Thursday, October 01, 2015

When we stand together, there is no limit to what we can do

In capitalism, most people most of the time, are chronically and justifiably discontent because of the unavoidable consequences of the capitalist system. The story is as old as capitalism itself. When sufficient numbers of people become sufficiently fed up with what the capitalist system is doing to them, they resist, expectations rise, and nothing changes – not for the better, anyway. One way or another, the Establishment wins. The Occupy Movement never made the leap from creative protest to effective political struggle but that is hardly news these days. Support for Bernie Sanders is now offered as the antidote, but is it? Sanders is running as a Democrat. Has he talked about the once thriving active American socialist tradition?  Sanders, instead, describes his socialism as “Scandinavian”, his models are Finland and Sweden not the Presidential electoral platform of Eugene Debs or even the watered down reformist politics of Victor Berger. The Scandinavian model does not replace capitalism and the welfare benefits, (admittedly generous compared with the US,) are now being gradually dismantled by the election of right-wing governments. No Scandinavian country has yet, in practice, done much of anything to replace private with social ownership of major means of production. The gap between the 1% and the 99% still remains and just to give one example Finland’s IKEA, a supposedly not-for-profit charitable Foundation thus exempt from taxation but still making billions for its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as the eighth wealthiest person in the world in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $43.2 billion.

For the Socialist Party the struggle against capitalism has not been an easy fight, and far from triumphant. But if enough socialists remained true to their case and principles to keep alive the convictions of the world socialist movement, then there is still hope for a free, socialist future. Our confidence in the Socialist Party is strengthened by the fact that it has remained true to its internationalism and to the interests of working men and women at a time when it counts – during war. We have not retreated from our principles, we have not vacillated, we have not given up an inch of them or sought to gloss them over in the hope of gaining a deceptive and momentary popularity. And that is how we shall continue to be. Unite with those of you who are ready for a brighter day, for a new age, for a society free of war and oppression, of exploitation and inequality, for world socialism, sometimes called the co-operative commonwealth.

Mankind now must contemplate the destruction and the ruin, the pain and the heartbreak, which capitalism has caused. The fear of what a capitalist future holds is driving the workers to revolutionary political conclusions. Reformists want to sidetrack the workers from the struggle to end the capitalist system and establish socialism. Socialism – or perish! These are the alternatives. There is none other. Only the working class, which suffers the cruelties of capitalism in peace and war, can deal the death-blow to this foul system. The workers can rally to their liberating banner and can change the world. Having abolished capitalism, they can harness the productive forces and the wondrous discoveries of science to the service of human needs. It holds the promise of eliminating all poverty and raising the living standards of all peoples to undreamed-of heights. Hazardous and unhealthy occupations can become things of the past. The drudgery and servitude of ugly and unnecessary toil can be ended. There can be leisure and comfort and cultural advancement for every man, woman and child on earth. The Socialist Party appeals to you to the struggle for the socialist revolution.  Enlist with us in class war for a new world in which permanent peace and well-being will be assured for all!

To be effective in the highest degree the Socialist Party must disregard entirely the interests of capitalism and the class which is its beneficiary, disregard entirely the “sacred right" of private property which is only the right of the capitalists to exploit and oppress the people, and direct itself exclusively to defending and promoting the class interests of the working class. The main task of an organisation like the Socialist Party is to help develop the class consciousness of our fellow workers. Socialism is not the conquest of the state by a political party: it is the conquest of society by the working people through industrial and political action. Socialism is not government ownership or control of industry. Socialism is not state capitalism, which is simply a means of protecting and promoting capitalist interests and more easily oppressing the people. Socialism, in the words of Engels, is not the government of persons, but the administration of things. The Socialist Party’s objective is the realisation of a humane human community. The aim of socialism is not to impose a uniform way of life but exactly the opposite: the full development of individual capacity.

The historic mission of the working class is the overthrow capitalism and the establishment of socialism/communism. Socialism is not some distant dream. It is the only road out of exploitation and oppression for workers. There can be no real doubt as to the correctness of the Marxist predictions.

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