Friday, November 10, 2006

Review: Social Equality (I)

Facts, Myths and Observations of the social equality movement, through Ernest Mandel’s “From Class Society to Communism” and others.

A quick glance at the current world affairs and its history over the past two decades proves that the dilemma facing humanity is more evident and more inevitable than ever: socialism or barbarism.

First, two main points:

-The temporary collapse of the superpower nation and other states built on the social equality principles does not imply the failure of the ideology. Neither do the mistakes made along the way mean the impossibility of application or the inability of the approach to achieve satisfaction. Every life-arranging social system (even the ones that are (allegedly) divine) is an eternal process of trial and error, leading to victories and defeats, highs and lows. For example: The terminal collapse and failure of the Islamic State (The Arabs sole pride and contribution to humanity) and the severe deviation from the main Islam principles in the post- Mohammad (post-Omar) era (as indicated by civil wars, massacres, corruption, immorality, inequality, power struggles,…) do not mean that the Islamic ideology is intrinsically incapable of being the base for a modern progressive state based on equality, peace and respect of the other. Even the capitalist imperialist ideology that appears to be the most dominant and successful in this era went through its share of peaks and near-collapses, and is eventually destined to fail. As humanity continues to experience the tragic results of the social systems based on exploitation and injustice, the “alive populations” will definitely choose (or revert to) the ones promising to achieve social equality.

-The social equality movement and its associated theories are not necessarily against spirituality. It is not set to fight “religion” as much as it rallies against the religious institute that “teaches the exploited to accept their fate”. Human beings awareness of “death” instantly pushes them towards a spiritual connection with an unseen force. This connection should not be allowed to get abused by a privileged, non-productive (sometimes illiterate) class of intermediates who view themselves superior to the masses and are closely allied with the exploiting and governing class.
Lenin in this famous “Religion is the opium of the people” piece states that: “Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters -just as inevitably- gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward.”. This is the perfect explanation to the passive approach of the Arab masses and the recent ever-escalating religious “awakening!” phenomenon among the Arab youth. Lenin also adds: “Religion must be declared a private affair”. “Everyone must be absolutely free to profess any religion he pleases, or no religion whatever, i.e., to be an atheist, which every socialist is, as a rule”. Notice how even though he prefers atheism to be the religion of socialists, he still acknowledged the freedom of religion as long as it does not interfere with the government (i.e. the struggle towards equality). Adopting from President Nasser: “Religion is for God and (Equality) is for all”.

One cannot neglect the role of the regressive agent regimes in promoting the misconceptions regarding the atheist nature of the social equality movements. Instructed by their American imperialist masters, these regimes (Jordan as an example) capitalized on the conservative nature of the Arab societies and exploited the socialist denouncement of religious exploitation. (The regressive propaganda went as far as questioning the Morality of the social equality movement, ignoring that the “leftist” ideology offers a superior version of moral standards, based on respect and appreciation of the fellow human, compared to the religious “juvenile” system of reward and punishment). The regimes created and nurtured an imperialism-funded religious-based political stream and exchanged unlimited support with it against progressive reform movements that was strongly suppressed and persecuted. This also helped create a split among the exploited masses which only benefited the local agents and their imperialist masters on the short and long terms.

(Notice that despite the recently surfacing “differences” between the oppressive regimes and these Islam-based political movements, the regimes continue to prefer them over any other genuine “people-based” social equality and reform movements. The historically passive Islamic movements lack a true destination and has moved from the unconditional support to the regime to a grey area, (As Nahid Hattar recently asked here: What is political Islam relation to the government? (And more importantly to the regime)). Political Islam ability to marginalize a large sector of the population (especially the youth), the ability to control “action-vital” positions in the workers unions and student council under the simple programs of: “I pray, you pray, hence I am your best candidate”, and the ability to employ all that into guiding the masses in the wrong direction and towards fighting the wrong battles are the best guarantees that the regime will never face a true opposition).

A few more facts and fictions:

-Fact: Socialism is a need and not a choice
. Inequality of wealth is not only an economic fact; it is a matter of life and death. A quick look at infant mortalities, malnutrition, war casualties, literary rates and the availability of the basic needs of food, clothes and shelter shows the unfair distribution of numbers between the rich and the poor.

-Myth: Everybody have a chance to be an owner of capital in the capitalist society. This is against the basic definition of the capitalist society. The capitalist society is built on constantly reproducing the same two classes: wage earners who can never become the owners of the means of production through their earnings and the owners of those means of production who expand this ownership through reinvestment. It is true that some technicians become company directors, but that usually needs a university education (impossible for workers under a certain poverty level), and even these positions represent another exclusive institution that is closed for the workers. In the USA, 90% of the top managers of important companies come from the top social classes. (Percentages would be expected to be even higher in a third world country where “connections” and nepotism plays even a bigger role). Immoral and unlawful acquisition of capital becomes a viable option especially in under-developed countries with loose application of law.

-Fact: The aim of socialism is a society founded on abundance not poverty. All producers liberate themselves from constant punishing labor, granting sufficient leisure time to the whole community so they can collectively fulfill the tasks of economic, social and political life. There will not be the need for excessive hours of labor that will be appropriated by the capitalist who is accumulating fortune for the sole purpose of accumulating fortune. There is no need for unlimited production growth, but a need for an enough social surplus product, generated from an advanced economy and distributed among all.

-Myth: Social inequality is rooted in the inequality of individual talents or capacities and the class division in society is the product of (inborn selfishness) and egoism. This generally accepted view has no scientific basis. The exploitation of one social class by the other is the product of the evolution of society and not human nature. It has not always existed and it will not survive. There have not always been rich and poor and there will not always be. Humanity has always showed its nostalgia for the community life, and that is proven through the numerous historical revolts against inequality.

-Fact: The members of the exploited class are brought to accept the appropriation of the social surplus by a minority as inevitable, permanent and just. Social equality movements try to convince the workers otherwise, despite the constraints that try to stabilize the class rule. Laws, family and religion try to enforce the surrender to this “fate”, in order to consolidate the domination of one class over the other.

-Myth: “The disorder provoked by the struggle against injustice would be worse than injustice itself (Goethe against the French Revolution). Stability and security are necessary for the capitalist economy to function as normal. The collective interest of the capitalist class is what dictates the capitalist state’s behavior. The false sense of security (strictly enjoyed by the rich) also helps convince the exploited to surrender to the established order.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fact: Socialism goes against human nature, which is why it has failed miserably everywhere its been practised (and it always will fail).

Fact: The very definition of insanity is to cling to those things that have been proven to be false, over, and over, and over, again.

Abu Shreek said...

Anonymous
Please stay tuned for the second part, and you may find an answer to your superficial statements (which could have reached the debatable-fact status if only there were a brief argument backing them up, especially the part about “human nature!!”).
You seem to have ignored the first main point (answering to the "failure" and "false" accusation). Notice that this is an mere suggestion of an alternative view/solution outside of the current “Dog eat dog” world, and outside the boxes set for "limited" people who are willing to take the jungle mentality as the norm.

Dundun said...

I think both Anonymous and abu shreek are both right in a way.

You can't just simply tell people that we are now socialist and we will share wealth and resources. I feel it’s unfair to treat people the same if there skills are clearly different or some are more productive than others.

Maybe a way this might work is by raising taxes based on income.

For example: Here in Canada there is a free health system for all that treats everybody equally, primary and secondary schools are free (but not Universities/colleges, here you have to take a government loan that you can pay over a long period of time or work to study).
Everybody is highly taxed here.

I am not saying Canada is perfect but I am saying it is semi socialist in certain areas, socialism works but not in the way it was first designed to depend on the argument that humans are compassionate and it’s in them to share and give. You have to structure it to appeal to the capitalists at heart by subsidizing things to give the poorer people an equal opportunity.

Socialism does not go against human nature, but against the cultural beliefs that have been ingrained in us since the agricultural revolution, when nomadic tribes settled down to cultivate crops, and a surplus of wealth developed that allowed a ruling class to arise for the first time in history.

So I believe it can work but you cannot suppress people from the desire to make lots of money. Maybe let them make it but force them to give back in a different way, like saying any company with a certain income has to put a certain percentage of it’s wealth in social programs and stuff like that.

Listen, I am not an expert at all in this but I wanted to voice an opinion J .

Dundun said...

I saw this on http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/jun2001/corr-j22.shtml

I think it is very relevant to what is being discussed here .

I quote:

“Today, the new forms of technology are incompatible with the private appropriation of wealth. Science requires the free exchange of information and knowledge. But capital seeks to subject it to copyright and patents—even the knowledge of the genetic structure of mankind itself.

The rise of new forms of communication based on the Internet depends on the sharing of information for the mutual benefit of all. Music and entertainment resources available on the Web benefit the individual the more they are shared. Computer software programs are improved and developed to the extent they can be shared and adapted. Capital, however, attempts to block such processes, not because of some innate property of human nature, but because its acquisition of profit depends on property rights.

In the socialist society of the future in which the productive resources are owned in common and democratically controlled, knowledge will be shared because in this way the wealth of all can be increased. And the conceptions of property right which appear so “natural” today will be regarded as completely anachronistic."

End of quote

It's like wikkipedia, what an amazing website that works on the fundamentals of socialism we need more pioneers like that

Ahmed Ashraf said...

رئيسية الموقع :
مصر اليوم
اخر مواضيع منتديات مصر اليوم :
ترددات قنوات النايل سات الجديدة
اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012 بالصور

اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012

مشاركة ارباح ادسنس

اهلا بكم , اضع لكم موقعى لتتطلعوا عليه

منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عامة تهتم بالكثير من الاشياء المصرية . منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عربية عموما مصرية خصوصا و هى منتديات عامة تهتم بكل ما يهتم به الشباب المصرى من الحوار او النقاش او اخر الاخبار او جديد الصور و الاغانى و الالبومات و الكليبات و الافلام و النكت و الفيديوهات و الموبايلات و تحتوى على اقسام مميزة مثل قسم اللغة الانجليزية و قسم اصحاب المواقع و المنتديات و قسم البرامج و القسم الاسلامى و قسم المرأة و قسم الرومانسية و الرياضة المصرية و الكثير ....
شاهد اقسام المنتدى :
اخبار مصر صور نكت مصرية اغانى قنوات و ترددات اخبار الرياضة المصرية مشاهدة مباريات بث مباشر اسعار السيارات