Saturday, December 01, 2018

Our vision of socialism

Many peoples’ ideas of what socialism would be like are dominated by the Stalinist tyranny in Russia or the experiences of Labour or other ‘left-wing’ governments. Socialists have resisted the temptation to draw up a blueprint for socialism as pointless and misleading. If the future society is to be truly socialist, then its details can be decided only by the workers who build it. Consequently, the Socialist Party has limited itself to certain general principles which can be derived from the trends and forces at work under capitalism. For the Socialist Party, its fundamental aim is the creation of a class-free society. 

Capitalism produces its own gravedigger, the working class. To free the working class everywhere from the wage slavery is the prime purpose of the World Socialist Movement. To attain this end the methods pursued and relied upon are based not upon speculation in human goodness or utopian dreams. Socialism is based upon cooperative industry, administered in the equal interest of all. Socialism is a necessity. Production is carried on to-day purely in the interest and for the profit of the class which owns the instruments of production. The means of production should not be used in the interest of the small class which owns them. Socialism would substitute social ownership of these things for the ruling class ownership, and this would also involve the abolition of classes altogether. Socialism does not mean governmental ownership or management. The State of to-day, nationally and locally, is only the agent of the possessing class and as the agent of the possessing class it treats the employees just as other employee are treated. When society is organised for the control of its own affairs and has acquired the possession of its own means of production will be carried on for the use of all and not for the profit of a few.

We mean the establishment of the common ownership and control of the whole of the world’s industry. The entire means of production thus being common property, there would no longer be a propertied class to make a profit. The establishment of socialism means a complete change in society in all its aspects.  Socialism does not presuppose a complete change in human nature and the entire elimination of selfishness. On the contrary, socialism only calls for enlightened selfishness, recognising that it can serve itself only by serving the common interest. Socialism presupposes a condition of things in which the good of all will mean the good of each, and a society so constituted that the individual cannot serve oneself without serving society, and cannot injure society without injuring oneself.

Socialism accepts the theory of evolution in its fullest extent. It bases its view of the universe upon reasoned conclusions. Socialism is materialist, as opposed to antiquated conceptions based on theological dogma. Socialists assert their belief in the speedy downfall of the present system. Social revolution is the objective of the Socialist Party. It is time for the workers’ movement to discard its futile reformism. The working class will use its power to take all important industries and businesses into social ownership and place them under democratic control. All the population will be drawn into administering the new society. This will make rational planning of the economy possible, ensuring an enormous growth in the wealth of society and that this growth serves people’s needs. It will free society from the stains of racial, sexual and national bigotry. It will use the enormous advances of modern science and technology to eliminate the dangers and drudgery of work. It will systematically reduce the hours of the working week and simultaneously raise the educational and cultural level of the people. This will pave the way for the disappearance of any group of privileged experts and for overcoming the divisions between mental and manual labour. It will lead to the disappearance of money and to distribution on the principle, ‘each according to their needs’.

By replacing private ownership of the means of production by common ownership, by transforming the anarchy of production which is a feature of capitalism into planned proportional production organised for the well-being and many-sided development of all of society, the socialist revolution will end the division of society into classes and emancipate all of humanity from all forms of exploitation of one section of society by another. The Socialist Party calls upon all members of the working class to join it and to win over to the standpoint of our fellow-workers. Workers are not taken in by the propaganda of capitalism. They can see the corruption, the instability, the pollution, waste, and poverty. They can still feel the effects of the last economic crisis. The idea of the free market or nationalisation as answers is no longer believed.

The socialist answer is the abolition of the right of private property, the right to exploit, the right to rob, the right to cause crises, the right to compete, and to cause wars and instead the common ownership of the means of production, so that all may enjoy the fruit of their labour, and consume it.  The Socialist Party works for the
improvement of the conditions of the people and its understanding teaches that in the long run, such is capitalist development, that improvement can only be attained by changing basic social relations, by a shift in ownership and control from the few to the many and when the whole of society is changed by the elimination of the private ownership of the entire means of production, socialism.

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