I owned a financial services business in the United States for 32 years and retired in 2012. I have lived in Ecuador, South America since 2012.
For those who like labels, I suppose that the Socialist or Communist label is as good as any. The two individuals whose works have had the most influence on my beliefs are Peter Kropotkin and Karl Marx:
-- Peter Kropotkin for his in-depth presentation of an actualized socialist-communist society.
-- Karl Marx for his unsurpassed analysis on capital and capitalism.
My journey through socialism has evolved over the last 16 years. As my knowledge and experience increases, I'm sure my perspectives will change as well.
For me, socialism is much more than a social and economic set of principles and beliefs … it is a way of thinking and living based on sharing and caring. My transformation to Socialism was the most profound period of time in my life.
Socialism will not come about by reforming capitalism. Socialism's purpose is to meet the collective needs of society. Capitalism's purpose is to provide a profit to the business owners or stockholders as compensation for their capital investment.
The principles of socialism and capitalism are not compatible. It is impossible for the two systems to co-exist.
Socialism-Communism will require the total abolishment of capitalism and its components.
People and the planet must come before personal or corporate gain.
The Core Principles of Socialism
-- Socialism must be global. Socialism will not work if it is not the economic and political system internationally. Socialism must be desired by the majority of the international working class.
An international Socialist society cannot be established until a majority of the working class are fully educated about Socialism, seek a Socialist society and are willing to participate in the struggles and conflicts associated in bringing about a Socialist society.
The early years will require a massive amount of cooperative labor to meet the global housing, food and medical care needs of everyone.
We offer no Utopia ... only a society based on economic and social justice for everyone.
-- The production of products and services are to be collectively owned by society and the workers will manage and operate the production and the distribution of those products and services to the local and global community according to each individual’s and family's self-defined needs.
-- Socialism must be a classless society. This society will not entertain a class of "haves" and a class of "have-nots". Everyone's needs will be met according to their self-defined needs.
-- Socialism is leaderless. As long as there is a "god-like" leader or vanguard, there will always be a ruling class. The people with their collective knowledge and experience will possess all the tools necessary for self-rule.
-- There will be no state. The people will have no need or desire to have others govern them or make laws for them. The people in their own communities will know what is best for the wellbeing of their community.
-- There will be no borders under Socialism. A socialist society is quite simply a large group of citizens working together to meet their own needs and the needs of others ... locally and globally. History has shown, borders are a frequent component of war.
--There will be no money under Socialism. The use of money forces rationing on most people. If you want a particular product, you can only have it if you have the money to buy it. If you don’t have enough money, you cannot obtain a service that you may need or want. The use of money creates and maintains a class-based society between the "haves" and "have-nots".
Money is a tool of capitalism. It has no place or value in a socialist society in which every member of society has free access to any product or service they need on a self-defined basis.
-- There is no private property under Socialism. Like money, private property creates and maintains a class system built around one's financial wealth.
Individual, organizational or governmental ownership of property is ludicrous and expresses over-the-top greed, self-worth and worthiness.
Let's take land as just one example. It is generally accepted in the scientific community that Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. What has any individual, organization or government done to increase the long-term value (let's say a mere 100,000 years) of the land that gives any individual, organization or government the right to ownership?
The same goes for the minerals, oil and precious metals under Earth's surface. What, exactly, has any individual, organization or government done to create and store these minerals, oil or precious metals during this 4.5 billion years?
It's the same for any manufactured product. All items produced contain at least one natural resource that Earth provides. Earth's natural resources (minerals, oil, precious metals , water, land, plants and etc. are for the collective benefit of mankind ... not for the private gain and pleasure of a select few.
Personal possessions are not considered private property.
-- Participatory (direct) democracy is a core component in a Socialist society. Everyone has a say and a vote in the things that directly affect their lives. Participatory democracy is a responsibility and a social obligation. Participatory democracy requires action by its citizens and is so important that participation cannot be transferred to representatives.
-- P.J. Penner, P4S Editor and Publisher
Passion for Socialism
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