Friday, January 27, 2023

On with the Revolution


Poverty is not a disease imposed by nature; it is not due to a shortage of wealth but to the way in which wealth is distributed. It is born out of particular social conditions and its existence to-day is due immediately to the way in which wealth is distributed. The way in which wealth is distributed depends upon the method of production, so this is the fundamental cause of poverty. To-day wealth is produced by means of privately owned means of production (land, machinery, and so on), consequently, the wealth produced belongs to those who own the means of production. The workers work upon and operate the means of production but they do not own a fraction of the wealth produced. The economic evils that exist are caused solely by the fact that the means of production belong to private individuals and not to the whole people. The only solution of these evils is to change the basis of society; transfer the means of production from the hands of private individuals to the whole of society—change private ownership of these things into social ownership. That is socialism.

If the means of production and distribution are owned in common by the whole of society and used to meet the needs of the whole of society the necessary measures to be taken to allocate resources would be comparatively simple.The working class will be able to make use of some of the existing institutions of capitalism in order to indicate the democratic decision to set up socialism. In this country, it will make use of the elaborate parliamentary machine, together with the various forces of the state that it controls.

Assume that the majority of society has elected to make revolutionary change. What would happen?

First, it would be necessary to 

1. Ascertain the needs of the population.

2. The means available to satisfy these needs.

3. The labour required to do the necessary work.

1. It would be necessary to divide the country up into areas according to the distribution of the population, and to find out the kind and amount of goods required for different areas. The skeleton of such an organisation already exists to-day in the form of city and county councils.

It would only be a question of compiling different kinds of statistics from those which are compiled to-day. The main things we require are food, housing, health and education.

2. The means available to satisfy the above needs would be again a question of compiling statistics.

3. It would be necessary to find out the number of workers, the various kinds of skill and the distribution of the workers over the country.

 The vast amount of statistical work that is done at present and its nature show that the organisation for doing such work is already in existence and would be available.

Once having compiled and collected the statistics (a relatively simple matter) it would be necessary to distribute the work according to workers and resources and spread the work approximately equally over all so that more work would not be demanded from one than from another.

Individual countries are not a self-supporting country and that once dealings are entered into with people abroad complications would arise. Here it must be borne in mind that all over the world the degree of development in the important countries (those that would really matter) is roughly about the same. By the time the majority of the people in one particular country had arrived at the idea that socialism was desirable, the people in other countries would beshare the same view. While each country must settle its own social problem, yet each cannot do so without involving the world in its operations. Hence the international character of socialism.

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