That Potential Abundance

That Potential Abundance
***
reprinted from The Western Socialist
issue No. 2 - 1973

That Potential Abundance

Have you had enough of this so-called capitalist prosperity that keeps you grinding away in a life of wage-slavery?

Have you been filled to the eyebrows with the left wing magicians who plead for the opportunity to make this wages system operate better, becasue you are fed up with wage-slavery itself, and refuse to buy state wage-slavery as a way out?

Are you sick and tired of following and cheering this great leader or that great leader, in the belief that leaders of one sort or another know how to extricate you from a life of poverty and insecurity?

Are you at long last aware of the tremendous potential of industry and knowledge in these times that can lift all of mankind from a world economy that sets worker against worker in the competition of so-called peace and the more brutal competition and bloodshed of international war?

Do you know that the possibility exists, today, of producing so much of the goods and services that mankind needs in order to live a decent life that the world could be flooded with such things?

Perhaps you have been aware of the brutalities of the system for a long time. Perhaps you may even have tried to beat it, or thought it might be beaten, by banding together with others and living in some type of commune, in the belief that poverty in common is preferable to poverty on your own. And perhaps you have arrived at the conclusion that fighting poverty with poverty is not the answer. You still yearn for a chance to enjoy what is termed an adequate standard of living, and despite the potential abundance you are still far from becoming part of it. So you are about ready to throw in the sponge.

Well, there is a way out - World Socialism. Perhaps you have even heard of it and even noticed that it is not presented in the manner of the left wing magicians who also label their plans socialism. And, yet, you haven't given it much thought. We would appreciate your hearing us out because we are confident that you will turn to world socialism once you have the picture straight.

The capitalist system has been, in the sense of a stage in man's history, a useful social system. It has opened the way to the future, and all it takes is enough of the working class to see this opening. Capitalism has created a gigantic system of socialized production that could end poverty, insecurity and warfare forever, given one factor: Capitalism itself must be abolished throughout the world and a system of world socialism established.

The reason that the potential abundance of modern industry cannot be realized is the profit motive of production. Think of what would happen today if the restraints were removed and the plants of capitalism operated to their full capacity with modern systems of computerization and automation. The markets would be glutted overnight. Why? Because production, under capitalism, must be grared to the possibility of profit, and the glaring contradiction is that, with private and state ownership of the factories and workshops, the vast sea of humanity that works for wages cannot buy back more than a small precentage of what is produced. The capitalist class and state capitalist bureaucrats, on the other hand, cannot begin to use up the huge surpluses, and so production, from time to time, must slow down, and millions of workers must be removed from the chance to make a living other than through some sort of dole or unemployment insurance.

But that is how things work under capitalism. They could not work that way in a socialist world because production will not be carried on for sale on a market, but simply for use, for the use of all mankind. The problem, of course, is that capitalism vests ownership in the industries in a minority of the population. The vast majority own nothing much more than their abilities to produce, and these they must sell for wages or salaries. That is why capitalism must be abolished before a system of world socialism becomes possible. You can help to bring about such a system. But not by supporting parties that advocate anything short of this goal. We urge you to join us in organizing for a socialist world.

-- Editorial Committee