Socialism is a worldwide stateless society where money and markets have been abolished and production is collectively planned by all. It is the abolition of all exploitation and oppression, where the divisions of human beings into classes, nationalities and genders has been transcended. Skin colour which function unevenly today as markers of racial and ethnic distinction will carry no more significance than differences of eye colour. Rather than mere worker ownership of factories or state-control of resources, socialist society is one within which “value” as we know it has been abolished and free access to goods has replaced markets and rationing.
Also abolished is the mental/manual division of labour where there is a great reduction of the social working day, allowing for a maximisation of leisure time and fluidity between different forms of socially necessary labour. Socialism can only be achieved through the revolutionary struggle of the workers, a class whose self-emancipation is the emancipation of all humanity. The working class are those without reserves who must sell their labour power to survive, compelled by these conditions to engage in the economic and political battle against capitalism. In order to triumph in the class struggle the proletariat must organise into a world-wide political party that expresses its exclusive class interests. As socialists we aim for the abolition of the state and cannot deny that any collective project of changing the world means grappling with political power.
We are internationalists. We refuse to side with any nation in worldwide conflicts. We also reject all forms of nationalism as an obstacle to revolution and reject political alliances with nationalists of all stripes including those espousing patriotism for our own countries or “national self-determination” for oppressed groups. This includes rejecting “socialism in one country” or any other national road to socialism. Socialist revolution must be world-wide in scope or nothing. In logical continuity with our internationalist principles is also our conviction in the importance of upholding a pro-immigrant stance. This means support for the abolition of borders and maintaining an uncompromising position against all forms of xenophobia and national chauvinism. Anything less would mean departure from the basic ethic of working class solidarity.
We categorically reject what was the old USSR and its various offshoots such as the People’s Republic of China and Cuba are examples of socialist societies or functioning proletarian dictatorships which serve as models for us to use. While no functioning socialist society has existed, we point to the Paris Commune, the early days of the Russian Revolution, the 1918/19 German Revolution, and aspects of the Spanish Civil War as brief historical moments where the working class grappled with the task of forming a new society.
We uphold the right to open debate, factions and accountable collective decision-making within revolutionary organisations, especially our own. This means opposing bureaucratic 'democratic centralism' and working against the development of layers of leadership. All disputes among fraternal and comradely groups and individuals are to be aired publicly and to be conducted in a manner befitting organisational discipline. Threatening splits to assert minoritarian vetoes over rank and file majorities, personality politics, lack of transparency — all of these are roads to degeneration for any organization. We also reject secretive and authoritarian “cadre” models of organisation that are based on an unchallenged dictatorship of the central leadership over the rank-and-file. Proletarian organisations will either function according to norms of internal democracy or fail. However, we also recognise that democratic forms as such do not have an inherently socialist content and that democracy when meaning the sharing of power between antagonistic classes is to be rejected.
We deny political support for all pro-capitalist parties, including those belonging to the left-wing of capital. Throughout history various factions of the left have served not to advance the class struggle towards socialism but to stifle it. This entails recognising that our enemies aren’t limited to outright reactionaries but also those who defend capitalism under a veneer of anti-capitalist radicalism. Political alliances with reformist or reactionary groups can only mean sacrificing our political independence and compromising our principles.
We do not discourage workers from joining unions to defend their basic economic needs but we recognise that the class struggle must extend beyond the limitations of unionism. Unions are organs of mediation between workers and capital and are thereby structurally compelled to develop bureaucratic and conservative tendencies. Repeatedly throughout history, the unions has proven itself to be a conservative force that stifles the development of the workers’ struggle and act as a roadblock in the fight for socialism. Therefore we reject a strategy of union entryism that seeks to recuperate the existing unions and employ them towards revolutionary ends
All socialists are agreed upon their objective, that being the social and economic freedom and equality for all, and the realisation of the highest individual development and liberty conceivable for all, through the social ownership and democratic control of all the material means of production and existence. They must all agree upon this in order to be socialists.
The Socialist Party seeks to organise the workers of this country, irrespective of creed or race, into one party of emancipation and liberation. It believes that the dependence of the working class upon the owners of capitalist property, and the desire of these capitalists and landowners to keep the vast mass of the people subjugated and dependent, is the cause of all our modern social and political evils – of nearly all modern crime, mental degradation, religious and racial strife, and political tyranny. Recognising this, it counsels the working class of the world to organise politically with the end in view of gaining control and mastery of the entire resources of the world. Such is our aim: Such is socialism. Our method is: Political organisation at the ballot box to secure the election of representatives of socialist principles to all the elective governing bodies and thus transfer the political power of the State into the hands of those who will use it to establish the principle of common ownership. We mean to make the people of world the sole and sovereign owners of the world but leave ourselves free to adapt our methods to suit the development of the times. We live in times of political change. Old party rallying cries and watchwords are destined to become obsolete and meaningless. We appeal to all workers to throw in their lot with the Socialist Party and assist it in giving force, clearness and effectiveness to the gathering working class movement. And on its part the Socialist Party, conscious of its high mission, pledges itself to pursue, unfalteringly and undeviatingly, its great object – common ownership of the means of producing and distributing all wealth, the material basis of the higher development of the future.
We, in the Socialist Party have been reproached because we reject to drop our socialist principles for the sake of unity. The object of a Socialist Party is the realisation of socialism; and incidentally to assist in the organisation of the working-class and the amelioration of its conditions in existing society. The object of a trade union is to make the best of existing conditions; to make the best terms for its members in competitive society. The co-relation between the two, as well as the difference of function, is thus clearly established. We are trade unionists, but we are more than trade unionists. The trade unionist who is only a trade unionist is to the socialist what the believer in constitutional monarchy is to a republican. The constitutional monarchist wishes to limit the power of the king, but still wishes to have a king; the republican wishes to abolish kingship and puts his trust in the people; the trade unionist wishes to limit the power of the master but still wishes to have masters: the socialist wishes to have done with masters and pins his or her faith to the collective intelligence of a democratic community. We, as socialists bend our energies to the abolition of that principle of evil, whose influence reformists would seek only to mitigate.
The Socialist Party of to-day cannot bring socialism. The Co-operative Commonwealth will be inaugurated by the mass action of the workers. To assert the contrary is a denial of the very principles we acclaim. Workers move along the road towards socialism because circumstances compel them to take that road. Economic laws operate whether they are known or not, but if we understand their operation we can bend them to our purpose pad assist society along the course it tends to travel. As the Socialist Party we must bring this knowledge to the workers. The necessity for political action is taken for granted. Whenever the power of the ruling class asserts itself, then the workers must fight. The State is the political expression of the dominant class, and since that dominant class uses the machinery of the State—law, justice, force—to maintain its own privileges and to impose its will upon the labouring mass, the workers contest their claims by political action. The distinction between political and industrial action is false; they are the two poles of the same movement. Some regard industrial action as more important than political. That belief is without justification.