What will socialism be like? That is the question posed by the Socialist Workers Party (sic) and answered by them in this amazing article that I heartily recommend for anyone curious about what kind of world these people fantasise about.
According to the author Jonathan Neale, who remarkably is 54-years-old the SWP’s vision of a new world involves weekly meetings in football stadiums in every city to “make decisions about what to do with the economy”.
Each workplace would also have weekly mass meetings: “In our new world we could make decisions based on what we need, not on profit. There would be endless debates in those meetings”.
How can we not be tempted by the prospect of endless debates?
Anyone who has ever sat in a meeting listening to speeches being heckled by SWP members or even worse had to actually listen to speeches by SWP members has asked themselves when it is going to end?
Now we know why – they are working towards their goal. All those hours flogging papers in front of shopping centres, all that time spent transforming the normal mode of speech of the Seven Oaks middle class into a mockney accent is in the service of achieving a society where there will be endless debate!
The great thing about a world of non-ending discussion is that there will be no time of course to actually do any work.
Reading Neale’s, ahem, ‘critique’ of capitalism it becomes pretty clear that what he dislikes about it is not so much inequality, environmental damage or the explotation of the developing world but the fact that he has to work.
“We spend the majority of our lives getting ready for work, going there, working, coming home, and then slumping to recover ourselves,” says Jonathan who appears not to enjoy a great working relationship with the collegues he will have endless discussions with in the glorious SWP new world.
“From the moment you clock on to the moment you leave, you do what you’re told. “If you don’t like it, Jonathan,” they say, “you can go.”
But what makes the SWP future even more irresistable is the fact that it will help Jonathan to quit smoking and lose weight.
“We have all grown up under capitalism. We carry the scars of much suffering, of grief, of being made to feel small. I smoke. I’m overweight,” he says.
So there it is – the road to the new Jerusalem – Neither Marlboro Lights nor Hamburgers But Endless Debate!