“Capital is dead labour that vampire-like only lives by sucking living labour and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.” – Marx
The Socialist Party’s aim is socialism, because socialism is the only way to solve the problems of working people and end the class divisions in society. The Socialist Party aims to replace the crises, insecurity, profiteering, inequalities and social antagonisms of the capitalist society in which we live by a socialist society. In our lifetime great scientific advances and new technologies have opened up entirely new perspectives for mankind, make possible immense improvements in the life of people, creating possibilities of human progress which far surpass the dreams of the socialist pioneers. However, the capitalist society in which we live cannot release this potential. Automation, which could ease labour and bring great increases in production, leads to greater exploitation and unemployment. There is a constant struggle to maintain real wages. Many fellow workers live in dire poverty. The housing crisis grows worse. Social services are being cut instead of expanded. Instead of confidence in the future, there is a growing feeling of insecurity. Capitalism is a barrier to social advance, and a constant menace to peace. It is time for people to take things into their own hands and build a just society. A socialist world would be run for people, not for profit - for the benefit of the majority, not a handful of big businessmen and financiers. Production would be socially controlled and planned, and everyone would be guaranteed the right to a job, a home, education and leisure. Freedom would be rightly understood, not as the right of individuals to exploit others, but as the power of human beings, collectively, by controlling their environment, to develop their individual interests, abilities and talents to the full.
Most of the world’s productive resources—the farms and factories—are now owned by a small class of rich people. The capitalists draw their incomes, not from their own labour, but from the labour of others. Workers produce wealth far in excess of the wages they are paid, whether these wages are high or low. The surplus they produce above their wages is not paid for, but is taken as profit by the capitalists. This is exploitation, the source of all capitalist wealth. The capitalists use their profits not merely to live in luxury, but to pile up new capital, to grow richer year by year. The constant goal of the owners of capital is to increase their profits at the expense of the working class. They keep down wages, salaries and pensions and welfare benefits. They install new technology that displaces labour, in order to reduce their wages bill and make still larger profits. It is the very essence of capitalism to keep labour at a minimum point, just sufficiently above the starving point so that it can continue to produce – never enough above this point so that the worker could save for a period of not working. The boss has no other interest in the worker. Even when there is relative prosperity, in the background is the threat of widespread economic crisis, poverty in the midst of plenty, and the waste of human labour and skill that unemployment brings. The inequalities of wealth are extreme. The Socialist Party has always had as its objective to take the means of production and distribution out of the hands of individuals, and to transfer them to the ownership of the people as a whole, so that they can be used for the common good. Common ownership and production for use to meet the people’s needs instead of production for private profit.
Social ownership means an end to the chaos and wasteful competition. Socialism offers the opportunity to live our own lives free from the fear of want and war. 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 above all a better future for everyone, the best education and training, the best opportunities for a fuller and happier life. Socialism means, in short, there will be neither masters nor servants. Socialism can only be built with power in the hands of the workers. Working class power is the essential condition for far-reaching social change.
Experience has shown socialists that so long as the influence of capitalist ideas control the policy of the workers’ movement, no serious inroads can be made into the wealth and power of the capitalist class. It is only when workers are won over to a socialist outlook that they will be able to use their strength to bring about a complete social change. In spite of the great advances won by the people in their struggle for a better life, real power is still in the hands of the small group of the very rich. They control the greater part of the land, industry, finance and trade. Their representatives, educated in the outlook of the ruling class, fill the leading positions in the state—in the armed forces and police, the judiciary and the civil service. They also control the media. Working class power means an end to this privileged position of the wealthy few. The socialist message is one of hope and confidence. The working class, acting together, can take political power into their own hands, end the exploitation of man by man, and use natural resources to meet the increasing needs of the people. They can build world socialism where society is organised on the principle that “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.