Society is in crisis. As socialists, we understand that the underlying causes of this crisis lie within the capitalist system itself. The various economic difficulties cannot be “reformed away” through Keynesian or monetarist economic policies, because they flow from the fundamental contradiction of any capitalist society: the fact that production is social in character, yet the appropriation of social wealth is in private hands. As socialists we understand that the real solutions to the economic and political difficulties of society lie in overthrowing capitalism and establishing a socialist system. The leading force in the revolutionary process must be the working class, owing to its position within capitalist society, and its objective interests in destroying the system which exploits and dominates it. The economic and political crises are going to bring the working class into struggle. Already this has begun to happen. Yet despite the relative growth of workers’ movements, at the present time the working class remains incapable of carrying out its revolutionary role. The working class remains seriously divided, and dominated by the ideas of the ruling class.
The very idea of the workers breaking away from the capitalist parties and forming their own class party is so revolutionary that it terrifies the ruling class. They are afraid that if the workers form their own class party, there is no telling how far it will go. The working class must constitute itself as an independent political force in order to advance its interests. If they were to break away from the capitalist parties and proclaim that they are an independent political force with political aims of their own it would represent a tremendous step forward. All the capitalist politicians, their spokesmen and defenders, do everything they can to persuade the working class not to form a political party of their own. They have a hard enough time preventing the trade unions from acting on militant class-struggle lines. If there were also a mass socialist party, their difficulties would only be increased.
Capitalism, by its method of production, has brought isolated workers together and constituted them as a class in society. Capitalism has made the workers a class in themselves. That is, the workers are a distinct class in society, whether they recognize this fact or not. Historical development calls upon this class to reorganise society completely and establish socialism. To do this, the workers must become a class for themselves. They must acquire a clear understanding of their real position under capitalism, of the nature of capitalist society as a whole, and of their mission in history. They must act consciously for their class interests. Socialism cannot be achieved, and the workers cannot effectively promote their interests, without class consciousness. Class consciousness means an understanding working class, a self-confident and self-reliant working class. They must become conscious of the fact that these class interests lead to a socialist society. When this takes place, the workers are a class for themselves, a class with socialist consciousness.
The road to freedom is marked out by the principles and programme of revolutionary socialism, and no other road exists. What is the socialist objective? It is that the factories, the mines, the mills – as a matter of fact all the means of production – must be run and administered by the workers of and that the local and the planning and direction be in the hands of elected councils of the workers. In other words: the planning is developed, elaborated, executed and checked by the free and constant activity of thousands of committees which function from the factory to the regional and more centralized organs of the masses, which express themselves in a constant renewal and recall of the committees personnel. It is only in this way that the great socialist selection will be realised in life and will lead the most downtrodden sections of humanity – the thousands of technical, organisational and scientific “geniuses” who will replace the present-day “elite” and the “technocrats” and will guarantee a rapid suppression of all social inequalities. Democracy is therefore as indispensable a condition for the victory of socialism as the assumption of power and the abolition of the state apparatus are the indispensable conditions for the victory of the socialist revolution. The realisation of this idea would establish democracy on the economic field and guarantee the flowering of democracy on all other fields. The organisation which proudly champions these principles in this country is the Socialist Party of Great Britain. The consciousness of the need for socialism,] will not come about spontaneously as a result of people’s disillusionment. It is the task of the Socialist Party to continually propagandise for the socialist alternative. We argue for socialism not as a Utopian alternative to the evils of capitalism, but as the next logical step in human development. We continually try to show now the people’s problems are rooted in capitalism and that only a rationally planned economy, run by and for the working class, can overcome the present difficulties.