Socialism and Freedom

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WHAT IS IT that most ordinary people want in life? Is it something unreal or utopian? No. The goals which most people have are quite modest. A good standard of living and freedom to live our lives the way we want to. Instead we have to put with unemployment, low pay, insecure employment, drudgery. We are pushed around, bullied or dominated by bosses and faceless bureaucrats. All of this to make a small group of people, the ruling class, wealthy beyond most peoples' wildest dreams.

Most of us want equality with our fellows in the decision making and control that affects our lives, and those of our families. We want the security of knowing that the necessities of life will always be there for ourselves and our loved ones, and that we will not have our world pulled from under us by being thrown on the dole.

We want to enjoy the good things that go make life both human and pleasant. We do not want to denied this type of life because lack of money makes it available only to the wealthy. The working class creates all wealth, we should be able to enjoy its benefits.

In a world which can put people onto the moon, cure most diseases, speak to people thousands of miles away, and the thousands of other scientific achievements this century has produced, our goal is no fantasy or utopia. It is achievable but only if we are clear about what we are against and what we are in favour of.

The "communist" world was not communist. It was state capitalist and dictatorial. A small elite controlled everything. The "free" world is not free. In their lust for power and profit the ruling class have given us a planet where millionaires can have whatever they want while the rest of us have to make do with what's left over.

Whilst poverty, hunger, oppression and wars continue to plague the people of this planet there will always be people seeking an alternative way to run society. Whilst the division of people into bosses and workers, rulers and ruled, continues there will be no meaningful change. Anarchists want to abolish, once and for all, the root cause of such human suffering.

The alternative we work for is a world where production is to satisfy human needs and desires, not to make profits for a small parasitic minority. A world where we can all have a direct say in the decisions that will affect us, where participatory democracy is found everywhere. A world where freedom is the rule and not the exception.


From Workers Solidarity No43, Autumn 1994

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