Technology has evolved to the point at which there is no reason why food, clothes, housing, medical care, education, transportation, computers, books, cell phones, digital connections, cannot be freely available to all human beings on the planet. We have the technology to liberate our lives, yet we find ourselves working more rather than less for the privilege of a few. Our amazing technology is rapidly developing into the future, yet our social organization based on working people and employers, buying.
There is no technological reason we cannot have all the food and
clothes and other important things we require to live absolutely for
free – if the whole community owned the farms, food plants, clothing
factories, and all other workplaces where wealth is produced. The only
reason money exists is so that the owners of these places of work can
generate profit to live off, the value above our wages and all other
production costs from the revenue obtained from sale.
It would therefore be true to say that money itself prevents us from having what we need.
Although our culture likes to think of itself as possessing many
classes (e.g, the middle class, the lower upper class or the upper lower
class!), that is really a lot of nonsense. There are only the class of
people living off rent, interest and profit, and the class (most of us)
who lives by working for wages or salaries (a fancy word for wages that
are paid once or twice a month instead of every week). So the wealth
accrues to the population in only those two ways, the vast majority of
us only earning wages or salaries. While there are always failing
businesses whose owners fall into the work class, the capital class
tends to make the most money, while the work class tends to make the
least. That is always how it is going to be, as long as money exists. No
politician can do a thing about that.
Even in the countries our media
incorrectly call "socialist" or "communist" like the old U.S.S.R., or
England under the Labor government, or China or Cuba today, the laws of
monetary value and capital accumulation still apply. Most people in
those countries are work people who are paid wages that they must budget
all their living expenses out of, while a small clique lives in
The truth is that real socialism or communism has never existed. It
means a society in which the means of producing wealth is owned
"socially" or "in common." Obviously if the state owns the railroad that
does not mean all the people do, unless they get to ride it for
nothing. The government owns the Post Office in the United States but
you still have to pay for stamps, don't you?
Government ownership in
countries such as ours merely means that the capital class decided that
there were industries that they could all benefit from or share the
expenses for as a class, like the post office, most roads, state
hospitals or the military. But in countries like China where the
government owns most of the industries, there is a whole class of
bureaucrats who lives off the hog of the land, just like here.
The time is ripe for us as a species to finally own the means of
producing wealth collectively. In such a society we would no longer need
money. Everything really would be free, but that obviously doesn't mean
it would work if we were all hording ten times more than we needed. But
we believe that hording behavior is more likely to occur in an economy
of scarcity rather than one of abundance. For example, in today's
American economy, most of us can afford basic foodstuffs like bread, so
we don't store 600 loafs at a time in our freezer, do we?
because we know we can always get more in the supermarket. Real
socialism or communism will be like that. Knowing that we can get what
we need for nothing, we will likely store much less (if anything at all)
than we do even now in our cluttered homes, where today we keep every
piece of rubbish we just in case we need it again and would have to pay
dear money for it a second time.
A society based on private or state property is also divided into
nations. It causes war, terrorism, starvation, child labor, ecological
devastation, racism, sexism, inferior quality goods, and totally useless
industries that squander our planet's resources while not producing
anything, such as those that revolve around advertising, selling,
buying, ticketing, investing, taxing, brokering, insuring, militarizing,
policing, managing. Think of the millions of wasted buildings, or the
vast supply of wasted energy, resources and human lives that go into
operating these useless occupations (useless from the point of view of
producing wealth, of course the market system requires them, and that is
one reason they are so wasteful).
When we own the means of producing
wealth as a community, we won't need those industries anymore because
goods and services will be free. So we will require far less resources
and energy than we do now to produce much, much, more. We will probably
only need to work about a day or two at most per week to produce a lot
more wealth and get everything we need.
But since we are not a lazy
species (except when forced to work or to do anything else), we will
probably choose to work more (though there will be no law saying we have
to, since without property even law itself will be redundant). We will
probably want to spend the remaining five days of the week in athletic,
creative, intellectual, social, sexual, scientific or other pursuits,
depending on our talents and interests.
It is time for such a change. And we are urging our fellow humans to
organize to bring about this new world, which is no pipe dream, but a
logical outcome of our technological progress as well as our desire to
live a fuller, freer, life.
It is the unfulfilled religious dream of a "brotherhood of man," and the
unrealized dream of our liberal tradition of equality and fraternity
made impossible in a class society, that we believe will only be
realized by political organization, rather than by prayer or political
Many scientific ideas have taken entire generations, even
millennia, to be accepted, such as the idea that our planet is not at
the center of our solar system. We do not know when our ideas of
liberation from the market and class system will begin to spread like
wildfire across the lands.
But we believe that the experience of our
lives forges our ideas, and that the more people live in this violent
and unsatisfactory social world, the more these revolutionary ideas will
be accepted as common sense and be seized upon. The more our technology
promises abundance and the more our economic organization keeps us from
that abundance, the more working people will work for the next level of
social organization in which, yes, everything will be free. We invite
you to consider these ideas carefully, not as followers as the
politicians would have of you, but as fellows and selling, money, and nation-states, is from the primitive past and is
still around today.
(from a World Socialist Party of the US leaflet)