The Socialists Party’s position on parliamentary action is that it must be the revolutionary act as the capture of political power by a class conscious majority of the working class. Although economic organisation of the workers is very necessary in order that they sell their labour-power to the best advantage, unions have many limitations and weaknesses. Unions must depend upon numbers rather than on understanding. They cannot, in the long run, alter the downward trend of working-class conditions. They are concerned primarily with wages and hours problems rather than with overthrowing capitalism. The only way the workers can permanently improve their lot is the establishment of socialism. A socialist working class does not smash the state. Marx in no place advocated the smashing of the state but on the contrary, he advocated its capture so that the workers could, “lop off its repressive features and transform it into an agent of emancipation.”
Some consider reforms and government public-ownership (nationalisation) as gradual stepping stones to socialism. Some thought state-capitalism (often called state-socialism) was actually a form of socialism, if not socialism itself. These efforts to administer and reform capitalism led to erroneous concepts, such as identifying certain capitalist relationships as being socialist ones. It has become the custom of intellectuals and progressives to dismiss as dogmatic and sectarian those who understood that socialist activities must not be disassociated and divorced from the socialist objective. Particularly damaging to socialist understanding has been the stress on nationalism which is foreign to the very spirit of socialism, which is a world-wide society. Hosts of workers are bewildered by the deceptions and disappointments of the so-called “socialist” or “communist” “victories.” We are left to wonder how far the socialist movement could have advanced without these vast diversions and had the same efforts being devoted to socialist activities.
The case for socialism is not too difficult to grasp. There are three phases of socialism, an unfolding process.
(1) Socialism arose out of the material conditions of the earlier portion of the 19th Century. It recognises that everything in existence is interrelated and in a constant process of change. Socialism indicates the general outlines and the process of social evolution and, more particularly, the nature of capitalism. It explains how the seed of the forthcoming society is fertilised within the womb of an old society.
(2) Then, socialism becomes a movement. It is not alone sufficient to understand the world. the task is to change it and to arouse the working class to become the agents of change so that the vast majority becomes conscious of its interests, and proceeds to institute socialism. The socialist revolution cannot be rammed down the throats of “followers.” The socialist revolution is majority, conscious and political. It is and can only be democratic by its very inherent nature. It is not a new ruling class coming to power with a subject class having to submit.
(3) Finally, in the course of its evolution, capitalism has laid the groundwork for socialism, a class-free, money-free, wage-free society. Socialism is “a society from which exploitation has been banished and in which the unfolding of each individual would be the condition for the freedom of all.”
A socialist is someone who realises that capitalism can no longer be reformed or administered in the interest of either the working class or society; that capitalism is incapable of eliminating its inherent problems of poverty, wars, crises, etc.; and that socialism offers the solutions for the social problems besetting mankind since the material conditions and developments—with the single exception of an aroused socialist majority—are now ripe for a socialist society. If anyone supports the continuation of capital-wage labour relationships by advocating or organizing to administer the status quo instead of coming out for the socialist revolution then, he or she is NOT a socialist.
The Socialist Party emphasises the need for educating, agitating and organising to keep the issues clear. It is not that more planning is needed but that outmoded social relations of the capitalist economic system must be abandoned.