November 14 , 5.00 – 6.30 p.m.
‘Socialism: a world of common ownership and free access’, a talk by Andy Thomas
Venue: Making Politics Matter, Lecture Theatre Og32 – Old Sessions House (main reception on campus),
Canterbury Christ Church University,
North Holmes Road, Canterbury CT1 1QUBy common ownership we don’t mean state property. We are not proposing the science-fiction nightmare of all the Earth’s resources being owned and controlled by a single World State. We mean the opposite: that there should be no private property or territorial rights over any part of the globe. The Earth and its natural and industrial resources should not belong to anybody – not to individuals, not to corporations, not to states. They should simply be there to be used by human beings to satisfy their needs.
Many when they first encounter the socialist proposition that goods and services should be freely available for people to take according to their needs often react by claiming that this wouldn’t work because, first, nobody would want to work and, second, people would grab more than they needed so that shortages would again develop. There are simple answers to these objections. First, the threat of deprivation is not, and certainly should not be, the incentive to work. If some work is so unpleasant that nobody would freely choose to do it then it ought to be done by machines or not at all. Second, people only tend to be greedy and to grab in conditions of scarcity. If food and clothing were freely available in abundant quantities people would soon adjust to taking only what they needed just as they do now with tap water.
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