2010s >> 2019 >> no-1384-december-2019

Manifestos: The Socialist Alternative

CARDIFF

What is this election about?

The wide view

Our world contains massive resources – raw materials, systems of manufacture, communications technology, sophisticated transport. Enough to give everyone a comfortable and fulfilling life.

It’s also beset by perennial problems – wars, never-ending poverty, economic and other kinds of insecurity. The profit motive of society means that life is becoming more and more commercialised and people are increasingly isolated from one another with drug abuse and mental illness on the increase. Capitalism – and governments – are proving incapable of dealing with climate change and other threats to the environment. The standard of living may have risen for some but the quality of life deteriorates.

Why don’t we change our world so that we can have the benefit of the resources without the problems?

How can we do that?

We can do that by holding the world’s resources in common and using them directly to serve everyone’s needs instead of just producing ad nauseam to create ever greater profits for a tiny minority. This is genuine socialism – a moneyless society of free access to goods and services. Forget about the other uses of the word.

So, we vote you in and you create this wonderful world for us. How can we trust you to do that?

You can’t and neither can we. The new society we’re putting forward can only be created when a majority of people like you actively decide to do it. You can use us, the Socialist Party, as an instrument of the democratic revolution we are advocating, but you yourselves must be in control of what happens.

But isn’t this all fantasy politics? People are too selfish to put everything at risk for the sake of pie in the sky?

Stick to the case you know best – yourself. Are you too selfish to realise that your on interests (as well as those of the people around you) can be advanced by making an alliance with others and pursuing joint interests? Are you sufficiently open-minded to consider alternatives to our present social arrangements? If you want to prove you can do this, one way is to take advantage of the free subscription to our journal, the Socialist Standard, offered on this leaflet.

Hasn’t socialism been tried and shown not to work?

No. Small political minorities have tried concentrating resources in the hands of the state, but that has just continued the profit system in another, often more oppressive, form. That isn’t socialism. Instead we are talking about a world where we all democratically decide how to use those resources directly for our own mutual benefit and in a way which minimises the impact on the environment.

This is all a long-way off. In the meantime shouldn’t ‘progressive’ organisations sink their differences, defend working people against attacks on their living standards and eventually work towards a socialist society?

It’s true that we all have to live in the here and now, but how far off the socialist society we advocate is depends on when people are prepared to take democratic action (i.e. vote) to establish it. More than a century of attempts to reform capitalism have shown that none of its major problems can be removed. So it’s clear that if we do nothing about socialism ‘in the meantime’, the meantime lasts forever. And we are putting off perhaps for all time the greatest advance that human society could ever make.

So does this election matter? Does Brexit matter?

This election is about one way or another of organising the profit system, capitalism, so it doesn’t matter which of the major parties is elected. Nothing will change. Brexit is a small detail in that system, so it doesn’t matter that an arrangement has been made to manipulate that detail in the interests of the tiny minority who hold most of the wealth. What does matter is how many voters understand the case we are putting for a real social upgrade – a world community without states or frontiers based on participatory democracy – and show their preference for that by casting their vote for the Socialist Party candidate, Brian Johnson.

We are talking about a society of material abundance, without buying and selling, where everyone has access to what they need without the rationing system called money.

We are talking about a rational and sustainable society where people are the Earth’s custodians, not its destroyers, where they contribute the knowledge, skills and effort to maintain it.

This is a system that will make 21st century capitalism look like the Dark Ages. Hardly anyone dares conceive of a society after capitalism, so powewrful is its hold on the collective mind. But we do and that is why we are putting the debate out into the open.

Capitalism will do all it can to discredit the idea of world socialism. Don’t let it succeed. Take a first step by voting for our candidate, Brian Johnson.


FOLKESTONE

Profit or Needs, not Leave or Remain, is the real issue

This election, we’re told, is about Brexit. Whether ‘we’ will be richer or poorer, freer or more subservient if we stay in or leave the European Union, with or without a deal.

But does anyone seriously expect that Leaving or Remaining will end child poverty? Homelessness and food banks? Collapsing health and social services? Unemployment – or the mass insecurity of zero-hour-contracts? War and forced migration? The destruction of the Earth’s wildlife and natural resources? The threat of disastrous climate change?

The Brexit ‘debate’ simply obscures the real issue: a failed economic system where nothing is produced unless a profit can be made from it. Where human needs are everywhere subject to the inhuman demands of market forces. And this system will continue to rule our lives whether our new leaders are based in Brussels or London, Belfast or Edinburgh.

The Socialist Party stands for putting an end to this profit system. For replacing it with a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the world’s natural and industrial resources.

We live in a world of potential plenty, where we could meet our needs by freely cooperating on the basis of ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.’ There is no need for anyone anywhere in the world to go without what they need to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. What prevents this is the ownership of resources today by a privileged few and production for sale with the aim of making a profit.

 The parties committed to running the market system – and that includes the Labour Party and the Greens – are making empty promises. A vote for them is a wasted vote as this system operates on the basis that making profits must always come before meeting needs, whatever those in government might want or have promised.

We are standing here to give you a chance to show that you reject the profit-driven market system and want a classless society of equal men and women geared to directly satisfying people’s needs.

To show this, vote for the  SOCIALIST PARTY CANDIDATE, ANDY THOMAS, and then come and join us, not to mend the present system but to bring a movement strong enough to end it.

Write The Socialist Party, 74 Linden Crescent, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5SB

Email spgb.ksrb@worldsocialism.org