A Future That Works?
THE MARKET system works. But not for us. It works for the handful of people who own industry or land. Most of them are doing well and getting richer. For them, the present system works, through our hard work.
For us, the workers, it doesn’t. The real value of wages has shrunk. Housing is becoming more unaffordable for many, rents are rising and benefits are being cut. Unemployment is at staggering proportions, especially among young people.
The truth is being revealed across the world: that the system is run in the interests of those who own it. For governments, repaying debts to those who got wealthy from our work is more important than us receiving education or health care.
For us, the future won’t work so long as we depend on an economy based on the market with the private or state ownership of the means of living.
In our workplaces we co-operate. We don’t charge our colleagues for our time: we work together. It’s just that we work together for our employers. If we owned the land and all the places of work ourselves, we could work together to make all the things we need, without buying and selling and without an employing class.
The alternative is voting for parties that support the market system: parties that inevitably have to accept the existence of poverty and unemployment.
While we build a movement to bring about a better future, it’s important that we use trade unions to defend ourselves and get the best deal we possibly can under the present system. We must ensure democratic control of trade unions, and not follow charlatans and adventurers to glorious defeat. We should rely on ourselves, not leaders.
If we want to transcend the defensive position forced upon us by the pressures of the profit system then a vision beyond capitalism has to be on the agenda.
That future we call Socialism, a future where we would have common and democratic ownership of the resources of the world. A future that will work if the majority of us want it and are prepared to work for it using democratic struggle to create a world of common wealth.
– leaflet for TUC demonstration in London on 20 October. For copies to distribute, write to the Socialist Party, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN