“Tomorrow does not belong to us.” Auguste Blanqui, French revolutionist
In the present society people are haunted by insecurity Their mental health is undermined by fear for their future and the future of their children. They are never free from fear that if something happens, if they have a sickness or an accident for which they are not responsible, the punishment will be visited upon their children; that their children will be deprived of an education and proper food and good health.
Socialism not as an arbitrary construct from a preconceived plan, but as the next stage of social evolution. Socialist society will grow out of the new conditions when the class struggle will have been carried to its conclusion—that is, to the abolition of classes. The architects and builders of the socialist society of the future will be the socialist generations themselves. The Socialist Party has been quite sure of this and has always refrained from offering these future generations any blueprints. The writings, of Marxists, however, do contain insight and perspective. The people in the future society will most likely be more informed than we are. We must assume that they will be better educated, in every way, and that they will know much more than we can tell them. We can only anticipate and point out the general direction of current developments. What the future socialist society will look like is a fascinating speculative question of interest and contributes to the campaign for socialism.
Socialism will bring about a radical transformation of human activity and association in all fields previously conditioned by the division of society into classes—in work, in education, in leisure and the arts. Change will begin with and proceed from the revolutionary transformation of the system of production and the anticipated growth of the productivity of labour, of the manner of working and of regulating, measuring, and compensating the labour time of the individual—will take place first and should be considered first, because it will clear the way for all the other changes. This is the necessary material required for a society based on shared abundance.
The advances in science and technology which can be expected plus the elimination of waste caused by duplication arising from competition and equally easily conceivable that a new scientific-technological-industrial revolution will bring about a dramatic universal reduction of working hours yet still would be adequate to provide abundance for all. The whole thought of the amount of necessary labour required from each individual, based on present conditions and practices, must be abandoned.
People will have no further use for money. Marx predicted money wages based will initially be replaced by labour certificates or coupons, like tickets to the theatre. But even that, eventually, will pass away. There will be no money, and there will not even be any bookkeeping transactions or coupons to regulate how much one works and how much he gets. When labour has ceased to be a mere means of life and becomes life’s prime necessity, people will work without any compulsion and take what they need. So said Marx. In a socialist society, when there is plenty and abundance for all, what will be the point in keeping account of each one’s share. What purpose would be served in keeping accounts of what each one gets to eat and to wear? There would be no need for compulsion or forcible allotment of material means. “Wages” will become a term of obsolete significance. A socialist society of universal abundance will be regulated by a different standard —“From each according to ability—to each according to needs.”
What about this “human nature”, which we hear so much about? In the socialist society of shared abundance, the nightmare of insecurity will be lifted from the minds of the people. They will be secure and free from fear, and this will uplift their attitude toward life and their enjoyment of it. Human nature will get a chance to show what it is really made of with its boundless potentialities.
The present division of capitalist society into classes, under which the few have all the privileges and the many are condemned to poverty and insecurity, creates artificial and unnatural divisions which deform and degrade the individual and prevent the all-around development of one’s personality and a harmonious association with others. There is a division between men’s work and women’s work, to say nothing of men’s rights and women’s rights. There is the division of race prejudice between blacks and whites, which is cruelly unjust. There is a division between skilled and unskilled labour. There is a division between the city and the country, which is ecologically harmful. These divisions are not ordained for all time. They are the product of a capitalist class society. A socialist society based on human solidarity will have no use for such unscientific and inhuman notions as the idea that one person is superior to another because of gender, sexual orientation or colour of skin. With socialism, there will be the absolute and unconditional abolition of every form of economic discrimination and disadvantage, and proceed from that to full equality in all domains. Race prejudice will vanish with the ending of the social system that produced and nourished it. Then the human family will live together in peace and harmony, each of its sons and daughters free at last to make the full contribution of his or her talents to the benefit of all.
The present urban sprawl of over-crowded, unhealthy mega-cities will be no more. People will want also to live right in beauty and in harmony with all their surroundings. These monster cities we live in today are blights of modern society. They will certainly give way to planned cities interlinked to the countryside. Everybody will live with the natural advantages of the country and the cultural associations of the town. The private ownership of industry and property deprives all of any real scope. For improvement In socialism society will undoubtedly be more cooperative, more social. The city landscapers will organise buildings, and neighbourhoods which will be a delight to live in and a joy to behold. Communal centres of all kinds will arise to serve the people’s interests and needs. The class society, which divides the population into separate and antagonistic groups of the privileged and the deprived will be eliminated.
Inside socialism people will not fear to love their neighbour lest they be taken advantage of, nor be ashamed of disinterested friendship, free from all self-interest and calculation. There will be powerful impulses to give things to each other, and the only possible way of giving will be by doing, by making. There will be no chance to “buy” a present for anybody—because nothing will be for sale; and besides, everybody will be free to take anything one needs from the superabundant general store of material things rolling from the assembly lines. People will be able to live comfortably and to travel freely, without passports. People will have ambition, under socialism, to explore our great planet and unlock its secrets, and extract from their knowledge new resources for the betterment of all the people.
They will organise an all-out war against sickness and disease and there will be a flowering of the great science of medicine. They will look back with indignation when they read in their history books that at one-time people had to live in a society where there was a shortage of doctors. Good health will be a major concern, and sickness and disease a disgrace, not to the victim, but to the society which permits it. People will engage cooperatively to control climate change and end the destruction of the environment.
Socialism means there will be no more private property, except for personal use. Consequently, there can be no more crimes against private property—which are 90% or more of all the crimes committed today—and no need of all this huge apparatus for the prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of crimes against property. No need of jails and prisons, policemen, judges, probation officers, lawyers, bureaucrats; wardens. No need for the present-day State. No more “politics”, because politics is essentially an expression of the class struggle; and no more parties, as they are now known, for parties are the political representatives of classes. That is not to say there won’t be differences and heated debates. Groupings, we must assume, will arise in the course of these disputes. But they will not be based on separate class interests. The state will wither away and die out has a profound ultimate meaning, for the state is the most concentrated expression of violence. Where there is violence, there is no freedom. The society of the free and equal will have no need and no room for violence and will not tolerate it in any form.
No matter whether we personally see the dawn of socialism or not, no matter what our personal fate may be, the cause for which we fight has social evolution on its side and it brings all humanity a new day.