Why I am a socialist

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks believes God gave us free will and that Judaism is a religion of protest unlike other religions which are of acceptance with the hope of eternal bliss. Religions – which Marx said were ‘the opium of the people’. God’s gift of free will is the only way that the Chief Rabbi and other theologians can explain why there is so much suffering in the world. It is not God’s will but the result of bad choices made by the humans he created in his image.

I am a Socialist because I believe that I can help make the world a better place for everyone based on ideas of co-operation, sharing and allowing everyone to have a fulfilled life. Like the Chief Rabbi I believe in free will but not as a gift from a God but as one of the key attributes that makes us human. It is an attribute that can now be explained by current scientific thinking. Like the Chief Rabbi I want to protest at the injustice and suffering in the world and not to blindly accept mantras like ‘Laissez-faire’, or that ‘market capitalism’ is the only economics that works!

Because of climate change and the scarcity of natural resources I believe that we will have to adopt Socialist ideals such as sharing resources if we are to survive as a species.

55 years ago I read Aneurin Bevan’s book ‘In Place of Fear’ and it inspired me to get involved in politics. The ideas in the book are still relevant today but the language and the narrative is of its time. I find talking about Socialism to younger generations difficult, because after 50 years, the experiences of younger generations are so different to those of mine. There is an urgent need for a latter day Aneurin Bevan to write a book that will be a modern narrative of how Socialist ideas can work in the context of the inevitable consequences of climate change.

Roy Preston
Chair, Blackheath Westcombe Branch

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