Saturday, November 26, 2022

It’s Time to Move On


 ‘It is time for mankind to ensure itself of material abundance by establishing a free, self-managed world society of productive labour, thereby freeing its mental powers for perfecting its knowledge of nature and the universe’ Anton PannekoekA History of Astronomy, 1951.

We live in a world which has the potential to adequately feed, house and provide clean water and decent medical care for every single man, woman and child on Earth. The resources exist to banish material want as a problem for members of the human race. Yet millions throughout the world are malnourished, live in squalor or are actually dying of starvation or starvation-related diseases. The things that are desperately needed — food, clean water, housing, sanitation, transport, medical services and so on — can only be provided by useful labour, of which there is an abundance throughout the world. Useful production must be freed from the constraints of profit and class interests. Only useful labour applied through world cooperation in a system of common ownership can solve the problems of world poverty. World socialism could stop the dying from hunger immediately, and provide the conditions for good health and material security for all people across the Earth within a short time. World socialism will operate with one simple and ordinary human ability which is universal — the ability of every individual to cooperate with others in a world-wide community of interests.

Many people still believe that hunger is caused today by over-population and that if there were fewer people in the world, then, and only then, could they be adequately fed. This is not so. In the first place, the resources and technology exist now to feed the world’s population many times over. Second, even if the population did decrease substantially, there would still be a hunger problem, since hunger like homelessness is essentially an economic problem, a poverty problem.

The only genuine opposition movement in the world to capitalist war was and is today the revolutionary organisation of the Socialist Party. Nationality is a development of capitalism. Militarism and war are inseparable from capitalism and can only be understood against the background of commercial rivalry. Socialism will have no State apparatus, no frontiers and no military machine. The understanding and unity of the world’s working class must come before a socialist transformation of society is possible. 

Nationalism is the perversion of believing in a shared identity in the interest of some local elite. To move forward the dispossessed majority across the world must now look beyond the artificial barriers of nation-states and regional blocs, to perceive a common identity and purpose. Dividing up society into more and more pieces, more separate entities create more divisions, more fears and suspicions and when the globe is totally criss-crossed with walls and fences we shall become so paranoid, afraid and suspicious of each other that we finally close our minds? The frontierless world begins with frontierless minds. The challenge is to dismantle the barriers that shackle and dehumanise us. A mind without boundaries can value the vision in which all have a home.

The Socialist Party repudiates the myth that humans are inherently anti-social and non-cooperative, and states emphatically that human nature is no barrier to a sane socialist society.

Socialism is not a fantasy world any more than any other untried idea is a fantasy. Socialists cannot draw up detailed blueprints for a society which will have to be democratically organised by the men and women who establish it. However, we can—and do—examine the possibilities which a socialist world will allow humanity to bring about and we are certain that a society where production is for need will be far better than one where production is for profit.

 ‘ All men are brethren. We denounce all political and hereditary inequalities and distinctions of castes… We believe the earth, with all its natural productions, to be the common property of all… We believe that the present state of society, which permits its idlers and schemers to monopolise the fruits of the earth and, the production of industry, and compels the working class to labour for inadequate rewards, and even condemns them to social slavery, destitution, and degradation, to be essentially unjust… We condemn national hatreds which have hitherto divided mankind… Convinced that national prejudices have been, at all ages, taken advantage of by the people’s oppressors to set them tearing the throats of each other when they should have been working together for their common good, this society repudiates the term ‘foreigner.’ We recognise our fellow-men, without regard to country, as members of one family, the human race, and citizens of one commonwealth, the world’ (Manifesto of the Fraternal Democrats, 1845).

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