Time For Change
Since people settled down and created cities and civilizations thousands of years ago, there have been two distinct classes of people in most societies: a minority of wealthy individuals who formed the ruling class and the vast majority who remained poor and enslaved and created the wealth of the rich who used all the tricks in the book, including those considered holy and divine, to maintain their rule and protect and enlarge their wealth. So much has been the difference in the life style and livelihood between these two classes that they might as well have been of different species. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to compare the subjugation and exploitation of the majority by the minority in all the hitherto phases of the human development to that exercised on animals, such as horses, cattle and sheep. It’s apropos and little wonder that the Christian faith often refers to the masses as sheep.
In all the different phases of the human civilization, the current phase always seemed the final and natural one. Although all these phases have been based on exploitation of the masses by a minority of usurpers, they have not all been equally cruel and unjust; each represented an improvement over the one that came before it, such as feudalism over slavery and capitalism over feudalism. Although the transition from feudalism, which was based on exploiting peasants who worked the land to capitalism which is based on individual capitalists exploiting workers, involved rebellions by the masses, it was also aided by the shift in the mode of production from mainly agricultural to industrial, spurred by the explosion in science and technology and the industrial revolution. In other words, times were changing, the world was changing and so had to the economic system. The old system was not appropriate for the new world.
Despite tremendous advances in science and technology in the last couple hundred years, there is no industrial or technological pressure for change in the mode of production, as was in the previous transition. The change to socialism will not do away with factories and assembly lines or how products are manufactured and distributed, but will mainly and primarily be legal and organizational in the sense that ownership will go from individuals to governments formed by awakened masses and set up to respond to and meet the public’s and societal needs including those of the environment and health and well being of all people, instead of the profit margin of a few rich and powerful. This makes the element of consciousness and social and political awareness that much more important than in previous change.
The shift to capitalism did open the door to developing and advancing the means, tools and techniques of production and helped advance science and technology and improved life overall, but it didn’t do away with exploitation of humans by humans which through time, concentrated the wealth in few hands leaving the vast majority increasingly impoverished. And in its advanced stage, it gave rise to rivalry amongst capitalist classes of more developed nations which turned deadly and took millions of lives and resulted in massive destruction of infrastructure, means of production and in fact entire cities in the two world wars, all because greed knows no bounds. And now, though the rivalry is kept in check – for now – we’re witnessing endless wars by the most dominant of these capitalist classes, with the help and support of its followers and partners in other developed countries, for more and more control of the resources, markets and labor of the world. This situation and the current trend is not sustainable – not for billions of people living in poverty, if they live at all, not for the environment, and not for our health and well being. And, it’s only getting worse: poverty, hunger, malnutrition, homelessness and lack of basic necessities and care is at all time high, and so are corporate profits and environmental ruin and degradation of food and water, while there is no end in sight to wars of conquest and empire building. It’s time for change.