A vision of a post-revolutionary world by the Class War Federation. From Unfinished Business.
"It's coming yet for all that"
Robert Burns - Scottish poet
We have examined the unequal, divisive and miserable nature of capitalism, the State and the kind of society that they produce. We have examined ways of building for and achieving a revolution: a genuine revolution involving a complete change about in society.
All the work and hardship required leaves you asking - "Will it all be worth it?" or "What will society be like after a revolution?". Addressing this very point Engels, who worked closely with Marx, said something along the lines of;
"But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up."
"Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State" - F. Engels
This has been mouthed by many left-wing parties ever since. In fact these parties know exactly how their future society is to be because they aim to be the new bosses in the workers State! We on the other hand think that now is the time to think about what the new world will be like. We make no apologies for rubbing our hands with glee at the prospect of a better way of life. Its time to take a look in general terms at what we are aiming for. First we look at what goes out with the old world and the advantages of leaving it behind and then we look at what the new world will bring in with it and how new attitudes and approaches can be used to deal with old problems.
Here we look at the benefits we can look forward to in the new world. We will try to give you an idea by looking at three things we see not being present in this new world; artificial divisions, class, money, and the benefits of doing so.
What goes. Racism, sexism, the hatred of gay and lesbian people etc. As described earlier, during the build upto and in the process of revolution these divisions will be confronted and attacked. We see the new world continuing to smash these false divisions, replacing them with mutual respect, tolerance and understanding. We recognise that many bigoted and reactionary values are deeply ingrained in our class but as we pointed out in Chapter Three on class they are artificially maintained. People can and do change their minds. With the removal of ruling class propaganda we will see a rapid change in society.
Whether you are black or white, female or male, heterosexual or homosexual, makes no difference to your ability to play an equal and active role in the revolution. This point will be hammered home time and time again.
What comes in. There will be no more stereotypes or impossible role models to try and live up to, no more macho posing or female feebleness. No one will be blamed individually or as a social group (e.g. blacks or gays) for the frustrations of others or the problems of society. We will no longer have a pecking order where we compete against each other to find out who is the prettiest, strongest etc.
Home and Work
What goes. At the present our lives are split between the world of work and that of the community. This will go.
Before and during a revolution we will seize control of our workplaces and communities. We see the groups that will do this as crucial to continuing to provide goods and maintain services. But we also see the need for developing new ways of organising where we live and work (see the section on class later in this chapter). As far as the present artificial divide between work and where we live is concerned, we see work as work wherever it is done. The stupid idea that cooking, washing, gardening, child care etc. are any less work than emptying bins, driving a combine harvester or teaching maths will be buried by us.
What comes in. There will be no need to work for a capitalist to survive. The revolution will mean us clocking-off wage slavery for good! Work will be shared and goods produced and services maintained for the benefit of all. No one will slave hours on end while others are unemployed. Work will no longer be graded into categories judged by status and earning power. Someone keeping a hospital clean will be as important as a surgeon.
What goes. We seek to do away with artificial boundaries and borders. The world will not be divided into countries or States by lines drawn on a map by capitalists to mark out their property. We will ignore these borders just as we will tear down the fences and walls surrounding the palaces and estates of the rich.
What comes in. There will be no limitations on travel. There will be no offices or houses stood empty 'out of bounds' to us. All such properties will be used by us, for us. There will be no exclusive banqueting halls or luxurious bosses quarters for the few. We all deserve luxuries in this our only life.
What goes. There will be no more class system, just people. Instead of the ruling class and middle class dominating our lives we will organise ourselves. There will be no more governments, no more party political broadcasts, no more lying and cheating politicians. There will be no more snobbery and all the petty jealousy that go with it. There will be no more politicians or bureaucrats forcing their laws down our throats.
What comes in. We see a different organisation of society where everybody plays their part in deciding what is going to be done. People will work and live together locally, regionally and internationally through federalist structures. Federalism is a way of social organising that brings together independent groups that come together for commonly agreed purposes and agree to co-operate with majority decisions. In this set up, each person and group at all levels has the freedom to argue their position and if they choose, to leave the federation altogether.
The groundwork for this new way of organising will be laid before and during the revolution, as is indicated in the chapters on Class Struggle and Revolution. The emphasis is going to be on practical self-management, the need to respect though not necessarily blindly follow the wishes of the majority. This requires the use of delegates, who are recallable, instantly, to represent our views to other groups and free access to information.
It is important to point out here to cynics that pretty well any structure may be abused by power seekers. An obvious defence against this is by constantly refining and re-examining organisational structures. Although this is very important the best defence against allowing new power groups to form and bring back class divisions is a political awareness and strength in the members of the new society.
What goes. It is often said that money is the root of all evil. We don't believe this but we do believe that after the revolution we can and will thrive without it. As we approach a revolution it will lose its value as shops, warehouses, farms and factories are taken over and millions start to refuse to pay taxes, bills etc. Money will not be replaced by something with a different name that does the same thing such as bartering, coupons, tokens etc. All forms of exchange value will be opposed. The use of money as a means of valuing things and people is central to capitalism. Profit is stored as capital in the form of money and property which is given a monetary value, (please refer to the Great Money Trick appendix). In this situation all social and economic relations between people come to have a monetary foundation; what Marx called the "cash nexus", the ability and worth of a human being comes to be seen in terms of their property or earning and spending power. Just by its existence, money is a measure of the failure of society to organise the production and distribution of goods for the benefit of all; IT HAS TO GO!
What comes in. No bills, taxes, entrance fees, giros, post offices, banks, credit cards, phone cards, meter tokens, debt collectors, insurance premiums, mortgages, rent, wages, national insurance, VAT, pension contributions, bank loans, just for starters!
The above list makes you realise just how much work is done within capitalism in paying, collecting and monitoring money. The present finance sector in countries like the UK employs many people in banking, insurance, unit trusts, foreign currency markets, building societies, pension funds, merchant banking, futures markets, and so on. Every business, government, shop and leisure complex has workers doing hours of totally worthless accounting and paper work. Putting that labour power into something useful and constructive could transform our lives and our world.
ARE WE GOOD ENOUGH?
We're often told that, "there will always be greedy people who want more than others; that's just the way people are". There are many variations on this theme but we're basically always being told that people are not trustworthy or nice enough to create a better world or live in peace and harmony. In fact governments, the religions and the capitalists they support tell us at every opportunity that we are 'bad' and cannot be left to our own devices. This lie is what they use to justify their existence and position to us. This is why they spend so much time filling our heads with nonsense; at school, through the media, from the church and government etc., to keep us feeling dependant on them. We believe that people are capable of living together in peace, running their own lives and making their own decisions and enjoying it! We could go further and say as we pointed out in earlier chapters that we have so much to gain from coming together in such a way that we would inevitably do so out of self-interest. We have often tried throughout history. The reason we do not live in a better world now is not because we are 'bad', but because we are prevented from doing so. We will look a bit more at whether we are going to be 'good enough' to have a new better world.
By the time we are on the verge of this new world we will have had to do a number of things, besides bury the ruling class and their lackeys! The things that our class will have done will have brought them to this point and will have changed them in the process (refer to the previous chapter). Before and during the revolution there will have been intense activity in our class. This will be both organisational and political. New ways of running society and viewing the world will have emerged. We see several things as vital for us to have achieved for the new world to succeed.
Learning about uprisings and revolutions of the past so that mistakes are not repeated. Finding out how the State and capitalism operated and looking at how different forms of organising can ensure revolutionary gains are not lost.
Finding out about not only different societies but also examining different attitudes and cultures and how irrational divisions are implanted in our minds to divide us such as racism and sexism.
To enjoy the control over our own lives and the shared collective power to alter our futures and make the physical world a better place to live. This will mean breaking with our conditioned reliance on officials and bosses and 'experts' making decisions for us. This maybe hard at first, but history shows we quickly develop a passion for it!
Instead of being forced to work in competition against each other, locally and internationally, for the benefit of the bosses. Our actions in the community and at work will not be viewed through the blinkered eyes of capitalism in terms of how much money or muscle we have, but in terms of our input into society for the benefit of all including ourselves. Instead selfishness, competition and bigotry will be replaced by awareness, understanding and an attitude best described by the saying "All for one, and one for all".
So what happens when some individuals or groups put in nothing and take out as much as they can in terms of acquiring goods and gaining power, or engage in anti-social behaviour? They will have broken the bond of solidarity that ties them to the rest of us and will have taken the first steps to re-building the old world. We are all aware of the dangers of this happening. As we have already indicated the strengths of the political ideas and organisational structures will have been built up before and during a revolution and will be the foundation of the success of the new world. But solidarity will need to be argued for before, during and after the revolution.
The Defence of the Revolution
The leftovers of the old world will not be ignored. Those following cruel and bigoted religions, fascists or Leninist-type ideologies will not be ignored. They can run but they won't be able to hide from us! Too many uprisings have been crushed or subverted by such ideas. We've no intention of letting this happen again. The best defence against such a threat is to place power and knowledge in the hands of so many that these new bosses are starved of the ignorant followers they need to take them to power. In a very real sense we see ourselves as finishing the job our class started in Russia during the February uprising of 1917, that was interrupted by the Bolshevik party, with the loss of many fine people.
There will of course be workers' militias in existence to defend the revolution if there is a continuing civil war. If parts of the planet are still occupied by the capitalists we can expect them to attack us with the aid of any remaining nation-states. The need for a world wide revolution cannot, we believe, be overstated. Revolution in one country or region will not be enough, except as a temporary situation. To survive we will have to wipe capitalism and the State off the face of the Earth or it will destroy us. The courage of those who have gone before us, and of those who are currently fighting at 'home' and 'abroad' are an inspiration to us all. We intend to use all our wit, humour and strength in this fight.
We believe the benefits, either real or potential, that the new world presents to our class are so great that movement towards it, with help from organisations such as ours, will sooner or later become unstoppable.
Despite this and the revolutionary vision that is alive and kicking in so many peoples hearts we often hear that the revolution will be spoilt by 'others'. This idea that there are loads of people who wouldn't accept a good thing when they saw it, we don't agree with. As we have shown we expect people to change as the false society of capitalism and the State is dismantled and destroyed. We have given some pointers to the basic changes that we can expect to see and how, if you care to look, you can see the outlines of the new world in the struggles of the past and the present. In this chapter we've not tried to answer a series of detailed questions. We don't have a set of smart answers as to how exactly the new world will operate nor do we want to. Unlike the ruling class, and those who aspire to be on the Left, we do not underestimate the imagination, ingenuity, common sense, humour and courage of our class.
To sum up the basics of the new world again: we will abolish artificial divisions, class and money. We will encourage knowledge, understanding, self-management and solidarity. By doing so our class will provide the means of making a world human community.
Greedy rich money men, politicians, paid thugs, lies, bigotry, economic slavery and mental and physical violence is what the old world is all about. The new world will see the divisions of the old world fully destroyed during and after a revolution. There will be no division between work and leisure. Our daily lives will become filled with interest, pleasure and challenges, in stark contrast to the lives that many of us lead today. We see no transitional worker's State this time around as the Left does, we have learnt the lessons of history. Freedom, solidarity, equality, justice and security will not be empty slogans but the day-to-day reality. We will realise a society based around,
"From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs".
THIS WORLD IS OURS FOR THE TAKING. THE NEW WORLD IS OURS FOR THE MAKING.