My outlook on life is that we should have the freedom to do whatever we want to do with our lives. It’s why I write about the decriminalisation of drugs, it’s why I’m pro-abortion rights, pro LGBTQI+ rights, pro-sex work, just very passionate about all things social justice. Because, this is our life, and we should* have the right to do with it whatever we want to do with it. We should have the right to revolt against capitalism…
*(We ‘should’ have but, unfortunately, under societies current set up, we very much do not have).
Inequality Is Artificial
Everyone is born free and equal, but societies impose a sense of ownership over resources and divisions of labour, which causes conflict and social injustice.
Currently, we operate in a capitalist society within which the rich keep getting richer whilst the poor keep getting poorer, despite the poor contributing the most in terms of working long hours (just to line the pockets of the rich CEO’s)…
Under capitalism, we are nothing but wage slaves.
It’s not right that the bosses who arguably do the least amount of work- they sit in an office counting their money- get the chunk of the money earnt by the people who are actually working.
The only way for us to escape from this and to achieve the freedom that we should have over our lives, is for us to transition out of capitalism, into socialism.
We need an overhaul of capitalism
When four children in Africa died today, as they do every single day, from food shortages, meanwhile a CEO in London is popping the cork of his £35,000 champagne, clearly there’s something wrong with the system.
Socialism would see everyone having the same, thus ending world famine, and eradicating the wealth divide. With no social classes, everyone would be on an equal playing field, thus meaning that we all start off in life with equal chances, and all leave our life knowing that we have had a fair shot at it.
By way of having a socialist economy (within which capitalism is rejected, and production and wealth collectively owned), and a democratic government (so as to prevent dictatorship), democratic socialism is the way forward to reclaiming our power.
Socialism VS Anarchism
For a more ‘extreme’ form of socialism though, I would push for anarchism, something which the abolition of wage labour is central to…
With the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth, in an anarchist society, complete freedom is given to each individual, meaning that people are free to engage in whatever activities they find most fulfilling. Each individual is therefore free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice.
‘To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. A capitalist economy denies us the time to live.’
— Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism. ‘
Wilde’s utopia is, as historian George Woodcock phrased it,
“the society most favourable to the artist.”
Freeing the individual from ‘wage slavery’- working long hours with no thanks and little pay (little pay because the people in charge get all the money) will allow for everyone to focus on what they actually want to do with their lives (make art- creativity!), not what they’re told they ‘have’ to do (i.e., work/be a wage slave) just so that they can afford to live…
Work isn’t the problem, the system is
Now, I just want to be clear that I’m not against working per se, I’m against the capitalist system which we work under.
Work itself though can be great.
In fact, without having jobs, life would actually be quite boring.
Just think about it…
Can you imagine having no job?
Some people might be imagining being unemployed and thinking it sounds bliss but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be thinking;
‘What would I do with my time?’
Jobs can offer us a sense of purpose, they can provide us with a structure to our days and give us a reason to get up in the morning.
If you do something you genuinely like for work, then a job can be your whole life.
But, if you’re working in a job that you hate, just to ‘get by’, because the cost of living crisis means that, if you don’t work then you literally cannot afford to live (aptly named, I know), then your job can be a source of great stress, having a profound impact upon your mental health even, in some cases…
It’s Not You (Job), It’s Them (Capitalism)
Without cashiers in the supermarket, how would we get our food?
Without teachers in schools, how would we learn to read?
Without receptionists in doctors surgeries, how would we get better when we’re unwell?
Every job, no matter how proposedly ‘boring’, serves a purpose for which, without people doing the job, life would be so much harder.
The problem, again, is not with the job, it’s with the system that we have around jobs.
The Problem Is Capitalism
Only when we transition out of capitalism and into socialism/anarchism whereby we can self-govern and choose how much we want to contribute to the economy, will will be free.
But, But… Anarchism?!
One argument against Anarchism though is that, ‘if governments are abolished, it won’t be long before one person decides to take over everything, thus seeing the country being governed by a dictatorship.’
Countries such as Russia under Putin, Germany under Hitler, North Korea under King John Um, they show us what happens when one person gets supreme ruling over a country.
As I allude to in this poem: in our efforts to come out ‘on top’, we will do whatever it takes, however immoral, to get there.
Power corrupts, and that’s a concern.
The argument that anarchy would not work because someone would take the position of leader though, although an understandable concern, is void. With the abolishment of capitalism and all the systems that see the many being exploited by the few, people wouldn’t feel such a pressing need to be in power, for, what would they be competing for?…
A free person doesn’t need to restrict the freedom of others.
Another argument that is frequently cited against anarchism is that, without any rules/laws, society will turn to chaos. Again, although an understandable concern, this too is void.
Firstly, because; the idea of there being no rules under anarchy is a myth– there are still rules, just no rulers. Instead of people in power making the rules, we all make the rules, as a collective.
And, secondly because, it’s not the fear of punishment that keeps us in line anyway, it’s not having the police there to intimidate us into being lawful that stops us from breaking the law, it’s having the presence of morals.
Not convinced? Just consider this…
If there’s a line to get on a crowded bus, do you wait your turn and refrain from elbowing your way past others even in the absence of police? If you answered “yes”, then you are used to acting like an anarchist, for the most basic anarchist principle is self-organisation (NOT ‘chaos’, despite the stereotype)… We don’t need to be threatened with prosecution in order to treat each other with dignity and respect.
And, for a bigger consideration…
Assuming that you’re not a murderer, what stops you from killing someone? Is it the threat of being caught and sent to prison, or is it because you know that to take a life is immoral? Answering this for myself, I can say that it is for the latter reason. I have never had any inclination to kill, or to rape, or to steal, or to commit any heinous act. Even if we had no legislation to say that we couldn’t kill, I still wouldn’t do it. People know the difference between right and wrong, they don’t need the state to enforce it…
(But, even if they did, it doesn’t work anyway, for the police cannot prevent the irrational murderer from murdering, they can only punish them after. And, the fact that people do still commit crime shows that the law clearly doesn’t act as a big enough deterrent. If someone wants to commit a crime, they’ll do it, whether legislation exists against it or not. Surely the death penalty has taught us that)…
Our Existence Doesn’t Need To Be Regulated By The State
Anarchists reject the idea that crime is a part of human nature, and something that we need society to regulate. In fact, they argue that it is society itself which is to blame. As in the whole ‘nature vs nurture’ debate, they argue that no one is born evil, but that it is society which causes some people to act in ‘evil’ ways. The vast majority of people though, when faced with simple, clear ethical choices, choose good over bad, for morality is an inbuilt human trait.
And it is for this very reason why criminal psychologists exist- to uncover what led someone to take someone else’s life- because no one is born evil, it is circumstantial. And so, the argument is that, with no hierarchy- in an anarchist society- crime would be reduced as people would have no reason to commit crime, for;
A man with a full stomach doesn’t steal food.
A person in control of their life doesn’t turn to crime out of rage or anger.
What we call crime today is merely an unhealthy response to the big crime that is our society…
As 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau famously said,
‘Man would be gentle and pure without the corruption of greed and inequality caused by the class system imposed by our society.’
So, what now?
You might agree with the anarchist ideology but, under our current society, that feels like a million miles away. So, what can you do now? Should you refrain from voting so as not to support the government, or should you vote for the ‘lesser of two evils?’
It can certainly feel disheartening when you have a mindset that there should be no government control, yet we are like puppets on a string, arguably being controlled by every aspect of the government, from who we’re told we can love (remember, being gay was a criminal offence as little as 50 years ago), to what we have to teach our children in school. When it comes round to voting then, it can be difficult knowing what to do. My opinion though?
Even if it does mean voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’, vote in a way that will cause the least harm to the most vulnerable members of society.
Vote for a government who are passionate about the things that you are passionate about. For me this is social justice, and under a Conservative government, well…they don’t fill me with much confidence at their ability to deliver. In the past week alone we’ve had Suella Braverman, home secretary of the UK, telling us that being homeless is a ‘lifestyle choice’, and that people who are marching in solidarity with Palestinians, to express their horror at the literal genocide that is taking place in Gaza, are partaking in ‘hate marches.’
Where is the compassion?
While I would rather have no government control, I’d also rather not run the risk of being governed by a supreme leader of the likes of King John Um. And so, the next best thing? Voting for a left wing party. Although I’m really disappointed with Sir Kier Starmer (the leader of the Labour party), for his lack of condemnation against Israel and the genocide they’re committing against thousands of innocent Palestinians, the values that the Labour party stand for generally do align with my own. And, it’s important, when voting, that we vote for the PARTY, not the person.
Get the party with the values that align with your own in power.
See the good starting to happen.
Get one step closer to utopia.