Capitalism has outlived its earlier progressive role. This is now the era of socialist revolution. Capital must accumulate in order to survive. It grows by keeping for itself the surplus value produced by workers after they have reproduced the value of their labour power, their wages. Surplus value is the source of all profit. The unending search for surplus value, for profit, is the motive force of capitalist production. Capitalism can produce only for profit. In times of crisis the capitalists tell us to tighten our belts and slave harder for them, for “ the national interest”. They try to increase exploitation so as to get the huge profit needed to start capital expanding again. Economic expansion accompanied by widespread suffering and injustice is not desirable social progress. A society motivated by the drive for private gain and special privilege is basically immoral.
Under capitalism, labour is a commodity. Workers are used as replaceable parts, extensions of machines—as long as they provide dividends. Employers use their power of ownership to devastate the lives of workers through layoffs, shutdowns and neglect of health and safety. Unions, despite their courageous efforts, have encountered difficulties eliminating even the worst abuses of management power.
People live and work in a world dominated by multinationals and corporate monopolies. These far-flung business empires, of a scope and size unimaginable to previous generations, treat the entire planet as their domain. They are a law unto themselves, free to roam the globe in search of cheaper labour, more exploitable resources, more pliant governments and greater profits. They now hold the power of life and death over every region and industry. By their dictates, our resources have been plundered. Workers are their pawns in a global game of mergers, shutdowns, and relocations. These transnational conglomerates have robbed us of our wealth and of the very power to determine our own future. An world-wide unemployment and hunger are the legacy. These profiteering corporations, incapable of turning their technology and organisation to the needs of people, are collapsing under the weight of their hoarded wealth. They have distorted the economic development of the world so fundamentally, the resources they waste on war production, for instance, could eliminate hunger in the world. The computer revolution will only intensify massive permanent unemployment, tedious and stressful jobs for remaining workers, and terrifying concentrations of knowledge and social control in the hands of private internet businesses. If harnessed to popular administration and planning, new technology could help us achieve an era of abundance for all, release us from monotonous toil and enrich our store of accessible information. The socialist option is the only alternative. The flaws of capitalism are too basic, the power of the capitalist corporations too great, the chasm separating the compulsions of profit and the needs of people too wide, for anything less to succeed.
The half-measures of government intervention such as tinkering with monetary and fiscal policy to stimulate investment and spending or legislative reforms, aimed at the most blatant abuses of corporate power has proven futile. Welfare state policies, though won by hard struggles, have done little to correct deep-seated structures of social inequality. In these harsh economic times of recession, corporations hold governments to ransom through their control of desperately needed investment. Even reform- minded governments have buckled under this pressure, and passed vicious legislation, slashing social services and trampling the basic rights of workers. Capitalism is failing, and so are the efforts to reform it. That failure puts a campaign for the socialist alternative on the immediate agenda. Socialists reaffirms their belief that our society must build a new relationship among men--a relationship based on mutual respect and on equality of opportunity. In such a society everyone will have a sense of worth and belonging, and will be enabled to develop his or her capacities to the full.
The task of the Socialist Party to shape the struggle of the working class into a conscious and unified one and to point out the inherent necessity of its goals. The interests of the working class are the same in all countries and with the expansion of global commerce the world market, the position of the worker in every country becomes increasingly dependent on the position of workers in other countries. The emancipation of the working class is thus a task in which the workers of all countries are equally involved. Recognising this, the Socialist Party declares itself to be at one with the class-conscious workers of all other countries. The Socialist Party fights for the abolition of class rule. Society will no longer consist of antagonistic classes in conflict with each other, but will present a united commonwealth of labour. The hungry, oppressed and underprivileged of the world must know social democracy not as a smug slogan but as a way which sees the world as one whole. The needs of people, not profit, are the driving force of a socialist society. It will be accomplished by democratizing all levels of society.
After abolishing private ownership of the means of production and converting these means into social property, the world system of socialism will replace the world market and its competitive and blind processes of social production, by consciously organised and planned production for the purpose of satisfying social needs. With the abolition of competition and anarchy in production, devastating crises and still more devastating wars will disappear. Instead of waste of productive forces and spasmodic development of society there will be a planned utilisation of all resources.
The disappearance of classes will do away with the exploitation of man by man. Work will cease to be toiling for the benefit of a class enemy: instead of being merely a means of livelihood it will become a desirable part of life. The want and inequality, the misery and a wretched standard of life of wage slaves will disappear.