by Susan Rosenthal
Why can’t we have a society that works?
Why can’t we ensure that everyone has good food to eat, that everyone can access health and medical services, that all youngsters get the education they desire, that all seniors retire with security and dignity, that work is safe, that the environment is protected and that our global relations are compassionate and generous?
The answer to all these questions is that we live under CAPITALISM – a global system based on the exploitation of the majority by the minority. And the solution to all these problems is SOCIALISM – a global system based on mass democracy.
Forget everything you ever learned about socialism. It was probably wrong.
Socialism has nothing to do with state control. The governments of the United States and China control a similar proportion of their economies – about 30 percent – and neither nation is socialist.
Both the U.S. and China are capitalist nations with economies based on the private ownership of production. Socialism is based on the collective and democratic control of production.
There are no socialist economies in the world today, no nations where the working-class collectively controls production. Not any – not even close.
Socialism is not possible in one workplace, one city, one state or one nation because only one class can rule. Either the capitalist class imposes its will on society or the working class does.
Any move by workers to take control of production would be fiercely resisted by capitalists determined to maintain their power and privilege. A working-class revolution would have to spread across the globe or be crushed.
Who can we trust?
That people react so negatively to the idea of socialism indicates how deeply capitalism has damaged our connections with one another.
Who is better qualified to meet human needs: the capitalist elite that produces only for profit; or the working people who produce the goods and provide the services we all need?
Who is more cooperative: the bosses who compete for profit; or the workers who must pull together to get the job done?
Humanity has spent the vast majority of its history in cooperative, sharing societies. Class-divisions appeared only about 10,00 years ago.
Modern socialism would differ from primitive socialism in two important ways: it would be organized on a global scale; and it would be based on abundance, not scarcity.
Socialism is not inevitable.
It’s true that capitalism can’t go on forever. However, what comes next depends on what we do.
Either the majority will organize itself to create a socialist alternative, or capitalism will drag us further into barbarism and, ultimately, annihilation.
It’s time that we organized to take back our world.
As Rosa Luxemburg insisted,
Socialism will not and cannot be created by decrees; nor can it be established by any government, however socialist. Socialism must be created by the masses, by every worker. Where the chains of capitalism are forged, there they must be broken. Only that is socialism, and only thus can socialism be created.