Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Better World is Possible

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

Capitalism isn’t working, so what is the alternative? This question must have at least crossed the mind of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, round the world as they watched the credit crunch, financial meltdown and recession unfold over the past few months. The problem, of course, will have been that for those same millions most of their conditioning, from politicians, media, education, and a good deal of their experience, will have been to answer that there is no alternative, at any rate no alternative to capitalism as such, no alternative that goes beyond a modified version of capitalism as represented by the ‘new’ Keynesian Gordon Brown or, perhaps, Barack Obama.

In fact a definite and clearly articulated alternative – socialism - has existed for at least 160 years (it is 160 years since Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto). Socialism is very straightforward and, compared to capitalism, extremely simple. It means social (or collective) ownership and control of the main means of production (land, factories, businesses, banks etc) and production for human need not profit, and with this the abolition of class divisions.

The trouble for many people is not that this is very complicated or hard to understand but that it just sounds too good to be true. We all, or many of us, get so ground down and demoralised by living under capitalism that we become convinced that nothing as evidently sane and good as socialism could possibly ever really happen – life just isn’t like that, so there must be a catch somewhere.

In this article I intend to argue that socialism is NOT too good to be true, that it is a perfectly reasonable and practical way of organising society – and that the various objections to it which spring into our minds because they have been planted there by the dominant capitalist ideology are illusory or even downright silly. I say silly because when people are deeply prejudiced they often think arguments are obvious, because they are based on their prejudice, which are in fact absurd and which disappear like a puff of smoke the moment the matter is tested in practice. For example in Bristol in 1963 there was a dispute about whether black workers should be allowed to drive buses and some of the racists argued that black people lacked the speedy reactions needed for bus driving [ like Pele and Mohammed Ali had slow reactions!]. Another example: before Angela Rippon started reading the TV news in 1974 it was actually maintained by some dinosaur sexists that the public wouldn’t take the news seriously if it was read by a woman. Obviously such arguments evaporate as soon as the colour or gender bar is breeched.

Let us begin by looking at something absolutely basic: feeding people. The world is currently richer and more productive than it has ever been in history, yet, according to the United Nations, 800 million people live in hunger and fear of starvation, and about 25,000 people, mostly children, actually die of hunger or hunger related causes every day. Is this because of a shortage of food. Not a bit of it

Enough wheat, rice and other grains are produced to provide every human being with 3,500 calories a day. That doesn't even count many other commonly eaten foods - vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish. Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide: two and half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs-enough to make most people fat!. Even most "hungry countries" have enough food for all their people right now. Many are net exporters of food and other agricultural products. [ Food First : The Institute for Food and Development Policy.]

Perhaps the problem the problem is transport – maybe the hungry are in remote parts of the world where the food can’t reach them. On the contrary many of them are in huge cities where planes, and sometimes tourists, fly everyday – places like Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro or Dhaka. Even when they are in rural refugee camps the TV cameras and crews seem to get there when they want to, but not the food. Besides we know we have the means of getting of getting planes with bombs to the all the remote places of the earth.

Perhaps people just don’t care if thousands of children starve. Actually this is not so. The UN is full of people who ‘care’. There are numerous international charities like Oxfam and Save the Children, who care a lot and depend on donations from people who care, and the poor countries themselves are full of NGOs doing their best, yet the hunger and the malnutrition continue. Why? There is one answer you can read on any website dealing with this issue and which all the agencies and charities from the UN down would agree on: poverty. People go hungry because they are poor and can’t afford to buy the food available.

But actually this is only part of the story. What would we think of parents with four children and a larder full of food, who allowed one of the children to starve on the grounds that the child could not afford to pay for the food? In fact poverty only leads to people going hungry for a reason that you don’t find on the charity websites, namely that in capitalist society food like almost everything else is a commodity, a good produced for sale on the market in order to make a profit.

Socialism would deal with this seemingly intractable problem of hunger in the easiest and most obvious way, the way any ordinary family deals with it, by NOT treating food as a commodity and simply distributing enough of it to people to ensure that everyone had enough for a healthy diet.

Just think what this would mean – no more starving children, no more distended bellies and vacant staring eyes, no need for kids to work twelve hours a day in sweatshops or for old people to die in the gutter or beggars to crawl in the dirt; so much human suffering ended. Even if it achieved nothing else this ALONE would be enough to justify socialism a thousand times over. But, of course, it’s too good to be true, there must be a catch somewhere!

This is where those ‘standard objections’ pop into our heads just as they have been programmed to do. If food was distributed free there would be no incentive, wouldn’t people all stop work? Actually, no. Very few people reading this article will ever have literally gone hungry, very few people in Britain do, but we haven’t all stopped work. The truth is the opposite; if you are starving you soon lose the ability to work at all and people with a decent diet work much more productively than the malnourished.

As it happens there are two major ‘catches’ to distributing food to the hungry: the first is that the big corporations would not be able to make their billions in profits out of it; the second is that if it would work for food it would work for other things too. Housing for example.

Shelter is one of the basic requirements of human life. Yet even in the richest cities in the richest country in the world, the US, there are homeless people sleeping on the streets, just as there are in London. In the mega cities of the world’s poorer countries, with their favellas and shanty towns, the problem is horrendous.

Socialist planning would solve this problem very simply. Take Britain as a starting point. Strictly speaking there is no housing shortage in Britain, only a shortage of affordable housing, and dealing with the immediate problem of homelessness would just involve requisitioning the empty properties, the mansions and second and third homes of the rich etc. But a permanent solution is easy to envisage. Use the census to estimate the housing needs of the population (something like this happens all ready) and establish a public house building programme, employing thousands of bricklayers, carpenters and other building workers, to build slightly more houses than are needed. Then make the provision of a modest but decent residence to every family or individual citizen a basic right, in the same way that every child has a right to a place in school or the NHS provides free health care for all. In other words, stop treating houses as a commodity and distribute them on the basis of need.

The same principles could be applied to transport. At present transport is a complete mess. Technologically, of course, it is possible to transport people round the world more efficiently than ever before in history, but under capitalism the organisation of transport is both inefficient and destructive. The main form of transport is the private car and car ownership and use has become so widespread that the roads are clogged up (to the point where in London travel by horse and carriage in the 19th century was as quick) and the pollution generated is a major, contributor to climate change.

The socialist solution is obvious: set up a comprehensive integrated system of free public transport. This would involve a huge expansion of the railways for freight and intercity travel, since they are clearly faster, more cost efficient and more environmentally friendly than cars and lorries. Within towns it could be a combination of trams, buses, subways, monorails, minibuses, and bicycles. The precise details don’t matter here. The point is that provided the public transport was sufficiently extensive and effective the private car, with its attendant problems of parking, congestion, accidents, petrol and pollution, could virtually be eliminated in urban areas (and rural areas too if the public network was extensive enough).

So at this point we have free food, housing and transport along with, I assume, free health and education. Inevitably the question arises ‘How would all this be paid for?’ Given the unbelievable sums raised to bail out the banks in recent months this question loses much of its charge, but in any case there are two answers to it depending on how far we look into the matter. The first answer is simply that it would be paid for out of taxation, as the NHS and schools and, of course, the armed services and their wars are at present. Clearly if food, housing and transport were all free people would have more money to pay tax with.

However looking a bit further we have to remember that money does not itself create wealth, or goods or services, only the application of labour to nature does that. Money is just a means of exchanging goods and services that have become commodities. The less goods and services are treated as commodities, and socialism would systematically reduce commodity production till it disappeared, the less role money will have. So the real question becomes would it be possible for society to allocate sufficient labour to grow and distribute enough food to feed everyone adequately, to build enough houses for everyone and to make and operate enough trains, trams, buses etc. to move people around. And we know the answer to this is yes because we more or less do it already.

But how would all these collectively owned industries be run? Wouldn’t it involve vast armies of state bureaucrats, at best soulless jobsworths and at worst monstrous tyrants?

Given the history of state ownership and planning in the 20th century – Stalin’s Russia and Kim Il-Sung’s North Korea at one end and British Rail and the NHS at the other – this is a natural and important question. And the answer to it goes to the very heart of what we mean by the socialist alternative. Socialist planning will not be socialist and will not work practically unless it is democratic and actively involves the mass of ordinary people. Again the years of conditioning ensure that here a little conservative ideologue pops up in our head and says, ‘That’ll never happen. Ordinary people, working class people, can’t run things, they are not clever enough, they haven’t had enough education or management training etc. etc. Besides there will always be someone who gets to the top and takes advantage.’

But to see the capabilities of working people just look at any workplace you know. If the manager is off sick or away on holiday does it grind to halt? Of course not because the workers, between them, already know how the place works. A few years ago in my workplace, a University, the boss [the Vice-Chancellor] was suspended and then sacked for corruption and it was awhile before he was replaced. The uni ran perfectly normally. But if the caretakers [apart from the cleaners, the lowest paid workers in the institution] stop working the whole place shuts down or rather doesn’t even open in the morning!

As for some people getting to the top and abusing their position this will be a problem, not because it is human nature but because socialism has to be built by people brought up under capitalism, not by saints and angels. The answer is to develop mechanisms for controlling and removing such individuals, and since the Paris Commune of 1871, the first real experiment in workers power before it was crushed by the army, we have known what those mechanisms are: make all public officials subject to election and recall and pay them a workers wage. And since the Russian Revolution we also know that these mechanisms work best when they are based on elections in workplaces and other institutions where collective debate can take place.

This was the great contribution of the soviet or workers’ council, which was first created, spontaneously, by the workers of St. Petersburg in the Russian Revolution of !905 and then went on in October 1917 and subsequent struggles, to show that it was the main institution through which working people can establish political power over society as a whole. And that is the starting point for everything we have talked about so far.

Feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, ending inequality and class divisions, democratic planning of the economy, stopping climate change, establishing international peace and unity and all the changes that socialism would bring have as their precondition the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the working class, first in one country and then internationally. Workers’ councils are key to this. They begin, within capitalism, as organisers of the workers struggle against the bosses, growing out of mass strikes and factory occupations. They develop into an alternative centre of power, rivalling the old capitalist state, and then in the decisive step of the revolution they replace the capitalist and establish workers’ power – a power which rests on the objective position of the working class in the modern world economy but which also liberates and mobilises the creative energies and talents of tens of millions. Once that happens a better world, a far better world, will move from being a possibility to being a reality .

John Molyneux

8 December 2008

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE

Capitalism isn’t working, so what is the alternative? This question must have at least crossed the mind of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, round the world as they watched the credit crunch, financial meltdown and recession unfold over the past few months. The problem, of course, will have been that for those same millions most of their conditioning, from politicians, media, education, and a good deal of their experience, will have been to answer that there is no alternative, at any rate no alternative to capitalism as such, no alternative that goes beyond a modified version of capitalism as represented by the ‘new’ Keynesian Gordon Brown or, perhaps, Barack Obama.

In fact a definite and clearly articulated alternative – socialism - has existed for at least 160 years (it is 160 years since Marx and Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto). Socialism is very straightforward and, compared to capitalism, extremely simple. It means social (or collective) ownership and control of the main means of production (land, factories, businesses, banks etc) and production for human need not profit, and with this the abolition of class divisions.

The trouble for many people is not that this is very complicated or hard to understand but that it just sounds too good to be true. We all, or many of us, get so ground down and demoralised by living under capitalism that we become convinced that nothing as evidently sane and good as socialism could possibly ever really happen – life just isn’t like that, so there must be a catch somewhere.

In this article I intend to argue that socialism is NOT too good to be true, that it is a perfectly reasonable and practical way of organising society – and that the various objections to it which spring into our minds because they have been planted there by the dominant capitalist ideology are illusory or even downright silly. I say silly because when people are deeply prejudiced they often think arguments are obvious, because they are based on their prejudice, which are in fact absurd and which disappear like a puff of smoke the moment the matter is tested in practice. For example in Bristol in 1963 there was a dispute about whether black workers should be allowed to drive buses and some of the racists argued that black people lacked the speedy reactions needed for bus driving [ like Pele and Mohammed Ali had slow reactions!]. Another example: before Angela Rippon started reading the TV news in 1974 it was actually maintained by some dinosaur sexists that the public wouldn’t take the news seriously if it was read by a woman. Obviously such arguments evaporate as soon as the colour or gender bar is breeched.

Let us begin by looking at something absolutely basic: feeding people. The world is currently richer and more productive than it has ever been in history, yet, according to the United Nations, 800 million people live in hunger and fear of starvation, and about 25,000 people, mostly children, actually die of hunger or hunger related causes every day. Is this because of a shortage of food. Not a bit of it

Enough wheat, rice and other grains are produced to provide every human being with 3,500 calories a day. That doesn't even count many other commonly eaten foods - vegetables, beans, nuts, root crops, fruits, grass-fed meats, and fish. Enough food is available to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day worldwide: two and half pounds of grain, beans and nuts, about a pound of fruits and vegetables, and nearly another pound of meat, milk and eggs-enough to make most people fat!. Even most "hungry countries" have enough food for all their people right now. Many are net exporters of food and other agricultural products. [ Food First : The Institute for Food and Development Policy.]

Perhaps the problem the problem is transport – maybe the hungry are in remote parts of the world where the food can’t reach them. On the contrary many of them are in huge cities where planes, and sometimes tourists, fly everyday – places like Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro or Dhaka. Even when they are in rural refugee camps the TV cameras and crews seem to get there when they want to, but not the food. Besides we know we have the means of getting of getting planes with bombs to the all the remote places of the earth.

Perhaps people just don’t care if thousands of children starve. Actually this is not so. The UN is full of people who ‘care’. There are numerous international charities like Oxfam and Save the Children, who care a lot and depend on donations from people who care, and the poor countries themselves are full of NGOs doing their best, yet the hunger and the malnutrition continue. Why? There is one answer you can read on any website dealing with this issue and which all the agencies and charities from the UN down would agree on: poverty. People go hungry because they are poor and can’t afford to buy the food available.

But actually this is only part of the story. What would we think of parents with four children and a larder full of food, who allowed one of the children to starve on the grounds that the child could not afford to pay for the food? In fact poverty only leads to people going hungry for a reason that you don’t find on the charity websites, namely that in capitalist society food like almost everything else is a commodity, a good produced for sale on the market in order to make a profit.

Socialism would deal with this seemingly intractable problem of hunger in the easiest and most obvious way, the way any ordinary family deals with it, by NOT treating food as a commodity and simply distributing enough of it to people to ensure that everyone had enough for a healthy diet.

Just think what this would mean – no more starving children, no more distended bellies and vacant staring eyes, no need for kids to work twelve hours a day in sweatshops or for old people to die in the gutter or beggars to crawl in the dirt; so much human suffering ended. Even if it achieved nothing else this ALONE would be enough to justify socialism a thousand times over. But, of course, it’s too good to be true, there must be a catch somewhere!

This is where those ‘standard objections’ pop into our heads just as they have been programmed to do. If food was distributed free there would be no incentive, wouldn’t people all stop work? Actually, no. Very few people reading this article will ever have literally gone hungry, very few people in Britain do, but we haven’t all stopped work. The truth is the opposite; if you are starving you soon lose the ability to work at all and people with a decent diet work much more productively than the malnourished.

As it happens there are two major ‘catches’ to distributing food to the hungry: the first is that the big corporations would not be able to make their billions in profits out of it; the second is that if it would work for food it would work for other things too. Housing for example.

Shelter is one of the basic requirements of human life. Yet even in the richest cities in the richest country in the world, the US, there are homeless people sleeping on the streets, just as there are in London. In the mega cities of the world’s poorer countries, with their favellas and shanty towns, the problem is horrendous.

Socialist planning would solve this problem very simply. Take Britain as a starting point. Strictly speaking there is no housing shortage in Britain, only a shortage of affordable housing, and dealing with the immediate problem of homelessness would just involve requisitioning the empty properties, the mansions and second and third homes of the rich etc. But a permanent solution is easy to envisage. Use the census to estimate the housing needs of the population (something like this happens all ready) and establish a public house building programme, employing thousands of bricklayers, carpenters and other building workers, to build slightly more houses than are needed. Then make the provision of a modest but decent residence to every family or individual citizen a basic right, in the same way that every child has a right to a place in school or the NHS provides free health care for all. In other words, stop treating houses as a commodity and distribute them on the basis of need.

The same principles could be applied to transport. At present transport is a complete mess. Technologically, of course, it is possible to transport people round the world more efficiently than ever before in history, but under capitalism the organisation of transport is both inefficient and destructive. The main form of transport is the private car and car ownership and use has become so widespread that the roads are clogged up (to the point where in London travel by horse and carriage in the 19th century was as quick) and the pollution generated is a major, contributor to climate change.

The socialist solution is obvious: set up a comprehensive integrated system of free public transport. This would involve a huge expansion of the railways for freight and intercity travel, since they are clearly faster, more cost efficient and more environmentally friendly than cars and lorries. Within towns it could be a combination of trams, buses, subways, monorails, minibuses, and bicycles. The precise details don’t matter here. The point is that provided the public transport was sufficiently extensive and effective the private car, with its attendant problems of parking, congestion, accidents, petrol and pollution, could virtually be eliminated in urban areas (and rural areas too if the public network was extensive enough).

So at this point we have free food, housing and transport along with, I assume, free health and education. Inevitably the question arises ‘How would all this be paid for?’ Given the unbelievable sums raised to bail out the banks in recent months this question loses much of its charge, but in any case there are two answers to it depending on how far we look into the matter. The first answer is simply that it would be paid for out of taxation, as the NHS and schools and, of course, the armed services and their wars are at present. Clearly if food, housing and transport were all free people would have more money to pay tax with.

However looking a bit further we have to remember that money does not itself create wealth, or goods or services, only the application of labour to nature does that. Money is just a means of exchanging goods and services that have become commodities. The less goods and services are treated as commodities, and socialism would systematically reduce commodity production till it disappeared, the less role money will have. So the real question becomes would it be possible for society to allocate sufficient labour to grow and distribute enough food to feed everyone adequately, to build enough houses for everyone and to make and operate enough trains, trams, buses etc. to move people around. And we know the answer to this is yes because we more or less do it already.

But how would all these collectively owned industries be run? Wouldn’t it involve vast armies of state bureaucrats, at best soulless jobsworths and at worst monstrous tyrants?

Given the history of state ownership and planning in the 20th century – Stalin’s Russia and Kim Il-Sung’s North Korea at one end and British Rail and the NHS at the other – this is a natural and important question. And the answer to it goes to the very heart of what we mean by the socialist alternative. Socialist planning will not be socialist and will not work practically unless it is democratic and actively involves the mass of ordinary people. Again the years of conditioning ensure that here a little conservative ideologue pops up in our head and says, ‘That’ll never happen. Ordinary people, working class people, can’t run things, they are not clever enough, they haven’t had enough education or management training etc. etc. Besides there will always be someone who gets to the top and takes advantage.’

But to see the capabilities of working people just look at any workplace you know. If the manager is off sick or away on holiday does it grind to halt? Of course not because the workers, between them, already know how the place works. A few years ago in my workplace, a University, the boss [the Vice-Chancellor] was suspended and then sacked for corruption and it was awhile before he was replaced. The uni ran perfectly normally. But if the caretakers [apart from the cleaners, the lowest paid workers in the institution] stop working the whole place shuts down or rather doesn’t even open in the morning!

As for some people getting to the top and abusing their position this will be a problem, not because it is human nature but because socialism has to be built by people brought up under capitalism, not by saints and angels. The answer is to develop mechanisms for controlling and removing such individuals, and since the Paris Commune of 1871, the first real experiment in workers power before it was crushed by the army, we have known what those mechanisms are: make all public officials subject to election and recall and pay them a workers wage. And since the Russian Revolution we also know that these mechanisms work best when they are based on elections in workplaces and other institutions where collective debate can take place.

This was the great contribution of the soviet or workers’ council, which was first created, spontaneously, by the workers of St. Petersburg in the Russian Revolution of !905 and then went on in October 1917 and subsequent struggles, to show that it was the main institution through which working people can establish political power over society as a whole. And that is the starting point for everything we have talked about so far.

Feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, ending inequality and class divisions, democratic planning of the economy, stopping climate change, establishing international peace and unity and all the changes that socialism would bring have as their precondition the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the working class, first in one country and then internationally. Workers’ councils are key to this. They begin, within capitalism, as organisers of the workers struggle against the bosses, growing out of mass strikes and factory occupations. They develop into an alternative centre of power, rivalling the old capitalist state, and then in the decisive step of the revolution they replace the capitalist and establish workers’ power – a power which rests on the objective position of the working class in the modern world economy but which also liberates and mobilises the creative energies and talents of tens of millions. Once that happens a better world, a far better world, will move from being a possibility to being a reality .

John Molyneux

8 December 2008

4 comments:

Eugene Hirschfeld said...

Thought I'd comment on the cultural aspect, given your interest in art.

Capitalism has created a world market and a world culture to an extent never seen before in human history. The human race stands on the brink of extraordinary productive powers and an immense blossoming of culture. Yet capitalism is incapable of delivering on that potential.

Even bourgeois culture is not safe in a context of devastating imperialist wars. Rosa Luxemburg said one of the tasks of the working class would be to “safeguard bourgeois culture from the vandalism of the bourgeois reaction”. We need only remember Dresden and more recent cultural tragedies such as the looting of the museums in Iraq.

Capitalism turns art into a commodity to be bought and sold, whereas socialists value whole human beings, able to fulfil their creative powers in freedom. For that reason the interests of art are today aligned with the working class.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I forwarded your article to a friend -Zubair, whose response is included below.
Wud appreciate your reply.
rgds asim jaan
Karachi, Pakistan
jaan.asim@gmail.com

"Finally received an article from you which I read without consulting that 40 pounder dictionary I bought to read stuff you send. Alas!! I have no choice but to open this Pandora’s Box.

Socialism is described as a transitional stage to a stateless society (i.e. communism) by Wikipedia.

Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, and would represent a transitional stage between capitalism and communism

Stateless Society; what I understood by this term does not appeal to my common sense (my common sense does not appeal to my other senses). It “apparently” seems to be a system probably well suited for a society of angels, but with humans ……

The article talks about many things most of which require elaboration. For instance an absurd (excuse me for using this word) example of an Organization without an organizer (the “caretaker one). I ignored what the author described about the working of his University without Vice-Chancellor assuming it to be somewhat weird (excuse me again) way of praising the management of a (otherwise corrupt) person who gave that institution enough organizational inertia to continue till the replacement arrived.

Do you agree that humans are creature without dreams, desires and ambitions and do not posses any ability to go astray and can work seamlessly without supervision? These humans do not cheat and have no tendency to procrastinate. My experience is that organizing people is the single most difficult task in any organization.

Unless you have developed a “Cubical” hierarchical system (pyramidal one is really not comfortable to sit at) some kind of supervisor would be required to organize a group of people assigned some task. There definitely is no harm in electing a person for this position. Even in present day economic system (I always get confused with “ists” and “isms” thus do not use terms including these words) management of Public listed companies is nominated through a kind of electoral process. This like every other process has room for improvement and if you are not really glued to the idea of re-inventing wheel, a little effort here can make the curves even more appealing.

What this person elected for the position of Supervisor would do? Probably organize the people assigned to carry-out the work given. To look after their (people assigned to him) well-being / welfare (agreed this is debatable), distribute work according to job description, choose right person for the job, check for mistakes and errors, devise strategies to at least minimize these mistakes, set or follow time-lines etc. To perform these massive duties this person might need to put-in extra working hours, take a lot of mental pain and stress (generally referred to as tension – which in some other body organs is desired and known to work when blood supply to brain is reduced).

But, why would anybody come forward to accept (whether or not through election) these enormous responsibilities? Well, as we are a demand oriented creature, perhaps for some extra compensation or extra reward, unless of course, the person is directly imported from Heavens or is an android. Humans (as discussed earlier) have emotions, desires, dreams, ambitions, aspirations (unlike people like me who have perspirations) and these are a few of the primary characteristics that define Human sub-class and most of its objects.




If you accept to provide this “extra compensation” or “extra reward” (no matter what the kind is) voila!! you have created a “Class” called Supervisor. No matter what you do, this inevitable “extra reward” (whatever its shape is) and equally unavoidable authority would translate itself into “privileges” and all the ills attributed to present day classes would be reflected by this one.

You seem to be amused with terms like “Proletarian” and “Bourgeoisie”. I feel these terms are no more suited for certain developed societies. Numerous examples can be quoted from those societies showing that foundation stones of large commercial organizations were laid by innovative people belonging to so called “Proletarian” class. Most of these societies are known for providing opportunities for the Industrious.

I do not imply by above that exploitation has ceased to exist. Room for improvement is there, however, as I said earlier, why to ignore already present infrastructure; why to insist on re-inventing wheel.

Agreed there is hunger in the world despite “over-production”. A few years back Australians chose to feed the ever hungry sea with millions of liters of Milk to keep prices stable instead of sending that (Milk) to famine stricken parts of the world.

This tells us that world is divided into Nations and Countries (which apparently is not known to Socialists). These Nations, very much like Humans, expect reward for their produce.

I am not in agreement with what Australians did, but look at these famine stricken Countries. It is not poor economic management alone. You may argue that whatever is the cause (e.g. Civil unrest, internal war etc) of their poverty, is the reflection of contribution of the wealthy nations. Still the locals cannot be absolved. What they are doing now, would probably continue under socialism.

Please do not quote Russian example. We have seen their and Eastern Europe’s condition. It can only be quoted for poor economic management (unless this poor management is defined as Socialism). Neither Paris Commune had life enough to be considered. China on the other hand changed its economic strategy and results are before you. Excerpt from Wikipedia discussing change in economic model of China is as under;

Despite China's size, the abundance of its resources, and having about 20% of the world's population living within its borders, for the last two centuries its role in the world economy has been relatively small. Since the late 1970s, however, the Chinese government has reformed the economy from a Soviet-type centrally planned economy that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector and is a major player in the global economy. Since being introduced, these reforms have helped lift millions of its citizens out of poverty, bringing the poverty rate down from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001. The Chinese Government calls their economic system "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" but what this means is disputed. Some consider it as a type of mixed economy, others as capitalism however the fact that there is state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy indicates that China is a form of planned economy with private and joint venture capital playing an important but subordinate role to the state.

I am in support of economic model where regulators and economic managers keep an eye on the means of production without disturbing their Independence; something similar to, but not exactly like Chinese model.

You want to eradicate social injustice. Everybody (Political leaders excluded) wants that yet Social justice does not mean economic equality.





I fully support democracy even in Production houses to the extent practical (Practical may not have a precise definition in this context and would change with Society and Time), yet I do not support the concept of Collective Ownership of production houses. May change my views if a better and more elaborate picture is presented. However, as of now, as much I know of myself and people I am dealing with (excluding socialists) and what have I understood of Socialism, it is not practical.

Regards

Zubair "

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang said...

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang
Keyword Kenali Pandeglang
Mohon dukungannya yach....?!
Semangat..semangat..!!
Agar terjalin tali silaturrahmi di antara kita.
Pandeglang telah hilang Kenali Si Dunia Aneh
Mari bersama DesigN and TechnologY dalam kontes Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang

Ayo Sekolah said...

Kerja Keras adalah Energi kita
yach, kata tersebut adalah kalimat yang harus kita resapi bersama. Dengan slogan Kerja Keras adalah Energi kita semoga saja kita akan memperoleh semangat dan kehidupan yang lebih baik dari hari kehari. Yuk kita ramaikan Kerja Keras adalah Energi kita bersama zulfirman baik saya maupun anda. Kerja Keras Energi kita
Kontes Kerja Keras Energi Kita Keyword Energi kita