future, socialism will be the enjoyment of all existing wealth, by all men and women according to the principle: From each according to abilities, to each according to needs, that is to say: from each to each according to his or her will. The taking of possession and the enjoyment of all existing wealth must be the doing of the people themselves, no intermediaries, no go-betweens, no brokers, no new government, no new state, whether it calls itself popular or democratic, revolutionary or provisional. The common wealth belongs to the entirety of humanity, who find themselves in a position to use it will use it in common. We want the control of all the world’s resources to be in the hands of the people themselves and to be kept by their powerful hands, and that the people themselves decide the best way to enjoy it, be it for production or consumption. People will use the planet, the machines, the workshops, the houses, etc., of the land and will serve everyone in common of them. If a person from another region comes to this land, he or she will have the same rights in the same way that he or she enjoyed in their land. Some ask us is socialism possible? Will there be enough to let everyone have the right to take as they wished, without demanding from individuals more labour than they are willing to give? We answef: yes and that we can apply this principle: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need, because, in future society, production will be so abundant that there will be no need to limit consumption, or to demand from people more work than they are willing or able to give. We can imagine this immense growth in production, which will come about from:

1. Harmony of cooperation in the different branches of human activity will replace today’s competition

2. Large-scale introduction of all kinds of new technology

3. The considerable conservation of the forces of labour and of raw materials, facilitated by the abolition of harmful or useless production.

Socialists have made great contributions to political-economic thought. Probably the greatest contribution has been to work toward a class-free, non-authoritarian, co-cooperatively based society. It is a society where individuals care for the needs of all members, and that individual also benefits from the protective net, avoiding the consequences of future ill-health or natural disaster. What kind of world is it that most people want? Dog-eat-dog capitalism or everybody looking out for and caring about one another, replace the inefficient capitalist market with a solidarity economy where workers are not dictated to by a board of directors for the profit of shareholders? Sadly, no socialist revolution is imminent, violent now or in the near future. Capitalist production follows the dictum “Mors tua vita mea”, your death is my life. Conflict is relentless and happens from nation to nation, from region to region, from individual to individual, between workers, between capitalists. A worker finds work where another has lost it; one industry or many industries prosper where other industries decline. In the socialist society of the future, this individualistic principle of capitalist production, every man for himself against all others, and everyone against everyone, will be replaced by the true principle of human society: all for one and one for all. Imagine how great will be the growth of production, when each person, far from needing to fight against all the others, will be helped by them, when we will have them not as enemies and rivals but as cooperators. If the collective work of ten attains results absolutely impossible for one person alone, how grand will be the results obtained by the large-scale cooperation of all mankind who, today, work in hostility against each other?

Today, innovative technology often has the ignorance of the capitalist against it, but more often still his interest. How many inventions are going unapplied only because they do not bring an immediate benefit to the capitalist? So many discoveries, so many applications of science go unheeded, only because they do not bring enough to the capitalist. The worker today finds an enemy in automation, and rightfully so, because they are the monster that comes to threaten unemployment, to starve and to degrade him, to torture and to dehumanise. But what an immense difference it would beif , on the contrary, it augmented the work process we will no longer be the slave to the machines but instead they would be at our service, assisting us and  and working for our well-being.

How much resources are horribly wasted today, because they are used for the production of absolutely useless things, when they are not harmful to humanity. How many workers, how much material, and how many factories are used today by the military to provide it with is armaments  How much is wasted to produce luxury objects and consumer goods that serve nothing but the needs of vanity and corruption? And when all this is used, for the production of useful objects what a prodigious growth in production we will see.

Yes, socialism is viable where we let everyone take according to their will, since there will be enough for everyone. We will no longer need to demand more work than anyone wants to give, because there will always be enough products for tomorrow.  And it’s thanks to this abundance that work will lose the dreadful character of wage slavery, leaving people to of live in harmony with nature. Not only is socialism feasible, we affirm that it is necessary.

A large proportion of working people are may indeed be dissatisfied, even angry, but few contemplate any such revolution. Many activists believe the time is not ripe and are content upon placing demands upon the ruling class that in no way disturbs the status quo. However, socialists recall the words of Karl Liebknecht’s posthumous article from a hundred years ago.

 “Those defeated today will be the victors tomorrow…whether or not we live to experience it, our program will remain alive; it will prevail in a world of a rescued humanity – In spite of everything!”

It is our warning to the capitalists of the world and our battle cry to our fellow-workers.

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