Sunday, August 07, 2016

Forward to the socialist revolution

All over the planet, people are organising and attempting to find solutions for the planet’s survival. All over the world, there is a feeling that something is deeply wrong. Connect the dots and we can see interlinked reasons why the global system of capitalism is no longer fit for purpose and now redundant. There is no way out except by transforming the capitalist system. Too many of our so-called leaders are talk about economic growth-at-all-costs as the only viable solution to mass poverty, wealth inequality, the climate crisis, and other planetary-scale crises humanity must confront. But we must first look at the mode of production — i.e. how value is created and wealth is distributed. The World Socialist Movement stresses the need to share knowledge and for mutual aid to create a cooperative and solidarity economy, focused on social justice. Profit is seen as justifying the destruction of life and communities. Compassion is absent as fellow beings endure deprivation, suffering and misery. People are impoverished so that others can be wealthy. Fellow humans are used as “disposable” commodities. These are the dots that we must connect in order to help usher in the post-capitalist world. Through the socialist revolution, men will enter 'the realm of freedom', says Marx. Marx also designated the working class the ’grave-diggers of capitalism’ – the emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class itself. Capitalism is now in a state of almost permanent crisis. Only a socialist revolution can prevent the relapse of humanity into barbarism.

The interests of the capitalists and of the working class are irreconcilable. Capital must accumulate in order to survive. It grows by keeping for itself the surplus value produced by workers after they have reproduced the value of their labour power, their wages. Surplus value is the source of all profit. The unending search for surplus value, for profit, is the motive force of capitalist production. Capitalism can produce only for profit. Capitalists cut their costs of production mainly by stepping up their already vicious exploitation of the working class. They cut their wage bills by reducing wages and sacking workers. They also make the remaining workers work longer hours (or shorter hours as the case may be) and they increase the intensity of labour. The cut-throat competition between vying capitalists, particularly at times of crisis, means that eventually factories using outdated machinery will inevitably be closed down unless the owners can make a profit by installing new machinery, and have the capital to do so. In many cases, they cannot. Competition among capitalists to minimise losses is very fierce. In this battle, the winners as well as the losers lay workers off and further reduce living standards. And so repeatedly the capitalists are forced by the laws of capitalist production to dismantle the means of production on a massive scale and make thousands of workers unemployed.  They take advantage of the existence of this vast “reserve army of labour” in the struggle over wages to attempt to hold down still more firmly the wages of the working class as a whole. The working class are required to fight all attempts by the employers to shift the burden of their economic crisis onto their backs and must resist all wage cuts, lay-offs, speed-ups, and cuts in government welfare services. The State is a machine for the oppression of one class by another and exists to protect the class interests of the small exploiting minority. The Labour Party is a capitalist political party. This is determined by the class it serves politically and the class character of its ideas and policies. The Labour Party claims to be the party of the working class but in deeds, it serves the bosses. The trade union movement is the defensive struggle of the workers against their employers, geared only to look after the workers' immediate interests. But soon the workers learn that their oppression is common and that their resistance must be collective. They form true labour parties – genuine socialist parties.

Working class power is the essential condition for far-reaching social change. The duty of socialists is clear beyond any scope for misunderstanding. They have to win over the whole world. The historic mission of the modern working class movement is to abolish class society and to build in its place a higher form of social organisation: Socialism. Only the full support of working people can open the way to socialism. Our task in the Socialist Party is not to fight for better terms in the sale of labour-power, but to fight for the abolition of the capitalist system that compels the working class to sell themselves as wage-slaves. We must teach the workers that their fundamental economic interests can only be satisfied by the destruction of the entire capitalist system and the creation of a socialist society.

No comments: