Editorial: A Millennium To Win!
Well, at least the Millennium is over. All we have gained is the world’s third largest hangar (the Dome) and possibly the world’s largest hangover. But, looking through bleary eyes onto yet another morning of wage slavery, do we have anything to look forward to?
We do. Bear in mind that the “Millennium celebrations” are an attempt to dislocate our genuine hopes for the future onto a Dome and a date. Our excitement for the marvels of our technology and self-understanding, and the changes in life that they would permit, is transmuted into an expensive symbolisation of these wishes, and a hangover. But the fact that the “powers that be” felt the urgent need to provide the Dome, to pander to our aspirations even as they are denied in reality, is a clear and present demonstration that THOSE ASPIRATIONS ARE THERE. It might be worth going to see the Dome, just to see how scared the ruling class has become of our imaginations.
The new century sees a dichotomy in needs between the West and the Third World. Whereas, in world historical terms, the Third World is at about the point we were in 1900 at best, needing socialism as an end to hunger and material deprivation of all kinds, the Western working class now suffers from a more general malaise. The irony of starvation on the one hand, and obesity on the other, merely demonstrates that the root cause of all our problems lies not just in the deprivation of material goods, but the deprivation of human life in general. “I am nothing, and should be everything!” is Marx’s revolutionary slogan. The Left merely insisted that we were nothing, and should be fed.
So, where to from here? The answer is already emerging. The demise of the Left is allowing genuine revolutionary sentiment for the OVERTHROW OF CAPITALISM AS A SYSTEM to re-emerge: demonstrations over the last year, however imperfect, are signs of this. Our problem, if any, is that the world is overripe for change! But we need always to remember that when Marx referred to socialism as a NEW MODE of production, he meant a new mode of social life, not some equalisation of the capitalist work process. We have to realise that socialism is not utopia, but better than utopia, a different way of life revealed by the poverty of this one; invest our hearts and minds in this our real future; and fight for it single-mindedly. We have nothing to lose but our chains: we have a world to win.