Paul Breeze, an ex-SPGBer, recently passed away. He was a regular writer for the Socialist Standard in the mid-to-late seventies, including some of his poetry. He was later politically active as an Independent councilor in the Stoke area. Paul also wrote two books ‘While my guitar gently weeps!’ and second novel, ‘Back StreetRunner’
One of the reasons he left the Socialist Party was over the use of the traditional language of socialism, capitalism, working class, etc. After he left he wrote and published a pamphlet called ‘A World of Free Access’ which set out the case for socialism without using such words. It is a rather good exposition of the case for socialism which is why we re-publish the lengthy statement on our blog.
WORLD OF FREE ACCESS
1. World of Free Access: A short introduction
The contents of this booklet set out to show—in clear, straightforward language, backed by undeniable fact— that continuing to place faith in leaders, governments, reform organisations, religions, charities or violent minorities of any description is not going to provide a permanent solution to the problems all people are facing today, as individuals and as a world society.
We set out to show convincingly and clearly—in the form of questions and answers—why and how a world of free access (as outlined briefly on the back cover and also in No. 4 'Our Position in Brief) is the only form of society which can permanently ensure a satisfying, fulfilling, secure and happy personal and social life for the whole population of the world.
Our approach is to everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, colour or background. Our’s is not a religious or moral message. Nor is it a plea to place support in leaders, governments or 'experts' of any kind. We are not 'fanatics', 'extremists', 'moderates', 'cranks', 'idealists' or 'do-gooders'.
We are ordinary people who realise that human society has reached a point in its development in history where the majority of people, in all countries, must understand the structure of the society we live in so as to consciously take steps, as a whole, to peacefully and democratically establish a completely new form of worldwide society in line with the modern technological age. A society which will work to the benefit and well-being of everyone everywhere.
If you are prepared to give serious consideration to what is presented in this booklet it will become increasingly clear that the proposal for a world of free access is not a far-off dream, that everyone is capable of understanding and that 'human nature' is not a barrier.
It is in fact a simple, practical and undeniable case for a completely new form of worldwide society—in the interests of all people.
2. What is wrong with the present form of society?
At present we are living in a form of society worldwide which revolves around money, wages, buying and selling. This form of society—whether in Russia, Britain, Brazil, Bangladesh, Africa, wherever—dictates that all the goods and services (food, clothes, accommodation, medical facilities, etc.) that could quite easily—with the technology, scientific development and knowledge in the world today—be made available to all people everywhere, cannot be provided unless it is profitable or economical to do so.
This is because the means (land, factories, energy resources, machines, tools, raw materials, etc.) that produce the goods and services all people need to live are owned, and their use and distribution controlled, by a small proportion of the world's population.
In the countries widely regarded as capitalist, such as the USA, the small proportion of owners takes the form of mainly private individuals, firms and corporations.
In the countries widely regarded as communist, socialist or state-capitalist, such as Russia, China, etc., the small proportion of owners takes the form of the respective governments.
In the countries widely regarded as 'mixed' economies, such as Great Britain, the small proportion of owners takes the form of a combination of private individuals, firms, corporations and the government.
The owners are able to live (some in great luxury) solely off the income received from this ownership. This is not a moral statement or an attack on the owners as individuals. It is simply a statement of fact.
The rest of the world's population, the vast majority of people in all countries, have no real part of or say in this ownership. They are non-owners, despite what is sometimes referred to as 'public' ownership or 'workers' states'. It is the non-owners of the world who, as a whole, actually design, produce, manage, distribute and administer virtually all the goods and services in society—from food, shelter, transport and medicine to communications and entertainment.
In all varieties of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society the things people require to live are not produced primarily to satisfy human need. They are produced for sale, only if it is profitable or it 'pays' the owners to do so. People have access to the things they need only if they have the money to buy them. And if they haven't got the money they have to do without—no matter how desperate or impoverished they might be. And the only way the vast majority of people (the non-owners) all over the world have of obtaining money to live is either:
by selling their mental and physical abilities to the owners (whether private individuals, firms, corporations or governments) in return for payment, wage or salary, or
by depending on those receiving such an income (i.e. wives, husbands, children), or
by relying on assistance in the form of unemployment benefit, invalidity allowance, pension, welfare payment, subsidies, grants or charities of some kind, or
by resorting to crime.
Only a very small minority of the world's population are in the fortunate position, usually through birth or luck, of owning enough wealth not to have to worry about having enough money to live a comfortable and secure life. And so long as the money, wages, buying and selling form of society remains, in whatever variety, this situation is inevitable. This is because in this form of society the owners of land, factories, energy resources, raw materials, machines, etc., must make a profit from the sale of goods and services produced. They must make a profit in order for them to maintain their standard of living and also to enable them to compete against other owners, nationally and internationally, and to expand their economic interests further.
Profit is the necessary driving force of all varieties of the money, wages, buying and selling society. This is why, as things stand today, goods and services cannot be produced or provided unless profit can be obtained.
It is as a direct result of this form of society, whereby money, wages, buying and selling is the basis of existence, and whereby the earth's resources are not owned, used or controlled on a sane, equal and democratic worldwide basis, that the whole world is divided and riddled with personal and social problems, catastrophes and contradictions which affect, in varying degrees, every one of us. Problems such as insecurity, stress, misery, domestic tension, hardship, discomfort, brutality, mental illness, worry, frustration, envy, depression, boredom, greed, racism, poverty, hunger, unemployment, pollution, wastage, terrorism, strikes, violence, crime, riots, war and general widespread unhappiness, discontent and dissatisfaction.
3. Can the present form of society be made to run in the interests of all people?
No. Few people can seriously deny that governments of all descriptions—'Nationalist', 'Conservative', 'Labour', 'Liberal', 'Democrat', 'Republican', 'Socialist', 'Communist', 'Fascist', 'Right-wing', 'Left-wing', 'Moderate', whoever—all over the world have tried every conceivable way to make this form of society run smoothly.
They have tried to run it with more and less government spending: with and without inflation; with high and low taxation; with stable and fluctuating prices and incomes (wages/salaries); with total, partial and minimal nationalisation and government control; with increased and decreased laws, police and armed forces; with few and many trade union restrictions; with more and less 'worker participation'.
Yet all of them fail, despite all their efforts, to permanently solve the basic problems and to provide, for any sustained period of time, a satisfying human existence for all but a very small minority of the world's population.
Pressure groups, reformers, protestors, religious organisations, moralisers and charities have also tried all possible ways to make this form of society better. But it is becoming increasingly clear that:
no amount of marching, chanting and demonstrating permanently removes racism or unemployment,
no amount of campaigning for disarmament permanently stops the (secret or open) preparation, threat or possibility of war: nuclear, neutron or conventional,
no amount of praying and pleading for love and harmony permanently reduces antagonism, inequality, envy and violence,
no amount of charitable contributions permanently eradicates poverty, hunger, hardship and suffering,
no amount of trade union action, strikes, wage negotiations, etc., permanently ensures a secure standard of living.
They all go on failing for exactly the same reason. Not because they lack the desire for a better world. But because they are looking for solutions to all the problems and contradictions within the framework of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society. They fail to recognise—or perhaps some blindly ignore the fact for whatever motives—that it is the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself that is the root cause of nearly all the problems we face today.
And so long as this form of society remains—no matter what government is in power, no matter what methods are attempted to deal with it—all the contradictions, fears and hardship and all the personal and social problems will continue in some degree or other. And not only will they continue, there is a strong likelihood that they could get slowly or rapidly worse; so bad in fact that millions of ordinary people in all countries of the world could quite literally be violently and horrendously wiped out, mutilated, disfigured or diseased. Either in the event of war, or even in peacetime through irresponsible use of the earth's resources, through pollution of land, water supplies and atmosphere by radioactive leakages, which can cause many forms of cancer, or through any number of cheap and dangerous chemical disposal methods.
This is no exaggeration. The present form of society is not only the cause of deep and widespread dissatisfaction it is a threat to the very existence of every person alive and every person yet to be born. This is not a moralistic or hysterical statement, but a fact.
No amount of rearranging the workings of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society—which is clear by the failures of all governments of all descriptions in all countries—permanently alters things for the better for all people. The only way to improve life immeasurably for all people in the world is to remove the cause of the problems. People must now consciously and democratically organise to totally replace the present form of society with one which, by its very nature, will work in the interests of all people and which will provide all people with a secure, comfortable, rewarding life.
And that is: a world of free access. A democratically organised moneyless form of worldwide society based on voluntary production and co-operation with free access to all goods and services.
4. World of Free Access: Our position in brief
We aim to show throughout the rest of this booklet that advances in science, technology and knowledge have long since made it possible for a completely new form of worldwide society to be established whereby the means (land, factories, energy resources, machines, tools, raw materials, etc.) that produce all the goods and services (food, accommodation, clothing, medical facilities, transport, communications, etc.) that all people need to live are owned not by governments, private individuals, firms or corporations but by every one of us in common, regardless of age, race, sex, colour or background.
A society whereby:
money, wages, buying and selling will serve no function; they will no longer exist,
each one of us will be able to take quite freely from whatever is readily available, according to our own self-determined needs,
each one of us will be free to participate in providing society's needs by working quite voluntarily, according to our own willingness and ability,
each one of us will have unrestricted freedom of the earth; there will be no 'national' boundaries separating various regions of the earth,
the organisation and administration of society will be carried out entirely democratically by and in the interests of all the world's population, ensuring that the needs of people everywhere are met; there will be no need for leaders or governments.
We aim to show that a world of free access is the only way to permanently ensure:
the harmonious survival of the human race,
an end to all poverty, hunger, hardship, discomfort and all depression, violence and tension due to economic insecurity,
the rapid disappearance of racism, since nearly all racism is brought about through using others as scapegoats for the frustrations, anxieties and hardship actually caused by the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself,
an end to all forms of war, since all wars are basically economic, fought to protect or expand profitable commercial markets, land, raw materials, trade routes and strategic political positions which offer access to these.
We aim to show that a world of free access is not a far-off dream but an immediate, practical and realistic possibility, and that it can be achieved when the majority of people in all countries are aware of it, want it and consciously and peacefully bring it about through whatever democratic means are available. There is no other way. Violent minorities can never bring it about.
World of Free Access is a movement which comprises ordinary people, from various backgrounds and with various interests, who have come to recognise that the present form of society throughout the world, whether run by 'Nationalist', 'Conservative', 'Liberal', 'Labour', 'Communist', 'Socialist', 'Democratic', 'Right-wing', 'Left-wing', or whoever, is the root cause of nearly all the personal and social problems we face today and is effectively holding back human potential, security, happiness and well-being.
We aim to show the inevitable limitations of continuing to try and reform or rearrange the money, wages, buying and selling form of society to run smoothly in the interests of anyone for any length of time, and why we waste no time and energy in this direction, but stand solely for a world of free access, using our own abilities and voluntary contributions to spread this knowledge to others.
We also aim to show that although at the moment we are a small movement, and our task unquestionably enormous, history shows clearly that ideas and attitudes do change, often amazingly quickly, and we are confident that ideas and attitudes will continue to change in the light of undeniable fact and people’s own personal experience.
The rest of this booklet sets out to answer the possible questions and doubts that might have crossed the reader's mind. A full list of questions (numbered for easy reference) can be found in the contents on page 3.
5. Is a world of free access really a practical and realistic proposal?
The technological means of the modern age make it possible for everyone in the world to live a comfortable, safe, interesting and happy personal and social life, with all our needs provided, and totally free from hardship, misery and the constant frustration, worry and embarrassment of not being able to afford what we require.
The following facts—which are frequently being revealed by various scientific authorities and administrative bodies throughout the world—indicate this.
Used and controlled democratically on a rational worldwide basis . . .
Modern production techniques are entirely capable of providing an abundance of nutritional food for many times the present world population. There is no need for anyone anywhere to starve, to lack nourishment or even to make do with inadequate cheap substitutes.
There is enough raw materials, knowledge and manpower in the world to ensure comfortable hygienic accommodation for everyone everywhere. It is possible for all people to live in houses which are safe, weather-resistant, fitted with up-to-date appliances and decorated and furnished according to individual requirement. There is no need for anyone anywhere to be homeless or to live in poor, dangerous or ill-equipped accommodation.
There is enough combined energy resources—coal, gas, nuclear, oil, electricity, solar, wind and water—for all necessary power, heating and ventilating requirements to be provided. There is no need for anyone anywhere to die or to suffer illness or discomfort because of the cold in winter.
It is possible to produce enough machines, resources and equipment for all hospitals to provide the very best medical treatment for everyone in the world. There is no need for anyone anywhere to endure aggravated suffering by being denied, or having to wait a long time for, proper care and attention.
Today's technology makes it possible to recycle nearly all domestic and industrial refuse. There is no need for excessive wastage and no need for anyone to live in an unpleasant, dirty and unhealthy environment.
Modern mechanisation and electronics make it possible to eliminate nearly all unsatisfying, obnoxious and dangerous work. There is no need for anyone to spend their life in monotonous and unfulfilling jobs and no need for anyone to suffer the acute boredom, depression and anxiety of having no work at all.
All this is possible now. This is not a far-off dream.
It is solely the money, wages, buying and selling form of society all over the world which is now holding back human potential, security, happiness and well-being.
And so long as this form of society remains then this will inevitably continue to be the case, no matter what leaders and governments promise to do. For in any variety of this form of society, goods, services and facilities cannot be produced or provided unless it is profitable or economical to those who own and control the means that produce them. The over-riding consideration at all times in this society must be: no sale and profit means no production or provision.
6. Will a world of free access mean sharing things out in some way so that we all get exactly the same?
No. A world of free access has nothing to do with rationing everything out so that we all get exactly the same. It has nothing to do with sharing personal belongings or accommodation.
A world of free access will mean that each of us will be free to decide, as individuals and as members of society, how we choose to live, whether alone, with relatives or others; where in the world we wish to live; and the kind of accommodation we wish to live in, adapted, decorated and furnished to suit ourselves.
We will all be able to wear the clothes we wish to wear, eat the food we want to eat, work at jobs we enjoy doing, according to our own willingness and personal ability, and according to whatever is available. No one will be forced to do anything.
There will be no bills, no rent, no rates, mortgages or payments of any kind.
Shops where buying and selling and trading takes place will disappear. There will be no need for money, wages, buying, selling or trading of any description. Shops will become storeplaces, stocked with whatever people need and according to whatever is available. Each person will be able to take quite freely what they require, according to their own self-determined needs.
It will be up to all of us as individuals and as members of society as a whole to decide democratically—through whatever variety of means modern communications make possible—what we need and in what amounts and types.
Modern technology, organised and run on a rational worldwide basis, is quite capable of being adapted for this.
What will be shared/owned in common is not the personal goods and services we actually consume, but the means that produce the goods and services. In other words, it will be the land, factories, energy resources, machinery, tools and raw materials which will be shared in common and democratically controlled by all. There will be no need for leaders and governments in such a society. (See also No. 17 'Will there be a need for some form of leadership or government in a world of free access?' and also No. 18 'How will a world of free access be run?').
7. What about greedy people? In a world where we can take what we want isn't it natural to grab whatever we can and hoard? Won't this lead to shortage, chaos and general irresponsibility?
In short, in a world of free access people will not grab and hoard because there will be no possible advantage to be gained from it. The following examples will clarify this.
If, in the money, wages, buying and selling form of society, everything was suddenly to be made freely available for a limited period, then most of us would naturally rush to the shops, supermarkets, garages, etc., and take as much as we could get. We'd hoard what we'd acquired for when the 'free period' came to an end—because we'd know that the period of free access was only a temporary occurrence and things would shortly be back to how they were before: all of us needing money before we can obtain the goods and services we require. In such a situation, yes, we would all get whatever we could while we could and undoubtedly this would lead to irresponsible action, shortage and chaos.
• But we are not advocating a temporary 'free period' within the present form of society.
What we stand for is a completely new, sane and rationally organised worldwide form of society, based on permanent free access; a society where all the goods and services people require will be freely obtainable at all times.
This will not lead to shortage, chaos or irresponsibility. There is no contradiction or trickery in this.
Look at it this way:
In a world of free access, where each of us can obtain what we need at any time, what would be the point in us grabbing and hoarding anything? Perishable food would rapidly become inedible; our storage and living space would become crowded and cluttered with goods and articles of no use to us. What possible advantage could there be in hoarding and grabbing what is freely available to all? After all, even today people don't fill their lungs with excess air just because it is free. People don't fill their mouths with more water than they can drink where water is freely abundant. And if we did come across such a person would we consider them greedy or just plain mad?
In a world of free access we will all quickly adjust to taking only what we need. Perhaps every so often we will take more than we immediately need to save ourselves journeys to storeplaces. And when we begin to run low again or desire a change then we'll simply take more from the storeplace to replace whatever we've used up, worn out or no longer have any need for.
In effect there will be little difference from going shopping today. The only difference will be that there will be no money, no cheques, no credit, no payment. People will simply take freeiy what suits their own particular needs.
There will also be far greater potential for recycling and restoration.
There will also be far less wastage than in the present form of society. No need for useless and excessive wrapping. No need for sales promotion gimmicks to persuade or induce people to obtain what they don't really need. No planned obsolesence: the production of flimsy cheap articles deliberately designed to break or wear out within a short space of time. No suppression of efficient labour- and energy-saving methods and techniques. The best, most attractive, long-lasting and efficient goods and services will be able to be produced and made available to all.
In such a world, status symbols will rapidly disappear when all people have access to the best quality available. Status as regards ownership of possessions will become meaningless. Few people will feel a desire to live in houses that are too big for them when there is no pressure to 'keep up appearances' or 'social standing' and when a smaller one suits their personal needs. There will be far less compulsion to produce and run forms of transport that are wasteful on fuel consumption when there is no pressure of competition, no pressure on time and when something smaller and just as adequate serves our purposes.
Safety, hygiene, personal satisfaction and happiness will be the principles o\' all.
In a world of free access, with all our needs provided, without worry of bills, payment, rent, rates, debts, etc., without fear of our requirements not being available tomorrow, insecurity and the greed and need for status that stem from it will automatically disappear.
8. What would happen in the event of any possible shortage?
Firstly, the possibility of shortage in a world of free access will be far more remote than in the present form of society, which, because of its very nature, threatens permanent, devastating and far-reaching shortages even in the foreseeable future.
In a world of free access, all production and distribution will be organised and carried out on a rational, entirely democratic and voluntary basis, with people as a whole deciding for themselves how technology shall best be used and distributed to ensure that needs are met. With society run on such a basis, people themselves, as individuals or groups, will, in nearly all cases, easily be able to make their actual and possible requirements known in advance, so that such requirements can be calculated and planned efficiently beforehand. In this way possible shortages will be foreseeable and steps taken to avert the situation before it has chance to occur.
There will also be far less wastage of resources than in the present form of society. As well as those examples outlined in the previous question, there will be no creation of shortages for profitable or political reasons. There will be no governments, corporations, private firms or individuals to deny goods, services and materials to those in need. The whole world will be a single co-operating unit, using and controlling resources responsibly for the benefit of all. (Sec also No. 18 'How will a world of free access be run'?'). Unlike today, whereby because of the very nature of present society, there are:
actual and acute shortages of even the very basic requirements, resulting in starvation, malnutrition and devastating poverty. Not because there aren't sufficient resources to provide the needs, but because it isn't profitable or economical to do so,
actual and devastating destruction of much of the earth's resources in the form of war, which again is caused by the very nature of the present society. (See also No. 15 'What about war?'),
actual and acute wastage of resources, knowledge and ability on useless and dangerous preparations for war: weapons and military training.
In a world of free access none of this would occur.
But if there happened to be—say, as a result of accident or disaster such as earthquake, fire, flood, drought, etc.—an unavoidable shortage of certain requirements (raw materials, resources, etc.) at any particular time, the situation will be profoundly different than today. Time and energy will be able to be devoted solely and immediately—with no financial or political restrictions—to finding and developing other methods of acquiring, or finding alternatives for, whatever is required. And if the catastrophe were so sudden and unforeseen then of course it might well be necessary, while research and development takes place, to distribute whatever limited supplies are available to those in most need. And if the disaster were of such devastating proportions we might all have to temporarily do without until circumstances returned to normal. This is only common sense.
However, there is no reason why, in a democratically organised society of free access, people will not arrange to ensure sufficient reserves of supplies at all times to cover for such events.
In a world of free access, with the affairs of society run solely by and for the benefit of all people—coupled with the fact that modern technology is capable of being adapted and adjusted to most circumstances—any rare losses or shortages, should they occur, will be known and shared by all people and, as a consequence, hardly be missed.
9. In a world without money what would be the incentive for anyone to work? Who will produce the goods and services we all need?
In a world of free access all work will be done quite voluntarily, according to each person's own willingness and ability. There will be no need for any artificial incentive to induce people to carry out work in such a society. In a world without money, people will work because they want to work and for no other reason whatsoever.
There is nothing contradictory in this.
The apparent confusion in some people's minds stems from the fact that work is sometimes confused with employment. But in fact work and employment arc not the same—as the following will make clear:
Employment is the selling of one's mental and physical ability to work to another in return for payment, usually in the form of a wage or salary. And the fact is that the majority of the world's population—whether described as 'working class' or 'middle class'—have no other means of obtaining money to buy the things they need to live—food, clothing, accommodation, health, care of family, entertainment, holidays, etc. In other words, the majority of people have no choice but to sell, or try to sell, their mental and physical abilities in some capacity or other to an employer—whether the employer is a private individual, firm, corporation or government.
As a result of this situation most 'employed work' is reduced to a repetitive, monotonous daily grind for most of our lives. It is the same in almost every form, of employment. And it is because of this continuous cycle of compulsary work that some people tend to think work itself is objectionable, whereas in fact it is employment—in effect enforced work—that is the cause of dislike.
Look at it this way:
Not all work, even today, is done in the course of employment. Some work is done purely for the pleasure or the feeling of satisfaction obtained as a result of it. For instance, people are actually working when they dig their garden, grow flowers, decorate their house, maintain vehicles or machinery, make and paint things, erect fences and sheds, participate in artistic pursuits such as writing, painting, drama, music, etc., or study in their own time to become knowledgeable; in addition to the countless volunteer organisations, associations and societies which put in hours of dedicated work for the benefit of others without receiving any payment by way of incentive. The incentive and reward in all these cases is the self-satisfaction and pride of doing something necessary, enjoyable or worthwhile.
But any form of work, once it is forced on people, once we have no choice but to do it in the course of employment in order to receive money to live, then that work often becomes disagreeable and soon loses its enjoyment and satisfaction.
Work, however, (as opposed to employment), whether it is brain-work, manual-work or a mixture of both, is both biologically and socially necessary for human beings.
Inactivity for any length of time becomes boring and stupefying. Of course there are times when people want and need to laze around, to do nothing in particular. Read books, magazines, listen to music, relax, fool around. But before long our bodies and minds begin to cry out for something worthwhile and satisfying to do. And in the absence of such activity people end up feeling depressed, useless and frustrated. We rapidly begin to decline both mentally and physically. Prolonged inactivity leads more to anxiety, misery and sometimes even to contemplating suicide rather than to happiness and personal well-being. We need to work to use up the mental and physical energy generated by eating food. We need to work to feel satisfied, useful and able. On this level, work is biologically necessary.
We also have to work—as a society—to provide food, clothes, housing, medicine, transport, communication, entertainment and all the other goods and services we need. And all these requirements have to be organised, calculated, designed, produced, distributed and administered. In the modern world no one person or small group of people can possibly provide all requirements—even their own. We all depend on others for some necessity of life. On this level, work is therefore socially necessary.
Recognising this, the question to ask at all times should be: 'What is the best way of organising and carrying out work so that the goods and services we all need are produced; and, at the same time, that all people can gain genuine satisfaction, pleasure and a sense of achievement from actually doing the work?'.
The present form of society fails in both respects.
At present, work is not primarily carried out with the aim of providing people with their needs. Goods and services are produced solely for sale, only if it is profitable or it pays the owners to produce or make them available. And those who can't afford, no matter how desperate or hard-up, have to do without. Therefore, the present form of society does not satisfy human need on this level.
Also at present, work is not, in the great majority of cases, carried out by people freely, naturally and willingly pursuing it for personal or social fulfillment. It is carried out in the course of employment, mostly in order purely to receive money to carry on living; and as a result most employed work is reduced to being nothing more than an enforced, often disagreeable, daily chore, only occasionally giving real pleasure or satisfaction. Therefore, the present form of society does not satisfy human need on this level either.
And so long as the money, wages, buying and selling form of society remains—whether it is so-called 'capitalist', 'socialist', 'communist', 'state-capitalist', 'mixed' economy or whatever—then this will continue to be the case, with more and more people becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the quality and standard of their lives.
Only in a moneyless world where we will all have free access to the goods and services we require, and freedom to work and relax according to our own desire, will human need be satisfied on all levels.
Goods and services will be produced to ensure that the needs of people everywhere are provided. Work will become a means and an end in itself, will in fact become enjoyable because no one will be forced to work, as they are today, for payment in order to live. There will be no money, wages or prices, no 'employment' or 'unemployment', no 'employees' or 'employers'. There will simply be free and equal human beings engaged in work both for the genuine common good of society as a whole and for their own personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
Modern mechanisation, electronics, computors and communications—tv, radio, telex, satellite, etc.—have long since made it possible for needs to be calculated and for production and distribution to be planned, organised and carried out on a rational democratic worldwide basis so that we can all be a part of one fully co-operating and fully co-ordinated world society. No longer will we be alienated as separate individuals competing with each other for jobs, goods and services. No longer will the world be divided into separate firms, corporations, governments and 'nations' competing with each other for land, raw materials, energy resources and profitable markets.
10. What about all the dirty, unpleasant and boring work?
Firstly, in a world of free access, technology and human inventiveness will at last be able to be used to its fullest advantage. And in all likelihood most dirty, dangerous and unpleasant work will be able to be done by machinery, to the point where the more unlikeable aspects could possibly be eliminated altogether—if this is what people decide they want.
But even disregarding this fact, there are no hard and fast rules as to what is pleasant and what is unpleasant when it comes to people's activities and interests. What is unpleasant, dangerous or boring to one can often be pleasurable to another.
For example, even given the limitations of fulfillment possible in the present society . . .
some people find stimulation in working with greasy machinery, yet others find this repulsive,
some prefer to work with figures, computors, etc., yet others find this tedious and prefer work of a physical nature,
some enjoy writing, painting, designing, drawing up instruction manuals, blueprints, etc., others have no ability or inclination whatsoever,
some people find satisfaction in nursing and treating people who are ill, others can't stand the sight of blood or cope with distress,
some prefer to do a variety of quite ordinary everyday tasks, cleaning, washing, etc., others prefer to concentrate and specialise in one particular defined area.
The human race as a whole is rich in diversity, resilience, potential skill and ability. But in the present form of society these qualities in individuals are often frustrated and sometimes crushed altogether by denying the opportunity to develop them and by demanding that occupations or interests are saleable, profitable and cheap in financial terms rather than personally or socially enriching.
At different times and under different circumstances most of us are capable of adapting to and participating in various occupations and of developing many skills and interests. And given the satisfaction and personal stimulus of genuinely useful or creative work we are often inclined and prepared to disregard the dirt, unpleasantness and boredom which might occasionally accompany it.
In a moneyless, democratically organised world of free access, there will be no commercial considerations. Commerce—and all the twisted morals and values that go with it—will disappear. There will be no inferior or superior jobs, no high-paid or low-paid occupations. Therefore there will be no stigma or false glory attached to certain occupations as there are now. People will do whatever they do purely out of choice. No one will be forced to do anything they have no desire to.
11. What would happen in the event of people as a whole not being prepared to do certain work?
If, in a world of free access, people decide as a whole that certain occupations are too unpleasant or hazardous to health, and there aren't enough people prepared to do the 'undesirable' work, there will be no pressures—as there are now because of the need for cheapness and profit—to continue processes which are harmful, polluting or dangerous in any way.
Furthermore, in a moneyless world, no one will be in a position to threaten or induce anyone to risk danger or health for any kind of payment. All decisions will be arrived at democratically, all work carried out voluntarily.
If there aren't enough people prepared to do certain work then clearly people in society will have decided that they are willing to do without that particular article or service, that it is not worth the risk or effort involved in acquiring it. And if there are enough people willing to do the work then there is no problem.
Alternatively, if people decide that they still do want that particular article or service, but the health-risk or effort involved is too high, then lime and energy will be spent in researching other, more palatable and socially acceptable ways, of acquiring it. And research will naturally be given priority, unhampered by such restrictions as lack of money, facilities, or delays through political manouvering. The efforts of all those involved in the research will be concentrated solely and exclusively on designing an efficient and effective process to work in the interests of everyone. Quality, cleanliness, hygiene, safety and durability will be the constant prime factors. No profit, sale, competition, divisiveness, force or political status to consider. It will be in no one's interests to implement faulty, poor processes. The best minds throughout the entire world will be free to work in harmony to produce the best quality available for everyone.
Information will be collected and presented, advantages and disadvantages considered—so that all people have access to all stages of development—via any number of methods modern communication makes possible. And in the final analysis, as in all matters, it will be up to people as individual members of society to democratically decide, by voting, what is to be accepted or rejected. This will ensure that in all cases it is the genuine will of the majority that is being carried out.
And with technology and human endeavour at last able to be used to its fullest capacity, it is likely that most 'undesirable' work will be mechanised to such an extent that the generally unacceptable aspects could possible be removed altogether.
12. Will people co-operate in a world of free access?
History shows quite plainly that human existence depends on co-operation. The human species could not have survived for as long as it has if 'human nature' was innately aggressive and unco-operative.
It is not 'human nature' that is causing society's problems and the threat to survival. It is not because we are inherently selfish and violent by nature. (See also No. 13 'Is human nature a barrier to a world of free access? Isn't human nature basically bad/selfish/aggressive?'). It is the present form of society which causes people sometimes to act at odds with each other, to compete against each other for employment, goods and services, wealth and status.
In fact, the remarkable thing about human beings is that, despite all the pressures that the present form of society continually inflicts on us, people all over the world remain basically social animals. We only have to apply this to ourselves and to the vast majority of people we know in order to recognise this. Witness also the countless examples of spontaneous, unselfish and quite voluntary co-operation of people in times of disaster and crisis.
Only a very few people in relation to the whole world population act in an anti-social manner. Unfortunately, it is these which tend to get highlighted. But even most of these acts, when examined, can be seen to stem not from 'human nature' but as a result of the nature of the society we live in.
Social intercourse is vital for nearly all human beings or we rapidly become introverted and deteriorate mentally and physically to a point where we begin to suffer loneliness, depression and illness. In many cases, this leads to having to be treated in mental hospitals.
Competitiveness, aggressiveness, selfishness and sex roles are to a vast extent taught to us—sometimes openly, sometimes unconsciously and unwittingly, often in hardly noticeable ways—in schools, families, churches and through tv, films and radio, etc. Values, attitudes and emotions become twisted and falsified to such an extent that ruthlessness, rivalry, selfishness and cynicism are sometimes made out to be innate—sometimes encouraged to be regarded as virtues—because of the need, in the absence of true understanding, to find ways of justifying or finding excuses for the inevitable poverty, exploitation, hardship, stress, war, violence, crime and blatant contradictions actually caused by the present form of society itself; a society whereby the pursuit of money, buying, selling and profit must always come before genuine human welfare.
Cases of unco-operative and general anti-social behaviour are not the result of some failure in the biological make-up of human beings. This is far from the truth. Our basic craving is for harmony, happiness, security and fulfillment; cravings which are constantly denied and frustrated as things stand today.
In a world of free access, where the affairs of society will be based entirely on human need and personal and social satisfaction, people will co-operate quite willingly—not because we will all have become 'nice', 'good' or 'personally likeable' in some way, but because it is in our very nature to pursue and involve ourselves in that which contributes to personal satisfaction and well-being.
13. Is human nature a barrier to a world of free access?
Isn't human nature basically bad/selfish/aggressive?
No. Human nature is definitely not a barrier to a world of free access.
What some people refer to when they use the term 'human nature' is in fact human behaviour. And the two are not the same. This is not a minor point. It is important to recognise the distinction.
Human nature is the condition of all human beings alike, regardless of upbringing, social conditions, race or colour. Eating, drinking, excreting, keeping warm, sleeping, sex, etc. These are the things that come naturally to us all, no matter who we are or what part of the world we come from. These are the things we all do purely and simply because they are the processes necessary to life.
Human behaviour, however, is something else. Our behaviour is determined to some degree by our biological make-up, our genes, our own particular 'personality' and 'quirks', etc. But by far the biggest influencing factor determining our behaviour is a combination of social factors: background, learning, experience, environment and economic security.
People cannot be permanently and neatly categorized into being either basically bad or basically good. All of us, at different times and under different circumstances, are capable of being either. People generally considered passive and gentle can, under unfavourable, insecure circumstances, become excitable, aggressive and even violent. Likewise, people generally considered aggressive, selfish and anti-social can, under favourable, stress-free circumstances, be gentle, generous and friendly.
In other words, we are all able to think and to act, but what mostly determines the way we think and act is the social and economic circumstances we find ourselves in at any particular time.
At present the social and economic position of everyone depends upon money, buying and selling. And the inevitable outcome of this is a necessary pursuit of money, and the buying and selling of possessions, in order to secure or maintain a comfortable living standard; or in many cases the pursuit of money and buying and selling of possessions simply in order to exist another day, week or month.
And it is because society is based on the necessary pursuit of money, buying and selling which causes us all, at various times and in varying degrees, to become envious, greedy, jealous, possessive, selfish, suspicious and to harbour general anti-social feelings, and which sometimes causes us to act and behave in an anti-social manner. And so long as money (or any other medium of exchange), trade, commerce and profit is the basis of determining the standard, quality and security of people's lifestyle, then behaviour is bound to be influenced, in varying degrees at various times, in this way.
And the truth is that the vast majority of human beings can only obtain the goods and services they require either by selling their mental and physical abilities to an employer for payment, wage or salary; or by relying on those receiving such income (i.e. wives, husbands, children); or relying on assistance in the form of unemployment benefit, pensions, social security, subsidies, grants or charities; or, failing these, crime.
In short, most people in the world are constantly in an insecure economic position, whereby most of our lives are spent in fluctuating states of anxiety as to whether we can, or will continue to, afford access to the things we need.
This situation is now totally unnecessary since the achievements of the human race have reached a point where the resources, technology, knowledge and manpower of our planet are abundantly capable of providing all people's requirements without the need for money, wages, buying, selling, trading or bartering in any form.
In a world of free access, whereby all people will have access to a decent, comfortable and dignified standard and quality of life, free from economic stress and worry, behaviour will adjust as a consequence.
14. What about violence, murder and rape?
The majority of murders and acts of violence, when examined, can be seen to stem not from 'human nature', but from the very nature of the worldwide money, wages, buying and selling form of society we live in.
Admittedly, some acts do appear to be committed through apparently motiveless attacks. In the event of such acts occurring in a world of free access, this will be dealt with later in this section.
But by far the greatest number of murders and acts of violence (mental and physical) fall into basically two categories.
In this category are murders and acts of violence committed in pursuit of or in protection of material wealth. Examples of this are armed robberies, muggings, some forms of terrorism, etc., to gain possession of money, goods, property, or positions which offer access to these. And violence carried out by the police and armed forces to protect or retrieve money, goods, property, etc.
But by far the most horrendous and bloodiest example of this category of murder and violence is legal and is approved by all governments when the economic conditions and pressures created by the competitive nature of the present form of society make it unavoidable. This is WAR. At such times it is the vast majority of ordinary people who are encouraged and often forced to participate in the killing, maiming, torturing and destroying of millions of other ordinary people from other parts of the world. Violence of this form is rewarded with medals and honours. The very same acts in peacetime are regarded by the same people in governments as being despicable and 'affronts to humanity' and are punishable by imprisonment and sometimes even execution. (See also No. 15 'What about war?').
In this category are acts of violence in reaction to intolerable personal and social pressures. Examples of this are riots, 'civil unrest', some forms of terrorism and racial attacks, (see also No. 16 'What about racism?'), stemming from personal and social inadequacies such as bad housing, poor facilities, unemployment, overcrowding, inequality and general dissatisfaction and frustration.
But by far the most frequent, widespread and often 'unreported' example of (mental and physical) violence in this category occurs within many ordinary households all over the world. This takes the form of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is more often than not the result of frustrated, miserable and desperately unhappy personal lives whose root, again, is nearly always economic insecurity; a feeling of being trapped within a relationship where co-habitors are no longer compatible but who have little or no choice but to remain living together purely for financial reasons. This is bound to cause resentment, frustration and bitterness, which often breaks out in violence. Sometimes the violence is to one's self, in the form of suicide or through excessive intake of alcohol, drugs, etc., in order to try and cope with or escape from the pressures created by this society. Sometimes the violence is to others, in the form of actual attacks or beatings inflicted on husbands, wives or children. And even if people in the present form of society do decide to part there is nothing simple, painless or dignified about it. Tensions are prolonged and intensified because of court procedures, disputes over maintenance, money, and income and property divisions, to ensure dependents' financial security. Again, this often results in further ill-feeling, added emotional turmoil, and in some cases violence.
Both these categories of violence are inevitable within a society based on money, buying and selling, where human need must always come second to the needs of commerce, property, profit and the 'economy'.
Many cases of rape can also be seen to have their roots in the very nature of the present society. Rape in many ways is similar to violent robbery: taking forcibly that which cannot be obtained by other mutually acceptable methods. Many of these acts arise from deprived, unhappy, unsatisfying lifestyles, frustrated even moreso by the alienating, insular and inferiority-inducing nature of the money, wages, buying and selling society. For not only is it inanimate objects but people—our actual bodies, intellects, creativities, personalities and emotions— that are considered 'possessions' or 'commodities' to be bought and sold at a price (or cheated, stolen, tricked or taken by force) and used indiscriminately, with little or no genuine regard for people's real desires and feelings.
It isn't surprising in such a society that all types and degrees of anti-social activity occur. But these acts can't be satisfactorily controlled or prevented by petitioning, protesting or demanding governments to make more laws. Laws do not solve the problems. Imposing stiffer and more severe penalties only increases punishment, inflicts more pain, suffering, fear and tension—after the event.
So long as this form of society continues, no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how many 'investigative committees' are set up to 'examine' the situations, crime, murder and general acts of violence will continue also.
The only way to solve these problems is to completely replace the very form of society which causes the great majority of them.
In a world of free access, with nearly all the personal and social pressures we know today vanished, acts of violence, murder and rape will diminish accordingly.
Violence in the course of robbery will disappear because robbery itself—from petty offences to highly organised crime—will become meaningless in a world where everyone has free access to the goods and services which offer a comfortable and secure life. Violence in the home caused as a result of financial insecurity will disappear; partners will be free to leave and obtain other accommodation to suit their needs, as and when they wish, with no court procedures, no payments in the form of rent, rates, fees to make, no worry about being dependent on another for support, and no money or property divisions to consider. Violence in the form of riots—including racial conflicts—resulting from inadequate social facilities and inequality will disappear; everyone will have access to the best facilities available.
Anyone committing serious acts of violence, or murder, or rape, in such a society will more than likely be suffering some form of mental illness. And in such a world, all hospitals will be equipped, as a matter of course, with all the best facilities and resources at society's disposal, and will be staffed by people who—like those in all other occupations—will have freely and independantly chosen such work. There will be no need for anyone to lack adequate care and attention, no need for anyone to suffer the indignity of being treated like a caged animal when there is no financial pressures or 'cost' considerations.
But in any event, whatever decisions are made regarding these situations, it will be for the majority of people in society to decide, democratically, the most suitable course of action. Unlike today, where a small minority, comprising leaders and governments, make decisions not according to real human need or consideration—and more often without even consulting, knowing or even caring what the majority really want—but according to cost, protection of property and, whenever elections are imminent, winning and retaining votes.
In all ways, it is far more desirable to cope with whatever acts of violence, murder and rape occurred—if they continued to —in a society where human interest and well-being will be the first consideration at all times, rather than in the one we have now, which is based on division, competition, accumulating possessions (human and inanimate), and which often leads people to feel constantly insecure and inferior; which in turn often results in selfishness, cynicism and disregard for others.
In this insecure and competitive form of society all grades of violence and antagonism are bound to be a perpetual and recurring problem. In present society, people can find many, sometimes understandable, reasons for committing anti-social acts because of their unhappy, unfulfilled, monotonous, miserable and deprived lifestyles.
In a world of free access this will no longer be the case. In such a world, where human needs will come first as a natural order, insecurity, poverty, stress, antagonism, etc., will disappear and the vast majority of murders and acts of violence that stem from this will diminish accordingly—to such an extent that such occurrences will become the rare exception and therefore far easier to deal with.
As a result, today's police forces will be able to be transformed into democratically controlled services no longer having to deal with such events as riots and acts of violence described above, but will be able to concentrate on using the vast resources and knowledge acquired over many years to deal with emergencies such as natural catastrophes, earthquakes, fires, floods, etc., and perhaps to use advanced facilities of detection, say, to trace mysterious disappearances or to examine strange phenomena.
15. What about war?
A world of free access will see a permanent end to all forms of war.
Wars are not fought because of 'human nature'. Neither is the root cause of any war 'religion', 'freedom', 'democracy' or whatever other false explanations governments, leaders and other organisations often label them with, either in ignorance of, or in an attempt to conceal, the true basic reasons.
Wars are fought because the world is artificially divided into various economic—and that is all—economic boundaries, recognised as 'nations', 'states' or 'countries'. All wars are fought to acquire or protect land, raw materials, energy resources, minerals, commercial markets, trade routes and/or the strategic political locations which offer access to these. The owners of this wealth are in competition not only amongst themselves within the various countries but also in competition with the owners in other countries. It is this competition which leads, as a last resort, to war. Governments, no matter of what description, oppose, support or join forces with those whom it is in either their own economic interests to do so, or the interests of the owners (private firms, corporations) they effectively represent. Trade, commerce and profit are the prime considerations. Morals, rights or humanitarian principles do not enter into it.
Wars are never fought for the benefit of the majority of people in any country.
It is a small minority of the population—governments and leaders—who declare wars when they cannot acquire or protect in any other way the land, factories, raw materials, energy resources and commercial markets of the owners. The vast majority of ordinary people have no ownership at stake.
Most ordinary people don't want to fight, kill or be killed. Yet it is the ordinary people, the non-owners, who, against their own natural inclinations and against their own interests, are pressurised—sometimes by conscription under threat of punishment (even in so-calL.i democratic countries) or by being emotionally blackmailed and deliberately misled into believing that they actually have something at stake—into fighting, maiming and destroying men, women and children from other parts of the world; men, women and children who, in reality, are in the same position as they are.
And whichever side 'wins' those same ordinary people from both sides are no better off than before. In nearly all cases—if they survive—they are worse off. Disillusioned, perhaps disabled, disfigured and crippled both physically and mentally, possibly for the rest of their lives; heartbroken and embittered at the loss of children, wives, husbands, friends and loved ones. Whatever the outcome of any war, the majority of people from both sides return to a form of society whereby in order to live they still have to rely on wages or salaries, pensions, unemployment benefit, social security, grants, allowances and charities; whereby they still have to spend most of their life in varying degrees of anxiety and frustration worrying about being able to afford what they require; whereby all the same problems continue to fester as before: poverty, violence, crime, hunger, insecurity, pollution, inequality—plus the ever-present possibility of even more wars.
NO war is fought for the benefit of the majority of people in ANY country.
But it is ultimately futile to believe that campaigning, demonstrating, marching and chanting for peace and disarmament can ever bring about an end to the ever-present possibility and (secret or open) preparation of war. Weapons—whether nuclear, neutron, laser, biological, tanks, grenades, rifles, shotguns, whatever—do not cause wars.
Wars, and the weapons of war, can only be abolished when the majority of people in all countries have come to understand, and consent to, completely replacing the present form of society with ^fundamentally different one. A society whereby: the world will no longer be divided into opposing sections competing with each other,
the land, factories, energy resources, raw materials, machines and technology, etc., will be owned not by governments, private individuals, firms or corporations, but owned and democratically organised by every one of us in common, regardless of age, race, sex, colour or background, everyone will have unrestricted freedom of the earth.
Only with the establishment of such a world will weapons and force no longer be required because there will be no rival ownership, no economic competition and no 'national' boundaries to cause tension and conflict.
Understanding and democratic participation in all matters will replace force in settling whatever social problems crop up. And war will no longer be one of society's problems because the present form of society, which is the cause of wars, will have been replaced completely.
16. What about racism?
A world of free access will see the rapid disappearance of all racism.
Racism is not caused by 'human nature'. Nearly all racism is brought about through using others as scapegoats for the frustrations, anxieties, pressures and hardship actually caused by the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself.
False racial theories fall generally into two categories: biological and social.
Firstly, there is no basic biological difference between any human being of the same sex.
Human beings are fundamentally the same the world over, no matter what geographical location we happen to be born into. We all have fairly uniform physical characteristics and mental abilities, and require roughly the same in order to survive. Materially—in the form of food, shelter, warmth, health, etc. Intellectually—in the form of learning, entertainment, conversation, etc. And emotionally—in the form of affection, respect, etc.
There is in fact no more reason for being preoccupied with the colour of someone's skin than there is for being preoccupied with the colour of their hair, eyes or with their weight or height. There is no difference in blood between different races. The blood of any colour human can be used for transfusion purposes with any other provided of course that it falls into the same blood group.
There is no scientific basis whatsoever for the belief in the superiority of any 'race', 'nation', colour or sex over another. There are merely differences in cultures and ways of living which are the result of learning, background and whatever environment we happen to born and brought up in. Even now, due to the speed and nature of modern communications, many cultures are merging. Fashion, music, clothes, ideas and attitudes are rapidly becoming worldwide. And as people have more and more contact with, and become more aware of, people from various parts of the world (either through direct social contact or indirectly through films, tv, etc.) cultures, ideas and outlooks can be expected to merge even more so.
Racist and Nationalist organisations labour under many profound basic errors and misconceptions. False theories are perpetuated—sometimes deliberately, to seek power and dominance, but more often through ignorance—in an attempt to offer reasons why there is so much hardship, inequality, frustration, contradiction and overcrowding, etc.
Among the many false theories put forward are that the personal and social problems we face today are due to people moving from one part of the world and settling in another, and that it is this which is the basic cause of shortages in housing, food, facilities, work, etc.; and also that there is a problem of overpopulation to consider. These are presented as problems which can be solved or alleviated only by restricting people— forcibly if necessary—to the limited and confined areas of the world where they or their parents were born. But they are wrong.
When these arguments are examined it becomes clear that racialist and nationalist organisations are not observing the world in proper perspective. For even if only those born in a particular location were allowed to live and work there, it would make no difference whatsoever to the nature of the society we live in.
The same personal and social problems would still exist: insecurity, stress, domestic tension, violence, crime, unemployment, hardship, overcrowding, general dissatisfaction, etc. Goods and services would still be produced only if it was profitable or economical. Those who couldn't afford—whatever their race, sex, age or colour—would still have to make do with cheap substitutes or do without altogether. The present form of society—whoever is in power in any country—is such that it cannot produce goods and services primarily to satisfy human needs.
The following examples show this clearly:
There are houses all over the world which stand empty; hotels and hostels unoccupied for most of the year. Not because there are insufficient people who would welcome the opportunity to live in them, but simply because those who need them—black, white, yellow, whoever—cannot afford to buy or pay rent for them. Which proves beyond doubt that houses in the present form of society are not built primarily to be lived in, but to be treated like everything else: as goods for sale only to those who can afford.
In addition to those who have no accommodation at all, there are also many millions of people all over the world living in housing conditions ranging from squalid, ramshackle and dangerous to barely adequate. These conditions are created because the building of houses and the production of furnishings and equipment, etc., is regulated by sale and profit, not human need. Yet the world, organised on a rational and democratic basis of free access, can provide an abundance of bricks, sand, cement, machinery, tools, raw materials, knowledge and manpower to build and furnish sufficient sturdy, well-equipped, weather-resistant and safe accommodation to satisfy everyone on earth.
Quite often there are instances of edible and nourishing food being deliberately dumped, burned, destroyed or allowed to rot on a massive scale. Sometimes production itself is deliberately and meticulously curtailed or restricted. In some cases farmers and producers are actually paid not to produce, or to use land and equipment for unnecessary, wasteful or destructive purposes. Not because there are insufficient mouths to take advantage of the food supplies. There are literally millions of people in many parts of the world who have inadequate food, who are undernourished and even starve to death in heartrending circumstances—simply because they cannot afford to buy food or the means and materials that would enable them to produce it. Which proves beyond doubt that, no matter what governments, leaders and politicians may say, food also is not produced primarily to meet human need but to be sold only to those who can afford. If there is no prospect of profit to those who own the land, factories, raw materials, etc., then no production takes place and human need goes unsatisfied.
Yet the technology and resources of this planet, if used and controlled on a rational democratic worldwide basis of free access, are easily capable of providing an abundance of nourishing food to satisfy the needs of many times the present world population. It is possible to irrigate many areas now regarded as wasteland; sea-water can be turned into fresh-water for the purposes of irrigation. Even the sea itself as a source of food has scarcely been tapped on a rationally controlled basis.
At present there is NO world overpopulation. There are vast areas of the earth's surface which, again organised on a sane worldwide basis, are available to be utilized and turned to human advantage. Technology has advanced tremendously to make this possible. But in the money, wages, buying and selling society this never happens unless it is likely to prove profitable in purely economic terms for governments, private firms or corporations.
There is no world overpopulation. Hut there is overcrowding. This is caused purely because the basis of today's society is commerce and not human well-being—no matter what glib, bland, pious, empty emotional reassurances governments, leaders and others constantly churn out on tv, radio, in newspapers, magazines, etc.
For purely profitable or economic reasons—and no other—production, and therefore housing and employment, is centralized in limited, constricted areas. And inevitably, men, women and families are compelled to converge upon and settle in these concentrated areas of industry and commerce in order to sell, or try to sell, their only means of livelihood—their mental and physical abilities—to the owners. The ensuing insecurity and competition for jobs, houses and facilities is bound to cause stress, resentment, envy and tension, which often turns man against man, man against woman, woman against man, woman against woman, family against family, firm against firm and race against race.
When people find their already insecure position threatened even moreso they try to discover what is to blame. When they cannot readily come up with a reason—by virtue of not understanding the root cause: the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself—which is never clearly explained in schools, churches, on tv, radio, newspapers nor in the vast majority of books, magazines, etc.—some people (even so-called 'experts') are all too vulnerable to prejudice, ignorance, emotional and moralistic pleas, and also to false, narrow theories of 'national interest', 'Gross National Product' and 'race'.
And very often these false theories and prejudices are used by governments of all descriptions—either by openly or deviously encouraging them or by being deliberately and subtly evasive or silent on the issue—when it suits their own particular purposes. For these false theories and prejudices can, at various times, provide welcome scapegoats for their own inevitable failures. And what better scapegoats than those instantly recognised by their skin colour or their accent?
Anything which encourages Nationalism, Patriotism and the belief in the superiority of any people of any country, race, sex or colour over another—even when apparently harmless on the surface—only serves to teach and reinforce more prejudice and ignorance, especially in the minds of the young and impressionable.
But Racism and Nationalism cannot be ended by rioting, demonstrating, chanting or banning discussions and meetings. Neither can governments or leaders end racism by making laws which make it illegal. People do not cease holding such views because they are against the law or because meetings are not allowed. Racism and Nationalism are a result of the present form of society which artificially divides the world into sections, groups, classes, races and countries.
The only way racism and nationalism can permanently be ended is by people becoming aware of the real cause of the problems of the world through free and open discussion, and by fully understanding that the only permanent solution is the creation of a completely new form of society whereby poverty, hardship, inadequate facilities and inequality—and the insecurity, racial tensions and conflicts that stem from this—will disappear.
In such a world, where all needs are met, and where all people will have unrestricted freedom of the earth, human beings of all descriptions will mix and merge to such a degree that the concept of 'race' and 'nationality', and its consequent divisive effect, will eventually become meaningless.
17. Will there be a need for some form of leadership or government in a world of free access?
No. But as in all human societies there will be a need for some form of organisation and administration. In a world of free access, however, the very nature of society will mean that organisation and administration will have no similarity to the leadership and government we know today. (See also No. 18 'How will a world of free access be run?').
Leaders and governments are only necessary in a form of society whereby there is economic inequality and whereby a minority is given power to control and to impose decisions on the majority. In a world of free access, society's affairs will be organised and controlled on an entirely democratic basis, which will ensure that:
at all times it is the majority's will that is truly being carried out in all matters that affect society,
all people will have access to social information,
all people will have equal opportunity and means to express their views, objections and requirements openly and freely,
all people's needs will be provided.
Leaders and governments will have no place in such a truly democratic society.
18. How will a world of free access be run?
Firstly, the basic features of a world of free access will be as follows:
Money, wages, buying, selling and trading of any description will no longer exist because they will serve no function. Therefore, there will be no employers, employees, prices, bills, payments, etc.
Goods and services will be free to all people, who will be able to take according to their own self-determined needs and according to whatever is readily available.
Society's needs will be provided by people contributing their mental and physical abilities voluntarily towards producing them, according to each person's own willingness and ability.
The means (land, factories, energy resources, transport networks, raw materials, etc.) that all people rely on to produce and provide the goods and services of life will be owned and controlled not by rival competing private individuals, firms, corporations or governments, but owned and controlled on a democratic basis by everyone in common throughout the world, regardless of age, race, colour or sex.
Naturally, information regarding people's requirements will have to be calculated. Production and distribution of goods and services will have to be organised, arranged and carried out in a rational and controlled way. Modern means of communication and technology make this no problem.
The most efficient and reliable way of achieving this is on an entirely democratic basis, whereby each person or group of people in whatever locality, at whatever time, makes their own requirements known—since only we ourselves can possibly know what we need. This can be done simply and swiftly via any number of methods that modern communication techniques make possible.
Clearly, this process will require some form of administration and organisation—but it will require no leaders or governments.
Undoubtedly there will be a need for thousands of centres of organisation, of all descriptions, throughout the world. Their type, size and location will naturally be determined by what people themselves democratically consider necessary and preferable, according to the circumstances and needs at different times and in different places.
Each of these centres will link with others all over the world so that information and calculations, production and distribution requirements, availability and types of goods and services, land, energy resources, machinery, tools, equipment, raw materials, knowledge, etc., can be relayed to anyone anywhere in the shortest possible time. Again, modern sophisticated communication techniques make this a relatively simple and straightforward exercise.
These centres of information, administration and organisation will clearly need to be manned by people who are willing and able to do this sort of work. But the very democratic nature of society will mean that these people will in no way constitute leaders or governments. Those who prefer to take part in the administration and organisation of relaying information, compiling necessary facts, figures, methods, etc., (which is basically what their task will amount to in a completely democratic society) will do so for no other reason than they are interested in, gain satisfaction from and have a natural inclination for this particular kind of work. They will have no status above or below anyone else. For there will be no high paid, no low paid jobs; no money at all. Therefore, no one will be in a position to force anything on anyone. These people will not be looked upon as being better or worse than anyone else in society. They will simply be another link in society along with all those engaged in all other types of work.
No one can say which occupations contribute more towards the well-being of our lives, whether bringing up children in good health, growing food, building houses, calculating needs, driving, laying drains, caring for the ill and handicapped, inventing techniques which benefit all, performing surgery, cleaning, entertaining or simply making people laugh. Such distinctions are impossible to make or evaluate because all overlap; all contribute in some way to human need, development and happiness.
The same principle will apply to those who choose to engage in administration and organisation. They will not be regarded as leaders, governments or enemies of the rest of society. They will be looked upon in the same light as everyone else, as being a part of society: simply, human beings carrying out one of many functions which contribute to the welfare and enrichment of all.
19. Must a society of free access be worldwide?
A society of free access must be established on a worldwide scale if it is to fully provide all people on earth with our requirements.
This is because the land, factories, energy resources, raw materials, etc., that are necessary for human survival are scattered in various locations throughout the world.
At present the world is divided artificially into separate economic sections: 'countries', 'nations', 'states'. This means that the means of living (land, factories, energy resources, raw materials, etc.) are also separated. Certain geographical locations have some of these means, other locations have others. But no single or small group of 'countries'/'nations'/'states' is in a fully self-sufficient position. None can provide all the population's requirements.
Therefore, a society of free access in one country alone would be impracticable since:
it would be terribly restricted and limited in what it could provide, and
it would experience tremendous problems in trying to function alone with the rest of the world revolving around money, wages, buying and selling. It would, sooner or later, be forced into barter and trade in some form with other countries for certain raw materials and facilities it could not produce or provide itself. It would also, inevitably, be affected by the fluctuating economic and political conditions in the rest of the world. In all probability these factors would result in the necessity for some form of money, or equivalent, in order to engage in trade, which would result also in the need for military protection, resulting in turn, sooner or later, in virtually all the same problems and contradictions we have today.
However, it is highly unlikely, given the modern means of communication, that a movement for a world of free access will grow in isolation once the idea begins to take root and spread on a larger scale. (See also No. 24 'Supposing there is a majority in favour of a world of free access in one part of the world and not in another?' and also No. 20 'How exactly can a world of free access be established?').
Only with the combined means of the whole world are the requirements of all people capable of being provided. This is why we stand for a world of free access.
20. How exactly can a world of free access be established?
There is only one way a world of free access can be established. That is: the majority of people in each country of the world must come to recognise:
(a) that advances in science, technology and knowledge now make a world of free acess an immediate, practical and realistic possibility, that the worldwide money, wages, buying and selling form of society, whether run on so-called 'capitalist', 'socialist', 'communist', 'state-capitalist', 'mixed' economy or any other basis, is the root cause of nearly all the problems, personal and social, we face today, and that it is effectively holding back human potential, security, happiness and well-being,
that continuing to engage in reforming or rearranging the money, wages, buying and selling form of society in any way only ever offers temporary and severely limited results and always leaves the cause of the problems—the money, wages, buying and selling society itself—intact. (See also No. 3 'Can the present form of society be made to run in the interests of all people?' and also No. 21 'Can a world of free access be brought gradually by reforming the present form of society step by step, dealing with each problem in isolation?'),
that the only way of permanently solving nearly all today's personal and social problems is by completely replacing the present form of society with a democratically organised world of free access; anything other than this means a continuation of the present society in some form, and therefore a continuation of the recurring problems that are caused by it,
that, having become aware of, understanding and wanting a world of free access, the only way a world of free access can be established is peacefully and democratically with the conscious consent of the majority voting solely for it through whatever democratic means are available in their respective countries. (See also No. 25 'What about places where there is no democracy?'),
that no violent minority can ever bring it about for the majority; for anything achieved by violence can only be maintained by violence. (See also No. 22 'Can a minority establish a world of free access by force?' and also No. 26 'Supposing there is a minority violently opposed to the establishment of a world of free access?').
Until the membership of World of Free Access is in the position to contest elections in any locality we write 'WORLD OF FREE ACCESS' across our individual voting paper. This is not a waste of a vote. In the absence of the movement delegating a representative standing as a candidate solely for a world of free access, it is a positive democratic statement that we do not support the present, form of society in whatever variety it is offered.
We have no other aim than a world of free access.
Using the democratic institutions of the world in this way, this will mean:
initially, that the movement will be in a far better position for the evidence for a world of free access to be spread even further through the media, tv, radio, newspapers, etc., and,
ultimately, once the movement has grown and the majority of people are aware of, understand and want a world of free access, they will vote for the democratically delegated representatives of the movement. When, and only when, there is a majority of representatives for a world of free access will we then be in the position formerly held by the previous governments.
The representatives of World of Free Access, however, will not be leaders or constitute a government in any way. For they will be mandated to act solely according to the democratic instructions of the majority they represent. From such a position they will be able to ensure the means of complete democratic participation throughout society—making full use of all possible means of communication—ballots, referendums, tv, radio, newspapers, leaflets, etc.—so as to enable social information to be collected and presented to the population, and then for the population in turn to vote for or against accordingly. In this way the whole nature of society will be peacefully and democratically transformed on a rationally organised basis, decisions being made by people in society themselves and for themselves. (Which will be far different than today where decisions are made by minorities supposedly representing society for the majority's benefit, but actually making decisions according to the dictates of trade, commerce and profit, predominantly in the general interests of the minority of owners engaged in this process).
Priority will then be able to be given to those in dire need all over the world—the starving, poverty-stricken, homeless, diseased, handicapped, inadequately provided, etc.—so that all hardships caused as a result of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society will be quickly and permanently eradicated. Information centres will be able to be set up, production and distribution arranged and carried out on a wholly voluntary basis. All requirements will be made available on an efficient and effective scale unprecedented in the whole history of the world, using all available knowledge, technology, techniques, methods, means and energy at society's disposal to cater for genuine human need and no longer the needs of money, wages, buying, selling, profit and the 'economy'.
Modern technology makes it possible for all this to be achieved in a swift and simple manner.
All subsequent developments and decisions will also be for the population as a whole to determine for themselves democratically—according to conditions, circumstances and preferences at the time.
It is highly unlikely that with a massive movement for a world of free access in any part of the world (since there must be a majority for it to be established) that people in the rest of the world would be unaware of or not in support of such a beneficial global transformation. And as a result, any technical delays in elections in various parts would be short and would not create many problems. (See also No. 23 'Are the underdeveloped parts of the world a barrier to the establishment of a world of free access?' and also No. 24 'Supposing there is a majority in favour of a world of free access in one part of the world and not in another?').
At the moment it may seem slow and frustrating, while the movement is small, knowing that such a desirable world society is possible, but the movement can only grow on the lines outlined above. There are no short cuts. But once more and more people do become convinced of the facts, the easier and quicker things will progress.
Therefore, it is up to those who are aware and who do understand and want this completely new form of society to bring it to the attention of others. It cannot grow any other way.
It is in the interests of everyone everywhere to see the establishment of a world of free access.
21. Can a world of free access be brought about gradually by reforming the present form of society step by step, dealing with each problem in isolation?
No. So long as people continue to put faith in reforming and rearranging the present society in various ways a world of free access will never be established. The money, wages, buying and selling form of society is not gradually leading anywhere—except perhaps ultimately to human destruction. It is in fact going round and round in circles, sometimes going through what are termed 'trade booms' and followed inevitably by what are termed 'trade slumps" or 'recessions'. It is a never-ending spiral and will continue as long as the present form of society does. Sometimes stable and appearing to improve, at other times fluctuating and declining—quite unpredictably—according to the dictates of profit, investment, trade, etc.
Attempting to solve the problems (unemployment, hardship, poverty, war, racism, pollution, wastage of the earth's resources, devastating weapons, etc.) by mistakenly treating each as isolated cases with separate causes, all with separate remedies, always and inevitably results in failure.
Evidence from the past and present continues to show quite clearly that governments, leaders, reform organisations, religious institutions and charities of all sorts have attempted, and blindly continue to attempt, to solve society's problems in this way. They always fail to provide an adequate solution for any length of time. In fact, despite all their efforts, promises and pledges, the problems have increased. And they fail not because they lack the desire for a better world, but because the very nature of the money, wages, buying and selling society—whether run on 'capitalist', 'socialist', 'communist', fascist' or 'mixed' economy lines—is such that permanent solutions can never be found. Good intentions, well-meaning gestures, pledges and pleas, no mailer how sincere, are ultimately swallowed by the fact that needs cannot be provided unless it is profitable or it 'pays' the owners (private individuals, firms, corporations or governments) to produce or provide them. All decisions in this form of society are forced to hinge on this. There can be no other consideration as things stand today.
The money, wages, buying and selling form of society cannot be reformed adequately to provide the needs of the majority of the world's population on a permanent and satisfactory basis.
It is a never-ending battle devoting time and energy to all the different problems that are inevitably thrown up. But no matter what reforms are attempted, so long as this form of society remains, there will always be:
those who can afford only limited and unsatisfactory requirements of life,
those forced to remain in boring, monotonous, soul-destroying jobs purely for payment to live,
those who can obtain no job at all,
those who have to rely on inadequate assistance and charity,
those in constant stress and anxiety through their insecure economic position,
those without proper care, attention and treatment,
hospitals inadequately provided, understaffed and forced to cut back on facilities whenever it is uneconomical,
safety regulations in industry and in the home ignored or skimped in the interests of saving money,
people undernourished, living in cold, damp, dangerous and inadequate accommodation,
people cheated and exploited ruthlessly,
disputes, strikes, disruptions and antagonisms over wages and conditions of life,
dangerous, cheap and deadly disposal of chemicals in water, land and atmosphere,
wastage of the earth's non-renewable minerals and deposits,
war, preparation of war, violence, crime, terrorism, etc., etc., etc.
All these problems, and infinitely more, have the same cause: the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself.
In order to change the very structure of society, in order to ensure permanent solutions instead of temporary make-shift reforms, people must go beyond looking at each problem in isolation—whether the problem be nuclear weapons, poverty, hardship, pollution, poor facilities, whatever—and recognise that all these problems stem from the money, wages, buying and selling form of society itself.
World of Free Access is fully aware that it is often necessary for people in all countries of the world to organise (usually in unions and groups, etc.) to take action to improve their conditions, benefits or payments within the present form of society, but:
It is ultimately pointless to put faith in and vote for parties, organisations or individuals who stand for the continuation, in any form, of the very society which is itself the ROOT CAUSE of nearly all our troubles.
Yet this is what many reformers, charities, religious organisations and others do. At election times they advocate voting for 'Nationalist', 'Conservative', 'Liberal', 'Social Democrat', 'Labour', 'Socialist', 'Communist', 'Right-wing', 'Left-wing', 'Moderate', whoever—those who at every election claim that if only they have the opportunity to run the money, wages, buying and selling society their way they will be able to solve or alleviate most of the problems. But all varieties have been tried—and failed. Fact and experience prove, time and time again, that the money, wages, buying and selling form of society just cannot be run to permanently solve the problems—for the simple reason that it creates them.
And if World of Free Access spent whatever contributions, time and energies at our disposal not in organising to build up a movement solely to point out that a completely new form of worldwide society of free access is the only practical, realistic, permanent solution in line with the modern age, but spent it instead in getting involved with and advocating all sorts of reforms (limited changes) within the money, wages, buying and selling form of society, we would inevitably . . .
end up wasting months, even years, of effort and contributions creating more confusion and adding to false hope and eventual disillusionment—because even reforms fought for and then implemented can and are liable to be modified or scrapped completely at any time (often by the same government who implemented them) when they are no longer economical, profitable or do not suit the needs of money, wages, buying and selling, end up attracting the support of people not in the least understanding or even interested in establishing a world of free access but concerned solely with reforming the present society in some way, end up becoming yet another organisation demonstrating, petitioning and organising to rearrange, and in effect maintain, the very form of society we know is the cause of the problems; problems which we know can only be permanently solved with the establishment of a fundamentally new worldwide society of free access and democratic organisation.
A world of free access will never arrive if the movement spends time, energy and contributions in pressing for never-ending demands within present society instead of putting them into spreading real knowledge, understanding and undeniable fact aiming solely to achieve this fundamentally different society. A society whereby:
the need for charities will disaappear because all people will be able to take freely what they need,
the need to campaign and demonstrate against any form of warfare will automatically disappear because there will be no economic competition and divisions to create any kind of war,
the need to march and demonstrate in protest against unemployment, poor facilities and living conditions will vanish because all people will be free to work and relax according to their own wishes and willingness, and all people will have access to all the goods and services they require for a decent and comfortable standard of living.
And since the only way such a world can possibly be established is when the majority of people in each country understands, wants and votes for it, the movement for a world of free access must build and grow with this aim alone.
Once more and more people do become convinced of this, the less they will be inclined to be fobbed off with, or even prepared to listen to, excuses, empty promises, and the less they will be prepared to tolerate miserable, unsatisfying and personally unrewarding lifestyles.
In short, the wonderful alternative of a world of free access is entirely possible now. It will solve almost every personal and social problem facing us today (unemployment, war, racism, poverty, insecurity, crime, etc.). So what is the point in continuing to place faith and support in political movements, parties and organisations whose aim or achievement can only be to prolong the present form of society in some way or other. (See also No. 3 'Can the present form of society be made to run in the interests of all people?').
22. Can a minority establish a world of free access by force?
No. It is futile and dangerous to believe that a minority of people can establish a world of free access by force. This is not said through any 'moralistic', 'pacifist', 'liberal' or 'humanitarian' approach but for very real and practical reasons.
A minority in this day and age would not stand even the remotest chance of success against governments, and the police, armed forces and massive stocks of weapons at their disposal.
But even assuming that a minority wanting a world of free access did have (due to some freak social or political situation) some form of powerful armed force at their disposal, and that by some act terrorism and violence they did manage to overthrow the government of a particular country; this would certainly not—by any stretch of the imagination—lead to a society of free access, of voluntary co-operation and peaceful and democratic participation. It could lead only to some form of dictatorship, whereby the minority—whatever it called itself—would necessarily become the new government, forcibly imposing its will upon the reluctant majority of that country, and having no choice but to run the money, wages, buying and selling form of society in some way—in an atmosphere of chaos, confusion and probably widespread fear as well.
Minorities (whoever they are, groups, parties or governments) who claim that their aims justify force and violence reveal a contempt for democracy and therefore a contempt for the views and wishes of the majority of ordinary people; the very people they claim to represent, but who in reality they regard as mentally incapable and inferior. It is false and dangerous to believe that desirable aims can be brought about forcibly by violent means. The truth is that the means adopted determine the outcome. For there can be no mistake: anything achieved by violence can only be maintained by violence or threat of violence.
A world of free access can only be established with the conscious consent of the majority, which can only truly be determined through peaceful and genuine democratic methods of voting, because:
only by use of the vote can it be known what the majority of people truly want, and a world of free access depends upon majority support and voluntary co-operation and participation.
The only way for people to become aware of the possibility of a world of free access, and for the movement to grow as a consequence, is through presentation of undeniable facts, reason and common sense in free and open discussion and democratic participation. There are no short cuts through violence.
A world of free access will be a peaceful and democratic world society.
It can be achieved only through peaceful and democratic means.
Therefore, World of Free Access must be a peaceful and democratic movement.
23. Are the underdeveloped parts of the world a barrier to the establishment of a world of free access?
No. Areas now regarded as underdevloped are not lagging behind because the people there are mentally inferior or less able in some way compared with those in parts of the world with highly developed technology. Geographical location, race, colour or sex have nothing to do with intelligence.
Human beings are basically the same the world over, have fairly uniform physical characteristics and mental abilities. There is no scientific basis whatsoever for the belief in the superiority of any race, sex or colour over another. (See also No. 16 'What about racism?' and also No. 13 'Is human nature a barrier to a world of free access? Isn't human nature basically bad/selfish/aggressive?').
It is just that due to the circumstances and conditions at certain times in history, societies in certain parts of the world were able to develop, adapt to and exploit technology to a greater extent. It was because of this that, over the years, they have been in a powerful position to advance and expand further—purely through their priveleged economic position in relation to the ownership of the resources of the world.
Subsequent development has shown that people from all parts of the world, given the means and opportunity, are equally capable of acquiring and mastering all forms of highly sophisticated techniques within a very short space of time. In fact, in many places recently regarded as underdeveloped—where people were previously peasants having to work with crude tools and ancient methods—centres of highly advanced and complex industry have been developed and are manned from one end to the other by the very same people once considered 'uncivilized' or 'backward'.
This shows clearly—if it could ever be seriously doubted—that all human beings are capable of understanding, establishing and co-operating within a world of free access.
24. Supposing there is a majority in favour of a world of free access in one part of the world and not in another?
It is highly unlikely that the growth of the movement for a world of free access would be restricted to one area of the globe once the number of people in agreement and spreading the view increased.
This is because:
firstly, the more people there are to communicate this knowledge and understanding of how to establish this totally new form of society to others, the easier il will become to break down the mental barriers, misconceptions, myths and prejudices that the present society has created. Also, the very contradictions of the money, wages, buying and selling society form of society itself constantly result in more and more people in all parts of the world questioning and rejecting many values, attitudes and traditional beliefs once thought to be ingrained for all time. And as more contradictions inevitably continue to reveal themselves more people will demand the truth in matters and be far less vulnerable to evasions, excuses and empty promises they have heard before. (See also No. 27 'Are people's attitudes and ideas really likely to change?'),
secondly, ideas, views and information of all kinds, once exposed to people via the various methods of modern communication—satellite, tv, radio, video, newspapers, telephones, telexes, etc.—travel amazingly fast; to such an extent that it is possible for events, words, pictures, attitudes, etc., originating ir one part of the world, to be heard with minimum delay (even simultaneously sometimes via 'live' coverage) :n all other parts of the world. Such is the speed of present day communication when necessary,
thirdly, once the movement for a world of free access does begin to grow and, as a consequence, events inevitably begin to speed up, the movement, being larger, better equipped and more resourceful, will therefore be in a stronger position to make arrangements for this knowledge to be spread even further afield. As a result, the balance will adjust itself if developments appear to be occurring in certain specific areas of the world and not others. (See also No. 20 'How exactly can a world of free access be established?').
Whatever the situation at the time it will be up to the majority to decide democratically what is the most suitable course of action to take; as in all matters which affect society.
25. What about places where there is no democracy?
Undeniably it is a problem at present for those denied freedom of speech and organisation to have the opportunity to hear and consider the facts for a world of free access. Without at least the limited democracy as exists in such places as Britain, USA, etc., the spreading of ideas necessary for the establishment of a world of free access is hindered.
Nevertheless, this problem is by no means insurmountable. Events in the modern world can result in quite fundamental changes within a very short space of time, within months, weeks, even days in certain circumstances. And no dictatorship, however severe, can altogether prevent the spreading of ideas and views.
Also, it has to be remembered that the efficient running of any form of society requires, to a large extent, the co-operation, approval or at least acquiesence of the majority of people within that society. Otherwise, general dissatisfaction and dissent begin to occur. At first the dissatisfaction usually stays bubbling under the surface, often in secret, but occasionally coming into the open in the form of very brave individuals and minority groups prepared to risk possible imprisonment, exile or even death by speaking out against the dictatorial regime.
Later, this dissatisfaction and dissent becomes more open and widespread as more and more people recognise that they are not alone in their feelings. And in the absence of sufficient forms of genuine democratic-expression, then dissatisfaction on an even larger scale begins to erupt into clearly open dissent by large numbers of people and sometimes even into violent revolt.
Examples of various stages of the above situations can be seen to exist in many countries with dictatorial regimes (usually those widely referred to as 'Fascist', 'Socialist', 'Communist' or 'State-capitalist'), where strikes and demands for basic democratic rights such as freedom of speech, organisation and negotiation, etc., are occurring more and more regularly.
However, it has been seen that campaigns, protests, demonstrations and petitions from independant minority bodies outside these countries have, at best, only limited effect and, usually, no effect at all on the governments in control. This is because morals, humanitarian ideals and 'fairness' can never be the basic considerations of any government in any variety of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society—no matter what they say. All governments' concern, first and foremost, is the smooth running of trade and commerce: nationally, within the country; and internationally, in the form of competitive importing and exporting with the private firms, corporations and governments of other countries. Decisions are not based on real human need, satisfaction or freedom, but purely on economic grounds of profitability.
When this profitable or economic production and distribution of goods and services becomes disrupted or threatened—due to the general dissent of the majority of the population refusing to fully co-operate until their conditions are improved—and when this non-co-operation seriously affects the smooth running of national and international trade and commerce—then the government at first tries to resist these pressures with punishment, imprisonment, more restrictions on personal liberty and sometimes violence. But even if temporarily successful with such forceful methods, or even by offering minor concessions, the government of any country still requires the co-operation and participation of the vast majority of the population in order for trade, industry and commerce to function even in a limitedly satisfactory way. For it is the vast majority of ordinary people in all countries (the non-owners) who actually produce, design, manage, distribute and administer virtually all the goods and services from which the owners (governments, private firms and corporations) profit. And if the conditions are not improved to the satisfaction of the majority, and their requirements are not met, then sooner or later disruption occurs again—usually in a more determined manner. And when the smooth running ot commerce, production for sale and profit, imports and exports continues to be adversely affected, because of the non-co-operation of the majority of people, then the government has little alternative but to implement, however reluctantly, the wishes of the majority.
One of the essential demands of the majority is basic democratic rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom to organise and negotiate, to hold free elections, etc., then sooner or later these demands have to be met in order lor profitable/economic production to continue.
By far the best service those in countries with basic democracy can do for those in dictatorial countries is not to waste time, energies and contributions pleading and moralising to any government (who will do little or nothing—except pay lip-service to humanitarian principles—unless it is in their own economic interests or the economic interests o\ the private firms and corporations they effectively act on behalf of) but to spend whatever available lime, energies and contributions instead in organising to spread the facts for nothing less than a completely democratic WORLDWIDE form of society—a world of free access—in places where there is opportunity, and to use whatever existing democratic institutions exist in a positive way.
Present day communications arc so advanced and effective thai once the movement does begin to grow, ideas and facts will begin to spread from the democratic countries to all other parts of the world within a very short space Of time. And as the movement in these areas does grow larger and the ideas and facts become easier and easier to spread, they will undoubtedly reach those people living in countries where dictatorial regimes exist. These people themselves will then become aware:
(hat (he choice is not merely limited to whether the money, wages, buying and selling form of society should run on "capitalist', 'socialist', 'communist' or 'mixed' lines,
that a completely new form of entirely democratic worldwide society of free access to all goods, services, work, leisure, as well as free access to all information, views and opinions, is a realistic and practical possibility,
that there is a movement in existence which stands solely for such a world and is using available democratic institutions to express this and nothing else.
Such information and knowledge will not only make more people aware of the alternative we present but will cause the more thoughtful to question the nature, not only of the country (hey live in, but the nature of society throughout the entire world. They too will then be in a position to point this out to others. As a result of the movement growing in the democratic countries more people in the dictatorial countries will become aware of and be more receptive to the undeniable facts the movement for a world of free access presents. They too will be disposed to accepting nothing less than the basic rights of freedom to express their views via genuine democratic methods.
No government anywhere can sustain indefinitely a situation where the majority of the population are opposed to it.
26. Supposing there is a minority violently opposed to the establishment of a world of free access?
In the event of a minority organisation being violently opposed to the establishment of a world of free access, it will be up to the majority—who do want a world of free access—to democratically decide what course of action shall be taken. As in all society's affairs, it will be the majority decision that is acted upon.
For it has to be remembered that a world of free access will only be established with the conscious consent of the majority of people, who will vote for democratically appointed representatives. These representatives will be elected with the support of the majority and mandated to act solely according to the democratic instructions of the majority. (See also No. 20 'How exactly can a world of free access be established?').
Once a majority of representatives for a world of free access has been voted for, and instructed by the majority, they will then be in the actual physical positions formerly held by the previous governments. This will mean that the majority themselves will then be effectively and truly in democratic control of society; in control of the means of production and distribution (land, factories, transport networks, raw materials, energy resources, communications, etc.) and also in control of all the institutions that previously accompanied these, whieh naturally includes the powers of the armed and police forces.
But the situation will be profoundly different to what exists anywhere in the world today. For in all varieties of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society it is a minority—comprising leaders and governments— who impose decisions as to the use of armed and police forces, predominantly in the general interests of the minority of owners engaged in the processes of trade and commerce.
However, once a society of free access has been voted for, it will be up to the majority themselves to decide, entirely democratically, when, for how long, in what degree, capacity and circumstances these forces shall remain. Modern means and methods of communication make collection and presentation of information, alternative proposals, etc., and the consequent carrying out of democratic decisions a simple technical procedure of basic organisation.
It is clear then, considering this, that any violent minority opposed to the majority's democratic decision will be just that: minorities—acting against the will of the majority. As such, it will be up to the majority to decide how to deal with such an occurrence. If, as a whole, society decides that force shall be used against these minorities then they will arrange for this and it will be carried out. If society, as a whole, decides that these minorities are not significant to warrant undue concern, then they will arrange for some other form of action or none at all, depending upon the alternatives proposed at the time. Obviously all decisions will depend on the developments and wishes and instructions of the majority of people in society at the time.
Either way, it is clear that such minorities will be in as relatively hopeless a position as those violent minorities today who aim to overthrow governments by force. They will be virtually powerless, because they will have neither sufficient means nor support.
Nevertheless, all minorities—whatever their views—will automatically have equal means and freedom of opportunity to put forward their objections and/or proposals in a peaceful manner for all to hear and see, and for the population to agree with, or disagree with, accordingly—by use of the vote.
Complete democracy in all matters that affect society will mean the true participation of people and will result in responsible action. Not because people will have become suddenly 'nice' or 'good', but because it will be people themselves making the decisions which affect themselves and the world we are all equally a part of.
Eventually, as it becomes clearer to everyone that a world of free access is a sane, rationally organised and desirable form of society, in which the needs of people everywhere are provided as a matter of course, fewer and fewer people will bother to concern themselves with futile actions and concentrate on living life in a pleasurable, fulfilling world.
Even the limited powers of force possibly retained initially—in the event of the majority democratically deciding that this be so—will no doubt eventually be considered unnecessary. In such circumstances, total disarmament will take place; the present police and armed forces being transformed completely into agencies and services concentrating time, energy and resources to deal with such social catastrophes as floods, earthquakes, accidents and to investigate mysterious disappearances, strange phenomena, etc.
In a world of free access and complete democratic participation, force and violence will gradually recede into a memory of a terrible and vicious past.
27. Are people's attitudes and ideas really likely to change?
Ideas and attitudes have been in a constant process of change throughout the entire history of the human race. And due to developments in scientific knowledge, understanding and experience—aided by the speed and nature of modern sophisticated communications—people's ideas and attitudes all over the world are changing faster now than at any time in the past.
In the very early stages of the human race, due to the unavoidable ignorance of the world around them, and the severely limited means of communication and resources, almost all people held many wild and unfounded views. For example, that dreams, unconsciousness, pregnancy and death were attributable to terrifying and mysterious beings that could not be seen, heard or controlled; that poor harvests, droughts, floods, disease, and even thunder and lightning and rainbows were the work of all-powerful gods; that the earth was flat and perfectly still and that everything revolved around it.
Anyone who challenged these widely-accepted assumptions would have been regarded as mad, held to ridicule and sometimes even tortured and killed.
But as knowledge and understanding of nature increased it was discovered that previously inexplicable events could be explained rationally. For example, it was discovered that death is an inevitable process of all nature; that pregnancy is the result of male impregnation of the female; that the earth is not flat but spheroid and is just one of many planets continuously moving in orbit around the sun; that poor harvests are in fact due to adverse climatic conditions; that the climate is determined by the position of the earth during the seasons, by clouds, winds, sun and temperature; that diseases are due to conditions of environment, lack of hygiene, poisonous food, animal and insect bites, etc. In the light of undeniable evidence presented on a large scale outlooks and attitudes changed accordingly.
Likewise, many ideas and attitudes once taken for granted as being unchallengeable for all time—some held until quite recently by the vast majority of the world's population—are now regarded as absurd by many of the same people, and are seen to have stemmed from a combination of conditions, ignorance, false teachings, and the very nature of society at particular times in the past. Ideas such as:
intelligence being determined by an individual's wealth,
slavery being natural and justifiable,
women being incapable and not intelligent enough to take part in social affairs on an equal footing with men,
men and women who live together without going through a legal process of marriage being anti-social or immoral to some degree,
a man or woman alone being unfit to bring up children in a loving and healthy manner,
people of the same sex who form loving and sexual relationships being criminal or evil in some way.
Those who questioned these assuptions at the time were also regarded as mad, were held to ridicule by the narrow-minded and sometimes persecuted, rejected by former friends, disowned by relatives, sometimes even punished. Again, in the light of undeniable evidence, and people's own personal experience, outlooks changed, and continue to change, accordingly.
In the same way, today, almost all of us are brought up through schools, families, churches, and reinforced with the idea by radio, tv, most books, magazines and newspapers, etc., to assume and accept without serious question that the world cannot possibly function on any other basis than money, wages, buying and selling.
But this is wrong—as were those people throughout periods of history, ancient and recent, who were brought up to believe that the form of society, and the attitudes within it, that they lived in were correct and unchallengeable for all time. Until evidence and experience prove otherwise.
Therefore, it is reasonable and logical to say that with the continuing presentation of undeniable fact and common sense, and in the light of people's own personal and social experience, ideas and attitudes will continue to change and, once presented on a larger scale, will change even more quickly than ever before. Myths, false theories and superstitions will be exposed for what they are and will recede.
All the conclusions presented by World of Free Access are based on solid and undeniable fact.
It is up to those with the foresight—who recognise that the present form of society and the morals, values and ideas it encourages is not a 'natural' and all-time state of affairs, and that a world of free access is the only practical and realistic alternative in line with the modern technological age—to join others who are in complete agreement and to help to spread this information to others. For only in this way can a world of free access be achieved. The more people there are, the easier it will become, the sooner it can be established.
28. Is a world of free access eventually inevitable?
Unfortunately, no. If only because the human race now has the technological capacity to destroy, slowly or quickly, millions upon millions of people in all parts of the world. And not only in the event of possible nuclear, neutron, biological or conventional war, but even in peacetime in the form of cheap and dangerous disposal of carcinogenic radioactive waste, chemicals, etc., into water, land and atmosphere, which could—due to the unpredictable and chaotic, irresponsible nature of the present form of society—trigger off, at any time, widespread disease and catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.
These are no longer way-out predictions of over-imaginative science fiction writers but real possibilities substantiated by many reliable scientific authorities worldwide.
If any of these horrific developments do occur—and some already have on a small scale in various locations—it will not be due to 'human nature' but directly due to the worldwide money, wages, buying and selling form of society we all live in; the form of society which 'Nationalist', 'Conservative', 'Labour', 'Liberal', 'Social Democrat', 'Fascist', 'Socialist', 'Communist', 'Right-wing', 'Left-wing', 'Moderate', and all reformers, including Ecologists and Campaigners for Nuclear Disarmament, all stand for in some degree, whether wittingly or unwittingly.
World of Free Access state categorically that the world need not be organised in this way, and that it is entirely within the capabilities and comprehension of people everywhere to organise peacefully and democratically to create a world where technology will be used and controlled for the benefit of everyone everywhere.
In the interests of each and every one of us now living, and yet to be born, the world must now be shaped to suit real human need instead of constantly educating and encouraging people to think in terms which shape human beings to suit the needs of money, wages, buying, selling, trade, profit and the 'economy'.
But this can only be done with the conscious consent and democratic organisation of the majority of people in all countries of the world. No one—governments, leaders, whoever—is going to do it for us. The responsibility therefore rests upon those who are aware of this alternative to spread this knowledge to others. No one else can do it.
If those who read this do agree but do not at least join together in this movement it will be a terrible waste. The idea and evidence for a world of free access will take that much longer to spread, that much longer to grow, and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that events—due to the very nature of present society-may make it too late.
But at present it is not too late, and it is the only practical and realistic alternative which can ensure the harmonious survival of the human race.
29. World of Free Access: Summary of our position
A world of free access, as explained throughout this booklet, is our sole aim. We have no other. Therefore:
We must stand in opposition to all political parties, groups and organisations, whatever their description, who stand for any variety of the money, wages, buying and selling form of society—since it is this form of society which is the root cause of nearly all the personal and social problems we face today. These problems can only he permanently solved when this society is completely replaced.
We must stand opposed to all those whose aim is limited to merely reforming/rearranging the money, wages, buying and selling form of society in some way or other. Not because we are dogmatically opposed to reforms that may be beneficial to the majority in society, but because we recognise that the only permanent way of ensuring that the needs of people everywhere are met is through the establishment of & fundamentally different worldwide society of free access. Concentrating on each problem in isolation—whether it be war, nuclear weapons, unemployment, poverty, hardship etc.—when all have the same root cause always proves ultimately inadequate and often futile.
We must stand opposed to all war. Not merely on 'moralistic', 'pacifist' or 'humanitarian' grounds but because no war is fought for the benefit of the majority of people in any country. No war can solve the problems of people anywhere. War is itself a symptom of this society. After each war the same problems recur. We stand for a worldwide form of society where the cause of war—economic competition and 'national' divisions—has been permanently eradicated.
We must stand in opposition to all forms of racism and nationalism. Again not merely for 'moralistic' or 'humanitarian' principles but because there is no scientific basis whatsoever for the belief in the superiority or 'natural rights' of any people of any country, race, sex or colour. We stand for a world where racism and nationalism will have no meaning because people everywhere will have unrestricted freedom of the earth and where all resources will be owned and organised democratically by and in the interests of everyone on earth.
We must be entirely democratic, in favour of all people having the freedom to express their views—whatever they are—openly and freely.
We must stand in opposition to all violent minorities, since they are contemptuous of democracy, and therefore contemptuous of the views and wishes of the majority. The only way a world of free access can be established is peacefully and democratically with the conscious consent of the majority of people.
We must stand opposed to all forms of censorship and bans. We hold that all people must have the freedom to hear all information, opinions and views, and freedom to decide for themselves whatever they wish or don't wish to say, hear, see and experience individually. The only way to expose false, dangerous, obnoxious or divisive views is in an atmosphere of free and open discussion on all matters. Only in such a way can all people have the opportunity to hear all points of view, and to judge for themselves who is correct, scientifically, logically and reasonably. Only those out to deceive and those who hold themselves superior to the majority will try to forcibly stop others from hearing different points of view, whatever those points of view might be.
Those who disagree with this position will, despite whatever good intentions, continue to support the present form of society in some way or other, even if it is simply as a result of shrugging and taking no interest, and will, whether wittingly or unwittingly, be contributing to perpetuating the cause of nearly all the problems we are experiencing today.
World of Free Access aim to reach those who recognise all the contradictions of the present form of society and who recognise that only a fundamental change in the whole world structure of society to one based on democratic organisation, voluntary production and free access to all goods and services can provide a comfortable, safe, happy and interesting life for all.
30. What about religion?
There are many different viewpoints regarding religion and God. To some, God is a supernatural being who controls human destiny. To others, God is not an actual being at all but a means of determining one's personal morality and conscience. To some, God is neither an actual being nor a personal morality but merely a word used to describe a vast universe whose origins are still a mystery to human beings. To others, religion and God have no meaning whatsoever.
Therefore, in the interests of presenting only undeniable facts, World of Free Access must hold the following position with regard to religion and God:
As far as human knowledge so far extends there is, and never has been, any reliable evidence for placing faith in any non-human phenomenon to alter people either as individuals or as a society generally. Therefore, the only logical conclusion to draw, from past knowledge and present experience, is that it is up to human beings ourselves to understand as fully as possible how the world society we live in operates and up to human beings ourselves to create a completely new form of world society in the interests of all people.
And since it is the money, wages, buying and selling form of society which is directly and indirectly the root cause of nearly all the personal and social problems we all face—not because of any flaw in 'human nature'—and since the only form of society which can work in the interests of all people is one based on free access to all requirements, World of Free Access must reject any religious view which supports or encourages people to place faith in, or to accept, any variety of the present form of society. Those who hold such religious views will clearly find their position incompatible with, and will not be interested in, the undeniable facts we present.
The only qualification for anyone joining World of Free Access is basic understanding and full agreement with our position as explained throughout this booklet. (See also No. 31 'World of Free Access: The Movement'). Therefore, those who hold a personal religious view which does not prevent them from complete agreement will find no incompatibility.
In all probability, in a world of free access people will hold many and varied theories as to the origins (if any) and destiny (if any) of the universe, but it is highly unlikely that many people will continue to feel a need to seek spiritual comfort in religion of any description when nearly all the personal and social problems people suffer today are gone. But those who do, like everyone else in a completely democratic world society of free access, will automatically have equal means and opportunity to declare and present their views openly and freely.
31. World of Free Access: The Movement
World of Free Access was formed in 1982.
The movement comprises ordinary people, from various backgrounds and with various interests, who are in complete agreement with the aims and democratic methods (as described throughout this booklet) of bringing about this highly desirable world society.
We recognise that it is up to all those who do agree, to join together and, if possible, to help in whatever way is personally convenient for them—whether it be in making occasional donations, informing others when the opportunity presents itself, or helping to form and participate in branches of World of Free Access in other areas—in order to spread this information and so enable the movement to grow.
There is NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER on anyone who joins World of Free Access to involve themselves in any activities or contributions if they have no inclination or means to. However, it is preferable for those in complete agreement to at least join.
All contributions and efforts are entirely voluntary and are used solely and exclusively in spreading this knowledge in whatever way we can: at the moment, in producing and distributing leaflets and copies of this booklet.
We are fully aware that it can sometimes be frustrating being a member of, at present, a small movement whose task is unquestionably enormous, especially considering the many mental barriers that the present society has created in people's minds.
But these barriers can be overcome—as those who comprise World of Free Access and those reading and agreeing with the contents of this booklet indicate. And these barriers can continue to be overcome only in free and open discussion on all matters.
The compelling points in favour of World of Free Access are that:
the present form of society, by its very nature, is continuously revealing unacceptable situations and contradictions, and
all we present is based solely on undeniable fact. Feeble promises, empty emotional pleas and power-seeking careerists will find no function or outlet in our movement.
A world of free access is not a Utopian dream or an idle whim. It it were a dream, if it were scientifically unfeasible or logically impossible we would not spend our time, effort and contributions in presenting you with this information. But not only is it possible, it is in fact essential if each and every one of us is to live a comfortable and secure present and if we are all to progress into a desirable and fulfilling future.
If you have considered and fully agree with what we say—don't just leave it at that. We seriously urge you—whatever your age, race, sex, colour or background—to join us and, if possible, help to spread this knowledge in order to create this unique worldwide form of society as soon as possible.
A world of free access is in your own interests as an individual and in the interests of the human race as a whole.