Saturday, May 27, 2017

People come a poor second to profit.

Those standing in this election for the Socialist Party are not seeking votes for what who they personally are but for what they stand for -- replacing today’s capitalist system of ownership. The candidates for the Socialist Party of Great Britain are unique in that they speak for the only party standing at this election demanding an end to capitalism. They believe the market-driven system we suffer today is unjust and irrational, operating in the interests of a tiny minority who are doing very well, while many of us endure real hardship and deprivation. All the other parties offer some variation of the current system – a bit more or less tax or spending here or there; more or fewer regulations on this that or the other – but they will not really change the balance of power.  The system will still operate in the interests of the elite, whose wealth and influence still grows. This dysfunctional society creates widespread alienation and emptiness as evidenced for example by the epidemic mental illness, by high levels of anti-depressant prescriptions, and widespread alcohol and drug abuse. Large numbers of people are feeling empty and are increasingly learning you cannot shop your way out of society’s meaninglessness. The relentless focus on competition and conspicuous consumption destroy communities which we need to feel at home. This turbo-consumerism, mostly fuelled by debt, is unsustainable for both us and the planet and it has to be stopped. Only by democratic control of our world will we be able to reverse this terrible slide into ruin.  We can envisage the end of the planet but somehow cannot imagine a change to the economic order: this is ridiculous. 

The Socialist Party are contesting this election, advocating a social revolution in the way society is organised. This social revolution will entail a radical change in the way we, the ordinary folk, see the world we live in and the social relationships within it. By necessity, it will involve real democracy, with each person having a say in decisions that affect them, not the pretence we have today, where we vote in "representatives", who do precisely what they want, and not what benefits the majority. There will be no leaders, nor elites, but merely human beings working together, collectively, to organise society in such a way, that we all share in the resources of the world, as free and equal people. The other parties contesting this election, all offer variations on a theme, capitalism! A system, that by its very existence, leaves the majority in various degrees of poverty, want, and insecurity. The World has the abundant resources to offer us all so much more but only if it belongs to us all equally!

The recession has revealed a truth that the world is run in the interests of those who own it.  The Socialist Party want the people to take the power for themselves. We don’t need leaders to tell us how to live our lives. We believe that with real socialism the natural instinct for human beings to work together can replace the class divided society of today. But this is such a big change that we need a big discussion about how socialism could solve our problems, then win a majority of people to vote for it. The more who join with us in this task, the quicker we may bring about a better world for all. Capitalism’s basic economic laws of “no profit, no production” and “can’t pay, can’t have” work to create problems for the vast majority of people because they mean that making profits always takes priority over meeting needs. In its pursuit of profit, capitalism causes economic crises, the destruction of the environment, everything having a price and, on the world scale, wars, global warming, and world poverty. That’s why it must be replaced by a society where people have free access to what they need as of right and without having to work for an employer and without having to pay.

The real essence of democracy is that in some sense our views have equal value.  This means that the system we currently endure is not a democracy other than in some sham sense: we cast votes but the decisions are taken by others. The real power base of this society consists of those who have the most money: in our world money buys influence and most of it is utilised to the benefit of those with money. Only by removing the power of money and thereby those with large fortunes will we see a difference: only by working for socialism are we moving in any direction which will effect meaningful change. 

Most of us rely on the NHS and people are worried whether the funding will be there to meet the increased demands on the service in future years. Promises are being made by the main parties to protect or increase health care services, but much seems dependent on “efficiency savings” which may just be a polite word for “cuts” elsewhere. They also argue over whether there should be more or less private provision of NHS services. As you will be aware, much of the NHS is already run by profit taking concerns, and with the exception of some wages and salaries, most of the money spent on the NHS is directed to suppliers of various commodities, who also make a profit from the health ‘business’. Further, the government itself applies the profit motive to its funding of the NHS.  Rationing of health care provision, including spending on drugs, takes place every day on the basis of cost-benefit analysis, where there is a ‘price’ on life.

The Socialist Party believes that the best way to ensure people have access to high-quality health care is to change the economic system which the other parties either support or accept. Under this system, capitalism, making a profit takes priority over meeting people’s needs. Around the world many diseases and health conditions go without proper treatment because it is unprofitable for the pharmaceutical industry to develop cures, or more profitable to keep selling drugs which maintain ill health rather than cure.

Many voters seek to see the environment protected. Big Business has always made money from ruining our environment: the industrial revolution grew because it could use the air, sea and earth as a cost-free dumping ground, and the planet's resources were seen as unlimited. That's how Big Business works and will continue to work unless we take it over by asserting our control. Somehow the owners of large corporations - oil companies, logging companies, mining companies - think their vast wealth will enable them to build a wall between themselves and the despoliation of the planet: they will somehow be able to breathe dollars when the oxygen runs out. They certainly have no qualms about ruining it for the rest of us.  Decades of discussion about climate change has produced nothing of any genuine value or real impact - because they are not interested.  If regulation worked, oil companies would not pollute the land and sea, and clothing companies would not continually be found to be using sweated labour.  Exploitation is hard -wired into their DNA. 

Power has to be taken away from them before we get any real movement, and we need a popular movement to achieve it. We need a socialist world where we control what happens and produce what we need with regard to the needs of the future of the planet and our children's children. Only when the profit motive is replaced by the alternative of production for direct human use, will the problem of people dying of starvation in a world that can easily feed us all, cease. When houses are produced only for human habitation, not to be bought and sold for profit, or rented for the benefit of a landlord's income, will homelessness become a thing of the past? Where medicines will be produced to treat/cure people, not for the profit of a few capitalists, who own and control the world and everything in and on it. Only when society is run for the benefit of all and by all, will we be able to put a stop to the problems outlined above and many others.

Vote for the Socialist Party at this election to show you utterly reject this charade of democracy where the slot-machine always shows a jackpot for the rich. The market system is hugely wasteful and inefficient and its abolition is urgently required. Vote the Socialist Party to show you value yourself, the planet and the future.

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