Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Towards a New Freedom


At present, although we're supposed to live in a democratic society, the machinery for decision making is not in our hands.  The only power we have is to decide every so often by a cross on a ballot paper who is going to have power and make the decisions for us. And every time we vote in a local or national election, we give our consent to this state of affairs — if we vote, that is, for the parties who wish to perpetuate it and who compete with one another on how best to run it. In fact, their choices about how to run it are very limited. That's why whichever party is in power, it's like Tweedledum and Tweedledee — what they do is strikingly similar and changes very little in our daily lives. The plain fact is that all these parties are committed to running a system where the single most important factor in decision making at all levels is, and must be, "how much does it cost?" — profit takes priority and human needs come a poor second. And they're committed to running this system — because it can't be run in any other way — for the benefit of the small minority of people who own most of the wealth of society and to whom the profit from the labour of the majority goes.

In the world today we have the resources, the technology, the skills and the knowledge to satisfy everyone's needs — in food, clothing. shelter and everything else several times over; no informed person would deny it. But we cannot fully use those assets in a society where the fundamental aim of production is profit. We can only use them in a society where the fundamental aim of production is human needs.

This means establishing a society without money — where we don't use bits of metal and pieces of paper to needlessly ration ourselves, and don't all walk around with a cash register in our heads.

This means a society without wages — where we aren't forced to work for an employer just to get by, but where we can choose the work we want to do for our own satisfaction and for the benefit of the community as a whole.

This means a society without frontiers and nations — where the world's resources and knowledge are used rationally and not in the crazy, haphazard way determined by "market forces" or governments, causing millions to die of starvation or go short while food and other essentials are stockpiled in huge quantities.

This means a society without wars or the threat of wars — because wars in the modern world are caused by economic and trade rivalries between nations, and in a world that is united there won't be such rivalries to fight over.

 Capitalism is the real cause of poverty and the poor health that goes with it. It is a diseased, cancerous system that needs revolutionary surgery, not useless elasto-plast reforms.  The quality of life for most members of our class is poor if not abysmal. We are quite capable of producing ample wealth for everyone.


 We're not asking people to be "good" or "idealistic". We're simply asking them to see that a fundamental change in the way society is organised — which we call socialism — is in their individual interests, in their children's interests, and in the interest of society as a whole. The Socialist Party exists to spread the ideas we've outlined and to be used, if people want to use us, to vote out the present system of buying and selling and production for profit and vote in a new system of common ownership, production for use and free access to all goods and services. And just as it must be voted in democratically, this new system can only be run democratically — by everyone — with all having equal access to everything it produces.

Socialism describes an alternative society based on equality of access and cooperation. Socialism implies a positive intention to create a needs-based society. It would not only be a more rational and efficient economic system but would "enhance the dignity of man" with relationships based on cooperation and equality.  Socialism alone could provide a basis for solving social problems, disbanding armies, reducing waste, ending unemployment, hunger and homelessness. 

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