Thursday, December 20, 2018

We must learn for ourselves

" If a worker wants to take part in the self-emancipation of his class, the basic requirement is that he should cease allowing others to teach him and should set about teaching himself." - Joseph Dietzgen 

The goal of the Socialist Party is a revolution – the abolition of capitalist private property, the abolition of all exploitation of man by man, the common ownership of the means of production and their planned use for the benefit of the whole of society, leading to abundance and the Brotherhood of Man. Socialism means a society without class antagonisms, in which the people themselves control their means of life and use them for their own happiness. The Socialist Party does not put forward this goal as a utopia, as a mere vision of what would ideally satisfy people’s needs and make them all happy, but as a  practical aim to be achieved by the actual conditions of modern society. Socialism will only be gained by waging the class struggle. And to achieve the conquest of power, the working class must have its own independent political party. Socialism is not inevitable. What has been termed its ‘inevitability’ consists in this, that only through socialism can human progress continue? But there is not and cannot be any absolute deterministic inevitability in human affairs since man makes his own history and chooses what to do. What is determined is not his choice, but the conditions under which it is made, and the consequences when it is made. The meaning of socialism is not that it tells us that socialism will come regardless, but that it explains to us where we stand, what course lies open to us, what is the road to class emancipation.

The master class, being but a mere tenth of the population, can only keep possession of the means of production by their control through the political machinery of the State) of the armed forces. While the master class has that control it is hopeless for the workers to attempt to seize capitalist property. It is sheer madness, therefore, to expect that the capitalist class would, because the workers demand it, either abolish the armed forces or hand their control over to the working class. That would be to abolish themselves as a ruling class. Further, the interests of the capitalists of one country clash with those of the capitalists of other lands, especially in the matter of obtaining markets, and so long as capitalism lasts there will be this clash of interests, necessitating ever-increasing armaments and the inevitable appeal to arms. It is then absurd to waste time and energy in an endeavour to convince the capitalists that wars are superfluous and a curse under capitalism.

Let the workers learn their position in society and unite to obtain control of the machinery of government, including the armed forces. Such action will make it possible for them to take possession of the means of production and use them for the benefit of all. In that way alone will they be able to usher in a system of society wherein universal unity of interests will abolish all war, be it between classes or nations. Only the establishment of socialism can give us a world of peace and plenty. 

“A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings.” Jimmy Reid

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