Friday, May 05, 2017

Creating a Cooperative Commonwealth

FOR A SOCIALIST
COOPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH
 June the 8th's general election, like those before, will be regarded by most people as a contest between the Labour and Conservative parties, even at times as a clash between the personalities of May and Corbyn. The working class are likely to make their choice of government on that basis — which will mean that once again they will not be facing the real issues involved.

Capitalist politicians of all shades have been telling you for generations how their “practical” policies will solve your problems. You know whether they are solved or not. They will go on soliciting your votes at the election after election with further “practical” policies. They will make you think that you are a most important person for a week or two before election day and promptly condemn you if you strike for a little “practical” increase in your pay. That goes for Labour and Conservative.  Do not vote for capitalist parties on the 8th but work with us for the overthrow of this system and the building of a new one that will be in keeping with our interests. If there is no Socialist Party candidate in your constituency, abstain from voting. If you want to give some expression to your zeal for a socialist society, go to the polling station and write “world socialism” across your ballot paper. It will at least indicate to our opponents that there is a rising tide of revolutionary feeling which will in time sweep away their rotten system with all its parasites and hangers-on. What have you to lose?

The SocialistParty advocates a way of organising society that will result in real democracy, where people genuinely run their own lives and are not pushed around by bosses.
Firstly, Socialism will do away with the inequality of capitalism. With free access to what has been produced, everybody (that's absolutely everybody) will be able to decide on their own consumption, living conditions, and so on. There will no longer be a forced 'choice' between a new car and a summer holiday. Poverty will no longer limit people's lives and experiences.
Secondly, there will be no employment, no employers and no capitalist class. Nobody will therefore be able to make decisions about the livelihoods (and, indeed, the very lives) of others. Nobody will have privileged access to the media and means of communication and so be in a special position to influence the views of other people.
And thirdly, the uncontrollability of the capitalist economy will be a thing of the past. Production will be for use, not for profit, and there will be no more gluts or 'overproduction'. With all the paraphernalia of money, accounting, interest rates and the bottom line done away with, there will be no obstacles to people producing what is wanted.

Socialism will involve people making decisions about their own lives and those of families, friends and neighbours - decisions unencumbered by so many of the factors that have to be taken into account under capitalism. The means of production (land, factories, offices) will be owned in common, and everybody will help to determine how they will be used. This need not mean endless meetings, nor can we now give a blueprint of how democratic decision-making in socialism will work. Quite likely there will be administrative structures at different levels, local, regional and so on. This will not just be the trappings of democracy but the real thing - people deciding about and running their own lives, within a system of equality and fellowship.

The Socialist Party believes in a society of cooperation, in helping each other, not exploiting our neighbours. We believe that power should be shared, not  in the hands of a greedy few. Who controls how much you are paid, where you work, when you work or even if you work? Who decides how much it costs you to live where you are? You probably have almost no say in any of these issues which have a big effect on you. But what can you do about it? Those who benefit from the present system would have you believe there is no alternative. It helps them if you believe it – although it does nothing for you.

You don’t have to believe you are powerless.  If you choose not to support this any more and vote socialist you will be one of an increasing number questioning the system.  You will be signalling your consent to a world cooperative society where wealth is produced and owned in common and freely shared according to need. A truly democratic society where decisions are made for the common good rather than for the gain of vested business interests. Where you have as much say as the next person regardless of position in life or occupation.

We have seen the world over that when an idea has the support of the majority of the population, nothing can stop it. To send a signal that you want this, vote for the Socialist Party candidate, and then come and join us, not to mend the current system but to build a movement strong enough to end it.

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