Human society has been propelled forward by the struggle for freedom. Today the rich and powerful, try to claim the banner of freedom for themselves. For the rulers, freedom means the freedom to structure everything in society to serve their own interests. Meanwhile, for the great majority, the freedom preached by the rich means only the freedom to choose between a rock and a hard place, between selling our laboUr to them to enrich them further and starving to death. But The Socialist Party has a different vision of freedom. The great majority women and men want freedom from misery, from exploitation, from the jackboot of the authoritarian state, from living our whole lives in alienation and insecurity. We want our freedom to become fully human, to develop all our talents and abilities. And millions of us sense that this cannot be done by each of us as individuals, but only by the pooling our collective strength and sharing our wisdom.
Freedom is not a thing that can be won for a few. If any are in chains, no one is truly free. Nor can freedom be given as a gift. It must be taken by the many because only in doing so can we learn to use and expand it. The rich hate the thought of socialism so much that they call socialist any reform in the system that cuts into their wealth in the slightest—from free higher education and a rise in taxes to environmental regulations and a universal healthcare system today. Such reforms, however, needed they might be, are not socialism. Real freedom requires the destruction of the whole current social order based on the rights of the wealthy to keep everything they have and constantly grab for more. Real freedom, socialism, will mean organising society and the economy on a totally different basis, where the wealth created by the labour of the many goes to serve the people and not to enrich a tiny handful of parasites. It will mean that people will have the opportunity and resources they need to develop their potential as human beings and to increase their contributions to the wellbeing of all. The working people will rule, learning to become the masters of society. The wealth of society, produced by the labor of millions, will go to benefit the many, not to fatten the few. Because the highest law of capitalism is “expand or die,” enormous waste, suffering, and environmental destruction are built into the system we live under. In place of this dog-eat-dog madness, we need cooperation, collectivity, and planning. We, the working people, make all of society run, each and every day. Why shouldn’t we run all of society?
After we have overthrown the capitalists we will establish socialism which will mean the rule of the majority. It will put an end to the exploitation of man by man. It will bring freedom to all those oppressed by capital and open up a new period of history. Workers will participate directly in running the economy and society from top to bottom. Gone will be the anarchy of capitalist production. Gone, too, its resultant economic crises which today bring so much misery to workers. Socialism is the future of humanity, a radically new society where classes and the state will have been completely eliminated. It is possible to do away with classes and the state since these only exist during a specific period of society’s development. Humanity has not always been divided into classes. In the primitive communal societies, all the members cooperated together to assure their survival. The state is simply an instrument by which one class dominates another. It became a necessity when society split into classes. Just as the ancient slave state served the slave owners to suppress the countless slave rebellions, so too the modern capitalist state is a tool of the bourgeoisie to maintain its dictatorship over the working class. There will be no rich and no poor, and all members of society will contribute to the common good. The immense advance of the productive forces and the tremendous abundance of social wealth will allow for the application of the principle: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Each person will contribute to society according to his or her capacities, while society in turn provides for his or her needs. The differences between workers and farmers, town and country, and manual and intellectual work will have disappeared.