Monday, April 13, 2020

The New World We Shall Create

Today’s society has the technological ability to give everyone what they need plus more. Everyone deserves to get what they need, when they need it, and in the form that they choose. The purpose of the Socialist Party is to do its part to make that happen.

Instead of using our production processes to raise living standards for everyone, the capitalists expropriate the wealth for themselves. To prevent the majority from accessing global resources, systematic rationing is used to  force people to compete for necessities. The result is an artificial scarcity, socially constructed to maintain capitalist rule. Yet the majority want a society that meets their needs. We can end thousands of years of class rule, unite on a global basis, and chart a new course for humanity. We have a window of opportunity to salvage a genuine socialist society from this pandemic and the disaster of capitalism response. If we do not end capitalist rule, it could well be the end of civilisation.

Models of cooperative behaviour abound. We already have the tools to connect everyone on the planet. Together, we could devise global answers to global problems and, at the same time, support everyone to organize their lives as they see fit. People are problem-solvers and our story is one of continual change as we replace what does not work with what works better.

The propagandists of capitalism represent it as a social system which is logical and operates with humanity. If that were true there would be none of the problems with which we are so familiar — and there would be no need for a socialist party to argue that capitalism must be abolished because it is a mass of contradictions.

Capitalism has unlocked a vast potential for the production and distribution of wealth—nothing less, in fact than the capacity to satisfy the needs of every person on the earth. Yet at the same time capitalism fails to achieve that potential, or anywhere near it.

Capitalism has developed our technical accomplishments to a high degree, enabling complex tasks to be performed to precision and ending the need for much monotonous repetitive work. But these accomplishments are not reflected in the quality of what is produced. Much of the wealth turned out is of a low standard—jerry-built houses, junk food, rust prone cars destined for  the scrap-heap.

Capitalism finds it necessary to devote a lot—probably the majority — of its effort to things which can only be called wasteful and unproductive. The enormous material and social effort poured into the armed forces, the police, the judiciary, the prisons—and all the hardware of weapons and equipment which they need—is one example of this. Another is the ubiquitous financial and commercial machinery of capitalism — insurance companies, banks, building societies, merchant houses, salesmen and so on. None of these produce any wealth : they only consume and destroy it.

All these contradictions spring from the basic one. which is peculiar to capitalism—the production of wealth as commodities. Capitalism turns out its wealth not for people to consume; that is secondary to the function of its being sold on the market. So people starve, or go without, or accept something below the best, because they cannot afford anything better. They become conditioned to accept their position as an inferior, exploited class who produce everything but own virtually nothing. Wealth is poured into the state machine, into armaments and the like to protect the privileged position of the ruling class, in whose interests this society of commodity wealth operates.

The Socialist Party has something to offer which will end these contradictions. Socialism will be a society of common ownership of the means of production and distribution, in which all wealth will be a use-value. The social relationships of commodity wealth will cease to exist; everything will be made to satisfy human needs, whether these be actual material needs or other, less tangible, fancies.

Removing the restrictions of commodity production will be the setting free of human abilities. Wealth will be turned out in abundance; the amount of it, and the quality will be limited only by the material problems of the time. Socialism will have no social relationships of the sort to hamper production; its relationships will be those of liberation and plenty.

In socialism human beings will be able for the first time to realise their potential—and the world will witness a veritable flowering of talents and productive capacity such as dreams are now made of. In this will be expressed a new unity of people. Socialism will bring human beings together, in the common task of producing the best and the most humane society of which we are capable.

The Socialist Party, alone among political parties in this country, stands for this new. basically different society. We argue that the working class does not need to waste their abilities in the continual production of the sub-standard. They do not need to suffer the indignities and the suppressions of poverty. They do not need to stand and watch a world which could be beautiful, abundant and satisfying stagnate into an ugly, impoverished nightmare.

Socialism is ours for the taking; materially the world is ready for it. All it needs now is people. 

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