Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



The future is socialist

The start of the year 2000 gave billions of people celebrating the millennium pause for thought about the future. Even for just one night, it made them think about where humanity is going.

As the cities of the world thronged and throbbed with people, the millennium night also demonstrated what a potentially explosive social force the mass of the population is when it is on the move.

Equally significant, the way the millennium was marked all over the world reinforced the global consciousness which has been emerging steadily, especially over the last year. The media was full of speculative predictions about what the future holds. None of them admit the possibility that the future can be determined by the mass of the people.

They can only see it as a continuation of rule by the rich and powerful. But the future is an objective, unfolding, historical process experienced by us in the present. It is conditioned by the past, but not pre-determined by it. History is made by human beings within nature, acting in a socially, interactive way.

So it is possible to think and act consciously about the future, and the way we want society to develop. We do not start in the dark, either. Karl Marx - voted the "thinker of the millennium" in a BBC online poll - discovered the general objective laws of the development of human society for us to build on.

The basis of human society are the relations people enter into for the immediate process of production. In capitalist society, these are simply expressed as the relations between those who own and control the means of production, and those who work for these owners.

These relations, and the conflict within them nationally and internationally, are the driving force of historical change, Marx showed. At certain times, society has to endure a revolutionary change for it to advance. This occurs when the material productive forces can no longer co-exist with the way they are owned and controlled. It is precisely that period of history we are living in now.

The year 2000 and the immediate future are unique due to revolutions in technology and the production process. This has given people the potential to determine their own future more than ever before. The expansion of production has created conditions where the basic requirements of human beings can easily be satisfied in fields of work, health, food, shelter and culture.

Yet millions around the planet experience in their daily lives, the contradiction between this possibility and · intense exploitation at work · growing poverty within capitalist countries · hunger and starvation in developing nations · growing personal debt · a constant threat to employment · low wages for many · growing homelessness · corporate greed · environmental degradation · unbridled power of global corporations · governments that exist only to serve the corporations · political disenfranchisement of the majority of people.

Global capitalism is an unsustainable and unstable system. Global warming means that large parts of south eastern England will be under water by the middle of the century unless drastic action is taken now. It contributed to the floods which caused 60,000 deaths in Venezuela last month. Markets are glutted by corporations who have to increase sales year-on-year just to survive. In a desperate bid to overcome its problems, capitalism claims to have invented a "new economy" based on the Internet.

This encouraged a stock market frenzy in 1999. But in the first days of the 21st century, shares in companies like Amazon - which reported growing losses not profits - plummeted. In London, the stock exchange recorded its largest ever one-day fall. This bubble will burst completely, wiping out many small investors overnight and precipitating a deep slump. The ability of people to participate in a mass way in making history is enhanced by the changed circum-stances of working lives.

Most people work within complex socialised production systems which are planned, linked up and controlled by information tech-nology. This technology itself is the product of socialised labour at many levels. It is socially uniform and cuts across age, national borders and language barriers in a totally unprecedented way. For example, you don't need an ID card or a passport to surf on the Internet! All you need is a computer and an Internet service provider. The rapid globalisation of the world economy is producing a global reaction, most sharply seen in the United States, where super-exploitation, jobs instability, and environmental degradation led tens of thousands to protest in Seattle on November 30.

In the wake of the June 18 protest in the City of London, what we now see is the emergence of a global consciousness, fuelled by the revolution in communications technology, in response to the rule of the multinationals. Those who gathered in London, Seattle and in other cities around the world last year had a variety of reasons for protesting, not all of them "socialist". But while a variety of grievances may bring people together, when they do gather, a new social awareness arises.

We must seize the time to build on this and take it forward. For the first time workers and young people are targeting the capitalist system as a whole, not simply chipping away at aspects of it. This itself is a leap forward in consciousness. The Movement for a Socialist Future's own event in London on November 21 showed that this idea is beginning to gain strength, not only as a protest, but as a movement striving towards an alternative society.

Capitalism is being rejected by millions, which enables the MSF to show how social co-operation and ownership of the means of production, including global corporations is the only democratic alternative to the profit system. Attempts by capitalism to overcome its own problems have created not only the possibility but the necessity for a transition to a socialist society. Its very success in increasing and extending production mean that natural resources are being used up at a rate which spells destruction of the environment we all depend upon for life itself. The future, if left in the hands of the multinationals and their governments like New Labour, is growing trade/military conflicts and wars and countries ruled in an authoritarian manner.

This article first appeared in Socialist Future magazine


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