Sunday, June 04, 2017

Progress Perverted

Letter published in the South Wales Evening Post on 31 May:

Your correspondent Karen Laurence argued that we should use our advanced
technology to create not to destroy (Postbox, 26 May). In other words we
should use it to give everyone decent and peaceful lives rather than to
produce weaponry to disrupt and destroy those lives.

How can anyone disagree with this? But the fly in the ointment is that the
system we live under is simply not geared to using its inventions, its
discoveries and its technology in this way. Its sole purpose is to produce
goods and services to sell on the market and make a profit. This system –
whether it’s in Europe, USA, Russia or China - is not called capitalism for
nothing. Its purpose is to allow those who own capital to invest it in order
to accumulate more wealth not to further human wellbeing. Under this system
technology, whether old or new, will be used in this way, and if the
consequences are negative or destructive to humanity (e.g. environmental
degradation or war), then so be it. 'Progress perverted' it can be called.

What’s the alternative? Well the only possible alternative is a worldwide
society of common ownership and production for use not profit. We are talking
about a society without states and frontiers, without owners and wage/salary
workers, without buying and selling but based on democratic cooperative
organisation where everyone has access to what they require to satisfy their
needs without the rationing system that is money.

It’s only in this context that we’ll be able to use advanced technology
and the resources it gives us rationally and sustainably to produce what we
really need when we need it. Only in this way will everyone be enabled to
contribute their, knowledge, skills and experience freely to ensure a decent,
comfortable life for themselves and for the whole of humanity.

 Howard Moss
(Unfortunately the paper left out that he was the agent for Brian Johnson, Socialist
Party of Great Britain candidate for Swansea West constituency)