No politician can help you. It’s their system of making goods and services to sell for profit that led directly to the crisis. So long as we have this production for profit, we’ll have periodic crises and politicians wringing their hands over them. The only way out is to change the rules of the game: to change the system by putting an end to minority ownership by replacing it with the democracy of common ownership by and for everybody. Enough resources, know-how and skills exist already to provide comfortably for everyone. It’s the profit system that prevents this. We need to do away with it and instead produce and access goods for needs.
At the moment so many people think that there’s no alternative that they are shrugging their shoulders and hoping for the best. If a few of us stand up and say “we will not put up with this, we want something better” then the idea that resources should be owned in common and used to satisfy people’s needs can get on the agenda as the only genuine alternative to capitalism and austerity. We need to organise to bring about a world where the Earth’s resources have become the common heritage of all and where every man, woman and child on the planet can have free access to what they need to lead a decent and satisfying life.
Most politicians blame our problems on lack of money, but this is not true. Money doesn't build hospitals, schools decent housing and a healthy environment. The things that make a good community can only be created by the work of the people. We have an abundance of skills and energy. If we were free from having to work for the profits of employers we would be able to work for the needs of everyone. The profit system is oppressive; it dominates our lives. It plagues us with bills. The rent and mortgage payments, the food bills, the rates, gas, electricity, water and telephone bills. Money is used to screw us for the profits of business. If we don't pay, we don't get the goods. Without the capitalist system, a socialist community would easily provide for all of its members.
The chief characteristic of capitalism is private ownership of the means of wealth production: Socialism implies common ownership. Therefore there can no penalisation of or discrimination against any person or groups of persons in socialism. Today we have a class society—a community divided into groups, economically speaking. This division has nothing to do with biological characteristics. It is largely an accident of birth that makes one a capitalist. What determines his or her place in society is their economic position; and everything follows from that. Our habits, manners, speech, customs, ethics, all follow from this is division. Therefore class society means grinding inescapable poverty for the working class. People can be in a state of poverty without going short a meal or clothes. We live in a class society and cannot escape from poverty.
The Socialist Party has only one objective and that is the need to establish socialism as a society based on common ownership and democratic control where goods and services are produced to meet people's needs instead of for profit. This has never been tried (and certainly not in Russia or China) and can only come about democratically when a majority want it. This system of society which we propose is entirely different from what we know today. After taking over the means of production the characteristics of capitalism will disappear. Exchange will cease, for socialism will replace sale by free distribution. Socialism will put into practice "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Stock Exchanges, Banks, Insurance offices will all disappear. There will be no question of what to do with the man or woman who won't work; most people want to work; most would be only too glad to do a sensible job of work. Socialism will succeed by the enthusiasm and determination of the socialists who have brought it into being to make it successful. We stand for a system which will be world-wide, democratic, and based on a community of interest of the individual and society. The Socialist Party’s platform is for socialism (common ownership, democratic control, production for use not profit, and distribution according to need not money) and nothing but. We are not advocating reform of capitalism. Reforms trying to permanently redistribute income from the rich to the poor has been tried many times and has always failed because it is undermined by the way the capitalist system works and has to work. It would be more effective to work for a society in which there will be neither rich nor poor.
Socialists are working for a different and better world. This is a message to those who are fed up –
• with the failures of this dreary system
• with leaders and the false promises of career politicians
• with poor hospitals, poor schools, poor housing and an unhealthy environment
• with having to live on a wage that struggles to pay the endless bills
• with serving the profit system and seeing poverty amidst luxury
The world we want is a one where we all work together. We can all do this. Co-operation is in our own interests and this is how a socialist community would be organised – through democracy and through working with each other. To co-operate we need democratic control not only in our own area but by people everywhere. This means that all places of industry and manufacture, all the land, transport, the shops and means of distribution, should be owned in common by the whole community. With common ownership we would not produce goods for profit. The profit system exploits us. Without it we could easily produce enough quality things for everyone. We could all enjoy free access to what we need without the barriers of buying and selling. Most politicians blame our problems on lack of money, but this is not true. Money doesn't build hospitals, schools decent housing and a healthy environment. The things that make a good community can only be created by the work of the people. We have an abundance of skills and energy. If we were free from having to work for the profits of employers we would be able to work for the needs of everyone. The profit system is oppressive; it dominates our lives. It plagues us with bills. The rent and mortgage payments, the food bills, the rates, gas, electricity, water and telephone bills. Money is used to screw us for the profits of business. If we don't pay, we don't get the goods. Without the capitalist system, a socialist community would easily provide for all of its members.
The challenge now is to build a world-wide movement whose job will be to break with the failures of the past. It won't be for power or money or careers. It will work for the things that matter to people everywhere – peace, material security and the enjoyment of life through cooperation. This is the challenge that could link all people in a common cause without distinction of nationality, race or culture.
We in the Socialist Party reject the view that things will always stay the same. We can change the world. Nothing could stop a majority of socialists building a new society run for the benefit of everyone. We all have the ability to work together in each other's interests. All it takes is the right ideas and a willingness to make it happen.