1980s >> 1987 >> no-995-july-1987
A better world
In the world today we have the resources, the technology, the skills and the knowledge to satisfy everyone’s needs — in food, clothing. shelter and everything else — several times over; no informed person would deny it. But we cannot fully use those assets in a society where the fundamental aim of production is profit. We can only use them in a society where the fundamental aim of production is human needs.
This means establishing a society without money — where we don’t use bits of metal and pieces of paper to needlessly ration ourselves, we don’t all walk around with a cash register in our heads.
This means a society without wages — where we aren’t forced to work for an employer just to get by. but where we can choose the work we want to do for our own satisfaction and for the benefit of the community as a whole.
This means a society without frontiers and nations — where the world’s resources and knowledge are used rationally and not in the crazy, haphazard way determined by “market forces” or governments, causing millions to die of starvation or go short while food and other essentials are stockpiled in huge quantities.
This means a society without wars or the threat of wars — because wars in the modern world are caused by economic and trade rivalries between nations, and in a world that is united there won’t be such rivalries to fight over.
“You can’t change human nature”
A lot of people will say that this sounds nice but it’s impossible because human beings are naturally lazy, greedy and aggressive, and “you can’t change human nature”.
We’d reply to this that human beings can certainly be lazy, greedy and aggressive, but that they can be (and they usually are in their day-to-day relations) co-operative, generous and caring. They are what their situation makes them. We are not, for example, usually greedy or aggressive about the thing that is most essential above all else to our survival — water. We don’t fight for it, refuse a glass of it to a thirsty stranger, or hoard it in our baths or in buckets under our beds. Nor do we needlessly waste it. Why not? Because we know that every time we turn on the tap. it’s there. And if we organise society — and we can do it easily — so that everything we need to live comfortably is there when we turn on the tap (in other words we have free access to all goods and services), then we are more likely, in these circumstances, to behave in a generous and co-operative way. We will also be providing for ourselves the secure material framework within which we can attend to all the inner, non-material needs we may have.
The real alternative
So we’re not asking people to be “good” or “idealistic”. We’re simply asking them to see that a fundamental change in the way society is organised — which we call socialism — is in their individual interests, in their children’s interests, and in the interest of society as a whole.
But the Socialist Party doesn’t exist to bring about this state of affairs for you. We exist to spread the ideas we’ve outlined and to be used, if people want to use us, to vote out the present system of buying and selling and production for profit and vote in a new system of common ownership, production for use and free access to all goods and services. And just as it must be voted in democratically. this new system can only be run democratically — by everyone — with all having equal access to everything it produces.