Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Is There a Future for Humanity?

“Capitalist development has dragged humanity down to so low a level that it no longer knows, and can no longer know, other than one incentive: money. Money has become the prime mover, the alpha and omega of all human action. Balzac calls it ‘l’ultima ratio mundi’ [the world’s last argument].” Paul Lafargue

The entire capitalist world is currently in a period of great economic and social crisis damaging the lives of millions while a small minority reaps the benefits and profits. Capitalism is now being seen to be the main enemy of the people of the world and an awareness is growing among the working class that piecemeal reforms cannot solve the problems our society faces. Men and women are also coming to see that their overall liberation hinges on the demise of capitalism. Many of our fellow-workers are advocating a thoroughgoing change in the system. The conflict within capitalism is between the working class and the capitalist class which exploits its labour. This exploitation is the foundation of the capitalist system and provides the working class with its objective interest in the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. Further, because of its role in the production and distribution of all goods and services, only the working class has the numerical strength, strategic position, basis for collective organisation, and therefore, the potential power to overthrow capitalism. Critics adopting a tone of consummate reasonableness dismiss socialism as a dream. But that’s precisely what it is. It’s visionary. While there are others who criticise socialism for not articulating a bold and transformative vision for the planet. Socialism is the world’s last best chance to get it right. Otherwise, the future will be some sort of dystopia. 

What race are you? What colour are you? What’s your nationality? What Gender? What’s your sexual orientation? It’s capitalism’s bogus and divisive nature. Like cattle we are branded.

The Socialist Party supports strikes for higher wages and improved working conditions. As workers ourselves we know that under capitalism we get nothing save through organisation and struggle. The social conditions of capitalism, where a tiny minority own the means of life, inevitably give rise to a struggle over the division of wealth. The class struggle will last as long as capitalism because the interests of workers and owners are irreconcilable. Strikes are an expression of this class struggle though it is fair to say that very few workers fully understand this. They do not recognise that there is an irreconcilable conflict between workers and owners everywhere. They do not recognise that workers have no country and that patriotism is a delusion and a snare. They do not recognise that the wages system shows up the dependence of the workers on the owners for a living.

One of the disappointments of the ecology movement has been its failure to understand the challenge that requires us to explain how we would build a political movement to shape a better world. Our idea is of the democratic common ownership and control of the economy. Either we develop the socialist transformation of society or we are eventually destroyed. There is nothing inevitable about the further advancement and evolution of the human species. In the world today only the working class has sufficient objective interest in the overthrow of capitalism and the strength to carry out this revolutionary task if it chooses to do so. The working class has it within its power to overthrow the crisis-ridden moribund capitalist society and in so doing to pave the way for the liberation of the whole of humankind. It is now required to challenge the regime of capital which is based as it is on the cheapest and fastest exploitation of labour and nature and the endless expansion of exchange value — and the creation of a sustainable steady-state economy

Halting climate change requires a change much more fundamental than making a series of lifestyle choices. Many in the environmental movements insist that we all have to make sacrifices for the sake of the planet. Only a self-denying existence can save us. However, it is the structure of existing society that determines what the individual does, not the other way around. And it is the impact of corporations driven by profit which is causing climate change, not individuals. There may well be a small minority of people prepared to reduce their living standards, but think of the billions across the world who are already live below the poverty level. Imposing cuts in the living standards of millions of people already deprived of well-being and comfort should be inconceivable. It is the private ownership of the means of production which is the principal cause of all the calamities which the capitalist system continues to visit upon humanity.

Do we stand upon the brink of the destruction of the whole of mankind? If the catastrophists and those who predict social collapse are correct that ecosystem is in fact in the process of irreversible destruction, then all alternatives, even socialism, would seem to be not only utopian but futile. The popular media presents us with the dystopian vision of a Mad Max scenario rather than off a positive socialist alternative. The Socialist Party explains that we stand upon the threshold of a new age of peace, prosperity and plenty. What is the future of mankind? That is for humanity to decide. It must be decided by the majority of the working people. They must organise and speak with one voice: We demand life with socialism before death under capitalism. The fight for socialism has become the fight for the very existence of humankind. We have always said that the future belongs to socialism.

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