Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Emancipation from Money 3/7

 In a socialist society, the means of producing and distributing wealth — factories, farms, mines, offices, transport — will belong to the whole community. Common ownership will do away with the need for exchange, so that money will have no use. With socialism the best method of distribution will be to allow each as much as he or she desires of the social products. Each would contribute to the social production according to one’s ability and it would be a waste of effort and energy to measure or ration what each should have. At the moment people may have needs but, unless they can afford to buy them, they must go without. Production is geared to sale with a view to profit. Socialism means production solely for use: bread to eat and houses to live in.

There will be no wages, for in a class-free society no person will have the right to buy another person's ability to work for a price. Work in socialist society will depend on cooperation and the voluntary decisions of men and women to contribute to society in order to keep it going. Just as an individual could not survive if he or she did not eat, drink or take basic health care, so a socialist society would not survive unless the people in it acted cooperatively in a spirit of mutuality.

Critics of the Socialist Party often tell us that socialism would be confronted with millions of men and women who would refuse to contribute to make society run efficiently. Indeed, socialist society will contain millions of babies, millions of frail elderly and millions of disabled and infirm who will not be able to work down mines or till the fields. If one who contributes less takes more, why should this be a problem in a society which is based on the satisfaction of needs? Those people living in a socialist society who are too work-shy will not be a drain on society's resources.

But what about greed? Critics of the Socialist Party worry that in a society of free access, people will take more than they need and human greed will lead people to consume too much. It is based on the false assumption that socialism would be a society of consumption only, although it would obviously be a society where what is consumed would have to be matched by what is produced. So, if people in socialist society decide upon unhealthy gluttony there will have to be provision made to produce enough food to satisfy such over-eating. Now it is quite true that if the supermarkets were opened tomorrow and workers were invited to go in and take as much as they want without having to pay there would be a mad rush and the shelves would be empty within a day. But why should this be the case if the supermarket are always open for free access? It would be strange indeed for those in socialism to hoard dozens of loaves of bread when they can go to the supermarket  and collect a fresh loaf of bread each day. Perhaps, in innocence, the early days of socialism some individuals will indulge in a few feasts of conspicuous over-consumption (who could condemn such action after years of poverty and deprivation?) The newcomer to free access is unlikely to behave sociably, because the market system has conditioned us to anti-social, consumerist thinking but such occasions will soon end when the physical consequences of such irrationality are felt. Abolish prices once and for all, and replace this outdated system with a society of free and equal access for all, based upon self-defined needs and the social habit of behaving sociably will emerge. 

Critics of the Socialist Party also feel convinced that inequality would return and a hierarchy would soon arise again, a phenomenon from which society can never escape. But if each and every one of us can avail ourselves of the necessities of life, how can a bureaucracy impose its will as they do now by regulating and controlling what we require to live. By definition, socialism is a society of free people. They cannot be compelled to do what they do not want to do, either by brute force or (as in capitalism) by threats to their livelihood. We have to assume that they will be sufficiently responsible and self-disciplined voluntarily to do whatever may be required to implement a democratically made decision, even if they disagree with that decision. Otherwise socialism will have to acquire effective means of compulsion, but then it will be socialism no longer. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Emancipation from Money 2/7


The exchange economy implies that the wealth to be exchanged is owned by different people. After all, if one person or one community owned all the wheat as well as all the sheep, the question of exchanging them just would not arise. Exchange presupposes the private ownership of wealth. This is why the establishment of the common ownership of the means of production and distribution will mean the end of exchange and so the disappearance of money. All the wealth that is produced, as well as the means and instruments for producing and distributing it, will belong to the whole community so the problem will be simply to distribute it to where it is needed. This is just a question of organisation. When the wealth has reached the stores then people can freely take of it what they need. Free access is our alternative to money. If we want a society where social wealth can move around the world freely, where it can be produced as human beings need it, we must think about a system which excludes money. The capitalist system hinders distribution and restricts production. Its priority is not efficiency but profit for a minority. It must be swept away and replaced by socialism, the world of free production and access.

Socialism has come to be a dirty word for many people. But it’s only once we establish a socialist society of production for use not profit that nobody will have to pay for housing, for travel, heating, food or healthcare. If you oppose a system of society where the market plays no role and there is free access to goods and services, then don’t expect a decent and dignified life for yourself.

You are one of the working people who operate the factories, work on the farms, build the houses, look after the sick, teach the children, run the transport and communication networks, staff the offices, cook the meals and wash up afterwards. You already provide everything that is consumed in society.

We say that free access is possible as soon as society is organised in a sensible way. You already run the system from top to bottom, spending your entire working life producing everything, yet you give it all away. 

There isn’t enough to go around now because, under capitalism, goods are not produced primarily to satisfy needs, but for sale and profit. Production is curtailed. Capitalism is not a system of plenty, it is one of scarcity and shortage.

Humankind has the means, the technical know-how and the skills, to end hunger and poverty. There is no technological reason why manufacturing should not turn out an abundance of the things people need. We can easily grow more and better food; build more and better houses, schools and hospitals. It is a question of incentive. Today where production is geared to profit-making, this is not done because the rule is “no profit, no production”. In socialism where production will be geared instead to meeting human needs, people can go on producing till all their needs are met.

Most people don’t want to be idle and laze around with nothing to do. It is normal to want to do something. Work may be pleasant (as in your leisure-time hobbies) or unpleasant (as in employment). Most people, quite reasonably, expect the work they do voluntarily to be pleasant. In socialism, with satisfying human needs as its aim and where all work will be voluntary, people will ensure that they work in safe and pleasant surroundings and that they enjoy what they are doing to help run the society of abundance which benefits them all.

Automated robots could be designed to do nearly all the dull, repetitive jobs which people are now forced to do because it is cheaper to employ them than to install high-tech machinery. When society is geared to serving human needs, there will be every incentive to design and install machines to eliminate drudgery. If there prove to be some jobs that cannot easily be done by machines, then either they can be left undone or done (perhaps only for short periods) by people who recognise that someone has to do them. That such people will be found is a reasonable assumption since even today the dangerous, but obviously necessary, the job of manning lifeboats is done mainly by volunteers.

It is not quite true that the Socialist Party seeks to abolish money. What it wants is a society in which, among other things, money will become unnecessary. That brings us to the free distribution of wealth, free access to wealth, where people can take from the common store what they need as and when they need it. Socialism is practical and common sense of course shows that it is desirable.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Welcome to Socialism (video)


Emancipation from Money 1/7


The productive powers of the world have permitted humankind to allow free distribution of the things needed to live and enjoy life. The Socialist Party is proposing a world community where wealth is produced by voluntary labour and is available to all free of charge.  No section of society should be able to monopolise access to the means for producing wealth. With socialism, these will belong to no-one and so will be the property of the whole of humanity to use as they think fit. Humankind will control the use of the means of production through democratic administrative bodies. Our case is that the technical capacity for world abundance exists. Free access means exactly what it says: that each person will be able to take all he needs without paying or asking permission. Socialism will unfetter production and enable it to meet these needs adequately. Any decisions and choices will be made by all the people involved, in contrast with what happens under capitalism. Why is it assumed that everyone will automatically want a mansion and a luxury limousine? That is projecting into socialism the way people think under capitalism.

Today’s society is organised on the basis of the minority ownership of the means of living (the factories, the land, the railways, etc.) while the majority of society’s members are deprived of such ownership and are therefore dependent on their livelihood upon the minority who own it. Because of their ownership of the means of living, the minority has an advantage over the majority and can generally use this advantage to promote their own interests even when they conflict with the interests of the majority. While it might be in the interests of the majority for more food to be produced, more homes to be constructed, more hospitals to be built, etc., it is not necessarily in the interests of the owning class—and if it isn't, the development of these things is restricted.  The main criterion for whether or not something is in the interests of the owning class is whether or not it will create the profits. Where the market conditions make the production of something unprofitable, that commodity will not be made. It is for this reason that the potential for the development of abundance is not fully realised, as progress is limited by the market in which the general rule is NO PROFITS, NO PRODUCTION.

If the means of living will be owned in common, so too the product of society will belong to everyone. Each person will have equal rights of access to the social produce, each will determine her/his own needs and take freely from the common stock of wealth produced. In socialism, the world’s wealth will not be bought or sold on a market. Nor will not be exchanged for money or bartered but rather it will be made freely available so that anyone who needs it can take it.

Because there will be no market, much of the work currently done by millions of people will become unnecessary. Socialism will not need the services performed by those who work in the vast finance corporations. Nor will it need the police, security guards, ticket collectors and check-out cashiers. Also, socialism will not require armed forces, legal and judicial systems, nor the vast propaganda organisations whose main tasks are the maintenance of the dominant position of the minority owning class in each national territory and the subjugation of the majority. Instead of doing these socially useless jobs, the people presently undertaking them would, in socialism, together with those who are now unemployed, be enabled to be creative. They would be so enabled because they would own the means and instruments for such creativity which the present social organisation denies them. Thus socialism will mean the liberation of humanity from such useless and uncreative work and the mobilisation of all human abilities for the extension of human abilities.

Just as there exists in Britain a national grid system for electricity, which assesses energy demand ], and maintains power supply in all areas, so too, in socialism, there will be a sort of worldwide grid system for all wealth, which will assess people’s needs, regulate production accordingly, and maintain the requisite supplies to all areas. Socialism will involve the rational and sustainable use of resources, using those to which they are best suited. There will probably be democratic assemblies and all administrators will have their functions delegated to them by society. However, the exact form which democracy in socialism will take, cannot be stated here, for that very form must itself be the result of a great and serious debate. The world already possesses intricate computer devices enabling the vast dissemination of information as well as facilitating decision-making.

Our future can be socialism, but it is not inevitable and requires human action for its achievement. What is needed, is for all those who have an interest in introducing the new society to unite and organise with like-minded people for the purpose of making socialism a reality.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Post-Capitalist Society (video)


Unite for Socialism


To try and achieve socialism is consciously to struggle for the overthrow of capitalism and its state institutions of state designed to maintain the economic and political dominance of the few who own capital over the many who have only possess their own labour power. A vote for socialism has a significance beyond  elections. It indicates your hostility to a system of society where production is carried on for the profit of the few instead of for the benefit of the many. Support for socialism means that you are  against a system which utilises its tremendous productive capacity only for war and environmental destruction. By agreeing with the Socialist Party you have the satisfaction of protesting against a system based on exploitation, greed and racial and national hatreds. Only a socialist will deal with these problems, having the interests of the people at heart. Some people will say that to vote for a candidate representing the ideas of socialism means to throw away one’s vote. In actuality he who votes for any of the capitalist candidates is throwing the vote away, because this means preferring one corrupt political machine as against another.  Until the capitalist system is completely overthrown wage slavery must still continue.

 Socialist revolution is the most radical break with oppression and exploitation in history. Socialist society no longer proceeds in chaos, but according to the planned fulfillment of genuine human needs. Exploitation, oppression and degradation will not exist in socialist society. Commodity production, that is, production for sale or exchange on the market, will not exist. The system of wage labor will be abolished and the guiding principle of labor will be “from each according to ability, to each according to need.” The means of production will be held communally and private property will be eliminated.

Unite to end crises, depressions, mass unemployment and poverty in the world – A Socialist World.

Unite to end war  World Socialism.

Unite to end exploitation of man by man, to end the present system which compels the many to work to produce wealth for a few  A Socialist Society.

Unite to end the plundering of all natural resources of our planet by the system of  capitalism and government solely in its interests  A Socialist Economy

Unite to end all racial, national and religious discrimination and persecution  A Socialist One World

Unite to release for the  the productive forces of our world for the benefit of the overwhelming majority of our population, working people and their families - A Socialist Commonwealth

Unite to end the rule of the capitalist class and abolish the class struggle by abolishing capitalism, now able to survive only by mass deception, tyranny, terror and war  A Socialist Earth

Unite to liberate working people from the rule of capitalism; to guarantee the liberation of all mankind from the tyranny and repression  A Socialist Democracy

Unite to replace the system of  capitalism by which the millions of the majority are compelled to sell their only commodity, labour power, for the profit of a small minority Free Access Socialism 

Unite for a class-free socialist society: “From each according to  ability; to each according toneeds!” - Socialism

With the abolition of classes and class distinctions, all social and political inequality arising from them will disappear. The conflicts of interest between workers and farmers, town and country, manual and intellectual labour will disappear. As classes will not exist, the state will not be necessary as an instrument of class rule and will gradually have withered away.

Friday, September 23, 2022

An introduction to the Socialist Party (video)


Socialism – the Alternative to Barbarism


Around the world, all the hopes of a better future and the promises of prosperity being just around the corner have come crashing down, one after the other. Poverty, misery, famine, disease, and war have become the daily realities.

The  aim of socialism is the transformation of private ownership and control of the means of production  into their social ownership and control by the community at large. The prvalent misconception  of the term socialism has come to be applied to any activity of the state or municipality in an economic direction. Hence any industrial or commercial enterprise nationalised by a government is labelled socialism nowadays. State ownership or control does not mean socialism. The state of to-day is mainly an agent of the possessing classes undertaking and running of a nation by governmental bodies  in the interests of these classes. Their aim in all cases is to show a profit, in the same way as ordinary capitalistic enterprises. This profit accrues to the possessing classes in the form of tax relief, mainly paid by them, interest on loans, etc. In other words these industrial and commercial enterprises  are run for profit and not for use and their employees are little, if at all, better off than those of private employers.  The idea that socialism means  the concentration of the means of production, etc., in the hands of any corporate entity that may be called a State, irrespective of what that State may be, is ill-informed. This notion  of production, etc., in the hands of a ministerial department would not be socialism in any sense.

Capitalism, no matter what outward appearance, is a never-ending class war: the war, namely, between the owners of the powers to produce wealth, including the land, on the one side, and the owners of the labour-power, who can only earn wages by enabling these owners to produce at a profit, on the other. 

The aim of socialism is namely a revolution in human affairs involving the change in matters economic, of individualistic or private property holding, into communal property,  a change from the government of people to the administration of things. With regard to socialism and communism, we may say that the words socialism and communism are  interchangeable, and mean economically the communisation of the means necessary to production,and distribution, and nothing else. Socialism means cooperative associations. The socialist systemis the  cooperative commonwealth, with production and distribution,  administered on communal lines, for the benefit of the entire population.

 The aim and tendency of a socialist society must be towards complete economic equality throughout the whole of that society with the greatest possible extension of liberty, individual and social, being a fundamental principle of socialism. As socialism implies, it is the most absolute toleration. No form of coercion, such as the impregnation of the  minds of  with dogma would be consistent with socialism.

Ask yourself this, suppose you do not join in the campaign for socialism, suppose you do not organise and work for socialst ideas, what will the society you live in look like? Will it improve? Or will it deterioriate? It is  important to understand what will happen to  society, if capitalism is not replaced by socialism.

The workers’ movement can survive only by class struggle against all the forces of the bosses and the boss politicians. The workers must build their own party. There are no “friends of labour” in the capitalist parties.

The Socialist Party challenges the capitalist system and proposes to remove it, (as if it were a malignant tumour on human society.) Socialism means a society of peace and plenty, instead of a society of war and hunger. Only the working class, which has nothing to gain and everything to lose under capitalism, can create world socialism.