Never before has the time and circumstance been so ripe for revolution. A profit crazed capitalism owned by an insane ruling class with an insatiable appetite for material wealth and power, has finally brought our human race to the brink of extinction. Whatever threat one considers, be it the increasing exploitation and impoverishment of the working class, be it the increasing level of geopolitical tension between nuclear armed state powers, be it the destructive impact of climate change, be it the disruption of artificial intelligence or the increasing threat of pandemics such as Covid19, the social circumstances of the vast majority of the human race is now rotten to the core and ripe for world socialist revolution.
Anticipation of and preparation for this period of world socialist revolution has been in the making for many decades, with the likes of Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky laying the foundations of scientific analysis and political leadership for such a revolution. Leon Trotsky in particular is nowadays again being valued by a growing number of the international working class as a revolutionary mentor and leader, his comparison cum political lesson of the 1871 Paris Commune with the October 1917 Russian revolution indicate why this is so.
‘It is only with the aid of the party, which rests upon the whole history of its past, which foresees theoretically the paths of development, all its stages, and which extracts from it the necessary formula of action, that the proletariat frees itself from the need of always recommencing its history: its hesitations, its lack of decision, its mistakes.. In the midst of great events, moreover, such decisions can be adopted only by a revolutionary party which looks forward to a revolution, prepares for it, does not lose its head, by a party which is accustomed to having a rounded view and is not afraid to act.. The entire working class, while preserving its cultural originality and its political nuances, can act methodically and firmly, without remaining in the tow of events, and directing each time its mortal blows against the weak sectors of its enemies, on the condition that at its head, above the wards, the districts, the groups, there is an apparatus which is centralized and bound together by an iron discipline.’
End of quote.
In 1938 Leon Trotsky launched the International Committee of the Fourth International the IFCI, a revolutionary program and party ‘bound together by an iron discipline’, with these words –
‘We are not a party like other parties.. Our aim is the full material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and exploited through the socialist revolution. Nobody will prepare it and nobody will guide it but ourselves.’
End of quote.
‘The socialist revolution’ Trotsky refers to is about a working class overthrow of the ruling class and the replacement of capitalism with socialism, this via the formation of federations of united socialist states throughout the entire planet. From an international socialist perspective, one of ‘the weak sectors of its enemies’ that Trotsky refers to is the insatiable appetite of an international ruling class for material wealth and power. It is this weakness that will be key to enabling the working class to overthrow the ruling class.
The international working class produces, operates, maintains and defends everything, including and especially the privately owned wealth and infrastructure of the ruling class. Without the working class, the ruling class has nothing. Without the ruling class, the working class and for that matter the whole human race will be a lot safer and a lot better off, possibly avoiding premature extinction and moving on to fulfil our human potential, at both the species and personal level. The withdrawal of its productive force, laying down the tools and weapons used to produce and defend the privately owned wealth of the ruling class, this is how the working class will overthrow the ruling class. Again we are guided by the words of Leon Trotsky
‘In the midst of great events, moreover, such decisions can be adopted only by a revolutionary party which looks forward to a revolution, prepares for it.. Those fighters of 1871 were not lacking in heroism. What they lacked was clarity in method and a centralized leading organization..’
End of quote.
Such preparation is now well and truly advancing under the guidance of the ICFI program and its international branches of the Socialist Equality Party the SEP, with affiliated democratic rank and file committees of workers, students and others forming and preparing for revolution. Such rank and file committees independent of a mostly corrupted union movement, will continue to spread throughout the entire planet until such time as a critical mass of the international working class is ready to down tools and weapons, leaving all but the most essential of services on hold pending the essential change of power.
For those of us who are serious about joining and preparing for the only political program and party of World Socialist Revolution the ICFI/SEP, all the necessary information is made available on a daily basis via the pages of the World Socialist Web Site – WSWS.org
How communist China’s Socialism with Chinese characteristics’ adapts to being the largest economy within a capitalist world is a pertinent question for any politically conscious participant in the International Committee of the Fourth International and Socialist Equality Party (ICFI/SEP) program and party of World Socialist Revolution.
As such I am an interested casual observer of what the communist party of China nowadays refer to as Socialism with Chinese characteristics, when describing their socio-economic form of governance and productivity. Given that China is most likely to become the worlds largest economy within the present decade of the 2020s, what will China do to address the subsequent growth of social inequality now taking place throughout its relatively large population? The fact that communist China decided to adapt to a globalising capitalism, presumably in order to develop its productive force is understandable, and it can be well argued that its relatively rapid economic and productive growth over several decades justifies China having made such a decision.
Among the many political lessons to be learned by students of International Socialism is how China’s experimental modern socialism deals with the inevitable growth in social inequality that comes with having adapted to capitalism. With China having reached the worlds second highest number of about 390 billionaires, it can be argued that they represent a Chinese capitalist class that is now emerging out of a relatively fast growing Chinese middle class. In Marxist terms, the emergence of a so called capitalist class in China is in effect the emergence of a Chinese ruling class. A Chinese ruling class will by any Marxist interpretation become more and more dependent on the exploitation of the Chinese working class in order to continue maximising profit and thereby further the accumulation of their privately owned wealth. However, unlike most capitalist states The People’s Republic of China the PRC, forms Socialism with Chinese characteristics by retaining a significant amount of state owned finance and industry, as a form of socialism this too has enabled China’s relatively fast growth of GDP.
The Chinese communist party may not be able to, or even want to, reduce the profit driven exploitation of its working class productive force. Be this as it may, the Chinese communist party is at least placing a lot more emphasis on meeting the social and cultural needs of its vast population than most so-called democratic states. How China controls an increasing emphasis on profit making and the accumulation of privately owned wealth, while improving its capacity to satisfy the social and cultural needs of more than 1.4 billion people must now surely be one of China’s greatest challenges.
It will be interesting to observe what the Chinese communist party will do about an increasing social inequality within its own state borders and how it manages the inevitable geopolitical antagonism that comes with it’s rise to becoming the worlds largest economy. In addition to a profit driven exploitation of working class labour – the productive force, capitalism also brings with it the need for individual nation states to compete against each other for limited resources in an effort to maximise their GDP. This is what the two world wars were fought over and this is why China must now spend an increasing amount of its GDP on building its military industrial complex and force.
China is already the worlds largest population, soon to reach the 1.5 billion mark, probably well within the present decade China will also become the worlds largest economy. Never before has there been a major state power with so much potential to influence the rest of the world, for better and for worse. Previous major world powers such as Rome, Britain and the USA, all arrived at their world pinnacle via imperialism and warfare. Providing the present so called world hegemon the USA can tame its fear of and belligerence toward the economic rise of China, thereby hopefully avoiding an imperialist nuclear war, China could be the first and largest ever state power to provide the rest of the world with an example of what can be achieved without resorting to imperialism or warfare. Moreover, Chinese world leadership could also provide an example of how and why the socialist principle of placing a higher priority on satisfying the social and cultural needs of society, rather than on the accumulation of privately owned wealth, is in the best interest of humanity as a whole.
The main lesson to be learned from Socialism with Chinese characteristics is that it does not begin with the premise of socialism being or becoming international, consequently it is a socialism that is confined within a single nation state and as such it will never be able to achieve socialism’s full international potential. Hence Socialism with Chinese characteristics can be regarded by students of International Socialism as being counter-revolutionary. However, Socialism with Chinese characteristics could present the first, largest and possibly the best yet example of how and why International Socialism should replace international capitalism throughout the entire planet, sooner rather than later.
As part of our preparation for world socialist revolution, students of International Socialism should observe and consider how and why the science based International Socialism advocated by Marx and Trotsky is indeed a far more sophisticated and sustainable socio-economic form of governance and productivity than that of socialism within a single nation state, as advocated by Stalin and Mao and now being adapted to a global capitalism by China.
“This used to be an area of old ice,” says Polarstern captain Thomas Wunderlich. Now, however, in just a few days the Polarstern was able to advance practically unhindered to the North Pole. Since the 1980s, Arctic ice coverage has decreased by roughly half. The remaining ice is thin and thawing. The expedition has documented a collapsing world’ –WSWS.org 19/10/2020.
What a mess we have made of our life giving Biosphere in general and our human social circumstances in particular. Just imagine how much better off we might be if and when we replace what have now become mostly dysfunctional, profit driven, capitalist socio-economic forms of governance and productivity with a more sophisticated science based international socialism. International socialism in the form of democratic Federations of United Socialist States throughout the entire planet would necessarily replace capitalism’s emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned property and material wealth, with an emphasis on meeting the ecological, social and cultural needs of the Biosphere in general and human society in particular.
For human development to proceed, it must be sufficiently compatible with the natural evolution of our Biosphere’s life supporting ecosystems. Thanks to scientific understanding it is now well argued that the less compatible human development becomes with natural evolution, the sooner we are going to become an extinct species.
The science of physics also informs us that every single atom throughout space time is and always has been moving in the direction of maximising manifestation cum complexity (Vladimir Vernadsky – ‘The Biosphere’ 1927). So too human imagination and development, including the development of our socio-economic forms of governance and political consciousness. Hence for human development to proceed, it can and should be argued that – among other things, our political consciousness must also be compatible with the natural evolution of the Biosphere in general.
In these days of relatively quick and user friendly search engines, I for one have only been able to find one political program and party that I can regard as being compatible with the evolution of the Biosphere and the continuation of human development, namely the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its international branches of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), a self proclaimed program and party of world socialist revolution. The ICFI/SEP demonstrates a very disciplined, long term commitment to the replacement of international capitalism with international socialism. The ICFI/SEP program and party of world socialist revolution now enables us humans to not only rescue our ‘collapsing world’, but to take our next evolutionary step by preparing to manifest it through a world socialist revolution.
Capitalism, our present socio-economic form of governance and productivity has long since become global, imperialist and dangerous, it now places too much emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned wealth, with far too little emphasis on meeting the social and cultural needs of humanity.
In our preparation for world socialist revolution and thereby the replacement of capitalism with socialism, the international working class will need to carefully consider some of the counter revolutionary forces working against us. For example, the World Economic Forum (WEF) should be seen as a very formidable counter revolutionary force that will need to be reckoned with. The WEF has a great deal of money, power and influence available for achieving its capitalist objectives. Take for example part of an introduction to a recent (2020) WEF project named ‘The Great Reset’ –
‘To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism..’ (weforum.org)
It can and probably should be assumed that in order ‘To achieve a better outcome’ within a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism, the working class would inevitably continue to be exploited. Given the extent to which capitalism depends on the exploitation of the working class to generate profit and thereby the privately owned wealth that underpins the WEF and its members, we can safely assume that any proposed ‘revamp’ of ‘societies and economies’ would not be done on behalf of the international working class.
While capitalism in its current form – from an international socialist perspective, might well be regarded as being in an advanced state of decay, it is clear from the above WEF statement that the ruling class is determined to keep capitalism alive and well in one form or another. It now appears most likely that capitalism is to be either ‘reset’ from the top down with more or worse of the same damage it now inflicts on our planetary Biosphere in general and the international working class in particular, or it is to be replaced with an international socialism via a political program and party of world socialist revolution, from the bottom up. The WEF is clearly a counter revolutionary capitalist forum that has little or nothing in common with the ICFI/SEP/IYSSE program and party of world socialist revolution. In promoting their ‘Great Reset of capitalism’ project the WEF goes on to say –
‘Clearly, the will to build a better society does exist. We must use it to secure the Great Reset that we so badly need. That will require stronger and more effective governments, though this does not imply an ideological push for bigger ones. And it will demand private-sector engagement every step of the way..’ (weforum.org)
Knowing in advance that the ‘Great Reset.. will demand private-sector engagement every step of the way’, should be more than enough to alert the international working class that this WEF project cannot be trusted to bring about any meaningful improvement to their working conditions and livelihood. On the contrary, it would appear that the WEF’s ‘Great Reset’ project is designed to ensure that smaller ‘stronger and more effective governments’ will be subordinate to the ‘private sector’.
Be this as it may, from an international socialist perspective the WEF is indeed a capitalist force to be reckoned with and strongly opposed. The only force capable of doing so is the same productive force that produces the profit and thereby the privately owned wealth of the capitalist members of the WEF, namely the international working class. To overcome such a formidable opponent and thereby replace international capitalism with international socialism will require a critical mass of the international working class to join the ICFI/SEP/IYSSE program and party of world socialist revolution. Only then can one prepare for and participate in the program of world socialist revolution.
A Great Replacement of capitalism from the bottom up.
From the perspective of the international working class, capitalism is a powerful global force that must be reckoned with and replaced by an even stronger global force. Replacing international capitalism with international socialism can only happen from the bottom up via the productive force of the international working class. Capitalism depends entirely on the productive force of the international working class to design, produce, operate, maintain and defend all of its territory, property, goods and services. By virtue of its productive role, it is the much exploited human productive force that can and must unite to overthrow its capitalist owners and state power.
The capitalist ruling class has no respect for planet Earth other than it being a so called ‘god given’ resource for theaccumulation of their privately owned material wealth. Capitalist ruling classes have long since colonised planet Earth into seperate, competitive, antagonistic nation states, the most powerful of which now jealously threaten each other with more than enough nuclear weapons to transform planet Earth into a lifeless desert. Climate change, wars, poverty, pandemics and tens of millions of displaced refugees having to flee from all of the above negative impacts are a direct result of a fundamentally flawed and mostly corrupt capitalism.
The replacement of capitalist socio-economic forms of governance and productivity that place so much emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned wealth with socialist socio-economic forms that place an emphasis on meeting the social and cultural needs of society, is long overdue. The political program and party of world socialist revolution namely the ICFI/SEP/IYSSE is well advanced and prepared to provide the international working class with the necessary revolutionary political leadership. Rank and file committees of workers, students and others are being well informed and encouraged to develop throughout the entire planet on a daily basis via the pages of WSWS.org .
Meeting the social and cultural needs of society first and foremost would be a great step in the right direction for the human race in particular and our Biosphere in general. The establishment and development of federations of united socialist states throughout the entire planet would enable far more of our natural resources – including and especially that of human labour, to be put to better use. It would do away with the need for nation states to aggressively compete with each other, material wealth could be far more equitably distributed throughout the entire planet, wars, poverty, refugees and environmental degradation could become things of the past.
From a working class perspective, international socialism must be our next logical socio-economic form of governance and productivity, it would be one great step for humankind – from the bottom up.
“In this world, at this point, no political revolution is sustainable if it is not also a spiritual revolution – a complete ontological birth of new beings out of old. Equally, no spiritual activity deserves respect if it is not at the same time a politically responsible, i.e; responsive, activity… The only meaningful political direction left now is synonymous with the only meaningful spiritual direction left now: towards the conscious re-fusion of the spirit and the flesh… This time it will be a global consciousness of our global oneness, and it will realize itself on a very sophisticated technological stage; with perhaps a total merger of psychic and electronic activity.”
(‘The Great Cosmic Mother’ – Barbara Mor 1987 p:418)
When considering the ramifications of the AI enabled mass surveillance of world populations – similar to the app now being developed on behalf of the Australian government to track cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should keep in mind the fact that such technology is for the most part designed, built, operated and maintained by waged and salaried workers, better thought of in the context of international socialism as a working class IT productive force. With this in mind and in the context of what might be in the best interest of the international working class as a whole, it is reasonable to assume that such surveillance technology – in theory at least, could work equally well on behalf of populations being enabled to survey future socialist governments as it now does for capitalist governments surveying their populations for purposes of control and exploitation. The said same surveillance technology used to monitor populations and vice versa governments, could enable more sophisticated socio-economic forms of governance and productivity based on better informed and less policed populations throughout the entire planet. Just imagine having a socialist government provided app that enables the general public to participate in more frequent feedback and referendums for the purpose of ensuring that their government remains focused on meeting all of the population’s social and cultural needs etc:
We are not a party like other parties. … Our aim is the full material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and exploited through the socialist revolution. Nobody will prepare it and nobody will guide it but ourselves.
Now that political leaders have decided to put most of the world population under house arrest supposedly for our own good to protect us from the coronavirus COVID-19, they have in effect achieved a new and unprecedented level of power and control over the rest of us. Politicians tell us that their new measures of control and surveillance are only temporary and that they will be lifted or at least appropriately regulated as soon as the virus is defeated. Be this as it may, the precedent has been set and it is probably enough to make some of our more dictatorial politicians wet themselves with excitement.
The story of international rulership has changed significantly and we -the world population, must change with it, otherwise the new (post COVID-19) normal could be significantly worse that the old (pre COVID-19) normal – with a capitalist form of socio-economic governance and productivity that is clearly not good enough to protect us from the emergence of such pandemics in the first place.
Closing state and regional borders, restricting our movement and interaction with each other, bringing non essential industry and commerce to a standstill, compensating financial institutions to a great extent and individuals to a lesser extent, our politicians will claim to be putting our safety and well being first and foremost and that we should therefor trust them. The thing is, if we couldn’t trust them before COVID-19 why should we trust them now and into the future when they will have experienced having more authoritarian control over us than at any previous time in modern history.
Now that we are well into a coronavirus – COVID-19, pandemic and judging by the ad hoc panic like responses of most governments, surely it has never been more obvious why and how capitalist forms of governance and productivity inevitably fail to provide the most basic ecological, social and cultural needs of the vast majority of life on planet Earth. In short, it is because capitalism now places far too much emphasis on profit and the accumulation of privately owned wealth, it is a social dynamic that is clearly out of control.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the international ruling class and their political servants are already revealing their profit driven priorities – ‘The choice, according to the Economist, is clear. The consequences of a prolonged regime of factory shutdowns and social distancing are, from a sober-minded business point of view, too terrible to contemplate: “Markets would tumble and investments be delayed. The capacity of the economy would wither as innovation stalled and skills decayed. Eventually, even if many people are dying, the cost of distancing could outweigh the benefits.” [Emphasis added]WSWS.org 6th April 2020. Because capitalism places so much emphasis on the accumulation of privately owned wealth, it has inevitably morphed into being a totally dysfunctional social dynamic that must be replaced with a more sophisticated, scientific and sustainable socio-economic form of governance and productivity. So, how do we – the vast >99% majority of the world population, now change our story so that a post COVID-19 world is an improvement on where we are now? With this question in mind I wasrecently inspired by a discussion between Yuval Noah Harari and Amanpour & Co’ on CNN, it was based on the theme – ‘life after COVID-19’, here is a pertinent quote from it –
‘When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population.’
So, what will it take for the human population to do away with ‘Big Brother’ like regimes and be able to trust our political leaders to give the ecological needs of our planet and the social and cultural needs of us humans a higher priority than that of private property and the accumulation of privately owned wealth? My short answer is – nothing less than a world socialist revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed the inability of capitalism to provide our basic social and cultural needs, it also reveals to the human productive force – better thought of as the waged and salaried working class, what potential power and influence it can have on our future well being. The so called ruling class is best thought of as those who own and pay the wages and salaries of the productive force. To all intents and purposes, in the context of world socialist revolution, unless one owns the means of production and enough privately owned wealth to be listed among the wealthiest <1% of the world population, one might as well regard oneself as being one of the >99% working class.
For reasons that should by now be obvious, the working class can rest assured that the ruling class will not transform let alone replace capitalism, nor will they reduce let alone stop their exploitation of natural resources – including that of human labour, without a fight. The ruling class and their capitalist systems of governance and productivity will have to be overthrown. The only force capable of this is the international working class, the force that does all the work. The waged and salaried working class designs, builds, operates, maintains, protects and defends everything. Moreover, nowadays working class taxes are being used to bail out and rescue failed international corporations and banks, this is a warped kind of socialism. Hence the ruling class cannot survive without the working class, whereas the working class can not only survive without the ruling class, it has the potential to actually realise it’s full potential and thrive without them.
A political program and party of world socialist revolution not only exists but is also well prepared to lead the working class in the fight to rid our world of the ruling class and capitalism. Thanks to this program rank and file committees of workers and students are organising themselves from the ground up, independent of main stream politics and unions that are subservient to the corporations. To join this preparation for world socialist revolution and a better post COVID-19 normal, contact the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and its Socialist Equality Party (SEP) or the International Youth and Students for Socialist Equality (IYSSE) via the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS.org)
NB: better still if you are eligible to vote in the 2020 US Presidential elections, you could support and vote for theSEP candidates – Joseph Kishore for President and Norissa Santa Cruz for Vice President and thereby help get the revolution underway.
‘A major human adaptation has been the creation of stories (beliefs) that trigger and guide emotions; the emotions are real, the actions are real, but the stories are only coded devices to attach motive force to action.’
JAMES KEYE – Politics & Emotion
The human species has long since become an inventive story telling productive force, a capacity that for better and for worse has given us an enormous advantage over all other species that inhabit planet Earth. However, as our scientific story of biology informs us, in essence we continue to be no more or less natural than any other species on planet Earth, all of whom are thereby subject to the natural checks and balances of planet Earth’s primary productive force, also storied by the scientific story of geophysics as the biosphere.
The human productive force is now artificially disrupting the Earth’s atmosphere to the point where global weather patterns are producing more intense climate variations, resulting in more severe droughts, floods and wildfires. The observable, measurable and thereby scientific rate of ‘climate change’ – particularly that of measuring the average surface temperature of planet Earth, is a relatively recent phenomenon that can be storied as a predictable response on the part of planet Earth’s biosphere to a disruption of it by a lesser – albeit significant, human productive force. It can also be storied that the capacity of the human productive force to artificially alter the planet’s atmosphere is now being subjected to the sort of natural checks and balances that have consistently taken place throughout planet Earth’s biosphere for millennia. Planet Earth’s capacity to respond to significant disruptions to the biosphere has evidently survived the test of time – about 4.5 billion years of time. We humans now have good reason to story planet Earth as simply doing what she has always done, she is responding in this case to a human induced artificial disruption of the atmosphere in particular and thereby Earth’s biosphere as a whole.
In the context of our human disruption of the biosphere, according to some of the more reputable scientific storying of the atmosphere eg; The Woods Hole Research Institute, we now only have three realistic options left ie; mitigation, adaptation and suffering. While we already participate in all three options to some extent, each depends upon the other, for example, the extent to which we experience the ‘suffering’ option depends entirely on the extent to which we act on the other two options.
Planet Earth’s biosphere as a whole is the primary productive force that has enabled the seasonal cycle of life and death to flourish for billions of years, it should therefore be regarded – even celebrated, as being the essential pre-requisite for the emergence and continued development of our human productive force. Conversely, our effort to dominate planet Earth’s productive force for material gain is proving to be a serious human mistake, a mistake made possible only through some of the tall stories we have invented to convince, motivate and justify such stupidity.
If we are to better understand and manage the relationship between our human productive force in the context of planet Earth’s primary productive force – the biosphere, then some of us may need to change our stories, especially our most influential religious, scientific and political stories.
For better and for worse all three religious, scientific and political stories influence each other to some extent. For example, the more influential religious and political stories that persuade – even convince, many of us that the human productive force is superior to and should have ‘dominion over’, the natural resources of the biosphere, while such hubris has indeed inspired many a great invention, such stories are now proving to be delusional life destroying stories. Particularly misleading can be such religious, scientific and political stories that persuade some of us humans to regard certain artefacts and entities as sacred – even sacrosanct, including the artefacts of deity, money, private property and wealth. The time has arrived when we need to question our most influential religious, scientific and political stories, with a view to replacing them with stories that will help us to avoid destroying ourselves and possibly the entire planet.
I know that this is easier said than done, requiring as it does some serious attention and rigour, but my advice is that we look for religious, scientific and political stories that are at least compatible with the health of our biosphere and less contradictory with each other. For example, rather than being confined to some imagined, theist pie in the sky superstition, it is easy enough to find animist type religious stories and or spiritual practices that are more down to Earth, observable and thereby more available to our physical senses, even measurable.
Lucky me, I have ‘PaGaian Cosmology’ authored by my partner Glenys Livingstone Ph.D. in 2005. PaGaian Cosmology is an Earth based spiritual story and practice that celebrates the Earth, Sun and Moon relationship, a relationship that enables and sustains planet Earth’s biosphere. PaGaian Cosmology is a spiritual practice based on scientific observation, with no need for superstition. Human induced or otherwise and irrespective of what happens to our weather patterns, the Earth, Sun and Moon relationship enable a cosmic seasonal wheel of the year comprised of solstice and equinox moments that are fixed, observable, measurable and consistently determined by the angle of Earth’s axis and the rate of Earth’s rotation around the sun. This cosmic wheel of the year together with our Moon’s equally consistent 28 day cycle of waxing and waning, makes for an awesome phenomenon and story that is not only critical for the health of our biosphere, it is also worthy of our admiration and celebration.
Given that we are all now participating in an information technology (IT) revolution that is in turn enabling the development of artificial intelligence (AI), the search for and choice of scientific stories is all the more critical and deserving of careful scrutiny and some rigour. The inevitable and relatively rapid advance of IT and AI is already having a huge impact on our human well-being. For better and for worse, scientific research and development is often influenced by our religious and political stories with a view to exploiting planet Earth’s natural resources including the human productive force – waged labour. To the extent that the scientific story is being influenced by religious and political stories, makes the task of finding scientific stories that are more compatible and less contradictory even more challenging. My thoughts on the search for scientific stories that can have a positive influence on the wellbeing of life in general and us humans in particular, is that they should at least have been subjected to serious peer group review and thereby able to demonstrate a level of scientific integrity that can be trusted and valued.
While the world wide web and its variety of search engines now make it possible for us to do more thorough searches for the best of scientific stories, it should also be their compatibility with our personal world view and values that ultimately lead us to decide to what extent we are prepared to be influenced by the story of science.
‘Climate change, and other manifestations of environmental degradation, are the product of a social and economic system that is incapable of organizing global production in a rational and scientific manner, on the basis of social need—including the need for a healthy environment—rather than the endless accumulation of personal wealth.’
(WSWS.org ‘Perspective’ 3rd Jan 2020).
Given that we are now confronted with the twin threats of catastrophic climate change, and war between nuclear armed states, looking for a political story that is capable of mitigating these threats and thereby worthy of adopting and being influenced by, is probably our most urgent and challenging search.
As a species we obviously have the capacity to move beyond the fear based, antagonistic nationalist programs that place such a disproportionate emphasis on protecting and defending the accumulation of privately owned wealth within their respective nation states. Most of our religious and scientific stories including the sacred, the good and the bad, are not constrained by nation state boundaries. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for our political stories, most if not all of which are deliberately confined to looking after the interests of their respective nation state, particularly the ruling elite of the nation state.
My own life experience includes having sailed around the world in the British merchant navy (1965-67), having been a forest overseer in Victoria (1976-90) and having had my mind properly adjusted while living and working among the traditional aboriginal Anangu owners of Uluru in Central Australia for eight years (1990-98). Following my introduction to a more indigenous and traditional Australia, I was motivated to study for and gain a Master of Applied Science (Social Ecology) with Distinction (University of Western Sydney 1999-2003) – in a somewhat vain effort to cross the cultural bridge between an indigenous and a colonised Australia. For me this is still a work in progress.
On the strength of what I now regard as a relatively privileged life experience, I eventually found a political story that genuinely cares about and places an emphasis on the wellbeing of planet Earth and the human as a whole. After several years of searching and frustration and having almost given up on politics – particularly the Australian variety, I found the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) through its Sydney NSW Australia branch of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). What attracted me most was a political story whose founder Leon Trotsky made it clear in 1938, that his programme and party was different to any other in that ‘the aim of our party is the full material and spiritual liberation of the toilers and the exploited’. At last I had found a political story and party that placed a deliberate and genuine emphasis on our human wellbeing, by uniting and liberating the human productive force to achieve its full potential ‘throughout the entire planet’. If you have not already done so, I can highly recommend you visit the World Socialist Web Site – WSWS.org, where you will find a relatively rare political story that is indeed compatible with the well being of the biosphere in general and us humans in particular.
‘For peoples, generally, their story of the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation.’
While the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ movement is moving in the right direction and may well be a significant international source of hope and inspiration to many, like almost all such movements to date it too will fail, because of adopting a flawed strategy. Any resistance cum revolutionary movement that aims to take over and disrupt the day to day workings of the state by taking to the streets simply serve to empower the state to use its military and or police forces to eventually crush such movements.
Such a flawed strategy also serves to pit international waged workers against each other. The universal soldier and police are working class waged workers, albeit that they offer the strictest of obedience to their ruling class owners. Any resistance cum revolutionary movement that fails to unite the working class as a whole – including the universal soldier and police, prior to making its first public move, is thereby doomed to fail.
Uniting the working class as a whole in readiness for worldwide revolutionary change requires an international political program and party that clearly demonstrates long term political integrity, discipline, rigour and patient revolutionary leadership, all of which is essential criteria for the preparation and delivery of a successful world socialist revolution. Democratic rank and file working class committees need to be formed and developed within their respective work places, barracks, university campus, and neighbourhood centres with links to party national and branch centres.
While it may seem a bit like wishful thinking that the universal soldier and police would participate in preparation for a world revolution, it has happened on a national scale (ie Russia 1917) and could again happen on an international scale. Depending on the extent to which climate change and or war – particularly war between nuclear armed states, increases human suffering and destruction, the global social dynamic could become repressive enough to result in even the universal soldier and police starting to question their obedience to such failed and damaging ruling class laws and commands.
Only when a critical mass of the international working class has become sufficiently well prepared via their rank and file formations, should the first revolutionary move be made, that of simply downing tools and downing weapons ie not reporting for work or duty. At such a massive and well earned revolutionary point in time, there would be no need to go out marching onto the streets en-mass, it will suffice to just gather peacefully as and where and just wait out the days – not even weeks, that it will take for the state and its few remaining faithful public servants to say ‘please take us to your leaders’.
At such a point in time it will be game over for capitalism and its profit crazed forms of governance and productivity. The transition to more sophisticated and sustainable socio-economic forms of governance and productivity by way of federations of united socialist states could be relatively swift – ie a matter of months not years. As far as I know, there is only one such political program and leadership that meets the above criteria namely that of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) anyone can find it at WSWS.org.
Humanity now faces the potentially devastating three pronged threat of – nuclear war(s), catastrophic climate change and technological disruption – better thought of as the pernicious abuse of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Albeit to varying degrees, the whole of humanity is at risk from the twin threats of nuclear war(s) and or catastrophic climate change. However, it is the international working class that is most at risk from the pernicious abuse of AI. It should be noted that the twin threats of catastrophic climate change and technological disruption are already underway and well advanced.
The owners of the ‘working class’, also known as the ‘ruling class’ are – albeit to a lesser extent, also threatened by nuclear war(s) and catastrophic climate change, both of which pose a serious threat to the continued accumulation of their privately owned wealth and well being. The ruling class is now also having to deal with the threat of an increasingly impoverished working class waged worker who is desperately wanting to increase their wages and hence, the possibility that they could unite internationally to revolt against and replace the existing socio-economic forms of governance and productivity with something more to their working class liking, such as a form of international socialism.
Because the ruling class are also threatened by nuclear war(s) and or catastrophic climate change, the working class should not be too surprised if the ruling class attempt to reduce if not eventually eliminate one or both of these twin threats. Meanwhile and in any event, the threat of a restless and potential revolutionary working class is already being urgently responded to by the ruling class through increasing authoritarian, dictatorial and military rule, with the pernicious disruption of AI rapidly being developed into what might well become their future weapon of choice.
The waged worker is most seriously at risk from the threat of a ruling class using AI to replace and eventually eliminate most if not all waged workers. As if the present 21st century level of worker exploitation, impoverishment, redundancy and replacement by AI enabled automation is not bad enough, the possibility of a future in which the working class becomes completely replaced and hence irrelevant is even worse. We can already see the beginning of this with the rapidly increasing production of gulag like incarceration and rehabilitation centres throughout the US and internationally. This is how a profit crazed ruling class is responding to increasing unemployment, drug abuse, petty crime and the mass movement of refugees seeking political asylum.
Having produced it all in the first place – for better and for worse, it is evident that we humans have the wherewithal to also eliminate the threat of nuclear war(s) and at least reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change. The threat of a profit crazed pernicious disruption of AI is not only avoidable, but it should be reversed. AI can and should be used to eliminate all and any threats to the safety and wellbeing of humanity throughout the entire planet, it should only ever be used for our mutual benefit.
The very thought of a future in which hundreds of gulag type internment centres containing millions of working class men and women made redundant and irrelevant by a rampant, profit crazed, data owning ruling class, being guarded by cyborgs until rehabilitated or dead, should be enough to scare the rest of humanity into ensuring that this doesn’t happen. The underlying problem here is the ruling class and their rampant, profit crazed capitalism. Unless the rest of us – working class, rid the planet of this problem, it is most likely that one or more of the above three pronged threat will bring life as we know it to an abrupt end.
In the class war now being fought between the working class and the ruling class, it is only the working class in its role as the global ‘productive force’ that can chose between being a force for better or for worse. At present it is a force for both better and for worse, albeit that the ‘worse’ has long since become dominant, unsustainable and life threatening on a global scale.
If we are to avoid the three pronged ruling class capitalist induced threats of nuclear war(s), catastrophic climate change and the militarization of artificial intelligence (AI), the global productive force must act sooner rather than later, because later will be too late to avoid a new level of barbarism. Nothing less than the international program of world socialist revolution will suffice in our effort to survive as a species and for life as we know it to continue here on planet Earth.
Human survival is now of the essence, social equality, cultural diversity, international trade and movement are secondary – albeit important considerations.
A world socialist revolution will need to organically grow out of the global working class productive force. It has already begun with the formation of independent democratic rank and file committees associated via their workplaces with the ICFI /SEP [i] program of world socialist revolution. This foundational component of a world socialist revolution will need to grow and develop throughout the entire planet as soon as possible. Independent democratic rank and file committees will need to be associated with work places, university campuses, regional centres and their nearest political branch head quarters of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP).[ii]
The working class productive force must now prepare itself for a world socialist revolution if it is to have any chance of winning the war between itself and a dominant militarized ruling class.
For a world socialist revolution to succeed in overthrowing a dominant militarized ruling class a critical mass of the global productive force will need to be united and well enough prepared physically and psychologically to withdraw its collective labour and intellect form the ruling class owners of production; long enough for their profit driven forms of governance and productivity to be closed down once and for all.
Then the work may begin whereby the working class productive force slowly but surely replaces the old capitalist system with a new and more sophisticated and sustainable socio-economic forms of governance and productivity. Socio-economic forms of governance and productivity that will do away with artificial barriers and the need for standing armies with their obscenely expensive military industrial complex, achieve a more sustainable level of social equality, more cooperative international trade and far greater freedom for cultural diversity and the movement of people throughout the entire planet.
[i] Information about which is made available on a daily basis via the pages of the World Socialist Website WSWS.org