please read Thoughts on Communism part 1 before continuing
The jobs in this new “post capitalist” society would be more secure, because instead of company decisions being made by a small few, who only consider the bottom line and profits, the decisions would instead be made by the workers, and their job security would result from making good business choices for everyone and the whole company.
Industry would truly be built around demand. Instead of, for example, car companies buying influence in government, hiding information about their industry’s impact on the environment, or falsifying emissions tests to get around the rules, there would be no incentive to block progress for sake of profits. We as consumers would demand better technology, and since that is what the market demands that is where the industry will look for new products to make and sell. If the concern is just making products people want and need, and not profit, then you have industry taking the lead from consumers and not the other way around.
Would the workers at any given company democratically elect to poison the water supply of their town with pollution from their factory? Or would they elect to spend whatever was necessary to make sure their water was healthy to drink? In the current system, if the 10-15 , or less, people running this example company decides that it will save the company money to pollute the town’s water supply what do you think happens much too often? How do we allow to this to happen to us? How do we allow companies to do whatever they want to us and the environment in search of profits?
How do we fix it? How do we have worker owned businesses and democratic work places? How would we make sure everyone had their basic needs met? What will be the role of government in this post capitalist world?
To answer those questions we now need to define socialism and communism.
Most people, in America, think socialism is just a less strict version of communism. With Communism being defined as the government taking over everything and all means of production, no one owns anything, we are told where to go to work, told what to do, and in exchange we have access to all the things we need to survive. The idea is that this leads to dictatorships like what we saw in the mid-twentieth century.
All of that is incorrect. Socialism and Communism are two ways to implement system change. Both are a result of the teachings of Marx and others. Both ideas begin with the accepted notion that the problems that plague capitalism cannot be reformed within the current system. Both ideas accept that we must transition to a new system to realize the goals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. So each idea is arguing how we should initiate that transition. Socialism says we can do it through government. That we can take over from the inside. Socialists believe if they can form political parties and make the case for socialism to the masses people will see it’s the right way to go and democratically make the changes we need to get to a more equitable system. Communists argue it won’t work that way and we need to seize the power of the state by force and implement these changes by the sheer force of the movement we create. Exactly like the Bolsheviks did.
We have to be very clear here. This action of taking control of the state is not the only goal of Communism. That is merely the means to the end. The goals of Communism are achieved by what comes next. It does not mean the state owns the means of production forever. Instead, once the power of the state seizes the companies from the owning elite, as soon as possible each company and industry would be returned to the workers, and they would get to divide the profits of their labor equitably among themselves. True democracy in the work place would be instituted, and the state would be no more in control of day to day operations than it is now. If the company is no longer profitable for the workers they can decide to make changes and go in new directions. They do not have to be risk adverse, because their basic needs are guaranteed to be met, and serving society whatever society needs is their only true goal. Not profits.
Education would take on a new focus, because people are not being educated to become mindless workers, but instead educated to make informed and critical decisions in the workplace and in their lives. Our society would be built around the need for each worker to have a good education. The stakes of poor education are much higher in a democratic society, and the education of our peers is something each of us would have a stake in.
If more people now have the means to travel more often, this does not mean the quality of the methods we use to get around has to suffer. It does not necessarily mean more and longer lines at airport or no hotel rooms in the city you want to visit. This also does not mean we should maintain a system where some get to travel and enjoy the planet and others do not. Instead if everyone can travel more the focus would be on making travel as efficient as possible. New innovations in mass transit and city planning would help us to make things that were once a luxury for the well to do a quality and luxurious experience for everyone.
Rule of law is not abandoned. In fact, it is strengthened, because no one is powerless due to lack of resources or money. The law would be equally applied and no one would be above it. There would be no need for classes of people to discriminate against to be begin with. Many crimes would cease to occur because the economic need to commit crime would be essentially eradicated.
Continued in part 3