"We, the People" must bring Change

Grant PetersonStarred Page By Grant Peterson, 6th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/227p01ph/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

You are right to ask the question about how to change society, and ultimately it is us, the common people of this planet, that must bring about change, sweeping away the old and bankrupt capitalist system and replacing it with a system that is truly democratic and this is the challenge humanity faces at this time.

Part 8 - Capitalist World Recession

This series has been discussing the capitalist system and the need for change in society, it specifically has discussed the role of democracy in the world today and looked at the types of states that exist. If you have not read any of the preceding articles then it is best you start at the beginning of this series, in order to gain a full appreciation of the challenges which we face in the modern era.

The next logical step is to discuss how to achieve change, which has become a more urgent necessity the deeper world capitalism goes into recession. This discussion will be carried out over two articles due to the weight of material that must be covered.

Boom and Bust Cycle

One of the things the capitalist system has never gained anything but limited control over is the boom and bust cycle that society goes through periodically. During much of era after the second world war (which coincidentally ended the last great recession) the economy was moving forwards (albeit despite minor reversals) but today the world economy is clearly declining (and even in a recession there can be minor reversals where the economy seems to be advancing again). Ultimately though this advance followed by a return to recession conditions is a constant pattern of capitalist society, economists have attempted to predict the patterns yet the collapse associated with major banking failures in 2008 came as a shock to capitalist economists, yet truth was a reversal had been imminent at that time and right now it is clear to see that recession lasting for a significant period, possible continuing for the next quarter century.

Truth is this reversal of fortune has gone as far as turning former CEOs into paupers and threatens to remove all the financial and technological advantages we have gained over the last half a century. The key is organizing in order to bring about lasting change in society, a change that can truly emancipate humanity for the first time in history.

A Revolutionary Leap

The challenge faced now is not a sudden collapse of capitalism because it has for years, like the legendary phoenix been able to resurrect itself from its own smoldering ashes. Organizing to bring an end to capitalism does not start and end with a single battle on a single front it will become a series of battles on all fronts and let's be clear bringing an end to capitalism does not mean bringing an end to human inventiveness or entrepreneurial spirit because these ideas can bring about positive change, and for the people to succeed requires total democracy and it is this struggle for democracy that may have to be revolutionary in nature because unlike the shadows of democracy we have in parts of the world today the change we must bring should consider the rights of the individual or specific groups as well as that of the majority, it is about self determination and the right to choice in all aspects of your life.

If we look at the political choices today other than supporting capitalism as the conservative block so social democracy or liberalism seek merely to bend the existing system and either make it more liberal, more egalitarian or adapt market forces for the good of the people sadly neither approach replaces what is fundamentally a corrupt and bankrupt system and these ideals are sadly utopian in nature are are unlikely to succeed and internationally we are all suffering from the same recession.

Ultimately the struggle for real change and real democracy is international in nature and if you doubt this fact remember this the capitalist class runs corporations that are global in nature and the only effective way to bring their power to an end is to organize on a worldwide scale. Buy local campaigns, for example, should have no relevance because all purchases of products were created by people like us and the act of purchasing is also international in nature. People have never before been so internationally connected as they are today, most of us have friends and relatives overseas, either countrymen that have emigrated or international family members, in addition it is possible to add to that list connections made through social media channels and it is easy to conclude that the challenges people face worldwide are broadly the same, so it is clear that a coordinated fightback is required in order to change society in a way that allows humanity to finally start on the path to civilization. The task at hand is to overthrow a corrupt and bankrupt capitalist regime in order to replace it with true democracy.

The Truth about Democracy?

More than 150 years ago Karl Marx described both socialist and communist society, by rights this series of articles should not have to rediscover such old ground, yet both these terms have become distorted during the course of events in the twentieth century. The question is driven by humanity's need to go beyond the greed and selfishness of capitalism, because in truth people are not inherently greedy or profit driven, indeed most have an innate desire to help their fellow man indeed even in the United States most people rely on social connectivity more than being driven to make extra money neighbors helping neighbors resolve real problems is something I have witnessed more in the US than almost anywhere in Europe. In truth that country also suffers too much of the greed, hate and selfishness that seems to drive the world today yet the sense of community is perhaps stronger than in many other parts of the world.

Moving forwards to the next phase of human development DEMANDS the replacement of the capitalist system as the prevailing way of life with a system that builds for the common good of all, a system which also has little to do with the Russian experiment or indeed Chinese state capitalism. The next step for mankind is about freedom of choice for all not a great divide between the rich and the poor where the rich can have anything they desire any time they want, leaving the poor rely on scraps. Bridging that divide will only be possible by taking a revolutionary leap. Most people are already a part of a social network so they are aware of the advantages of working with other like minded people and it is that thinking that will drive the next stage of human development, it is this type of thinking that needs to control how society is run and as we have witnessed in the uprisings in the Islamic world the desire for change is clear, however leadership and a knowledge of which direction to move in is lacking. Truth is people are better equipped than ever before to contribute to the management of society overall, ask anyone and they will have ideas about ways to do almost anything better and frequently the majority in a neighborhood will agree about the changes necessary, it is the willingness of the relevant authority to act that stands in the path of change, this is about social responsibility, or more often lack thereof.

An Essential Leap

The original concept of Socialism related acting out of social necessity, and that describes the changes need to be brought about. This will allow greater control of how we manage things on a daily basis and this is about changing the way society operates in order that it functions according to the will of the people, and the concept of such a way of life is not revolutionary, it is essential. This not only controls how we should do things at a local level, but can also be leveraged for good at a regional, national and international level as well.

Something we can all agree on is that not everything happens overnight and sometimes it is necessary to plan change, especially when this is needed at a societal level, plans take time to develop and take time to execute, and I do not say this as an excuse to avoid change (which often seems to be the case in capitalist society) but because the changes needed must be successful, yet also all of the people, need to control how society develops and that requires planning. This planning will look at people's needs and consider how such changes can be achieved in a specific time frame and such plans must be managed by the people for the people and not bent to suit the needs of profit.

Part of the reason for social control is that not everything is about money, indeed we have reached the point in human development where we should question the necessity of money because money (in the form of strict budgetary control) is all too frequently used reason not to make essential changes, yet capitalism relies on money generation to drive profit. To remove the power from the capitalist corporations it will be necessary to bring the major corporations that control eighty percent of the world's economy under social control, indeed many of the products they manufacture are essential to human survival yet corporations act irresponsibly because of their need to make a profit, many times this leads to a very short term vision that ensures they fail to see the longer term needs of the population.

Hearts and minds

Everything here points to the need to change society to one that considers social needs ahead of greed and profit, in other words to a socialist society, but that will not just happen it must come about as a result of the struggle for the hearts and minds of humanity, which will be the focus of the next article.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
11th Apr 2014 (#)

Great article Grant. No question capitalism must be dismantled.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
11th Apr 2014 (#)

yes indeed Grant...a great article...thank you...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
12th Apr 2014 (#)

Thought provoking Grant. Few manage to manipulate the system to their advantage whoever is in power. They can be arms merchants, the purveyors of destruction, who should be history. Nine are exploited by the one even now - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
12th Apr 2014 (#)

So how is that leap made?

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author avatar Grant Peterson
12th Apr 2014 (#)

Phyl - since your earlier question I had anticipated that you would be asking this question again at this point and it is a valid question perhaps the most important question raised in any comment, the next article covers exactly this subject which is primarily about organization and leadership.

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author avatar Ptrikha
14th Apr 2014 (#)

What we need is a new system: "Humanism" centred around whole communities and not on absolute Government control or around a few manipulative individuals.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
14th Apr 2014 (#)

Actually I will go further into this in the next two articles. I am not sure what you mean by "Humanism" but the key essence for the future is social control of firstly the means of production and secondly the running of society.

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author avatar Ptrikha
15th Apr 2014 (#)

I mean social control only, but with less involvement of Government and of officialdom.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
15th Apr 2014 (#)

One of the worst aspects of government is bureaucracy which is responsible for derailing more good ideas than anything, so when I talk about social control I do so in respect of all people being actively involved in the running of society, not being encouraged to sit on the sidelines as happens today.

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author avatar Ptrikha
23rd Apr 2014 (#)

Yet safeguards must be made so that a few "more clever" ones do not start manipulating and controlling others.

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author avatar Grant Peterson
23rd Apr 2014 (#)

If ordinary everyday people are in control then there will be no place for corruption.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
16th Apr 2014 (#)

You really mean to take control of our governments and elections of just two parties and not several were we can see a true leader, nicely written my friend

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author avatar Retired
3rd Jun 2014 (#)

We really do need some type of change. Mankind does not seem to be ruling himself very well.

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