Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Free Stuff

In Scotland there is free prescriptions for medicines,  we have nation-wide free travel on the buses for the over-60s. The Scottish Parliament has now passed legislation that makes  tampons and sanitary pads freely available at designated public places such as community centres, youth clubs and pharmacies.

Why do we stop there? Why not extend free access to all necessary goods and services?

The problem of production — of how to produce enough for everybody — has been solved. Mankind’s long battle to conquer scarcity has been won. Potential abundance is a reality. The task is to make abundance itself a reality.

A society of abundance is not an extension of today’s throwaway consumerism, with its enormous waste of resources. It does not mean people will acquire more and more useless and wasteful gadgets. It simply means that people’s material needs, both as individuals and as a community, will be fully satisfied in a rational way.
Contrary to what is popularly believed people are not inherently greedy; human needs are not limitless. From a material point of view, human beings need a certain amount and variety of food, clothing and shelter; what this is in individual cases can soon be discovered by the individual himself — and would be if there were free access to consumer goods and services. 
But, it may be objected, with free access wouldn’t people take more than they needed? But why should they if they can be certain (as they would, be given the productive power of modern industry and the common ownership of the means of production) that there would always be enough to go round? When all consumer goods and services are freely available people could be expected to take only as much food, clothing etc. as they felt they needed. To take any more would be abnormal and pointless.

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Free bus travel for 18s and under as SNP strikes budget deal with Greens