I have decided to electronically distribute the book "Partners not Wage Workers" on the Web in response to the devastating budget cuts in Australia announced yesterday by the current conservative Howard/Costello Liberal Government. The severe cutbacks to government spending can only exacerbate the shortages currently being experienced by many Australians. It will invariably contract the money supply and curtail employment in the economy.
The reality is that global capitalism has had its day. Capitalism as a system has its own inbuilt entropy or tendency to run down. There is a tendency for the rate of profit to fall as the productive forces develop. Subjectively capitalism has its end, but that end is objectively at its end.
The wages system is collapsing under the weight of falling profitability. The contradiction between paid and unpaid work is growing daily in the climate of capitalist recession. In a recent survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the bureau estimated that more than a third of all work done by Australians is unpaid work for themselves, their families and others.
The way forward demands an alternative to the wage system. A new society in which economic relationships are based on free and non exploitative partnerships. A new more ordered, technological and planned society which unleashes new ground in personal freedom and creativity.
To use a thermodynamic metaphor we need to take the heat out of the economic engine. By replacing the randomness of capitalist competition we can create a more efficient, planned and powerful motor. In so doing we transfer more heat and randomness into personal relationships. Thus we increase the degrees of freedom of the people.
The book consists of 3 parts:
In Part 1 we look at the dynamics of global capitalism to develop an awareness of the social forces at work. We examine the impact of technology on property relations. In so doing we question the very rationality of developing trends..
In Part 2 we take a socio-historical journey into the system of wages, profit and ground rent. Globalisation has brought about new economic realities, inverted images and projections. Yet globalisation has taught us how the interconnectedness of the whole can give us a vision of the future
In Part 3 we investigate how the idea of Partners could work for Australian society as a new social operating system. How human needs are addressed in a new way. What social wrongs need to be righted, what gaps need to be filled, and what bridges need to be crossed.
Melbourne August 20, 1996
I would like to thank all those with whom I have discussed such ideas over the years. In the preparation of the manuscript I would like to thank Phil Anderson of Tax Reform Australia; Neil Maclean of the Australian Bureau of Statistics; and Robert Pash and David Jones of the New Dawn International News Service for their valuable material and time. Thanks to Bob Barron, John Mc Carthy and all who took time to examine the draft. Jan Muller for scrupulous proof reading and active suggestions.
This book is personally dedicated to Elle Brown who has opened my eyes in so many ways. She has been a source of inspiration and co-authored key sections of the book.
Socially the book is dedicated to the youth of Australia who have become increasingly locked out of current society. If this book has any purpose at all it is to fire the imagination and enthusiasm of youth to build a new post capitalist society in Australia.
Susan George, author of A Fate Worse than Debt, recently remarked,
" half of humanity are young, frustrated, and angry and they are going to become more so".
It is obvious that the young hold the key to the future. Whether they bring down the sky or take us into a new era of enlightenment and prosperity remains their choice..
Of the 5.6 billion people who live on this planet, more than a billion live in a state of absolute poverty with income and consumption levels below nationally defined poverty lines. They are essentially bereft of life's basic necessities, struggling to survive on the equivalent of less than US$370 a year.
Some 550 million go to bed hungry each night. More than 1.5 billion lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Life expectancy is short, a consequence of factors such as disease, malnutrition and crime. In sub-Saharan Africa people rarely survive beyond the age of 50. Education is virtually non existent. A billion adults are functionally illiterate, while some 500 million children have nowhere to go to school.
While the poor can be found virtually in every country in the world
the overwhelming majority are in the developing nations. But
begun to swell in the developed countries. In the United States and
Europe, nearly 15% of the population live below the poverty line.
overall improvements in material living conditions all over the world,
poverty and inequality are worsening. This highlights the fact that
is a consequence not only of the misfortunes and limited capabilities
individuals but is systemic to current income distribution. This
such elements as distribution of wages and salaries; the impact of
taxes and other public revenue sources; land distribution; access to
and control of productive resources; and market and price structures
Symptoms of social disintegration
Clearly women are significantly represented within disadvantaged groups comprising 70% of the world's poor and 66% of those not educated to any level of literacy. Asia alone has 374 million poor rural women, more than the total population of Western Europe. An estimated 100,000 women are missing from the global population, mostly from South and East Asia, where female foetuses are often aborted after amniocentesis or ultrasound scanning.
In the non -US corporate world women hold only 1% of top management positions; one study predicted that at the current rate of appointment it will take 475 years for women to reach equality with men as senior executives.
Children everywhere are vulnerable victims of violence and abuse. More than 1.5 million children have been killed in wars in the last decade; five million live in refugee camps today while some 12 million have lost their homes, families or both. Wars by another name, such as the US inspired blockade of Iraq have led to increased infant mortality. In Iraq lack of food and medicine have seen monthly deaths of children under five increase twenty times from 112 in Jan 1989 to 2306 in Jan 1995 due to malnutrition. There has also been an ten fold increase from pneumonia and diarrhoea in the same period. In some politically sick circles there is a view that feral children should be culled. In Brazil, home to an estimated 200,000 street children, four youngsters a day are murdered; the killing of Brazilian minors has increased 40% in a single year (1993-1994). In a situation reminiscent of child slavery a total estimated 500,000 child prostitutes work the tourist sex centres of South East Asia.
Illegal activities are increasing. In the US alone, 14 million
were reported in 1992, costing the country $425 billion; American
on narcotics is thought to exceed the combined incomes (GDPs) of over
countries. Worldwide, many crimes are drug related. Each year
people in Canada and 400:100,000 in Australia suffer from drug related
crime. This figure doubles in Denmark and Norway, while increasing more
than 30 fold in Japan, in the later part of 1980's. Transnational
organisations operating across national boundaries now have an
turnover of $1,000 billion a year. Many of these syndicates are related
to or work with respectable intelligence agencies utilizing the extra
for illicit activities
Globalisation new scourge
At the beginning of the century 90% of war casualties were military. Now 90% of casualties are civilian. About 40% of the world's countries have a minimum of five ethnic populations while half of all countries have experienced some form of recent inter-ethnic strife. During the four months, April-July 1994 3.5 million people in Rwanda -almost half the total population- were killed or forced to flee their homes due to internecine conflict.
One in every 115 people on the earth is a migrant or refugee, having been forced to leave home for economic, political or military reasons. Victims of ethnic conflict have grown from 8 million in 1970 to a current figure of some 20 million who have fled across borders; and another 26 million internationally displaced persons. It is as if we globally have been hit by a new deadly virus. A social virus against which current society has no immunity.
Everywhere families are under enormous pressure. Much of this
can be ascribed to the relatively harsh economic times we live in.
Underlying economic trends
Global free trade and competition has equalised worldwide the average rate of profit.
There is a race to high technology in the developed world, which is leaving the developing countries in its wake. The more powerful and richer countries of the North grab large slabs of the market, including the right to dictate where, how and who uses new technology. This reinforces the position of countries such as the US at the head of the developed world.
When the UN Security Council invokes sanctions and threats against Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Pakistan over their alleged development of weapons of mass destruction, there is often a hidden agenda. Under the mantle of "dual-use technology", the Security Council deems such technologies as being any that could potentially be used to make weapons, even if that is not their intent. For example, high speed computers and centrifuges are currently banned from Iraq as a result of such professed concerns. Likewise, technology to manufacture insecticide is also banned, since the UN claims that such technology might be used to make poison gas.
On the question of nuclear proliferation, the Security Council has used the Institutional Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) for overt political purposes. It was originally established in the 1950's to promote the spread of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Iraq has been ordered to end all nuclear research, and even the instruction of nuclear physics in its universities, in order to prevent such proliferation.
What is more worrying are statements in the UN Security Council about technological personnel. German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, in a speech made in Washington in January 1992, warned of the "threat" of "wandering technological mercenaries." Alluding to the so-called Islamic bomb, Genscher warned that unemployed Russian nuclear scientists might find employment in "rich countries outside Europe." Genscher called on the Security Council (of which Germany is not a member) to prepare a "bundle of sanctions". These sanctions would "isolate" any state seeking to build such weapons, whether or not that state was a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Both the United States and Israel are not content with the destruction of Iraqi scud missiles. Their main concern is with the scientists and their knowledge of the technology. For this reason, they are prepared to keep the sanctions on Iraq and prevent Iraqi scientists from working. However, when medicines and infant formula are also denied to the Iraqi population to wreak a demoralising effect on the Iraqi military, one wonders where the world is heading.
It is technological apartheid of the New World Order in its craziest extreme. Yet media manipulation turns black into white and vice versa. War games are played out in living rooms of television viewers. The hearts and minds of the people are used in a most sinister way.
Yet the really sad thing for the democratic aspirations of the people of the world is the way the representatives of the New World Order parade the arrogance of this technological apartheid in the UN Security Council. In November 1994 the UN Security Council once again refused to lift the crippling sanctions against Iraq. Adding insult to injury the US envoy Madeline Albright, according to a report on the Reuter's wire, symbolically
"wore a brooch in the shape of a snake when she met Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Azis today".
Having knowledge is one thing, but being able to use it is another. The outcome of recent GATT negotiations for the enforcement of intellectual property rights such as patents and software copyrights, effectively enables the countries of the North and TNC's to monopolise new developments in technology. In agriculture and agribusiness all sorts of patents are being applied to seed and plant genes, and cloning. Therefore, the South, even if it has the knowledge, is restricted from its use by not having a patent or copyright license.
The US National Institutes of Health are engaged in what the Wall Street Journal calls "the biggest race for property since the great land rush of 1889". In this case, the race is to stake "...US patent claims to thousands of pieces of genetic material -- DNA -- that NIH scientists are certain are fragments of unknown genes". The purpose, the NIH explains, is to safeguard US corporations' domination of the biotechnology business, which the government expects "to be generating annual revenue of $50 billion by the year 2000," and vastly more beyond.
When it comes to the countries of the South, accessing their technological expertise with the nations of the North, they run up against a brick wall. In trade and development, the countries of the North present a collective imperial attitude to the hungry nations of the South. They present and act as a veritable Freemason's society united in the exclusivity of their knowledge and technological expertise.
Privatisation of knowledge
With global communications becoming instantaneous information is gaining critical importance and power. There is a battle for the information superhighways such as Internet. How any public thoroughfare could be privatised escapes rationality. Intellectual property rights should not extend to communication channels and computer system software. It would be like someone taking out a patent on the wheel. And there is no point re inventing the wheel !! Just because a company like Microsoft has worked on computer operating systems does not means they can keep this knowledge to their exclusive possession. Some thing that has become universal and a standard must necessarily enter the public domain. Further the spreading plethora of computer viruses shows that this operating system is far from perfect and needs revision. This cannot be achieved until Microsoft releases its source codes publicly.
Microsoft has no right to monopoly practices Any way the whole concept of Windows software was pirated from the research work at Xerox Park at Pal Alto .
One could think that global capital has gone totally mad. Have
and intellectual practices become private property? Are they to be
and sold like any other commodity in the name of profit? Have we
the ultimate degradation of human beings? A choice between ignorance or
Back to preface
People in Australia, have noticed that their
electricity, and water rates have risen dramatically in recent years.
rises have not been accompanied by new infrastructure development in
supply of these services such as new dams , etc. In fact the rise in
consumer prices has taken place against a background of cost cutting
labour shedding and so called greater efficiency in the utilities. The
spectre of further rises looms when we reflect on the experience of New
Zealand and Britain.
The UK National Consumer Council has estimated that since privatisation customers of the main water companies have paid an extra $7 billion in water bills. This is $5 billion higher than the inflationary increase. Average water bills have doubled in some cases. These increases with slashed payrolls have boosted profits by up to 20% and dividend by 60% per year.
Since 1990 the share value of sewerage companies has more than
This stands out when compared with a 40% increase for all companies.
Britain for the first time now suffers from water restrictions and
pollution of its beaches from relatively untreated sewerage.
Myth of privatisation
Economic rationalists want to privatise everything. Gas, water, electricity in the start!! Followed by communications, education, job skilling, unemployed case management, taxation and so the list goes on. They would privatise rivers, beaches as they are doing in Europe and the air we breathe, if they could! And this is the point of course. Some things are better not being privatised.
Likewise many things could never be totally privatised. For instance land can never be totally privatised. Otherwise there would never be roads or public thoroughfares which link and allow access from one privately owned property to another.
There is a need for virgin parks and water catchment areas which are
publicly owned so that individual private sites may be serviced by
Any privatisation of such areas is at best in name only and at its
the destruction of the quality of life of others.
Privatisation means monopolisation
Economic rationalists rave on and on about breaking up inefficient state enterprises. Their fantasy knows no bounds and logic apart from monopoly and greed. They dream of securing and grabbing demand inelastic markets of water, gas and electricity for their own personal advantage and disadvantage of others. This is hardly free competition.!!!
The break up of metropolitan water authorities into regional suppliers hardly overcomes any monopolistic practices. In any particular locality you can have only one source of supply. It is still a monopoly . Instead of one central monopoly we have several regional monopolies. Thus even from the viewpoint of laissez faire (non monopolistic) economics there can never be any privatisation of public utilities.
The public utilities as part of the state sector only administer the delivery of such services at cost to the community. The question of monopoly is not an issue here because no profit is made from the supply. It is a user pays system .The cost of this infrastructure of delivery has been paid by consumers past and present . In the case of water, the good the utility delivers has not undergone a process of manufacture or transformation from raw materials. Water is free in nature.
But regardless of whether the user paid for the service or other
subsidised the consumer through debt amortisation, the public utility
hardly be classified a monopoly if it didn't make a profit itself.
Monopoly's hidden agenda
The economic rationalists as spokespersons for monopolistic interests are always seeking new areas of exploitation. Privatisation is really about taking away the community birthright we all have, in order to make selfish and exclusive monopoly profit.
Profit from monopoly is higher than the social average because of
ability to impose an economic rent on top of the general rate of
This rent arises from the additional impost levied by the monopolistic
owner of land or any other scarce or restricted means of production.
monopoly power springs from exclusive ownership of choice locations or
licenses to sell goods and services to the exclusion of all others.
Why do the prices rise
The consumer price rises are, as many suspect, part of and intrinsic to the privatisation process. In order to privatise these utilities it has been necessary to increase their profitability. Utilities with their massive amounts of fixed investment have been unable to match the general rate of profit of commercial enterprise which have lesser overheads.
In the past commercial capital would not touch such utilities for this very reason. There was never any possibility that the public utilities could be floated on the stock market as the rate of return on this venture capital would fall well below even long term interest rates. For development and dam building ,etc. the public utilities had to resort to the bond market or borrow money from other government bodies.
Such utilities existed within the state sector quite comfortably and viably. Long term loans and debentures by the utilities were paid off or amortised in time. New ones were raised and paid off, etc. in the continuing process of funding. New dams built and pipelines laid in continuing sequence of development. Human labour was value adding to the resources of nature itself and being funded by the consumers of the service or the community at large. From the non capitalist perspective everything worked well in this state public sector. Wages and salaries of the employees of the utilities were funded, like other costs from consumer revenue for the service.
However from a capitalist or profit based sense the utilities are
viable. The rate of return on capital invested is unprofitable because
of the large amount of past fixed investment. It becomes an economic
that revenue and consumer prices for the product would have to rise to
make the utilities more profit viable for privatisation. The question
really one of accounting!! The fixed investment of the utility in
needs to be capitalised for a float on the stock market. By regarding
resources as fixed capital in a total accounting of costs then the rate
of return on total capital (i.e.. the profit rate ) is very low. Hence
the economic rationalists need to raise consumer prices and slash
burn the resources including labour and the working conditions .
Privatisation is the ultimate in social theft
Recently church groups, social welfare bodies and trade unionists are becoming outraged at the privatisation process. Quite rightly so!!. The utilities being in the public sector belong to no one and yet to all. Any private alienation of social property is a form of theft. It should be treated in the same way as any other fleecing of the public purse.
If history is any guide to the future of privatisation then the results are not good. It has not worked for publicly listed companies in the private sector. The Elders/CUB privatisation resulted in asset stripping and ripping off of shareholders. Why should we think that the privatisation of public utilities will be any different?
Privatisation leads to asset stripping pure and simple. There is no new productive capital. It is rentier capital in its most moribund state.
As prospective buyers are being sought overseas we would do well to reflect on the centrality social ownership plays in the lives of indigenous people.
" The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you or I sell the sky or the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them.
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land you must remember that it is sacred . Each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells us of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give to any brother"
(Chief Seattle 1854)
Back to preface
There lies between capitalism and a classless society a transitional form of society. This transitional society has been called socialism. Yet this post capitalist society by its very transitional nature has many faces.
In the era of National Monopoly Capitalism (1870's-1970's) the essence of socialism was the dictatorship of the proletariat. It's form was seen in a revolutionary alliance of the oppressed against the former oppressing classes. In the Soviet Union, its basic form was a revolutionary state of the workers and Peasants against the feudal aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. In the third world, revolutionary new democratic alliances of workers, peasants and other patriotic elements for national independence seized power against the pro imperialist feudal forces and the comprador bourgeoisie.
However today such forms of socialism are no longer proving sufficient to deal with current economic and political circumstances. Previously successful socialist forms of organisation are no longer appropriate because a systemic change has taken place in a global sense of capitalism itself.
Nation state as an object
No longer is the world divided into two contending camps- a capitalist bloc and a socialist bloc. Today there is one integrated global economy. This global economy operates on capitalist principles. At this level it simply does not matter how the internal dynamics of a country are organised. Socialist nations and capitalist nations alike relate to each other and the rest of the world along global capitalist lines.
While it is true that there is nothing new in the nature of capitalism itself, apart from the further intensification of existing socio/economic contradictions globalisation has brought change. Globalisation has defined the nation states as a separate yet similar objects on the world stage, irrespective of the actuality of the social contradictions grounded in those countries and the substance of their economic/political make up. In the global community there is now an intrinsic exploitative form of communication between nation states.
A domestic socialist economy may prevent exploitation at the domestic level but whether the nation state as a totality exploits others or is itself exploited depends on the nature of this country's trade and the level of technology employed in production. No longer can a nation remain immune from the global framework as it had been in the preceding period Thus it becomes necessary to analyse how this change has come about. Has it defined a new era? An era in which a new form of socialism can emerge!
Global changes of the 1970's
The early to mid 1970's was a climactic period in which the forces for and against imperialism did battle. The Vietnam war brought the massive US military machine to its knees. The October 1973 Middle East war showed that Zionism was not invincible. The United Nations General Assembly condemned economic neo-colonialism and passed a program of action for a New International Economic Order. The result was an unparalleled victory for the world people. The net result shifted the balance of power on a world scale. It no longer favored the imperialist global north. This decisive shift seeded a new potentiality. It was the beginning of new times. It was an era in which the people united could never be defeated- an Era of the Masses.
The very essence of monopoly capitalism was shaken by this defeat. Political crises were linked to monetary crisis and the developed nations went into a deep recession. The international gold standard was abandoned altogether after a series of revaluation's of the US dollar.
Then came the massive expansion of global credit. Following this came the near collapse of the imperialist commercial banking system. Investment began to appear in a new form. Institutional funds such as the Pension and Superannuation funds, took on a new significance. They began to roam the world looking for investment opportunities. The traditional marriage between bank finance capital and industrial capital at a national level was on the rocks.
Imperialism's search for the highest rate of profit began to destroy the very super rates of profit sought. Multinational companies who had fiercely resisted nationalisation of their operations in developing nations, were now voluntarily departing the colonies in the recessed climate, as profitability rates for commodities began to fall.
But the greatest change that rocked monopoly capital was in the area of international free trade. The massive international expansion of trade that followed the abandonment of the gold standard funded a new expansion in the volume of global trade. New manufacturing centres and Free Trade zones were set up in the third world with the specific purpose of world wide export in mind. No longer were the import/export flows defined along traditional neocolonial lines between the imperialist mother country and its former colonies. Bilateral trade turned into multilateral trade in a mad scramble for preferential agreements and tariffs.
Yet the New International Economic Order was getting nowhere. The developing nations were getting even poorer. Capitalism had regrouped globally.
Hidden unequal trade
An imperceptible change was happening in the nature of trade itself. Goods and services were losing their intrinsic link to real value itself. As the world economies moved through the ups and downs of the supply/demand cycle it was becoming apparent that a definite price scissoring trend was appearing. Goods were being traded no longer at their value but at their production price. The international global movement of capital was beginning to even out rates of profit between nation states.
The superprofits from direct ownership of third world resources were no longer at the levels they were prior to the 1970's. Commodity prices were falling both absolutely as new areas were developed for export and also relatively in an organic way. The terms of trade for developing countries were not only deteriorating relatively from a recession in the developed world but absolutely in the new climate.
Trans National Corporations began to emerge in the place of the multinational companies of the previous decade. TNC's in developing countries were no longer monopoly capitalist financiers in search of the highest prices and profit for their commodities. They became affiliates of corporate end users in the global north. They maintained a presence in the global south in order to drive commodity prices and profits lower and reduce cost inputs in the developed countries. Transfer pricing tricks also became endemic in reducing third world taxation revenues.
In short in this new form of global capitalism and equalisation in
rate of profit, goods and services were now being traded on an
basis ( at their production Price ). No longer were goods and services
traded on an equal exchange basis ( at their value) with the
differential rates of profit.
Retrograde motion and shattered dreams
The nationalisation dreams of independent third world nations to share in the superprofits of former monopoly capital proved totally elusive in this New International Economic Order. Imperialist exploitation of the third world had changed form. The exploitation comes now not in the form of super rates of profit but rather in unequal trade. An equalisation in the rate of profit, given the different proportionality in the factors of production, can only shift real value or net wealth from the more labour intensive countries to the less labour intensive ones. Just as capitalist cities plunder the countryside under the name of the equalisation of profit so now the imperial centre -the global North plunders the periphery - the global South.
Yet there is an irony in this plunder. Since this value or wealth did not originate in the normal process of capitalist reproduction and accumulation it cannot be readily employed in capitalist production. It can only do so by forcing out or destroying an equivalent amount of productive capital. Thus while the developing countries languish in poverty there piles up in the developed world massive amounts of unusable wealth.
The third world was not alone in their shattered dreams. Socialist bloc countries too were no longer immune from these changes. Previously the rates of growth in socialist countries were far higher than the non socialist ones subjected to imperialism. Countries like South Korea and Taiwan now began to shine far brighter than their socialist counterparts. The price scissors favoured the High Tech. industries in these countries. The more labour intensive industries in the socialist countries, previously the fountain of surplus value and rapid growth rates, were now in a comparative way losers of value to the socialist nation. But this loss is only manifest in international trade.
Just as the apparent retrograde motion of the planets when viewed from the Earth is an illusion, so is the view that capitalism is superior to socialism. It is merely an illusion. It can be seen that in Eastern Europe the new regimes embracing capitalism have not been able to turn their economies around. Yet socialism of the old type in this new period of global capitalism has reached its limits. It is no longer as progressive as it once was.
The decline in living standards in contemporary socialist countries is obvious. Simplistic explanations focus on corruption. However this is not the essential factor. Corruption is more a symptom of decline. Yet in an ailing economy the emergence of corruption amongst high officials has a more damaging impact. In a centralist one party government, with little chance of recall, the situation becomes appalling. From the standpoint of the masses such a government can be described as downright reactionary. Nevertheless it is the economic factors in the terms of trade which are at the core of the problem.
The solution for socialist nations is not to develop an affinity for capitalism but freedom to develop a new form of socialist organisation which addresses the contemporary issues of the new economic era. An era in which the chemistry of global investment present an bonded view of reality.
Nation state as a commodity
While globalisation has defined nation states as objects in the
arena, former socialist leaders do not have to turn their countries
commodities. Nations to be bought and sold to the highest bidder!!.
in the United Nations Security Council we have seen attempt to bribe
with loans or preferential trading arrangements. We have also seen
and the actuality of UN sanctions. National currencies are also the
of international speculation. While it may not be so overt, global
has an end and that end it to turn the nation state into a commodity.
the means to that end depends on the very compliance of the national
New socialism is socialism in this new economic era - the era of the masses. The new form of socialism, as a transitional form of society must address the issue of decentralisation. The focus today is decentralisation rather than centralisation. Society must move towards "the withering away of the State" to use Marxist terminology. The centralisation of power in the hands of the revolutionary vanguard is now more of an ideological question rather than a bureaucratic or administrative function. Mass organisations must have real power in decision making. They must have the right to appoint and recall officials and to change decisions quickly. The empowering of the masses also means recognising their right to make mistakes. This right can be facilitated through the structure of peoples conferences, where decisions can be easily reviewed.
But the most significant difference between "socialism of the old type" and "socialism of the new type" is the question of wages. In old socialism the masses still worked under a wage system. Thus socialism still contained capitalism as its essence. It was capitalism inverted. It was capitalism stood on its head. It was capitalism in which the capitalists did not have power.
In its old form socialism was a system where surplus value was still individually appropriated from the masses but socially distributed for the betterment of the masses. It was a noble cause and an advance in its time.
Yet mankind's dream of a classless society necessitates the
of the wages system and profit altogether. Socialism in the new era
now address these to transcend global capitalist society. It must, as a
bridge, now negate the wage system while in essence preserving profit,
albeit in an inverted form. Thus new socialism must be based on the
partners not wage workers. This is a quantum leap in the
development of society.
Back to preface
Modern research into ecological systems show that there is always homeostatic feedback mechanisms present that self correct imbalances within the system. That is until a real limit is reached when the system itself changes. While the doomsday school of Gaia theory metaphysically focus on the details of these limits and how to sustain the existing structure, progressives should dialectically focus on how the system itself can change to define new limits and accommodate further increase.
The Rio Earth Summit while stressing the global limits of our planet also brought into question the economic sustainable limits of private property. Environmental problems are worst where the concentration of land ownership is at its worst. In Brazil where the destruction of the rain forests is destroying the lungs of the earth has one of the worst monopolisation of agricultural land. The latifundistas huge properties, often only retained for speculative purposes, lock out the rural and urban poor of a livelihood. It is only in the rainforest area that the slum dwellers find untitled and free land.
Many of the worst natural disasters from flood, drought and earthquake have a social bias. Quite often people die or lose their homes because they live where nature did not intend to live. Living on flood plains will certainly subject you to flash flooding! Farming arid acres or unproductive land will always be risky if the heavens don't open, but for disinherited people there is sometime no option.
Contrary to our Malthusian opponents it is not that the world that is overpopulated. But rather the current limits of private property have been reached. There is relative overpopulation in respect to current private property. Which do we change, that is the question? And that is the question that should have been on the UN's agenda at the Cairo Population Summit.
Mother of monopolies
Because land is finite compared with the infinity of products of manufacturing land itself defines the very limits of a particular society. Once extensive land use has reached its limit, a quantum leap occurs and land became used more intensively. The evolution of society has been based on this increasing intensification of land use. History shows that where some social barrier or monopolisation occurs to the unlocking of the land, such as the Church's ownership of vast acres, then it is swept aside.
Yes, the earth is Gaia god like. The land is the mother! And land is the mother of all capitalist monopolies. Winston Churchill eloquently put the matter this way in 1909,
"It is quite true that land monopoly is not the only monopoly which exists, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies-it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all forms of monopoly. It is quite true that unearned increments in land are not only the only form of unearned or undeserved profit which individuals are to secure; but it is the principal form of unearned increment which is derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but which are positively detrimental to the general public"
A monopoly in land is the basis of all forms of exploitation of the
masses in one form or another. All social revolutions in modern history
have in some way or another involved a redistribution of the land. Land
is the mother. It is the mother of the new. But in order define the new
it is necessary to understand the old. It is this question that we must
now address in order to transform society from a wage system to one
Australia and private property
Australia is an interesting country to investigate the origins of capitalist private property. As capitalism in Australia is relatively a recent phenomena and was artificially created by British colonial authorities, the underlying principles are not clouded by religious or cultural traditions. For the purpose of our investigation we leave aside the original dispossession of the native Aboriginal people by the British colonists for the moment. We return to this important fact later.
The nature of capitalist private property can be found in the origins of white colonial settlement in South Australia in the 1840's. E.G. Wakefield, theorist for the South Australian colony drew lessons from the previous failure of the Swan River settlement in Western Australia. The colonial capitalists were left without workers. Wakefield cites the case of one Mr. Peel who took with him from England to Swan River the means of subsidence and production in excess of 50,000 pounds sterling and 3,000 working class men, women and children. Yet shortly after arrival Peel was left without anyone to make his bed or fetch him water from the river.
In the South Australian experiment using, Wakefield's "systematic
labourers had to be denied their access of escape to set up as free and
independent producers. The South Australian Colonisation Scheme
clearly spells out in its official documents that in order to ensure a
continual supply of cheap labour the price of land must be
increased. Free settlers to the colony must be denied easy access to
Otherwise they could set up as independent farmers. Why should they
for anyone else when they could work for themselves? In having land
could just do that.
Land and wages
The actual denial of the settlers access to land was intrinsic to the establishment of a capitalist wages system in Australia. Capitalism's experience in the colonies was that Capital without Wage Labour ceases to be Capital. And the depropertying of the labouring masses was fundamental to the wage labour system. The wage system, as indeed all forms of economic relations in class society, is grounded on the basis of landed private property..
A further corollary of capitalist private property was discovered by Henry George in the emergent capitalist America in the 1870's. George noted that idle Capital posits itself in the form of wealth associated with ground rent and land speculation. He observed that in times of rising land prices the conditions of wage labour deteriorated. Rising rent eats into the profitability of capital and as a consequence business either fails or squeezes the very last drop of blood from its wage labour. Often both occur.
What George was observing was the unequal exchange and net transfer of value from the countryside to the cities under free competition. Since such wealth creation did not originate in the normal process of capitalist reproduction and accumulation it must lie as fallow and unproductive capital. Capitalised as ground rent it became a heavy burden on productive capital.
In other words, wealth stolen from the country reemerges in the
in an unusable form of land speculation. Both city and country lose as
this wealth can no longer be utilised by either productively. The
of this massive wealth escalates rent, forcing capitalists to lower
to compensate. Both agricultural and industrial workers lose.
Land is no-ones property
There is no arbitrary or legal way of abolishing differences between the countryside and the city or between classes and class difference. Yet in moving to classless society, a transitional means is required to take away the ground on which the contradiction between capital and labour is actualised. Liberal reformist Australian Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, many years ago remarked,
"The whole of the people have the right to ownership of land and the right to share in the value of land itself, though not to share in the fruits of land which properly belongs to the individuals by whose labour they are produced"
Now the very question of private freehold ownership of land needs to be examined. Certainly the high price of residential blocks of land locks young Australian families into a lifetime commitment to working for wages. The abolition of private ownership of land must be the final goal in the move to a classless society.
But to find a transitional means is a more difficult question. We in Australia are lucky to have had some experience in this field. The national capital city Canberra was founded on the principle of social ownership of land.
The Canberra leasehold system evolved out of the great equalitarian ideals of the late 1890's. It was designed to make sure that a few individual land owners could not make usury profits at the expense of the community. In recent years the leasehold land tenure system has come under pressure from the contradiction of releasing new land for residential housing versus the need for commercial real estate and revenue earned.
Still the experience suggests land tenure of commercial real estate should involve some form of leasehold arrangements, with site revenue attracted annually on this land. Residential land must be treated on a needs basis. The cost and provision of home ownership for the people is a partnership question and will discussed in Part 3.
The Aboriginal perspective
Aboriginal communities viewed land in a very different way from contemporary Australian society. They saw themselves not as owning the land, but being caretakers of that land. This is a version of the leasehold concept. They paid 'rent' in ceremonial and cultural practices which encompassed physical caring for the land and environmental regeneration. By paying respect to nature, the ultimate provider, their future needs from the land would be fulfilled.
As Nature was being paid, she would always provide what they needed. To them land was the mother. Disguised in the metaphysical dreaming of the sustainer known in the south as Bunjul and in the north as the Rainbow Serpent Aboriginal Australia was actually very advanced or enlightened.
No one owned the land, therefore, no one could prevent another from using the land. All could caretake for the land they needed. As they were actually having to caretake for the land, they could only take what they needed, there was no way they could take more land then they needed as they did not have the means for caring for too much land.
The initiation of the young of the societies taught them this concept, when they were sent into the land for six months by themselves, they learnt that they could not care for more land than they needed as well as care for themselves.
One person could not do the work of two, therefore, one person could
only tender a finite portion of land. Any more than that, and the land
would be insufficiently cared for and become infertile. Using more land
than necessary was untenable and ultimately would result in the
the caretaker role. If a person has only the land that they need and
care for, in the end they benefit more than a person who has more land
than he can care for by himself. In the end, the person with more land
than he can care for destroys himself and the land.
The exciting prospects of Mabo
In Australia a recent High Court ruling known as the Mabo decision has opened exciting prospects to change the very nature of land tenure in this country. The validity of all freehold land titles could be brought into question. The Court recognised that the continent of Australia was not "Terra Nullius", an empty land. The British Colonial authorities had acted illegally in subdividing and selling titles to parcels of land that actually belonged communally to Australia's native Aboriginal people.
The High Court's Mabo decision could give legislators the right to declare all Freehold titles to land in Australia as null and void. Existing titles could now revert to Leasehold ones with an annual site revenue payable on non residential land.
The Mabo decision is an exciting development and a chance to provide the framework for new form of society in Australia.
As Dr. Jim Cairns, Federal Treasurer 1974-1975, recently commented,
"We could see Mabo as a principle, the principle that no land should be primarily owned but occupied and used under long-term leases that give all the security ownership does (as in Canberra) and can be bought and sold as ownership is. But the rent of the land, the socially created unearned rise in its value be paid to revenue allowing taxes on earnings to be reduced or abolished."
The Mabo decision lends itself to a relatively painless way of
the nature of and sublating the current system of land value and
It opens a doorway towards creating a more socially orientated use of
Back to preface
For taxation to be progressive it must be
related and not consumption based. The tax should be just, equitable
easy to collect. It should not hinder production or dampen personal
To the individual social revenue should seem invisible. Domestic taxes
levied should be direct and differential on the basis of those that can
afford to pay more should do so. Finally taxation must have an indirect
international aspect universally serving all in Australia and the
An impossible dream or is it?
Direct site revenue
Henry George once wrote,
"A tax on land values is of all taxes that which best fit every requirement of a perfect tax.
As land cannot be hidden or carried off, a tax on land values can be assessed with more certainty and can be collected with greater ease and less expense than any other tax, while it does not in the slightest degree check production or lessen its expense. It is in fact only in form, being in nature a rent -a taking for the use of the community a value that rises not from individual exertion but from growth of the community."
Tax Reform Australia has estimated that a 5% tax on unimproved land site value would replace 70 of the other form of current taxation in Australia. A domestic reform of taxation that has long been overdue.
While annual site revenue is an important domestic social reform of
the taxation system it cannot however generate the necessary
income to fund new social measures. This is because it only taps relative
ground rent. Annual site revenue socially redistributes the
income arising out of the differential nature of the land. Yes, it is a
necessary reform step in funding social justice and equity by
unlocking the land. But the social cake has not got any bigger. Only
measures can accomplish global growth out the current stagnation.
Indirect site revenue
Historically Australian prosperity in the world has been conditional on the exploitation of our natural resources. Gold rush of the 1850's truly marked the starting point of free settlement and economic take off. The mineral and energy boom of the late 1960's and early 1970's indirectly funded the new social initiatives of the Whitlam years.
The boom wealth generated from our extractive industries appears in the form of absolute ground rent. Absolute ground rent appears under the equalisation of the rate of profit as the amount the value of the extracted commodity exceeds its production price. This rent must be socially tapped and not individually appropriated. An appropriate Australian Resources Rent must socially appropriate this absolute ground rent. This tax base universally betters all Australians and funds the new social expansion.
Using this resources rent we redress Australia falling terms of trade and turn around the price scissors created by the globalisation of capital. Global capitalism with its equalisation of the rate of profit has created unequal trade between nations and global shifts of value from the South to the North. It is only by using the limits of natural resources and mineral and energy producer cartels can this inequity be addressed. It is only with the creative use of absolute ground rent can the estrangement of price from value be rectified globally. And as such it is a means by which Australia and the resource rich developing countries develop a new and just world order.
To summarise, society's revenue must not come primarily from
Taxation is a form of retribution of wealth in society. Whether it
from individuals or work centres for social redistribution taxation
not tap the real forms of surplus profit and cannot really address
inequality. Society's revenue must come primarily from ground rent. It
must do in a relative form by of direct annual site revenue. And it
do in an absolute form as a resources tax. Just as Libya primarily
its social revenue from oil revenue so too Australia must fund its
expansion from our natural extractive industries.
Capitalism as a social operating system is now some 500 years old. It has now under globalisation reached its limits. The limitations in any operating system, whether the human immune system or a computer in/out system, become apparent as viruses. Viruses attack the very genetic code or make up of the system itself and yet remain invisible to the system itself. Thus the system cannot deal with these coded instructions or does so in a corrupt way.
Ethnic tension and racial hatred exist as social viruses in current
society. Global capital has an economic blind spot in addressing such
problems. Former healthy multinational states like Yugoslavia or the
Union which existed in a socialist framework are now retro
in a global capitalist operating system. Any operating system must have
its limitations. The secret is to know what to include and what to
in any given level of constraint. In building a new social operating
for post capitalist society we must first define our requirements.
requirements must be based on addressing human needs.
Needs based resourcing
In capitalist and previous socialist societies, based on the wage system, an individual received back, what that person put into society, through work, regardless of individual needs. There was little diversity, incentive or personal satisfaction built into the system. Socialist societies of the current era have, in the relatively short period of development in which they have operated, been unable to achieve recognition of the needs of the individual on a universal scale. An individual with distinct individual needs as well as social needs truly. A free society would encourage the growth of assertive individuals who know and express their own needs. As we shall see later the incorporation of increased degrees of individual freedom within a social operating system has the potential to overcome racial hatred and ethnic tension.
Under the partners concept what people receive, is still very much dependent on what each puts in and constrained by the total finite resources available. However their individual needs in these newly contracted social relationships are now addressed and resourced in three ways.
They would be resourced as
Ultimately in a classless society, all distribution is based on the complete fulfillment of an individuals needs. In class society however the ruling class is free to exploit others to satisfy its own needs. But this is a false freedom as the exploiter is still tied to the exploited in a binding social relationship. He is like the jailer who is tied to his prisoners or Schindler who was tied to his refugees from Nazism in what amounted to a slave labour camp. Only when the jail is empty is the jailer truly free from those responsibilities, free to lead his own life. If a man possesses needs of others, such as a Schindler possessing the needs of his refugees, he cannot devote enough time to his own needs, therefore his own or families needs will not be met. Post capitalist society embraces all and cares for all socially. As such it frees individuals from the responsibility of others needs
Only free individuals posses their own needs. Consciousness of this
allows personal development to mature and be expressed in a confident
personality; instead of the crippling submissive and aggressive
behaviours so characteristic of current capitalist society.
The most pressing need of any individual or family is housing. It is only when one owns this need is one ever totally free from exploitation. Living in another's house, whether paying rent or not, compromises freedom. In contrast to State owned housing in orthodox socialist societies true partners in a new society must own their own home.
Home ownership is not just a dream but a prerequisite to individual freedom and fulfillment. The State must provide and guarantee low interest rate funding for this purpose. Special banks set up for this purpose should never be allowed to get into commercial speculation and be diverted from this purpose. We have seen recently in Australia whole banks originally set for this purpose disappear overnight in speculative finance crashes.
Home ownership does not include the right to own the land. Residential land as we previously pointed out is no ones property. Residential land is a valuable need . If someone owns land outright, they are encroaching on the future needs of another. If one owns land outright, it stands to reason that as land is finite, this means another can not have the land. Once they are locked out of land ownership there are major obstacles to ever obtaining land. This involves great cost and bureaucratic organisation in effecting transfer of ownership.
Abolition of land speculation
There should be no speculation in residential land. Australia's national capital city Canberra was founded on this very principle. At that time people were fed up with land speculation and the corrupt land deals of state parliaments of the 1890's. Land profiteering had produced political corruption stretching into the highest levels of government. Federation Prime Minister Barton promised a clean slate and that all land in the national capital would be publicly owned forever. Public land ownership also meant the city planners could ensure urban amenities were fully integrated into the city's development. Without land speculation, housing costs were minimised in Canberra. In addition the people benefited from the economies of scale of site development without incurring the higher prices of private developers.
However since the late 1970's certain inadequacies have shown up in
Canberra's leasehold system of residential land tenure. House prices in
Canberra have skyrocketed in the last decade with betterment
and the speculative element has crept in the backdoor.
Reducing home costs
Australia wide the current cost of home ownership certainly needs to be reduced. This can effectively be achieved by the total separation of the home from the land it stands on. Currently more than 50% of the cost of a home is the cost of the land site. Residential land should be socially owned and controlled by the respective municipal peoples councils. Infrastructure improvements to these sites should not be the burden of the home owner on the one side nor the capital gain of the residential speculator on the other.
While home ownership is a universal right for all partners in society. These homes can never be all the same. Families have their own particular needs based on the size and composition of their family. As such homes will be of different varying from flats, apartments, houses, etc. Some peoples lifestyle may also require a more modest home in the city where they live during the week and a holiday house in the country for the weekends. Yet having a second home for the purpose of renting it out cannot be encouraged.
No one has the right to acquire a house additional to his own to
his own dwelling and that of his heirs for the purpose of renting it,
this additional house is in fact a need of someone else. ( Green Book
Superannuation and pension funds as holders of vast tracts of real estate must either be nationalised or pay rental incomes to society. Under society's new income measures such superannuation fund payouts would be greatly diminished .
Yet in a transitional period, individuals deferred incomes should be
preserved or compensated. These superannuation fund should be viewed as
an involuntary savings fund payable to the individual on retirement
from the new social income discussed next.
Back to preface
Everyone should share, in a partnership of, the fruits of Australian society. Each has a right to an income that sustains a basic level of existence. In other words everyone should be guaranteed a minimum income. This notion was originally proposed by Professor Ronald Henderson in his studies into poverty in Australia in the 1970's. It is increasingly winning favour with the social-welfare lobby in Australia in light of the complexity of the social security system. There are currently 25 categories of payments which make the social security system a nightmare for both recipients and staff administering the scheme. A universal payment made by society to all its members would solve this problem.
With such a reform of the social security system the distinction
paid and unpaid work could be resolved. Work must be seen in its true
not through the distorted prism of the wage system. ABS statistics show
that a third of all work in Australia is unpaid . In 1992 the value of
this unpaid work was estimated at $227.8 billion. When we subtract self
employed work and work that is either personally or government
we are starting to get a picture of work in Australia in which the wage
system is increasingly becoming obsolete.
While many social democrats reject a universal payment on the basis that the community is only willing to give income support to people genuinely looking for work. Some careful consideration needs to be given to examining what work really is. One of the advantages of giving the same income support to all is that it abolishes the basis for naturally occurring divisive petty jealousies.
The living allowance takes away the insecurity of living hand to mouth that the dole engenders. Once a person no longer has to worry about where the next meal is coming from, or where the rent for the house is going to be earned, they can put more energy and concentration into their work, resulting in higher productivity, and more benefit to the society. Work has become inbuilt in society. People work now not only for a wage, but for what they accomplish, and the recognition by others of their labours. The living allowance frees the worker to be able to work, and frees their minds to be more creative in their work.
New society must recognise that people are individuals and that their needs are different. People also form individual partnerships with others in regard to their living relationships. While many relationships reflect the traditional family situation other different arrangements should not be discriminated against.
The needs of each family situation or basic unit must be catered for
on an individual basis. The nature and amount of family payments must
on a needs basis rather than assets or income tests. While child
is the individual responsibility of a particular family unit society
universally fund it costs. In too many cases access to and custody of
in failed relations are used as weapons in a maintenance war by former
partners against each other. The psychological and social damage
from this conflict we are only now beginning to cost. Prevention is
better then cure.
In a new society a person would have no need to work for another simply to survive, However bonuses provide an incentive to work and an equitable way in sharing the fruit of social cooperative labour . Some people may temporarily wish to subsist on the universal allowance and family payments having the philosophy that 2 out of the 3 ain't bad. The current capitalist system in fact encourages the existence of such a reserve pool of unemployed to keep wages down. However not working socially in the end is soul destroying for the individual.
A worker who chooses his work will take more pride in this work than one who is forced into onerous work simply to survive. Therefore quality control tends to be built in instead of being an external thing. External quality control is inefficient and often does not have very good results. Faulty products still manage to slip through. If quality control is built in and each worker takes pride in the quality of their work, far fewer faulty products would be marketed.
Bonuses for actual work should be made on a professional, skill and trade basis. Bonuses would vary on the nature of the work location and type of work. Further bonuses would be awarded for productivity and creativity. This would allow for the particularity of work itself.
Under the new arrangement work based cooperatives have no
to move off shore in search of cheap labour. Their "labour costs"
only of bonuses, not wages, payroll tax and superannuation, etc. The
cost of living in Australia would be a cost borne by all Australians.
Partners the social wage would be now incorporated into the
living allowances and family payments. It is no longer a burden on a
manufacturer who must pass on the costs into their products. There is
need now to go off shore or close down under the pressure of the
from world trade.
Bill of rights
These new forms of social distribution need to be legislated at the
highest level as rights. They represent new economic freedoms for the
people in a new higher level of social organisation. They are part of a
new social operating system, operating at a higher level of entropy.
new degrees of freedom for the living individual can only be properly
and guaranteed in a bill of rights. This Australian Bill of Rights can
act as a legislated manifesto for Partners in Australia. As
it prepares the ground, for a bridge between new society and
Back to preface
A new society must overcome the personal limitations of life in the current system. In today's society most people are locked into the most basic level of living, in a sense of "hunting and gathering" on an individual basis. They are concerned primarily with their next pay cheque, their next meal, the rent, etc. In an advanced new society, those worries are taken care of socially.
Being engaged in the daily grind of living often ones energy is totally sapped in domestic and subsistence toil. In this mode people often do not have time to reflect either on their own existence or the wider social issues of the human condition. A lot anti-intellectual sentiment derives from this fact, and resentment towards those who do have the luxury of time or wealth to enable such creative thought and the development of theoretical constructs.
While there is no denial that the motive force in the advancement of history is the mass movements which changed society it was the creative thinking in such social movements that brought about the realisation of the new goals. This is the role of every individual in the dynamics of history. As we move to a classless society it becomes a factor in everyone's lives and with their own difficulties and solutions.
The new work arrangements under partners with its social living allowances allows all members of society the potential to become creative. Freedom from the drudgery of domestic and wage slavery creates the circumstances for a personal freeing of the mind to higher maters. It allows time for consciousness to be personally internalised, facilitating greater social interaction. Yet often for creativity to be actualised the process involves some sort of personal struggle to overcome the limitation or negate the former negation.
The author Satre has pointed out Man is condemned to be free. Realities are brought home in an individuals own experience and social practice. Man feels his personal cognition and it often hurts. But in pain a personal existential experience can lead to a healing and new forms of social interactions and practices. As Hegel once remarked,
From pain begin the need and the urge that constitute the transition by which the individual, which is explicitly the negation of itself, becomes also explicitly its own identity - an identity that exists only as the negation of the former negation. ( Science of Logic )
In negating our own negations and healing we can create a praxis of free, self knowing, and independent personalities that creatively bridge the social gap in real life between
We need the creativity to address the gap between the young and the old. Today job opportunities are limited for new entrants to the work force. Established wage earners are currently understandably protective of their own employment. More and more young people are thus forced to rely on unemployment benefits, which is a huge drain on the nations assets, thus completing a vicious circle. Creatively the long term youth jobless could be the spearhead for Partners - Partners in a Working Nation. The new training and job creation schemes under the federal government's Working Nation initiative could be the bridge to work of the future. These new entrants to the workforce instead of working for wages could work for bonuses, while still being under the social security umbrella. Some degree of this is already happening with the Working Nation's DEET projects. Similarly the mature age jobless, as part of their reskilling, could be offered the partners option. Thereby establishing on the ground a cross generation connectivity that the SkillShare attempts in its training courses. It would be a pilot scheme that both trade unions, employers and the community at large should accept as social necessity in the current depressed economic climate.
We need creativity to recognise the disabled as full members of society, who command the same level of respect as able bodied people. It is time for societies to enable the disabled members of our society to participate fully and effectively. Rather than detracting from society as a whole, the disabled actually have very important roles to play, and as with the able bodied members of society, some have superlative qualities, such as the intellectual brilliance of Stephen Hawkins. The overcoming of some disability often produces unique talents in people. It is time that we began to recognise this potentiality and encourage it.
"The industrious and skillful in a society have no right, as a result of this advantage, to take from the shares of others. They can use their talents to satisfy their own needs and save from those needs. Like any other member of the society, the aged, and the mentally and physically disabled should have their fair share from the wealth of the society."
(M. Qathafi, The Green Book, Part 2.)
We need creativity to address issues of race, creed and colour that can so easily divide the people. We cannot let such particularities be used as weapons against us by those who would exploit difference. In fact we should let ethnic diversity strengthen the pillars of our community and culture. We have so much to give and learn from each other. The doors must swing open and let a thousand flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend. Unfortunately the current Racial Vilification legislation may tend to close doors and curtail the very free speech we need to encourage.
We need creativity for a genuine and historic reconciliation between Aboriginal and White Australia. This reconciliation must be cultural, political and economic. While aspects can be legislated the reconciliation must be primarily at a personal level of awareness. Prime minister Keating's Redfern Statement provides a starting point. There must be recognition of invasion within white settlement. The true spirit of our Southern land can be Aboriginal inspired. With today's social division of labour many people suffer from an increasing alienation from nature. They lack the necessary personal survival skills to live outside their own environment. The very life force of our regeneration as a society of partners lies in the very ancient and lost wisdom; that of communities living in harmony with each other and nature itself
We need creativity to gap between rich and poor. Previous revolutionary experience shows that the transition between capitalist class society with its extreme polarization of wealth and an egalitarian classless society can only be a dynamic and non linear process. As such there must be objectively a continuous but fluctuating shift of wealth from the one to the other or from the old to the new; although from a relative point of view there are apparent backtracks or standstills in this process. In income there needs to be a shifting yet intrinsic connection between the universal living allowance, individualised family payments and the particular bonuses associated with work based partnerships.
While the value placed on each will fluctuate during the transitional period its proportion does not. This is because the three underlying principles of universality, individuality and particularity of partnerships relate to each other in a simple recursive way. To many, new socialism could appear to be objectively a chaotic process with property relations in a state of perpetual change and turmoil. It may also appear anarchistic because of the reduction of mechanisms of social control. Computer modeling becomes important here. See Appendix 1.
We need creativity to address the equality of
sexes. Capitalism and indeed all class society has a sociological,
and religious superstructure that treats women as second class citizens
in a very paternalistic way. In a society of partners women would no
be chattels or the private property of men. They would have the social
and economic independence of any individual. They would be free to form
mutual relationships with others on the basis of their own choice,
and needs; rather than according to cultural arrangements or
necessity. Marriage, as a living partnership between a man and woman,
creatively be broadened from its divisive narrowness. Intermarriages
different generations, races, classes, religions and so forth may
some personal difficulties but when the barriers are overcome the
ramifications may have a lasting and positive effect within the
They are personal keys to the ending of many social conflicts.
The family is society in microcosm. The exploitative relationships
the capitalist wage system are mirrored in the social expectations and
role models within the family unit. Capitalism's nuclear family not
divides parents from each other domestically but also defines social
and behaviour between parents and children. Learned behaviour which
on from one generation to the next. How the cycle is broken and how
operates within the family unit must remain the subject of discussion
Finally Partners in its highest form takes on a new universality. The idea is no longer bound by the relative nature of its environment and the specific details of its contents. Partnership has only pure form. The concept thus becomes absolute and universally applicable. In its highest form, as an absolute idea, Partners in Australia becomes a theoretical model for partnerships in other countries and a global partnership between countries in the world. At the very height of this absolute ideal we have the beginning of new material.
At the very moment we strip Partners of all its relative and specific content we lay bare the material kernel of partnership and thus reach a new point of departure. It is the moment of creation of new bridges and partnerships with their own specific material content. Partnerships exist within a community and that community exists within a larger community.
Our investigation ends with a new point of departure for a study of partnerships within the family. But Partners in Australia remains a small cog in the partnership between nations on a world scale and that is also a field of study in itself. While community or the environment of the system defines its content the underlying form of partnerships remains universal. In its absolute form Partners provides a new window through which we can look inwards or outwards.
Both the capitalist wage system and new society's partners system are ultimately only different forms of social relationships and work. Marx in 1847, heralding the demise of the capitalist wage system, made the absolute pronouncement,
Workers of the World unite. You have nothing to loose but your chains.
Some hundred and fifty years later we now have an absolute vision of what replaces this capitalist wage system in a very practical way. Partners not wage workers is not only the new global catch cry for a new classless society but the very practical path we must all follow.
Back to preface
I believe. I believe that partnerships are the key to the future. Men and women are social beings. They form social relationships on an individual, a particular and a universal level. Individually, one-to-one relationships will always be the primary aspect and cornerstone of all future friendships. Work and group relationships determine the essence of social experience, in the particular. Universally, men and women only find their place and destiny in their relationship to society.
Yet it is only when these relationships are free and non exploitative that the missing and subjective elixir is objectively to be found. In partners we find happiness.
Partners not Wage earners unlocks this new potentiality. It forms
bridge to new society. It brings us to realise to our dreams and Paradise
Back to preface
While computers are fundamental to non linear economic modeling they are also playing an increasingly important role in creativity and personal interactivity. The South Movement here in Australia is looking at creating a computer based economic/political simulation game called Access Chiron to bring these ideas to peoples attention and awareness by making it enjoyable. The simulation takes its name from the planetoid, CHIRON, which was first discovered in November 1977 at the time Muammar Qathafi was writing the second part of his Green Book, outlining the principles of Partners not Wage-earners.
If the bridge between current class society and non-class society is of a dynamic and non linear type, and if socialism has a face that changes like the shifting sands of the desert, but blooms like wild flowers after rain, then Chiron provides a good model. The orbit of Chiron is also of a dynamic non linear type. This in fact causes changes in the planets brightness and shape, and hence its changing "face". Chiron's orbit is measured at approximately 50 years which correlates with the long waves of boom and bust times under capitalism first discovered by Russian economist Nicholai Kondrattief in 1921.
When we delve even deeper into the Greek mythology of Chiron - the healer, we can see that our bridge likewise also needs to heal many festering wounds of global capitalism. It did not come as a surprise that the symbol for Chiron the planet, a K sitting on a circle, closely resembles the international symbol Access (the wheel chair) for the disabled.
Lets open the game. Where do we start? Sign on! Password ? Password??
Wait! Think! Chiron is a lexigram for no rich. To be rich means that one has more than one needs, and is encroaching on another persons needs. Therefore, logically the concept No rich means that no one individual has more than their needs, no one is encroaching on another's needs.. If no one has more than they need, then potentially all should have what they need. Therefore No Poor. You now have the pass word to Access Chiron.
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