Friday, March 26, 2021

A society of abundance


 We know enough about the great productive capacity of this planet to believe that there is an abundance of food and natural resources. All the material resources for a socialist economy are present, in our world in abundance–raw materials, industrial plants, power-producing enterprises, transportation, highly developed agricultural resources. All the productive social forces are present for a socialist economy to administer. Socialist society  will have to take the control of industry and of all branches of production out of the hands of mutually competing individuals, and instead institute a system in which all these branches of production are operated by society as a whole – that is, for the common account, according to a common plan, and with the participation of all members of society. It will abolish competition and replace it with association. Private property will be abolished and in its place must come the collective utilisation of all instruments of production and the distribution of all products according to communal agreement – in a word, what is called the common ownership of goods. Society will take all forces of production and means of commerce, as well as the exchange and distribution of products, out of the hands of private capitalists and will manage them in accordance with a plan based on the availability of resources and the needs of the whole society. In this way, most important of all, the evil consequences which are now associated with the conduct of big corporations will be abolished. Existing improvements and scientific procedures will be put into practice, with a resulting leap forward which will assure to society all the products it needs. In this way, such an abundance of goods will be able to satisfy the needs of all its members. The division of society into different, mutually hostile classes will then become unnecessary. Indeed, it will be not only unnecessary but intolerable.

Only in a society which can ensure to humanity an abundance of goods can a new social consciousness be born and offer to the world  free access, not only to certain health or educational services, but to all basic needs. Such abundance of goods is in no way utopia. Freed from the constraints of competition, emancipated from private enrichment, and liberated from the manipulation by advertising intended to create a state of permanent dissatisfaction we could proceed to where products could be freely distributed, without the intervention of money. The logic of free access is the  elimination of monetary relations and the rationalisation of human needs.

The capitalists have reaped a lucrative harvest with record dividends have flowed into its coffers. These fabulous profits have not been gained in an era of well-being and prosperity for all but when the rest of us were suffering the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.  Now the promises of of the politicians to  the stricken are prolific. But the pledges lack real substance. Employed workers have fared little better than those laid off.

Our goal is to reorganise the world socially on the orderly foundations of fraternity, abundance, security, prosperity and peace for the people. The opponents of the Socialist Party call for capitalism to be reformed. They expect to reform such a system. We ask you: How? You cannot reform rottenness. The only reform of the capitalist system which is possible is its overthrow. The Socialist Party do not propose to mend it; we plan to put an end to it. The system under which the working-person is simply a bit of labour-power will be abolished. We call upon fellow- workers to take  to take into their own hands the direction and administration of production and distribution and thus to realise the association of free and equal producers, for a world of abundance where everybody has only to take according to ones needs. 

Today ecological catastrophists project a dystopian future we must avoid, rather than an emancipatory future worth fighting for. Socialism is  about convincing  people that a far better future is possible. The Socialist Party does not seek a puritanical egalitarian austerity but what is called fully automated luxury communism. Our vision of freedom through social control over technological abundance. Take over the machine, not turn it off. If technology were under social control and not for private profit)  all of society could enjoy a realm of freedom—that is, free time not shaped by the urgency to meet society’s basic needs. Automation and robotics could massively reduce the labour needed in manufacturing and distribution with the least expenditure of energy, less waste and so safeguarding the environment from pillage and plunder.

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