25 October, 2018

A New Path to Socialism?

Having been an advocate of Socialism all my adult life, and a dedicated and active participant in various professedly Marxist Parties, it is clear that the central objective of the Movement, which generated such means, has never been universally guided to success, by those intended organisations-of-change. Indeed, in spite of the vital theoretical contributions of Karl Marx, and the significant success of the Russian Revolution, the expected ultimate global triumph of Socialism over Capitalism has not been achieved.

And, as the future under Capitalism seems to be driving remorselessly towards an even greater calamity than the two World Wars of the 20th century, a solution to the causes of failure of the Socialist Movement has become absolutely imperative.

The generally-supposed banker methods have been proved to be ultimately counter-productive.
Indeed, the top-down organisation of the Socialist State, even when achieved via a successful and popular revolution, can never do it! For, it is always prone to the rise and increasing power of a centralised Bureaucracy: and, in the end, the ordinary Working People become just as powerless as those within Capitalism.

Yet, the remarkable undoubted achievements of Russia and China, after their successful revolutions, have proven the superiority of a Planned Economy: the swift developments of the Soviet Union, only to then be vastly exceeded by those of the Peoples Republic of China, clearly demonstrate that!

But, replacing the Capitalist owners with Bureaucratic directors never delivered Socialism for the People.

And, the reasons reside in the misunderstood true nature of Real Democracy! Neither Parliamentary Democracy under Capitalism, nor the Bureaucratic "Democracy" under Stalinism, can deliver True Democracy - a society run by the People. For, no matter how the Representatives of the People are first selected as possible candidates, and then voted into office - it is always achieved without:

1. Sufficient information to enable the right selection

2. Sufficient recall controls over the People's Representatives

3. Regular and sufficient interrogative access to them

But, how could all that be appropriately organised?

It should primarily be organised within the People's Workplaces and Living Constituencies, and it would need to be kept informed by an adequate and totally Free Press.

Indeed, the Principles of Democracy must be insisted-upon and instituted, not only in the organisation of local, district and national representative bodies of the State, but even within the political parties and policy-making bodies within the Populace.

And, these latter demands are also absolutely crucial!

For, there is a "leadership myth", which is always used to oppose such demands. It implies that you cannot trust the judgement of ordinary people to make decisions in their own best interests. You are, instead, supposed to find the right leader, who understands such things better than you, and get him or her to make such important decisions "on behalf of the People".

No, definitely NOT! 

The Leader might well be chosen because of an evident grasp of the most important issues (or perhaps not!). But, the policies pursued must always be those voted upon, by the majority. 

And, sometimes those decisions will be wrong! 

But how else will the populace learn and become competent at managing their own destiny? With the leadership principle, the bad decisions are always some other individual's fault! No-one ever learns it is their fault!

With True Democracy, there has also to be True Responsibility.

Decisions must be those of the majority, and implemented by the organisation and even by a leader who doesn't agree with them. For if that leader believes it will lead to a major set back, he must resign the leadership, and form a contrary faction arguing for a change in policy. Indeed, sometimes, that disagreeing leader should still march at the front of his differently-convinced members, and be defeated along with them!

That is exactly what happened in Russia in 1917 in what are termed the "July Days". In spite of totally disagreeing with the Kronstadters, who had marched into Petrograd, armed to the teeth, determined to arrest the Provisional Government. The Bolshevik leaders argued against it - it was much too soon. But, the Kronstadters would not be dissuaded, so Trotsky, who knew it was a major mistake, nevertheless marched with them, at their head, to the Winter Palace. 

It did indeed fail, and Trotsky was put in jail. 

But, the lesson was learned, and in October it was the Kronstadters, when called upon to do the same thing by Lenin, knew who to trust, and did the job. For, with that Responsibility, the people begin to understand more and more!

The preparing of the People for True Democracy has to be the primary purpose of socialists: for without that, all actions will eventually end in failure, and could lead to calamitous outcomes! Consider the rise of Fascism in many countries following the First World War and the Global Slump beginning in 1929, if you doubt it.

Let us seriously consider Democracy in the Workplace!

Both the Capitalist Workplace and those in the Soviet Union were NOT democratic: all decision were taken by managers or owners, and even in the Socialist State they were appointed by the central Government. Even there, the Workers were considered to be incapable of making the important decisions And, it was true: how could it be otherwise? You don't get born with such capabilities you are either taught them or you learn by experience! And, without the regular experience of making such decisions, you would indeed get them wrong, and never be in a position to take responsibility for them, and correct them.

There is a Workplace Democracy that takes all this into account! It is a version of a Workers Co-operative Company, where it is wholly owned and managed by the Workforce alone. And it is, therefore, part of the job, every single week, to come together to discuss problems and make decisions. Everyone is involved and the decisions of the majority are implemented by the management, who are both hired and fired by the workforce. The workers in such a company learn from their mistakes and their increasing number of successes.

Finally, the effect of the super-rich in society, whatever their political status, has to be addressed, for the current role of this group totally distorts any democratic features that actually exist, and in ways which completely negate their supposed-to-be intended purposes. For, prodigious disposable wealth can fairly easily be used to steer things to the detriment of the majority of the population and in the interests of a powerful few.

And, by far the most important of these is in the delivery of news and information to ordinary citizens, primarily via who own and run the Media, and how they select and deliver what they consider to be important.

For, what is important to billionaire owners will never be the same as what is vital to the majority of the population, and particularly the poor - the workforce exploited by those very owners. And, to take the case of the United Kingdom, at the present time, literally all the nationwide newspapers, and all the TV channels are clearly biased news-wise towards the requirements of the rich.

And, using the excuse of terrorist or even paedophile postings, even the organisers of the facilities on the web are being noticeably reduced for anti-establishment positions.

And, in the USA, where politics is majorly influenced by contributions to "election funds" and the like, staying as an elected representative can be greatly influenced by how much particular candidates, or even supporters of the same policies can spend across the media, and even the way they vote can be influenced by substantial contributions to "expenses".

Only effective policies addressing all of these aspects can deliver justice in political activity now, and help to maintain political objectives when electoral successes finally come.

The amassing of wealth, influence and power in few hands must not only cease, but be decisively dismantled and stopped from ever happening again!

Socialism will never be possible whilever the rich maintain their total dominance!

But neither will it be possible while power is held in so few hands - whoever's hands they may be.

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