The Free Society
‘Freedom begins where work ends.’
– Work and the Free Society, 1st Edition
‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.’
– Slogan popularised by Karl Marx
Winning reforms and changing the conditions under which we work can only get us so far. Eventually there is nothing else that can be won from the boss except the places we work and live themselves. However if we simply become our own bosses with capitalism and state intact then we would still be chained to the ideology of work for survival. We must recognise these limits and aim for a social revolution – the complete reordering of society. Having gained a revolutionary consciousness from our previous struggles we would be able to undertake the general political strike – the use of both mass industrial action and mass social protest – to replace capitalism with communism and work with free association.
This means the end of artificial competition for profits, and with it the huge volume of pointless or repeated work being done today. We would be given a fair voice in deciding what work is to be done and how we will undertake it. Dirty or dangerous tasks could be automated, shared through collective agreement, or abandoned as unworkable. Environmentally unsound practices would end, as our wellbeing as individuals and that of the planet as a whole would drive production and innovation. We would be free to learn our true potential as humans.