A World to Win is published as a contribution to the discussion and debate about the present and the future of contemporary society. A World to Win is not a tirade against globalisation but examines the way that the process is driven by capitalism. Our proposals seek to realise the potential that already exists through the creation of a new social, economic, political and cultural framework based on co-operation, co-ownership and self-management. The book draws on a wide range of authorities as well as original research.
- Part One analyses the impact of profit-driven globalisation in a number of areas: alienation, economy, the state, culture, ecology and science.
- Part Two puts forward a series of proposals which would revolutionise the economy, the state and our attitude towards culture and the Earth’s ecosystems.
- Part Three discusses human nature and our capacity to carry through change, suggests a philosophy that can focus our efforts and finally puts forward a new concept for a political party.
Part One – Globalisation and its consequences
The intense globalisation of the last 30 years has dissolved many of the social bonds that for decades held people and communities together. Alienation, a deepening sense of powerlessness over factors that shape our lives, is one of the consequences. A World to Win looks at some of the results: stress at work, drug and alcohol abuse, indebtedness and political alienation.
The emergence of transnational corporations, an international financial system and information technology have transformed the world. Major decisions are taken at regional or global level through the EU, the WTO and IMF. Inequality has grown – between rich and poor nations and within countries. Global poverty has soared. This is a new period in the history of capitalism, in which the nation-state is a subordinate actor.
A World to Win looks at the evolution of the modern state alongside capitalism and the relationship between economics and politics. It examines the ending of the welfare state, the construction of the new “market state” and the role of British and American governments in this process. This chapter looks at the new nature of state structures and how they reflect the imperatives of global capital. Read this chapter (pdf file 151kb)
Our shared knowledge and heritage is increasingly under the influence of a handful of media conglomerates. Independent film, music, writing and art are stifled and even suppressed in favour of culture products that make a profit. Sponsorship and product placement, dumbed down TV and commercialised sport are other results of profit-driven globalisation.
We need to have a respectful, mutual relationship with the natural world around us, of which we are part. But the deepening exploitation of nature for profit over the last 30 years has produced an ecological crisis that threatens our future. The evidence for this is presented. A World to Win demonstrates how we are cut off from nature by private ownership of resources and the means of production.
The integration of state-sponsored and funded research more directly into the needs of production is a major feature of the market economy. A World to Win looks at the corporate penetration of the universities, the suppression of “bad” results, the hounding of dissident scientists and the underhand lobbying by the GM industry and the pharmaceutical corporations.
Part Two – Ideas for a 21st century not-for-profit society
A World to Win looks at the contradictions of the global economy and offers a critique of alternatives based on regulation, reform and cutting growth. Proposals then build on existing achievements, including the scientific and technological revolutions and ICT. They explain how we could switch to production for need rather than profit and how co-ownership and self-management might work. The role of the market is redefined and new approaches to measuring wealth creation are advocated.
Present state structures are analysed and the conclusion is that they are a block on democratic and social progress. A World to Win puts forward proposals for new democratic structures in place of parliament to give new meaning to the right to vote. State administration is also reconstructed. There are ideas for a revolutionised legal system based on the rule of law, community self-policing and the scrapping of the punitive prison system.
A World to Win proposes that cultural activity is freed from corporate control and made available to the whole community. The ideas in this chapter deal with ownership, funding, control, development, access and cultural education. They include financial support for cultural workers, the preservation of green space, affordable access to all cultural and sporting events and new forms of copyright.
Capitalism’s own inner logic compels it to take from nature in an unplanned, arbitrary fashion as part of the production process. A World to Win proposes an ecological approach to socially-owned production and agriculture as the only way to tackle climate change and resource depletion. A detailed programme of action is put forward both for the immediate as well as the long term, based on life-cycle production and sustainable agriculture.
Part Three – A revolutionary change is necessary
A World to Win rejects philosophical thinkers and modern analysts like Francis Fukuyama and John Gray who share a pessimistic view of the future of the human species. The book argues that humans can and do co-operate and are capable of positive, transformative practice. It draws on latest scientific knowledge to indicate that our capacity to grasp reality and act accordingly is greater than ever before.
This chapter looks at the role that ideology and philosophical systems of thought play in maintaining the status quo of capitalism. A World to Win then elaborates the materialist dialectical approach to reality, first developed by Marx who based his theory of development on Hegel. It is argued that a dialectical approach grapples with contradictions in a way that can help us decide on transforming political action.
Existing political parties are rejected by voters because they are identified with the status quo and increasingly with big business. The book suggests a new type of party based on the opportunities for involvement that ICT creates. The networked party is based on mass leadership and participation rather than hierarchies and draws on new management science to support this approach.
The book concludes that de-alienation is only possible through revolutionary socialist change that the mass of the population is willing to support. The authors believe that the conditions for this exist and that we have nothing to lose and a world to win.