We are facing escalating crises and our political leaders are unable to seriously address the threats to the human family and the world we all live in. The climate crisis is spinning out of control, and the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow unabated. When everything points to even more assaults upon people and our planet optimism is not a virtue but a sign of irrationality. Facing climate change, species extinction, global conflicts, and poverty, allowing ourselves to be disturbed by them, moved by them and yet remaining sane, is no easy thing. Anxiety and worry are healthy symptoms. Instead of hiding from this anguish we can confront them, not as isolated individuals but collectively as a class. The disenfranchised, the poor, and the working class need to collectively band together to restructure the system, which has created our discontent in the first place. The hope that comes from facing the worst is enduring because it is not built upon illusion and wishful thinking. It is defiant and courageous and refuses to capitulate. Adherence to old ideas will further exasperate the situation, the very problems it has helped to create—which is truly insane. It doesn’t make sense. Together, we can overcome our fears and need not give in to despair. Think revolutionary. Unlike the apocalyptic end-of-the-world alarmist Cassandras of doom, socialists recognise that we have choices and we have alternatives and that we can create a better world with a sustainable future. When we understand what is causing the crises, then we can solve the problem. As socialists, our prognosis for the future of life and the planet is a promising one but only if we transform our competitive capitalist society into a cooperative commonwealth. However, to tell people “don’t worry – it’s going to be ok” is doing no-one a favour.
Mainstream politicians will continue to protect the corporate executives, who will continue to maximise profit without concern for the majority of people. We need a revolution to change things. We have to build the new economy ourselves. The key to over-throwing the capitalist order is that it something we have to do ourselves and we cannot leave it to politicians or their parties. It will be up to us – ordinary people – to make it happen. Consumerist capitalist society cannot be reformed to make it sustainable or just; it must be replaced by a society with fundamentally different structures. We refuse to seek a “socialist” veneer, which amounts to an effort to render capitalism a bit more humane and a little more efficient, and no more. Reformism is not liberatory, but merely reformulates the exploitative class relations to make them more palatable. Action is required to be taken to change the entire economic system. Income redistribution and tax reform is no substitute for the abolition of private property. It is not only consumption that must be made egalitarian, but production. Exploitation for capital accumulation must be ended. No amount of reforms can replace revolutionary change by the working class. Of course, this is not an easy path to pursue. While slightly mitigating the suffering of people is not our goal, it is by no means a bad thing. It would be callous to ignore opportunities to alleviate hardship in the name of political purity. However, the Socialist Party position is that there are others better placed and better organised to engage in palliative policies and that a socialist party should remain fixed upon its purpose – the education, agitation, and organisation to bring about a socialist society.
A radical situation is awakening. People are becoming more receptive to new perspectives. They are readier to see that everything seems possible and quicker to understand that much more is possible. Our radical message is one the powerful ruling class is desperately trying to silence. Capitalists are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill and lie to make money. They throw workers out of jobs and poor families out of homes, they wage wars to take resources and raw materials, they poison and pollute the ecosystems, slash social services, gut health-care and trash public education, plundering, and looting wherever they can in the name of profit. Those on the reformist left who once dismissed capitalism as exploitative now honour a new version as rational and humane, describing it as “market socialism”, another form of enslavement of the working class. The long struggle for social justice and economic freedom carried out by ordinary men and women alone holds out the possibility of salvation.