2010s >> 2019 >> no-1373-january-2019

Letter: Rose by another name?

Dear Editors

It is good to know that there is still a socialist party for people to join and stay with and encourage others to become party members. So why don’t they? What are they looking for? The very same as the bulk of most countries. A fairer share which, under present circumstances, they won’t get. How could they? There needs to be a radical change, and that change is the removal of the market economy by a resource economy. The party that marched under that banner would gain votes that would put them into a majority in parliament and the means to enforce it. All the problems that presently assail us would be swiftly dealt with and met away. To put it succinctly, S.P.E.R.T.

Space from empty financial premises converted to housing and medical premises and so on. Namely hospitals asap. Existing ones refurbished.

Personnel pared down to those operating a debit and credit system to deal with our booming and expanding productivity, gained from full employment; servicing our imports with our exports. So many filling our employment gaps.

Energy. In the shape of electricity, gas, water and human, being wasted in inconceivable amounts by institutions manipulating money for profit and pure greed and advantage often leading to global conflict and inevitable sufferings of innocents.

Resources. In the shape of aforementioned space and personnel plus all furnishings, vehicles, equipment, trappings, accoutrements and servicing appertaining to financial institutions made available to worthwhile social endeavour.

Time which could be and should be devoted to the welfare of every individual born is applied by too many in the pursuit of wealth and thus power and the gratification that arises, thereby wasting irrecoverable time repetitively.

Raise the SPERT banner. You may well attract far more support than you do now.

E.W. Reynolds, Reading.

Reply:

We can agree with the gist of what you say – that if the physical and human resources currently devoted to running a market economy’s financial and monetary institutions were redirected towards meeting people’s needs, then people would no longer need to face the problems they do.

This presupposes that productive resources are owned and controlled by society as a whole and no longer by rich individuals, capitalist corporations or governments. Under these circumstances money would become redundant as goods and services would be produced directly for people to take and use instead of for sale and profit as at present.

In this context the language of your second point – ‘debit and credit’, ‘full employment’ – is confusing as these words could be taken as suggesting, contrary to what you say elsewhere, the continued use of money. We assume that what you mean is that organising the production and distribution of wealth will be pared down to calculating and recording the use of physical resources, and that by ‘full employment’ you mean that everyone will have work to do (as opposed to having an employer who pays them a money-wage).

Similarly, talk of ‘imports’ and ‘exports’ implies that you think that a ‘resource economy’ could exist in one country alone. We disagree. Capitalism is already an integrated, world-wide system of which all countries are a part. So must its successor, socialism, be. We don’t agree that calling such a society in which money will have become redundant ‘Spert’ or whatever rather than ‘socialism’ will attract more support for it than at present – Editors.