Friday, September 20, 2019

Socialism – Our Best Hope

To-day and over the next coming week or so, environment activists will try to draw the world's attention to the climate crisis. The Socialist Party has always made its position clear. 

We stand for an end to capitalism and the formation of a socialist economy democratically controlled by working people. We know that the road ahead will have many twists and turns, but we also know that our fellow-workers have a long history of fighting against exploitation and oppression, and for justice and revolution. Class is everything, and without clarity about it we do not know who we are or what we are doing. The Socialist Party is a revolutionary organisation which seeks a complete transformation of society, and the creation of a socialist system. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of economic exploitation and political oppression. We are not leaders but we do strive to base our organisation on the principles that will be the basis of the future society: mutual aid and solidarity.

Capitalists seek to maximise profits and reduce the cost of labour. Capitalists are about acquisition and exploitation. This is the heart of capitalism. It is not about freedom and democracy. Those businesses which are not able to increase profits and decrease labour costs, through lay-offs, cutting wages, destroying unions, off-shoring, out-sourcing or automation are replaced. Maximising profit means turning the oceans into dead zones, filling the atmosphere with carbon emissions and methane that render the climate unfit for humans, pumping toxic chemicals and waste into the soil, water, air and food supply, buying off elected officials and judges to serve the exclusive interests of capital and privatising social services such as health care, transportation, education and public utilities, to gouge the public with high monopolised prices. Reducing the cost of labour means forcing workers to remain unorganised and abolishing work, health and safety regulations, it means re-locating industry overseas where foreign workers toil like 19th-century serfs, it means suppressing wages at home to force an impoverished population into debt. That is the price of business. Capitalism will loot and pillage, it will exploit and oppress. Across the world politicians spew hatred and bigotry. Capitalism has never worked for the majority of humanity.

The personal ethics of the employer is irrelevant. The capitalist class will go to any length to disguise capitalism’s true nature. An example being Business Roundtables Principles of Corporate Governance, signed by 181 major CEOs, a lesson in doublespeak. Capitalism will misinform and manipulate the people through its control of the media. It demonises and muzzles its critics. It funds academics and intellectuals to tirelessly propagate the ideology of capitalism. It finances think tanks to spread the belief that transferring wealth upward into the hands of the ruling class is beneficial to society. Capitalism wages endless wars in its quest for profit. It creates a mafia economy and a mafia government. The Business Roundtable is equivalent of Al Capone insisting that his mob runs society. The capitalists are determined to protect their wealth with a PR image of a gentle, kinder, humane capitalism. Yet capitalism translates into squeezing workers on wages, on working conditions and on health coverage, and on pensions. 

We face multiple crises that are reaching their breaking points. Not only has this resulted in an immense wealth divide and widespread poverty, homelessness and lack of education for many people, we now are up against the threat of catastrophic climate change. Carbon emissions continue to rise, the polar ice caps continue to melt, crop yields continue to decline, the world’s forests continue to burn, coastal cities continue to sink under rising seas and droughts continue to wipe out fertile farmlands. The capitalist media sell us the false hope that all will be right in the end. But it won’t. Capitalism will not be able to adapt.

There are encouraging signs of the growing realisation that capitalism is running rough-shod over working men and women and a growing understanding that there’s an urgent need to come together in the name of preservation and resistance. It is now time to halt capitalism's global gangsterism.

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