Friday, September 20, 2019

A Challenge for Humanity

Starting Friday, September 20th, a week of action across the world, calling for drastic action to stop climate change, will begin and it's timed to coincide with the UN’s climate summit, set to start on September 23. A new generation of political activists are coming to age and to neglect this radicalisation is to lose out on an important opportunity to promote the socialist vision of the future.Over the next few days it is expected to be the largest protest actions on climate change, as people young and old, take to the streets together to demand action on tackling the climate crisis and the human rights violations caused by it. It is vital that our voice is heard.

It is now practically a scientific impossibility that the 170 plus governments that have signed the Paris Agreement, which pledged to keep climate change to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, will meet that goal.

The enormous rise in living standards for the majority of the world’s population which is entailed by the establishment of socialism certainly means a great increase in the consumption of resources and energy. Even if socialism is far less wasteful than capitalism, it will still follow that new sources will have to be found . There are two reasons why renewable sources are not used today as much as they could be. Firstly, there is concern over the cost and economic viability of such supplies. Secondly, relatively few resources are put into researching and developing renewable sources.

Besides more efficient resources and energy being delivered, the capitalist system creates vast amounts of waste in the military and its socially useless jobs in the buying and selling exchange-economy which are part of its profit making machine. This waste would not happen in socialism which would be solely concerned to provide for real needs. Our fight is to show that for 99% of our current and future needs we have enough already. Abundance already exists. If faced by a shortage of one material we have alternative sources which does not involve the intensification of the extraction process for the original source to the detriment of the environment. Report after report explains that more conservation and less waste is a better solution than constant growth. Our case against capitalism is a "holistic" one yet many still wage all their individual battles and wars as isolated individual campaigns. We are not anti-GMO or anti-nuclear and we are not pro-organic and pro-local food. We are anti-capitalist because commercial vested interests is the fundamental problem of the science, not any particular technology.
A dystopia is a utopia in reverse. It is said people today find it easier to imagine a global disaster and world cataclysm than expect or hope for any real improvement in their social conditions. Future apocalyptic societies teetering on the brink of disaster, full of cowed populations, tyrannical governments and corrupt elites, pollution-devastated, war-torn landscapes, world-wide and often weaponised viruses plus all manner of assorted other horrors such as humans harvested for their organs. Dark visions of the future where totalitarian rulers govern the life of ordinary people, repressive social control systems, government coercion of citizens, influence of technology on human mind, conforming mechanisms upon individuality and freedom, censorship of free speech, sexual repression, class and caste distinctions, citizens living out their dehumanised lives . Today, a sense of doom hangs over the world. Many people have lost faith in a better future. In movies books and computer games scenarios stress dystopias built on lies, brutality, and callous inequality. The basic message is that we are headed for a breakdown. It's an essentially hopeless vision

Fear is the greatest ally of conservativism. When a majority of the population comes to the point of thinking that tomorrow may well be worse than today, the only possible strategy it can see becomes that of preserving what exists in order to preserve their own interests. It subtly promotes the glorification of greed and selfishness. Which leads to hampering and preventing possible, potential change. We need to move past fear.

We lack a meaningful sense of the future, and as a result we lack hope, because hope demands a future envisioned as an achievable immediate possibility on which may be realised. Reformism is the graveyard for hope. Reformism requires a pact with the devil. Why waste time fighting for half measures? We would better spend our time, energies, and resources educating people to establish socialism rather than waste time in the false belief that our present system can be made to work in everyone’s interest. The beauty of the age we live in is that we possess new production technology. So the question is, which model do we want to follow? Toiling under the domination of bosses and corporations or a society of self-governance, leisure and mutual cooperation.

To those who say things will get worse, one answer is that of course is that they might. But another response is to argue that for people right now they are already quite bad enough and now is time to put it right. Rather than sinking into cynicism or clinging to fantasy, we must promote a practical programme for change, to resist despair, provide a positive vision, and confront capitalism's power with sound sustainable alternatives

Distrust of progress makes utopian aspirations unconvincing to most people in modern capitalist societies. This was not always the case, however. Utopian visions have been powerful levers for action in the past. We must recover the meaning of progress, not as an automatic reflex or an empty word, but as an act of positive political will . We should be, without hesitation unashamedly utopians. We must act in production, providing for the real needs of communities. There is no progress if it does not benefit all and if it is not accepted by all. We should strive for a new world where no-one is pigeon-holed to remain in the same job for decades. It must be a society where all of us are perpetually learning or relearning. This implies a radical change in our relation to work and to our crafts and professions and build a society that allows each one to change his or her life. We will take up the challenge of democracy. The historic principle of representation, the idea according to which the people exercise real power through the intermediary of their elected representatives will be rejected. The ballot represents the opinion of the citizens, and the rich diversity of an opinion cannot be reduced to the choice of one person or one proposition at any particular given time.

Never grow resigned, never bow down or submit, never beat a retreat. 

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