Below two new members, Jocelyn Hunter and Matthew Paton, from the Socialist Party in Melbourne explain what led them to join the party.
The world we live in is a wealthy place. We have the ability to land on the moon, and yet when we look around, there are people dying of starvation, others are homeless and others working inordinate hours in terrible conditions for less than living wage.
Of all the wealth in today’s world, most of it is in the possession of only a handful of people. It is now evident to me that no amount of reforms will solve the problems of inequity in a capitalist society. Capitalism, by its very nature, is a competitive system, one in which profit is the only true concern. It will always seek to increase profit, regardless of the human, social and environmental costs. While it has allowed the massive development of products and technology, it has failed to fundamentally develop human society and protect the environment.
We, as a world, have so much but are unable at present to share resources, knowledge and skills that will allow us to move forward towards a better life for all. In a capitalist society, rewards and punishments are not based upon contributions to society, but purely profit. Only a planned economy can work on a progressive basis, choosing its aims rather than relying on ‘market forces’. Only under socialism can we move beyond the interests of a minority and build a world based on true equality, justice and environmental sustainability.
In the past, I have attended many rallies, meetings and other actions. I have yelled at the radio and at the news. My efforts have not been completely in vain. However one woman alone cannot build a revolutionary movement. That’s why I joined the Socialist Party. United in solidarity, we can build an alternative and we can fight.
By Jocelyn Hunter
My introduction to politics came when speaking to my friends about what was going on in the world. Discussions of political theories broke out between us as we tried to understand why we live in a world that is so unequal.
Before being convinced of the need for a party, I was an anti-capitalist with anarchist leanings. I was also influenced by the music of early and modern punk rock bands.
Another factor in my political development was that at the time I was also studying for my VCE. History classes became political discussions on the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazis, the Russian revolution, imperialism the situation in the Middle East.
At the time not only was I developing my political education but I was also taking notice of what was happening around Australia. George Bush and many other world leaders had come to Sydney for the APEC summit meeting and were met with mass protests. There was also a struggle taking place to remove Prime Minister Howard from parliament.
A friend of mine became active in the Socialist Party and through him I met many other members. I helped with the SP election campaign in the seat of Melbourne and after this experience I felt ready to become a member. I am proud of my new membership to the Socialist Party and look forward to helping to change the world.
By Matthew Paton