Arguments for socialism: Capitalism and the ecological crisis

[Green Left Weekly, #272, April 30, 1997]

The ecological crisis is perhaps the strongest argument for socialism. Despite the business-as-usual attitude of the capitalist media, this is not just one more crisis: it is a looming catastrophe that threatens the survival of humanity. It is generated by the most fundamental workings of the system and for that reason cannot be overcome within the framework of capitalism.

Arguments for socialism: Would socialism work?

[Green Left Weekly, #270, April 16, 1997]

Socialists condemn capitalism because it has failed the overwhelming mass of humanity in the most decisive way. It promises freedom, democracy and prosperity but spectacularly defaults on all three (as, for instance, the people of the former Soviet Union are today finding out to their bitter cost). Nevertheless, capitalism has one undoubted historical merit: it has developed society's productive powers to the point where everyone on the planet could be assured a decent, truly human existence — on the condition that the capitalist system is replaced by socialism.

Arguments for socialism: Utopian fantasy or realistic option?

[Green Left Weekly, #269, April 9, 1997]

February next year is the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Marx and Engels' famous Manifesto of the Communist Party. This event can be regarded as the birth of the modern socialist movement. Yet, despite all the drama and turmoil of the past century and a half, today the socialist movement seems at its lowest ebb ever. Among capitalist commentators, it is the received wisdom that socialism is a dead issue. Many erstwhile radicals have come to the same conclusion.