Tuesday, June 08, 2021

For Barbarism or Socialism?

 The Socialist Party seeks the universal brotherhood of mankind. Socialism becomes the means whereby men and women realise their humanity, individually and socially. Socialists want the freedom of the whole community to deploy its productive resources and all the talents and skills of the working class—be they scientists, professional workers, craftsmen, technologists of whatever—in the long-overdue work of solving our problems. Under capitalism, science and technology have flowered mainly to serve the interest of capitalist profit-making. This is a great contradiction. Mankind has the know-how, yet poverty, misery and the threat of war remain.  Capitalism cannot avoid a continuing ferment of discontent, albeit generally expressed in negative ways, through hate, violence, cynicism and even despair. Paradoxically, this may form a background for building up useful knowledge about where man's true interests lie. Capitalism subjugates great numbers of people to wage slavery and its barrier of private ownership must be dismantled and the means of living be used to satisfy the needs of mankind.  capitalism as the dominating system of production and distribution can never be rationally organised in such a way that it serves the needs of the community. Private ownership, economic exploitation and the distribution of commodities through a marketing system with a view to making a profit from the barriers that prevent mankind from making the fullest possible use of labour, technology and natural resources. It will mean the free application of human labour to the earth's resources with the most efficient utilisation and further development of technology.

The aim of socialism is to unite humanity and to solve social problems by building a society that can satisfy the universal need for cooperation and material security. Socialism involves a creative outlook concerned with the quality of life. In association with others, the individual will develop oneself as a social being. With enlightenment and knowledge, mankind will replace the ignorance, false illusions and prejudice from which it suffers in our own day. Socialism is the form of society most compatible with the needs of humanity. Its necessity springs from the enduring problems, the economic contradictions and social conflicts of present-day society. Socialist society must be based upon common ownership and democratic control by the whole community of the means of life. The building of socialism requires a social reorganisation where the earth's resources and the apparatus of production are held in common by the whole community. Instead of serving sectional interests, they are made freely accessible to society as a whole. Production will be organized at the world level with coordination of its differing parts down to local levels. Life will be based on human relationships of equality and cooperation. Through these relationships, man will produce useful things, construct amenities and establish desirable institutions. Socialism will resolve the conflicts which at present divides people. Regardless of ethnic or cultural differences, the whole world community will share a common interest.

In socialism, there will be no market, trade or barter. In the absence of a system of exchange, money will have no function to perform. Individuals will participate freely in production and take what they need from what is produced. The fact that Socialism will be based on common ownership does not mean that an individual will have no call on personal effects. It means essentially that no minority will have control over or possession of natural resources or means of production. Individuals will stand in relation to each other not as economic categories, not as employers and employees or buyers and sellers, but simply as human beings producing and consuming the necessary things of life. Socialism will end national barriers. The human family will have freedom of movement over the entire earth.  World policies will be subject to the control of the world community. Elected delegates will carry local viewpoints to a world congress where broad decisions on all aspects of social policy will be made. From that point, the social machinery would be implemented to carry out these decisions, subject to democratic control through both local and world bodies. Decisions affecting only local interests would be made democratically by the local community.

The World Socialist Movement’s commitment is to the solution of working-class problems confronting mankind. If social problems can be shown to be inherent within capitalist society then it follows that capitalism must be replaced by different social arrangements which will not generate the same problems. Programmes of social reform leave the basic structure of capitalism intact. Therefore programmes of social reform cannot hope to solve social problems. The solution is to bring productive relationships into harmony with human needs. The means of producing wealth must be commonly owned, the earth's resources must be at the free disposal of the whole of mankind. In these relationships, freed from the economic barriers of capitalism, man can co-operate to simply produce the wealth that humanity needs. Socialism will not only achieve productive efficiency but will establish a pattern of relationships in which the dignity of mankind's coming together will be enhanced through equality and cooperation.

This is a positive goal that we can all work for. There is no way in which the internal structure of capitalism can be altered by reform so that it works in the interests of the whole community. We can only break away from the self-repeating failures of reformism by recognising that the problem is capitalism itself.


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