Saturday, September 26, 2015

Are elections important?

We use elections to place before the workers the demand of the Socialist Party in sharp contrast to those of the capitalist parties. We take advantage at election times on the greater readiness of the workers to read political literature, attend political meetings and take part in political discussions to familiarise the worker with the socialist case. We use the election to teach workers the the connection between their employer and the state, the connection between their status and the economic system. We use elections as the time to rally all our support.  We also closely analyse election results to read from them the shifts in the moods and sentiments of our class. The purpose is of the Socialist Party is to bring together, to organise into an effective force, all supporters of its principles who seek to win others to the socialist objective. The first requirement for the workers in all countries of the world is to break cleanly from the capitalist class and their political parties with the aim of taking the power out of the hands of the capitalist class and into their own hands. The Labour Party programme is reformist when the task is revolutionary—that is, socialist. 

While capitalism is moving to slash the many gains already won, imposing new burdensome taxes, straight-jacketing organised labour with union-busting laws, cutting down on social legislation, and throwing hundreds of thousands into unemployment reformists talk in terms of the amelioration of class conflicts. They project a perspective of merely removing what they present as minor defects in the existing capitalist order of things, of patching capitalism up and making it more tolerable, instead of a perspective of fundamental change. The Labour Party preaches conciliation, peaceful co-existence with capitalism, not class struggle against it. Only through an irreconcilable struggle against capitalism, towards its elimination and the establishment of socialism, will the people of the world find the full freedom, equality and democracy for which they aspire. The Socialist Party supports all actions which heighten the consciousness of the working class of the situations confronting them; it endorses any action which further cements their unity against capitalism and which would strengthen their capacity to struggle.

The Socialist Party views this as one the most revolutionary period in human history. Capitalism promises people not amelioration of conditions but austerity, oppression, dictatorship and the environmental destruction of mankind. Technological progress is now reaping vast profits for the industrial and financial oligarchy and condemning thousands to permanent unemployment. Socialism itself will organise the benefits of technological change for the workers by establishing the shorter working hours and better conditions. The establishment of industrial democracy, participation of the people in the productive processes and the planning of the economy for the service of the people, is not some abstract principle or the expression of an ultimate objective but the immediate necessity. The Socialist Party opens up the tremendous possibilities that lies before working people. But to realise the potential it must present itself as a real alternative to the capitalist parties. The working class is the only class in modern capitalist society in profound and persistent conflict with the tiny handful of financial and industrial tycoons who control the economy and state apparatus. The socialist movement must be democratic—open to all who commit themselves to its support. It must have an internal life which not only permits, but consciously encourages the full play and exchange of ideas. We are confident that the experiences ahead will prove the validity of our ideas which have been forged in the debates and of the past and will be re-tempered in the discussions ahead. Despite the campaign of lies and distortions about the socialist viewpoint we are confident that developing realities, together with the conscious participation of all who consider themselves socialists will bring a powerful step forward on our march towards the socialist objective. With the will to power, a genuine socialist movement can transform the structure of world capitalism into a real Socialist Commonwealth, for the benefit of all – white, brown, black, yellow. Only along this road will people find lasting security, economic prosperity and social well-being.

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