The Socialist Party is a Marxist party and as Marxists we understand that the interests of the capitalist class and the working class are opposed and cannot be reconciled; that capitalism can and must be ended and replaced; that the working class, must capture the state machine so to permit people to build a socialist society. Socialism demands that political power shall be in the hands of the working class. Reformism - the acceptance of the capitalist economy and state - inevitably leads to fiasco. We are against all theories which seek to argue that some sort of “reformed” or “people’s capitalism” can abolish the possibility of slumps, guarantee full employment and rising standards, and remove the drive to war. The time has come when big changes are necessary. The past century has shown more and more clearly capitalism’s inability to serve the needs of the people. Wars, poverty, malnutrition, slumps and mass unemployment have been the lot of the common people while the millionaire industrialists have made their fortunes out of the people’s labour. The capitalists have done exceptionally well; indeed, they have never been better off. Only by the establishment of socialism can people’s problems be finally solved and guaranteed a good life, lasting peace and steadily rising living standards. We, the working class, have learnt many lessons from history, now face a capitalist class which, while still strong and cunning, is caught up in contradictions such as the climate change crisis which it cannot solve.
Socialism means an end to capitalist profit and exploitation, for it will deprive the capitalists of their ownership and control of the factories and workshops, mills and mines, banks and land, shipyards and transport, and ensure that production is organised for the use of the people and not for the profit of the tiny minority of capitalists. Socialism means peace and an end to the danger of wars, because under Socialism there are no longer capitalists who want to conquer new markets. Socialism means freedom for the people—freedom from poverty and insecurity, freedom for men, women and children to develop their capacities to the full, without fear or favour. It ends the gulf between poverty and plenty, and frees the creative energies of the people and the productive resources for gigantic strides in the economic, social and cultural advances on the basis of a planned socialist economy. Socialism means the abolition of capitalism.
Reformists do not want to abolish capitalism. Their so-called “socialism” is a screen behind which they justify their defence of the system of capitalist profit and exploitation, defend the position of the capitalists and seek to prop up the bankrupt capitalist social structure of riches for the few, poverty and low living standards for the many, and ever-recurring danger of recessions and armed conflicts. Socialism ends once and for all the robbery of the workers for the benefit of private owners and makes the whole product of industry the property of the whole people. Socialist production will thus make available for social use immense wealth that has hitherto gone to build up the capitalist profits and power of the rich property owners. The ownership and control by the people of all the productive and distributive resources will provide the means necessary for the reorganisation of society allow and the direct participation of the people in administering them. Socialists recognise the necessity of basic social change and the socialist reconstruction of society, and are prepared to play their part in the realisation of these aims— a free association and co-operative commonwealth. The potential power of the working class is overwhelming. The need is to develop the political understanding and socialist consciousness of the working people so that they use that power to put an end to capitalism.
The Socialist Party says that the working class can not only utilise Parliament in the class struggle but transform it to serve the needs of the workers instead of the capitalists. Our advocacy of the use of Parliament and its transformation into an instrument of the will of the people does not mean that we have adopted the outlook of the reformists or mean the same thing as them when they talk of the “Parliamentary road”. We mean a mass revolutionary movement resulting in a parliamentary majority which takes decisive action to break the power of the capitalists and transfer power to the working class. Our views on the establishment of socialism differ from those of the reformists and so also do our views on the state. The whole state machine has been built up with the object of maintaining the capitalist system. For socialism to be on the order of the day, the majority of the working people must see the need not only to struggle against the individual employer but to change the state into an instrument of the will of the working class instead of the capitalist class. One of the key organs of the state is Parliament. Therefore our programme first and foremost proposes the transformation of Parliament into an instrument of the will of the working people. This transformation of Parliament would then facilitate the transformation of the other parts of the state machine. It is impossible to proceed to the building of socialism if the existing capitalist state machine is left intact and in the hands of the employing, owning class. Socialist democracy extends democracy for the working people. As Engels put it: “In England, where the industrial and agricultural working class forms the immense majority of the people, democracy means the dominion of the working class, neither more nor less.”