Editorial from the February 2016 issue of the Socialist Standard
Across the world capitalism holds centre stage. Its cruelties and iniquities are too numerous to count, yet almost everybody imagines it is here for good, and for our general good, and that it represents the last stage in human development, in fact, that it is the 'end of history'. All one can do is to press for minor reforms, for no major change is deemed possible or even desirable.
In the wings, however, a new society is waiting. It is not supposed to exist, but it is there just the same, the next stage of history, the one that comes after capitalism. It stands impatiently in the shadows as the world grinds on regardless. This society is different in one basic respect from all that has gone before - it is based not on material scarcity but on abundance.
Global abundance of material resources is a new concept for most people, yet the practical obstacles are disappearing fast, and have already disappeared in the case of food, shelter, water and energy. In a world of abundance, why bother to buy and sell? Why bother to have wars over buying and selling? Why bother to have hierarchies of rich people making poor people's lives a misery? Why bother with 'cheap' options like pollution? Why bother with money, that carrot we wear ourselves out chasing? In an abundance, the only issues need be: how to put our collective resources to best use, and how to make the decisions fairly and in a way which involves everyone.
This social upgrade - which we call World Socialism - is a revolutionary advancement for the human species which will make 21st century capitalism look like the Dark Ages, yet the debate is not yet out in the open. Hardly anyone dares conceive of a society after capitalism, so powerful is its hold on the collective mind. But we dare.
The Socialist Party is like no other political party in Britain. First, because it doesn't want power for itself. In the new society we advocate, there will be no power structures anyway and our organisation would cease to exist. Second, because we have no leaders or followers and think instead that collective decision-making - democracy - is the only suitable way to operate a free society. Do you know of any other organisation that can say this? We doubt it.
So what's the catch? The catch is, we will not lead you and we can't do all the work for you. You have to be your own leader, else democracy is meaningless. So if you're prepared to stand up for yourself, don't wait for other people to do it first - get in touch with us and help out. Capitalism is doing everything it can to destroy the idea of World Socialism before it can get off the ground. All that has to happen, for it to succeed, is for you to do nothing.