What is needed is a complete change in the way society is organised.We need a transformational change in our relationship with one another and with nature to ensure the sustainable future we want for ourselves and our children. Not one of the major social problems facing the majority today has a practical chance of being solved within the present social framework. As long as a minority own or control the productive resources of the world, the bulk of humanity will suffer relative poverty. As long as food, clothing, housing and all other goods and services are produced to be sold for a profit in the market, those needs which cannot be paid for will remain invisible. Until these productive resources are owned in common and controlled democratically by all, the millionaires will continue to hold the rest of society to ransom. And until production is geared purely to satisfying human needs without the obstacle of finance, the scale, and quality of production will be compressed into what is profitable only.
All but a small minority of capital-owners suffer lives of insecurity and economic frustration. And yet this same majority gives support, actively or passively, to the system which robs us of our dignity as well as of the wealth we create. That is the key to the change we seek. No system could stagger on forever without getting some acceptance from the millions of human beings involved in it. When a majority of workers withdraw their support for the present system and organise themselves to introduce and run the alternative to this, then and only then can real change come. This is what revolution must mean.
Socialism means a complete breakaway from all systems of property. It means, for the first time in human history, a consciously organised and planned end to all property relations. It must be carried out by and in the interests of the overwhelming majority across the world. So, at this point, there would be a real leap in the development of world history, a point in time when a common control of the Earth would truly begin for the first time. And the way in which such an inspiring step can happen is by the democratic acceptance of this by a majority—the force of numbers. This would, of course, express itself in different ways in different parts of the world. One common thread in the World Socialist Movement, however, will be its understanding that means must harmonise with ends. A democratic society can only be established democratically. The socialist movement, therefore, has no leaders. It is a movement of equals. Neither does it court popularity by adopting or patronising the latest fashionable cause, seeking in vain to ease capitalism's problems one by one. We pose a clear choice for the working class throughout the world. Either continue to give your political support to the present, capitalist system, with all of its obscene contradictions. Or build a strong and conscious political movement for the socialist alternative of common ownership, democratic control and production for use, not profit.
Must the workers of the world always have feelings of suspicion, hatred and contempt towards each other? We, in the Socialist Party, do not think so. We are normal human beings, but we do not blame the strangers in our midst for all the minor and major evils of capitalism. Workers must learn to think with their heads and not be guided by their feelings. They must understand, and they will do when they become socialists, that there is a bond that unites them with their fellow workers, whether they are “enemies'' or “friends". This bond is not the superficial one of the same language, the same colour of skin, the same shape of nose, the same habits or allegiance to the same capitalist state, but the fundamental one of class interest. The workers of the world have one great task: to overthrow the system of their respective capitalistic masters and establish a world socialist cooperative commonwealth, where the word “foreigner” will have no meaning.
The Socialist Party takes the same principled position that we have always taken. We are opposed to capitalism and all who seek to run it. We do not want reformed capitalism or the profit system better managed. We are not looking for “nice” leaders or any kind of leaders for the workers to follow. The wages system is against the interest of the workers and only workers’ self-emancipation will solve the problems that we face. We are told not to waste our time upon such revolutionary ambitions.
The Socialist Party supports the efforts of workers to improve their conditions under capitalism. But socialists also point out that there is no solution to their problems inside capitalism, and even if the agitation of those who support improvements succeeds for the families they are now trying to help, future generations will still face the same misery and hardship. Only in a society in which production is carried on solely to satisfy human wants, without anyone having to worry about where next week's rent or next month's mortgage repayment is coming from, will the social problems we endure find a solution?
Once this socialist majority exists, it will be necessary for us to do two things before socialism can operate as a social system. First, it is necessary to establish beyond all doubt that this is the will of the majority at that time. Second, the ruling class of today must be stripped of the political power which they have so far been allowed to hold. The state machine, with its coercive forces, must be taken over openly and democratically by that majority and dismantled; the owning class must be disarmed, by removing their control over the forces of the state. It is for these two reasons that the Socialist Party contests elections. That, then, is what socialist revolution means. And the transformation of society, from serving the profit of the minority to meeting the needs of all, has never been more urgent than it is today. The choices humanity makes now will profoundly affect the world which in turn will impact the future economies, livelihoods, food security and quality of life of people everywhere. We must get them right. The choice is yours.
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