'When it comes to climate change, there’s precious little time for lesser evils; the physics—as scientists are quick to tell us—has put humanity on a deadline.' - Kate Aronoff, political commentator
If current economic, social, political, and environmental trends continue, as they seem set to, the future seems ominous. There has been rapidly worsening decline in living conditions for many: poverty, inequality, unemployment, sickness, pollution, and the erosion of social and political rights. There is a tendency to perceive these and other ill-effects as separate problems when, in fact, they are all connected. They can all be traced to a single source – the capitalist system. As George Monbiot explains capitalist liberty is, “Freedom from unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation is the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, and charge iniquitous rates of interest. Freedom from taxes means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.” Governments around the world have allowed corporations to continue their iniquitous behaviour, further impoverishing billions, worsening inequality, and eventually wrecking the planet.
Our world is being ravaged for the profits of the few. We are poisoning of soil and seas. Wars are instigated by elites for interests that only benefit themselves. Isn’t it ridiculous that when the financial system slumps millions go poor and hungry, while there is enough food, manpower, and means to provide for everyone? Everything is economised, which means if you don’t increase profit to the system, read are old, sick or unemployed, you are a burden to society – non-earning humans. Rather than provide cures politicians sell us palliatives to treat the symptoms. Why aren’t enough people doing something about it? Perhaps because people are willing, collaborative, positive kind people, we trust the promises. Changing leaders changes little. Others take their place and nothing really changes. So don’t expect any new prime minister or president to be a solution. Throughout the world there is discontent and the dissatisfaction is growing.
If you hope to have more control over your own life and not be exploited by others, you owe it to yourself to learn about the principles and vision of socialism. The Socialist Party introduces you to the idea of a society based on common ownership. It is a society beyond capitalism. For socialists, it is a dilemma in that we are aware how much the world is in trouble and yet be hopeful about the future. We don’t have to sit back and watch the world collapse around us. Socialists voice the truth in a world where almost everyone is living in self-deception and that means confronting the herd mentality of our fellow-workers. Socialists desire to live the way we want to live and not the way our masters seek to impose upon us. We require that we be in community with and make connections to others of like heart and mind. Our shared awareness of our problems means we can create solutions for them. In order to maintain our sanity, we need to not only understand our potential but also recognize that we are not responsible on our own for fixing the world. Ask any psychologist about the human mind and they will tell you we are wired for human connection. We feel a strong foundational need for belonging. This need is so fundamental. Similarly, the fundamental unit of human existence is the group and not the individual. Power goes to the people that see their personal happiness and security is bound up with all people meeting their common needs for happiness and security. There is unity in recognising that our problems are one and the same.
Socialist question all beliefs that have been handed down to you from tradition, no matter how back in time they go. This will help you see the world with differently and will allow you to better understand it and your relation to it. Socialists challenge those who want to keep humanity enslaved, the politicians and the capitalists. Never forget that this economic and political system is not for us. Party platforms and campaign promises are routinely violated is undeniable. The only route to a better world is through mass movements articulating clear goals. But instead of settling for reforms, the only way out of our present crises is to push beyond what is possible in the world’s present political systems.
Some day we will have Socialist Party candidates who we can vote for rather than the lesser evil who we presently vote against, but there is much work to do before we reach that day. Socialism is something we have to build it together and fight for. The Socialist Party accept that common ground is not always possible or even advisable. Some things need to be argued over because our class interests, our ideological understanding, our political projects are not simply different; they are often in opposition to each other. Sometimes we need to stop talking and just do what we believe we have to do. If people know why they believe what they believe, and have already considered the arguments we make and reject them, so be it. Time will be better spent engaging those who are more receptive to our ideas. The reason people don’t act on the crises humanity is now facing, is simply they don’t have confidence in how to do it.
Hope is an essential ingredient for change. Let’s be clear about what hope is not. Hope isn’t blind confidence that things will, somehow, work out. Hope possesses power. It takes courage to speak out and demand change. It requires that we not allow ourselves to be side-tracked from our goal. Our task remains the same: organise and mobilise as never before for socialism. Cynicism and despair are among socialism’s worst enemies that dilute our creativity and energy.