Editor’s note: What follows are excerpts from an interview with the late Nelson Peery, a great revolutionary of our times, author, and founder of the People’s Tribune.
There’s a difference between dreams and visions in the political sense. A dream doesn’t have any foundation, it’s fantastic glory… For example, every Wednesday night I buy my lottery ticket, and before I go to sleep I’m lying in bed dreaming about what I’m going to do with the $60 million that I’ve won. Well I have one chance in 125 million of winning that lottery—in other words I don’t have any chance. And it’s fantastic to talk in terms of what I’m going to do with the $60 million that I’m not going to win. In other words, it doesn’t have any material foundation. So that’s a dream—that is not a vision.
A vision is based upon the capabilities of the means of production that exist today. For example, in my great grandfather’s time, his vision was to own that plow, to own that mule, to own that 40 acres of land, and to be able to feed his family, and to see to it they had some kind of elementary education. That was a vision that arose on the basis of the means of production that were in existence at that time. Let’s talk about the means of production that are in existence at this time.
Even without going any farther than what we are today, we have the capacity to wipe out diseases. We have the capacity of feeding every human being on the face of the earth. We have the capacity to educate every human being on the face of the earth. We have the capacity, in other words, to lay the material foundation for a happy human race. That can be done with what exists today. So when we’re talking about vision, we’re talking in terms of what we can do with these means of production [of the wherewithal of life] if they were used for public welfare rather than for private aggrandizement.
When we talk about vision we’re talking about what’s possible—we’re not talking about dreams. Everybody on the street knows that they’re getting more and more production today with fewer and fewer workers, and the time is around the corner where we’re going to get that production with no workers. There won’t be any work—the kind we could call work today won’t exist. Nobody today chops the ground with a wooden plow—they don’t do that anymore. It’s not necessary, and neither will work be necessary in the coming period of time. So what kind of a world are we going to have? We’re going to have a world that’s possible based upon the productive capacity of the means of production that are in existence today. No big deal. No big deal.
Donations in celebration of Nelson Peery’s life can be sent to the People’s Tribune, PO Box 3524, Chicago, Il 60654 or donate via Paypal at peoplestribune.org/ You can hear the complete interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKdrRbg7qLE&feature=youtu.be