Socialism is the planned organisation of production for use by means of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and is the abolition of all classes and class differences. Socialism is not a utopian ideal or a blueprint for society that exists in the minds of some people. It is a social necessity; it is a practical necessity; it is the direction that people, in order to satisfy their social needs, must take in order to save society from disintegration. To be a socialist merely means to be conscious of this necessity, to make others conscious of it, and to work in an organised manner for the realisation of the goal.
Production is already carried on socially. Labour has been socialized. Capitalism has become concentrated and centralised which organises a great multitude of little operations under a single direction. Capitalism has already accomplished a great deal in eliminating the need for high skills by simplifying the operations in production. The only important thing that has not been socialized is the ownership and the appropriation of the products of industry. They remain private. And therein lies the root of capitalist exploitation and oppression, of the anarchy of production and of crises. Social production represents the seeds of the socialist society growing right in the soil of capitalist society itself.
Capitalism also produces the force capable of reorganizing society - the working class, brought into existence and developed by capitalism itself. Capitalist production organises the workers as a class. The very way in which work is carried on assemblies the workers for cooperative labour. Capitalism wipes out the basis for the workers’ interest in maintaining private property. The workers are now propertyless workers. The workers suffer intensely from the rule of capitalism. Their interests are diametrically opposed to those of the capitalists. The struggle between working class and capitalist class is the sharpest and most irreconcilable. The workers cannot rid themselves of their sufferings without abolishing the domination that the machine has over them. They can do this only if they gain control of the machine itself. In doing so, they must destroy capitalism and proceed with the complete reorganisation of society. The working class is thus the bearer of socialism.
Humanity will no longer be the slave of the machine. Automation and robotics will serve mankind. Every increase in productivity through technological innovation will bring with it two things: an increase in the things required for the need, comfort and luxury of all; and an increase in everyone’s leisure time, to devote to the free cultural and intellectual development of humankind. Despite all the restrictions that capitalism places upon production, industry, properly planned and organised, can produce the necessities of life for all in a working day of four hours or less. Men and women will not live primarily to work; they will work primarily to live. As the necessities and comforts of life become increasingly abundant, and the differences between physical and mental labour, between town and country, are eliminated, the last vestiges of inequality will disappear. These divisions will be eliminated as will all aspects of commodity production (production for sale and profit rather than production for use.) Wage-slavery will be seen as just as criminal and absurd as ancient slavery. The slave-owners and the capitalists have one fundamental thing in common–they are both exploiters, and they both regard it as the correct and perfect order of things for a small group of parasites to live off the majority of laboring people. They differ only in the form in which they exploit and therefore in their view of how society should be organised to ensure this exploitation. The working class has no interest in promoting private gain at the expense of others and every interest in promoting cooperation. For only in this way can it emancipate itself and all humanity.