Many people make fun of the effort the Socialist Party puts into producing, distributing and selling the Socialist Standard and our collection of pamphlets. They seek to compare our efforts with the sleek performance and wide influence of the big Dailies. The Socialist Standard, however, attempts to provide its readers with an understanding of events from a class perspective. By contrast, the aim of the mainstream press is to stop the development of such a coherent interpretation of the world, offering stories about things that in reality have no relevance to a worker’s life at all and presenting a skewed editorial line representing the interests of the owners and his fellow capitalists. The need to win workers to a socialist perspective is greater than ever. The Socialist Standard remains vital to this.
All reformist parties – no matter how grandiose their verbal allegiance to “socialism” and supposed socialist ideals – conceive of their political aims as lying within the framework of the capitalist state: as winning reforms from capitalism, winning a majority in the capitalist government, or even as “transforming” the capitalist government into a “socialist government” (i.e., requesting the capitalist state to commit suicide). A reformist party will not overthrow capitalism, since it functions within the framework of capitalism; and consequently, it cannot halt poverty or stop war, both of which follow necessarily from the continuance of capitalism.
The Socialist Party declares that its aim is to develop the class consciousness of the workers through our education and agitation. The struggle for socialism is the struggle against the capitalist class who live off the labour of others, and it is the struggle against all exploitation. The capitalist system rests on the exploitation of workers. It can only end in the working-class transferal of all land, natural resources and factories to the whole of society for the organisation of social production under which all that is produced by the workers and all improvements of production benefit the people themselves. The emancipation of the working class is the act of self-emancipation. All around us there are the signs of a world in crisis, yet men and women seem unable to do anything about it. Resources that should be used to comfort the sick, help the poor and feed the hungry are squandered. The greatest threat comes from global warming although the risk of global nuclear war always remains present. And the situation grows even grimmer. No wonder many are in despair. Even some socialists talk of society collapse, catastrophe and apocalypse and warn that in the choice between “socialism or barbarism”, the latter is becoming ever more likely. But all is not lost…yet. The Socialist Party retains trust in the ability of the working class to change society and understand that it means rejecting the whole profit system and the politics of class collaboration, even if they are not yet ready to take this step. The present downturn in the class struggle will not last forever. However, the Socialist Party is realistic about the present situation and has not given way to fake optimism. At the same time as recognising just how bad things are, the Socialist Party has resisted succumbing despair. The working class is far from finished, and our job is to keep preparing for the struggle for socialism. With socialism, we can go on to use the world’s resources in a sustainable manner where humanity’s accumulated knowledge and skill are used to create a world in which poverty, exploitation, and warfare are only bad memories. The Socialist Party has no illusions about the scale of the task, or about the limitations imposed by our size, influence, and talents. We know that only the working class can transform society. We don’t seek to place ourselves at the head of our class. We seek only to make workers conscious of their interests and their power.
The Socialist Party possesses a vision of the kind of society we want for ourselves and our children and their children. We recognise the inability of reformism to solve the problems that capitalism creates and understand that politics is all about winning the battle for socialist ideas with a vision of the ability of workers to transform the world.