October 12, 2019 at 7:18 am #190964
How aware are we of the limitations of the Monetary System ? I presume we all understand that World Socialism will be a world without money, nations, boundaries and politics. How well do we understand how such a world would work in practice ?October 12, 2019 at 8:29 am #190965
I think there is a growing awareness of the limitations of the capitalist monetary system and an increasing advocacy of a world without or beyond money. This is not just limited to the small numbers of genuine socialists around, it seems to extend to movements and groups that really self-identify as being socialist at all.
I suppose a particular problem we seem to have with the latter is that they dont seem to adopt a particularly structural or class-based analysis of contemporary society and tend to be more technocratic in their view of the future society. This unfortunately renders them less able to identify those (class) forces in society that obstruct or alternatively facilitate movement in the direction of the goal they espouse. For instance I have seen a lot of commentary which seems to place inordinate emphasis on the malign role of banks in the creation of global problems. But this is mistaking the symptoms for the cause which is essentially the capitalist monopoly of the world’s natural and industrial resources which serves to frustrate and block a rational solution to these problems.
I dont think this is an insurmountable problem and I believe we socialists have an important role to play in encouraging more and more people such as these to join up the dots and join with us in the struggle for a socialist future. I am encouraged by the fact that there does seem to be an upsurge in what I call “fellow travellers” people who think roughly along the same lines as us with the respect to the kind of post capitalist world they want. Enthusiasm for old fashioned left wing state capitalism seems to thankfully on the decline. It was never going to be a “stepping stone” to socialism and I think the penny s finally beginning to drop in that case.
We need to connect with these people in a sympathetic and positive manner and try to help them to move away from certain serious pitfalls and shortcomings in their approach to changing society. There has been a more propitious time to start making these connections and if we get things right, this could mark the start of a genuine renaissance of our movement
October 12, 2019 at 9:08 am #190967
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by robbo203.
Nansir1111 wrote: “How aware are we of the limitations of the Monetary System ?”
First, we must be aware of the advantages of the Monetary System – it gives isolated individuals the belief that they, as individuals, have access to an ‘objective’ measure of ‘the value of things’.
So, even if we are all aware of its limitations, we have to come up with a new system which determines ‘the value of things’.
I’d argue that this new system would have to be both social and democratic. That is, ‘individuals’ wouldn’t have the belief that they could determine ‘the value of things’ on their own, but that we’d all recognise that any valuation that we make of ‘things’ would be made collectively and democratically.
Nansir1111 wrote: “How well do we understand how such a world would work in practice ?”
I don’t think that this is well understood at all. I think it would imply social participation by all, and so the whole bourgeois idea of ‘individuals’ making ‘their own’ decisions about ‘their personal consumption’ would have to be superseded.
I’m inclined to think that many ‘socialists’ regard ‘socialism’ as a system which would merely satisfy the bourgeois myth of ‘individual freedom’, to decide the priorities of social production by individuals.
I think that this underestimates the massive changes in both ideas and production that would have to take place amongst the vast majority of humans, to build a socialist system.
I’d put the stress on ‘social’ and ‘democratic’ production, rather than on ‘individual’ and ‘isolated’ consumption.October 12, 2019 at 10:07 am #190968
Obviously the movement to change society fundamentally must be a collective democratic and conscious effort. However this should not preclude initiatives being made at the microlevel and in a sense we socialists with our current very limited numbers are operating very much in the realm of micro-level as “opinion influencers”, if you like
One the problems with how to change society from capitalism to socialism is that from the perspective of the empirical individual it all seems so absolutely daunting. “What can I do as a mere individual” is a commonly expressed sentiment. Saying there is no such thing as an individual – true only in the sense that we are all social animals – and that we are part of a class is no help in this regard since as we know the vast majority of members of the working class unfortunately have no interest in changing society at the present time. This can have a disempowering and demoralising effect on individual socialists when confronted with the sheer scale of the task at hand
For many years I have been interested in the question of how to adopt a more holistic approach to social transformation which helps to synthetise and integrate individual initiatives, even down to conscious lifestyle choices, with more collectivist forms of struggle (which is essentially what we in Socialist Party are about). People do need to feel empowered in order to carry on. They need to feel they are making some sort of mark or impression on the world and are nudging it , in their own small way, in the direction it needs to be heading
Of course individual initiatives on their own are not going to do the trick, We need a political movement. This is what we have got, however small and ineffectual it may currently be. But this movement itself needs to be more encouraging and positive towards initiatives that help to break down the sense of isolation and disempowerment that individual socialist-minded members of the working class experience when confronted with the stark reality that at the present the overwhelming majority of our fellow workers do not support socialism
October 12, 2019 at 10:48 am #190970
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by robbo203.
To get back to the subject, of course, Nansir. There’s a whole pamphlet on this here:
Chapter 4 in particular explains how the production and distribution of wealth could be organised without money (which of course becomes redundant once the means of life are owned in common and democratically controlled).October 21, 2019 at 1:51 am #191094
The new tendency around the world is to blame everything in the monetary system instead of the whole capitalist systemOctober 21, 2019 at 9:01 am #191095
Good point which explains why so many looking for a way-out have turned to various money and banking reform schemes, which we know will make no difference (in fact some could make things worse). This diverts critics of the consequences of capitalist society from the real way out: a political and social revolution that will lead to the common ownership and democratic control of the means of life so that production can be directed towards directly satisfying people’s needs and distribution take place on the basis of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” — and in which money and banks will have become redundant.November 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm #191306
There are some crazy theoreticians from the left who think that changing dollars for Chinese currency is the solution to the problem of the world. Money is a product of the economic exploitation of the working class and it does not make any difference if it is from China, Russia, USA or Mars. Probably, they do not know that money in a socialist society can be used as toilet papers and that our aim is a moneyless society, it does show how confused they are
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