A friend of mind asked a very pertinent question: “How will socialism come about?”
Firstly, and part of my reply, was that socialism is here – it is all about us, all you have to do is scratch the surface and you will see it. An odd thing to look for is how, in corporate terms, socialism serves corporations but only on the financial level. You see public funds paying for a wide variety of social and socialist programs. Many of those social programs now given over to private companies to exploit – and some in our communities willingly see their hard earned cash go to support this exploitation – even of themselves. Generally those who see themselves as ‘conservative’. The conservative sees that a private company can, and does, use efficiency to get the best bang for the buck – irrelevant that this is not the case.
Corporations want profit – it is as simple as that. What is more simple, other than those politicians who advocate such, is that corporations want easy profit. Of course they will tell, and lobby, politicians that they can run a service much better and at less cost – it is in their interests to do so. A public service is not built from the ground up. It is there, to be exploited by any business that can convince politicians that it is ripe for take over, but it is there because the governments over many years have used public funds to build it to where it is today. It is, as we know, costly to run a public service. So where is it that the logic dictates that because it is taken over by a corporation – spending any amount of cash – the corporation will do it on the cheap? There isn’t. All corporations will do is say they need more money – and will get it because the contract has been signed and that service needs to be supplied.
So what has that to do with the birth of socialism? Part one is that we, all of us, must begin to see the flawed logic of corporations running public services. They cannot run them any better than the way they are run now. What they can do is strip the service to the core, run it for a profit and care little about the results that they attain – they are not answerable to the public; only to those who provide the funding, ironically that funding comes from the public purse. Eliminating the middleman has produced many more, each one wanting a bigger piece of the pie. This, in turn, removes what was once a public service until it has to be taken over by the public once again – the cycle begins again. How much, then, has the corporation saved us in cash terms? Taxes have not come down in any dramatic fashion, other than for the corporation. Taxes and prices have gone up for the majority of us. Where is the capital ethos now? It isn’t there nor, I would argue, was it ever.
This brings us onto the foundation of a socialist society – one of equality.
The Soviet Union quickly emphasised the need for a strong state and minimal rights. In Britain the Fabian Society has long been a centre for authoritarian socialism. It is notable that while the rhetoric talks of equality it does not really mean it. The Soviet Union and Britain under old Labour were less unequal than their countries’ previous regimes but that is all. Neither of them moved towards equality in a serious way.
[…] They treat us as formally equal in an unequal society. They assume that life is divided between the state taking care of our public role and a private sphere which is principally there for private profit. Society needs to overcome the public/private breach. Only then can people relate to each other on a human basis.
The real birth of a socialist society will build upon a foundation of collapsed capitalism. It cannot, no matter how much we wish it to be, build upon a society that is divided by mere wealth and power – power and wealth that is held in the hands of so few. That is not a revolutionary concept. It is a matter that the world is moving in that direction. Capitalism seems to be making many wealthy so most stick with the devil they know. Yet we can see the very bedrock of capitalism breaking under its own weight. That weight is not you or I at the very bottom of this current feeding trough. But by those who want more and more wealth, easy wealth brought about by failed implementation and upkeep of socialist ideals. People freeze because they cannot pay the power bill – the corporation want your money, if they don’t get it then they cut off your supply. Conservatives tell us that is our fault because we did not save enough to pay for that need. Does that cost of such needs have to be so high? Yes, the corporation tells us – “we have to make a profit”. Billions on the back of utter misery? This can be said for many other aspects of our capitalist society today. This is how capitalism is slowly floundering and imploding. It is not a fast action, nor should it be. Capitalism wants inequality and advocates it. It has to. It has to, to feed upon the psyche the inequality is the human form, way. It isn’t. We see that this is the case on many levels where human seeks out to help others because they need help. The real birth of socialism has been here as long as we have. The corrupting influence has been the embodiment of wealth creation to the detriment of human worth.
Socialists see all as an equal. It is not a hard concept. Socialists do not see borders. Socialists see humanity, with all its flaws, accepts them, tolerates them and works to eradicate what divides us. Capitalists, on the other hand, have found their way into perpetual war to keep the body alive. Now, as we see around the world, capitalists gain the greatest profit from the great war machine. In the US look at how much is spent on their military alone. Am I advocating that all military spending be dropped? No. What I am saying is that if there is to be the bordered nation then look at the people to defend it but not to the detriment of those who cannot heat, light or feed themselves and their household/family.
Socialism has been born in other words. It is growing up. But for it to come of age we have to see, and hurt through, the collapse of its older, darker twin, capitalism. It is that hurt, or fear of, that makes us perpetuate capitalism. Once we see that we do not need it any more and protest into its face – we will be at its mercy. That is the fear that the capitalist has – that we, the majority finally wake up. That we tell them that their time is done. We are not armed with guns, tanks and military aircraft, nor do we need to be. What we need is knowledge, education and teaching. Again, this is why we see the attack on educating the ‘masses’. Capitalists do not, nor ever really have, wanted that.
Once the populace is educated enough the tide will finally shift. When that will come I have no idea – but it will come.