Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Going Beyond Capitalism

Capitalism cannot work in the interests of the working class, nor can it be controlled. Economic problems are an inevitable result of capitalist society. Not only can capitalism not be controlled to eliminate its ever-increasing range of problems; it is also totally chaotic in its detailed operations. 

Capitalism is outlived. It has submitted us to recurrent crises, each one worse than the previous one. Labour, being the biggest single organised force, and without a stake in the profit system, has the potentiality of organising its own political party to take over the complete administration of industry. Not all of labour is yet conscious of its historic mission. Abolition of the Wage System? Yes, the Socialist Party is for it. We believe the “divine right of management,” acquired, not through Providence but through the unholy exploitation of the people, should belong to those who do the work of society. Let the organised working people manage industry, eliminate private profit, plan production to suit the needs of the people – for peace, prosperity and plenty for all. If automation is to be introduced for the benefit of the working class and not to introduce more suffering for the workers, it will be necessary to operate industry democratically, with the control of industry by the people themselves. The socialist movement must offer the people a clear alternative to capitalism, must offer genuine socialism. 

This is the only way in which workers can guarantee the development of society.

If you have no right to work you have no right to life because you can only live by work. And if you live in a system that deprives you of the right to work, that system denies you the right to live. Workers have no "right" to their jobs; they are employed only on the prospect that their labour will yield profit to the capitalists. In a class divided society conflict is inevitable but in this the strike should be a weapon of last resort, not the plaything of a leader. Strikes should proceed on a democratic decision and ideally should be brief as well as concentrated. It is vital to separate the struggles on the industrial field, which are about the division of wealth under capitalism, from that on the political field, which is concerned with the revolution to dispossess the capitalists of their monopoly of the means of life. It is on the political field, and not the industrial, that the working class is able to contest with the state, to control it for their own emancipation.

Don't blame the “wicked capitalists" for throwing people out of work. Most of them have never been near the factories, shipyards, mines, mills and offices where their unearned income is produced.

Workers — from managers to sweepers — are paid to run these places completely — including giving you the sack. Anyway most capitalists have their investments spread over a number of companies — for safety. Their stockbrokers may transfer their investments from one stock to another frequently, into whatever is most profitable at the moment.

So, if you are thrown out of work, you can’t really blame the capitalist — he is probably in the Bahamas, harming nobody — blame the order book and the stock market — the whole economic anarchy of capitalism. There are no hard feelings — no feelings at all, in fact. Capitalism just ignores people.

For the workers to ignore these lessons is futile and dangerous. History is a guide for future action and that of the coal strike points unwaveringly to the urgent need for a new social system.

 The Socialist Party would never claim that the establishment of a society based on common ownership and production for use will see an end to all of the world's problems. There will still be events over which we cannot possibly have any control — such as earthquakes. But even so, deaths from such natural disasters will be minimised in socialism in a way that they cannot be now.

Most of the deaths take place because buildings collapsed with their inhabitants trapped inside. But why did these buildings collapse? The simple and obvious answer is cost. It is more expensive to build houses, offices, hospitals and schools which can withstand earthquakes. In socialism, nobody's life will ever again be sacrificed on the altar of profitability. 

Socialism will be a system of society with one aim, the satisfaction of human needs in all their various forms. In Socialism, where the market society has been swept away. Your commitment to socialism is required to put an end to the crazy Alice in Wonderland world of today. So, how about it?

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