Editorial from the February 2014 issue of the Socialist Standard
We all need to get more political. Not in the sense of supporting one of the major parties (definitely not, in fact), but the sooner people realise that it’s useless complaining about price increases, unfair spending on this and that, and job losses, and get to the heart of the problem – class-divided, money-based society with a small, powerful, increasingly rich elite ruling the roost, supported by governments – the sooner we’ll get to a real solution.
If you're not one of the rich ruling elite, who, supported by the state, collectively own and control the vast majority of the world's wealth, then economically and politically you're in the same class and you have a common interest regardless of all the other financial and sociological differences, and regardless of where in the world you live. What wealth you have in reality is small fry compared with the elite.
It doesn't matter whether you're a doctor, a nurse, an IT specialist or a cleaner, or whether you live in Burnley or Burma. Unless, of course, you also own, say, a factory or two and employ a couple of thousand workers to carry on producing your wealth. Rather than dwell on how much better off the family down the road or in the next street is, we should be giving thought to abolishing class-based society altogether because, by and large, it only serves the interest of the ruling elite. They, not asylum seekers or people claiming benefits down the road, are the real scroungers of this world and will continue to shaft us as long as we let them.
If you are looking for scroungers , you should direct your spleen at the really rich – the top five percent or so of the world's population who own far, far more than the rest of us ever could, and through their ownership and control of the world’s major resources severely restrict what the rest of us can and can't do. What the likes of the working class and the so-called middle class spend on their hobbies and interests is by comparison a drop in the ocean.
We are only shoved around because we let ourselves be. When it deems it necessary, the state promotes violence through its armies to achieve its ends, and tries to persuade people that it’s the natural thing to do. So it's hardly surprising that people get conditioned into thinking that the existence of armed forces is both necessary and natural and pass this attitude on to their children.
Wars and preparations for war are to be condemned, but we should think a bit further and look to address the basic cause of violent society instead – minority, class-based ownership of the world's major resources, to the exclusion of the majority, and backed by the state with force. This inevitably leads to armed conflict between competing powers. Such conflicts are never in the interest of the peaceable majority, who should not let themselves get hoodwinked.
We should not waste time complaining about the symptoms of capitalism; rather, we should work to get rid of it, along with money itself, and replace it with worldwide common ownership of resources.