If socialism is nothing but an empty dream, then there is little to look forward to at all on this Earth. It means simply for each one of us to stave off pain of daily life and grasp at whatever passing pleasures come our way without regard to others. There are people who think that that is all we can do: and others who think that all our personal endeavours must be to secure a good career and some prestige. But those in the Socialist Party say that unless socialism is altogether a mirage, it will rise again. Socialists seek to give to existing society a new purpose.
By socialism we understand the system of society the material basis of which is social production for social use; that is, the production of all the means of social existence — including all the necessaries and comforts of life — carried on by the organised community for its own use collectively and individually. It is not the way society at the present time is organised. Production is carried on to-day purely in the interest and for the profit of the class which owns the instruments of production — by which we mean the land, the factories, the machinery, the mines and mills, in short, everything for human use. Socialism would substitute social ownership of these things for class ownership, and this would also involve the abolition of classes altogether. Socialism does not mean government ownership or management. The State of to-day, nationally or locally, is only the agent of the possessing class. State-owned businesses are run for profit just as outer businesses are; and the government, as the “executive committee”of the possessing class, has, in the interests of its employers, to treat the employees just as other employees are treated. The organised democratic society contemplated by socialists is a very different thing from the class state of to-day. When society is organised for the control of its own affairs, and has acquired the possession of its own means of production, its delegates will not be the agents of a class, and production will be carried on for the use of all and not for the profit of a few. In socialist society the means of production have ceased to be capital, that is, to be a means of exploitation. In socialist society there are no longer classes with a monopoly of property in the means of production arid classes deprived of property in the means of production. In the conditions of socialism the means of production are social property.
The establishment of socialism means a complete change in society in all its aspects. Social property is the foundation of the socialist system. Far from abolishing personal ownership of objects of consumption, socialism provides the only real safeguard for the ever fuller satisfaction of the personal needs of all members of society. Social ownership means an end to the chaos and wasteful competition of production for profit and the development of new productive resources to provide what people really want. Socialism does not mean the levelling down of living standards. Nor does it bring bureaucracy and tyranny. On the contrary, socialism draws more and more people into planning and making their own future, and frees their creative energies for great economic, social and cultural advances. A socialist society means a better future for all where there are neither masters nor servants, but only people working together for a happy, prosperous life. In order to build socialism political power must be taken from the hands of the capitalist minority and firmly grasped by the majority of the people. Working class power means an end to this privileged position of the rich, which they use to protect and increase their profits and to maintain their power over the people. Socialist political power is only a means to an end. It is the instrument with which labour will achieve the complete, fundamental reconstruction of our entire capitalist system. The essence of socialist democracy is to replace the control of the rich by participation of the people in running the administrative affairs of community and industry, transforming existing organisations and changing them into instruments through which this principle can be applied. Ownership and control by the people of the productive resources provides the means for extending and improving the social services in a new spirit with a positive aim.
The socialist is one of hope and confidence. Working people, acting together, can take political power into their own hands, end the exploitation of man by man, and use resources to meet the needs of the people, a society organised on the principle that “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.