Reports of the shopping frenzy on so-called ‘Black Friday’ lays bare the raw nature of caitalism and how it distorts human nature. In Sheffield, there were people becoming violent as the prospect of grabbing a cheap Tv or I-Pad made them drop all pretensions of decent behaviour. As a socialist, I become more and more disgusted by this digraceful system and I am not on my own if you look at all the anti-capitalist groups that have formed in recent years. The truth is capitalism is indefensible yet we still hear the Conservatives speak up for it. They have said that capitalism alone harnesses the reality of human nature in our continual striving for progress and our competitive instincts to do our best. No doubt people do want to do their best, but what has this got to do with competition? Competition in fact prevents many people from doing their best. Capitalist firms compete to make profits by trying to keep their costs below the average for their sector - the lower their costs compare with their rivals the more sales and profits they can expect to make. It’s a race to the bottom with pressures to get a job done more quickly taking precedence over doing it properly.
I would maintain that socialism alone is capable of ensuring a genuine democracy. The means of production is the common heritage of all, so everyone will be able to participate on an equal basis. Nobody would have a privileged say in how the means of production are used and nobody would have a privileged share of what is produced. Under democratic control the means of production can be used to satisfy people’s needs not to make a profit for the few and as people begin to live in a truly democratic fashion the mad scenes we saw in this country and abroad in the Black Friday will be firmly consigned to the past.
Acre Gate, High Green, S35