Sunday, November 25, 2018

Survivable Socialism

It is time to stop waiting for an environmentalist concerned government to be elected. It is also time for those who claim overpopulation leads us to environmental destruction to understand what the immediate threat to life on our planet really is. We have identified the guilty culprit - capitalism. 

The corporations have joined the green bandwagon but only to assume a position of power to dictate regulation that is compatible with their vision of the global economy and necessarily reflect their needs. Regardless of what their green rhetoric businesses must be interested in one thing above all else - making a profit, not just any profit, but the largest profit possible. The protection of nature is a cost to be minimised in order to ensure that profit. The Socialist Party is well-schooled in understanding that the existence of a law and its enforcement are two utterly different concepts.  Communities and countries bid against each other, each attempting to offer more favorable conditions to attract investment; conditions like lower wages, tax breaks, and lax regulation. The result is a race to the bottom, simply to maintain jobs and a tax base. In a socialist society, the economy would be democratically controlled and organised to provide the greatest possible benefit, which would naturally entail ecological sustainability. Because in socialism advances in production would be used to shorten working hours rather than more products, would be structured for production-for-use to further the development of human potential, technologically leading to increased free time in which to spend our lives.

 A socialist society would be less focused upon consumption. There may well be significant changes in what people consume in a sustainable society — an ecologically sound agricultural system would probably offer less meat on the menu but it would not be experienced as a sacrifice but healthier better-tasting food a better life.

 Furthermore, the Socialist Party recognises that much of the world requires increased consumption - not less. Billions of people around the world seek food and water security, decent housing, better transportation. improved infrastructure, and efficient healthcare facilities. Only socialism could make these resources available ecologically harmonious ways and in concert with reducing the carbon footprint of the developed countries. The only way to deliver human potential and develop healthy bio-systems is through increasing the productive forces of society. We can eliminate waste, we can eliminate plastic packaging, we can end planned obsolescence so that products will last longer and many industries will be useless in a socialist society, sales and advertising, banking and insurance, the military. In an economy designed to meet human needs, there would be many opportunities to direct labour to where it is most required. 

The transformation of production and distribution is possible right now but capitalism’s drive for private profit holds us back from implementing them. A  rational ecologically-sustainable society is incompatible with capitalism. A comprehensive response to climate change and global warming is inconsistent with capitalism. It calls for transcending the exchange production-for-profit economy. What kind of world do activists hope will replace the one that has gotten us in the mess we are in? It’s not a socialist one. Too often they throw out the socialist baby with the bathwater. The world they are fighting for appears to be capitalism in some form or other.

The possible impending environmental catastrophe is the major issue that threatens the survival of humanity. If humanity is to survive a new vision of the way society functions is required. The purpose of capitalism is to expand market share and maximise profits, regardless of the detrimental effects on people or the environment. We require to shift away from capitalism's unjust, unsustainable, environmentally abusive economic model and demand a new approach to living. Socialism is the acknowledgment of our common humanity where cooperation takes place as we build relationships and exchange ideas. It will be brought about by consistent coordinated action.

It is all too easy to fall into an apocalyptic perspective as the disasters and catastrophes worsen. We must keep in mind, however, that even as things continue to get worse the Socialist Party will still struggle for the best world we can achieve - socialism. The task is enormous but we can accomplish it together, united and determined. In this blackest hour, the hope of the future is neither faded nor fading and still urges us to carry on with a stronger conviction of fulfilment than ever. The future is by no means as dark as it may appear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an encouraging piece marred by an unfortunate sentence:

"In an economy designed to meet human needs, there would be many opportunities to direct labour to where it is most required."

I can not envisage their being mecanisms of coercion in a society of equals.