Saturday, July 20, 2019

Commonsense for a commonwealth of common ownership

To a person new to the ideas the Socialist Party holds, much of what we advocate sounds strange and not easy to accept. Some of our views are objected to because they seem extreme which others dismiss as being a mere “pipe-dream” that will never come true. There inevitably remains, to greater or lesser degree, a certain amount of “show me” skepticism, if not outright suspicion. Everyone likes to pride oneself upon the fact that he or she “makes up their own mind.” But the views which the vast majority of people believe on social issues are thought out for them through a lifetime of absorbing ideas from education and the media. Our minds are submitted to a process of shaping, that makes them fit the pattern of thought that accepts things as they are as the best possible arrangement. Did each person sit down and think things out for themselves, decide what ideas are right or wrong? Far from it. The ideas shared by the average worker are compounded of misinformation, disinformation, prejudice and lack of political education. Just as in modern society there is an increasing tendency towards a productive specialisation in which each man merely does one operation, apparently meaningless and without satisfaction in itself; so too in the intellectual world of capitalist society there has taken place the same kind of destructive specialisation, the compartmentalisation of human knowledge into pigeon holes. So much so that our fellow-workers end up being opposed to their own best interests. Such an understanding of the interests of the class as a whole we call class consciousness.

We are living in times that require radical solutions to burning problems, problems really of life or death. Politicians tied to a faith in capitalism cannot give such solutions despite their superficial “progressiveness.” Their attitude of class collaboration, the bootlicking of capitalist politicians and of capitalist society is the curse of the working class. They do not have the confidence of the working class. The formula of the reformists is the belief that capitalist society and capitalist democracy are precisely what they are said to be by the defenders and benefactors of capitalism, that there can be no significant difference between the exploiters and the exploited, between the owners of property and the property less, between those who hire and those who are hired. To be sure there are “the poor” and “the rich” but the reformists always obscure the fact that such distinctions are not what is basic to an understanding of the main problem facing the working class. They obscure the fact that “the rich” are one class in capitalist society and “the poor” are another, that not only are “the poor” and “the rich” separate classes but, also, that those separate classes will remain so long as capitalism remains, that the interests of the two classes are in irreconcilable conflict, that there is an incessant class struggle between the two classes, that the toilers must press this struggle everlastingly under capitalism. They obscure the fact that this struggle between the workers and the owners of capital can only end successfully for the toilers when capitalism has been replaced.

Despite the best efforts of the media indoctrination to convince the working class that capitalism is the best of all systems and that socialism is bad for them, the workers are no longer swallowing the capitalist propaganda hook, line and sinker. They are beginning to free their minds from capitalist control. The Socialist Party is firmly convinced that even such a small party as it, with a principles and a case for socialism that coincides with historic development, can and will re-make the world.

No comments: