Monday, July 01, 2019

DIY Socialism

Socialism is one of the most misrepresented words in common usage today. Many believe that it means State ownership or State bureaucratic control of business. Socialism has never existed, nor does it now exist any where in the world. Socialism cannot be handed to you by "leaders." Socialism is strictly a "Do It Yourself" plan. Socialism cannot come a little at a time, or in one small locality at a time by government decree or otherwise. Socialism does not mean a lowering of anyone's standard of living to one common level, as you have been told by countless "leaders" and "economists" who want to do your thinking for you.

Socialism means the common ownership and democratic control of all the means of production and distribution, as well as the natural resources and land. The working class today creates all wealth for the private owners of industry in return for a fraction of that wealth, called wages. In socialism, the same producers will create the wealth for all of society to enjoy. With those now unemployed, or senselessly occupied, put to useful endeavour, and with all the ingenious labour-saving inventions put to use, the hours of the working day will be shortened tremendously. Automation will cease to be a threat to job security, it will bring the blessing of greater abundance and more leisure time to enjoy that abundance. Instead of workers being divided into hostile groups competing for jobs that will pay enough to keep a family until next payday, we will work in harmony, cooperating to produce most efficiently the best possible products, since we will all directly benefit from each improvement in quality and quantity of the goods and services we have made available.
Socialism is not a paternalistic society in which the good things are handed down to you. It is a society of economic equality, which is to say, equality of economic opportunity. You will have full voice and vote in the Industrial Democracy of Socialism. After all, you know as well as anyone the details concerning your job. You are capable of choosing the management committees who will best harmonise production in your plant. Your delegates will meet with others. Economic as well as governmental freedom will at last be yours. The worries of unemployment, the insecurity and strain that now accompany the sale of your labour power to the private owners of industry -- all will be banished along with capitalism and its governmental voice, the political State.

What a relief from strain and worry the self-government of Socialism will bring! No longer will we anxiously scan each day's newspapers to find out if some "leader" has, by his words or actions, brought us nearer to an nuclear war or environmental destruction. No longer will we have to replace one set of "leaders" with another, only to find that there is no real difference between them. No longer will we have to wait submissively while labour "leaders" confer with other capitalists to determine, through wholesale bargaining, what our labour power will bring on the market this time. Freedom, equality and liberty will at last be ours, because we will have secured them for ourselves. 

Increased leisure and general well-being will, of course, make it possible for all of us to lead wholesome and decent lives. All will enjoy better health. The modern scourge of mental illness will be practically eliminated in a society freed from the causes of anxieties and tensions that now plague mankind. A new and superior race of men and women will emerge such as the world has never seen before.

The leisure which our shorter hours of work will give us will mean a great enrichment of our lives. Travel, the development of cultural appreciation, the best of entertainment -- all these will be ours. Best of all, we will know the full pleasure of family life, without the cares which frustrate our happiness today. It has been claimed by some that socialism would "break up the home." It is now obvious that it is capitalism which is the home-breaker, with fathers and mothers both working to make ends meet, and children left without proper family guidance turning into social delinquents. Marriage will cease to be a property relationship in the sane social order of socialism. Mutual love and understanding will be the fundamental principle upon which the family of the future will build. Perhaps you are shaking your head at. this point and saying, "All this sounds like a heaven on earth. But it can never be. We have to contend with human nature, you know."

Let's reason out this argument. Would you be opposed to helping create a "heaven on earth"? Do you really prefer voting for politicians who are pledged to maintain the present social system which is the exact opposite of that "heaven on earth" we have described? Is it your nature to desire peace or war? Are other humans different from you? Is it your nature to prefer the insecurity of employment and the exploitation under capitalism, or does your whole being yearn for economic freedom and security for yourself and your family? Are you proud of the fear-instilling and intimidating measures used by some "leaders" to curtail freedom of thought, or does your whole nature rebel at capitalism's encroachment upon your liberties? The Socialist Party maintains that the best in human nature will only be brought out by the best in social and economic conditions.

The Socialist Party calls upon this majority to vote for the change from private ownership and the political State to social ownership. You can "Do It Yourselves" at the ballot box. Socialism lies in its immense industrial development. You are now carrying on all
production in industry. You have only to take over and continue the operation of these same industries, producing for the use of all instead of the profit of the few. This is the only way socialism may be attained - by "Doing It Yourselves." 

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