Monday, February 22, 2021

We seek socialist freedom

 Mitakuye Oyasin (“We are all related”) - A Lakota Sioux saying

A society based on a cooperative commonwealth might seem like a far-off utopia—yet communities everywhere are always sowing the seeds of it. We need a new era for humanity—one that is a transformation in the way we produce what we need to survive and thrive.  A new and saner economic system. We need to change the basis of our global civilisation. We must move from a system based on capital accumulation to production for use to satify peoples needs, not to create profit for the few.

Working people only win fair wages, decent benefits and safe working conditions when they stand together. Solidarity also gives union members the will to survive. Employers try  to rig the scales in their favuor. In the USA they push the falsely named right-to-work (RTW) laws so they can divide workers  break the union bond  and exploit them more easily. These laws allow workers to opt out of supporting unions while still reaping the benefits. Unions remain legally bound to represent workers regardless of whether they pay dues  which erodes union activism and starves the unions of resources they need to bargain with from a position of strength. We should call them "right-to-work-for-less" laws. That's because people in states with RTW legislation earn 3 percent lower wages, on average, than their peers in other parts of the country. Workers in these states are less likely to have employer-provided health insurance and retirement plans, but more likely to die in workplace incidents, than their counterparts elsewhere.

Working-class power demands solidarity. We only get free together. How do we transform the working class from a “class in itself” to a “class for itself” — a class aware of itself as a force in history? There are no shortcut answers. But we must organise and engage.

In order for  society to be just and equitable, it must embody socialist ideas. We cannot preserve capitalism. SOCIALISM MEANS EXPANDING DEMOCRACY NOT ONLY IN THE POLITICAL FIELD BUT IN AN ECONOMIC SENSE – freedom from want. We need to keep this end in mind not to lose our way. Our critics  tell us that “you socialists  are too impatient — Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Are we supposed to put aside striving for the revolution? Our critics  always object: “ You can’t change human nature. ” Wrong! Our task as  socialists is changing human nature away from the distortion that capitalism has made of it. By capitalism, we mean the system that exists on the basis of your unpaid labor. You as a worker produce commodities to be exchanged on the market. You produce not only enough to pay your own wage, but also an added value, a surplus value, over and above the cost of your maintenance. Surplus labour is your unpaid wage. In polite circles it is called “profit. ” And that’s what capitalism is all about.

We are all affected and afflicted by this ruthless system, a cruel, vicious, remorseless, callous system. The same enemy holds us in bondage. That enemy has the same reasons for torturing all of us. The ruling class wants to preserve its privileges, its interests, its power, its wealth, its dominion. And so it engages what’s called divide and conquer, a  strategy  designed to make us all hate and resent and compete with each other. And too many of us buy into it. We can’t let ourselves do that! We have to make change. And we can do it through unity. If we organise, we can change this world.  

Socialism is not production for profit. It is production for use. It is not production for private ownership and the private ownership of resources. It is  common ownership of the wealth. It is not inequality and misery and persecution and discrimination; it is equality and fairness. It is not poverty and want; it is freedom from want. It is freedom from war. It is freedom from ugliness and squalor. It is the opposite of what exists today and it expresses what people need and dearly want and would love to see.

No comments: