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THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE FUTURE


When we speak of the commonwealth, we think of a confederation of free people united in one common bond - socialism. The trend is towards the cooperative commonwealth. It is the hope of the world. We in the Socialist Party will continue to seek the world wide advance toward the cooperative commonwealth. Our every step will be in the direction of the co-operative commonwealth where the motto, “From each according to ability, to each according to needs,” ceases to be an aspiration and becomes a reality.

The capitalistic system of production, under the rule of which we live, is the production of commodities for profit instead of for use for the private gain of those who own and control the tools and means of production and distribution. Out of this system of production and sale for profit spring all monopolies (arising from and following competition) and out of it, naturally, grow an overwhelming percentage of moral evils, and the entire problem of misery, want, and poverty that, as a deadly menace, now confronts civilisation.

To substitute common, for private or state, ownership in the means of production is what we say socialism means. It means a co-operative system of production and the extinction of the exploitation of the workers. The natural resources of the world are the property of the people as a whole. The abolition of the present system of production means substituting production for use for production for sale. Production for use, which is the social or co-operative production for the satisfaction of the wants of a commonwealth. Under the capitalist system, all products are produced for the market, they all become commodities. Capitalist society is based upon the exploitation of labour. A small minority owns everything; the working masses own nothing. The capitalists command. The workers obey. The capitalists exploit. The workers are exploited. The very essence of capitalist society is found in this merciless and ever-increasing exploitation. Until the present system of capitalist production (production for sale) was developed, co-operative production for common use was the leading form; it is as old as production itself. If any one system of production could be considered better adapted than any other to the nature of man, then co-operative production must be pronounced the natural one. In all probability for every thousand years of production for sale, cooperative production for use numbers tens of thousands. They all had certain essential features in common. Each satisfied its own wants, at least the most vital ones, with the product of its own labor; the instruments of production were the property of the community; its members worked together as free and equal individuals according to some plan inherited or devised, and administered by some power elected by themselves. The product of such co-operative labor was the property of the community and was applied either to the satisfaction of common wants, whether these were occasioned by production or consumption, or were distributed among the individuals or groups which composed the community. Socialist production will and must have certain features in common with the older systems of communal production, in so far, namely, as both are systems of co-operative production for use.

Whilst the Socialist Party share with many other organisations the general principles of democracy, co-operation and worldwide action, we see the problems facing the world as stemming from the ownership of the wealth of the world by a privileged class. We do not think the world's problems can be solved until the wealth of the world is taken into the common and direct democratic ownership of the whole of humanity. Specifically, we think this requires a self-conscious and active movement of people working together, worldwide, and we cannot allow this movement to be divided into nation states or rely on governments to help us. The present system can never be reformed to work in the interest of the majority. All the other candidates disagree and are promising to reform it in one way or another. But reform has been tried many times and look where we still are. The present system can only work by putting profits before people. That’s how capitalism works and can only work. It’s the economic system. And that’s what got to be changed. The Socialist Party seeks an essentially peaceful democratic majority revolution to replace capitalism with a system in which productive resources have become the common heritage of all to be used for the benefit of all.

Things are not produced today to meet people’s needs. They are produced to make a profit. And that’s the cause of the problems people face. Under the profit system profits always come first. Before providing basic services like health care and transport, before improving conditions at work, and before providing decent housing. It is profits first, people second. Under the profit system production is in the hands of profit-seeking business enterprises, all competing to maximise the rate of return on the money invested in them. Decisions as to what to produce and how much, and how and where to produce it, are not made in response to people’s needs but in response to market forces. As a result, the health and welfare of the workforce and the effects on the environment take second place. The profit system can’t help doing this. It’s the only way it can work. Which is why it must go. Governments, whatever their political colour, have to cut their spending so as to give profits a chance to recover.

So, what’s the alternative? One thing is certain. The Tories and Labour have nothing to offer, nor the LibDems, UKIP or the nationalists. They all support the profit system and are only squabbling over which of them should have a go at running it. If we are going to improve things we are going to have to act for ourselves, without professional politicians or leaders of any kind. We are going to have to organise ourselves democratically to bring about a society geared to serving human needs not profits. Production to satisfy people’s needs. That’s the alternative. But this can only be done if we control production and the only basis for this is common ownership and democratic control. Supporting the Socialist Party registers your rejection of the profit system and your agreement with the alternative.

So, let's be clear: The Socialist Party doesn't want your vote to be in office. We're seeking to abolish a society in which people are made to work for the people who own all the property. We're in politics to call you to revolt. If you want a state-free, class-free, money-free society where we co-operate to produce the things we need, then you need to revolt. You need to say that that is your priority.  You need to tell your fellow workers that you want them to revolt too.  That is what putting a cross next to The Socialist Party candidate means, it means a rejection of the whole system of government and society, with no compromise. It's a big leap, let's see you make it.

Let us hoist our sails and sail straight for the cooperative commonwealth. The sun shines upon us and the wind blows our way.  The future is ours.

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