What concerns you? / Human nature

Capitalism is a society obsessed with ‘growth’, which had a practical economic purpose at the close of the Middle Ages, but which today can be destructively anachronistic, and since it threatens the future of ourselves and of all fellow beings on Earth, it is understandable that there should be concern. Even if most are not aware that capitalism is the root cause today of ecological and biological destruction and endangerment, the concern of so many involved in activism of this or that kind is proof in itself that the myth of inherent human evil is nonsense. The trouble is that vast majority are imbued with a sense of helplessness.

People are appalled by famine, by poverty, by war, by pollution, by rampant curable disease, by violence of every kind, by the holocaust against fellow animals. Charities prosper as a result, as good people throw money at the situation — which in the end resolves nothing. Most who give money to charity too are imbued with passivity, hoping ‘leaders’ or ‘experts’ will do what needs to be done, and not knowing what that is. Such is the fear of taking destiny into one`s hands — while a capitalist ideology of ‘selfishness’, though disproven by the average person`s generosity in giving, has convinced them that co-operation to get something achieved is out of the question. ‘Other people don`t care; only me; and I can`t do anything about it.’

What concerns this or that person most?

Pollution and ecological catastrophe? The accumulation of capital is the priority of capitalism. To survive in the capitalist marketplace costs must be cut and profits maximised. Promises and projects to check global destruction are up against capitalism’s main goal. You want to end destruction whilst keeping intact a system which necessitates destruction and cannot do otherwise? Capitalism is by definition a system of growth — and can no more stop growing than a malignant tumour can.

Famine? Famine is as unavoidable under capitalism as it is solvable by world socialism. In a world which can easily feed the entire population many times over, the capitalists are obliged to burn tons of food they cannot sell — leaving millions to starve amid abundance.

War? You want to end war but keep the system which produces modern war intact? Built into capitalism is a competitive struggle between rival capitalists and states supporting them over markets, mineral resources, trade routes, investment outlets, and strategic areas to protect these. Capitalism rules the capitalists, not the other way around. They too would rather not be blown up, but they are constrained by their own system, from which war is inseparable.

Unemployment? Capitalism’s boom and slump cycle makes periodic unemployment necessary. The only way to be rid of unemployment is to abolish employment — ie, abolish the wages system. Produce for use, not profit, and have free access for each to their needs, with the instruments of production available to everyone.

Animal ‘rights’? The exploitation of fellow animals is just too profitable for capitalism. You want to end this exploitation but keep the system of universal exploitation intact?

Racism? Sexism? Nationalism? A humanity at war with itself is what defines a class society such as capitalism, under which the worker is alienated from their work. Alienated from one another as we are from the forces of production, we seek scapegoats, believe in myths, devour our pleasures, hate the world. You want to resolve this alienation while keeping intact the system which causes it?

The alternative

We can have socialism, with industry, with technology, with all the comforts and bounty our history has made possible. We cannot go back, but we can go forward, either sanely or insanely. The latter is sadly the case at the present time, and will remain so while we sit passively, hoping ‘they’ — our capitalist masters — will ‘do something about it.’ They cannot. But we must.

It is time for the last ruling class to be toppled and absorbed by the rest of humanity. Then will a humanity that is finally in control of its own destiny consciously make decisions for its present and future.

The individual can then finally blossom, and the human race regain its place in nature — with all our fellow beings who, together with us, live upon and represent planet Earth.

In socialism the obstacle to the fulfilling of needs – the money economy – would be gone, so no one need go without.

Without the obstacle of money, necessary work which is now hindered through lack of money could go ahead, whether it is getting people fed, giving them what they need, projects of conservation, repairing damage caused by capitalism – what today charities and other organisations struggle with because of the obstacle of money.

Bearing in mind that socialism will only come about when a majority want it, then that majority would make it work. We would not be dealing with a helpless population waiting upon ‘government’ to do things for them, as is the case today, but with an active population knowing and enjoying the fact of themselves being society and of society belonging to them all.

Within socialism production and distribution will be organised to directly to meet needs, with most people happy and wanting to fulfil themselves by contributing their abilities and strengths for the common good, with all enjoying the respect of others for what they do. The labour time involved for each in satisfying the needs of a free society would be a fraction of what it is under wage-slavery, where one is exploited to create surplus value for a minority and where one has no stake in society as a whole. That would all be gone. In the same way as today people enjoy working in their garden or on their allotment, or creating art and doing fulfilling work of all kinds, so in socialism the whole world would be your ‘garden’. All society would be your family. You wouldn’t need money because everything would be free.

There would no longer be the dichotomy of alienation that we have today, with ‘me and my family on one side of a wall, beyond which is the ugly world outside that is the rest of society.’ The social animosity that is today’s existence for most under capitalism would be gone. A majority social revolution will have been made with majority enthusiasm, participation, and consciousness of kinship. The present ‘strangers versus what is mine’ would be gone.

Capitalism has us believing if people had free access to stores there would be a mad free-for-all brawl, with people madly grabbing loads of stuff they don’t need, stuffing themselves with food until they are throwing up, charging into houses to grab everything from each other, and ending up at each others’ throats. This is the myth put out by our rulers that, without them to hold us in check, we are all ravenous imbeciles. Then, how to explain all the co-operative voluntary work that people do even today?

With technology likewise emancipated, global needs can be fulfilled as well as regional ones, with regional ‘councils’ of people co-operating to meet needs over distances, getting together to enact projects, and – with technology freed from monetary restraints – even explorations beyond this planet.


Capitalism is not ‘human nature’

Capitalism is not humanity’s natural condition but is a comparatively recent product of social and economic evolution. Just as the whole of human existence occupies but the last split-second of the history of life on Earth, so the entire history of class society, from priest-kingships through chattel slavery, through feudalism to capitalism occupies but the merest final split-second of human history. Far from being the expression of innate ‘human nature’, capitalism occupies the merest final two centuries – four at a stretch – of the entire history of class society.

For around 300,000 years, modern humans lived in a condition of communism, at one with themselves and with the Earth. Humans could not have survived without co-operation and mutual aid. Myths of paradise, of gardens of Eden, of golden ages have lived on, reflecting a vague awareness that ‘something had changed’ in humans` relationship with one another and with the natural world around them.

Unable to analyse this ‘loss’ scientifically and socio-historically until the nineteenth century with the coming of scientific socialist thought, the best among humans up until then could only imagine the process religiously and in terms of utopia.

Up to now humans have made their history unconsciously and have struggled to make sense of it. The scientific socio-historical explanation is there now for them to see – yet most do not, because capitalism and reliance upon others to solve problems and think about things for them has conditioned them in passivity.

Neither is capitalism a ‘conspiracy’. Capitalism, and class societies as a whole, do by definition encourage ‘conspiratorial’ behaviour, but they are historically, not ‘conspiratorially’, produced. It is the product of history, not of some plot. It entertains the myth of an evil human nature (Original Sin rehashed for the modern age.) The cut-throat values of capitalism have us believing in a human cut-throat nature in which everyone is a potential conspirator, a potential thief, a potential brigand. Thus a brigand`s ideology leads them to see fellow beings as brigands, to be held in check.

Socialism restores, on the basis of modern technology, the classless and ruler-less relationships of the original communist condition of humanity.

Next article: Communism as a practical alternative ⮞

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