To solve the many problems confronting humanity what is needed is a change in the basis of world society from existing class ownership to a world in which the Earth’s resources have become the common heritage of all. Socialists devised the slogan “One World” as a concise description of the society we are striving for. Socialism means that the whole world will operate as a single productive system where goods and services will be produced so that people can use them freely without resorting to buying and selling. It also means that the people of the world will be united on the only solid basis for achieving this end—by the resources of the world (the means of producing wealth) being owned in common and democratically controlled by mankind as a whole. “One World”, then, represents an entirely different vision of the future to such schemes as the “United Nations” which, as its name implies, attempts to improvise a patchwork from the fragments which capitalism makes of the world.
Already, under capitalism, people are beginning to think in world terms. More and more people are coming to appreciate world culture. Millions more follow world sporting events such as the current World Cup in Qatar. There is a growing consciousness that all humanity is part of one world, and that we share a common planet. people throughout the world are concerned about climate change.
This is a reflection of the material fact that we are increasingly living in an interdependent world, albeit a capitalist one at the moment. It is this interdependence which has long meant that there are no national solutions to today’s universal social problems. Capitalism is a planetary problem, to which the answer is world socialism.
If people in one country were lagging behind this would not be a reason for easing off but for stepping up and spreading socialist ideas amongst the people of that part of the world. We should add that we are not so naive as to imagine that the changeover from world capitalism to world socialism will occur all of a sudden. The changeover can be envisaged as taking place over a relatively short period of time of, say, five years (we don’t know) so the situation might well occur of socialists having won control in some parts of the world but not everywhere. Naturally, they will manage as best they can in the circumstances, no doubt ending class ownership and bringing in democratic control of all aspects of social life including production. Their other main priority would be to do what they could to accelerate the winning of power by socialist majorities in the rest of the world.
When some people talk about “self-sustainable communities” we don’t suppose this literally means that each small community should actually have to provide for all its needs from its own resources. What we do, however, envisage is “self-administering” communities which would try to meet as many of their everyday needs as practicable from local sources. Those local communities should be the basic unit of democratic decision-making a principle we go along with but, when it comes to production, we are well aware of to what extent local communities are interconnected and interlinked, which places limits on what needs could be met locally. The fact is that people in small communities aren’t able to produce all they need or anything like it. The final stage of the manufacture of a range of goods for everyday use could be done locally–food, clothes, furniture – as well as repairs but neither (most of) the raw materials nor (in most cases) any of the metals to make the tools and machines used in this final stage could be produced locally. So, local communities cannot be independently self-reliant as far as meeting their material needs goes; they have an interdependency.
This does not mean that everything has to be controlled from a single world centre. Only a few functions would have to be dealt with at the world level such as for instance, communications satellites. Most could be carried out (as in practice at present) at a level that can be called regional (in world terms). It is at this level that production of intermediate goods and machines and equipment can be envisaged as being produced, for distribution for use either in other factories or by local communities.
Local communities can only be the basis for consumption and for democratic decision-making but not for production. Of course, the actual degree of centralisation and decentralisation will be up to the people around at the time to decide in the light of their traditions, experiences and preferences. One thing, however, is clear: even the ultra-decentralised structure advocated by some anarchists could only be achieved in a world where resources no longer belonged to private individuals, corporations and states and where production was no longer carried on for sale on a market with a view to profit. In other words, in a socialist world.
“Think globally, act locally”, has become a popular slogan for many in the Green movement. Yet, anyone who follows the news cannot help but think globally. World hunger, global warming, world poverty and the constant threat of world war—all these are global problems. But can acting locally really deal with them? Clearly, all these problems can only be solved by global action. We are up against a global system which can only be effectively and lastingly dealt with at that level. Capitalism has brought into being “one world” as far as the production and distribution of wealth are concerned, but humanity is not ready to cope with this since it has not yet created the appropriate social arrangements and institutions; instead, the one world that has come into being is governed by the manic logic of production for profit rather than the human logic of production to meet people’s needs, with disastrous results. The answer to the problems that global capitalism has engendered is a rapid and radical change in the basis of world society that will make the Earth’s resources the common heritage of all humanity so that they can be used to further humanity’s well-being.
“Global Village” is a phrase used to describe the great advancements in communications, mobile phones, e-mail, the Internet, and Information Technology. These make it possible for events in one part of the world to be followed simultaneously by people in other parts.
Organize and vote for fundamental change of the present vile and imbecile social system, i.e., abolish the private ownership of the means of life, and establish the World Socialist Commonwealth. The fact is that, so long as the money and wages system and the profit motive underpinning them continue to exist, it is inconceivable that the competing states supporting their national capitalist classes will ever be dissolved and their borders eliminated. If you stick with that system, you are stuck with the state, and with the plurality of states, always in conflict with one another. Working for socialism will bring the reward of knowing that you are helping to create a truly humanitarian society in which no-one, wherever they live, will suffer from hunger, die because of war or become sick from preventable diseases.