Friday, July 10, 2020

Socialism is feasible and practicable

When faced with multiple crises, and all are rooted in the suicidal logic of  capitalism, coming together as one protect humanity and defend its future is the socialist solution. Collective action allows us to cope practically, but also psychologically, to get us through these tough times.  We have to break our own chains. Who is the fool that expects our masters to break them for us?

 Socialism. That is the only way. Now is the moment to reflect on the world as it is and consider a better alternative for the future. Major changes in society can be accomplished. An improved world is possible. We can reshape society for the future and help create a new world. Socialists are helping to build a movement that will reshape the political process.

Socialists are not pacifists. If, at the time of the establishment of a socialist society, the overwhelming socialist majority were confronted by a recalcitrant pro-capitalist minority intent on sabotage and violence, we would have no compunction in using whatever force was necessary to suppress them. But socialism will be a society of peace and harmony which capitalism, with its in-built violence of armies, police forces and production lines, can never be. The class struggle is a messy, violent process. The capitalists will stop at nothing in their struggle for more power within the world market. Workers have no interest at all in ever supporting the capitalists of the country where they live. Only socialists can oppose war and terrorism because only socialists stand in opposition to the system which causes it. There is no other way to destroy the misery caused by organised violence than to abolish its cause. There are no answers to violence within the system of violence and that is why peace and security depend entirely on the establishment of a worldwide socialist society now. 

The Labour Party, in securing the support of the workers by their claims to be able to run capitalism differently from the older parties, have not only strengthened the hold of capitalism over the working class. Although we are in favour of using the parliamentary system to establish socialism, the new society won't be run by a government. Instead it will be democratically administered. Governments are, and have always been, the agents of administration of the ruling class. They are not in existence to run capitalism in the interest of the majority, whatever the intentions of individuals in those ruling bodies may be.

Socialist society will maintain and modify, as necessary, those inherited institutions (healthcare, education, transport systems, etc.) which are necessary for the running of its affairs and set up new ones as appropriate. It will have dismantled all the coercive elements of the state, such as the armed forces, police, judiciary, etc. It will also have to address the productive methods prevailing at the time, stopping all harmful production, and dealing with the rest in the same way as with the political institutions outlined above.

Before socialism can be established there has to be the agreement of the overwhelming majority of the population on how it will be run. Because there are so few socialists at the present time, it is difficult to lay down detailed plans on how it will be run. As socialist ideas spread, there will be more and more input of ideas of how this will be done. Socialism will not come out of nowhere, it will be the culmination of the spreading of socialist ideas, of workers reinterpreting their experience of capitalism and coming to the conclusion that the present system does not adequately deal with their needs. We would not be entering it "cold".

Socialist society will not be an economic society, in the sense that the word is used today. Economists talk about managing scarce resources, but what they really mean is artificially scarce resources. We say that socialism could feed, clothe and house the world's population on a sustainable basis. Socialism would not be  impossible to regulate. In fact, it will be much easier to run. because the complexities of capitalist market forces and the drive for profit will have gone. There will no delicate balancing acts between producing goods to sell for profit and matching peoples' ability to pay. With commerce and all its trappings gone, we would be able to get on with producing goods and services, solely for use. If there is a need for something, and it is deemed realistic to produce it. then it will be produced. Instead of people sitting down and working out the cost of producing in terms of money, it could be decided by the amount of labour necessary to do the job. and whether or not it might be damaging to the environment. Read our pamphlet Socialism as a Practical Alternative. This includes chapters on democratic decision-making, organisation of production for use, choice of productive methods, conserving resources, etc.

The working class can grasp the concept of a world community of common ownership. We in the Socialist Party have become socialists without a "guiding hand" and we are not special. We have looked at the world and made our own evaluation of it, based on our experience and the experience of others.

To establish socialism workers of the world would have to act in concert. Socialism would be impossible to establish in one country alone because capitalism is an interconnected world system in economic terms (but not politically—various factions of the capitalist class may well be at each other’s throats) and no one country would be able to opt out of it.

Unfortunately voting for Labour "without illusion" is of no use to the socialist movement. The capitalist class and its government will just read it as another endorsement of their system and it will have the effect of boosting their confidence to run it.

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