The Socialist Party represent an idea which is unfashionable these days, an idea which is ignored by the media, dismissed coldly by politicians, and avoided by anyone who prefers the status quo to stay put. This idea is the cooperative commonwealth.
You already know that in our world, private property is king, and that the rich make the rules. You probably know that only about 5 percent of the world’s population is rich, while 95 percent does all the work and lives in varying degrees of poverty, debt and stress. You may have concluded that this situation causes everything from street crime to international warfare, and you have almost certainly suffered yourself from the effects of overwork, deprivation and other people’s “anti-social” behaviour. Considering that private property society, or capitalism in its developed form, was built by human beings, it is an amazingly anti-social and unfriendly system, and it brings out the worse in us. We treat each other with suspicion and we treat the planet with contempt.
This state of affairs is bad news all round, but what can be done?
The politicians’ response is to ignore the problem and talk about trivia instead, hoping nobody will notice. Look at their manifestos. That’s why nothing changes. Our response is direct, and simple: the 95 percent need to sort their act out and abolish the private property principle, that mutual agreement that says one person has the right to own and keep what other people need, even if they should die because of it. And every single day, people are dying because of it. The real enemy of humanity is not a person or a group of rich people, it is simply this agreement.
Privately-owned property is an anachronism in this day and age. There is enough food in the world to make every individual fat. There are ten empty houses to every homeless person. Technology is producing abundance so fast that commodity prices keep collapsing, yet nobody has yet recognised what this all means. It means that there is a higher level of civilisation, of science, or arts, of culture, of personal fulfilment, waiting to come after capitalism—an advanced society which, because it has abolished scarcity, does not contain all the horrors that have dogged human organisation until now. From the standpoint of such a society, we in capitalism are still living in the Dark Ages, with our wars, famines, pollution and other disasters, and our outlook is suitably bleak.
A post-scarcity society seems a dim and distant image, a matter for the 22nd century perhaps, but not now. Lulled by the incessant idiotic chatter of politicians and their meaningless agendas, we do not notice that even now, today, we are standing on the very threshold of that post-scarcity world. All we have to do, as individuals, is take one step forward.