May Day – An informational pamphlet about socialism

May Day - An informational pamphlet about socialism

May Day

An informational pamphlet about socialism

An analysis of property

Property is one of the vital concepts that underpins our society. Private property, ownership of land and things used to create economic value (not property for personal use), is a core part of capitalism. Private property allows owners to deny others food that is produced on land and products produced in factories unless consumers pay a price, by virtue of the fact that they own it exclusively.

In simple circumstances, this might seem justified. I own the factory, and therefore I own what is produced in it. However, consider that if I do not personally produce the products, or if I have inherited it, I have done nothing to deserve the money from it. Surely, a better system would allow those who work the property to benefit from it?

Private property allows property owners to control us. We are forced to work for people on their terms — they decide what we do, they decide how we do it, and they even decide when you can go on holiday or, worse, visit a sick loved one. This control stems from the hostage situation of property — they own it, and therefore we, the have-nots, are at their whim, as they can deny it to us whenever they so choose. If you do not work for them, you will starve.

A better society

All humans are born equal. We are told this from our birth, yet our society does not reflect this. Property, as we have seen, creates massive and systemic wealth inequality. But, without it, how would society function? Who would control what?

Rather than having a few individuals selfishly controlling property, the economy, and society, we would govern based on consent and consensus, rather than the dictatorship of those who own property. Property would be owned by none and all: property would be governed by those whom it affects. For instance, the community controls the land, and the workers control the factories and workplaces.

This is not to say that consumers are not considered in decision-making about production; on the contrary, everyone affected is consulted and a general consensus of what to do is reached. This is a society in which all will receive all that they need, regardless of their ownership of property. It is a society based on compassion. Property divides us, and with it we cannot view each other with compassion – recognising one other as people without trying to control or have power over one another.

Making a change

How do we change our society for the better? It is evident that we must resist the current regime, but how do we do so?

Lifestylism, the liberal idea that an individual can make a change in the system, is deeply flawed. Lifestylism has no historical basis — it was groups such as COSATU and the ANC that brought about the fall of Apartheid, not individuals who decided not to be racist. Likewise, it will be organisations and direct action that will stop climate change and extinguish the power of Capital.

Do not be misled — buying FairTrade[1] coffee will not change anything. Companies have always exploited workers, and they always will. This is the logic of Capital: profit over people, profit over all.

1. Educate yourself. Resist Capital. Be aware of the evils of hierarchy and capitalism, and learn about various leftist ideologies.

2. Direct action: help with environmental cleanups and protests. Show your support. We must organise, for together we are strong.

3. Do not be apolitical. Politics is pervasive, everything is political, and the choice to remain apolitical is usually just an endorsement of the status quo. The personal is political.

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