Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Mission of Socialist Courier

The Socialist Courier blog has no great expectation of being able to take you by storm and make you all good socialists. Certainly, it would give the blog great pleasure to succeed in convincing any large number of you of the justice of the ideas of socialism, and of the necessity of putting its ideals into practice. Even today people imagine that we can instill whatever ideas we may choose into a person's mind; that we can influence at our own discretion the development of ideas at any given time in any given people. But it is precisely this that is impossible.

But what we are more eager to do, is to convince you how necessary and important it is for you, yourself, to take an interest in the socialist movement, to take that one step beyond so to open your eyes to the world around you, and for once to realize that what you have in all probability been told about socialism is to a large extent based on exaggeration, lack of understanding, or ignorance of the nature of the movement, and perhaps also on ill-will. Every man and woman should take an interest in politics and in socialism. From the very day that we enter into the world, politics begins to operate upon us and this continues all through our lives down to the grave.

In regard to socialism many have no doubt often been told that it consists of utopian attempts toward the destruction of every good thing that civilisation has called into being: as something which under no conditions can realise its ideal and is capable only of doing serious damage to society in general. How easy it would be to put an end to socialism if it were really only a matter of nonsensical theories. But has this occurred? Has it been demonstrated to be the case? No.

The fact that we cannot and do not think what we please to think; we think what we must think. And what obliges the individual to think in a certain way is the measure of his or her interests and opinions, which are in turn developed out of the social interests of a certain class in society. If our capitalist class stands opposed to socialism, we socialists are not in the least astonished by that. No one can expect a class to act against its interests.  Yet we are astounded that so many of our fellow-workers adopt the ideas and interests of the class that rules over them. If it had not been for this, socialism would certainly be established today. The very class in society, which is toiling in servitude, selling their labour power, and compelled to renounce the right of free disposal over their own persons accept the belief system of their masters. Socialist Courier thinks it is only natural that other thoughts will eventually awaken in their minds: "Is this right? Is it reasonable? Is it to remain so for ever? Are we always to be the oppressed and expropriated, to the end that those who appropriate to themselves out of our labour all the wealth and enjoyment that this world can offer may live in opulence and ease?" These pertinent questions are brought home to the consciousness of the working class by virtue of their labour, their intelligence and position as human beings, and so to this extent the socialist movement must expand and develop.

Not only can socialism and its demands be accepted as an ideal, they can also be realised. What do socialists demand? The abolition of every form of expropriation and oppression of man by man in social, political and economic life. Mankind shall be free and equal without exception and they shall be permitted to fulfil their mission in life as individuals with the opportunity of harmoniously developing and educating, in accordance with his or her needs, the physical and intellectual capacities which nature has given to him or her. From this arises the need for society to increase both the quantity and the quality of the means of life and of culture, so it shall prove adequate to meet the very highest demands that can be made upon it; and it follows, therefore, that it is the duty of every person to co-operate in accordance with their powers and capacities in the production of these means of culture and life.  We do not desire to "divide up," as people are in the habit of saying; we do not wish to throw humanity back into barbarism of barter; on the contrary, we desire to lift the whole of humanity to the highest thinkable plane of civilisation. We wish every individual without exception to have a share in the means of culture and education according to their capacities and needs. This ideal is possible today because we now possess all the means and possibilities to realise it. 

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