Thursday, November 14, 2019

Why Socialism?

Capitalism creates in people a condition which leaves the sufferer with the opinion that nothing he or she can do can help matters and that sooner or later all will turn out right.

Socialists say to our fellow-workers that capitalism is a obsolete social system, inflicted by periodic world crises, constinual warfare and constant inequality and exploitation. Capitalism the world over is in economic and social crisis to varying degrees and yet all their old so-called ‘solutions’ are played out — state intervention, nationalisation, Keynesian economies, monetarism, protectionism … it is a long list. Today the capitalist class has nowhere to go except market forces, market forces and more market forces. And yet it is these very same market forces — the only ‘solution’ the system comprehends — which are undermining the entire social cohesion of society. The capitalist class have no perspective to offer society other than even more of that which is causing the problems. In a society in which most of us are taught self-contempt and distrust our own intelligence, this is hardly surprising. After all, capitalism depends for its continued survival on suppressing ideas that conflict with those that sustain it. So naturally the master class would rather we turned a blind eye to their excesses, even at the risk of some future calamity. The publication of  numerous environmental reports — reports that suggest global catastrophe is on the horizon would appear to confirm this. The facts and statistics they quote are alarming, Everywhere we find evidence of a world facing catastrophe in the name of profit.At every turn we find that the drive for profit impoverishes the lives of countless millions and threatens to turn the world into a enormous cess-pit. Governments may well introduce laws and implement plans to curb the assault on the environment and organisations may well campaign against the likes of Shell and BP. None is really addressing the problem the world faces at present. At best they can only palliate some aspect of the problem on a precarious and temporary basis. They most certainly cannot turn capitalism into some environmentally friendly society. We are faced, on the one hand, with the reality that capitalism is incapable of solving one single social problem facing humanity, never mind the environmental one. We are more than capable of running our world on renewable alternative energy, of feeding a world population twice the present size and housing and clothing every person on the planet, providing them with health care and education. It is not enough to leave environmental control to governments or to hope that big business will sooner or later see sense and turn to environmentally friendlier production methods. To do so is to misunderstand what the capitalist mode of production is all about. If we care at all about the world we live in, if we are to meet our needs in an environmentally acceptable way, then we must be in a position to control production — to consciously control our interaction with the rest of nature — and the only basis on which this can be done is the common ownership of the means of production, by and in the interests of all people and the world they live in.

The putrefying of capitalism has taken on a number of forms,
· the ongoing break-up of community relationships and the atomisation of the individual. This has been particularly characterised by the development of a competitive “every man for himself” type culture as the dominant one in society, and by the appearance and consolidation of seemingly unbridgeable generation gaps.
· the massive explosions of crime and drug taking, phenomena which were once peripheral or isolated in pockets, but which are now generalised throughout the market economy. Even in ‘tranquil’ Britain the official crime rate has more than doubled in the last 15 years alone, and drug culture and youth culture are now virtually synonymous.
· the increases in violence and social disorder, spurred on by the horror and violence infecting the media (especially for children), and the re-appearance — generally for the first time since capitalism’s turbulent infancy — of mass rioting on a regular basis. The worst of these riots, such as in Los Angeles, have turned major cities at the heart of capitalism into uncontrollable war zones.
· the continuing, if not increasing political vacuity of the capitalist class which has been mirrored in the rise of a nihilistic “no future” culture among large sections of young dispossessed workers who see no progress and no hope beyond their pint glass or next ‘hit’.
· the massive corruption of capitalism’s political apparatus, which is particularly evident in Britain with the succession of ‘sleaze’ scandals, but which is in fact a feature of the modern nation state virtually across the globe, from the US to France to Japan (let alone in Africa or Latin America).
· the revival of religious fundamentalism, creationism and the spread of mystical and millenarian sects, this being based on a loss of confidence in science and human progress together with a general rejection of rational thought and problem solving.
· and lastly, though certainly not least, heightened nationalism, racism and inter-ethnic violence, engendered and encouraged by the rampant competition eating away at the social fabric of society.

If the social decadence infecting society is to be overturned it has to be tackled at source — and that means the abolition of the market and the poisonous relationships which spring from it.

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