Thursday, January 02, 2020

Imagine a Better World

We must abolish war. The alternative is wholesale destruction of life. Our media tell us quite openly, the major powers of the world are spending large sums of money on developing schemes for defensive and offensive warfare. No one knows whom they are going to attack or who is going to attack them. It is a vast game of “just in case.” The sad fact remains that the peoples of the world view with apathy all the preparations for war, even the increasing “efficiency’’ of the latest instruments of death. As long as people feel there is no immediate danger to themselves or their loved ones they are prepared to let things “work themselves out.”

Capitalism is a system whose roots are embedded in conflict. We have to face the fact that goods are produced to-day, under a Labour Government just as under a Conservative Government, for the sole purpose of profit; this profit is only realised when the goods are sold, and in order that they may be sold they must be marketed in competition with each other. Competition determines that goods shall be produced as cheaply as possible, and this in turn means that as much production as possible shall be extracted from the workers at as small a cost in wages as the workers are prepared to accept, which also includes obtaining raw materials from the cheapest source of supply. These conditions are the basis of wars. The hectic scramble for markets and sources of supply, as well as trade routes, culminates in war when threats and diplomatic jiggery pokery fail to give sections of the capitalists, in their internal strife, the sought-for supremacy in the limited markets of the world. Capitalists are always exporting their own trade competition in this way, and, although they know it, the lure of profit is too much for them. When the struggle for markets has reached the peak of intensity the shadow of war becomes ominous; capitalists will not lose the privilege of reaping the results of the exploitation of workers without the resort to armed conflict, particularly as these same workers may be pursuaded to risk their lives in their masters’ battles. There is only one solution to the problem of war, removal of its cause. War arises out of the private property basis of capitalism, which drives capitalist sections into conflict over the disposal of the wealth produced by the worker. This conflict will only disappear when the workers of the world take possession of the means of production and distribute products freely wherever they are needed. Then there will not be markets to fight for because buying and selling will have been abolished. Socialism is the only solution to the problem of war in the modern world.

One ray of hope emerges from the terrifying events around the world. The will to survive is strong enough to make people question the necessity of war, and, in doing so, they will try to discover its cause. In seeking the cause of wars, we start on the road to understanding something about the system of society under which we live to-day, known as capitalism. Under this system, the supply of the necessities of life and life itself have become subordinate to an essential characteristic of capitalism—the sale of goods at a profit

Once we understand that the root-cause of all wars is the need of rivalling groups to control sources of raw materials and markets for the finished goods, it then becomes an easy matter to accept the socialist case as the way out.

In a future socialist world there will be no boundaries to countries. The world will become a single unit. It will not be necessary for people to fight for food or living room or a “standard of living,” or any of the thousand and one reasons given from time to time to various nations in order to gain the support of the people in a war. In the socialist world the people will produce food and clothing and build houses for all. The natural wealth of the world is more than enough to amply satisfy the needs of all humans, be they Jews, Arabs, Indians or English. There need be no shortages. The necessity for struggle as a means of deciding which section of the world's people shall have access to the products of the world has long since passed away. Money and wars will become fantastic memories together just as soon as the people of the world rise from their knees and lift their miserable, bowed heads to listen to the case for socialism, the last hope of humanity.

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