Such a world will be organised according to the original motto of Karl Marx “from each according to their ability; to each according to their need.” This has nothing to do with the nightmare of state capitalism that emerged in the USSR.
Workers can run things differently. They carry the seeds of a new society within them every time they decide on collective action. In real independent struggles we organise from the bottom. Mass meetings elect strike committees to coordinate the strike and link up with others in the same boat. The committee is responsible to the mass meeting and can be immediately recalled by it. Committee members can be replaced if necessary. Compare this to capitalism’s offer of a vote every 5 or so years for one or other party backed by the millions of capitalist money.
Our system will be based on delegates from local level going to regional level and electing delegates to go to higher bodies beyond that. These are not like MPs who are “representatives”. In fact MPs don’t even represent the voters who elect them but only themselves or their parties. And they cannot be removed for years. A delegate system is entirely different. At every level the delegates can be quickly recalled if they fail to carry out their mandates.
Production to Meet Human Needs
This would be more “democratic” than the current set up. But that is only half the story. You cannot have political “democracy” without corresponding control of the means to live. Beyond a new grassroots-based political structure we have also got to get rid of the system of producing things to be sold at a profit and replace it with production to directly meet individual and community needs. At the same time money will become redundant and a new system of accounting will have to be introduced based on the allocation of labour and resources and collectively agreed priorities. This does not mean the abolition of work, but it does mean sharing it out evenly so that we would have meaningful work for all, without drudgery and wage slavery.
Such a world will be organised according to the original motto of Karl Marx “from each according to their ability; to each according to their need.” This has nothing to do with the nightmare of state capitalism that emerged in the USSR. That model was copied – most notably in China – and directed by parties which stole and totally misrepresented the title ‘Communist’. These monstrous distortions have no part to play in any movement aimed at reaching Marx’s vision of communism – a world without classes, nations and states: a global human community.
Some will argue that “human nature” will prevent us arriving at such a society. This forgets that human nature is not a static factor. It is shaped by the kind of society you live in. We have had 300 years of capitalist competition, war and greed but it can be shaken off. Revolutions have always altered people’s perceptions. They allow them to “get rid of the muck of ages” (Karl Marx). The next one will be no different.
This short piece was the final part of the CWO's agitational bulletin Aurora 44 and should be read In conjunction with the rest of the contents which are already on our website. These are:
The full PDF can be found on our site.