Thursday, August 11, 2016

Working-class” is not a dirty word

Capitalism, by its method of production, has brought isolated workers together and constituted them as a class in society. Capitalism has made the workers a class in themselves. That is, the workers are a distinct class in society, whether they recognize this fact or not. To establish socialism the workers must become a class for themselves. They must acquire a clear understanding of their real position under capitalism, of the nature of capitalist society as a whole, and of their mission in history. They must act consciously for their class interests. They must become conscious of the fact that these class interests lead to a socialist society. When this takes place, the workers are a class for themselves, a class with socialist consciousness.

The problems facing the majority of people will never be solved within the confines of the capitalist system. Crises are intrinsic to capitalism and the ruling class will always seek to place the burden of them on the shoulders of the working class. The only solution is a fundamental change in the very structure and organisation of society. But the conditions for socialist revolution do not yet exist. The major problem is that the persistence of working class consciousness is not matched by a growth in socialist consciousness. The reasons for this are complex. The ruling class uses every possible avenue to promote capitalist concepts and ideals in order to prevent dissatisfaction from being turned against capitalism itself. Reformism also plays an important role in impeding the development of socialist consciousness. The lesson drawn from years of class struggle is the necessity to organise revolution and not reforms. Our argument against the Left and the policies is not that some palliatives would not benefit and ameliorate the conditions of the working class, but that measured against the criterion of achieving socialism which is, after all, is the goal of socialists, they fall far short. In other words, we would argue that whatever the rhetoric or the campaigning vigour of the left-wing they nevertheless remain wedded to capitalism.

The Socialist Party is guided by its basic revolutionary goal of fundamentally changing capitalism and achieving a just and equitable society. Marx correctly analysed the history of human society and projected a vision and the possibility of a classless society. Throughout history, there have been men and women who dreamed of changing society. They saw the poverty, the oppression, the persecution and hatred that prevailed in the world and concluded these evils should and could be abolished. To do so we do not change men and women into saints and angels to love their neighbours but simply to change the social system. It is impossible to have a society where love between human beings prevails unless you have a society where the struggle for economic existence is done away with. Everywhere in society division and strife prevails. Socialists conclude that before mankind can develop to a point where the relationship between one human being and another will be on a decent basis, society will have to be altered. In the Communist Manifesto there is found the following statement:
“All previous historical movements were movements of minorities or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority.”

We reject the idea that one nation or one people is superior to any other nation or any other people. To us all human beings are equal. Capitalist society is constituted on the principle of “dog eat dog” and there are many who try to benefit themselves at the expense of others. The prejudices that exist are a product of the social system and not inherent in human nature. The brotherhood of man will be made possible and real under a socialist society which will do away with economic conflicts.

Marx, therefore, accepted the necessity of convincing the majority of the people to accept the ideas of socialism. The Socialist Party, likewise, wants a majority of the people to accept our ideas. We want to take over the means of production peacefully. The only real possibility of avoiding violence is for the workers to organise so strongly that the minority of capitalists will not attempt the use of violence. Our task is to inform our fellow-workers of our ideas because we want to educate the majority of the people to understand and accept our ideas. We can use only the power of persuasion and no other power. We are, of course, not pacifists. As much as we hate the violence that exists in society, if we see no alternative we will apply the force of the majority to disarm a violent minority. Members of the Socialist Party are dissatisfied not with their personal misfortunes but with the social system, with the evils that exist under the present social order. Rather than care for their individual interests, members thinks of mankind’s, of society’s well-being in general. The agony and the death of millions of our fellow human beings from hunger and disease or in senseless wars are not abstractions to us. We feel the pain keenly and we react to them and we try to create a world where destruction and war and poverty and disease will not be the lot of mankind. We, in the Socialist Party, have educated ourselves and our studies have led us to certain conclusions and we have come together to propagate those conclusions. We proclaim that it is possible to build a new world guaranteeing every human being a decent livelihood and a chance to develop his or her individuality, free from economic worries, free from the dangers of war. We say that we have reached an epoch where mankind must go forward to socialism or else back to barbarism. This social system has reached a point of decline where no road other than the road to socialism will lead mankind into a peaceful world.

Our message will be in vain if we are incorrect in our general analysis. All our pamphlets, all our papers, all our speeches will be for naught unless we are correct in our fundamental theory. But if we are correct in our fundamental theory, all efforts to silence our voice and thwart our agitation will not avail. The strength of our ideas lies in the fact that our general predictions, based upon the laws operating in society, are coming true. Our principles have withstood the test of time and events. Therefore, we still have hopes that the people will come to accept the ideas of socialism. The more democracy we have, the greater the chances are for a peaceful transformation. Our ideas will conquer the minds and the hearts of the people because there is no road to peace and plenty other than the road of socialism.

No comments: