Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The World For All

For ourselves, socialism is impossible without democracy, both in how we organise and in what we organise for. We practice what we preach. Our job, as socialists, is to find a way to propose radical ideas and democratic practices, even though we may risk being marginalised or even ostracised. The Socialist Party is infused with democratic principles. What most concerns us is to lay the foundation of an for the policy of the cooperative commonwealth. Socialism aims at giving a meaning to people's life and work; enabling freedom and permitting the positive aspects of people’s personality to flourish; creating connections between the individual and those around us and reconciling humanity with nature. These are not aspirations for some hazy and distant future but our immediate demands for today. Socialism is not "nationalisation" nor "central planning" or even an "increase in the standard of living." It is to understand that the real crisis of capitalism is due to "the anarchy of the market." The task of the Socialist Party is transform our vision of society and our conception of the world. Socialism is working people's conscious direction of their own lives. Capitalism divides society. Socialist society implies people's self-organisation and entails the immediate abolition of the division of society into conflicting classes. Workers' self-management will be possible only if people's attitudes alter radically and running society becomes a meaningful part of our daily lives when people it. Analyse the case for socialism. Criticise if you so wish, by all means, but apply reason to the matter as well, for by so doing better understanding, greater knowledge, and a speedier establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth will result. One of the important facts of capitalist life is that it is a class divided system, in which two groups of people, between them making up the population of the developed world, face each other in conflict over the ownership of wealth. The parties of capitalism try to hide this fact, by talking about a unity of interests, about everyone working for the national good as if the interests of the coal miner are the same as those of the stock holder. As the interests of the two classes in society to day are in conflict, sooner or later the conflict must be determined. Therefore it would be wise for the working class, being the class seeking its emancipation, to be ready with its alternative. And what alternative have they but socialism?

Political parties are themselves fighting the class war, but on the other side of the line. They stand for the interests of the ruling class, for the propping up of a social system in which a minority own and control the means of living with all that follows from that in terms of poverty against privilege, freedom against repression. Any differences they may have are over the tactics to be used in that propping up and in fighting that class war. At times, a government may decide on the tactics of confrontation; at others they may use the policy of conciliation, of trying to persuade the workers on the other side of the struggle not to use any power they may have, to negotiate rather than use force in the sense of a strike or something similar. And when it comes to an election they are again united, in their respective appeal to the political naivety of the working class who are open to be convinced that minor differences on issues like trade are worth voting for or against. This should be a lesson to anyone who thinks it possible to make progress towards socialism with a policy of compromise with political ignorance or of winning support on day-to-day issues.

Mankind has developed vast technological possibilities. At present, however, there is gulf between what is potentially possible and what is actually realised. The contrast between the two and the question of how to reconcile them is the most pressing problem that confronts mankind today.

Concrete examples abound.

That people go hungry despite the fact that it is technologically possible to feed the world;
That schools, factories, homes, etc., are not built in sufficient numbers to satisfy the need for them—despite the necessary materials and manpower being available.  
That not enough of the many other items that are necessary for a pleasant human existence are produced—despite the existence of the requisite powers for their production and we have already witnessed under the current pandemic that hospitals can be providedand factories transformed to produce vital equipment and supplies in a matter of days;
That artistic and intellectual development, and scientific and medical research is limited—despite the vast human potential for such development;
That millions of people in the world are deprived of  the opportunity to usefully employ their talents—despite their desire contribute their talents and skills.

The answer to the problem of how to realise humanity’s full potential lies in the replacement of the present society with a new social system in which everyone owns the means of living in common— socialism where the wealth collectively produced will belong to everyone. Each person will have equal rights of access to the shared store-houses, each will determine her/his own needs and take freely from the common stock. This concept of wealth distribution is termed “free access”, and it means precisely that. For in socialism, the wealth of the planet will not be bought or sold on a market, it will not be exchanged for money, but rather it will be made freely available so that anyone who needs it can take it.

Because it will not be restricted by the market and the profit motive, production create the abundance that it is now technologically capable of. Production in socialism to satisfy society’s needs, not for profit. Because there will be no market, the work currently done by millions of people will become unnecessary. Socialism will have no need the services performed by those who work in finance, in banks, insurance companies or building societies. Nor will it need check-out cashiers or security personnel. Also, socialism will not require the police, prison guards, armed forces, legal and judicial systems, nor the vast media organisations whose main tasks are the ideological maintenance of the dominant position of the owning class. Instead of doing these socially useless jobs, the people presently undertaking them would, in socialism, together with those who are now unemployed, be able to be constructive and creative. Socialism will mean the liberation of mankind from such useless and uncreative work and the mobilisation of all human abilities for the extension of human abilities.

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