What Co-operative Socialism Isn't

On another page, a comrade and friend asked: Thanks, John. I think not many of us in Momentum will disagree with any of that. Some of us, though, might wonder what the difference is between Co-operative Socialism, and Socialism? I'm certainly confused.

I replied: Thx Dave! Well, the largely-understood definition of socialism is, in the US, whatever went on in Russia, Eastern Europe, etc, and North Korea, now.  In these countries socialism is seen (or explained) as centralised State control and direction.

None of those Authoritarian, top-down schemes are what true socialism is. True socialism is horizontalist and noncoercive. Which is what I/we hope that the plan for Co-operative Socialism aims to achieve.  I/we therefore hope that Momentum will join Labour Action for Peace, Bromley Co-op Party and Occupy London in adopting and promoting the plan for Co-operative Socialism . . . Starting with a local Momentum group . . . !

We know from social epidemiology eg The Spirit Level book and The Equality Trust - www.equalitytrust.org.uk -  that the amount of violence in a society increases as economic /income inequality increases. And that inequality has increased/ been increased since 1979. Put simply: happy people are, generally, not violent. And, as inequality increases, happiness decreases, so violence increases. We've been here before...

Before the First World War was declared in 1914, 'The Politics of The Act' was a feature of political life: bombs were thrown, and 'elite' individuals were shot and assassinated.

Barbara Tuchman's book, 'The Proud Tower', describes those events. As a result, inequality was decreased from the end of that war: from about 1920 onwards. Danny Dorling's books - www.dannydorling.org - display a U-shaped curve from 1900 to 2000: increased equality until 1979 then 'the counter revolution' of, first, neo-liberal capitalism and, now, neo-conservative capitalism. Both designed ' to make the 'rich' richer and the 'poor' poorer'. Which they did.

Now, just as the earlier era of  'The Politics of The Act', political acts of violence ('War as Regime Change' and 'Terrorism' as kick-back) are an *inevitable* consequence. The bombing in Manchester, and subsequent events in London, were not a matter of 'if': more a matter of 'when'. The responses of the frightened 'elites' will be/ are predictable. First Militarised Martial law. And the suspension of democracy.

Second, an (even greater) restriction on free speech (including public democratic politics: such as the suspension of General Election campaigning, as has happened, today and last Tuesday) and so on. For now I leave the question open as to whether the acts of Terrorism in the UK were coordinated. But, rather, turn to a positive response. So, as outlined in the first few sentences above:

1. If you wish for peace, you have to work for economic- and income-equality.
2. Capitalism cannot do that.

As the history of the last hundred years has shown, managed capitalism (fascism/Nazism on the political 'right' and 'Social Democracy' on the 'left'), both created more and more inequality. And thus more and more violence. So, what of 'not-caplitalism' . . . ? Or, rather, what of other 'Not-capitalism*s*'?

Well, first of all, the hierarchical, usually Marxism-inspired, Not-capitalisms have ended in tears (in the cases of Cuba, Noth Korea and China, time will tell). Which leaves us with Co-operative Socialism: a plan *specifically designed* to create (greater) equality and equity. And thus peace. Along with ecological responsibility and sustainability. Therefore: All that's now needed, is the implementation of the Plan for Co-operative Socialism. A Labour and Co-operative government at Westminster could do that. Hence the importance of the UK General Election, this coming Thursday 8th June 2017.