|The red flag for fraternity and freedom.|
Socialists primarily concern themselves with analysing the capitalist system, pointing out its defects and advocating the replacing of the capitalist system by the collective ownership and democratic administration of the means of production and distribution. Socialism is the common ownership by all the people of the land, the factories, the transport, and all other means of production and distribution. Socialism means production to satisfy human needs, not as under capitalism, for sale and profit. Many people think that socialism means government ownership but socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy but rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect. Socialists criticise capitalism, arguing that it derives wealth from a system of labour exploitation and then concentrates wealth and power within a small segment of society that controls the means of production. As a result, society is stratified, split into classes according to who owns the means of production and who is forced to sell their labour; as a result, individuals do not all have the same opportunity to maximise their potential. A capitalist society does not utilise available technology and resources to their maximum potential in the interests of the public. Instead, it focuses on satisfying market-induced wants as opposed to human needs. Socialism means genuine social equality, on a world scale. Socialism means the extension of democracy to all of society, including the economic process.
The overthrow of capitalism—that is a DEMAND—it is THE demand of the Socialist Party of Great Britain. Our party is the only party that points out that there is no alternative for the working class other than socialism. The fundamental issue of our campaign is socialism versus capitalism. The working class must be taught that the problems confronting them cannot be solved except through the end of the capitalist system, trying to reform the capitalism system is like struggling to cure the symptoms and not the disease. Votes obtained by a campaign conducted on the case for socialism mean that those persons who voted can be counted on as supporting socialism. Votes obtained by offering all kinds of reform promises, if ‘socialists’ are elected, are votes of those who will vote Socialist Party today and shift to some other party with a more appetising menu of reforms the next election. They would turn their backs to us and vote for the more “practical” parties.
Reformism regards socialism as a remote goal and nothing more, and actually repudiates the socialist revolution. Reformism advocates not class struggle, but class collaboration. It develops out of faith in the fair mindedness of the ruling class. In the struggle against the system of capitalism, there can be no unity with any section of the capitalists which will only lead to class collaboration and will prolong the existing system of wage slavery and intensify exploitation.
Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production and distribution and their democratic organisation and management by all the people in a society free of classes, class divisions and class rule. Socialism is the democratic organization of production for use, of production for abundance, of plenty for all, without the exploitation of man by man. Socialism is the 'union of the whole world into a worldwide federation of free and equal peoples, disposing in common of the natural resources and wealth. Production is carried on in a planned and democratic way, not on the basis of whether or not the private capitalist can make a profit on the market.
Socialism means abundance for all. Where there is abundance for all, the nightmare of insecurity vanishes. There are jobs for all, and they are no longer dependent on whether or not the employer can make a fat profit in a fat market. There is not only a high standard of living, but every industrial advance is followed by a rising standard of living and a declining working-day. Where there is abundance for all, and where no one has the economic power to exploit and oppress others, the basis of classes, class division and class conflict vanishes. The basis of a rilling state, of a government of violence and repression, with its prisons and police and army, also disappears. Police and thieves, prisons and violence are inevitable where there is economic inequality, or abundance for the few and scarcity for the many. They disappear when there is plenty for all, therefore economic equality, therefore social equality. Where there is abundance for all, and where all have equal access to the fruits of the soil and the wealth of industry, the mad conflicts and wars between nations and peoples vanish. With them vanishes the irrepressible urge that exists under capitalism for one nation to subject others, to rob it of its rights, to exploit and oppress it, to provoke and maintain the hideous national and racial antagonisms that cling to capitalism like an ineradicable bloodstain. Abundance for all means freedom. Where man is free of economic exploitation, of economic inequality, of economic insecurity, he is free for the first time to develop as a human being among his fellow human beings, free to contribute to the unfolding of a new culture.