Letter to the Editors from the January 2020 issue of the Socialist Standard
Workers produce and distribute the means to live. They plant and harvest all the food. They mine, and gather all the materials for buildings, and the things we use. They build and assemble and make all the buildings and appliances and things we use.
The workers produce all the wealth in the world. And they distribute all the wealth in the world. They produce and distribute all the world’s wealth not to meet the needs of the human race but instead for a wage. Workers are dependent on a wage directly or indirectly to live.
This dependency, which leads to insecurity, stress, fear, mental illness, a bad back and many other unpleasant things, is because of the current world system – capitalism.
Workers, fighting as individuals, or groups, or even a majority of the population of a given country, for improvements to working/living conditions, may win some of their battles.
Reforms under capitalism that are beneficial to workers are always in danger of being reversed. Or new conditions may arise that turn once ‘good reforms’ into things that cause the workers harm. Also, reforms that are good for workers are only ever a sop to keep them pacified, to give them a false sense of control. To make them think that the politicians love them and are working on their behalf.
Many workers – due to capitalist conditioning – blame migrants for their problems. Men blame women and women blame men for their problems. People of one skin colour blame people of a different skin colour for problems.
Workers blame the government. They blame religion. They blame lack of religion. They blame their problems on people believing in the wrong god. They blame aliens. They blame Masons. They blame drugs. They blame the weak, the stupid, the lazy. Workers blame their problems on all sorts of shit.
I blame capitalism. The workers of the world can solve all their problems, win all their battles, if they identify what’s really to blame; unite, and fight the right war of ideas.
If the workers can find a way to act/work as one – plans can be drawn up and discussed on the internet and the radio and the TV – then we can organise and go ahead and establish a system that works in our best interest – a world social system of common ownership.
Common ownership means the human race will own the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth. It also implies the democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, for if everyone owns, then everyone must have equal right to control the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth.
Common ownership is not state ownership. State capitalism is merely the ownership by the owning class as a whole, instead of by individuals, and the government then runs the state enterprises to serve the owning class. In the self-proclaimed ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ states the state enterprises serve those who control the party/state apparatus. The workers do not own or control. They produce/work for a privileged minority.
Workers under socialism will no longer be working for a wage. People will ‘do their bit’ for the common good. Life will be organised in such a way that people can enjoy as much leisure time as they want.
Computer-machines (or robots) will be programmed to do as much of the mundane work as possible. All the jobs which only have a value under capitalism – till work, guarding money, advertising and many more – will cease to exist.
Common ownership by the human race, and democratic control of the means to live by the human race, will allow the human race to meet the needs of the human race. Indeed the aim of the human race will be to do what is in the best interest of the human race: The best infrastructure the world can offer. The best health care the world can offer. And so on.
A world without poverty. Without wars. With little or no crime. And no pollution – or a sustainable level of pollution, which amounts to the same thing.