Tuesday, July 06, 2021

An Alternative Vision

 The socialist revolution will be very much unlike previous revolutions, such as the change from feudalism to capitalism.

The socialist revolution will be crucially different in that ‘All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.’ (Communist Manifesto).

 The objective is common ownership of the means of life, with the consequent abolition of wage labour and free access to the necessities of life, making the use of money redundant.  In collaboration with fellow workers across the world, our aim is to abolish classes and build world socialism. Marxism’s basic starting point is that the working class is capable of overthrowing the capitalist system and establishing a socialist society.

The basic cause of capitalist ills is the right to private property, the right to exploit, the right to rob, the right to, the right to compete, and the right to start wars.  Instead of private property,  common ownership of the means of production so all may enjoy the fruit of their collective labour.

The present structure of society — capitalism — with its pretensions to democracy on the one hand, and its economic rivalries squabbling over the spoils are all based on the exploitation of the working class.

The unity of mankind is an age-old aspiration.  Overcoming the divisions and conflicts among peoples in this world is not Utopian.  Universal harmony cannot become real until there are no rich and no poor within any country and no rich nations draining the lifeblood from the poor ones. Society is not the product of human nature. Human nature, good, bad, or indifferent, is the product of society. The qualities of human beings are endlessly changeable. Society makes people what they are. If society shapes people, people, in turn, can reshape society through their collective efforts. People in the socialist future will be able to recreate anew one's personality thanks to the abolition of all forced labour. Only then, when all our time becomes free, to do with as we please and unstintingly cultivate our distinctively human qualities. We can only dimly surmise what human beings with such highly organised social consciousness and material powers will be like. They will produce wonders.

Socialism is an economic system based upon conscious planning of production by associated producers (nowhere does Marx say: by the state), made possible by the abolition of private property of the means of production. As soon as that private property is completely abolished, goods produced cease to be commodities. Value and exchange value disappear. Production becomes production for use, for the satisfaction of needs, determined by conscious choice of the mass of the associated producers themselves. A reduction of the working day, so that most of humanity can spend three to four hours a day in the production of goods or provision of services and another three to four hours a day in the work of social self-administration, is premised on material abundance and development of the productivity of labour.

The socialist vision of a future society based upon the abolition of material scarcity is objected to by some environmentalists that it would place an unsustainable strain on the resources of the planet and lead to an ecological disaster. The immediate abolition of the arms industry alone would free up tremendous resources for socially useful production (based upon renewable energy sources, environmentally safe technologies, etc.) that could provide an adequate standard of living for the bulk of the world’s population without thrusting new demands upon the finite capacities of the earth. Workers have a direct interest in developing production techniques and manufacturing processes that will not harm health or foul the air and water that all must breathe and drink.

No incentive will be needed anymore to induce people to work. ‘Labour’ will have transformed itself into meaningful many-fold activity, making possible all-around development of each individual’s human personality. The division of labour between manual and intellectual labour, the separation of town and countryside, will wither away. Humankind will be organised into a free federation of producers’ and consumers’ communes.

The Socialist Party is not out to create a bloody revolution. Its understanding of social science teaches it that in the long run, progress can only be attained by changing basic social relations, by a shift in ownership and control from the few to the many, an all-embracing form is socialisation when the whole of society is changed by the elimination of the private ownership of the entire means of production, socialism. The cooperative commonwealth functions without disorder or confusion.

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